Thursday, April 10, 2014

A few finishes for April

Hi everyone,
I didn't have any cross stitch content at all in my last blog post so I decided to bite the bullet and do some finishing so that I would have some to show this time.
I stitched the pieces for Blackbird Designs Tulip House Stitching Companion when the book A Stitcher's Journey first came out. Can it really have been 2011?
Because it involved painting and finishing a box I put it off but in the end it wasn't so bad.
Here is the top of the box. I used the recommended R & R linen and Gentle Arts Sampler Threads.


Inside - it wasn't easy to get the pincushion to fit the compartment but I did the best I could and it looks no worse than the model in the book. The fabrics I used for the finishing are Beach House by Blackbird Designs for Moda Fabrics.



I think you should be able to click on the pictures for a close up view if you wish.

The next finish is even older. Digging deep into the box I came up with this Lizzie Kate Flip-it design. I think there have been several Flip-it series but this was maybe the first. Anyway, I finished April and May into little pillows.
Here's April and I'll show May next time



I've been making a bag (of course) and this one is The Prairie Tote by Stephanie
at Loft Creations
. The pattern is a PDF download which is available in her Etsy shop and is very reasonably priced.
Fabrics used are Robert Kaufman Black Washed Denim and regular quilting fabric from the Hometown line by Sweetwater.



Back view is just slightly different as I was using a charm pack for the patchwork blocks.



It's a while since I've done any crochet so when I saw the crochet along here
I decided to have a go and I made two
I used Drops Paris yarn for this one



and assorted dishcloth cottons for this



The only other crafty thing I have to show you is the Blue Faced Leicester fibre I'm currently spinning. I'm looking forward to seeing how the finished yarn looks



Some baking has been done this week .............

bread rolls



and banana and walnut muffins



Finally, I thought you might like to see the pictures I took while I was out walking this afternoon







As always a big thank you for your continued visits to my blog. I'd like to try to post a bit more often so we'll see how it goes.
Margaret








Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Round Up

Hi everyone,
It's time for another update and, as ever, it's a bit of a mixed bag of different crafts.
The first thing I have to share is a bag. This one is by the Norwegian designer AnnAka and the design is called På Quiltelaup
I had these Amy Butler fabrics in my stash for years and am happy to have finally used them up.
Being in Norwegian this pattern had me beat a few times but I was doing an online sew-a-long with friend Carol and together we figured it out. Carol has a lovely blog here



I added an inside zippered pocket to the lining

and found a nice button for the biggest Prairie Point on the front of the bag. This was sewn on after I'd taken the pictures.



Still with the same designer I made a pouch from this pattern which I've used once before.



I plan on making a few more of these.

Another pouch...........this one is an oversized version of the Open Wide Pouch from the Noodlehead tutorial




Outer fabric is Socks the Fox by Michael Miller and I used a chevron print for the lining



Onto the knitting now I finally finished this cardigan





A pair of socks



and even a pair of gloves using leftover yarn from the cardigan. I have never knitted gloves before and wanted the challenge. These will go to my daughter who spends a lot of time at the ice rink.



For anyone interested details of yarns patterns etc can be found on my Ravelry page

Finally I thought you might like to see a lovely little gift received from Carol who I mentioned earlier. This covered notebook is so very pretty. Thank you Carol I love it :)



I'm sure that those of you who come to see the cross stitch must be wondering where it is but I'm afraid there is nothing to show this time. I have a few finishes that need to be turned into something so will leave those for another time.
Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my previous post which was the book blog tour for Stephanie's new book Uncommonly Corduroy. The e-book winner was #19 Dolores in Canada.
As always a big thank you for your continued visits my blog and for the kind comments that you leave.

Margaret

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Uncommonly Corduroy Book Tour

Hi everyone,
You may have noticed the Uncommonly Corduroy Book Tour Stop button in my sidebar this month. Today is my day to host the tour and I've been looking forward to doing a review.
The book is by Stephanie at Loft Creations it's her first and there are 17 beautiful projects that are showcased using a mix of the softest corduroy and regular quilting cotton.
The photography in the book is just stunning. Many of the projects are named for family members and it's fun to read how each title came about.
The front section has tips for quilt making, bag making and there are tips on using corduroy.
As those of you who have already sewn one of Stephanie's patterns will know they are clearly explained and a dream to follow.
I was lucky enough to play a very small part in testing a couple of the bag patterns. The first is a medium sized bag called Just Jane. Below is the bag Stephanie made with the picture as it appears in the book.

"Images from Uncommonly Corduroy by Stephanie Dunphy, Martingale, 2014; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved."



and here is the one I made. I only wish my pictures were as good as the ones in the book!
The bag I made uses a mini charm pack by Moda but you could easily use your scraps for this project.



I also pattern tested the Sister Sharon purse. Here's the picture from the book which is also shown on the front cover




and here is one I made using regular quilting cottons



and I also made it a second time with the button accents using the corduroy fabric.



back view



Any of the patterns in the book can be made in regular quilting cotton but if you've never tried sewing with corduroy then I would encourage you to try it. It is beautiful to work with and there are so many gorgeous corduroy fabrics to choose from.

To see all of the images and projects in the book go here

So now for the good news. Martingale have very generously offered a free copy of the E-book version to one of you.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which project in the book is your favourite and why. I will draw a winner on Tuesday March 4th.
Good luck everyone and as Stephanie says "corduroy is not just for pants" so I hope you'll give it a try.
The book tour continues with the last day being tomorrow

Book Tour Schedule:

February 19 -- Stephanie at Loft Creations
February 20 -- Martingale at Stitch This
February 21 -- Candace at Squash House Quilts
February 22 -- Carrie at A Passion for Applique
February 23 -- Mary at Mary on Lake Pulaski
February 24 -- Char at Cloth Stitched
February 25 -- Mary at Needled Mom
February 26 -- Linda at The Quilted Pineapple (Linda will be sharing up close and personal details about quilting on corduroy)
February 27 -- Margaret at A Sampler of Stitches
February 28 -- Ulla at Kotkarankki

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Margaret

Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner of the e-book was #19 Dolores in Canada.







Friday, January 31, 2014

A trio of pouches

Hi everyone,

I'm scrambling to get a blog post in for January having left it til the last minute as usual. I'm not sure where the month went but time is flying too fast for me.

I've been in the mood for knitting just lately and I wanted to make a couple of pouches for small projects such as sock knitting.
In the end I managed to get three out of my chosen fabrics and here they are



I think my favourite of the three is the small size. I used the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial found here I really love this pattern and see many more in my future.
The pictures should be clickable for a better view if you wish.

The drawstring pouch was loosely based on this tutorial and the large zippered pouch was made using a paid for pattern from the Oh Frannson blog


So what is in the bag? Some sock knitting of course! I made the mistake of giving my husband a pair of hand knitted socks and now he has decided that those are the only kind he wants to wear any more so these will be for him.



Next are some Christmas ornaments that I gave as gifts and couldn't show before Christmas

This is LHN Six Little Cardinals



I found the perfect backing fabric



This ornament was stitched using a lovely little free stitchery design by Gail Pan



back view



I received this pretty ornament from my lovely friend Yvonne in Australia



and two "snowy" finishes with apologies to those of you currently freezing in the USA
The first I stitched so many years ago I can no longer remember much about it other than it is a Lizzie Kate Flip it - possibly the first series?



friend Angela was kind enough to send me the perfect snowman print backing fabric



also used on this LHN piece It's Snow Cold


I think the only other things I have to show this time are to do with spinning. I'm still very much the beginner but I know there are at least two of you that are interested to see my beginner efforts

This fibre is Aquarious from the World of Wool Constellation range and a couple of books I got for Christmas





I spun it on my very basic drop spindle and achieved about 410 yds of what I think might be a lightweight DK yarn



So far I hadn't attempted to knit any of the yarn I've spun but I knitted the Age of Brass and Steam shawlette from the yarn I showed in a previous post just to see how it came out.



I know there are many of you that, like me, love to do a variety of needlecrafts so I just wanted to link to Make it Coats a new to me website that I've been enjoying. My link is to the UK website but I notice you can click on the flag to bring up the American site as well.

Finally welcome to the new followers that have joined via Bloglovin and Google. I'm glad you found your way here.
Thanks to everyone who continues to visit my blog even though I'm not a frequent poster. I have, however, posted twice today. Now that is a first!

Margaret


The Travelling Pattern - will you be the next stitcher?

Hi everyone,

I was lucky enough to be chosen by Andrea to stitch on the "Count Your Blessings travelling pattern.
This pattern originated with Daffy Cat in Feb. 2011 and here we are three years later with me on the list as the 36th person to stitch it.
If you would like to be the next stitcher please leave a comment on this post only.
You do need to have an active blog and be known in the blogging community as a reliable exchanger.


So this is the pattern



and here is my stitched piece which is stitched on 40 ct unknown linen using a variety of threads of my own choosing.
I haven't decided yet how to finish the piece but you'll be sure to see it when I do.



I'll leave this open for one week only. It's a small design and a quick stitch

Happy stitching!

Margaret

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rounding off the Year.

Hi everyone,

I seem to be getting ever worse at keeping up with my blog but I didn't want the year to end without posting something.
I have some finishes so on with the first. The design for this Christmas tree stitchery is from here and I finished it into a little candle mat.



Back view



The lovely fabrics were gifted to me by friend Angela Thank you Angela!

Still with the Christmas theme here is an ornament I stitched from a free pattern as part of a SAL on this French site



Back view



I didn't do a lot of Christmas stitching this year but I did finish something that has been sitting in the "finished but not finished" box for more years than I can remember.
It is so long since I stitched this that I remember very little about it. I think it might have been a kit by 4 My Boys.
Anyway, here it is finally finished into a door hanger





I fell way behind with Chookyblue's SAL but managed to finish the sewing case which was the project for August




The design is from the book Some Kind of Wonderful by Anni Downs

Fabrics used are Beach House by Blackbird Designs for Moda. Here is how it looks on the indside.



The only other sewing project is this knitting bag. Not my usual choice of colours (it was won in a giveaway one time) but it was just an experiment really. I have fabric to make another one now that I'm happy with the changes I made to the size which is loosely based on this tutorial



I've been doing a lot of knitting so the bag has been put to good use and I have quite a few finishes. I know not everyone that visits here is interested in knitting so further details of any of the projects can be found on my Ravelry page

Akoya Cardigan


Hitchiker Shawl



Vanilla Latte socks



A Noble Cowl



My interest in spinning continues although I am still very much a beginner teaching myself from books and videos.
This is my latest attempt and probably the best to date although I have a long way to go to get a yarn of a consistent thickness.



and this is the next braid I will attempt to spin



So I think that's it. All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy Christmas if you are celebrating it and happy crafting in 2014. Thanks for visiting my blog and your continued friendship over that past year.

Margaret