Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures - in stitch and otherwise! And I hope that you will leave a comment so that I know you have visited.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

July Birthday Love Stash items

As I am usually scrabbling at the last minute for birthday presents I have decided to join in with the Birthday Love Stash group hosted by Wendy at Sugar Lane Quilts.

It's the last day of the month so here are the items I have made this month.

A pair of placemats

 You will have seen that I was working on these for the FNSI. I kept the quilting simple again so as not to detract from the lovely fabrics.

And a bookwrap

This is made from felt, painted bondaweb with added gilding flakes then covered with a sheer and machine embroiderd.

Now I am trying to decide what to make next month!!

Happy stitching


Tuesday 30 July 2013

Some more Dear Jane blocks

Here are a few Dear Jane blocks that I finished a while ago but have just got around to pressing.

Blue is now slowly merging into red.

After a day or two of cooler weather we are building up to a few more hot days. Although we have had a few storms and rain and our butts are now full, the ground is very dry and dusty. I have spent a couple of days clearing weeds and rubbish - very satisfying to see everywhere tidy but dispiriting that some plants are giving up.

Am enjoying a small quilting project which I will show you soon.

Happy stitching


Saturday 27 July 2013

Marbling and Printing

On Wednesday I spent a lovely day with friends marbling and printing on fabric.

 The day was organised because I said that I have masses of plain coloured fabric which I never use and how can I use it up?

 Marbling was suggested and printing with thickened procion dyes was proposed as a back up for the day.

In the end, because it was so hot the carrageenan paste on which the colour floats for marbling soon started to melt and the colours became too watery. But we got the general idea and the excercise is to be repeated on a cooler day!

Next we mixed up 8 pots of strong procion mx dyes which we thickened with sodium alginate and some bicarbonate of soda. And then spent the next two hours happily stamping, rolling, painting etc onto cotton, linen and silk fabrics.

It was lovely to work outside on a huge covered terrasse - here is some of our work drying in the sun.

Our workspace for the day

When I got home the fabrics had to be ironed to fix the colour and then rinsed and washed with metapex to remove excess dye. More rinsing and then out to dry in the sun again.

Here are my fabrics after their final iron.

Having never done this before I had no idea how the colours would hold after washing so I kept before and after samples to compare and found that although in some cases there was slight fading, on the whole the colours remained the same.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

Printing with sponge letters on cotton

 Ridged sponge roller on cotton
and on linen

 more on cotton

A great day out with friends, delicious lunch provided by our hostess and lots of lovely fabrics to play with - what more could a girl want!

Thank you for dropping by.


Friday 19 July 2013

Friday Night Sew In - in the afternoon!

Well, we are out tonight and I had a free afternoon with the added bonus of Test Match Special on the radio! (Sorry you Aussies are not doing so well!)

I decided to spend the afternoon making a present for my birthday stash using this gorgeous Egyptian style fabric that I bought in a sale earlier in the year.

My plan was a pair of placemats but as I was cutting I realised that the fabric was ideal for another friend so I cut enough for another mat.

I kept the design simple as I wanted to show off the gorgeous fabrics.

And at the end of the afternoon I have three mats pieced, layered up for quilting and bindings cut.

A profitable afternoon.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their evening and I look forward to see what everyone has done.

Bye for now.


Tuesday 16 July 2013

A Sunny Walk with Friends - The Plateau d'Argentine

Early this morning (8.30 actually) we met up with friends to take them on one of our favourite walks - around the Plateau d'Argentine near La Rochebeaucourt.
It is a limestone plateau with many interesting features all of which can be seen on a 1 1/2 - 2 hour walk. Starting on the plateau itself which is also used as an airstrip, through some woods then down onto a disused railway line and back to the old village.

This is the airstrip

which is very well known for it's huge collection of orchids in the springtime. Also for the birdlife and some wonderful butterflys.

Looking across the valley
 it is good to see that a field of sunflowers is finally coming into flower - nearly a month later than usual.

Due to my sciatica I had to let the walkers do the circuit on their own and I spent some time photographing some of the flowers.

There is a tiny snail nestling in the middle of the larger one!

I always love the colours in vipers bugloss.

I caught up with the intrepid walkers
to do the short walk to the village as we wanted to show them the recently opened 'cluzeau'.

Cluzeau are caves that were inhabited by man thousands of years ago and there are many examples of them in this area.
Here there are two caves, this is the one going down to the left
You can see the modern steps leading down which are over the ancient stone ones
A residence with an amazing view!
The cave down to the right at some time became a necropolis
This picture (taken off the information board) shows the view of the caves from the valley

The church that you can see in the picture has recently been restored - wouldn't these window designs make amazing quilts?

A lovely morning, but we were glad to be home and in the cool by mid day!

Thank you for dropping by.


Monday 15 July 2013

A finished 'Bird' quilt

It seems a long time since I blogged but it has been a busy month. First we had family staying and then I managed to lift a full washing basket awkwardly the result of which is that I now have sciatica. Very nasty and I can now sympathise profusely with all who suffer.
However, I have managed to fit in some sewing and have finished the little quilt that I made using the bird fabric.

I layered it up with some cotton batting and a pretty, lilac floral fabic on the back and then machine ditch quilted down the panels. This was to stabilise it as I knew that I did not want to hand quilt heavily.
I then enlarged some of the little birds from the patterned fabric, made templates from them and used them as quilting designs on the plain fabrics.

I then quilted through the middle of all the branches on the patterned fabric and carried these lines onto the plain fabrics and around the birds.

It's great to have this project completed and stored away.

The Celebrate Hand Quilting facebook group is a wonderful forum for handquilters - very friendly and full of good advice. During a recent discussion about thimbles it was suggested that a Kai No Kuchi would make a good thimble holder. Intrigued, I followed the link http://revolutionarycake.blogspot.fr/2012_11_01_archive.html to find out what these were. Well of course, I then had to make one and here is the result.

The little container measures 3 1/2" from tip to tip. I am very pleased with my first effort. The little clips which are by Clover were invaluable for holding things together as I stitched and the container makes the perfect home for them!

Both the bird fabric and the Clover clips were my Blog Hop wins from Sherry. Thank you very much Sherry - you were right, I have 'fallen in love with those clips'!

I have a few more things to show you but it will have to wait for another day.

Happy stitching!