Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tilda Bunny

The internet is full of great FREE patterns. 

In fact, you could almost type in any article that you'd like to make, and you'll probably find a freebie (and possibly a YouTube video) showing you how to make it :)



The Tilda website is one of my favourites....not surprisingly 😉  Not only does it have the latest Tilda catalogue to swoon over, but there are lots of free patterns for quilts, soft toys, and other bits and pieces. Well worth a look!

This precious little bunny is a free pattern, and was quite a simple (but very fiddly) little project to make. Yes, she is sitting inside an actual eggshell inside an actual eggcup.

My plan was to make several to give away as small gifts at Easter, but after making just two of those teeny, tiny ears I will definitely be re-thinking that!

TTFN

Susan xxx

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pixie Stars

Another finish for my Year of Small Projects, and the first for #2017sewingbookchallenge...YAY!


As I outlined before, the idea behind the challenge is to make things from your craft books, instead of just collecting them (oops...guilty!)  I chose a Tilda book (since that is my current obsession) but totally balked at actually cutting Tilda fabric for a small project...it's so precious!


The cushion matches a single bed quilt, but I wasn't feeling quite that adventurous.



As it happened, it turned out to be more the size of a European pillow than a cushion! The fabric is Pixie Noel by Tasha Noel, and it was very VERY hard restraining myself to only red and green. The navy and aqua prints are just gorgeous.



I find Tilda instructions a bit tricky to follow, and there wasn't much in the way of finishing instructions, so I just winged it. I made some striped piping out of the co-ordinating red/green stripe, which finished it off nicely....reminds me of candy canes :)


I possibly made it more time-consuming than it needed to be by layering and quilting the cushion top, but the texture was totally worth it!


The characters in this fabric are way too cute! If you look carefully at the finished cushion, you'll see I've also fussy cut lots of little kissing rabbits for the small green squares :)


 It's going to be hard putting this one away until next Christmas....but that's what you get when you make Christmas projects so early in the year I guess!

The dogs hardly batted an eyelid while I was taking the photos....it's a hard life!

Have a great day, and thanks for popping in.

TTFN
Susan xxx

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Foxley Village

Tilda fabrics by Tone Finnegar became my obsession at around this time last year 😀

Prior to the release of the Pardon My Garden and Spring Diaries collections, I only had a passing interest in the fabrics...I liked them, but not enough to buy more than a random fat quarter here and there. As soon as I saw the new collections, though, I was hooked!



Candy pink, turquoise, oranges and greens, all in the most delicious little prints...I couldn't resist!
Unlike most fabric that I buy, I felt the need to cut into it immediately. This was about the time that the Homespun magazine Block Of the Month was released...Foxley Village by Natalie Bird. Her version was made in two previous Tilda ranges, but the oranges in Spring Diaries were all kinds of perfect for a quilt with a fox as the focal point!

I didn't need much convincing to bite into yet another BIG project.


Totally in love with the large scale blue floral... I featured it in Block One.


 Block Two saw the first appearance of the adorable fox, sitting on top of the Tea Shoppe...WAY TOO CUTE!


After auditioning a few different colours for the cat, I went with black polkadots (SURPRISE!) A project of mine is just not complete without polkadots :) and he stands out quite well amongst all those busy florals.


Block Three took a little longer...satin stitch is a bit more time consuming, but well worth the effort.

The middle block (Block Four) is one that I played with quite a bit before settling on the final colours...it's the centre of the quilt, and really needed to pull all the colours together.


Right now I'm putting a few finishing touches to Block Five, and have cut out Block Six ready for stitching and assembling.


Only ten parts to the whole quilt, so I'm really hoping to see a finish on this one in the next couple of months....unless I get distracted with all the other projects I have in progress ;)

Are you working on Foxley Village too? I'd love to see what you're up to, especially if you've finished!

Have a great day
TTFN

Susan :)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Year Of Small Projects

I am a lover of BIG projects. The bigger the better, usually.

If a project runs over several months (block-of-the-months are so much fun!), or over a year or more (love me a good stitch-a-long!), then chances are I'm already signed up and smack-bang in the middle of it.

The only problem really, is that it's quite rare for me to actually finish anything. I have lots and lots of projects on the go, but that wonderful feeling of completion is elusive.

Until recently....

 ....just before last Christmas, actually, when I decided to stitch up a cushion each for two of my dearest friends. I had been working on the stitchery for about 6 months, using a beautiful Cottage Garden Thread stitched on a Rosalie Dekker stitchery design.


I pieced and quilted a background from Lucy's Crab Shack fabric by Sweetwater, and attached the circular design by machine (it always feels so much sturdier than hand stitching).


The back panel feature is a few leftover fabric squares, with a hand-embroidered Tilda quilt label...I LOVE those labels!
The cushion turned out just as I had imagined in my head, and was so quick to put together! 

My mojo was on fire (lol) so I pulled out another completed stitchery, and whipped up another Christmas cushion....OH MY GOODNESS!


That feeling of finishing something (and actually packing away all the leftover bits and pieces) was kind of euphoric, and totally motivating!

As the new year rolled around, I decided to aim for that "finished" feeling more often, and my YEAR OF SMALL PROJECTS was born :)

My first project : a zippy hobby bag designed by the talented girls of Sew-a-long, Claire Turpin and Jemima Flendt.


Finished in an afternoon, and such a great size!
 Of course, my eldest daughter requested one immediately, and there are another two on my craft desk just waiting to be sewn up.
I then stumbled across a hashtag on Instagram #2017sewingbookchallenge, which involves sewing some items from craft books that you already own. Luckily for me, I do have the odd one or two ;)


Tilda's Toy Box was my choice, and I even pulled out some lovely Tilda fabrics to make a start on the cushion in the bottom right corner.

Currently crushing on anything Tilda, and just couldn't bring myself to actually cut it. 😳
I did, however, cut some Pixie Noel fabric, and am currently putting the finishing touches to a very pretty cushion.

A year of small projects...this is already lots of fun!

Thank you so much for visiting. I know it's been a while (ok, a very long while) since I've shared anything in this space, but I'd like to think I might pop back in a bit more often in 2017. Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your comments, or even just leave me one to say hi and let me know if you're still blogging....I miss catching up with everyone's news and creativity!

TTFN
Susan xx

P.S. And the other cushion, for my other dear friend?
This is what was wrapped up for her (OMG) and it is currently STILL a work-in-progress. Watch this space 😆

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Natures Journey...bring on the colour!

After months and months of working on my Natures Journey stitch-a-long quilt, I can happily say that I am finally loving it (phew!)



Amping up the colour was a good decision for me. Working with plain backgrounds for the first few months was challenging, and since the order of construction for this quilt was working from the borders in to the centre, it was really hard for me to visualise how it would all come together.


Once I started constructing the centre block, it all began to look more cohesive (thank goodness!) I was also very thankful at this point that I had opted for the vliesofix/blanket stitch applique method, rather than needleturn...sooooo many small pieces to sew into place!


Of course, my little helper has been overseeing the entire process, testing each part for comfort and durability. Whatever would I do without her?


A red polkadot peeper border just didn't seem enough, so I stuck with the same fabric for the outer border too. I DO love my red polkadots! I may have to go searching for more soon...there are still a few borders to go ;)



Polkadots in all sizes and colours have pretty much taken over the whole quilt, really. Predictable? Probably.


These are the last group of blocks for the stitched border, which means I am ready to start cutting lots and lots of little squares, ready to put the quilt top together....YAY!



Guess I had better stock up on hayfever medication to get me through the first month of Spring...there's a lot of stitching in my immediate future if I'm going to finish this SAL on schedule :)

TTFN xxx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Keeping up...

...but only just! The April blocks for my Natures Journey stitch-a-long proved to be a bit of a challenge to complete. Not that they were hard, but April was a very busy month around here!


I've introduced a few new fabrics into the mix to try to brighten things up a bit. Working on neutral backgrounds with only small pops of colour is a bit foreign to me...and more polkadots are ALWAYS a good idea ;)

With only one more month of these border blocks to go, I am really looking forward to working with more of Miss Kate for the pieced borders. BRING ON THE COLOUR!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Natures Journey...just in time!

Blocks for March are done and dusted...and just in the nick of time!



I was VERY late starting on these this month...in fact, half the month was over before I even gave them a thought! Luckily, I had all my supplies sorted and ready to go...it was just a case of finding some motivation to get stuck into it :) A bit of late night tracing, some early morning stitching and I'm up to date for March...thank goodness, because Chookyblue is cracking her whip hard!

I probably should start preparing my April blocks ready for stitching, but I have so many other projects on the go at the moment...know the feeling? If only I could stitch all day.....

TTFN xxx

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Scandinavian Rose...in pictures.


Those of you who have been visiting my blog for a while will know that I love to make BIG long-term projects. Especially quilts.

Occasionally I finish one off, and while I was missing-in-action from my blog during 2014, I actually finished off a few!




 A dear friend hinted to me recently that she would love to see a bit more of my Scandinavian Rose quilt, and since she asked nicely, I thought I just might take some photos ;)

Scandinavian Rose is a pattern by the very talented Rosalie Quinlan. It came as a series of pre-printed stitcheries, and I also ordered a fabric pack to match her original version done in pinks and reds.



I didn't LOVE the pinks and reds, so I ended up ditching them altogether and dived into my box of Bonnie and Camille scraps instead. There's a lot of Bliss, some Ruby, and also some Tanya Whelan Delilah pieces in there too. It really was just a mash up of my favourite colours...pink, turquoise, red and apple green, with lots of polkadot goodness as well.  Go with what you love, right?



The stitching took me months and months, and the piecing took me even more months.

Then I decided to quilt it myself (what was I thinking???) and it sat for a fair bit longer.

Totally love the back of it...which is probably the only thing that kept me going!


 I learned just how much patience was required to cross-hatch all those tiny little squares...and it turned out to be a real test of mine! I bit off sections at a time, and just kept at it....and at it...and at it!


My cute little assistant offered lots of encouragement along the way...she is just SO helpful!



I didn't think I would EVER get to the end, but one day, I did! I finished it off with a solid turquoise binding, which I think really made the colours POP.

 Funnily enough, I really miss having Scandinavian Rose to stitch....long term projects are definitely my thing :)

TTFN
(ta ta for now)
Susan xx

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Enough

One Little Word...it didn't come easily for me this year.

Usually I have word possibilities swirling around in my head for several weeks leading up to Christmas. By the time New Year rolls around, my word is already becoming part of my everyday.

 Not this time.

Seeking inspiration, I revisited my One Little Word choices from previous years, and one thing was glaringly obvious to me. Although the words had changed, the overall sentiment behind those words was always the same...do more, be more, lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, be a better mum ...blah blah blah.

At that point I abandoned the whole concept, dismissing it as just a clever repackaging of the old New Years Resolution.

Then I got to thinking about the constant self improvement that we all seem to be striving for, which led to the question...what if I am, in fact, enough? 




What if I am exactly who I am meant to be right now? I'm good enough, strong enough and I try enough? I work enough, care enough and am fit enough? I spend enough time with all the important people in my life, and my best is good enough?

To be honest...I LOVE that I'm learning to let go of my (often very high/unreasonable) expectations of myself, and letting myself just BE....giving myself permission to call it good instead of pushing myself too hard (and the inevitable disappointment when I don't achieve what I set out to)...accepting that I can't always be everything to everyone.

I'm even learning to recognise when enough is ENOUGH, and that it's ok to step back from activities/relationships/commitments that no longer make me happy.

This One Little Word has definitely given me lots to think about so far!

TTFN xxx


Storytime Sampler

Cross stitch was one of the very first crafts that I ever attempted...and my love for it was instant :) 

I loved the pretty threads, the evenness of the stitches, and the thrill of creating something beautiful on what started out as a plain piece of fabric.

I completed quite a few pieces, collected quite a few kits, and then moved on to other crafts....until I discovered The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery late in 2013.



This small business is run by two very talented friends, who design the cutest patterns! I started with a couple of their Christmas designs (which are currently at the framers...yay!) and then signed up for their 2014 monthly program called Once Upon A Time.


Each month, a new part of the design is emailed direct to your inbox, and you have all month to work on it. Nothing like a deadline to keep me motivated! Once Upon a Time is based on children's stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it...although i'll admit I still have about half of December to complete ;)

I wasn't planning on signing up for the 2015 program....hahaha...no, really! The theme is classic literature, and I honestly thought I could resist. And I did for a while...until I saw sneak peeks of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, and then I was hooked!


February's block is the Secret Garden, and it is just as cute. The frames are stitched in Weeks Dye Works variegated thread, which gives them a lovely antique look. I'm reading the books as I stitch the blocks...a great excuse to reread some of my favourites, and maybe even add some to that list.


I'm resisting the urge to stitch up the title banner and all of the frames...as I really should finish off Once Upon a Time.

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway ;)

Thanks so much for visiting!

TTFN xxx