Saturday, October 22, 2016

Finish it off Friday - My Very Puffy Key Tray / Nancy's Halloween Giveaway

Eeek, I'm a little bit late, but ....

Yipee, I have a finish!


My Very Puffy Key Tray

I started making this Key Tray a couple of weeks ago, it took much longer than I thought to finish, but I did use double the wadding which made the quilting slow going! I used stab stitch, checking how the stitches looked on the back as I stitched each stitch .... I would have liked them to be neater!

Very Puffy Key Tray
This is the back .... and I don't think it looks too bad!

I used a tutorial a blogging friend recommended  which you can read about  

Basting My Very Puffy Key Tray
I used safety pins for basting ..... I'm sure they were curved when I bought
 them ..... but I think they've been used too much, as they aren't now!

Stitching round my template
I stitched around plastic templates I had made for
some other stitching project.

My Very Puffy Key Tray
Using DMC embroidery thread

and, yipee, it's in use!

Finished Very Puffy Key Tray

Hope you are having a great weekend, and that you have time to visit some of the other stitchers over at CRAZY MOM QUILTS -  "FINISH IT UP FRIDAY"*

* Please excuse me "shouting" but I am putting links in capitals so that my Mum knows where to "Click"!
(For those who haven't visited my blog before, my Mum is partially sighted.)



Have you seen that Nancy of  Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe has a great giveaway  .....  a collection of her wonderful threads .... just right for Halloween .... with names like Glowing Pumpkin, Sleepy Hollow Purple, Hallow's Eve Orange and Headless Horseman, to name but a few! There is still time to comment for a chance to win before Halloween ...... go on, what are you waiting for???

But don't forget to comment here first!

Barbara xxx

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Celebrating Kim's special birthday


In case you've never visited my wonderful blogging friend Kim's blog, let me "paint" a picture of her  for you......

I "met" Kim of Wisdom With Needle and Thread! via a blogging "stitching link party" a couple of years ago. She is a very talented crafter and in the couple of years I have known her she has made many beautiful things, by many different methods .... cross stitching, knitting, and painting porcelain to name but a few!

This year has been something of a humdinger for her!

In April the very generous Kim asked her blogging friends to help her celebrate her special birthday year! Click HERE to see how it all began!

Kim wanted to send out 60 RAKs* - One for each of her 60 years!

*Random Acts of Kindness - these are gifts, given for no other reason than one feels like making someone smile!

Now read on:


A few weeks ago Kim told me she had posted my gift on its way. Then, a couple of weeks later one of my close neighbour's was informed by a courier company that her package had been delivered, however, she never actually received it! This made me nervous that Kim's package might have disappeared in the same way! You can therefore imagine my delight when I heard the post drop through our front door a few days ago, I looked down the stairs and saw an unusual coloured envelope which I immediately guessed would be Kim's parcel!

 Beautiful hand stitched monogramme
Isn't this beautiful! It is tiny! Such teeny stitches!

But I've jumped ahead of myself!

Here are the contents of the envelope, and I certainly was smiling as I opened it!

Unwrapping my package
This was such an exciting mystery!

The package included a very pretty card, a beautifully hand stitched monogramme, a heart shaped pin minder, a bird themed cross stitch pattern, and a sparkly fat quarter with some lovely matching flosses.

Gifts received

Gifts received

Gifts received
Couldn't resist another picture, to try to show the sparkle in the fabric!
Luckily the sun shone and I think you can see the sparkle!

Do join me in visiting Kim as she continues to enjoy her 60th birthday celebrations.

Kim's latest adventure is learning how to sculpt dolls from polymer clay!

CLICK HERE to read more about Kim's adventurous year .....

Our little lady cat
Our little lady cat says Hi!

Pictures of our huge tom cat to follow next time, and stitching, of course!

Bye for now,

Barbara xxx

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

FNwF and WIP on Wednesday

Key Tray!

On Friday night I joined in with October's FNwF (Friday Night with Friends), but web connection problems have stopped me blogging about my stitching until now!

Key Tray

During the week I had seen a tutorial on Plum's blog - Plum Quilts - for a quick make, and I thought this was ideal for my Friday night stitching, although more to the point we really need a Key Tray to protect our newly painted woodwork from DH's keys!

I also wanted to join in with The Splendid Sampler's Challenge to finish off a block I had been putting off .... but that wasn't to be ... I couldn't find the stripey contrast fabric I'd wanted to use, which I know is hiding somewhere in my stash!

In the event I worked on the much needed key tray.

I cut four x 5" squares, and two x 6.5" squares of my favourite puffy polyester wadding, then stitched the squares into a four-patch ..... oops no piccy! too dark for photos! I pressed my seams towards the darker fabric and stitched the corners of my squares of double thickness wadding onto the edges of the four seams - Plum explains this perfectly in her tutorial! (see link above)

Key Tray
This is how it looked at the end of the evening!

I always have trouble stitching things closed once they are turned through, so this time I thought if I press the seams back maybe it would make it easier to slip stitch closed ...... well, we will see!

Key Tray

Key Tray
Back view - closure to be stitched! I did iron it before
turning through, but turning it made it quite creased!

Key Tray
But the front looks much better! 

Only some hand quilting to do now! I'm thinking of circles....... Maybe I might be finishing this next Friday night!

I'm off to visit Cheryl's link party, why not join me there to see what others have been working on this FNwFs

I do hope you are having a very stitchy week!

Barbara xx

Sunday, October 09, 2016

FNwF/ Goldwork Workshop

Hello Dear Reader,

I stitched along with FNwF, however, yesterday I went to a Goldwork workshop, held at my local handicraft group. Therefore I haven't had a chance to take photos of Friday night's stitching yet .... I hope to do this later today .... and to be able to show you the new key tray I was making on Friday evening!


If you've done Goldwork before please excuse me ..... as it's new to me ..... and I'd especially like to show my mum what I am working on  (she follows me on-line, although her sight is very limited, and we do not see her as often as I would wish, as she lives some distance away). I also like to put this on my blog as it acts as a very good reminder should I want to look back at my work in the future.

Our tutor on the Goldwork Workshop was Jenny Beal who is Vice Chairperson of the handicraft group. We are extremely fortunate for her to tutor us as she was trained at the Royal School of Needlework.

The aim of the project was to demonstrate different ways of attaching gold wirework onto fabric. I should make clear we were not working with real gold, its imitation gold, however, it has completely gone out of my head what the material actually is, and I will find out at the next meeting of our handicraft group.


The fabric to be worked has to be held in a very secure frame, so the first thing Jenny showed us was how to put a frame together and tack the fabric into place.

Jenny had prepared the fabric, drawing the pattern onto the silk ready for stitching,
and attached the silk to the backing fabric ready to hold the silk in place in the frame.

Fabric pulled tight, and tacked to the frame.

With a No 10 needle, which I found very small, and red Sylko cotton to couch the Imitation Gold (named Imitation Jap Gold No 9), after running the cotton thread through beeswax .... which makes the thread stronger, and also helps it to pass through the fabric easier .... (quilters will already be familiar with beeswax ..... and, in fact mum mentioned only the other day that she had used beeswax in the past for her quilting).

Imitation Jap Gold No 9 - First to be used.
Stitching the Imitation Jap Gold.  
From this photo I see that I haven't done a very good job as there shouldn't be any gaps between the gold threads .... I guess the lighting wasn't as good as I thought when I was stitching!

I don't mind admitting to errors, amongst friends .... after all, as I said earlier, this is the first time I have attempted Goldwork, and the experts like our friend Jenny have spent many months and years perfecting their skill, and this was only a few hours' work, and, after all, that is how you learn, isn't it, by trial and error?????

Then we "parked" our threads and needles and started adding felt circles

Attaching felt circles .... just a stitch to keep them in place (so I don't loose them) until I can work on them further!

These were next ... cut into small pieces for beads.

This was my first attempt but it's really way too large

My felt pieces were too large to start, here I've cut some smaller and also tried to bunch some of the felt up with stitches to make the circles smaller! Starting to add more "beads" to the third circle.
You can also see the row below being couched into position - this was Gold Purl Super.

As we didn't have much time for all Jenny wanted to show us, we "parked" our threads
by attaching them by their relevant needles in the margins while we learnt other techniques

This will be a seasonal decoration .... there will be more, as I do intend to finish this soon!

I hope you are all having a super weekend.

Barbara xxx

Linking to France Nadeau's Fabric, thread and yarn link party - No 41
I urge you to have a look at France's link party! There are some lovely projects to see!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Few Tiny Finishes!

Hello Everyone,

This week, we have had a very nice man decorating our hall, stairs and landing, so DH and I have been trying to keep out of his way.

Our cats have been a little put out! They just do not like having visitors here! Luckily the weather has been kind to us. It's been sunny and cloudy alternately, and we have been able to sit outside on our veranda, keeping the cats company!

However I did manage to get a little sewing done!

The Splendid Sampler

Yipee, I finished two blocks this week!

Block 27 The Sewing Machine by Pat Sloan
Block 27 - The Sewing Machine by Pat Sloan

And here are the views I showed you on my last post of my progress on The Traveller:

Working on "The Traveller"

More of "The Traveller"

And here it is finished! Although I'm afraid I took my photos too late in the day, and the light wasn't good enough so the colours haven't come out very well!

The fabrics used in this block are the same ones you can see in the header.

The Flashing Scissors - Block 61 The Traveller by Pat Sloan
Block 61 - The Traveller by Pat Sloan

Another Finish!

Last week I joined in with Ida's "Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade" .....  which was loads of fun ......  with many "new to me" blogs to visit. I haven't finished visiting yet as I was also visiting Jo's Big Birthday blog hop.

When I visited Susie's Sunroom (via The Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade), amongst her many tutorials I spotted a free PDF that she had written for a Mini Keeper! I had to make one, but I thought I'd make it a little bit patchwork!

The Flashing Scissors - Mini Keeper

The Flashing Scissors - Mini Keeper
I started by strip piecing the front of my Mini Keeper

I used 3 strips 1 1/2" x 9" and one piece 3 1/2" x 9" for the back. 
Strap 3" x 22".

By the time I finished .... and after some trimming ..... my completed keeper finished at 2 3/4" by 8" .... a little shorter than I expected, but it worked out well for the size of my mini scissors!

The Flashing Scissors - Mini Keeper
I like to use calico to line all my pouches, with a couple of inches of patterned fabric at the top where it will be
visible when the pouches are used.

Susie used Velcro to finish her ties, but as I have a surfeit of "inherited" poppers, and I don't really like  Velcro ..... it gets caught on so many delecate fabrics .... I used these vintage press studs:

The Flashing Scissors - Vintage Press Studs

The Flashing Scissors - Mini Keeeper
I used some of my "tape measure" fabric for the straps.

Have you been stitching this week?

What have you made?

See you later,
Barbara xxx

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts for "Finish it up Friday"