Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Fragile Nature

Hello Dear Reader,

If you are new here, or haven’t read my previous posts you might not know that I’ve joined a group of quilters called The Endeavourers and that we were all working on quilts of the same subject - 'Nature'. 

For all the gen about my new friends at The Endeavourers visit HERE, and their blogs are listed at the end of this page, so you can see the wonderful quilts they have made!

Firstly I must apologise to Catherine, Janine and the other “Endeavourers” for being so late. I really underestimated the time my quilt would take, and unfortunately a recurring back problem has stopped me working as quickly as I would have liked.


"A Fragile Nature"

In my last post I spoke about my inspiration for this piece and how I got started ... HERE

Well .... there has been this box of fabric paints lurking, unused, in one of our cupboards ever since I took part in a workshop for block printing. I had the idea that one day I would add to my block prints ..... but that hasn’t happened yet! Happily this meant I had fabric paints on hand to use on this project.

Progress on my quilt has been soooo slow, what with my dodgy back and then the light not being good enough. But also, when I decided to paint my design I didn't realise how long it would take me to find the right colours, and then as I progressed I found I could only see properly to paint in daylight. I was also scared to add to the painting in case I ruined my project.

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors
Main piece on the left, Tester 1 on the right.
My first attempt became one of my test pieces early on(Tester 2). I'd made the mistake of painting on wet fabric! Of course it ran! So, when I wasn't sure how to paint the blue there was plenty of fabric to experiment on.
The Flashing Scissors
Tester 2
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Tester 3

In all there were quite a few test pieces, which looked quite pretty, but when I started on my main project I couldn’t remember which colours I'd mixed together. 

I realise ..... now (thanks to Google) ..... the way to do it is to make a chart!

The Flashing Scissors

Anyway, thanks to all the practice, I now have some pretty little pieces which I am thinking of using to make a pencil case one day.

This is the flimsy after adding the final colours to the dormouse.

The Flashing Scissors

The next step will be to outline the branches, berries, and dormouse with machine stitch.

The Flashing Scissors
Here you can see the binding I've painted too!

To read a little more about my quiltlet I hope you would like to pop over to The Endeavourers.

But it is already time to think about the next project: due 1st May 2018, and the subject is:


Oh help ..... any ideas anyone????

Barbara xxx

The Endeavourers:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Getting Started - Nature, The Endeavourers

Hello everybody, new friends and old!

Thank you for your sweet and encouraging comments on my introductory post for "The Endeavourers", I really appreciate them. I am trying to reply but please forgive me if I take a little while replying to all of you ..... most of my waking hours have been taken up with working out how to paint my "Nature" quilt. .... or maybe I should say quiltlet!

When I saw the title "Nature" I thought "Oh, that will be quite easy" ..... Nah!

I found my inspiration photo:

The Flashing Scissors

then thought a bit about what I should do, which led to this:

The Flashing Scissors

I started out with ideas of drawing the branch with leaves and berries, but soon realised that including leaves would be too complicated in the time I have left!

Then, it just so happened that, around the time I was deciding what to do I received an email from the Surrey Wildlife Trust with an article about Dormice .... problem solved, I thought! But I'm not very good at drawing, so this is my attempt ..... now to work out what colours to use.

The Flashing Scissors

First job was to sketch out my pattern:

The Flashing Scissors

Then I cut out a 16 1/2" square of muslin ..... but didn't realise that I hadn't pre-washed it, (I normally wash all my fabric as soon as I get it home!) hence after rinsing the fabric it is no longer a square! Oh, and then, I'm sure you know the process ..... after ironing, I traced my pattern onto the fabric.

I found some lovely fabric for a border too ..... sorry no photo yet.

The Flashing Scissors

Then, next morning, in a rush to get started I wet the fabric again and started painting! Duuh!!!!! Of course it started seeping!!!!

So last night I did what I should have done in the first place, and made a test piece ..... which turned out perfectly!

The Flashing Scissors

But by now I had to abandon my first piece of fabric and start sketching again! 

The Flashing Scissors

The next job is to paint a tester of the dormouse.

After my problems with the paint I don't think I have any hope of finishing in time for the 1st February, but I'll carry on trying!

I hope you will pop over to visit "The Endeavourers" and see what everyone else is making.

Wish me luck!

Barbara xxx

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Endeavourers - Nature

Hello Dear Friends, old and new,

Thank you for visiting me today. No sewing today, although it doesn’t mean I’m not busy sewing! Just wanted to tell you about my latest project .....

While visiting the lovely Janine on her blog "The Rainbow Hare" a few months ago, I read an invitation to join a quilting group that she and a friend were forming called "The Endeavourers".

I liked the idea ..... and so, I decided to join the group.

Our first subject is “Nature” ...... boy that gives us so much choice, doesn’t it! We can make our quilt whatever size we want, using whatever method we like. The idea is that our quilts be ready for a “big reveal” on 1st February 2018.

I took the following photos a few years ago and I'm wondering if I can actually make a quilt inspired by them! I haven't had much experience with quilting .....  but I'm hoping I will be ready!

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors

I haven’t started yet, I always find I have the best inspiration the closer the target date!!! I know .....mad! I’m thinking of paints ..... and tiny, as is my way!

If you would like to visit the other bloggers involved do have a look at "The Endeavourers" blog to see who is joining in.

In any event, do come back and visit me on 1st February to see if I've achieved! Tee hee! 

Barbara xxx

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Yay! I have a finish! - Teeny tiny purse

Hello Dear Friend,

Today I am linking to Amanda’s “Crazy Mom Quilts” for “Finish it up Friday” with my first teeny tiny finish for 2018!

I was making this badge (that's the purple fabric on the right) and had just made a pocket to go on the back (the green check) when a necklace arrived through the post. It's a fox necklace for a friend. But I had the idea of making a teeny pouch similar to the green check pocket for my friend to keep the necklace in.

The fabrics used were Osnaburgh, cotton and flanelette for the lining.

I wanted to stitch this Mini Purse completely by hand, but there were a couple of parts that needed to be machine stitched so the purse won't fall apart with use. The flap was made separately and inserted in the back seam, along with the handles, before being machine stitched in place; and of course the hair elastic needed machining too.

The final measurements were:  3.5" width x 2.25" height x 1" depth

I hope my friend will like it. I did get just a little carried away, what with the embroidery, oh, and I almost forgot to mention, the most important part of it, the toggle was made from a piece of a branch from our own cherry tree, cut and polished by DH!

Barbara xxx

Gifted Gorgeousness - January 2018

"GIFTED GORGEOUSNESS" ..... a monthly link party run by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Link up runs from the 15th until the end of the month. If you would like to find out more and maybe join up go HERE!

I nearly forgot to say "Butterfly" and "Stitch by Stitch" were both gifts I've received ..... and, as such, they qualify for Gifted Gorgeousness - read all about who's joining in with GG this month HERE (on Jo's blog).

Some of you may have already seen the next two pictures, sorry about that but it is relative to my tale! 

There has been a little progress this month on "Stitch by Stitch" (a gift I received from Jacquie of My Journey) ....

The Flashing Scissors

I had just managed to stitch this "frame", there are two circles of stitches, one white and one grey, and then one of those "I can't put it down" projects appeared! 

And, in case you haven't seen my "TUSAL" post, this is how "Stitch by Stitch" looks now .....

The Flashing Scissors
"Stitch by Stitch"
The "I can't put it down" project is next to my badge and it's pocket under construction .....

The Flashing Scissors

This is to wrap a gift for a friend, and as “a gift for a friend” it qualifies for "Gifted Gorgeousness".

I know ..... it's not cross stitch, but most of it is hand stitched!

I'd been working on my name badge (see above) ..... and I thought I'd make a pocket on the back of the badge, and that's the green check you can see above on the right (of course when it is a pocket it will have the pattern on the inside, or it will never be seen again! Tee hee!); and then a necklace we had ordered on line for a friend's belated Christmas pressie was delivered. I decided the necklace just had to have a pouch to keep it safe, and you can see the start (top left).

I originally intended the gift pouch to be no more than a pocket like the one for my name badge ..... but then I thought the chain might catch on the seams inside the pocket ..... so, of course, it had to be lined ..... then it had to have a handle - makes it easier to pick up!

The Flashing Scissors

But, as often happens, it didn't work out as I'd planned ..... there were problems with the flap ..... which then had to be cut off, made separately, and then machine stitched into place.

I am really happy with the finish, just hope my friend likes it! (She's not a stitcher.) 

The Flashing Scissors
As it happens two of these cotton reels 
fit comfortably in this little purse!

Coming soon:

  • Oh, oh, I think I really must make one of these for me! But it will have to wait a little while as I have so many other things I really must make first. I'll be back very soon to share a little more detail on my mini purse.
  • and shortly I want to tell you about my new quilting adventure ..... I'm joining in with The Endeavourers ..... and I'll be back to tell you about that too very soon.
Bye for now,

Barbara xxxx