Sunday, July 16, 2017

Patchwork Progress.

 I've been busy re- doing  TSS blocks from early last year, when the journey started. Some I'd attempted  a few times, with the hand piecing method I'd learnt, a few decades ago. I just couldn't get them right, so filed them in the "to do," folder. Last week, I decided it was time to get them completed & miraculously, this time, they went together at the first attempt without a hitch. So here are the four blocks.

The second series of The Splendid Sampler started recently so I have been trying to follow along.   This time, I'm trying to complete the specified blocks for each week, that I did not manage to do, the first time around. Here is last week's block, which I very much  enjoyed planning the fabrics & putting together. This block is called Circle of Friendship.

I've already chosen & cut out my fabrics for this week's block,called "Homeward Bound,"
 then I will return to more of those still waiting  in the to do folder. Enjoy, K.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Stitching & ODW

June has been a busy month for stitching, I've  managed to complete three items and start another couple.  The theme for June for the ODW was "Celebration."  One could stitch anything  that one celebrated.  A birthday, a symbol for a birthday,as in your month,  flower,  stone, or anything that you celebrate, what so ever.  June is a birthday celebration month for our family, so this small cross stitch piece  was my first choice. It is a freebie from La-D-Da-, yet to be made into a small item.

                 I also made a cushion cover to include in this themed stitch, celebrating music.

                                           A close up of a William Shakespeare quote.

         The fabric has been in my collection for some time so it seemed perfect for this project.

           I also completed a Splendid Sampler block titled "Love." There is much to celebrate in this block.  Music, colour,  patchwork & a rose all very worthwhile celebratory themes.
 Enjoy. Kay.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Comfort Sewing

I completed a large cushion cover  this week. I rescued the fabric, on it's way to the tip. The fabric was an off cut from a parcel of decorating fabrics, a friend no longer wanted. It has been awaiting attention, for some time. It is a rather rich type of fabric, so perhaps I need to find an equally rich, complimentary,  brocade or even a velvet, to keep it company. More thought needed on that possibility. Back to another cover under progress. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Same Projecr Although a Different Colourway Block.

Another completion for The Splendid Sampler quilt,, this time  very different coloured fabric scraps.
When embarking on a scrap quilt, one thinks one's fabric collection will be somewhat diminished, It is amazing how little fabric one uses in such an endeavour. Here is the latest block

I'm working on preparations for a cushion cover or maybe two, before returning to my Splendid Sampler blocks. A little variety in the meantime.  Enjoy.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A New 2017 TSS Bonus Block.

This is a new bonus block for the 2017 start, of The Splendid Sampler II. It is a continuing adventure for me, I'm keen to get the unfinished quilt blocks from TSS 1, done & together. I thought I'd do a QAYG (quilt as you go). However, I wanted to get a little on with the project to see what sort of fabric & setting would suit the the quilt, for finishing. At half way, I've left the QAYG a tad late, more contemplation needed on that.This is the bonus block "The Buds of May," by Jane Davidson. I did alter the leaf placement a tad. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Three More Splendid Sampler Blocks.

Three more blocks ticked off the "to do" list from my The Splendid Sampler project. That puts me at about half way or just over, thankfully  inspiring one to keep going at the present pace.

 The blocks are in no particular order.  Some have been prepared since they were released, other are done as  I chose. Perhaps I will follow the second version group as they progress this year. More inspiration to keep on with this wonderful adventure.

 This wee purse block is ever so cute,  it does needs to have the background  trimmed to size.

 Both of the two blocks above used scraps from two previous quilts, a Baltimore & a hexagon quilt, from some years ago

 The block below is made using three fabrics from my late Mother's collection. They are,. the black with white pin spot, the purple floral & plain deep purple. The green, along with the mustard & white spot, from my own collection. One doesn't realize, how little one uses when trying to de-stash.


ODW May Challenge & Other Completions. .

The One Day Wonder Challenge for May was to stitch something on a band. Although I have a collection of band fabrics , I could not locate  them, so I improvised. Below is what I did incorporating the challenge into a Splendid Sampler block.

I was very pleased with my choice & it was finished long before show & tell time. 

I've managed to complete several other items , some are gifts, like the bag & mobile phone case

I also knitted a caramel, grey & brown scarf,  however  I forgot to  photograph that  gift.  There are  three  more TSS blocks completed although those too, need to be photographed.Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Significant Completion.

 Another completion from The Splendid Sample, which for me, is also a tribute to a Very Dear Aunt.

Satin stitch embroidery has not been something I have done in probably, a couple of decades..I had a very good reason to check that I could still do this stitch. Although simple, it does need to be even and well placed within the designated outline.  . While we were visiting home last year, a  dear Aunt, gave me one of her unfinished embroidered table cloths. .My Aunt recalled, as a very small child the design had been of particular fascination for me This being the very reason she wanted me to have this piece of her work to complete,  along with my delight in this kind of needlework.

Over the many moons since that time, I had the forgotten  the cloth.. When my Aunt produced the item I immediately remembered the design.  I looked at it recently & wondered however I would be able to produce such beautiful Satin stitches, to compliment  the exquisite stitching already on the table cloth, by my Aunt.  I feel a tad more confident having completed this particular block consisting of much Satin stitch, along with a patchwork border.

The significant part is that today,  May 23rd, 2017 in the Southern Hemisphere, my  very dear Aunt is celebrating her 90th birthday. I finished the embroidery last night & the patchwork borders  were attached to complete the block, this morning. I've been blessed to have seven  aunts, four of  my late, very dear Mother's, sisters & a SIL, along with two sisters of my late Father. I'm very lucky to still have my Mother's two younger sisters.

This block below #20, from the online adventure called,  "The Splendid Sampler."  by Pat Sloan & Jane Davidson.  A wonderful quilting, stitching & learning adventure from last year, which is about to start again in a few days. Details, photographs, participants,  sign ups, along  with the  Wonderful Splendid Sampler  book,  can be found here,


Monday, May 22, 2017

Completed Patchwork Blocks.

                  These  blocks are recent completions from "The Splendid Sampler" quilt project.

 The embroidery has provided many relaxing hours over the last couple of months. I've enjoyed catching up on these, with colour choices, to match the existing blocks from  the quilt.

 An Hawiian style block

and one more for now. This one to make me both proud & Homesick


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ODW Challenge.

This is the One Day Challenge, only for this purpose, it is a challenge to be done in a one month period. For the month of April, the theme was,
" Something that reminded you of April or, seeing Easter fell in April this year, an Easter theme."

I planned to do a small cross stitch piece, which had been in my stash for about 10 years. I had made a working copy, done the grid work on the linen & chosen some of the threads. Somewhere in those ten years, the preparation was separated from the chart. I couldn't find the chart nor remember the name of the designer, what the coloured chart looked like  or, who/where the chart came from .  Lesson here, is to make a note when you purchase a chart & keep the details in a secure spot. Needless to say I abandoned that project, yet again. Let's hope the chart turns up sometime soon, as in a previous situation, with another chart & threads..

My stitched piece for this occasion is another of my blocks from The Splendid Sampler, quilt project from Pat Sloan &amp Jane Davidson, a fellow Australian. This is a wonderful online quilting escapade, which lasted one year, from  February 2016 to February this year, for participants who joined for the first round of this  project. The project is continuing for the next round, a slightly different format with the release of  The Splendid Sampler Book.
Here is my  wee block project for April.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Quilting & patchwork of late have taken a back seat. Cross stitch & sewing, those too, have been almost non existent. I do miss plying a needle,  even one on a sewing machine.
 For me it is a relaxing happy time, it is a great interest,  also therapy for things on life's  journey, that go out of kilter.  It allows contemplative time to soar above the unavoidable, insignificant, swill,  that  occasionally chooses to intrude, on one's perfectly happy life. I'm ever grateful for my creative pursuits & always thankful, that  my sublime  pastimes,  along with many other joys  & aspects of life, lift my spirits high above the dwellers of the abyss.

Friday, March 31, 2017

ODW for March.

The One Day Wonder challenge for March was Tea, Coffee & or, Cake.
I chose this pattern called Afternoon Tea, I felt that covered the topic well.
This is a freebie from the blog,  happinessiscrossstitching


Thursday, March 2, 2017

ODW Challenge Piece from Another Member

I'm posting this picture for Lesley, who was having trouble posting her stitched piece photograph.
It is a freebie from The Work Basket, a sweet Quaker style design. Enjoy! Great piece Lesley.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February ODW Item.

Not much blogging for me of late, however I do have a small, freebie, stitched piece, for the One Day Wonder Challenge. Needless to say it is not necessary that the stitched piece is completed in one day, only for the particular month. Mine says a great deal for me, although I do love the city where we reside at the present time. Here is mine. I can't find the chart right now, maybe it has gone in the shredder. I think it was from 'The Little Stitcher."

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Cross Stitch Monthly Challenge

This is a very tiny stitch, for a monthly challenge the subject this month was Snow or Sea.
I chose Sea.

This is a free chart from Lynne B-
It will probably be made up into a small pillow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Wonderful Memory for Today, January 11th.

I'm very grateful today as I contemplate my late Wonderful Mother. This was the date she celebrated her birthday. Had she still been with us, today would have been her 92nd. I have her to thank for so many aspects of my life.  Today I'm reminded of our many outings to patchwork & needlework stores. Some were some distance away & we would make a day of it, checking several in the area, stopping for lunch, at nurseries, pottery stores,  then visiting more before returning home.
Today I went shopping at a couple of  local Patchwork stores, so had my Mother well in mind. These were my purchases, from some of my Christmas gift money. From the first shop, a couple of rulers & a piece of striped fabric. I know my Mother would have loved the fabric also,  she always encouraged me in my patchwork interests.

The second  fabric pieces are accompanied by a wee wooden ruler, a cat of course.

  A couple of decades ago, my Mother presented me with a hand embroidered apron, which she had made for me, she had also finished the hem & pocket with a crochet edge.

I know my Mother was instrumental in a major way, for my interests in the varied pursuits of Needlework. My Mother,  as well as my maternal Grandmother, were exquisite needlewomen. One would think it only natural for me to follow in their footsteps.  However, my own daughters do not appear to share these interests. Mine include embroidery, cross stitch, patchwork & quilting, dressmaking,  & tapestry to mention a few. Mending & darning fail to inspire me, although at some stages, I  need  to address boring stitching. When I was a child, I  watched my Mother embroidering, what was then called "Fancy Work." I remember several pieces, which are still around today, although not very fashionable. Tablecloths, of different sizes, a couple of special ones, sandwich tray cloths, throw overs &  Duchess sets to mention a few.

Dressmaking was a pursuit I relished. If a Vogue pattern could not be found to suit what I decided I wanted to make, my Mother would draft a pattern for what I had drawn & described.  When I was 12,  Mother made a beautiful patchwork quilt with cotton piecing on one side & pure wool fabric pieces on the backing. It remained in our family until a few years before my Mother died, when it was lost.

 An apron of my Mothers, a special one for Christmas.

Many Happy Returns to my very dear Mother. today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Childhood, New Year's Memories

A friend sent this email, New Years' Greeting  of a you tube  rendition of Auld Lang Syne .
It brought back wonderful childhood memories.

My Mother's youngest sister, had a  pottery tankard/mug, with a music box in the base,  & the words od a couple of verses of Auld Lang Syne printed onto one side. I loved to play with it at my Aunt's home as a child. I might add, my aunt is only 15 years older than I am,  so she probably had a profound influence on me growing up. I can still see that huge mug/tankard with the calico coloured pottery, the greenery & purple thistle flowers decorating the handle & sides. I 'd spend  hours picking it up to hear the music box chiming through the song.  I knew the song well, as New Year was special in my family & is Summertime in the Southern Hemisphere. 
  My  Maternal Grandparents had a lake house where extended family & friends would gather over Christmas, New Year & school holiday times. They were Halcyon days, swimming, exploring, boating, reading & playing. On New Years Eve, it was usually sunny & hot.  As the children swam & played, the adults prepared for a wonderful celebratory feast, that evening. While my Grandmother  and aunts prepared sweets & salads, the men prepared a suckling pig for the barbecue. My Grandfather would then walk the lakeside estate & invite everyone to join our hospitality from 7pm that evening. There would be a a huge log fire burning in the outdoors & folk would gather  & enjoy the spirit of the evening. As the midnight  hour drew near, everyone would assemble in a large circle with arms crossed, hands held  & at the stroke of midnight, all would burst into song  with Auld Lang Syne. 
  I hadn't heard this song or seen such renditions in many years. This year, along with the email mentioned above, we also saw Auld Lang Syne on the Last Night of the Proms, thus bringing back all those wonderful memories. 

Here is an identical mug, enjoy with me.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Last of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

How bare the tree looks today as it is being undressed & dismantled.. I don't enjoy this time as I take each decoration down from the branches.
I'm reminded of the link it has to Christmases from times past.  The wonderful baubles, some really old ones belonged to my Maternal Grandmother, now safely in my care. I remember those from my childhood. Others  that were my Mothers'. A vast collection also, of ones our children made when they were small,  special pieces as gifts from friends, our collection over our married life, along with a special dowel tree  devoted to hand made & stitched ornaments, some from friends & some from other stitchers.
The sitting room now looks every so naked, devoid of all the wonderful  pieces that have enhanced this room & our home over the Christmas celebration.

The  absent tree,  pack away in the loft, leaves a bare tree skirt, which will also be stored away until it is needed  for Christmas 2017.   It has graced one of our trees every year, since 1985.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

While still in "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

With Christmas 2016 a fading memory, one looks at the photographs to remember special times.

The Christmas break up for a couple of the stitching groups I belong to, were celebrated with either a Secret Santa at a luncheon or, with a small  Christmas item for each member of the group. For the Secret Santa group I made this Santa ornament below,can be found here

What I need to add is, the link is in Italian, however if you sew you can follow the video & work out how to make the Santa. I also reduced the size of the centre starting block to 2", then continued with the specified 1" strips to build the Log Cabin block. One log cabin block will render two Santa s. Enjoy.

 I usually include another small gift for everyone who attends the lunch. This year I made small individual name tags for their scissors & added two needle threaders, in a  Christmas paper envelope. Here they are all wrapped & ready for  the group. The other group received a lovely sparkling tree decoration & two needle threaders

  Earlier, at a November GTG, another member was stitching a wee fox. I immediately  thought of someone I knew who adored foxes, so I asked if I could use the pattern. That person had been great, in helping me acquire a few special beads from a site where she is located.  I stitched the wee fox ornament, posted it to her & it arrived in time for Christmas. I also included a scissors name tag & two needle threaders.

 For Christmas 2016 I was unable to ice the Christmas cake. It makes up to be a very heavy cake, so I gave it a red & white striped skirt, wrapping it around the cake while it was on the milk glass stand.. I added a sprig of real Holly leaves from our garden, red berries & tiny silver fir trees. It tasted great & we didn't miss the sugar hit, of the icing. The cake is guaranteed to turn out evenly cooked, from the recipe & it is cooked in a wooden cake pan. It has always turned out even, every time I've used this recipe.
The aroma, which was strong & delightful, woke the cat. She  was  very  keen to sample the cake so we meanly, removed it from her access.

This year it was necessary for us to be still at Christmas. We had a rather delicious  meal of roast vegetables, along with  ham & turkey trimmings . It was a coolish day so we enjoyed the hot traditional
feast while our guest in the room, slept on. Obviously the aromas from the ham & turkey, were not as appealing as the cake.


It is getting very close to the time to take down the decorations, for this time of of celebrating. Two more days & the house will look really bare for a short time, until we adjust to the  lack of decorations. With a New Year 3 day in, it is time to look ahead.