Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My William Morris quilt

I would like to share with you a quilt I have been working on for about four years now.  Yes, four years.  I actually finished all the needleturn applique on this quilt a couple of years ago.  It then went into my UFO pile while I concentrated on getting my little facebook handmade business up and running.

The method behind my madness in sharing this on my blog is to, hopefully, encourage me to finish it!   After adding the wadding and background fabric, in my complete stupidity and/or madness, I have decided to completely hand echo quilt every darn panel.   So, I am now guessing it just may well take me another ten years to get it finished.   I sure hope I still like it by then  :)

I must give credit where it is due now.   The pattern is a wonderful creation of the fabulous Australian quilter - Michelle Hill.  This particular pattern was shared over several issues in a great Australian magazine called Down Under Quilts.  Michelle, ofcourse, favours machine buttonhole stitch when finishing her applique pieces but I just love needleturn applique, so I adjusted it a little to suit that method.

The next photo is a close up of the centre piece which I have started to echo quilt.

Well, finally after 5 years I have finished my William Morris quilt.
This is an addendum to this post.  I completely forgot to share this with you after I finished it, so I am doing so now.   I hope the picture allows you to see all the hand quilting that I have added.

I am quite proud of my finished quilt and now takes pride of place on my bed.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Further with my Jane Austen Bonnet quilt

Well, finally, I have been able to get back to working on my Jane Austen Bonnet quilt.

This is one of the trickiest quilts by far that I have ever worked on.  Absolute accuracy in measurements is a necessity and I have developed a few little tricks of my own along the way to ensure that the small black diamonds meet with the large diamond where they are supposed to.

Quite a few ladies in my quilt group have attempted this pattern in their own varying colorways, but all have stated that there is something not quite right in the instructions.  There have been, by all of us, a lot of hit and misses, a lot of swearing and a lot of unpicking.  Finally, though, I think I am getting a handle on it.  The more I work on it, the better my blocks are going together.  I now see quite a few flaws in the first three blocks I put together and I will be going back and unpicking and, hopefully, fixing those to the best of my ability.   This will be quite difficult since I have already trimmed away the excess from the back of the seams and clipped off some of the little corners!

Eight blocks down, only twelve more to go  :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crown Stitch

Here I was thinking I had finished with the  C's   and I found one more .     Very appropriate for this week really, considering the birth of the Prince of Cambridge.   So, in his honour, I present you with the CROWN STITCH  

Bring your thread up from underneath and swing it to the left. Catch the needle through at two points.  The first level with your thread, making a little arc.  The second point comes up where you would like your first downward stitch to start, in the middle of the other two points.


You then make your first vertical stitch in the centre.

You then bring your needle up slightly to the left of vertical stitch and take your thread down on an angle and insert your needle horizontally at the point where you want your next diagonal stitch to appear.
Your needle is then placed back down just slightly to the right of the middle vertical stitch.

There, you have your completed little Crown Stitch.
Here is a picture of the crown stitches added to my Crazy Patch block.   I think my little block is coming along very nicely.  I am deliberately taking my time with the crazy patch in order to show you some of the stitches that we are learning as we go along.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Double Knot stitch

This stitch was a little too hard for me to draw for you, so I will just bring it to you in stitch form.

This photo shows that I have already started the row of double knots.  The first step is to come up from underneath and taking your thread to the left, make a very small stitch.

You then insert the needle through the caught thread.

The next photo shows how your loop that you made should sit before you insert the needle back in to make the double knot.

Next you insert the needle under the straight line of the stitch and hook it over both the loop and the hanging thread and pull it through to make a lovely knot.

Once your knot is completed you go on working to your left until the desired number of knots is made.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mini update....Crazy Patch

Just doing a mini update on my Crazy Patch.

I have just added a lovely gold couching stitch to the little panel.  I had meant to add another with some beading attached to demonstrate that process too, but life has stepped in the way this week.
There will be a new stitch coming this week,  promise :)  
Guess what, we are up to the D's!

I have been so busy with a couple of customer orders and household chores the last two weeks, that I haven't even been able to get back to my Jane Austen.

Anyway here is the picture of the Crazy Patch couching stitch.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cretan Stitch

This stitch can be used in so many variations of the original stitch.  It is similar to a fly/feather stitch.   I am afraid this particular stitch feels rather awkward for me, and I can only suggest it is difficult for a lefty like me to master.
There are some wonderful variations, once you get a handle on this stitch.   You can do beautiful closed stitches, weave another colour through them or create the most gorgeous leaves.   But they are a bit beyond me at this point.
So here is the basic stitch, and when and if I master it, I will show you some variations.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Couching Stitch

The Couching stitch is a very handy little stitch and can be incorporated in many ways.     You can simply use it as is, or as I will demonstrate in my next update on the Crazy Patch block at a later date on the blog, to attach little decorative beads.

It can be used to create little circles or create a brick stitch by doing lines close together one of top of the other.   I will add samples of these to the Crazy Patch block as well.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Jane Austen continued.....

Well, today is usually the day I bring you a new embroidery stitch.  I have decided though to bring you the Jane Austen update instead.
I am finally piecing together the complete blocks, but one at a time.  I have discovered that this is going to be one almighty headache.   It is taking me about one hour to piece each block and so far I have only finished two.   The problem being that the very small black diamonds do not always end up exactly where I want them to be.   Insert very sad face here.....   I end up having to baste them into place after sewing each to a main fabric strip.  Then I check them by sewing them down in place in thirds.   So, therefore I am envisaging 20 hours of sewing time just to get all the individual blocks together, let alone the rest of the quilt being sewn together after that.   Oh well...they say great things take time, so I am hoping this quilt will be one of those.
I know others in my quilting group who have also tackled this quilt and found the same problem.  Trial and error, trial and error.  But I will not be deterred and I will plug along regardless.

These two photos have been taken with the blocks resting on the arm of my sofa, so they may look a tad rounded at the edges.  In real life the block looks correct..  In the second photo, this block has not been finished at this stage and you can see the arm of my sofa behind the block.  :)  
Oh you can so tell I am not a professional blogger or photographer, hahahahahaha...but that kind of makes it fun for me....