Thursday 31 January 2013

Can Spring be far away?

Or at least, can we pretend, just for this blog post?  after all, I have got the start of a daffodil to share with you!
I was reminded by Kate North 10 days ago about the Patchwork Meadow project.  They are encouraging people to make a textile 'tile' of 15cm square showing a wild flower.  THe project is to encourage people to think about wild flowers across Europe.  I heard about it some time ago, but it never actually reached a written list, so I'd forgotten about it!  Kate's prompt was perfect to remind me to start something, at least!
I used my stitch and burn technique over a sketch that I'd make (you can still see my blue wash-away lines on this photo, but I've sprayed them away now).  I'm planning to add hand stitching to the block to complete it, but I'm pleased with this as a start point.
I've cut my foam board ready for lacing this over when it's finished - I just need to plan the hand stitched part of it now and get on with it.
Last night I didn't hand stitch anything - but spent the evening papercrafting with friends.  They were very productive, and as we had a heart theme we are all well on the way to being prepared for Valentines day!  No photos, as I didn't remember to get my camera out.
Fingers crossed for this mild weather continuing - our feathered friends are now out in the their coop / mini run (although not the open run yet, we want them to know that the coop is home!).

Friday 25 January 2013

The Same but Different

The same but different?  That's right.  Behold a crop of C&G samples (the edges have different techniques to finish them, and there will be more hanging systems demonstrated soon too).  Not desperately exciting, but an easy way back into thinking about my course, rather than worrying about not having done very much for the last two months!   I shall use them for small hand embroideries, I think - but I have no idea what will happen to them after that!
More 'same but different' - this time a set of three post cards for a birthday swap.  I used my 'stitch and burn' technique to create the applique hexagons - not at all traditional - lots of fun!  Then I couched some threads to give a bit more texture and interest.  All good fun!
 Lastly, for the curious, I did finish the tiny purse - but I can't say that it's a great success.  Open, like this, not too bad (and I'll confess out here in public that I couldn't manage to stitch the linings in - they received the full force of a hot glue gun to keep them in place - please don't throw me out of the stitching Brownies - I'll try harder next time!).

Closed, though?  It's just plain ugly!  I need to use ribbon and a zip that go together, I need to use brighter 'cover' fabric, and I need to replace the nylon not-that-nice zip with a metal one (which will have cotton sides and so be easier to stitch through, I hope!).   I'm not down hearted, but it is an ugly little thing, so I've resolved to try again at some point and to do better!
Plenty more stitching things to get on with (I managed to make a quilting 'to-do list' for 2013 which doesn't include the half-square triangle blocks which are lurking next to my sewing machine, oops, so need to try again with the brain engaged).  Plenty more design things to get on with too, as I'd like to get my current C&G module finished before half term arrives - and I need to re-learn what I've half learnt and forgotten from my GIMP classes in order to move some of what's in my head onto the screen!
Happy Burn's Night, one and all.  Nearly time for my (veggie) haggis with neeps and tatties

The Same but Different

Wednesday 16 January 2013

What do you think?

So what do you think?  What chance have i got of finishing these items and ending up with a cute little zip purse (and when I say little, I mean tiny - it might be big enough to hold a single ring so long as the ring isn't too big!).  There are some lovely 'macaron' purses on the web at the moment - like the ones shown with this tutorial at craft passion.  Perhaps I'll have a finished purse to show you next week (or perhaps I'll have decided that tiny stitches are too challenging to make a neat job of!).
If you've got a few moments spare, rather than taxing your eyes and fingers with unfeasibily small purses, why not go and vote for 'A Gift of Quilts' in the Epic Awards?
I didn't join in with this project to make these larger quilts, but I took part in a project to try and make an A3 sized pennant for each competitor in the Olympics / Paralympics last year - and as I don't think that I ever showed the pennants on this blog (and to be honest, I can't find a photo of the third one that I made!) I thought that I'd show them now.
Anyway, if you'd like to vote for the project and the way that it encouraged people to join in, then please scroll down this page until you find 'A Gift of Quilts' (fourth line down, right hand side) and click on the hand to give a green 'thumbs up'.  If you like you can entertain yourselves by doing that every day until voting closes on the 30th January - you are allowed one vote every day!

Thursday 3 January 2013

Looking Forward

'Looking forward' - its a great phrase, isn't it?  Not only looking forward in the sense of pausing and looking ahead to what might be in the future, but standing facing ahead, undistracted by the things to either side of us AND seeing the future with enjoyment!  You have to love a language that has so much possibility in just two words!

This is the time of the year when its lovely to do all three of the 'looking forward' actions. To believe that the future is good, to try and see what might come in the year ahead, for me those are the easy two.  The action of looking ahead without distraction, though?  Hmmm.  Not something that  I'm sure that I can really do, these days.  In the past I might have been cross with myself about a lack of focus.  Now, though, I think that I'm easier on myself, or perhaps I've learnt that the distractions are often what make things even more fun!  Sure, I still have a list of things that need to be done every day or week or month, and it would be rare that they didn't get done.  After that, though, whether its doing things with my girls, of for my on-line course, or just random sewing projects that I decide to do, I think that distraction is probably a good thing!

I will probably still make a list of quilting / sewing projects that I'd like to complete this year (from the number of Dear Jane blocks that I'd like to make, having failed to make any at all in 2012) to larger projects that would help use some of my fabric stash and get me back into slightly larger projects than I seem to have been completing recently!

First stop is to put some stitching around these cards to finish them ready for next Christmas - the lovely result of being distracted from what I was doing and 'forced' to play fabric crafts with the girls and one of their friends!

Whether list making or not, I hope that you have a fun crafty New Year!