28 February 2017

End of February Already!

I can't believe how it's the end of February and as another colleague of work said this afternoon "10 months time and next Christmas will be over!" Blimey!

So what have I got up to? Well block 100 has been sewn

But of course the blocks I've not been able to get done are still not done.

But I have a pile of 98 blocks now...

A wallhanging has been started and finished (I think) but it has a binding and making my mind up how to quilt the border.
More bits have been knitted for the clown and I'm very nearly there. Without giving much away here's a couple of items that I've made.

I've also had a go at a couple of crochet items. Being as its February I had a go at a Corner to Corner (C2C) Block with heart motif to get the hang of changing colour. This is from Crochet Now magazine.
And a Granny Square heart from a tutorial on Sandra Cherry Heart's blog.

I've also knitted a sheep
This is Suzy the Sparkle Sheep.  Knitted with tinsel yarn the kit came with yarn that coloured my hands and needles! After an email to the magazine they sent replacement yarn and this one knitted up without colouring anything. Looks sweet, doesn't it?

Also this month, last weekend in fact, we went up to Stoke on Trent and visited nearby Churnet Valley Railway for a winter steam gala.  Our first exploration of the year.
It was cold and grey, only to be expected this time of year but enjoyable nonetheless.

Returning to Stoke later we visited the Emma Bridgewater factory shop and cafe to enjoy tea and cake.  There was too much choice in the shop so we bought a couple of mugs...

A souvenir of Stoke.

Lastly this morning I found out in the garden the first daffodil bloom.

Spring is on the way.

19 February 2017

The Splendid Sampler 16

The Splendid Sampler block episodes have now finished with the last block, no. 100 being released last Sunday, almost a year after the first block came out on 14th February.

I stil have blocks to catch up on and today only just finished block 99 but I have been doing some other sewing and knitting too. More of that another time.

First of all is Block 95 Sunshine by Kim Niedzwiecki. A 9 patch block.  I kept the sunshine theme with the yellow middle.

Block 96 is In the Sunshine designed by Cheryl Arkinson. A similar title with an almost similar block. A nine patch with a flag applique on it.
I used squarish scraps to make this block which was quick to make.

Block 97 is First Purse by Di Mills.  This was another opportunity to use other Splendid Sampler scraps and add some buttons to make this on a red background, making sure the tear shapes were the right way up.

Going back the next block I finished was a foundation pieced one, Tiny Miracles by April Rosenthal

As you know Foundation piecing is not my most favourite of techniques but it was the only way to make this block which turned out fairly well and worth while.

Next one is Block 98, Fleur de Lei by Lynn Harris.  This block should have been made with needle turn Hawaiian applique but it was another block that I cheated and used fusible applique finishing with blanket stitch.

Now for the penultimate block 99 Four Corner Spinwheel designed by Kimberly Einmo.  
Looks a simple block, but my first attempt at this didn't turn out too well so this is Mark 2, which looks much better.

I will have a look at what blocks I have to catch up with and get on with them plus making up block 100, which has all the pieces cut up ready to sew.

So it's good to see some progress with these blocks.

11 February 2017

Can't Do It All

Recently, since before the New Year there have been various posts on my Facebook and Instagram feeds about planners/organisers, etc for crafters/quilters to plan their projects for the year ahead.  One I've looked at a couple of them, both American, together with the cost of journal and shipping it became very expensive and I couldn't justify the cost.  So I have to say to myself that as I can't craft everyday I'm not going to be able to keep up with the journal and could end up with an expensive journal with not a lot in it.  I usually do what I can when I can and try to fit in something crafty of some sort each day.

So I compromised with a project book like the type sold to students with tabs which I can divide for quilting, knitting and crochet projects.  There are no dates, so I write in my aims for the month (which may or may not be completed) and can write in that month what I've managed to do, so my progress is measurable. At least I can say I've done something even if I haven't done a lot. 

I think the cover looks pretty and it stays near my cutting mat so I do see this every time I go in my room.  Anyway I hope it can help keep tabs on what I'm doing.

Another thing to help me is a little light box that David has made me from an ice cream carton and Perspex top and it has a cut out hole to slide my LED work light underneath. 
Proper light boxes are fairly big and I don't do many big projects that need tracing, so this will do the trick hopefully, especially with some of the embroidered Splendid Sampler blocks still to make. I've used this today to place some applique pieces onto a dark fabric background and it's worked well.

As I'm progressing well with the clown knitting that I'm doing, most of the body is sewn and stuffed and there's a lot of little bits and bobs to go with him, so he's coming along, so I treated myself to one of the Attic 24 Stylecraft yarn packs from Wool Warehouse.  I have to say that the pack arrived really quickly, and was nicely packed in an organza bag.  Doesn't look so neat in the pic was believe me it was.
There is also a pattern with the yarn, but I got it out to look at and I should have put it back in the bag. Needless to say I didn't and it's walked so will have to download the instructions. How silly! Anyway I can't start this until I've finished the clown. I keep looking at the yarn though, it is tempting me to make a start.  I must resist!

What I've done this afternoon this afternoon and evening has been to make up one of The Bramble Patch's Box of Delights kits and this one was January's.  This contained a charm square pack of Poppy Mae fabric and backing (for which the Lightbox came in handy). The pattern was this lovely poppy wall hanging.

This has brightened up what's been a grey day today.  When the photo was taken I'd fused the applique pieces onto the background, but later this evening I sewed them down.

That's another entry in the project book.