Friday, 31 August 2012

TAST2012 Week 35

Already 35 weeks have passed since I joined the Take A Stitch Tuesday embroidery project. This is run by Sharon of Pintangle and her website is a wealth of information and inspiration. Participating in TAST has been an excellent learning experience and in the process I have made many friends to share ideas with and get advice from. Thank you all!

The mission for week 35 was the Sheaf Stitch. It is an easy and enjoyable stitch, I have used it before and should have experimented and 'developed' the stitch. Alas, my time and attention have been filled with many other things so I simply worked simple stitches on a small area of my 'travel panel'.

I have used up short strands of thread, snippets of ribbon and ric rac, a few stray beads and a small disk of pressed Angelina fibre.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday Aug 29th

Here is another shot of some of the progress I have made on my CQ.

The green leaves are machine embroidered iron-ons but I stitched them on, then added a few simple buttonhole stitches. A lovely raspberry coloured thin ribbon that I had been given was fixed with a row of open Cretan stitches. The Feather stitches at the bottom need some pizzazz and I will add some beads and then move on to another corner of this block.

Why don't you head over to Sharon's Work In Progress to see her lovely CQ block?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The jelly roll bag, more info

I want to add a bit more information about that great  jelly roll bag:

It is designed by Ruth Jarman of and this is what she wrote on a comment about the bag:

For those who will not be able to ever do a workshop with me it is done using a stitch and flip method using a Walking Foot. If you want to be economical you can get 3 bags from a Jelly Roll, or just cut your own 2.5” strips 22” long (or more if you MUST have a wider bag/lap quilt). Add the strips one by one to the backing and wadding until required size is reached, finish by binding any raw edges and add buttons and buttonhole or use the press studs or if you must, Velcro tape! Use a wider fabric for the casings at the side to ensure the cord will pull up easily without leaving a huge hole that things can fall out of. The handles can be made from odd Jelly Roll fabrics padded with strips of cotton wadding sewn on approx. 7”- 8” from the outside and top edge or if you prefer use webbing on top of the handle to give it extra strength. Choose your favorite toggles to add to the ends of the cord and enjoy. 

Work In Progress Wednesday, almost a week late!

I have been having problems loading pictures to my blog and that is why I am showing the progress I have made on my crazy quilt block almost a week late. Sharon and the others have probably made much better progress on Work In Progress Wednesday.

I added another piece of that lovely cord I bought in a charity shop earlier in the summer, a string of pearls and a few stitches. Not much, but a bit of progress.

TAST2012 Week 34

For week 34 Sharon at Pintangle gave us Linked Double Chain stitch for a challenge. I found it fun and neat but have since seen that others have made it differently. I must not have paid attention to Sharon's instructions as my stitches are not like anyone else's. Anyway, mine resemble tulips and I stitched them at an airport in Holland so I think my variation is appropriate.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Jelly roll bag tutorial

I now have a great tutorial for the jelly roll bag my friend made me. Check out the comments here.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Computer problems

Hi everyone, I'm having computer problems and guess I'll be 'absent' until I have sorted them out.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wherry thread

What has a Norfolk Wherry to do with thread?

First of all, what is a Norfolk wherry, you might wonder.
Well,  it is a fine sailing vessel that in olden times was used for transporting cargo on the Norfolk broads.
Last week I went to look at an old wherry at Horning.

A group of enthusiasts, The Norfolk Wherry Trust, are lovingly conserving and displaying one of these old working wherries, the Albion. We were welcomed onboard, on deck, into the hold and into the cabin, very cramped living quarters indeed.
The trust had various items for sale to support their activities. Among the postcards and mugs, there were also items of wood. From time to time parts of the Albion has to be repaired and if there is a small piece of wood taken out, then that piece will be recycled into light pulls, ear rings or, BOBBINS!

I am now the proud owner of a chip of wherry and every time I take a piece of thread from my bobbin I will remember the day I saw Albion at Horning Staithe. (A staithe in Norfolk is a place where boats moor to take in or discharge cargo: much what a quay is elswhere. quote from Arthur Ransome's Coot Club)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The last day at FOQ

Today was the final day of Festival of Quilts. Usually Saturday is the peak and the crowds begin to thin out on Sunday as visitors want to return home a bit early.
This year Sunday was thinned out from the very start! No crowds to speak of, which means Paradise for the photographers and Hell for the traders. I spoke to a bookseller who said it has been the same at other shows this year. 'We just have to hang in there, and wait for better times'.

Anyway, today I want to share some photos with you. First let's take a look at embroidery details:

Simple but striking, Radiate Sketch by Helen Parrott, Sheffiled

Machine and hand embroidery mixed with beads.
Gorgeous Showers, by Sarah Showers, Rothwell

On her quilt, Tree of Life, Helen Cowans has used machine embroidery and beading.

Lilian Harris of Sevenoaks used her computer and sewing machine to make an excellent quilt with Blackwork embroidery.

Another topic I want to talk about today is quilting in Japan and England. Many Japanese quilters romanticise the English look and make quilts you expect to find in a Jane Austen story. On the other hand many English quilters are inspired by Japanese fabric or design. These quilts look exotic to  Europeans but 'unusual' to the Japanese; they would probably have made something different. 

Hiromi Yokota from Yokohama made a charming quilts with  baskets, Wrapped in Gentleness

She also made this quilt, Flower of 13115 Pieces & Peace. The title tells you how many hexagons there are!
Diane Cowell of Huntingdon made her Celestial  Flight out of various Asian fabrics
Janet Sheen from Haverfordwest got inspiration from Yoshiko Jinzenji's designs and made the striking 'Kimono Day and Night.

This Kimono pattern is much more frequently seen in quilts made outside Japan. I wonder why as it is a neat design for piecing.

I found two interesting entries in Quilt Creations.
Gillian Travis paid tribute to Swedish folklore with her set of Svenska Tillbehör
A Pearl Beyond Price, by Marvis Walker of Lightwater
Let me round up today's blog post with this heavily 'pierced' baby. I wonder if he is the fruit of pierced and tattooed parents! The midwife must have got a shock when out popped a studded baby!

Isn't needlework and quilting fun?!

Another day at the FOQ

I have spent another pleasant day at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.
There were more visitors today than yesterday but fewer than in previous years (or is there more space?). It made it easier to look around and enjoy the quilts of which there are many lovely ones.

First, let me introduce you to the largest of them all, 'Autumn'. It is a FULL quilt, i.e. long enough to be tucked in under the pillows and hang down round the sides. You can see from the photograph that the wall has had to be extended upwards to accommodate it! My friend Rosemary Hillman made the beautiful quilt and with all that quilting it is an achievement. I take my hat off to you, Rosemary!

Changing from hats to bags, here is Jacquie Harvey's entry in the Quilt Creations category. She has made this elegant 'Bucket Bag' with a small extra case for a mobile phone. With this bag Jacquie picked up 2nd prize and my admiration. Way to go, Jacquie!

No award for my 'Knotted Hearts', which is a wholecloth candlewick quilt, 30x30cm. However, I am looking forward to hearing what the judges have to say about it tomorrow.

There are 62 miniatures, and I am very happy to be one out of only two quilters to have entered a wholecloth quilt in this challenge. The other quilt is a beauty in red silk, machine quilted by Mary Palmer of Ireland.

Here they are on the wall:

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Festival Of Quilts, Birmingham UK

So it is time for my annual visit to the big quilt festival at Birmingham. I have just looked at some of the many, many delightful quilts at the show.
Here are some of my favourites for the day:
'Say It with Flowers' by Rebecca Handyside

'A Day at the Seaside' by Julia Gahagan

'Textile Connections' by Shirley Aldridge and her 9 friends

This year the winning quilts were displayed together on a special wall. It made for an easier view of the 'cream'.
More quilts in tomorrow's report.

Friday, 17 August 2012

TAST2012 - Week 33

Pekinese Stitch is the challenge this week. It is easy and smooth - you just need to make a line of back stitches and then work another thread underneath in loops. Read more on Sharon's blog.

I first went to the library and found a nice stitch design in Helen Hall's 'Creative Backstitch', which I used for the central motif.  Around that design I then made a few simple borders in Pekinese stitch.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Embellished fishbone

It is time to show what weekly progress I have made on my little crazy quilt block. The fishbone I worked in Knotted Cretan stitch earlier, has now some 'flowers buds'. These are made up of Cast On and Detached Chain stitch. I also made use of a small pink ribbon I was given. It was a bit too thick for ribbon embroidery but somehow I managed to pierce the fabric and then secure the stitches with a few Straight stitches and some beads.

Sharon, who invites us to share our efforts on her Work in Progress Wednesday has made much more progress on her new lacy block. If only I could be a bit better at time management!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

How neat is this?

Among the gifts I received from my friends there is something I would like to show you in detail.

In the quilting world a 'jelly roll' is not a sweet tea time snack but something rather less calorific.
It is a set of strips of fabric, different but from the same collection/colour range so they co-ordinate. Many quilts can be made from these strips and there are several books on the market with ideas.

My friend K used such a 'jelly roll' to make me a bag! A magic bag! Look!

Flat open it could be a lap quilt.

Tie the ends tightly...

and you get this bag!

Isn't that neat!
Lovely colours, lovely idea, lovely bag, lovely friend.
I am so full of thanks, K!

Swelling stash

I've visited two quilt shops and met up with goods friends.

My stash is swelling and I have been given many wonderful gifts.
I've got myself a paper craft ruler with various wavy patters. This will be useful to make nice designs for a CQ block.
The tassel in the middle is handmade and absolutely gorgeous. 
A-Z of embroidery stitches is vol 2. I have vol 1 I already have, but in the Japanese translation.
Threads, beads and ribbons gallore.
At the top of the picture is a fantastic item that I will blog about later.
There is fragrant soap, delicious biscuits and elegant writing paper as well.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

TAST2012 Week 32

For this week we were given an unusual stitch, the Cast On Stitch, by Sharon of Pintangle. I have worked it before and like it very much, however, it is rather time consuming. As I am on holiday and enjoying myself I picked out a nice audio book and set about making this:

Some of the threads my friend had given me were worked into this. I found that the standard floss was easiest to work with but the shinier (rayon?) threads kept slipping and behaving badly!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

I have this friend...

After a long period of hard work to serve the family I am now enjoying myself in the UK. To me, this is Quiltland. I have many friends here who are interested in anything quilty or stitchy.

One of these good friends picked me up at the airport and then pressed a bag in my hand. No, it was not a travel bag, it was a shopping bag, full of THREAD!!! She had read my dismay at not having brought enough thread with me from Japan and finding the prices in Sweden high and the selection meager, that she had got a whole sweets bag full of goodies for me. I am so grateful and honoured to have such a good friend. Think of all the stitches I can take with this amount!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

From now on I will have more 'me'-time and take the opportunity to meet up with some quilting friends. Therefore I will have time and get inspiration.
I have already made some progress on my CQ block.

The ribbon I bought is now decorated with French knots and chain stitches. I have also made a 'fish bone' of knotted Cretan stitches over one seam.
It's not much but it is moving in the right direction. I hope to have much more to show next week. Until then, why don't you check out what progress the others have made. Where to look, Sharon's blog of course!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

TAST2012 Week 31

In haste, the Algerian eye stitch:

Check out much better work here at Sharon's TAST blog.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday, on Thursday

I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Helsinki, the beautiful capital of Finland. I still have family members in tow. However,  I had a wee bit of time for stitching on the cruise and, what's more important, I found in Helsinki a 'sweet shop' full of thread at good prices. My stash is now full enough for stitch play. Next thing to find is more time!!!

Anyway, do you remember the decorative ribbon I found in a charity shop in Stockholm? That has now been fixed to the CQ block. Some progress, eh!? Well I hope you find that much more progress has been made by others. Start by looking at Sharon's own progress and then the comments.