Wednesday 30 June 2021

WIPW - Rolled, Sandwiched, Basted and ready to be Stretched and Pricked

 Today, Work In Progress Wednesday has a report on the 

Log Cabin Challenge

and it seems to be from a cookery book:

Roll the flimsy onto a rolling pin (wooden bar).

Layer the back and wadding onto another rolling pin.

Slightly stretch and sandwich the three layers.

Unroll 40 cm at a time and baste.

When the entire sandwich is made, dig out the quilting hoop, thread and get ready to 
prick (quilt, that is).

Monday 28 June 2021

May I Suggest ... Monday?

Every Monday I want to promote blog reading. The names of blogs I like have been written on pieces of paper, and today I picked two slips at random from my box.

Isadarena Passions

Here you will find BEAUTY, perfection, elegance, femininity, charm... Isa makes fantastic square medallion mandalas in cross stitch and beads. Have a look at this Japanese garden mandala.

Her Japanese Embroidery in silk is as outstanding. 

The Yoko Saito Taupe creations, bags and quilts Isa makes are pristine.

Isa is also a lady of letters - she writes historical detective novels (16th century).

By Taniwa

Tanya is a good friend who passionately writes about a great many things - machine quilting, photography, journaling, the Bible and her faith, Nikko, cats, hand quilting, healthy food, sunsets, family, teaching, shuttle tatting, her dog, the neighbourhood, crosswalk duty, knitting, swimming, introducing Japanese culture... 

You will always find something interesting at By Taniwa, and you will also be in awe of her excellent photography. Like the pictures on this post.

Happy Blog Reading.

Sunday 27 June 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Revision: Stitches 171 - 175

 Time to revise the latest stitches. Click on the title for instructions.

171 Ray Stitch

This stitch is great for leaves, trees, feathers, hand held fans....

172 Half Rhodes Stitch

So easy, so impressive.

173 Eyelet Wheel Stitch

So much neater than its cousin, the Buttonhole Wheel, but it is time consuming.

174 Pagoda Chevron Stitch

A wonky version of a traditional stitch.

175 Woven Long Tailed Lazy Daisy Flower

Aren't they cheerful?


Never leave home without it!

Friday 25 June 2021

Friday Homework for Lesson 175: Woven Long Tailed Lazy Daisy Flower

 This is certainly a nice version of the Lazy Daisy Stitch.

Aida Sampler

Teal Wool Tailoring Scribble Cloth

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Thursday 24 June 2021

What's In A Quilt - 6

 I recently completed my crazy quilt project Crazy for Crazy and now want to write its story.

Unlike the 'Guinness block' I showed last week, the sixth block holds no romantic memories. 

I called it Vanilla and Lavender Ice Cream, because of the colour combination. Partly also because most of the fabric is plain, like vanilla ice cream - the perfect base to add flavour to. 
The bright, but fresh purple represents lavender - a flavour avant garde chefs use to add a surprise to the palate (for example lavender dressing, lavender scones, lavender tea jelly...)

There is a small piece of kimono silk, given to me from a lady who is a master of the tea ceremony. She has a good collection of kimonos and also the left over remnants from the kimono tailor. 
Another piece is from the wedding dress seamstress.
The floral print is from a William Morris quilters' charm pack.
In the middle is a piece of plush velvet for upholstery. This piece has a story, although not romantic.
My mother had got it into her head to change the upholstery of some armchairs. In spite of not having any training she had earlier helped me change the covers on a sofa I had acquired second hand. It was a simple job, just lifting up the seat and the backrest, stretching the William Morris Golden Lily fabric over them and nailing the fabric down. 
Changing the covers of the armchairs would require much more skill. My sister-in-law had done a course in upholstery, and together with my mother they started collecting swatches. 
Then for some reason the project was scrapped and the bagful of plush velvet got pushed into a corner of the sewing room and forgotten. 
Before I left for Japan I helped myself to some of the pieces. Now a part of one of them sits in the middle of this crazy quilt block.

What stitches did I use? 
Detached Twisted Chain
Buttonhole Bar
French Knots
Square Boss
Half Buttonhole Wheel
Fishbone Stitch
Point Russe Stitch with needle weaving
Shisha Stitch
the two butterflies are made up of
Tripple Chain Stitch and Bullion Knots, 
a stitch combination I learned from Sharon Boggon.

I made a beaded Dorset Button and added an original Kansai Yamamoto (a famous Japanese fashion designer) button. In the centre of the Point Russe is a paste gem held in place with Shisha Stitch.

I worked this block between 27th June and 25th July, 2018, and with the help and encouragement of:

Ms Iwama, Frances, Kansai Yamamoto, Mother, S-I-L, Sharon, Auntie, Elizabeth, Sylvia, and all my readers.

Wednesday 23 June 2021

WIPW - At Last

Work In Progress Wednesday. 

Log Cabin Challenge

Phew! At last I took the final stitch and completed the task of assembling the 360 Log Cabin blocks into a flimsy. It now covers the entire day bed, and has a nice overhang, too.

First I made the last 12 blocks, 

Then attached them to the previous 48.
and then to the entire quilt.

The next job will be to give it a wee bit of a press, sandwich it with the batting and back, and baste it together.

Monday 21 June 2021

May I Suggest ... Monday

Every Monday I want to promote blog reading. The names of blogs I like have been written on pieces of paper, and today I picked two slips at random from my box.

So today, may I suggest you go visit The Flashing Scissors, where Barbara shows charming cross stitch and nifty objects. Things like bags, thread catchers, pin cushions and other useful object that help us keep our sewing corner in order. Barbara has many followers and I can see why - she is kind and always cheers others on.
I must admit that it has been a little quiet recently over at The Flashing Scissors, but there are many old blog posts worth visiting, e.g. this one about Polka Dot Lady.

Next suggestion is Fat Quarter, where Annet shares with us her delightful work. Those who have taken part in TAST (Sharon Boggon's online stitch challenge Take A Stitch Tuesday) should be familiar with the beautiful, hand stitched TAST logo button, a creation of Annet's. 
Annet is multitalented, she embroiders, knits, quilts, rubber stamps, zentangles, scribbles, works with index cards, and you name it....
I have personally learned a lot about embroidery from her, like how to make perfect Granitos stitches.  I have also learned a bit of Dutch; the blog posts are written in Dutch, but are automatically translated into any language you choose. It is fascinating to read and compare Dutch with many of the other languages in Europe.

Happy Blog Hopping.

Sunday 20 June 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 175: Woven Long Tailed Lazy Daisy Flower

Today I will let Madam Totsuka teach us a combination stitch that results in a flower. It is easy as I am sure you know the two basic stitches already. The stitch can be found in Totsuka Embroidery Stitch Book #8.

The Woven Long Tailed Lazy Daisy Flower Stitch (that's a mouthful for you!)  is made up of a circle of Lazy Daisy stitches with a long tail. These are later woven from the centre and out.

Before we do the stitch tutorial I want to point out that you need an uneven number of Lazy Daisy petals to weave them beautifully.

Here is how to divide a circle into an uneven number of equally large parts.

Let's say you want to have five equal parts.

A circle is 360º, so divide that with 5. You get 72º.  (360 ➗5 = 72º). 

Draw a circle, find and mark the center point. 

Then draw a line from the centre to the edge.


This line is marked in red below.
Place a protractor on this line, 
making sure the centre of the circle 
and the protractor disc line up. 
Mark 72º.

Draw the new 72º mark line 

(here is green).

Find and mark the other three 72º lines.

Now for the stitches.
Mark the foundation fabric.
Make a Long Tailed Lazy Daisy stitch at each 
72º spot, starting in the middle.

Anchor with a long tail.

Come out from the middle again and 

make a new Lazy Daisy on top of each line.

When you have completed the circle, take another

thread and exit the background fabric in the middle.

Take the needle under and over the spokes

until your Woven Long Tailed Lazy Daisy

Flower is blossoming. Either like this or

like this, with more arms.

Add this stitched flower to the three samplers.

Saturday 19 June 2021

Friday Homework for Lesson 174: Pagoda Chevron Stitch

 This was quick homework.

I am not so sure, though. that I like this stitch. I much prefer the tidier traditional Chevron Stitch.

Anyway here are

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Teal Wool Tailoring Scribble Cloth
and the 
Aida Sampler

Thursday 17 June 2021

What's In A Quilt - 5

 I recently finished my crazy quilt project Crazy for Crazy, and now want to write its story.

The fifth block I made is in Black and Tan, the second block from the left at the top of the quilt.

I jokingly called it the Guinness block, because it reminded me of the colours of a pint of that dark Irish stout and its creamy foam. It also looks like a glass of Irish Coffee (black coffee, topped with cream (and spiked with Irish whiskey)).

My first encounter with stout was not in Ireland, though. A Swedish brewery ran these advertisements for porter from D. Carnegie & Co, and they all featured sepia portraits like this:
Long before I was allowed to drink, I drank in the image of the pictures.

Other memories of Black and Tan: A pair of ballerina shoes in tan with black patent toes. 
Also for my very first salary (high school summer job) I was able to acquire a black and tan plastic point card at a major department store, and felt so grown up with this member card. I had become a member of the Adult World, I bought things with money I had earned.

The fabric holds memories, too. There is 
  • velvet from the seamstress who makes party dresses,
  • lace fabric from the same source,
  • a piece of my mother-in-law's discarded kimono,
  • a machine embroidered swatch from the Swiss salesman who went to Senegal (read more about him in previous posts). I used the back of the fabric to soften the embroidery,
  • two 'silk' ribbons from Godiva chocolate boxes,
  • and then there is the Wallis dress...
This dress was a birthday present my husband gave me when we were still courting. It was bough in a shop in London and I fell in love with it at first sight, there on the mannequin in the shop window.  
The dress was sleeveless and had a jacket made up four triangles, stitched into two 'butterfly' wings. The jacket therefore had a slit all up the back which made it easy to move in. 
The best was not the design, though, but the print. On a black background there was the Universe, with Saturn and the other planets, the Milky Way with all the stars. The dots that can be seen on the patch I used are those stars.
Eventually the dress became so threadbare and patched it was beyond further repair. The last time I wore it was on our 40th wedding anniversary. Now all that remains are some treasured scraps of fabric to use for future projects.

Sharon Boggon and Mary Corbet's design ideas were used to decorate the ric-rac with embroidery (SB) and stitch a combination of Wheat Ear Stitch, Back Stitch and French Knots (MC).

Another ric-rac with gold in it was bought at Tokyo Dome's quilt show. There is a Dorset Button, and half a Buttonhole Wheel with Buttonholed Fly Stitch. A button in brushed metal sits on a cloud of ruched ribbon = the creamy foam of Guinness?

I had once bought gimp in the UK, not knowing what it really is (stabiliser for buttonholes in tailored clothes and so on). In my naivety I thought I could stitch with it if the needle was thick enough. Ha! I soon realised my mistake. However, it can be couched down!  So I wound the gimp round a pen to make loops and stitched them down near the Dorset Button.

I worked this block between May 23rd and June 20th, 2018.

Thank you: Ms Iwama, Okibaba, Verena, Darling, Sharon B, Mary C, Carnegie & Co and Guinness, Godiva, The Yorkshire Tailor, Svan Sko, NK, and all readers of the blog who left comments and encouragement while I was working.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

WIPW - The Last Spurt - NO! One more week needed.

I had intended to on My Work In Progress Wednesday show the last spurt of the 

Log Cabin Challenge

flimsy. Alas, life got in the way, as they say, and this is as far as I have got.

The three sets were joined. A new set of 12 blocks was completed.

With fingers crossed, by next week I will have assembled the fifth and final set of 12 blocks and then stitched them all together so the flimsy is complete.
I'll keep my fingers crossed, no that is no good, then I can can't sew! (Why can't the automatic spell check spell?!)

Monday 14 June 2021

May I Suggest ... Monday

Every Monday I want to promote blog reading. The names of blogs I like have been written on pieces of paper, and today I picked two slips at random from my box.

Today may I suggest you visit the blog of

Pumora where Anne Mende has a great stitch dictionary beautifully presented with clear photographs. She is currently making videos of some of the stitches. There are also online courses, some free, others for a fee. In her shop she has kits, ebooks, and patterns. Don't miss the collections of samplers which will give you  plenty of inspiration.

this and that ... my random thoughts by Deepa. Here you can see some beautiful embroidery of roses, Brazilian embroidery and good stitch instructions. If you are interested in Bruges lace making there are impressive doilies to look at.

Sunday 13 June 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 174: Pagoda Chevron Stitch

Today's stitch was found at Artistic Fingers

It is a variation of the traditional Chevron Stitch, with a twist, literarily. 

The key is how you place the working thread. 

I made a row of the traditional Chevron Stitch (in aqua) and one in Pagoda Chevron Stitch (in purple) so you can compare them. 

Can you see the twisted horisontal bars of the purple stitches?

Here is how to make the Pagoda Chevron Stitch.

Keep the thread UP when you stitch the lower line.

Keep the working thread DOWN when you stitch the upper line.

Continue changing UP and DOWN in the same way.

If you found this confusing, do go visit Artistic Fingers (link above) where the instructions are easy to follow.

Work on the usual three samplers.

I found Pagoda Chevron Stitch at Artistic Fingers.

Work it like this: