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Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Lull again.

It is indeed the Christmas lull again, the bit between Christmas and the New Year. I have however, been busy doing the Redwork panels for the red Quilt, which I think I am going to call Elfin Way.

I am very pleased with how it is going so far.The bottom half is pieced together and I have only two panels left to stitch and the top half will be finished. Then of course, the borders to think about.

Bottom half pieced together.
 This is the penultimate panel being stitched, sorry the photos are not better. I can't get outside in natural light in this dreadful weather we are having, it's either blowing a hooley or peeing with rain.

  I join on some scrap fabric before stitching, to enable me to use an embroidery ring, when finished it is removed.

My poor old garden is not looking good, and is in desperate need of some TLC, but will have to wait till the weather is a little better. I did manage to get out on the last fine day we had and trim the grape vine. 

The January appliqué block arrived today from the lovely Deborah Kemball, and it was a case of OMG again. Now I have said that every month since I started this BOM in October. The whole reason for doing this BOM was to improve my hand turned appliqué. Now is it doing that,? I am not sure but by the time I get to the last block, I do hope so.

4th BOM block.
I now have plenty of hand stitching to be getting on with, while the weather is the pits..

First to finish the Elfin Way quilt top, and then on to my next challenge, see above...

Keep safe and keep stitching…. Doti...

Monday, 23 December 2013

Red Work Quilt...

Well, it's one day away from Christmas Eve and the weather is the pits. Just very grey and oh! so cold and the wind is blowing a hooley. Definitely not the weather for going out in, but church flowers have to be done and of course, our four legged friends have to go for their walks.

The birds have stripped the holly berries from the tree that we always collect our greenery for church from, so a friend has given me some from her tree. The birds have not got that far down the street as yet.

I have been busy drawing Red work designs for the Red Quilt, far too many as usual, but I will have plenty to choose from.

 Sorted out which ones and where they are going.

First block tested out. Yes, I reckon it will work OK. Now I have plenty of stitchery to do over the Holidays.

I would like to wish all the readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas and a good 2014.

The last few days I have had a lot of visitors from Russia reading this blog. Happy Holidays to you. I do hope you are enjoying sharing my little ramblings, mostly quilting and knitting with a little gardening thrown in.

Keep safe and keep stitching

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Getting my Mojo back.

Everything is ready for Christmas, well as ready as it's going to be. All Christmas knitting and sewing done, all cards and parcels sent and my mojo seems to have gone along with them.
My appliqué block of the month is finished, all blocks for the Siblings Together Bee done, and Mojo nowhere to be found. 

I am blaming it on the Christmas tree, which is residing on top of my ironing table in the window, and not leaving me much room to get to my sewing machine.

This is it in the evening all lit up and yes I know it looks pretty…. So I have  been doing lots of hand sewing, and as you know I do love to hand sew, but I want to sew on my machine and I am at a loss as what to make. 

This hits me a least twice a year, and I usually sit and draw when this happens, but today it's the other way around. Eight different red fabrics cut into 4 inch squares and some background fabric for the stitchery panels and I am off.

 Love the winter sunshine shining through the window on to my fabrics.

Now to join it all together, and sit and draw the stitchery.. I would like to get back to my Elfin Patch designs, (which is why this blog was called Elfin Patch), that all seems so long ago.. so watch this space..

Keep safe and keep stitching …………Doti...

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mystery Block 9

This month is the same as Block 5 only in reverse + a little stitchery of Daddy Owl.

 So, make up your strips of checkerboard oblongs as in Block 5 and add to your panel top and side as in picture below, with the little owl in the top right hand corner.

Now your Wall Hanging is all stitched, either add to the top of  blocks 1 2 3 4 & 5 or keep as two smaller panels.

 I have done two little owls, so use what ever one fits best in your  2 1/2" square.

This is the quilt joined in one long panel, sorry not a wonderful picture, bright sun and wind..
I added a strip of green to separate the two panels, just for the photo as I intend to have mine as two separate panels.

Now quilt as desired as it says in all the books, and this little journey of ours is finished. I would love to see what other people have done. Please link to this post or send me an email..

Keep safe and keep stitching……….Doti.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Finishing off.

Well Mr M went to watch his beloved football team play.  
Me I spent the whole day finishing off things…

First I finished off my appliqué BOM block for December. It was not however until I had taken the photo of it, I realised the leaf in the top right hand corner was waving at me. Now do I unsew it and do it again or leave it? It does make me smile so I just might leave it..

Then on to dressing the christmas cakes, the little one is to eat now in December, while we are doing christmassy things, with cups of tea. The big one is kept till Christmas.

 The Rainy Day Quilt was quilted and just needs it's binding attached, a job for tomorrow.

 And last but not least the Red work tea light shade was finished, to go with the two I made in class, with the delightful Mandy Shaw.

Mr M's team drew so he was not unhappy, and I had a lovely day finishing things.

Today we are going to trim the tree, so we might cut the little cake this afternoon when we stop for tea...

Keep safe and keep stitching ….Doti...

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Another Day with Mandy Shaw

Sorry, no blog as promised for yesterday. I had forgotten I was doing a workshop with the lovely Mandy Shaw. How could I forget that, you may well ask, she is such a lovely lady. The whole day was spent laughing, she is so funny too!

This is what greeted us in the class room.

It was a lovely Christmas display, lots of it from her new book "Celebrate with a Stitch". The Red angel was a must for me. I am a sucker for dollies, and this one has string hair! Which Mandy taught us how to make.

We were making these wine glass tea light shades, and here are some of our efforts. I will take some more photos when I have made a few more as I only made two in the class. Too much chatting and laughter and not enough work. Lots of ideas are buzzing around in my head and I am making a red-work one at the moment so watch this space. 

I have so many projects on the go at the moment and they all have to be finished by Christmas, wish me luck..

Keep safe and keep stitching……..Doti...

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Siblings Together 2

As you know, I am part a group called Siblings Together 2. and it is my turn in January to be the mama, and decide what blocks we are making. So here is a short tutorial for a Slab block. Please could the members of the group make two 12 1/2 inch blocks in bright colours.

First raid your scrap bin and sort into colour groups.

Press all your fabrics.

 Cut one white or off white scrap, I used Kona White. Any size from 2" to 6", this one is 4" X 2 1/2"

 Now start building up the slab in a single colour.

 Make sure that the white scrap is surrounded by colour on all 4 sides. It does not matter where in the block the white scrap ends up.

  Now continue till your block measures about 13", to allow for squaring up, I did find that I needed to square up as I went along.

Just a press and it's done.

Now to make the second one.

The normal Blog will resume tomorrow...

Keep safe and keep stitching……….. Doti...

Friday, 29 November 2013

Quilting Bee or Knitting Bee.

This week our quilting group were at the Bee. The Bee Hive, to give it it's official title, belongs to All Saints Church in Wickham Market. It is their church rooms. 

It's such a lovely warm friendly place, just the right place to hold a hand sewing group. 

Well yesterday, it was more like a knitting group, as lots of us were doing knitted things for Christmas. I was sewing in the ends of yet another pair of socks and casting on a further pair, hopefully the last ones for this year..

Here are some of the girls, all deeply concentrating, Alison, Jenny and Liz all knitting for their grand children.

On the knitting theme, this is my latest shawl residing on the dinning room table. Meals on laps for the next couple of days as I have another shawl to block tomorrow.

This one took some knitting, there were an awful lot of stitches on the outer border.

Some sewing did get done. Annie and I were working on our 1/2" hexes, and Ann had been sewing little Christmas stockings.

Today, the machine appliqué was finished on the Rainy Day's quilt, and it's been sandwiched, ready for quilting. At the moment I think it will be hand quilted, but I like to leave it for a couple of days in case I change my mind.

 Hand quilting is so therapeutic and with Christmas coming up quickly I will need something gentle to be getting on with. 

I have the new BOM pattern for the Floral Impressions quilt by Deborah Kemball, using my lovely Oakshotts fabric, but I have to concentrate so hard on that. With so much going on, not sure that is a good project for this time of year. We shall see however. I intend to get it all cut out today, and then we shall see.. :0))

Keep safe and keep stitching …..Doti...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

I am Working.

Just to let you know, and to give you all a good laugh, I am indeed stitching away. 

It was a glorious November day, very very cold but the sun was shining, in fact so brightly I should have drawn the blinds, but who wants to shut the sun out in the middle of winter? So to keep the sun out of my eyes, I borrowed one of Mr M's hats.

I know, not very elegant, or a very pretty sight.:0))

If I had been using my big machine, no problems, but as I had to use my old machine ( it does better button hole stitch) the only place to put it is bang in front of the window. Hence the sun, shining right in my eyes. Mr M laughed so much when he came in, he took this photo.

And this was our lovely Gladdie watching proceedings over the top of the couch, not quite believing she had got it all to her self for once.

Gladdie our Scottish Deerhound.

This is a short post today, got to get back to my appliqué. There will however be no hat today, it is a very grey and miserable November day here in the UK.

Keep safe and keep stitching…….Doti..

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Shopping in my Stash.

I follow a blog by Jenny of Elefantz. She does cute little embroideries among other things, and the other day she made me think, yes real hard,
about all the fabric in my stash.

My friend Alison was sorting out her sewing room, folding and sorting out her stash, and I am not sure which of us has the most fabric, believe me we have a lot. I was pretty ashamed of us both.

So this week I have shopped from my stash. Its not a big quilt I have put together, at the moment it is aprox 40" x 40", not sure if it is going to get a border or not yet.

Quilt so far, might add a few more leaves.

The pattern is by Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts,and is called Rainy Day Trio. It takes just 4 fat 1/4's for the background, and scraps for the appliqué. I just love the background. This little quilt is going to be machine appliquéd, and hopefully hung on the wall in my guest bedroom.
To say the least, I am feeling very pleased with myself, as everything was from my stash. And as Jenny of Elefantz said give the fabrics in your stash a "Moment to Shine".

I finished the two pairs of PJ's bottoms too, so a good sewing weekend.

There is no way to make PJ's look good in a photo, unless someone is wearing them and Mr M refused.:0))
love the neat pockets.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I even had a lovely email from the Designer, Deborah Kemball, encouraging me on my BOM Floral Impressions. She is here in the UK, meeting up with Michael from the wonderful Oakshotts Fabrics. I wonder what they are cooking up, whatever it is it will be beautiful.

Now I must get on with our BOM. I have not yet stitched block 9 or written the instructions, it's all still in my head. I also have to go and makes some muffins as we are at the Bee tomorrow.

Stay safe and keep stitching……..Doti...

Thursday, 14 November 2013

When things go Wrong.

As you may know, if you follow this little blog, things often go wrong :0)) or not how I expect them to go. But all is usually alright in the end.

I have been trying to get back on track after our wonderful holiday, firstly with the appliqué BOM. 
November's is finished and while I am not 100 % happy with it, there is only a small area I would like to do better in, and I am thinking 'stick with it girl after 12 months hopefully you will have improved'.

 So then it was on to the Siblings Together blocks for this month. Sue had asked for two 12" churn dash blocks, with a slight difference and called them Funky Wrench Blocks, one is a nut and one is a bolt ( not even sure now which is which).

Now I do usually read tutorials all the way through first but not this time however, gaily plodding on, cutting every thing out, and then merrily sewing things together.. Then shock horror, my two blocks were just 6 1/2"

Now it could be that I have a cough at night that would make Methuselah wince. So I am not sleeping too well, so hence, not concentrating properly, but I think I need to start over.. 

 Here are my two new blocks.

These two little pin cushions are what was made with the little 6 1/2" blocks.One for me and one to add to my gift drawer. So indeed, it did all come right in the end.

If you would like to make a little pin cushion from an orphan block, it's only 3 seams.

Fold block right sides together and stitch both sides, now pull the centre of the open sides, till the top edges meet ( top of sides are now in the centre) pin and stitch along leaving a gap to turn out and stuff. Then sew up opening. Voila, I found an orphan log cabin block as well and that too is now a very smart pin cushion..

I am now off to cut out my pyjama bottoms, going to do the red ones first, now if they go wrong that is going to be some pin cushion…:0)))

Keep safe and keep stitching….Doti..

Monday, 11 November 2013

Mystery Quilt Block 8.

We are getting near the end of this little mystery wallhanging, just one more month. It has been fun for me and hope it has been fun for you.

Well here is Mrs Owl sitting with her owlets.Not sure that is the name for baby owls.

Cut a piece of background fabric 17” x 7 “
and trace the design on to it.
You might want to iron on stabilizer on to the back at this point.

Embroider the birds and appliqué the flowers, in colours of your choice. Instead of appliqué for the flowers I have coloured them with Crayola crayons.

When embroidery and appliqué are finished.
Cut to size 15 1/4” x 5 1/2” and stitch to the top of blocks  6 & 7. Month 8 finished.

Line drawing for block 8.

The top part of your quilt should now look like this…


Sorry about this photo, it was taken out side and was blowing in the wind, so the top looks bigger than the bottom.

Now, I have to make up block 9 for next month, which is in my head at the moment, but not down on paper or stitched.Then of course, the dreaded "How am I going to quilt it". Probably by hand as its not very big, and gives me another excuse to sit by the fire. :0))

As you know, I am doing an appliqué BOM called Floral Impressions designed by Deborah Kemball with beautiful fabric from Oakshott.

It is all hand appliqué. I have only ever made one thing before using hand appliqué that I thought was OK and that was a little bag. The rest sadly I have binned . Yes they were that bad..

 This is to be my final attempt at hand appliqué. I hope by the end of twelve months I will have conquered it.  
Month one, I was so pleased with. Month two well...I am leaving it how it is at the moment as I have un-sewn the petals so much. Just hoping I will have enough fabric at the end to redo this block…

Months one and two of the Floral Impressions Quilt.

Keep safe and keep stitching…. Doti...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Back to normal?

Everything is getting back to normal, it was a day at the Beehive yesterday, our hand sewing group. everyone was busy stitching away on different projects. I took several photos of what was going on. So here is a little round up.

Ann's baby quilt.
Cute bird from Ann's Baby quilt.

 Annie was hand quilting her baby quilt.

 Liz was stitching a little bird from our Mystery Quilt.

 Sue was embroidering around her appliqué fairy panel.

 Maggie was putting the binding on her quilt. I did take a full length photo but it was a bit fuzzy, maybe next time. The colours she chose and the fabric are lovely.

 Fiona was stitching a little wallhanging, a copy of a wedding invitation, as a present for the happy couple.

and Jenny was doing some more hearts and snowmen. We made these last year in a class we did with Mandy Shaw.

I should have been working on my Floral Impressions Quilt by Deborah Kemball, but as I really need to concentrate, I thought it was best if I left it at home. Too much chatting,laughing, and eating of cake is the order of the day at the Bee..

I have however got it all prepared for the off.

Templates are cut, fabric all sorted, I have even had encouragement from the designer, the lovely Debbie on my last post..so watch this space..

Now to sit beside the fire as it is cold after Key West, and start Block 2 of the BOM.

Keep safe and keep stitching…..Doti...