Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Secret Garden Center

Hi everyone,
Loved it on 1st Oct when it was the center block for Secret Garden that Esther gave us.
Having no idea what it would be it was fabulous seeing the so romantic looking block with all its flowers. Dived straight in as it was an easy choice for the stems and little flowers in the corners.


Same fabrics as my triangles 
Love the shape of the stems, a knot celtic look to them although from some angles they do remind me of fish, cute fish though.


For the center decided to use my contrast fabric and also use the dark fabric from my little squares.
Don't have a lot of that so had been keeping it for the right time.
With my contrast fabric a butterfly became perfect choice for the very center.

Next to go one was the leaves below the flowers, are they the sepals am never sure. used fabric that I thought would work but in place it was a little washed out looking, not quite green enough so used pencils to colour them up a little.


In the left photo the top left leaf is the fabric only while the others have been coloured. On the right is the same leaf with extra colour, not a huge change but a big difference overall to how it shows up.

Easy so far but the flowers were next. Knew I wanted to tie in the colours of the blocks especially block one where I used a mix of colours for my flowers while the others are more a single theme and all in shades of pink/purple.



My design wall got a lot of use while putting the flowers together so I could check the balance.
Ended up with two each of four different flowers, Pink, peach, pink/peach and peach/purple.
Stitching I did with variegated thread and again there were different threads for each tone of flower.







Thought for a bit about what to do for the stamens, then tested out my idea and it worked using my favourite gold metallic thread, Maderia No 3 which is a very soft almost antique looking gold.
To stitch them I stitched out with triple stitch right to the end of the stamen then turned and set machine to an oval embroidery stitch  ( #94 on my Bernina 440 ) with the width reduced from 5.5 to 3.5.
Stitching over my triple stitch with it gave fullness to it as well and ensured a good coverage with a fine thread. Changed back to triple stitch and stitched back to the start giving thickness to the stem.


Just how I wanted it to look.

Last decision was to add the butterflies. I have them in every block and while they have filled the open spaces on each side they don't seem to have taken anything away from the block.

I have sewn the little blocks into rows for the border but not attached them yet and my design wall is so full of Secret Garden that not sure where I can add anymore, wish it was big enough to pin it out to the measurement and I could try and guess what else is to come.


Now I can go back to my Red Delicious blocks until the 15th and the 3rd part of On My Window.

Linking to Esther's WOW

Enjoy your stitching Everyone,

Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Flowers Bloom and Red Delicious.

Hi Everyone,
Have had a good couple of weeks but ran out of time to post last week as got carried away with Hexit after going to group on the Tuesday where fantastic progress was made by the teams of ladies.


Laid out on the floor all the hexagons are made and most of the rows sewn together. Only on problem, I had stitched my side pieces along the wrong edges so they wouldn't match and had to be unpicked. And I took so long making sure they were correct. Lol
With the rows completed it was dropped back to me so I could add the side sections and also the final row of diamonds.


Hexit has grown into a rather large quilt as you can see from the photo.

Before this of course part two of Flowers Bloom was released and I had great fun with this block after a couple of false starts as thought I would use more of the vegetable fabrics for my leaves, when that didn't work I tried another leaf material I had.


Also had a poppy fabric that I thought would work so made a couple of flowers out of that but they still looked like poppies and the colour didn't gel with my first block so tried my next fabric.


Took a wee while to sus how I had to place my fusible to get the petals to work.


laid out can see it will work.



Went back to a batik for my leaves, a green purple mix and a light green/yellow for the stems



The center is from a fabric with oranges on it so decided to use pens to add to the round blotches it already had. Stitched with variegated thread which really highlights the shape.


For the leaves I used  a deep purple thread to bring out the purple in the fabric.
Apale variegated with touches of mauve on the stems.


All done and happy with my final choices


First two blocks put together.

Had one little hiccup putting my blocks together as when I added the bottom sash my second vase was set an eighth inch to high. Not a lot but you just see a line of sky between the vase and the sash so unpicked the bottom of the vase  up to the band and trim it away then slip a new base under the band and restitch.
Then it was back to Red Delicious. Rose Delicious was my next block, had no set fabrics in mind but selected deeper tones for the leaves and stems.


Liked the fabrics but was a little concerned there was not enough variation. Buds were easy as only needed one fabric a deep mottled batik. Knew I would stitch the leaves with a contrast thread  so carried on making my flowers.


Needed some contrast so used a pink/yellow batik and a deeper pink as well.


More variegated thread and the leaves have popped along with the flowers.


Dark sashings are the making of these blocks  and with the swirly in place as well I love how Rose Delicious is looking.
Next up, Fanfare. Spent a few days just thinking about this one. I wanted an oriental look  but nothing in my oriental scraps that would work and I couldn't find enough different reds that I was happy with, the pattern used seven but I came up short at five so decided to take a risk and use only two for the blades of the fan and another for the sides.


Some might remember the mini eggs in Esther's easter pattern, same material here, positioned so that I got angles rather than straight lines.Edges for the sides are satin ribbon as per the pattern. the braid was interesting as I cut narrow strips of a mottled gold fabric and edges them with blanket stitch in a gold mettalic and they just sat there and looked back at me. Not what I wanted at all !!



Used a dark burgundy thread and a stitch that does about 7 stitches very very close together before moving forward and stitched two rows in the center of my braid and it worked,  so went ahead and added bthe same to the sides.


happy and time for the center


Burgundy center is a synthetic satin and the little circles are the fabric I used for the base of my braid.
left the tassels as I didn't want to just stitch lines on the fabric so had to experiment to create little 3D ones.


Hooray they worked.

Didn't take any photo's as wasn't expecting them to look any good but here is what I did.
Used about 12 strands of embroidery thread mostly burgundy with a few of two pink shades. Miles longer than I needed as tassels are only about an inch long. Doubled them over the bar of a safety pin to get the folds flat than added a strand of the dark burgundy through the fold alongside the pin, knotted that thread leaving long tails.Machine stitched across the threads several times below the knot to secure them together. trimmed them down to a bit longer than needed, teased out the strands then trimmed to size. Threaded the tails and took them to the back then brought them up again one each side of the tassel and crossed them over and back down on the other side and secured them to create the band and secure the tassel. 


Just pinned in place at the moment as sashing goes across two blocks.

My design wall is in good use, under these blocks are my windows blocks and under those is Secret Garden.
If you have read this far you will know I am loving making these blocks for RD, Hope you are enjoying my journey with this fun pattern, it is avail on Esther's website if any of you are tempted to make it.
Linking to Esther's blog then making a start on the Cherry Thieves block.
Enjoy your week  whatever you are doing.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOW on Wed 13th Sept, More Red Delicious

Hi Everyone,
Normal spring weather this week, temps are slowly rising but has been a real mix of sun and showers everyday, great for the sewing room as can't do much outside.
Got back on a roll with Red Delicious after finishing my Secret Garden corners.


Finished my flowers then used a few rows of triple stitch to do the leaf veins

Found my sashing fabric while at sit and sew on Thurs so was ble to add that and the give and Take swirly border to the block.


Wondered if my sashing fabric was too dark but with it stitched in place, perfect, or I think so anyway. Was planning to make Ruby Tea next but wasn't sure what to use for the teapot etc. It needed to be light and felt I didn't have anything suitable, Went through the fat quarters at Country Dawn  and there it was, my perfect fabric for an old fashioned storybook teaset.


Ruby Tea


The larger motif cut perfectly for the teapot down to getting the butterfly on the handle' Only piece I cut seperately was the knob on the teapot lid.


Cut different motifs for the cup and saucer and strawberry bowl. Can't see clearly but its kittens on the bowl and rabbits on the cup.
Took several attempts to find fabrics I liked for the strawberries, getting them to show up enough without being center stage. tried out something I had only heard abot for the stitching as felt that full metallic might be too much. Stitched them with both metallic gold and a red thread through the eye of the needle together and it worked, really well!! 
The metallic shows but not every stitch so it is much softer. Believe you can get a double eye needle for doing this but have never seen one locally.


Happy with progress, now to decide which block is next as if the weather stays like this have a couple more sewing days before the 15th and part two of Flowers Bloom.
Link now to esther's WOW so
Enjoy your week everyone.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Work on Wed 6th Sept

Hi Everyone
Spring is here or its meant to be, having mixed weather with sunny periods but lots of showers and a few days that are just perfect for the sewing room as wet and miserable outside.
Decided it was time to make some more blocks for my purple pieced quilt but my heart wasn't it cutting up more of one of the purple fabrics as just love it, had bought more of it for the borders but if I made this quilt queen size as I planned would have none left and the local shop had sold out (to me) so decided to make it a single quilt which will also fit our dining table.


By putting half blocks all the way around have ended up with a center that looks balanced and finished and didn't have to cut into anymore of my purple fabric.These were very simple blocks to make but the half blocks were like putting a jigsaw together as to which square and rectangle went where and even when I thought I had stitched correctly, unpicking and turning edges around was a regular occurence.


Very happy with how the border looks but sun streaming in this morning, darker purple on the left is closest to the true shade and this the fabric I don't want to use up.  Now just need to buy batting and backing.

With this done I still had a 10 days till part eight of Secret Garden was released and I didn't feel like quilting DHill so what to do. There has been a quilt / wallhanging I have wanted to make for several years, in fact from when I first found Esther's BOM group. I bought the pattern a couple of years ago and it seemed like what better time to start as I can just make the blocks as I have time and have the right fabrics. The pattern is Red Delicious which is the first BOM that Esther shared back in 2008
One block has always intrigued me so that is the one I started with.


Forest Reds

The reason I had never started this was I don't have many red fabrics in my stash except in batiks for applique but a few weeks ago I purchased a fat quarter pack from Craftsy hoping they would be suitable for Red Delicious. The three florals and the narrow border are from the pack and have worked well for this block.


The Lady Bird was my first problem as could not find a red with black spots that was suitable any where. Remembered I had an old red silk blouse that I had cut up for the fabric so tried using a permanent marker for the spots and it worked. Rinsed the fabric afterwards and the spots didn't run so used it along with a shiny black for the body.


Both the Lady Bird and the toadstools are lightly padded


The magic mushroom is my first time using the chennile technique.
Still need to mist and brush it a bit more I think.

Back in my comfort zone with these.

By the time I had finished this block I was hooked, no wonder Esther got so many followers of her blog with this pattern. The fun thing making it now is I can choose which order to make the blocks in. Next for me was the Cherry Basket which I knew would be a challenge fabric wise, especially as this is the central block and it needed to be right, but what a mess I made of the start


Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Found this basket weave amongst my oriental fabrics so traced and cut my basket. Overthought it and cut the base on the vertical thinking it would make the rim look flat on the table. Was then that I realised I had traced the pattern from the right side so the basket was the wrong way round, to make it worse I had cut my tablecloth fabric away from behind the basket as well.


Basket the right way round and with a slight change in the position of the righthand leaf it covers my tablecloth so disaster avaerted.


This was fiddly getting all the cherriers in place plus their tiny stems, not sure whether my medium and dark cherry fabric would work but really wanted something mottled and this was what I had.
Felt the red leaves needed something to lift them so there is a touch of colour with my varigated thread,  variegated thread on the mottled cherries as well.


Cherries Finished.

Time for the top of the basket and the bow and couldn't find the right redsso my love of purple comes back into play.


May be too dark but I really like it.


Cherry Basket.

Only the 31st at this stage so time to prep one more block. This time something simple so time to make the three Give and Take Swirly blocks.


Another fat quarter from the Craftsy pack was ideal for these. only have the longest one stitched so far because 1st Sept arrived and so did part eight of Secret Garden.

Printed pattern at 75% and it matched perfectly to my 21 inche calculation for the long side of the triangle but was hesitant to start as no mention of using the contrast fabric listed in materials. Do I or don't I, someone else was wondering the same and Esther quickly answered the question so time to get underway with the little applique blocks first. And gosh they were little.


Used the same fabrics as last months triangles, again stitching the leaves and stems before adding the centers.


Trimmed to size these blocks are two and seven eight inches square with seam allowance.

Had problems with the 40 little blocks not stitching square so decided to foundation piece the three parts of the block center and it worked a treat with my block going together quickly and everything matching perfectly.


Soooo love my butterfly contrast fabric.

Pleased I had started using my second background fabric as it is let me use my blocks background for the lighter stripe. Wish I had started using it earlier as just hope I don't need to remake my 40 little blocks at the end.


Rearranged my design board to include the corner blocks.
This has to be one of the most beautiful patterns I have made, Thankyou Esther

With the four corner finished should have gone back to stitching my swirlies but couldn't resist starting another block, this time Cherry Blossom.


This is as far as I have got at the moment with only the frame and the first flower completed though my other flower petals are stitched down.  Can't put the bottom leaf on until I decide on my sashing fabric as the leaf extends over it.

Hope you have all been having as much enjoyment from your stitching as I have. Once I link to Esther's WOW will be doing some more stitching on this block as having another day of rain.
Cheers Jenny