Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Little Boxes of Challenges

I mentioned last month that I've signed up for a Little Box of Crochet each month but I seem to have forgotten to post the results.

The first month saw the challenge of tapestry crochet - a bit like cross stitch but with crochet stitches and from my vast experience with cross stitch, it's much more difficult with crochet stitches.

The first piece was a small tag, just to get the hang of it.   My first mistake was not reading the instructions!   This resulted in me working back to front which brought challenges when reading the chart but I persevered and was pleased with the end result although it's not perfect.




The second piece was larger and had more colours so with this I cut smaller lengths of some colours as I felt this would help untangling the yarns which I found became very twisted in the first piece. This certainly helped.  I also read the pattern and instructions through first and this definitely helped!
The end result was certainly better that the first one but still not perfect.




They were both worked in cotton and this is the first time I have used it.  I did find it quite hard at times as there was not much give in it and I do tend to crochet a bit on the tight side.  I'm glad that I was challenged to do something new and probably not something I would have chosen to do.  However, I don't think I will be rushing to do anymore!



This month's box was again a new challenge for me - amigurami.   That's stuffed animals to any non-crocheters out there!   I've never been drawn to them so once again it meant I was challenged to do something that I wouldn't have chosen myself.

It was once again crocheted in cotton yarn which I found even more difficult when you got to the smaller bits.   It also included using magic rings which after watching a YouTube video several times I think I've now mastered.

You can't really see from the look on my grandson's face, but it was love at first sight!  As there is only one (and there will not be another one!) the duck is going to live at the caravan where it can be loved by all the grandchildren when they visit.






Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Quilt for Effy

I've had some projects on the go that are gifts so I have not been able to share them until the lucky people get them.

One was a quilt for a friend of mine for her third daughter.  I have made quilts for her sisters so I thought it only right that she should have one too.   I bought the fabric some months ago and chose a unicorn print not realising that the eldest two girls loved unicorns too.

Well Baby Effy has now arrived and received her quilt so I can share it with the world!


I wanted to use half square triangles and much against my usual 'everything must be straight and symmetrical' I decided to off set the centre.   Really enjoyed making this and will no doubt be doing similar again.

Last Dance Update

The next four sets of squares for my Last Dance on the Beach blanket are complete and these have been some of my favourites so far.


This one has little bird like footprints - love it!


This was my first time of working corner to corner and I will definitely be doing this again.


Love learning how to make bobbles.


This is also a favourite and so quick to do too.

My main reason for doing this blanket was to learn new stitches and it has certainly fulfilled that.


August Journal Quilt

Working ahead of myself on this year's Journal Quilts although I've nearly caught myself up so I'd better get working on the rest!

This month's quilt has once again been inspired by the Hibiscus flower.   This time I paper pieced the flower using a pentagon shape as Hibiscus have five petals.   The flowers were then applied and stitched to the background which was a piece of my own dyed fabric.   I machined stitched the centres of each flower and machine quilted the background with more pentagon shapes and stems of leaves.




 


      


   

Hopefully this will give a contemporary interpretation to English Paper Piecing.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Rust Panel

My first piece of "new work" is finished and mounted and I have to admit I am very pleased with it.



You may recall from a post last month that I have decided to work on a series of square panels inspired by a variety of sources.   This is the first one which started from the piece created as an experiment using rusting powder. 

I used a variety of different fabrics including some I dyed myself as well as commercial batiks.  Once pieced, I free machine quilted in lines inspired by the original rusted metal that was the starting point for my rust series completed a few years ago.   I deliberately left some areas so that I could fill them with stitches and beads in a similar way to the RUST panel.  I also straight stitched some of the lines created by the quilting.

The finished panel was then stretched and mounted on an artist board.

  

  

  


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Beaches and Rugged Coastline

We had a lovely day out yesterday, starting at Portland Bill and then going on to Weymouth.   Found myself wondering which I loved most - sandy beaches or rugged coastline.   

Concluded that the difference between the two means I can love them both equally.   They both inspire me in different ways and if you can have both on the same day, so much the better.

At Portland the weather was perfect - clear and sunny with a slight breeze that kept you cool.  We wandered along the cliff top debating whether some of the rock formations were natural or man-made. 

There were some more adventurous people who climbed down to the more harder to reach places and there was also a group of students jumping into the sea (it all looked organised and they were appropriately dressed!) but needless to say, we kept up on the top and just admired their courage.

The wild flowers were amazing and grew in amongst the rocks as well as along the top.

  


     


 



 





  

On to Weymouth for a walk along the beach...





Sunday, 9 July 2017

July Journal Quilt

Finally had a chance to post my July Journal Quilt on the Contemporary Quilters Yahoo Group so I can now share it with the world.

Once again I have been inspired by Phoenix Canariensis, a common tree in Gran Canaria and one that we saw everyday on our walk to the beach.   Looking up into the tree you could see the newly forming leaf spikes silhouetted against the blue sky and it was this image which inspired me.

My original plan was to foundation piece but after having a go I gave up!  Never been a fan of that particular method and when I have done it, the results have been somewhat hit and miss so I think that is it now - never again!

Instead, I drew the image on to the background fabric and used Inktense Pencils to colour in before 'painting' it with water.  I haven't used this method before so I'm pleased with the results, apart from a little bit of bleeding.  

I free machine quilted in some areas with a variegated thread to give some texture and then quilted around the leaf shapes to finish.

I wish the background fabric had had a bit more colour bit apart from that, I'm pleased with the finished quilt.