Friday, 18 December 2015

CQJP Challenge 2015 - Finished Quilt!

Today I am really excited to share with you my CQJP Challenge 2015 finished quilt!!  After I had finished my December block I was keen to get all my blocks assembled into a finished quilt before the end of the year.

I got out all my blocks and arranged and then rearranged them several times.  I was a little uncertain that all the blocks were going to work together in one quilt as some of the blocks are quite different styles but, especially as some of the blocks were slightly different sizes. In the end, I managed to trim them down so that they could be pieced together but, it does mean that some of the embellishments are a bit closer to the edges of their blocks than I would have liked.  I learned a valuable lesson about leaving plenty of seam allowance which, I will definitely be carrying forward to my next crazy quilt!!

I knew that generally crazy quilts are not quilted, so I didn't layer the quilt with batting and backing and then bind it as I would a normal quilt.  Instead, I layered a piece of thin batting with the backing (right side up) and then laid the quilt top (right side down) on top and sewed around the edges leaving an opening for turning.

Before pressing.....

As I was piecing the blocks together I had been really, really careful not to press anything with the iron too hot as I knew there were a lot of sequins and other embellishments which may be damaged by the heat.

After..... see how the sequins are flatter and have lost all
their shine?

However, once I had stitched the top, backing and batting together, I thought it would be safe to turn up the heat a little to press the quilt when I turned it right side out.  That was a big mistake!!  Another lesson learned!! A lot of the sequins had lost all their shape and sparkle.  I ended up replacing the majority of them!! I won't be doing that again in a hurry!!

Pearly button added to the quilt front

The back of the button.... ties the layers together

Despite that, I have managed to get the quilt finished.  I tied the layers together by adding a few pearly buttons to the top here and there and stitching them all the way through to the back.  So here it is, my first ever crazy quilt! 

As I have my family all coming home from their studies and lots of fun activities lined up for over the Christmas period, this will be my last post for a couple of weeks.  I would like to wish you all the most wonderful Christmas whatever you are doing and thank you all for visiting me here!

::   M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S   ::

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

TAST Week Twenty-Three: Cable Chain Stitch

Stitch twenty-three of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is the cable chain stitch and is the last stitch that Sharon is going to publish for the challenge before Christmas. As always, Sharon has posted a comprehensive tutorial describing how to work the stitch together with lots of inspirational photographs.

This was another new stitch to me and it took me a little while to get into the rhythm of it. It is another stitch which requires you to pay close attention to the tension of the thread when you are stitching it. Actually, I have come to the conclusion that most stitches do!!

I added three small rows to my sampler.  The first row I added (in the middle of the three) I used a variegated fine silk thread and although it looks quite pretty, I don't think you can see the definition of the 'link' stitches as well as in the other two rows which were stitched using a thicker pearl cotton thread.

As I mentioned above, this is the last TAST stitch for 2015. The challenge starts again in the New Year on 12th January 2016

Monday, 14 December 2015

CQJP Challenge 2015 - Finished December Block

Today I would like to share with you my finished CQJP Challenge 2015 block for December. I am once again using a block that I pieced for one of Kathy Shaw's wonderful online classes as the base block for December. The basic pieced block before any embellishment looked like this....

After I used the base block to complete a couple of the tasks (the addition of an embroidered tree design and a wisteria vine) for the class (ICQC 103) it looked like this....

I have now completed the rest of the embellishment.  I added a woven flower in one corner. I had seen some of these flowers on pinterest and had wanted to try them for myself.  I was quite pleased with the results but, I think they will get better still with more practice.

In another of the corners I added a silk ribbon butterfly accompanied by three little simply stitched embroidered butterflies.

One of the seams was embellished with a stem stitch vine decorated with fly stitch leaves and silk ribbon colonial knot roses.

Once I had started adding some of the embellishments I decided that I wasn't sure about the colours that I had stitched the wisteria leaves in, so I took the original leaves out and added some new ones.  

I also changed the look of the embroidered tree slightly by adding some simple detached chain leaves.

Finally, I added some buttonhole wheel flowers and some buttonhole filled circles (I love stitching these!)

Oh, I also added a little bullion stitch hedgehog to another of the corners.

The final blocks now looks like this.....

All that remains to complete the Challenge is to piece the 12 blocks together into a quilt or maybe two! 

I am linking this post to the stitchery party link up at Super Mom - No Cape! Why not pop across and see who else has joined the party! 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

TAST Week Twenty-Two: Buttonhole Wheel

Stitch twenty-two of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is the buttonhole wheel. As ever, Sharon has posted a great tutorial describing how to work the stitch with lots of inspirational photographs giving you plenty of ideas how to use it.

The buttonhole wheel is a stitch that I am familiar with and I have used it quite a number of times on my CQJP Challenge 2015 blocks. These have mainly been added as flowers but, as you can see from the top photograph, you do not have to stitch the whole 'wheel' as a section makes a nice decorative stitch too.

I think it looks particularly nice stitched in variegated thread and that is what I used to stitch the examples I added to my sampler.

It also gives a nice effect on the back of the fabric and, on past occasions, I have actually stitched it so that this fluffy flower appears on the right side of my stitching and the buttonhole wheel on the back!! (Of course, in those instances, I would hide the knots!)

You don't have to extend the buttonhole stitch all the way to the middle of the circle if you don't want to (as can be seen in the photograph immediately above).  This gives the wheel a slightly different appearance and, when stacked as they are here, they make a great 'hollyhock' flower!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Snow Happy Hearts Quilt - Finished!!!!!

I have just added the last stitches on the binding of my Snow Happy Heart Quilt and I am so excited that it is finished!! Here it is..... (sorry the photographs aren't brilliant!)

The machine quilting went quite well in the end and I am very pleased with the finished look. I didn't quilt it too densely so that it has maintained a soft look which I think is in keeping with the feel of it.

Here is a quick glimpse at the back so that the quilting is a bit more obvious.  

I used a blue polka dot fabric for the binding which reminded me of snowflakes on a Winter's night.  

It looks great with the other decorations in my living room, so I need to find just the right place to hang it now!  Or maybe I'll leave it on the sofa to snuggle under! 

I am linking this post with the stitchery link up over at Super Mom - No Cape! Pop over and see who else has linked up this week! 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Not as much......

There has not been as much use for these as I would have liked this week.....

Mainly because I have been sorting out some of these....

and hanging some of these.....

Decorating this..... (a little potted tree this year which can be put in the garden).....

Then these got a lot of use.....

Some of these were written and are ready for posting....

Finally, these are all packaged up and ready to send.....

A busy few days!  I am off to the Post Office now.... hope you all have a lovely weekend!!  I am hoping to get a bit more use from these.....

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

TAST Week Twenty-One: Knotted Cretan Stitch

Today's stitch of the TAST Challenge (week 21) hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is the knotted cretan stitch. Sharon has posted a comprehensive tutorial describing how to work the stitch and there are also plenty of inspirational photographs giving you lots of ideas how to use it.
Cretan Stitch

Although I am familiar with cretan stitch, I had never tried knotted cretan stitch before so, was happy to add another new stitch to my repertoire!

Knotted Cretan Stitch

I added a line to my sampler using a variegated perle cotton thread.  This is quite a heavy thread and the knots show up nicely when using it.

I did also try a very small section with a finer silk thread and I found that the knots were nowhere near as obvious and I didn't think the stitch looked as pretty.

I also had a go at creating a mini Christmas tree which is one of the ideas that Sharon mentions in her tutorial.  I don't think mine is quite a good as Sharon's but it does vaguely resemble a tree!

Happy December!

Here we are at the start of December and I have lots of projects that I need to get finished up before the end of the year.  Hopefully, I will have some to share with you later in the week!  Thank you very much for coming to visit!