The Woolhogs Made It Challenge for June has started!

This is just a quickie reminder that Maryanne has once again organised a fabulous Woolhogs Made It Challenge this month.

I have entered my blackwork embroidery which some of you will have already seen.

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There must be something you could enter too! I’m on link number 33 if you’d like to vote for my project and you can even vote every day if you really want to! However, the voting is just for fun and does not determine who wins the challenge.

Whether you decide to enter or not, please support some of the other crafty bloggers by visiting their lovely blogs. However, BEWARE! You may be inspired to try something new 🙂

Here is the link to The Woolhogs Made It Challenge. Just click on the frog when you get there!

Avis x

Three for the price of one…..sounds good to me!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Without further ado, I really need to welcome all my new followers this week, many of whom have found my blog via Claire, my wonderful cross-stitch friend in France. I know you are all waiting for the Mystery Stitch Along and I hope you can wait patiently for just a few more days 🙂 I’m very excited about it as I’ve never organised a SAL before and I know there are already several people signed up. Hopefully, Claire will correct me if I make mistakes 🙂

The SAL will be open to everyone, the more the merrier. I would absolutely LOVE IT if some of you could maybe try blackwork for the very first time with us. You have 12 days to sort out a piece of fabric to stitch on. Any cross stitch fabric will be suitable. My preference is for 14 count aida fabric but you can choose. My design is about 60 stitches square so make sure your fabric is big enough. Also, you will need some embroidery floss. Traditionally, blackwork was stitched in black, I bet you hadn’t guessed that already 😉 You can stitch in one colour, or if you prefer, a selection of colours. Some of Claire’s SAL members have used variegated threads and they look lovely too. We will be stitching with only one thread, unlike cross stitch where we would normally use two threads at once. I will provide the chart for my design FREE of charge. So, there is something for nothing! Don’t you just love that idea? I will reveal stages of the chart every Friday and there will be about an hour of stitching per week if you want to keep up 🙂 You can send photos of your work in progress to me (email address at the right of the page) and I’ll open, and regularly update, a stitchers gallery. So, watch this space……only 12 days to go!

A couple of my previous blackwork finishes are here and here so now you know what to expect 🙂

In the meantime, I declare another quilt finished 😀 Yesterday, I decided I would quilt whichever work in progress was at the top of the box of patchwork waiting to be quilted.

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I’ve named this one Picnic Pinwheels because the fabrics are the colours of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the size, at 54″ square, is perfect for a picnic rug. I made the quilt top about a year ago at the same time as I made this one and this one. They are all from the same layer cake by Moda called Santorini. Not one scrap of the layer cake is left. I like to challenge myself to leave no scraps. I love the colours and the bold prints which I cooled down by teaming them with my most adorable Moda Bella solids.

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I know I make a lot of pinwheels but look at them. How can I cure this addiction? Do I really want to be cured? Nah! I think my Picnic Pinwheels could be the eye candy in my conservatory for the next few months. I’ll be spending a lot of time here, sewing in the glorious daylight, hopefully hand stitching the binding of many more quilts (still my favourite pastime ever!!).

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So, don’t forget to sort out your fabric and embroidery thread. Be there or be square a week come Friday 🙂

Have a wonderful crafty week! I’m linking to the Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. Pop over and take a peek at all the goodies made by other bloggers this month 🙂

Avis x

Starry, starry, night…..paint your palette blue and purple!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful crafty time. Welcome to my new followers and all the lovely crafting people across the globe 🙂

I have finally plucked up the courage to quilt a large quilt top which has been waiting in my box for almost two years. I think this was the third top I ever pieced. The fabrics screamed at me in the shop. I just had to buy them!

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I quilted it with a surfy sea sort of pattern as the colours and prints are very watery.

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The back is a gorgeous solid purple which is a perfect match for the purple marble on the front. I like a solid backing as it shows off the quilting….and I get a nice reversible quilt. Two for one…..bargain!

ImageNow you can get an idea of the size. It’s massive!

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Now, what’s next? Come on everyone….follow me over to see Claire. Part 3 of the SAL is now  available. I must get stitching!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

I’ve just entered this quilt in a challenge here:

http://woolhogs.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/aprils-made-it-25/

There are some wonderful entries. Don’t forget to pop along and vote for your favourites 😀

Avis x

Look at the size of it now!

Hi everybody 🙂

Now my parents’ house move has been successfully completed, things should begin to return to normal again here. Thank you to everyone who watched and waited and sent us good wishes. It has been a long haul but the most important part is done.

The house move took priority over everything else and so now, I have time to share birthday presents from last month along with more updates on some works in progress.

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The card is from one of my wonderful blog reader friends. How appropriate is that design? The blackwork goodies and pinking shears were from my lovely sister and the fabric shears and quilting book were from my other half 😀 My daughter bought me a subscription for the digital version of an American quilting magazine, a brilliant way to subscribe without the shipping costs! What a lucky girl I am 😀 The book boasts a smart way to make kaleidoscope pattern quilts but I’m not sure I’d use the suggested method as it involves a lot of wasted fabric, probably bits that are too small and pointy to use for anythiing else. My motto is “I pay for every square centimetre, so I need to use every square centimetre”. I’ll reserve proper judgement until I’ve made a block or two. Believe it or not I didn’t have any fabric scissors before getting these ones. I don’t know how I managed before! And I now have loads of ideas for using those pinking shears 😀

As you can see, the new blackwork kit is waiting in the queue for my embroidery frame. Yes, I could buy another frame but then I’d have two embroidery projects on the go and I can’t have that 😉 So, I’ll finish the Bothy Threads Narrow boat first. Here is a progress check 🙂

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I also have to thank my lovely friend Claire who sent me these! I arrived home exhausted after the house moved on Friday and these little lovelies were in my letter box. The surprise  made my day! So to Claire “Merci beaucoup” 🙂

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I love hand stitched cards…..and those buttons are perfect for……my purple and blue quilted bag.

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I’ve been looking for a button for this bag without success and I’m delighted to add this  painted one. As you can see, it isn’t sewn on yet. The two smaller ones will be used in other projects. My other bags are here if you want to see them.

My crocheted ripple blanket is coming along very nicely. Look at the size of it now! You can also see that we have had a bit of snow again…..that must be because I’ve just booked a camping holiday he-he. It looks like we are in for a chilly time so I’d better get this blanket finished 🙂

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and two more photos of scrumdiddlyumptiousness. Thanks to Roald Dhal for the adjective 😉

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I do like a nice roly poly blanket 🙂

Now, as we are (I am) having a bit of a purple fix, I thought you might like to see my Caithness Glass paperweights.

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Most of them were bought at the factories in Wick, on the north coast of Scotland, and Oban on the west coast where we saw them made. Actually, the car park at the Wick factory was the only place my beloved old campervan ever broke down. I didn’t want to leave there either 😉

I’ve just realised it’s getting towards dinner time. What’s for dinner? This….

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I’m not totally sure what is in it other than beef, vegetables and sliced potatoes on the top. It was made by my OH yesterday while I was unpacking boxes with my sister, so this is a photo of it cold. I’m sure it will be delicious reheated and teamed up with Yorkshire puddings  😀

Finally, I have a confession! A lovely reader, a few weeks ago, nominated my blog for an award and I decided to leave my acceptance post until later. Then, everything at this end became very busy and I still haven’t posted about it. Now I can’t find the nomination!! I have put the images of all the accepted awards down the right hand side of the page so I know it isn’t those ones. If you nominated me for different ward, please let me know when it was so I can find it and accept gracefully. Apologies again to that very kind person 🙂

So, these are my only WIPs except for my Under the Sea applique project, also here and here. I hope to be right back into the quilting groove very soon so watch this space 🙂

Have a fun weekend!

Avis x

Blackwork Finish!

Hi everyone, Happy Sunday 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has continued to read and comment on my posts while I’ve been so busy. I’m hoping all will be back to normal in a couple of weeks and I’ll then be able to do some quilting again. Fingers crossed!

I thought I’d update you on my progress with the Bothy Threads narrow boat cross stitch. I haven’t done a single stitch since last Monday but I’m having the day off from busy family stuff and I hope to get lots of crosses done today. This is where I’m up to now.

ImageAlso, I can reveal my completed blackwork project. This was made as part of a Stitch Along with Claire. You can see lots of other versions in different colours here. I hope Claire doesn’t mind that I’ve posted this finish a week early as I don’t know when I’ll get to write again. Claire has recently finished her Alphabet Sampler and I love the way she made it like a mini-quilt. I’ve copied her idea and the finished result is a wall hanging I’ll be pleased to display on my wall. I hope you like it too! Here are the stages as I stitched along with Claire.

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and here is the finished wallhanging “on point”. The chart is available at http://www.practicalblackwork.com.

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Now, I’m off to catch up with reading all your lovely blogs. I hope you’ve been up to all sorts of wonderful things 🙂

Avis x

WIP x 2 for this week!

Hello everyone 🙂

Just popping in to share a couple of works in progress today.

Here is the next stage of the “Tangled Frame” blackwork from http://www.practicalblackwork.com that I’ve been sewing along with Claire. You can see more examples on her blog here. I have an idea of what I’d like to do with the finished piece. Watch this space 🙂

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Today, I’ve completed more of the Bothy Threads narrow boat cross-stitch. There is a lot of black outlining to add so it doesn’t look like much at the moment. It will all come to life when the back stitches are done. This is part of the roof with flower pots and a dog on top 🙂

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It is still a bit too busy for crafting at this end 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

Avis x

Just a quickie!

Happy Sunday everyone!

It’s busy, busy, busy here at the moment so I’m just dropping in with a couple of WIPs.

This quilt top still needs binding. I made it a couple of weeks ago.

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This blackwork (in purple) is the first completed stage of Claire’s SAL. It is only about 2 inches across. I’m sure Claire would love you to join in. Her English blog is on my blogroll at the right hand side of this page if you want to see more details in English. The chart is free at http://www.practicalblackwork.com and we are stitching it over 6 weeks 😀

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Got to get busy again 🙂

Avis x

Bags of bags and a new award!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and still in the crafty holiday mood 🙂

I’ve been making a bag to use up the rest of the plain charms that I’d put away for a rainy day in my fabric stash. I haven’t made a bag before. I suppose it was only a matter of time….

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For now, there is a pin where the wooden toggle closure will go. The body of the bag is quilted with variegated thread and there are patch pockets in the patchwork lining. The whole thing is a stash-buster!

Here is the back view.

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Then, it occurred to me that I’d had a whole lot of fun making this bag. Soooo…….I made another 🙂 This time using the blue patches from a predominantly pink charm pack. I’m not keen on blue with pink so I stashed the blue ones. I’ve added a few squares of other coordinating fabrics to make up the numbers.

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Once again, I’ve put a pin where the big button will go. The main part is quilted with pale blue King Tut thread. Here is the back.

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Then……….I got totebagitis…….or some other disease which made me want to do another bag. This is quite ridiculous (you’ll find out why below).

Next, a purple and blue “quilt as you go” style bag.

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And the reverse.

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So, there you go. That’s what I’ve been up to 😀

Next, I’ve been nominated for another award.

My friend Yvonne, over at A Wee Bit Random has nominated me for this 🙂

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Thank you very much Yvonne 🙂

A Wee Bit Random is a relatively new blog that contains something for everyone. Go and take a look! There are lots of rules of acceptance as usual……but, you know me……I like to break with tradition. I won’t be nominating other bloggers as I know and understand how some of you prefer not to get involved. However, I will provide links to some of my favourites and if the blog writers wish to take the award, they can. That way, everyone is happy (I hope).

A few random things about me (just to conform a tiny weeny bit)

I love anything purple 🙂

My favourite place to have a holiday is in Scotland, the more remote, the better.

I hate hats!! When I was a child, my Mum used to knit me hats of all colours and designs. For every outfit, there was a matching hat. I used to be dressed immaculately, with a hat, and sent off to school every day. At the top of the street, just around the corner, I would remove the hat and put it in my bag, whatever the weather. On my way home, the ritual was reversed. I still won’t wear a hat. My Mum is now in her 80’s and she still has no idea about this, so no telling 😉

I like Brussel sprouts 🙂

I never make New Year resolutions.

I don’t have a handbag. I don’t remember ever having a handbag and have no need for one. I believe most people have no idea what is in their handbag. Now you know why me making bags is ridiculous 😆

Now for a few links of reeeeeealy good blogs in alphabetical order. 

Basildon Kitchens

Bending Pins

Claire in France

Creative Pixie

Gun in Sweden

Made by Patch

Nero’s Post and Patch

Quilt Obsession

Red Headed Stitcher

Skalabara

Treadle Music

Enjoy! Bye for now! Quilting calls 😀

Avis x

Another secret revealed!

Hi everybody 🙂

Happy birthday to my sister!!

At last I can reveal my sparkly scarf project which I made for my sister’s birthday. A few weeks ago we took my Mum to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show and my sister admired the sparkly scarves on display at one of the stands. She would have bought one but we quickly realised they were selling the yarn to make them and not the finished articles. Everyone is so busy at this time of year. She knew there would be no time to knit for herself so we walked away.

Then, I had an opportunity 😉 I rushed back to the stall while my Mum and sister were “lost in the crowds” and bought the yarn. To be honest, I didn’t relish the thought of knitting with it as the texture is quite lumpy bumpy. However, it is a lot softer than it looks and it knit up really fast on large needles. I am really pleased with the result.

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It would have looked better modelled on a black outfit…..but I don’t have one ha-ha!

I hope you are all well and still have a little time to craft before the holiday. Lots of you must be holding back secret projects until after Christmas. Looks like it is going to be a very revealing New Year 😀 I can’t wait to see what you have all been up to!!

Avis x

 

How long will it be before this one is quilted?

This quilt top is the second one I ever made. I’ve used another photo for my blog header (in case you hadn’t noticed). I love purple!

Anyway, it has been made for about two years now and I still haven’t got around to quilting it.

It is not that I don’t want to do it. It is because I am afraid I might mess it up. I need more experience and then I will go for it.

I think the blocks are called Ohio Star.

I decided to put a dark frame around to set off the stars, followed by a wide border. The thin lilac border will fall over the edge of the bed.

All of the fabrics are by Makower. The white is Essential Scrolls and the lilac and dark purple are Spraytime. I love working with Makower fabrics! Unfortunately, the photos don’t do the fabrics justice. The white one is particularly gorgeous .

I will definitely make other quilts with stars as I really enjoyed making these blocks. They are all 12 inches square.

Maybe next time, I’ll use batik fabrics. Who knows. Don’t watch this space for the quilted version for too long. It is definitely going to be a while before it gets done :-).

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