Tuesday 29 November 2016

I'm expecting.....

a new arrival.   Oh I'm so happy I could burst, I just had to share it.

We thought about it, Gary and I talked about it, hehe, now he's completely shocked by it, we got the EDD yesterday and it's sooner than I thought, so little time to prepare.  I can't say any more just now, I'm too emotional.

I can tell you about the disastrous day I had when I went to the Harrogate show though, well, not all disastrous, and more eventful really.  First of all I woke up to a very heavy frost, Gary was running late so I went out to clear the car while he fiddled about, how do men take more time to get ready than women?  So we jumped into the car and set off, thats when the first disaster struck me, i was wearing the wrong coat.  No, don't laugh, it was very cold and I was wearing my warmest coat, but it was my winter dog walking coat, the one I keep having to sponge muddy paw prints off, and certainly not the smartest when going for my Christmas day out with my friend Jan (who is always beautifully dressed).

Next thing was my husband reminded me to ring him on the way home so he could pick me up, second strike you've guessed it, my phone was still in the kitchen on charge, I couldn't believe it, I had been so organised the night before.  Good job Jan had hers, turned on and fully charged.

The last disaster came when I got home, well it happened when I was out really but I didn't find out about it until I got home, the heating broke down AGAIN!!!  It seemed to be the timer on the kitchen wall this time, it had to choose the coldest day of the winter so far.  They said they couldn't come out until Monday, it would have been Tuesday but we complained.  THEN, when the very nice lady gas engineer came and it wasn't the timer, it was a faulty gas valve and she didn't have one, so they came out Tuesday and at last we have heat.

Opps, no pics, sorry,

Here is some of the stuff I got.  Moda Grunge, like the colours?  A meter each of the three colours and two of the neutral, no I don't know what I will do with it yet, but I have only seen the odd one in my local shops and it's so hard to judge colour on the net.

What else, a fine awl for my embroidery, a Tulip one, nice quality, some packs of needles, I usually get the packets which are a bit cheaper but I figured the nice packaging will be reusable and I can just top them up when I get more.  A lovely little wooden bead tray,  (oops, forgot to put it in the pic), I use beads in my embroidery sometimes and they go all over, I know I could just use a jar lid but sometimes it's nice to treat yourself, it helps keep someone in a job, and it's good for the economy, yes I'm very good at convincing myself.  I got some tear away stabiliser which I wanted to try too.  Do you see the little heart at the bottom?  It's a fine magnetic needle threader, pretty isn't it?  I'll let you know how it works.  What do you think of this?

A kit for making a Turkish Doorstop, better than the one my husband came in with,  it was a rectangle of canvas with ducks on, and very ugly.  He was so proud of his bargain buy as it was half price, personally I wouldn't have bought it at any price, but I put it behind the lounge door to stop it from marking the wall and positioned it so it can't be seen so I can live with it.

Want to see my recent sewing?

My mystery quilt blocks, flying geese and square in a square.  I just trimmed them with my new BlocLoc flying geese ruler.  I must say they were trimmed in record time, it was so easy.  The only thing is I can only trim flying geese up to 4 x 2 inches, finished any other size I will need another one.  I could just trim the tops though that would be a big help.   It can trim any size square in a square up to 4 inches finished, as I don't usually make block components bigger than that it should be fine.

One Advent calendar top done, still needs to be layered and quilted.  I have started the second one (and a third one) but I haven't got very far.

One surprise mini quilt top finished ready to layer and quilt.  Yes it is under there, promise, no you can't have a peak, it wouldn't be a surprise otherwise now would it?

My other news is my last post just became my most popular ever post! Amazing, if you missed it you can find it HERE.  The reason is that one of my lovely readers, Lesley, recommended it to a UK blogger who mentioned me and gave a link to my post.  The thing is I do read her blog myself, she advocates frugal living and can be very funny at times.  Pop over and have a look, it would be nice to reciprocate, the blog is Life After Money by Meanqueen.

That's all my news for now, I will tell you more about my special news, but not today, it's too new and I haven't quite taken it in yet.

Until next time
smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Connie @ Linky Tuesday
Lorna @ Let's Bee Social
Kelly @ Needle and Thread Thursday
Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Amanda Jean @ Finish it Friday
Myra @ Finished or not Friday

Thursday 17 November 2016

How I made.....

My Origami Christmas tree.

What do you think of my tree, like it?  It isn't my pattern, just one that was being passed around years ago.  I did a search for it and found a few including a You Tube video but I couldn't find where it had come from originally.

It takes just two contrasting five inch strips of width of fabric, you won't need the whole strip, but you can get two trees by turning the ruler or template, apart from that you just need a scrap for the trunk, two small  pieces for the pot and a 4 inch square of wadding.  There again you don't have to use Christmas fabric, and it would look great scrappy.  Although I do like the effect between the two fabrics with high contrast by using two less contrasting fabrics any imperfections wouldn't be so noticeable, hmmmmmmmmmm!  On the other hand, I do recommend the principle of 'blind men and galloping horses'.

Here's how I made it.

First I cut my triangles, I ironed the two strips if fabric right sides together and used my equilateral  triangle, the 60 degree kind where all the sides are the same length.  If you haven't got one you can easily make a template.

Draw a rectangle  6 inches wide by 5 1/4 inches high(I used a square ruler so I could make sure my corners were straight, or the end of a 24 inch ruler works too).  Measure the centre point at the top (which is 3 inches) and draw lines from the point to each bottom corner to make the triangle.

Now draw a line 1/4inch from the line which gets rid of the top point, now cut it out roughly, glue it on a piece of card and cut out on the line, or whatever other way you use to make a template, but you get the gist, yes?

Now using your ruler or template cut out 10 pairs of triangles from your layered fabric, or 20 if you have decided to make two.  When you use a ruler like mine which still has the top point on place the 5 1/4 inch line on the bottom and miss the point off.

You will need to cut off the first piece, then as you go turn your ruler 180 degrees for each cut to make the most economical use of the fabric.

Using a 1/4 inch seam machine around the three edges, leaving a gap of about 2 inches or what you feel comfortable with for turning.  Before you turn remember to trim those points.

Roll the edges, push out the points as best you can and press, stitch up your gap with a slip stitch or ladder stitch.

Now it's the Origami part.

Take your top point, fold it to each of the bottom corners and finger press to find the centre point, then fold one of your corners in to the centre.

Bring a threaded needle up from the back and stitch through all the layers to secure.  Do this with each of the three points so it becomes  more of a hexagon shape, don't cut off the thread, push your needle through to the reverse.

Turning it over, find the centre of the seamed edge (not the fold), fold it down to the centre and secure it there, do this with each of the three sides.  You may want to stop and tweak the shapes at this point (this is the bit I always forget to do).  This is your front, if you want you can stitch a bead or a sequin to the centre now, or leave it until the end.

Lay out your shapes in a pyramid and stitch them together at the folded edges from the back using a slip stitch or ladder stitch.

Now stop for a minute and admire what you just did, looking lovely isn't it?

Now for the trunk, from a scrap of fabric cut two pieces about 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 drawing a line from the 1/2 inch mark to the top centre like this .  The width and length isn't crucial, you may want it to be fatter or thinner, longer or shorter.  Stitch up the sides and the top, trim, turn and press. Just leave the bottom edge raw.  Only thing is I forgot to take any pics at this point.............

Now make the pot.  Draw a rectangle 3 3/4 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches deep, again the size is up to you, measure about 3/4 inch from each bottom point and draw a line up to the top corners to make your pot shape.  Use the template to cut out two pots from your pot fabric, and one piece of wadding.  Layer the two squares of fabric wrong sides together with a piece of wadding between,pin together, and cut around the edge with pinking shears.

Yes  I got carried away and forgot all about the pics again so you will just have to imagine.

 Now you can see the trunk and the pot.  Position the raw edge of the trunk inside the pot, centering it, and machine stitch 1/4 inch all around the edge.  Can you spot the mistake?  Yes, I added my trunk to the bottom of the pot and had to redo it.  The second time I changed to my walking foot which I should have done in the first place, it was so much easier to stitch.  Only thing is I  remembered to take the pic which is when I spotted the mistake, then forgot to take a pic the second time, this is becoming a habit.  Not one of my better days :-(

Pin and stitch your trunk to the tree using a slip stitch or ladder stitch as before.

Finally attach a ring or a loop of ribbon to the back for hanging, and enjoy.

This is the first one I ever made, about 8 years ago.  I didn't have any pinking shears so I just machined around leaving a gap at the bottom to turn it through.  What I should have done was make the pot 1/4 inch bigger all round but I never thought.

Before I leave you I am beside myself with the news I have had today and just HAVE to share it, even though it isn't quilting related.

My husband's book has just gone to print and we have a preliminary publishing date of 27th January 2017, AND it is on Amazon UK (and China) and on other bookstores including in Japan.  Happy, happy, happy, I'm singing and dancing!!!

Until next time
Laughing my head off
With smiles from
Kate x

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts, and Myra @ Finished or not Friday, Cooking up Quilts, Monday Making, and Em's Scrap Bag

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Today I'm at........

Higham Hall in the beautiful Lake District.  I got here on Sunday and today is my second full day of embroidery.  I got up extra early so I could get on the internet while everyone was still in bed, it can be a 'bit' slow later in the day.

So, what am I doing?  Well I have been on with my usual project for quite a while now, I normally come here for a weekend, have a great time stitching, go home full of inspiration to get on a make progress........and quilting takes over.  This is classed as a 'taster' class, I can try up to four new projects/techniques, so I thought it would be nice to make something I can start and finish while I am here, just to have a finish, know what I mean?

So, this is the teachers sample of what I am making.   It is made in Calico Gardens, which is stitched on calico using stump work and embroidery, in neutral colours.  Like it?  Before anyone who knows me asks no, I will not be including the bee, it may be cute and it is as furry as it looks, but it is all I would see and would spoil the finished pic for me, but I will be adding something else......

This is mine so far.  As you can see I have made the stems with stem stitch using Perle 8 in three different colours.  I always did stem stitch as it says in the books, my teacher showed me the 'proper' way, so much easier and neater.  The echinasia centres are first padded with three layers of felt, each one bigger than the previous, doing it this way the top is smooth, then they are covered with french knots, more french knots in a contrasting colour still need to be added.  My leaves are part done, first outlines in a back split stitch, and now I am filling in the centres using silk shading in two colours, I need to do the second colour next.

The internet here is so rubbish, I had planned to show you pics of what my classmates are doing, but it will take forever to upload them so I will have to show you next time.

BUT, before I go I just have to show you what I bought in the little town of Cockermouth three miles away.

SHOES, or rather boots as they have a side zip, are they not beautiful?  They are a little brighter in reality, and the heels are trimmed with red which you can't see.  Why is it I find the most beautiful shoes when I am away from home and not looking for any?  These are Spanish I believe, not cheap, but not horrendously expensive either.  I so love them...........

Have to go now, my class is about to start and I am being ribbed, AGAIN.....

So, from the beautiful Lake District in North West England
Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quiltsand Myra @ Finished or not Friday and who is also hosting TGIFF this week