Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 7

This month's block in the free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
is all about 'humility'.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you. Dress yourself in humility.  
Colossians 3:12-14

There's a little bit of stitching and some pretty flowers:

I picked up a packet of these tiny wooden coat hangers some time ago. They sat in the drawer waiting for just the right project, so of course one of them had to appear on this wall hanging.

I hope you enjoy stitching this block.

You can find the free pattern here in my Craftsy Store. 

Another thing I had in a drawer was this beautiful red fabric given to me by a dear friend. With a bit of black, and white, (with a hint of green), it turned into my pair of "Petals and Points" Cushions.

The pattern is in Issue 36 No 2 of Handmade Magazine.

Winter tends to put me in hibernation mode, even though we live in the sub tropics!, so the production line has been pretty slow lately. However last week I did get a bit of a "go on" and completed a quilt and did some decent work on another - secret projects so no photos yet.

Now I'm waiting on the postman to bring me some special fabric. I can feel another quilt coming on!

Happy stitching!

More Fun with Felt

 In my last post I told you about the "Fun with Felt" class I will be teaching at the Creative Craft Retreat later in the year. The class has limited numbers so that I can give individual guidance to the ladies. This means they will have a wide range of choice, both of design, and felt and thread colours, rather than everyone doing the same thing.

I am going to encourage them to choose their design before they arrive so that they don't waste the first hour trying to make up their minds which one to embroider!

I was going to email them a dozen or so designs that I have drawn, from which they can choose ... but how boring is it to see a black and white drawing on a computer screen!?!   

I decided it would be much better to show them worked examples, so I've been having my own 'fun with felt' time and been stitching some of them:

We will be working on a small rectangle of felt which can be put on a bag, or Ipad or Journal cover or made into a needlecase or pincushion - ideas only limited by one's imagination. 

I am really hooked on felt at the moment!

Candy from Capetown recently sent me two photos of block of the month projects that she has completed. Here's "Keys to Contentment" from a couple of years ago:

and last year's free pattern "You are Blessed":

Hasn't Candy done a lovely job! Now she is starting on this year's "Hand-picked Wardrobe". If you want to join in this free Block of the Month programme, all the patterns from the last six months are still available and will remain free until the end of the year.

I hope you are having as much fun with your stitching as I am.


Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 6

It's hard to believe that nearly half the year has already gone! That means it's time to give you Block 6 of the Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
Hand-picked Wardrobe.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you.  Put on kindness ....
Colossians 3:13

 When you finish this block, the quilt will be half finished!

 The block for this month includes a pinwheel:

The free pattern is in my Craftsy Store here.

I've been addicted to felt the last couple of weeks. I am teaching "Fun with Felt" at the Creative Craft Retreat later in the year, so have been having a wonderful time preparing samples.  

In the bird sample, there are eleven fun stitches which give it so much texture and dimension: Blanket stitch around the edge, Fly stitch on the outside of the bird, satin stitch eye, cast-on stitch around the wing, then chain on the inner wing, Palestrina knot around the tail and coral stitch on the inner tail, back stitch leaves, stem stitch vine, straight stitch feet. Then there are the whipped woven circles on the ends.

 It is so much fun watching the transformation of some lifeless felt into a 'work of art'. I like the folksy feel this sample has. It's a genre I've been exploring a bit more lately. Who knows where it might take me!

Happy stitching!

The stitching accessory I didn't know I needed!

My lovely mother was very good at craft, sewing all our clothes for many years, knitting our jumpers, and crocheting exquisite doileys. When she died, I received her craft gear and there were some lovely little treasures amongst it all, like the antique Alfred Shrimpton wooden crochet hook case, (which I will show you another time!)

Another little gem was this pearl handled sewing stilleto/awl.

It has sat in a pocket in my sewing compendium for many years and I may have used it once or twice for poking a hole in something, but it has languished, hidden away, out of sight and out of mind.

Recently I have done quite a bit of piecing and ... you know what it is like when you want to get that sewing machine needle in exactly the right place when you're stitching, so that the patchwork point doesn't get cut off, or doesn't have too generous a space above it. There is no way your finger can hold that point in place until the needle is right there. What could I use? I've used tweezers before but they don't work well ... and then I thought of it - that sweet little stilleto/awl! It is the absolutely perfect little tool for holding that fabric in place.

Then because it now sits in pride of place on my sewing cabinet, I began to find lots of other uses for it. That little awl will guide braid and trims and ric rac into position under the needle. It steers the appliques when machine blanket-stitching. It evens out gathers and ruffles and eases them beautifully under the needle. Hold it on the fabric at the end of a seam and it prevents the fabric from shifting. It is wonderful for moving layers to align raw edges or gripping straying fabric. It gives me an iron grip on nested seams so that they stay in place as I stitch. A quick push with my awl and that recalcitrant seam is made to turn the right way.

I've found it is ideal for pulling out the loop when you lift up the bobbin thread. It is great for lifting layers of fabric when I'm counting how many squares I have cut. It holds down turned edges when I'm pressing, so no more burnt fingers!  And it's even flat so it doesn't roll off the sewing table. How I wish it had come out of hiding many years ago!

A project that has come 'out of hiding' is my Enchanting Forest cushion. You can find it in the May edition of Homespun magazine.

Felt is a medium I love using and I had a lot of fun giving these toadstools texture and dimension with layers and stitches.

Palestrina Knot stitch is my new favourite stitch for felt work and I've used it a number of times in this design, particularly in the scallop edge. 

See the little bird above for another favourite - cast-on stitch.

I hope you have a great week of stitching - and if anyone gives you a stitching stiletto/awl, don't hide it away like I did!


Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 5

Block 5 in the free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
Hand-picked Wardrobe
is now available for you to stitch.

The classy little jacket is a reminder of our theme verse:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love,
dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you.
Colossians 3:13

I hope you enjoy stitching this block. You can find the pattern here in my Craftsy Store.

Last week I had a lovely email from June who belongs to the Kilham Quilters Group in the UK. The group recently held an exhibition to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Yorkshire Cancer. June made my Garden Dreams perpetual Calendar in time for the Exhibition and you can see it in the centre of the photo below. The exhibition was a great success and I am so pleased to know so much was raised for these worthy charities.

The Calendar was one of my earliest designs and I still love everything about it, especially the box to keep all the pieces in!

 If you are interested in making it too, the pattern is available here in my store.

I've managed a little bit more applique work on my quilt - cherries this time:

... and started another couple of projects. That's four things going at once, which is about the right balance for me I've discovered. There's one with plenty of machine work, another ready for stitching at the drop of a hat, another that needs time to prepare appliques, and a commission with a deadline. I like to have things at different stages and then I can choose what to do according to how I feel, what time I have available, what interruptions I'm expecting, or even maybe what the weather is like! Then of course I'm already planning another design or three!

Happy stitching!