Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I Love Crochet and Cross Stitch Together xxx

I love to cross stitch and for the past year or so have been inspired by alternative media for this stitch (Pinterest board here).
It is so lovely to work a piece of crochet and really see the detail of each stitch highlighted in such a way.
I seem to go from one extreme to the other these days, working on 35 count to double crochet on 4ply!!!. The above is a sample piece I am working on using the classic Cath Kidston Provence Rose stitch pattern.
 I've used this many times as it so pretty and quick to stitch.
I am going to take this further and make a cushion cover and crochet the border with the shell pattern in the above photo. This idea can be seen in Jane Crowfoots 'Homespun Vintage' she has some lovely examples of embroidery and cross stitch on double crochet pieces. It is well work buying.
I hope you are inspired as much as I am.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

My William Morris Quilt Made From A Wallpaper Sample Book

I can't quite believe that I started this mini quilt way back here.
My quilt making ability was a bit fat zero and I was always in awe of my gran's lovely quilt, I can always remember my grandad making templates out of metal in his little workshop in the backyard and then helping gran to cut all those fabrics and card templates so that she could start to sew her hexagon quilt.
I have never made a quilt of my own. This would be a huge undertaking, mainly because its size but also because of all that hand stitching involved!!!!!
When I was teaching I was given a wallpaper sample book by William Morris from a work colleague of mine, you know those large books interior designers use.  This one really was beautiful. Unfortunately the book was beyond saving as the children has cut up most of the wallpaper samples for their own school projects. The fabric section faired much better, however and I was able to salvage quite a few squares, which were backed in a thick gluey substance. I washed these squares many times to try and soften the fabric and remove the glue so they could be stitched together. I must admit I would have loved to have had the squares all neat, a regular shape and size but each square was different and I just had to make do.
Anyway, I managed to get enough to make a decent size for a mini quilt, which I attached using my sewing machine. I patched together length strips first and then joined these all together. Many of the squares didn't match up but I didn't really mind that as I knew it wouldn't be 'perfect' at the start. Once I had the squares joined, the quilt was backed with a lining fabric that had a layer of wadding to it. I used large tacking stitches to hold the quilt together in the centre sections. After a little help from my craft club ladies as to how to finish the corner sections, you can see it is almost finished.
It was going to be a blanket for Ned & Archie but I'm having a rethink now.
I've enjoyed making this mini quilt and it has given me the knowledge to go on and make another one day. I have an idea of making a memory quilt using the kids clothes and special extra nice fabrics that I have always liked and sample swatches  (you know like the you can get from fabric manufacturers but don't know what to do with.) 
I do know that I have such admiration for my gran and all those hours she put into making her quilt. XxX

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

RedWork - a cross stitch study on the letter "J"

I have some odd sized scraps of linen 28 count, which are great to practice cross stitch work on. I have a clipboard that I keep these completed pieces attached.
I rarely frame these pieces and don't know what else to do with them at the time, but its nice to use them as a source of reference for stitches and pattern. Almost like a scrap book.
The Red Work J's pictured above are taken from my collection of antique alphabets that I have sourced from the internet and antique needlework alphabet charts.
You can find most on my Pinterest board here.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Crochet Japanese Flower Scarf

I made this scarf as a present for mom last year - Christmas (2012), it was however unfinished! I gave it to her anyway and asked if the length was ok for her. It did look lovely, but if it was longer then it really would do the pattern justice. So I took it back with every intention of finishing it and I'm ashamed to say I still have it! Blush!
One of my News Years resolutions is to finish and document my work so I am starting with this one. I chose blues and creams because firstly blue is her favourite colour and secondly that the cream would go nicely with her cream mac which she always wears in the spring.
The wool itself is a very fine double knit, in fact it could almost be a 4 ply. It may be, had I still the wool labels to check. It is so fine that I am having to use a 3mm crochet hook.
I really love this pattern. It was first mentioned a couple of years ago by Attic 24 in this blog post. Here you can find a link to the pattern which originates from Japan. The pattern books from Japan are so inspirational, they really are. This pattern is such a joy to crochet as it is an easy one to remember, but looks quite delicate and intricate once you have made your first motif.
I would like to make another one but this time for myself, using fine yarn again but maybe with a slight mohair blend.
Not long to go now mom, it will soon be back to you in time for spring!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Cross Stitch Bird PinCushion


This linen is the fabric from a M&S skirt of moms can you believe! I like it because obviously its free and also it has an added rustic texture that you don't get with bought linen made for cross stitch. I'm not sure what the count is but its tiny, maybe 35? It really gives it an antique look which works well with this sampler.
Its the first time I've made anything like this, but its a style that works well with the house and my collection of antique sewing notions. The chart is from With thy Needle & Thread but I didn't do it justice when sewing it together. My printer is broken and I couldn't print off the bird shape template and ended up just guessing.
I will unpick it when printer is working and re-sew.
One thing I do need to work on is finishing off my work properly.
Happy New Year


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