Monday, 24 May 2010

Spot the differences.

When my nephew Perry was a terrible three year old - I lie not - he was so atrocious that we almost persuaded his elder brother to negotiate a deal with a family of girls to swop one for Perry. We were having a pub meal at the time and Toby, one and a half years older, was on his way to do the deal when we stopped him!.

Anyway, Perry then went screaming, his preferred method of communication, to a Day Nursery and when we went to pick him up he was transformed. So much so that we thought we had the wrong child. Since that day, for it was indeed only one day, he has been an absolute angel and is on his way to a first in Mathematics.

For goodness sake - what is the point of all this?

OK - at the Day Nursery they had 'Tinies', 'Teenies' and 'Tweenies' who were the in-betweenies.

Following all this?

Right - well these two little ornaments are my 'Tweenies' because I stitched them in-between the big pre-stitching projects for the Jackie Du Plessis classes.

See - it all came right in the end didn't it?

When I stitched them I had no suitable backing fabric so thought I would vary the pattern a little and join the two stitched pieces together, but then I picked up a length of black cotton for 50p and decided to make two slightly different ornaments. The differences are subtle, (oh alright, obvious) but they are both from freebies I found. Again I'm not sure where which is a shame because I quite like them. The top one is finished with bronze beads and a black and tan ribbon, and the other with black beads. On this one I doubled up a stripey ribbon and attached beads as I sewed it together.

That's all for today - back to worrying about finishing up all my projects before I forget how to do it.

Oh, before I go, a couple of people have asked for the link to the Birds in a Tree freebie.

This is the link

Thank you Carinne.


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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Silver treasures and Cotswold stitching

I have now returned from my much anticipated stitching weekend in the Cotswolds - and - although I haven't a finished project to show - I have to tell you that I LOVED IT.

If ever you have the chance to work with Jackie Du Plessis, I would really, really encourage you to do so. She is the most innovative designer and inspiring teacher. And patient?? Words cannot describe her unfailing good nature and willingness to have us all succeed.
Thank you Jackie.

The projects we pre-stitched were Treasures of Comfort, Briar Rose Etui and Thistlewood. Jackie also brought us a special new project called Queen's Crown. Her web site is so pop over and have a look at what I will hopefully, fineally, end up with.

The three days were very intensive, but I think I did OK. Not as adept as some, but more so than others, so that was fine. I also had the chance to meet many of the ladies from the Sampler Guild( It is strange to see names come up often on e-mails and messages through the Guild and then finally be able to put faces to them.

So...not having anything to show, I thought I would share my latest little treasures - flea market finds and not expensive. I don't do expensive! The top picture shows a small velvet covered pin box with a silver frame and a little pin cushion on top. The long tool is a tiny silver bodkin - cost £2 after being found in the bottom a tin of rubbishy sewing stuff and a silver thimble. The design of the two swans with their necks interlaced didn't show well so I have enlarged it in the bottom picture. Nice eh? Now I am going to look for a Quaker swan design to make into a little keep for the thimble. Ah Jackie - how much I am inspired!!

Thanks for stopping by

Irene xxx
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Birds in a tree.

Yep - that's a pretty original title - I think I'll go for that!

This is the little cushion I stitched as Patti's birthday gift. It was a freebie chart, but I can't remember where from. I will try to find the chart again (that hints at my complete organisational skill doesn't it?) so that I can give credit to the designer.

I used a mixture of threads, mostly HDF but I couldn't find a good enough equivalent for the pink/purple thread so that is DMC. It is stitched 1/1 on a 28 ct fabric. I wanted to try something a little different on this, so couched down a matching narrow ribbon using a herringbone stitch with black thread. It reminds me of the embroidery I did when I was young, but I was not sure if it was a bit over the top as I worked it. However I plodded on and was quite pleased with the final result. I finished the edge with small purple beads.
I have spoken to Patti and I think she was pleased to have it - so that's alright!!

I have also been working doggedly on the projects for the Jackie Du Plessis classes which start of Friday and I AM FINISHED!!! Yay!!

I have enjoyed this stitching, and found parts of it quite challenging, but then once I had worked out how it was meant to be ( nobody has seen it yet, so I hope that proves to be a true statement) it has been a bit repetitive. I hope I can now cope with the finishing and that I don't end of sobbing quietly in a corner! I will let you know!!

Thanks for calling in
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Friday, 7 May 2010

Quaker finish

Patti (Tapestry of Dreams) encouraged me to join the Quaker Quarterly Exchange and you saw the lovely pin cushion Mayte sent me.

Well.... I was very late in completing and sending mine - I have a million excuses as you might expect - but finally I finished it and posted it off to Patti who was my first exchange partner. I spoke to her today and she seemed delighted to have it. Phew!!

Now normally, for a design like this, I would choose a variegated dark blue, or a red, both of which always look reliably great and are sort of traditional, but this time I made myself explore a little further and finally choose a Vikki Clayton's thread called Smoke n Mirrors. I like the delicate finish very much.

The cushion is stitched one over one and bordered with tiny beads which pick up the grey/beige tones of the thread. The fabric is a 28 count evenweave (I think).

Is everyone else able to instantly identify the count and type of fabric they are using from their stash? I do try, but get mixed up with my Zweigarts, Lagunas, evenweaves, hardangers etc etc etc. Its all a bit of a magic mystery to me!!

I also owed Patti a birthday gift which I sent along with the QQE, but I'll show a picture of that in the next few days, just to see what you think.

Like Patti, I am still frantically stitching away at the Jackie Du Plessis projects prior to attending the classes next week.

Next week. Good Grief!!!!

Sorry - have to go,

Love in haste
Irene xxx
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Sunday, 2 May 2010

A bird in (the) hand.

I thought I would share with you this little stitchy gift I made for my stitchy friend Ann whose birthday it was on Wednesday. She loves birds and spends a lot of time at the local and very new and swish RSPB reserve 'Saltholme' here at Hartlepool.

I am not quite sure what this bird is - maybe a collared dove?

This one is wearing a sort of crown head dress which would be unusual on a wild bird to say the least and might even excite local twitchers, but all is fair is love and stitching.

It is called, appropriately 'A Bird in Hand' and is a 'La-D-Da' chart from their Littles collection. I sorted out the DMC threads and then substituted the closest Hand Dyed Fibre colours. The fabric looks like Aida - but isn't - it is an evenweave linen I had in my stash and was a little more straw coloured than this pic would suggest. I know Vikki Clayton has a conversion chart on her web-site, but I like to handle the colours and try them out next to each other.

I have started to 'borrow' my son's camera which gives much clearer close-ups but this was taken late one evening using the flash which tends to drown out the true colours.

Mmmm the date is not quite right either!

Thanks for popping in


Irene xxx

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