Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Needlework Tuesday - The Stitches are Flying

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

Last week I had a mini contest for all readers who left a comment.  There were three commenters, and I have decided that they are all winners.  I'll be mailing each of you a lovely printed quilty postcard.  Congratulations to Linda, Sherrie and Elly.

I spent time working on my 'snowball and nine patch' quilt.  The back is now ready to go, and I have the batting.  What I need, is inspiration for the actual quilting.  I will continue to muse on that.  In the mean time, I have been working on the Block of the Month for my local guild.  I don't know where they acquired the pattern, nor do I know the designer.  Will let you know should I find out.

 I'm a month ahead.  The pattern for the little sailboat will be in next month's newsletter, but I need to finish the quilt this month.  I bought the fabric in a bundle from Sew Sisters, and they are having a contest for the subscribers to their 'Fabric lovers' bundle of the month. 

I have to tell you a bit about my local guild.  They are a very conservative lot.  When the guild started 10 years ago, they did a Block of the Month.  I chose some lovely orange fabrics.  Each month we brought our blocks and displayed them.  I was standing behind some ladies, and they were talking about my block, to paraphrase them "She did a lovely job of the sewing, but a shame that she used that orange fabric".  I was shocked.  What's wrong with orange.  My thought about their blocks was "a shame they used those boring florals".  To this day, I rarely use florals and try and include orange in every quilt.  The more orange the better.

Last evening I sewed my blocks together and pinned it on the wall.  Even I had to admit that perhaps I got a little carried away.  It was just to darn busy.

I thought about it overnight and decided sashing would be required even though the pattern didn't call for it.  I had to use a variety of widths to keep the balance.  Three blocks in the top half and four in the bottom.  Much calmer now.  The house stands out more.  The sailboat in the bottom right is a bit hard to see through my lap shade.  Still needs two borders and then I am on to some fun quilting.
Last Friday was a quite day at home.  I really didn't intend to start a new project, it just sort of happened.  I though perhaps I would just cut the strips and put them aside till next week or so.  These are fabrics that my mom challenged me to use together.  She made a runner for my sister and sent me the rest.  Okay, I am game for a challenge.  In return I challenged her to make the mystery pattern from our online guild.  She made me a lovely table runner.  I said I would make the same for her from these fabrics.
Once I had the strips cut, I figured it wouldn't take long to sew the 2 1/2 inch strips together.  Sewn and pressed, they looked good.  I still had a bit of time before daughter came home, time to sew the double strip on top of the wider strip.  

Needless to say, I just couldn't maintain myself, I had to keep sewing.  Before I knew it, I had finished sewing the strips and had cut it into blocks.  Daughter came home and saw the blocks and asked what it would make.  I really did intend to make the table runner for mom, honest.  Then I recalled that mom doesn't have a coffee table.  I should make her a square table mat.  By the end of the evening, I had finished the middle of the top and was auditioning fabrics for the borders.  The completed top is sitting waiting for me to show it to mom.  I can't show you first, you'll have to wait until I show it to her.  You're gonna love how this table runner transformed into ....

Somewhere in the midst of all this sewing my fingers were getting itchy for a knitting project.  First I had to finish casting off this cowl that my niece knit.  It is from a pattern: Birds Nest Smoke Ring by Shui Kuen Kozinski .

I am using a much darker yarn.  The yarn is Peruvian Baby Silk  (20% baby alpaca and 20% silk) from Elann.com.  It uses four balls of yarn and you change to a large size needle two times.  This is my first project using a provisional cast on.  Notice the white/black wool at the bottom of the photo.  IN this photo I have completed more than one repeat of the pattern . Need to do a total of four repeats plus twenty rows. (almost five repeats).  I hadn't thought I would get so much completed, but each time I picked it up, I didn't want to stitch just one row.

What have you been stitching this week?  Did you get carried away by any of your projects?


Linda said...

Great post.
I am working on three things right now...handquilting an applique quilt, machine quilting a string quilt and working on Block #23 of the B. Walker Learn to Knit afghan. I just go from one to the other in hopes of making progress.

Cheryl (Grandma Coco) said...

I really like your oranges. Bright is better, I always think. Love the knitting lace stitch, too. I've been knitting and I have got a little bit carried away with one project as well. It feels good to finish though. Now, I just have to start more socks.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Loving those fabrics.

AJ Godinho said...

Wow, these are cool. Nicely done! :)

Deanna said...

What a lovely sewing day! And, keep using orange. Someday, when I get enough fabrics together, I am making an orange quilt myself.