I have always been fascinated by the idea of blackwork – particularly the more pictorial versions …
Dodo is from the Royal School of Needlework and Fish from needlenthread.com
but even the samplers appeal to me…
I have done a bit with my machine…
But never anything by hand. So when it was suggested at my embroidery class I was eager to give it a go.
The tricky bit for me is thinking about the path the stitches should follow before starting (I believe the aim is to have the back similar to the front because you don’t want shadows appearing on the front).
My new design
I know the above image doesn’t look like much, but this is going to be my new zip pouch. I measured my phone – because it is important my phone fits in – and then designed it around that measurement.
It will be lined and the front below the zip will have embroidery (although that might have to be done before rather than during the process of making this bag.
It takes a long time to digitise anything – even something as simple as this (it is essentially rectangles and straight lines).
I have this silk I want to use …
But perhaps I need an allover design?
Every friday afternoon Miss P goes to a different primary school than her usual one. This different school is in a suburb a long way from ours – well outside my comfort zone. I don’t know where anything is or even what there is to do. There is no point in coming home after dropping her off, so I have been exploring.
Last week I put ‘fabric stores’ into Google Maps and surprisingly there was one 7 minutes away! Fabulous Fabrics! It was fabulous – so many beautiful fabrics – the beaded ones were amazing.
I bought 2 metres of silk – the pinkish one (called peony) and an ivory one.
I plan to make an embroidered evening bag/clutch thing. I want to use some of the designs from here – I just need to decide if I want an allover design or individual designs.
Two more blocks of the sampler quilt quilted
I have found a bit of renewed enthusiasm for this quilt. So 11 down and 37 more to go…
Journal Cover – Front
Journal Cover – Open
Journal Cover – Inside
This is my first attempt at constructing a book cover in the hoop. There were three hoopings; front, back and then joining them together. It works quite well – I am happy with the size – it could do with a bit of top stitching around the edges (but that would have to happen afterwards and not in the hoop). I have joined the two halves using a wide zig-zag and then hidden that under a grosgrain ribbon. This bit doesn’t work so well, so I am thinking of other options – bias binding or an embroidered strip – plus I think the cover of the zig-zag needs to be a bit wider.
I put a silk dupion to use with my canvas work. I am still thinking about the best way of inserting the canvas work – I don’t want any raw edges showing.
I bought myself a new sewing machine (that’s the photo from the Janome site…). It’s a Janome MC 500e. I had hoop envy – the biggest hoop on my MC 350e was 200mm by 140mm now I have 230mm by 280mm!
I want to explore two things – making an all over embroidered fabric that I can then use to make other things and constructing things in the hoop.
Zip Pouch – Made completely in the hoop
I made the above zip pouch thing, but it had strange construction techniques – I think I have a better way of doing it. And I think the zip needs to be a bit lower, so the top can have crisper corners.
I upgraded my Embird Studio and started digitising again.
Another block is quilted
I am back to trying to finish my sampler quilt. I am trying to spend a bit of time on each of my three main crafts – knitting, canvas work and this.
I discovered today (in the manual) that my sewing maching has a setting for free motion quilting – how good is that? And it worked well.
I have never tried ‘quilt as you go‘ before and I am interested to see how it comes together. It has definitely been easier to pin the quilt sandwich together and to quilt the squares.
I have been thinking about my goals for next year and the big one is to finish my ongoing projects – this quilt was started in May of 2013! The other goal is ‘no more craft supplies!’ – always hard.
Some finished blocks!
I finally found some motivation to get on with my sampler quilt. Both of my girls were really keen to make pencil cases in the holidays and I think a simple sewing project reignited my interest in sewing.
I have decided that I am going to quilt each block independently – quilting as you go – like here. I’m hoping this approach has two advantages; first, it is physically easier to maneuver around my sewing machine and secondly, it will just feel less overwhelming.
Log Cabin block finished
I finished another block – only four more to go. I am not sure what is keeping me going on this project – sheer bloody mindedness? – Because I have had enough! I’m over all of my choices, but I am determined to push on and get it finished. I have such plans for when this is finished. I bought beautiful fabric at the Liberty store and I want to use it.
Log Cabin Quilt Block
This project is holding me back (my Sampler quilt) – I have to make myself work on it. I have finished two of these blocks, so only two more to go and then I have another 4 full sized blocks to make; Pineapple, Pinwheel, Snail Trail and Wedding Ring.
Each full sized block takes about 4 hours to make, so fiddly, and I no longer like my fabric choice. But I feel I should push on because I have already spent so much time on it.