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?
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.
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.
Hour Glass Block
This project has been languishing – it is fiddly and I no longer like the fabrics I have selected, but I am determined to get it finished. I have been working on it for so long (I started in January last year) and I still have a long way to go. It has got to the point where I am trying to do a little bit every day.
Courthouse Steps Block
I finished the four blocks that make one courthouse steps block. As I want this quilt finished, I’m trying to do a little often.
Images from ‘Royal School of Needlework – Embroidery Techniques’
I really like textiles and embroidery. I like the look of embroidery and the stories behind the creation of embroidery, but I am too lazy/impatient to do hand embroidery. I do like machine embroidery – both free motion and the digitised version – what I would really like to do is create embroidery that looks like it has been done by hand using my embroidery machine. To this end, I have been trying to improve my digitising. I made this blackwork sampler and now I am trying to learn silk shading. I am discovering a few tips and tricks with my software (which is Embird) and like anything I just need to practise.
Finished Bachelor’s Puzzle
This is my second attempt at this block. In the previous version the finished block was too small – I forgot about seam allowances when I digitised the block!
Two blocks down ten to go.
I have done a practice stitch out of my sampler.
Here is the finished version …
My sewing machine had a bit of a moment at one point – the bobbin and top threads got all tangled, there was a horrible noise and it ground to a halt, however, I am happy with the final results. I think more stabilisation and a nicer fabric and it will be fine.
We have been away at Rottnest. Miss P went on camp and we decided to go too. It is such a relaxing place to go – no cars, nothing to do but read books and knit. I’ve made progress on Miss P’s cardigan (the yarn is Jo Sharp Desert Aran Cotton).
Sunrise over the salt lake
Sunset from our cottage
On the way to the look out
Salt Lake – a different one
Progress on Miss P’s Cardigan
Blackwork Sampler in Progress
I like grids, lines and crosses and I have always loved the look of Blackwork – I love how something so simple can be effective.
I have been inspired by this book to make my own blackwork sampler (using machine embroidery). I didn’t want to copy that one exactly, so I have used different fills. There are a number of blackwork resources on the web (simply search for blackwork embroidery). I found this one, which lead me to this page on 16th Century fill in patterns.
This is still quite experimental – I think it might end up being too small and the jump threads might test my sanity.
I’m using the Cross Stitch module of Embird, which is super easy to use and it comes with some built in blackwork fills (but I have decided to make my own).
I am wondering what kind of stabiliser I need? There are a lot of stitches and I suspect I need a sturdy stabiliser to stop it puckering.