Sunday, 9 September 2018

Picking a pocket or two!

A few weeks ago we celebrated National Stitch Day here in the UK. Naturally, my local branch of the Embroiderers Guild had to be involved!

It will be the Branch's 20th Anniversary this year so they are celebrating with an Afternoon Tea Party later this month. They decided to keep with the Afternoon Tea theme and host an Open Day for the National Stitch Day celebrations with the projects all being Afternoon Tea related.

First up though we were asked to create lengths of bunting to hang around the town to advertise the Open Day.

We were given a template for the triangle bunting that you can see in the background, but I decided to come up with something a little bit different as you can see!

I unpicked the pockets from several old shirts, then appliqued letters spelling out Big Stitch and the name of the hall onto the shirt pockets. Some of the letters were machine blanket stitched and some hand stitched to reflect both of the interests of the EG members.

They looked quite effective flapping in the breeze :)

Inside the hall members were busy stitching up and embroidering chocolates, cupcakes and doughnut pincushions. The doughnut pincushion above is made from a tea-dyed white sock with the toe cut off and then rolled around some toy stuffing. The end is stitched down and then a scrap of white felt is stitched over the join. I chose to embellish my doughnut with lots of brown seed beads to resemble chocolate sprinkles as you can see :)

As I was manning the door this was the only project that I had time to make!

It is also the closest that I will get to a doughnut as I really don't like them. Childhood memories of seeing doughnuts sizzling in large pans of oil on a weekend trip to Blackpool have scarred me for life as far as eating them is concerned. Isn't it funny how some experiences can have such a long lasting effect? Fortunately I have never come across anything in the chocolate making process that has had a similar effect upon me :)

What about you? Are you a doughnut fan or not?

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Getting Shirty!

Welcome to this month's New to Me link party, your chance to share the highs and lows of a new experience.



This month my New to Me's are all gorgeous grandson related :)

I have been wanting to try my hand at making a shirt for the gorgeous grandson for a while but hadn't come across a pattern that I liked (and that looked doable for my limited dressmaking skills!). Recently, though, I came across the website YouCanMakeThis which sounded pretty encouraging, and found this shirt pattern by Pox Couture which seemed to fit the bill. One download later and I was all set.

I had some sale fabric in my stash that was perfect for my first attempt at a shirt, so set to work.

There were a couple of moments where I was a bit confused by the instructions but I suspect that a seasoned dressmaker would have had no problems. I was feeling very proud of myself -  until I was sewing on the last button....... when I realised that I had managed to put the buttons and buttonholes on the "wrong" side!



Still, it is at least recognisably a shirt :)

Spurred on by this success I pulled out more sale fabric to create a second holiday shirt for the boy. Second time around all of the confusion felt in the first attempt was gone and it was a really straightforward process.



Until I got to the buttons and buttonholes!

For some reason the automatic buttonhole function on my sewing machine refused to co-operate on one of the buttonholes. Every time I tried it on a spare piece of fabric it was perfect and then it stopped in the middle of the process every single time on the actual shirt! The only thing that I could think of was that the pocket was somehow stopping the foot from moving properly to create the stitch, but even when I turned it around it wasn't any better. The solution in the end was to turn the shirt inside out and work the buttonhole from the back instead of the front. Not ideal I know but by this time I was ready to throw the machine and the shirt in the pool!! I didn't get a chance to take a photo of the finished shirt but I am sure that you get the picture :)

Of course, during all that angst what I had also failed to notice was that despite checking several times I yet again managed to place the button and buttonholes on the "wrong" side again !!!!!!



Fortunately, my other New to Me for this month was a happier experience :)



I am listed in a catalogue for the first time!



The organisers of the Embroiderers Guild Page 17 exhibition decided to create a catalogue for the exhibition as a lasting reminder of the range and style of the exhibits, so I was asked if I wanted to include the details of my piece in the catalogue (Yes!!) and to purchase a copy (Yes again!!). It arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago so I have something to show our son and daughter-in-law when they wonder when they are ever going to see the embroidery based on Hairy MacLary that has been promised for several months now for the grandson's wall!

So those are my New to Me's now it is over to you to link up and share your experiences good or bad (!) when trying our anything new this month. As ever the link up will remain open until the end of the month so there is still time to try out that new technique and let your fellow bloggers know how it went. As always too check out the linkers and give them some plaudits for moving out of their comfort zone even if it wasn't entirely successful! 








Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Spiralling through time

It is time for the next reveal for the Endeavourers and this time the theme is "Spirals",  yet again this has been both inspiring and challenging.
My initial thoughts on the theme were mostly nature related and Mother Nature definitely loves a spiral :)



I struggled to think of a way to interpret these amazing ferns in a quilt form, so started to cast around for another form of spiral to use as inspiration.



As you might have guessed from my blog name I have always had a love of Celtic Art forms and when I realised that the spiral was an important element in Celtic Design, I knew that I had my inspiration!



We recently visited Islay, an island off the West Coast of Scotland, renowned for both its whisky and as the home of one of the finest, if not the finest, surviving Celtic Cross in Europe.





Kildalton Cross, above, was probably carved in the second half of the 8th Century A.D. It is pretty amazing to be able to stand in front of and touch something that has been around for so long! Celtic spirals, though, predate this Celtic Cross by several centuries.



The spiral imagery used by this whisky distillery not far from the Kildalton Cross first began to develop in the later part of the 5th Century B.C. Who would have thought that it would still be in use so many hundreds of years later to sell whisky??



I knew that I wanted to combine these two aspects of Celtic imagery for this challenge (not the whisky although it was delicious!) but couldn't quite pin down what to do with them.





 Then I came across a project in this book and it all became clear!





I have called this quilt "Echoes of times past" and if you want to find out how it was constructed head on over to the Endeavourers blog to read all about it and to see how my fellow Endeavourers have met this challenge.


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