Sunday 25 October 2015

New to Me in October

Welcome to another New to Me monthly Link Party.

This is our chance to celebrate the trying of new activities, whether we are successful or not!

My New to Me this month has been over two years in the making! It was just over two years ago that I visited an exhibition of needlework at a local church, where I discovered that the exhibits were all projects completed by participants in a weekly embroidery class. You will, no doubt, not be surprised to know that I put my name down on the waiting list for the class. After a few months without any response I naturally forget all about the list and the classes, so you can imagine my surprise earlier this month when I received a call to tell me that I was now top of the list and a place had just come vacant!

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with information, mostly from me along the lines of "what exactly did I put my name down for again?" I set off for my first class a couple of weeks ago.

The other members of the class are all working on the most amazing projects, but like all of them before I have started with this stitch sampler. The stem stitch and french knots above were not New to Me, but fly stitch was a new stitch in my repertoire. Since then I have also added bullion knots to the repertoire, although they definitely need a bit more practice :)

Embroidery featured in my other New to Me this month, in my Christmas Ornament Card.

 Not only did I get a chance to practice that fly stitch for the bird tracks and my french knot for the robin, but I also used Lutradur for the first time as the base fabric for the machine embroidery.

So that's my New to Me's for this month, now it is your turn to link up and share your successes or failures as we celebrate the trying of something new.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on October 31st, so you have some time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

If your New to Me involves a Christmas or Holiday project then don't forget to link up to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party too, you could just win 3F8ths of these gorgeous Liberty fabrics courtesy of Sarah at Duck Egg Threads for your efforts :)

You will find the Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link Party this month at Sandra Sews
and Ella and Nesta's Little Room

Looking forward to seeing what you have been up to this month!

Sunday 18 October 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew - first card!

Welcome to another month of the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, only two more Link Parties to go before December 25th- just saying!!!

So, if you haven't already started your Christmas and Holiday crafting then now would definitely be a good time to start. As ever we have more great tutorials to provide you with inspiration. This month we have not one but two guest hosts, the Novelty Pouch Factory aka Sandra, who blogs at Sandra Sews :) and the Italian family team of Nesta and Ella, who blog at Ella and Nesta's Little Room so double the inspiration :)

If you need a bit more than inspiration to kickstart your crafting then, of course, there is another wonderful giveaway to tempt you too.

Last month's giveaway of a Skinny Dips bundle from Plush Addict was won by Pam, who blogs at Threading My Way.  This month we have a treat in store for fans of Liberty Fabric.

The giveaway prize for one lucky linker is 3xF8th's of these gorgeous Liberty fabrics, donated by the lovely Sarah of Duck Egg Threads
(Link up now closed, next link up  18th monthly)
If you haven't come across Sarah's fabulous online store before, you are in for a real treat. From the beautifully photographed fabrics to the well-curated range of sewing notions, it is a joy to shop in.

My Christmas crafting this month was the result of a flick through my recently arrived copy of Stitch, the magazine for the Embroiderer's Guild.

 A set of textile art kits from Angie Attwood Textiles caught my eye and a couple of clicks later were winging their way towards me. Isn't online shopping wonderful :) ???

The Winter Wonderland kits were for Freehand Machine Embroidered ornaments, which could also be attached to the front of a card blank. Every January I think that this year I will make my own Christmas cards, for immediate family at least, and every December I decide that I have run out of time. This year might however be the exception to the rule.

 I give you in evidence my first Machine Embroidered Christmas card!

The trees are Freehand Machine Embroidered on Lutradur, which I had never used before. It looks like medium-weight interfacing with a slight sparkle but was sturdy enough to be fed through the machine without the need for a hoop. The heavier snow effect at the bottom of the hoop is from two pieces of Lutradur bonded together with double-sided fusible interfacing. The bird's feet marks in the snow and the robin in the tree were hand-embroidered and the whole circle was attached to a felt backing with a blanket stitch binding.

It was a really straightforward make and would be a good introduction to Freehand Machine Embroidery if you have never tried it before. With the addition of some appropriate lettering on the front I think it will be good to go.

I really enjoyed making this, so maybe my sewing mojo is on its' way back from that extended holiday! Here's hoping  :)

There are three kits in the package so more opportunity to practice that FME before those last posting dates become an issue!

If you have made any Christmas or Holiday gifts or Home Decorations this month head on over to Sandra Sews :) or Ella and Nesta's Little Room  to link them up and you might be the lucky winner of that bundle of gorgeous Liberty fabric, you know it would be a great addition to your stash :)
The Link Party will remain open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to get crafting!

As ever, these lovely sponsors deserve a big thank you for their generous support of the link party.

Crafty Trimmings

Logo Sew Hot

Plush Addict Logo

Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop

Linking up to

Sew the Library at Weekend Doings

Thursday 15 October 2015

A touch of French style

Life here has taken on a very French focus recently.

First up we spent a couple of weeks indulging our love of French food and wine in the glorious SW of France.

Baked cheese with honey and Parma Ham for starters anyone?

Or, if dessert is more your thing, how about not one but three variations on a theme?

Rosemary, Sage and Thyme Creme Brulees that were every bit as delicious as they sound!

Of course, surroundings like these just add to that whole French ambiance.

There was a completely different ambiance in my next French foray, to the Style is Eternal exhibition celebrating the genius of Yves St Laurent at the Bowes Museum 

It was wonderful to see up close beautiful (and completely beyond my budget!) outfits such as 

this stunning patchwork evening dress

 or this amazing beaded dress. I am not sure how practical this one is but I love it all the same :)

Of course it wouldn't be a YSL retrospective without an example of that most iconic of YSL creations - the tuxedo!

The exhibition is apparently the first ever of YSL's work in the UK, and it is on for another week or so, so if you find yourself in the North East with some time to spare I would definitely recommend a visit. 

My final dose of French style was much less rarefied than the hallowed environs of high fashion. Here's a clue.

We travelled to Cardiff for the Ireland v France match in the Rugby World Cup. Whilst the males in the family watched from the wonderful arena of the Millennium Stadium, the females enjoyed the game in the more genteel environs of a Sparkling Afternoon Tea at St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay. 

En-route to the hotel we came across this example of French style that perhaps prove there is an exception to every rule :)

 Still at least he wasn't wearing an inflated rubber glove on his head as a coxcomb like one fan we came across!

Thanks to the result on Sunday, I get to visit Cardiff again next week and sample some Argentinian style next :)

Linking up to
Really Random

Tuesday 13 October 2015

The missing mojo

I am not quite sure where my sewing mojo has disappeared to recently, but it definitely hasn't been in this neck of the woods for a while!

My poor sewing machine hasn't had so much dust gathering on it since it was sitting in a store room waiting to be picked off the shelf :(

Whilst the sewing machine has been sitting idle, there has been a (little!) bit of hand stitching going on.

On our cruise last year, we spent a day in Bar Harbor in Maine, and naturally I checked out the local quilting shop, Fabricate.

 Needless to say I did not leave empty-handed!

One of the things I bought was a kit for an embroidered sampler quilt based on the wonderful lighthouses to be found in that part of the world. It seemed like a very appropriate souvenir to bring back from a cruise.

The block above is the first of the nine embroidery blocks to be completed. Hopefully, the remainder will not be as slow in the making.

The other hand-stitching project is also a sampler quilt block, from the quilt class that I have been attending for the past year and a bit.  So, this is not the fastest project on the planet either! In my defence with this block, this is my second attempt at the stained glass window applique.

There were raw edges still visible in places in the first attempt at this block, which the more I looked at them the more apparent they became. So I eventually bit the bullet and started the block all over again. It is definitely better this time, although still not perfect. Hopefully any problems will be overcome when it is quilted :)

This is the final block of the sampler, so when I eventually come across that missing mojo, I might even manage to start quilting them.

If you find that missing mojo, you know where to send it!

Linking up to

Quilter in the Closet

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