Tuesday 28 February 2017

A Boutis-liscious finish for TGIFF

Welcome to this week's TGIFF link party.

 ( I know my days and dates are all out of whack this week so apologies for posting this too early!)

I have finished my first ever Boutis project, it is definitely small but I am nonetheless thrilled with how it turned out! The project is part of a larger undertaking by my EG branch, where we were all invited to take a small piece of board and sign up to make a piece for the the board using a particular stitch technique. I chose to try my hand at Boutis, as I had been wanting to give it a go for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I traced a Celtic Knot pattern on my Batiste fabric and basted the traced fabric to a square of white cotton then placed them in the hoop.

Using DMC Coton a Broder 20 I backstitched over the traced lines.

The work is then turned over in the hoop so that the back of the stitching is uppermost. My book tells me then to stuff between the stitched lines with cotton yarn, and recommends threading the stuffing needle with cotton thread and using it to "lasso" the cotton yarn to pull it through between the stitching and layers of fabric. Well, I just couldn't get that to work for me at all, so I just threaded the stuffing needle with the cotton yarn and pulled it through on its own, and it worked just fine. You can see the ends of the yarn in the photo above. Thank goodness for my Karen Kay Buckley Scissors, they made short work of snipping off those ends :)

When the stuffing and snipping was complete this is what I ended up with.

The fabric didn't completely hide the board backing so I backed it with a small piece of white wadding and then pinned it to the board, before lacing the back.

I blanket stitched a piece of white felt to cover the back and it is now ready to join the other stitched pieces. The plan is ( I think) to join them together in some manner to make a wall hanging for the upcoming exhibition, but for now I am just relieved to have successfully completed my first ever piece of Boutis work :)

Now it is your turn to show off your finishes. Check out some of the other linkers too and share the joy of that heady finished feeling :)

Don't forget to add the blog button to your post or sidebar so that your readers can join in the fun too!

If you would like to host a TGIFF link party there are still some spaces left in the schedule. Head over here to sign up!

Saturday 25 February 2017

It's all New to Me!

Welcome to February's New to Me Link Party.

If you have been spending your time avoiding storms, floods or snowdrifts or whatever passes for bad weather in your neck of the woods, perhaps you have also had an opportunity to try something new to keep yourself occupied whilst the weather does its worst. If so, you are in the right place! The monthly New to Me link party is where we celebrate together the successes and failures of trying something for the first time. We all know that sometimes things don't quite go to plan and that practise really does make perfect, but we are here to commiserate when that first attempt doesn't turn out quite how you imagined it would and to celebrate on that rare occasion when it does!

My first New to Me this month has a bit of both sides of the coin in it.

I wanted to make some more dribble bibs for the gorgeous grandson so checked out Plush Addict's guide to the best fabrics to use and ordered some Plush fabric to back them with. Got to look after that little chin :)

I also wanted to practise my curves on the serger (aka The Beast!) and thought that a bib would be the ideal place to start.

Well as you can see I successfully negotiated the curve! Cutting out the Plush fabric wasn't quite as easy as I had thought that it would be, so the back of the bib ended up a little bit bigger than the front, hence the lack of topstitching across the top and the rolled edge of Plush fabric. It is probably better for the baby soft chin that it will be next to, so it doesn't matter for this project but it might make a difference in another project so more practise needed on the cutting I think!

Looks nice and soft though doesn't it? It feels it too.

I have also been making some progress on my Boutis project, one of my 100 Day Challenge projects and the only one that involves a New to Me technique.

It doesn't look too neat here, but this is the back of the embroidery, the tufts you can see are the ends of the stuffing. I am enjoying having a go at the technique, but I cannot see a quilt of it anytime in my future :)

The third New to Me is something that I have known my sewing machine was capable of since I bought it over a year ago, but have only just got around to trying out. Again, I used a new bib for the boy as my practise piece!

This bib has a linen denim-look fabric for the front and a checked flannel for the back. The front looked a bit plain so I decided to liven it up a bit by machine embroidering the gorgeous grandson's name on the front. It took a few reads of the manual before I worked out how to set it up, but it was really straightforward once I worked that bit out. I can see lots of monogrammed items in that young boy's future :)

My final New to Me is a new place, Portencross Castle, which was built on land given to the Boyd family by Robert the Bruce in thanks for their help at the Battle of Bannockburn.

The castle which has had a long and varied history as you might expect, is reputed to have been a resting place for the ancient Kings of Scotland on their way to their last resting place on the island of Iona. It is also said to guard the wreckage of a galleon from the Spanish Armada fleeing Elizabeth 1's fleet.

It was a much more peaceful place on the day that we visited.

So, that is my New to Me's for this month, now it is your turn to show and tell. As ever, the link party will remain open until 23.50 GMT on February 28th so there is still (some) time to try something new. Check out the other links to encourage and/or commiserate with our fellow bloggers who have moved out of their comfort zone. Grab the button from the sidebar and spread the word too.

Friday 24 February 2017

A seven day week

We were sending a parcel of goodies to the gorgeous grandson, so I decided to make some more dribble bids for the little chap.

Armed with the information from Plush Addict's guide to the Best fabrics for Dribble bibs and some fabric bought especially for this purpose, I set to work.

First up this stag quilting cotton bib

with an appropriately checked flannel backing.

Then an alphabet quilting cotton front

with a Plush fabric backing. By now I was on a mission to explore lots of different fabric combinations! So next up was

a quilting cotton front

with a knit fabric backing.

Then a flannel front

with a waffle cotton backing.

A couple of duplicate combinations later and I had six bibs to send off.

When I showed them to my husband he wondered why there weren't seven bibs, one for each day of the week. So, of course I went back to the sewing machine to produce

More quilting cotton

with a waffle cotton back. The waffle cotton in this case came from a discarded dressing gown, so this was a thrifty version too!

So, these are all currently winging their way south, to help mop up the dribble from a certain chatty little chap! I shall let you know if any combination is better than the others at that job.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts,

TGIFF  Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday 10 February 2017

Rescued from Ruin

I am pleased to say that stitching the over zealously trimmed tapestry to a larger piece of canvas worked!

I found some lovely heather-toned wool in my stash and used it to make another brooch

but I like this one so much, I might just keep it for myself!

So, here is the full collection. Can you tell that I really enjoy making these :)

I raided my charm and bead boxes too, and made a couple more Kilt Pin brooches for the sale table too. 

I am hoping the stork scissors charm from Nicole de Bruin on this Pin will appeal to embroiderers at the sale,

and maybe the sewing machine charm on this pin will catch the eye of a quilter!

Discovering a length of tartan ribbon in my stash was the excuse for this Celtic Kilt Pin.

I won't find out until after the event whether the brooches and pins sell, as the sale is on at the same time as a Six Nations international rugby match at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, and as regular readers will have guessed that is where I will be! Scotland will be playing against Italy so there will be lots of these around

and maybe some gladiators too. I shall try to take a photo for the blog if there are :)

Linking up to

Crazy Mom Quilts   

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Checking In

It is time to make the first check in for the 100 Day Challenge

My three projects for the challenge were to

  1. Master the shiny new serger sitting in my sewing room
  2. Try out the New to Me technique of Boutis
  3. Finish the long overdue Craftsy BOM quilt top

So, have I made any progress?

Well, a little

 I have managed to thread the beast and changed the blade width to resolve a tension problem, so it is not looking quite as scary as before. Next up, finding out how to navigate corners with those lethal blades around!

Rather than use a pattern from  The Art of Boutis I have decided to use a Celtic Knot pattern, which I think will lend itself to the technique. As you can see the pattern is traced and ready to be stitched. I was originally going to use ordinary stranded cotton for the quilt stitching but have ordered the DMC Coton a Broder recommended in The Art of Boutis instead, so once it arrives in the next day or so I can get cracking on that.

I have made absolutely no progress on the Craftsy BOM, which probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone !

Hopefully at the next check-in 60 days in I will have lots of progress to report.

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