Sunday, 19 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2013

It's that time again, time to share in the amazing Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Everyone who follows my blog will know which quilt I'll be sharing, they have shared its creation with me every step of the way! So, to new readers, I present, David and Jessica's Wedding Quilt:
They were decorating the marquee ready for their wedding breakfast when I gave the quilt to them and they were (thank goodness) absolutely thrilled.  I had thought about getting the hotel where they spent their wedding night to make up their bed with it but decided that, as they would have eyes only for each other, they might not notice it!
The various elements of the quilt design are related to David and Jessica and to episodes in their relationship.  I included the block "Florida Star" because they got engaged in Florida for example.  You can read more about the stages of design and creation by searching "David and Jessica's Wedding" on my blog.  I asked them whether they'd like me to make them a quilt and checked out their colour preferences but other than that they had no idea what to expect.  It was such a delight to make this quilt, thinking of them while I was stitching and putting "love into every stitch".  It wasn't all plain sailing as you'll discover if you read some of the posts about it but it all came out well in the end.  I even got it finished with time to spare, which I didn't think I would at one stage.
I did a lot more hand stitching on the Wedding Quilt than I expected to, finding it was a much better way to be in touch with the work and with my DS and DDiL, and I think I will continue in that way in future projects (but not that I'm abandoning the machine all together).
I hope you've enjoyed seeing this very special quilt and that you have time to look at lots of the other wonderful entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I haven't entered for a couple of years but Amy's online festival was the reason I began this blog and I wouldn't be without it and my wonderful blogging friends and followers now, thanks Amy.
I'll end with a picture of the happy couple on their wedding day, 6th April 2013:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Stitches and Staples

Julie at Mixed Media sent me this wonderful photograph of Fuji san.  I am thinking about how I can represent it in my current project, maybe with a few crystals.  Watch this space.

I went back to the hospital on Monday and had my bandages removed from my foot.  I was wondering how my surgeon's stitching would compare with my own but he used staples, fourteen of them.  The results looks good though.  I now have a pink plaster on for a further four weeks.  I hope I shall get a lot of stitching done in that time.  It has been more difficult than I expected to concentrate following my operation.  On more than one occasion I stitched my Mount Fuji to my skirt and I have done quite a lot of unpicking when I've looked at my stitching and thought, "Did I really do that?"  DH is going to layer my boro cloth for me today so I'll be able to work on that as well.  I also have two Global Piecers birthday blocks to make.  They are going to be hand stitched which I shall enjoy but it will take a lot more time than chain piecing!
Weather update:  winter is back!  We have had a fire for the past three days and last night we seemed to be caught in a wild and wet storm for many hours.  The garden looks very battered this morning.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Progress on Fuji-san

I've made some progress on stitching into the eco-dyed silk which I created with leaves etc found at the foot of Mount Fuji.  I am keeping the stitches limited, mainly straight and back stitch.
Meanwhile the second type of bargain tulip has come into flower as the first ones are dying down.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Post-Operative Stitches

I have a couple of finishes to share today.  My toe operation was put back by a day and so I had a free day to sew on Tuesday.  I finished my Malta cloth and a little bracelet bag (a kit from EuroJapan Links).
The Malta cloth, "Going Up, Coming Down",  has been a long project.  It started with cloth weaving when I did an online workshop with Jude Hill.  Over two trips to Malta I have added the embellishments, using up cycled fabrics, buttons and embroidery and lace, ribbon and thread bought on the island.  It is finally finished and I am finally happy with it.  I find it difficult to know when a piece like this is finished.  Posts about the project is progress can be found herehere, and here.  I used the piece of eco-dyeing that I did in Malta as the backing and bordered it with a batik to represent the island being in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  I couched a bright cord within the border to represent the many festas and the big carnival that takes place on Malta.
This little bag was quick and straightforward to make.  I bought it as a kit but I think I will be using the pattern again and again.  It's a good size for a little portable project carrier and could easily be made larger to use as a toiletries bag for example.  I didn't quilt the bag but with a plain fabric I think quilting or sashiko would be very effective.
The bracelet bag is photographed against the piece I have been working on this morning.  As well as preparing the boro cloth to stitch during my convalescence I have this lovely piece of dyed cloth to stitch into.  It is a piece of kimono silk that I eco-dyed with Nat in Fujino, using moss, leaves and bark that I collected when we visited a shrine in the foothills of Mount Fuji.
So far I have simply back stitched the outline of the mountain in various places on the cloth using silk threads.  The bottom collection of peaks are stitched in a lovely thread that Carin sent me, it is a very fine perle thread and the green is perfect with the dyed fabric.  The paler threads at the top are YLI and Daruma silks.  I shall also be using some heavier threads that Blandina gave me when we were in Fujino so this is going to be another piece that is full of memories.  I think about those people and places as I stitch.
Not that stitching is that easy.  I thought I would have lovely long days of sitting with my foot up and sewing away to my heart's content.  At the moment I am finding it very hard to concentrate for very long and need to have frequent rests.  I'm sure this will improve, especially when I can manage with fewer painkillers, they make me even more ga-ga than usual!!  Wishing you a wonderful weekend, especially if you're in UK and have three days :-)