30 May, 2008

first stitches...

It's a glorious afternoon here, after a very dark and rainy day.
What a better thing to do while it's raining cats and dogs than to start a new project?
Here's the start of the Ann Grimshaw sampler:

It doesn't look like much now, but hopefully it'll look like a sampler soon.
I would like to mark my progress on my blog, and have seen several on the blogs that I read: does anyone know how to do that? and if so, would you please tell me how?

Materials used:

S & S Linen - 14 count per cm/35 count per inch
DMC # 3010
golden #28 needles

28 May, 2008


Finally, the red and white log cabin quilt has been sandwiched today!
Another plus is that the floor is clean too..

My knees and back are a mess from crawling around the floor, but that's a small sacrifice for a good cause.
In the photo you can see it's partially rolled up - that's because for the first time I'll be quilting by machine. Since I've never done that before, I'm going to make a practice block and play with that until I get the hang of it. Then, if all goes well, I"ll try it with the real thing.

To be honest I'd prefer to hand quilt, but I wanted to use 100% cotton batting, and wash the quilt after it is finished to get that "old and worn" look, and this batting seems to be very difficult to quilt by hand. That plus the logs are only 1 cm wide, makes for too many seems to have to go through by hand.
So even though quilting by machine goes against my nature, it'll be interesting to try and learn something new.
Had it been for a bed, I would've wanted to hand quilted it, and changed some options to make that happen.

In either case, with a great sigh of relief, this less favorite phase of making quilts is done, and now it's time to relax, enjoy the sunshine and work on my cross stitch sampler with a cup of tea...

27 May, 2008

personal DNA?

while sipping the last of my tea before going off to bed...

not feeling very animated nor creative - perhaps I should do this in the morning...mmm?

good night!

21 May, 2008

just in....

Just landed in my mailbox -  three Ackworth Quaker Samplers!
Which ones?
Rebecca Blake (1809)
Ann Trump (1797)
The Companion Beatrix Potter's Sampler

I'm really excited and wanted to drop everything and start stitching right away (I'm sure you've had that urge) but first things first: decide what linen to use and if I want to go for silk or DMC threads.  I've never used silks before, so it would be cool to try the Au Ver a Soie silks!

Actually, the Ann Grisham sampler is first in line, since I was planning together with a friend of mine to do it together, but after seeing the Rebecca Blake and Ann Trump Samplers, I'm thinking it would be fun to work with colors as well, even though it's easy and convenient to work with only one color. Sure, call me lazy!  :-)

Will have to think about that for a bit, and will get back to you on what I decide!

Doing a snoopy dance,

Edit: Jennifer asked me where I purchased these patterns. These were bought at Kunst en Vliegwerk an online shop that specializes in classic samplers and is based in The Netherlands. Lonneke delivers great service and advice, and I love our chats!

20 May, 2008

Ann or Hannah?

The red and white sampler isn't done yet, and the idea was to just work on that one to get it done, but...the fingers are itching to start a new project!  The Ann Grimshaw  (1803) and Hannah Sauders (1818) are two samplers I picked up late last year together with a friend with the thought of kitting them up and working on the when my large red and white sampler was complete, but since I'm making good headway on it, and my stitching buddy is also ready for a new project to do together, it seems like a good time to begin something else.  Just for a change, you understand....lol!

What I'd really like to work on is the Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler, but that one is no longer available and after several inquiries, the prospect seems bleak that I'll find a pattern.  A shame really, the original thread color would look great in my home.  
If any one knows how and where I could find one, please let me know!

Back to the samplers I do have - in a few days I should have not only two new patterns from the Ackworth School collection  ( Ann Trump and Rebecca Blake) but some samples of new linen to choose from.  I may just try working on 16 ct. linen instead of my comfortable 14 ct. Belfast linen from Zweigart and see how that feels.   As far as threads go?  Well although I read a lot about the different threads available, but I must admit I have no experience with anything else other than DMC.  I'm considering trying Au Ver a Soie for my new project.  Black?  Perhaps an off-black or slate color?

Who knows?  I just may want to start on Ann Trump and Rebecca!  Stay tuned!

18 May, 2008

rip, rip, rip

Well, the top of my red and white log cabin is finally done, and where normally I'd be sandwiching and preparing to quilt, I'm obliged to go through the tedious step of ripping the Vlieseline off the back of the top.

Although the stuff has it's purposes and can be very useful in quilt making, I don't think I'll be using it again any time soon! To be fair, it made sewing the log cabin blocks easy, but the logs are 1 cm thick, and the blocks 15 cm, so it's a lot of bits to tear off. It seemed like a good idea at the time as I wanted to blocks to be tight and exact for the design, and the regular Vlieseline (that you can leave on) is blue, which showed through the cream fabric, so I couldn't use it for this project.

So today I've been ripping away, encouraged by the diminishing number of blocks left, and eager to get this baby sandwiched and ready to quilt. It's not all that bad: the extra step has given me some time to still consider how I will quilt this quilt. Will I stitch in the ditch by hand or stitch through the blocks with my machine? Yesterday I did buy Hobbs 100% cotton batting with the latter in mind, but I'm nervous about it to be honest. Any comments, tip and tricks are of course welcome!

But let me get back to tearing - just want to get this done!

09 May, 2008

red & white sampler picked up again

Finally after months of hibernating in it's quilted pouch, the red and white sampler is out and it's a pleasure to pick it up again!

I took it with me on a recent trip to Paris visiting an old and dear friend, while dear daughter did her first internship there. What better way to remember the visit than to stitch the famous icon on the sampler?

After many months away from stitching, I was happy to find it didn't take long for my fingers to find their rhythm and it was a true pleasure to stitch again! Guess it may be true of stitching as well that absence makes the heart grow fonder...?

Next is a shot of the dragon - my lucky charm. A bit of a fiddle and not one I can do while chatting over a cup of tea, as I had to take out a few mistakes and am still deciding how or if I'm going to correct some others...but he's cool, and I always leave mistakes in my work so...I'll think about that one while working on other parts of him.

So now my handwork time is divided between quilting and cross stitch, restricting myself to two projects - hmm...both red and white at the moment, come to think of it! The red and white log cabin quilt is "almost" done - 7 more blocks to do - the other blocks are already sewn and make up the nearly completed top. As soon as it's done I'll post it so you all can see!

08 May, 2008

at the midnight quilting bee

There's basically one or two shops where I go for not only necessary supplies and beautiful fabrics, but for advice, talk and a smile. 't Quiltgebeuren is one of those places where I feel welcome and am able to share my ideas and Wil and the girls are always enthusiastic and know how to fuel those creative juices even more.
A few weeks ago, they hosted a midnight quilting event where a mystery object is made in one evening. Participants are welcome to bring snacks and munchies, and it's a great opportunity to meet new people.

On this evening, we had a guest teacher show us how to make a, well, piecing folder...
You could pick out a fabric, and while sampling wonderful pies, cakes, petit-fours, and other yummies, we cut, glued, had clueless moments, lots of story stelling and laughter, and ... tah dah! An A4 sized folder that when opened reveals a cutting mat, a soft foam surface and underneath the (pink) foam, sandpaper to aid in drawing templates on fabric. The outside is farbic, with batting in between so you can iron your pieces on it.

Well, move over Clover is all I have to say! This is much nicer than what they have to offer, and in a fun fabric too!
Everyone enjoyed the evening and there's no doubt that this will travel to my quilting bees and many other places to aid me in my quilting endeavors! Thanks Wil for a fab evening and I can't wait what surprise you have next in store for us!


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