Work-in-Progress Girl


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Citrus Swap

So I was waiting until I heard back from my prize winners before announcing them here, but I haven’t heard back yet from the winner of my first prize, the $50 gift certificate which was provided by Pam at Mad About Patchwork. Hopefully she’ll get back to me soon – I want to be sure I had the right email address before sending her information along to Pam – no sense in emailing a gift certificate to a dead email address, right? (So Anne Simonot, if you’re seeing this, check your email!)

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In any case, the winner of the second prize, the collection of Fat Eighths in greens, was Sabrina of Sabie Sews:

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Belated birthday wishes to Sabrina too!

In other news, I recently finished up another Open Wide Zippered Pouch from the Noodlehead tutorial, this one with a citrus theme for an Instagram swap I participated in. I only just got it sent out yesterday (a day late, oops!), so it hasn’t arrived with its recipient just yet, but here’s what I made and sent:

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The one thing I knew I wanted to do was to stitch the little Lime Slice Girl, who I’ve been calling Lulu Lemon-Lime (she started out as Liesl Lime Slice in my head, which I think is a better name, but I couldn’t remember how to spell Liesl – I had to look it up, but at the time I was posting on Instagram and didn’t want to leave the app to look up the spelling). This pattern by Cate Anevski was a free stitch-along pattern from August 2012 at Feeling Stitchy. I’ve had it saved for the last two years, just waiting for a reason to stitch it, and finally this swap came up with the perfect opportunity. The pattern leaves you with a lot of room for stitching interpretation and if you check out the August Stitch-along tag on Flickr, you’ll see some really cool variations, including a passionfruit version, from which I took inspiration for the laid stitches in the skirt.

I wish I’d taken more close-up photos of the stitching, but it was starting to rain when I was photographing this zipper pouch and I didn’t want to hold up my sending it off any longer than I had to.

Lulu Lemon-Lime

As always, I’m obsessed by doing the split stitch (my back stitch just never looks as nice!), so there’s a lot of that in there. I filled in the dark green layers of the skirt with three or four tightly packed rows of chain stitch, and then I loosened it up quite a bit and did the same thing to fill in the white pith on the skirt. Her mouth and nose is done with back stitch (and it doesn’t look very good) and then the eyes… well, I’m not sure what I’d call that stitch. It’s basically just three straight stitches worked in (almost) the same hole, with another straight stitch in yellow to represent the eyelashes. I was having issues doing proper eyelashes, so this was my solution because I was afraid of damaging the Essex fabric by stitching and picking out and stitching and picking out the eyelashes over and over again. The laid stitches in the skirt are pretty crappy looking – I kept changing my mind about how I wanted it to look, so I’d done it in all green to begin with, but then I added (and removed and added and removed) yellow in various different configurations. Eventually I picked out all the yellow I’d added and then just put an extra layer on top of the existing green laid stitches. If I’d planned it out a little better, I’d have stitched them both at the same time, with a strand or two of each colour in the same needle, so that the yellow wouldn’t float on top of the green quite so much. On the other hand, I really like my winging it version of a stitched braid in the hair. I did the yellow first, just taking criss-crossing stitches in varying lengths trying to create the shape of the braid. I stitched right on top of it with the orange, filling in the shape wherever it looked a bit empty; I think it turned out pretty well.

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I didn’t want the whole front of the pouch just to be that oatmeal coloured Essex linen blend, so I added the grey on either side (it was an accidental find – I was going to just patchwork some lemon-lime panels with squares of various fabrics, but then I stumbled over the grey, which I thought would be great for the lining, until I realized it was too small a piece of fabric. It turned out great for either side of the stitched panel (except it made me wish I’d stitched on grey linen rather than oatmeal!) and then I added the green Anna Maria Horner print for something like grass under Lulu’s feet, with the ric-rack just for extra interest. The lining was the perfect print to go with the colour scheme.

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I only have this one bad photo of the back (rain!), which is pretty plain. The stitching was just me trying to use up some of the leftover bits of cut thread from the stitching on the front (hence the different colours in the top and bottom rows). It’s very… rustic. The background fabric is more of the same Essex linen. I just machine stitched the hexies onto the linen (and did a slightly appalling job of it – I’m still getting used to the new Juki machine and don’t have great control over where things are lining up with the needle). I made the bag an inch taller than recommended because the stitch was a little tall and I wanted to be sure there’d be some visible “grass” under her feet, but you really notice in this photo how off the proportions are – I really should have widened it out by an inch to compensate.

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We always fill up the pouches a bit with various different things. I was hoping to get something else made, but my plans fell apart, so instead I loaded it up with a little extra candy (originally I was only going to include the orange marzipan bar and some grapefruit TicTacs, which nobody in my house will admit to opening, but nevertheless were partially eaten… perhaps by the world’s most clever, invisible mouse?): some orange gummy candies, lemonade gummies, the aforementioned orange marzipan, and (because I’m ever so clever) Moda Candy.

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Lemon, lime, orange…

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And then the rest of the crafty goodies. Some fabric – I’ll post another photo of all the scraps in the bundle on the left – including a bunch of citrus-coloured dot and gingham charm squares, three rolls of citrus-coloured washi tape (the orange one is a different brand from the other two, hence the size difference), a roll of grapefruit coloured baker’s twine, and to appease my sister who is annoyed with me for buying more floss instead of just finding a way to use what we’ve got… I included all the remnants of the floss I used on the Lulu Lemon-Lime stitch.

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This is the bundle of fabric scraps. Some of them are just off-cuts from the fabrics I used in the construction of the pouch. The others are all just scraps straight from my scrap bin that I thought were in appropriate colours. They’re not terribly visible, but Mari-Ann/RockIslander who hosted this swap sent me the little chicken fabric just so that I could turn around and send it to my swap partner. Sweetest person ever 😀 And finally, the yellow on top of the centre column of fabric is a print from Leah Duncan’s Maya line, which my partner once upon a time was looking for. That was a long time ago, so she’s probably found all she needs by now, but I included it specifically because I knew she liked it. My partner seemed to be pretty quiet in the various places I knew to find her online, so I’m really hoping that what I made for her will appeal.

In any case, in spite of my ability to find flaws in pretty much everything I do, I really do love how his pouch turned out.

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Up and Downy Stuff in a Big Blue Box (A belated Twelfth Week of the Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long)

Aw.. the Tardis. No spoilers up above, but spoilers for the episode in question in the video below:

From what’s maybe my favourite episode with the Eleventh Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife.

If I were remotely making-things-with-wood inclined, and if I had tools, I might very well build myself a Tardis. Well. I’d need a place to store it, and I don’t think my sister would like me to build one (and store it in her house, as I would have to do). But never mind that. Of course we had to end with the Tardis (though the revealing of the Twelfth Doctor on Sunday does practically give a person a chance to create a pattern for Peter Capaldi. But no sense in that until we know what sort of Doctor he will be and what sort of clothing he will wear. (I know some people are upset about him, but I think Capaldi could be interesting!)

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So finally, The Tardis herself:

Big Blue Box

This pattern was designed by Angelica Rodriguez, also known online as Hewtab. Angelica once upon a time designed a Firefly t-shirt, which I own, featuring Serenity, caught, like the firefly, in a jar. Her take on the Tardis is a sort of playfully wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey version, with spirals representing the space-time vortex the Tardis travels through. You can find the pattern and Jennifer Ofenstein’s version of this pattern here at Fandom in Stitches. Or you can find all twelve original patterns in one convenient location here (also at FiS, of course) along with a collection of Bonus Patterns, some created by the original designers (none by me, alas, though I’ve got plans I’ll likely never execute for a somewhat 3D Ood – need to learn the bullion stitch first!) and some by participants in the stitch-a-long. (In particular, check out Woozelmom’s awesome take on Twelve, which I just saw half way through writing this entry. Even though we don’t know yet just what he’ll look like once Capaldi puts on the character and his costume, I think she’s caught some of the essense of Capaldi.)

Time Vortices?

As with my other blocks, I stitched this one mostly in split stitch, but I also rounded things out with a little backstitch, running stitch, and some French knots. I photographed this while it’s still a little bit damp and I was afraid to press it (because I didn’t want the damp to steam up too much and damage the meltable rayon thread), so please forgive the waviness of the fabric. I still need to press this one into something like submission.

Police Public Call Box

I was somewhat ridiculously concerned about getting the words to fit without looking too cramped, but I think they turned out pretty well! Surprisingly, the difficult thing about this pattern wasn’t any of the small words or getting that star and circle to look like a star and circle… the difficult thing was just getting all those many, many lines that make up the Tardis finished. I watched nearly the entire season of “Michael: Tuesdays and Thrusdays” (this awesome Canadian tv show that, like most of my favourite tv shows, got cancelled after its first year) just stitching up the last half of the Tardis. (And parts of “Bored to Death”, another too quickly cancelled tv show, and parts of “Party Down”, still another too quickly cancelled tv show. Apparently I was in the mood for quirky humour when I was stitching this block.) I don’t know why it seemed to take so long, but it somehow felt like no matter how many hours I poured into it, it would never be finished. Maybe it was some psychological thing, though, about finishing the last pattern… it’s always good to get things done, but sometimes I like to draw out those last moments of a thing and get as much out of them as I possibly can.

A few details:
Fabric
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Icy Blue – DMC Satin Floss S932
Medium Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

So that’s my last note on these blocks! I used up 2 skeins and a bit of DMC 939 in these blocks. I used a pretty good variety of the Satin Floss: S798, S702, S550, S666, S504, S995, and S932. I almost completely filled a tic-tac container with thread ends. And even though I mostly did split stitch, I did branch out on occasion and do some running stitch, back stitch, French knots, seed stitch, and stem stitch.

But I DO still need to finish sewing on all that sashing, and I really, really want to get that quilt top finished by the end of August, so this month I’m going to join up with A Lovely Year of Finishes – hopefully I can pressure myself into getting this all finished up! (I’m still somewhat undecided on the borders, so there’s still a lot of thinking going on, if not much else…)

Back to the Stitch-a-long… If you are stitching-along, please share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group! You’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! Just to be clear, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed. You also have to stitch all 12 of the original blocks. Although minor modifications are okay — if you want to add eyes or adjust the style of the numbers, for example — your blocks should be substantially similar to the patterns as designed.

And finally, I’m linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Although I finished the stitching on this block and I have, indeed, finished all 12 blocks, there’s still so much more work to go/to come. Check back next week for hopefully all twelve sashed blocks in one location. (But we’ll see. No promises.)


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Late again!

And still not done my very last Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long pattern. There’s just so many lines! And I went out with a friend after work yesterday instead of coming home and stitching. Here’s what I’ve got done so far:

TARDIS-in-progress

There’s a lot not visible in this photo – all the swirls around the sides to represent spinning through the time vortex, I guess? – so I’ve really still got a long way to go. I’m hoping to be finished this weekend, but I’ll be honest: I’ll be happy if I’m done by next Wednesday! If you want to see a finished version now, though, and get the pattern, it’s available right here at Fandom in Stitches.

Like I said, I went out with a friend yesterday rather than coming home to stitch, but it was such a mixed evening I think I almost would have rather been home to stitch! We went to a movie, The Heat, which was only so-so at best (a lot of the jokes just don’t quite hit and it’s too long for what it is, they should have tightened it up a lot), and then we went out for dinner where my friend didn’t enjoy any part of her meal and although mine was fine, it was also not really anything special at all. Just wasn’t our day, I guess! Anyway, by the time I got home, I was more interested in sleeping than staying up to stitch or write up a post about not being finished.

I should have been stitching today, but instead I got sucked into a vortex of trying out a Bonnie & Camille “Happy Go-Lucky” honeycomb with half (well, a couple… I’ve got piles more, just in really inappropriate colours) the solids/near solids I own. Here’s far too many of them, with my thoughts, and request for your own. The pattern I’ve decided to use is the Confetti quilt by V & Co., which has a baby size and also a… twin? size that uses two honeycombs. I haven’t seen any pictures of the quilt top that show it in the larger size, but there are several photos at V & Co.’s site that’ll give you a general idea of what the quilt will look like, at any rate. There are very large open areas in the quilt, so that background is going to be much more visible than it is in any of my photos (and the light was kind of weird, so you’ll get a lot of sun at the top of each photo and much less at the bottom – what I like about that is that it gives you an idea of what the fabrics will look like in different lights, but it does wash it out some up top).

Kona BlackKona White

First the Kona cotton in Black, which I like for how it lets the colours/fabrics pop, but which I think is just all wrong regardless. It’s just too dark for such a sunny collection of fabrics, even if it does work in a technical way. And beside it a Kona white, which is fine but… also just all wrong. It somehow emphasizes the non-whiteness of the white in the prints and even though white suits the prettiness and delicacy of some of the prints, it sort of feels fussy to me to have florals paired with a pristine white like that.

Moda Natural or SnowModa Natural or Snow

And then these two are two Moda Bella cottons, one is Snow and the other is Natural, but I don’t have a colour card for Bella, so I can’t figure out which is which. (And in photos, they’re nearly indistinguishable.) The whites in the prints look more pristine here, less dingy I guess, than in the photo on the pure white, but the’re just so BORING.

041Kona Medium Grey

I thought I would wind up liking it best on grey, but I tried two greys and don’t really like either of them. Kona Ash (left) is a nice grey, but it while it doesn’t hurt the prints in any way, it also doesn’t do anything to elevate them, if that makes sense. The Medium Grey isn’t too bad – like a black, it gives the fabric something to pop itself up from. But I don’t know.. it’s only just okay. I didn’t have any darker greys to try with – I thought I had more Kona Charcoal, but couldn’t seem to find it.

Essex Yarn Dyed Flax035

So okay, Essex Linen blends. Nothing I have is labelled so I’m often uncertain, but I think this is the Yarn Dyed Flax, it kind of looks like a grey and white cross-weave, in a way. The one on the right is maybe Essex linen in Natural – it kind of has an oatmealy colour. I like them both, really, because they’ve got a bit of interest even though they’re near-solids, but they are a little bit boring still. And I wonder if it would be heavy having a quilt top made with 6 yards of linen? Maybe that would be nice, I don’t know.

So something more interesting, but also maybe more scary?

Kona Deep BlueDeep Blue

So how about Kona Deep Blue? I actually really like this one, but I worry quite a bit about the way the dark blue in the line will play with that blue as a background. Also, is it way too intense to make up the majority of a quilt top? (In the plus column: I already own 6 yards, so I wouldn’t have to buy anything but the binding/quilt backing.)

Kona Sunflower

The Kona Sunflower? (Or is it Daffodil? It seems to match Sunflower on my colour chart, but Daffodil sounds more like something I’d have actually bought. I actually like this one – it’s a great match for the print – but it’s scary to think of 72×96″ of yellow with a scattering of other colours. I think it would be a little too intense in a not very good way.

So finally that leave me with two unknown shot cottons. I’m pretty certain I bought both of these from Mad About Patchwork, but I can’t figure out what either of them are.

Turquoise shot cotton?Blue/Green Shot Cotton?

I’m pretty certain the one on the left is from the Kaffe Fassett collection. It’s a kind of turquoise colour but it looks like it’s made up with two different turquoises, one darker and the other lighter. I actually kind of love the way this one looks, but I don’t know why. I feel like it shouldn’t work, because it’s turquoise rather than something more bluish-blue. I quite like the one on the right too, but haven’t got any idea what fabric this actually is – it’s made of a blue and a green cross-weave, which is more visible than in the one on the left. It’s a bit quieter of an option, but probably in a good way, as it wouldn’t overwhelm the quilt like I think the turquoise one would (and like the deep blue up above would).

I don’t know, I’m pretty torn! I’d like to make this quilt for my mom for Christmas, if I can (though hexagons? Scary!), so I need to make a decision so that I can get started, but I’m not really sure what to do. I lean towards either the Kona Deep Blue or either of the two shot cottons, but I don’t know how to find out what colour I’ve got (without buying a colour card, which is.. not cheap). Any suggestions? Other colours you think I should try?


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I do embroidery now. Embroidery is cool! (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 11)

I have such back and forth feelings about the Eleventh Doctor. Sometimes I love him and sometimes I find him annoying (in an unfortunate way) and I still think I liked him best in that first episode with Amy as a child when he was manically asking for food he’d enjoy eating. The way he interacted with her is the way I like him best. Anyway, it seems like every time I start to warm up to him, an episode that annoys me will come along and drop me somewhere back in the middle of indifference.

Okay, maybe it’s just that I like him best when he’s a little bit silly:

Anyway, the end of the most recent season has me quite interested to see what’s coming next! Great ending, perfectly mysterious, and hopefully they’ll do the idea justice.

DW-SAL-Badge

No prize for you if you’ve guessed what the next pattern will be (because everyone will have guessed what the next pattern will be, even if they’re not following along very closely!), Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor:

Doctor the Eleventh

Eleven was designed by the talented Soma Acharya of Whim’s and Fancies, where she often posts the incomparable paper-piecing patterns she designs. She’s got a kind of realistic style that a lot of paper-piecing designers don’t attempt and though I’ve never made any of her patterns (the level of detail is amazing, but it makes them look amazingly difficult!) there are several that I’ve love to try out someday. (Top of the list: her Weeping Angel that I mentioned last week.) You can see her version of Eleven here at Fandom in Stitches, where you can also find the pattern for Eleven (and all the other doctors).

There’s a lot to love about this pattern, Eleven’s floppy hair, the super skinny tall eleven, his silly hipster boots/high-water pants, the bowtie. I enjoy it.

Eleven's Hair

This is one case where my two-strand split stitch maybe didn’t serve the pattern as much as I’d like – it’s just not delicate enough for the hair, which has a better gravity defying flop in Jennifer (here) and Soma’s versions. But maybe it’s just the very up-close photograph that makes it look thick and unwieldy. I have definitely decided that I need to fill in the bowtie (or satin stitch over it). I keep saying things like that, that I should do these little edits to the blocks, but then I keep on not actually doing them. I think the bowtie would look so much better on my block if I filled it in though, just look at it in the top shot, where it’s from further away… doesn’t it just NEED to be darker and solid red?

A few details:
Fabric
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Red – DMC Satin Floss S666 — Can I just say how hilarious I find it that the red thread has 666 as it’s colour number? They should label it Hellish Red or something.

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! Just to be clear, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed. You also have to make all 12 of the original blocks. Although minor modifications are okay — if you want to add eyes or adjust the style of the numbers, for example — your blocks should be substantially similar to the patterns as designed.


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Don’t Blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t Blink. (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 10)

That’s a clip from what’s probably my favourite episode. It’s pretty light on the Doctor (and Martha, who I think was underrated as a Companion), really, but it’s such a fantastic episode. If you ever see just one, see Blink (series 3, episode 10), because wow. All the best bits of time travel and a little bit of fear and Sally Sparrow, who is an awesome character played by Carey Mulligan before she got a bad haircut to be in a bunch of movies I don’t care if I ever see. Great episode. (And if you watch this episode and if you quilt, then you’ll want to stitch up Soma Acharya’s truly brilliant Weeping Angel paper-pieced pattern. Even if I didn’t like the show, I’d love that quilt block. So beautiful. If I weren’t so scared of all those little pieces, I’d have made it already.)

Anyway, David Tennant. Sigh. Swoon. Come back. (He’s my favourite.) I could link a dozen clips with him, but I won’t. And not just because BBC has blocked a ton of those clips because I don’t live in the right country.

Okay, one more:

DW-SAL-Badge

The tenth pattern of the Doctor Who Stitch-a-long is, of course, David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor:

Doctor the Tenth

This pattern was created by the brilliant Jennifer Ofenstein of Sew Hooked and Fandom in Stitches. She came up with the idea of running this stitch-a-long and you might remember that she also designed two of the previous patterns, Two and Six, and came up with the layout for the final quilt. Jennifer has also designed paper-pieced patterns for the TARDIS (two versions!) and Daleks, which will be featured on her own version of this quilt. (And I might totally steal the idea because I am a dirty rotten thief.) You can find those patterns, and a few other Doctor Who patterns, here at Fandom in Stitches, along with the pattern for the Tenth Doctor which is right here.

Here is Jennifer’s version of Ten, done in backstitch, with the word “ten” a bit more jagged and not all smoothed out like mine (the damned window-as-a-light-box-through-linen transfer method has lost a lot of fine details from my stitches):

The Tenth Doctor

Lovely. She’s also doing a slightly modified version of the basic layout, where she’s doing three rows of the sashing around each block (I swear she had another post with actual pictures, but you can see a proposed layout here if you scroll down a little) to bump up the size of the quilt to bed-sized. I’ve been toying with the idea of upping the size of my quilt as well, but I think I’ve settled on keeping it small enough to hang on the wall. I think. We’ll see…

Ten

My “ten” before rinsing out the pattern lines and pressing. I used this same blue on the Eighth block, but now I’m pretty certain I’m going to go back and rip that out and redo it in green. I stitched most of Ten while watching the Doctor Who movie with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and it was pretty terrible, but I did notice that he’s actually wearing what looks to be a green velvet coat. I also might use a variation of the Seal of Rassilon in place of the “eight” since it pretty much IS a stylized eight. Anyway, I thought the blue was better to represent the blue pin-striping on Ten’s suit.

Close up of Tenth Doctor

Anyway, every bit of this was stitched in a 2-strand split stitch, even the pin-stripes which I’d meant to do in something a little more delicate, like maybe long couched straight stitches. (I forgot all about that thought because I was watching “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” through the rest of the stitching of this pattern, and it was a very distracting movie. Not a good one for stitching along with at all. As silly as it sounds, it’s far too visual a movie to watch without watching, which is what I normally do when I’m stitching. Just as an example, there’s a part where Scott Pilgrim has to defeat a girl and he won’t hit a girl, so Ramona holds his arms and throws his punches for him, which… if you’re not watching, you’re not going to grasp just from listening. Such a bad movie for stitching. But fun as all get out. Unless you’re not into the whole video game/anime stylized thing. It’s got a rocky beginning, but once all the fighting starts it’s a lot of fun.)

A few details:
Fabrics
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Shiny Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! (For the interested, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed.)


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Ten

Today, instead of finishing the stitching on my Tenth Doctor, I went shopping. I bought a new shirt:

New shirt

I thought, you know, I should probably own some adult clothing, instead of just… t-shirts. So a kind of billowy, peasanty blouse, with an old lady print, which I love. (Even if I would probably mock it in fabric. Small print, small floral print, pink and red in combination, etc.) I also bought a faux-leather jacket, chocolate, two bath bombs and a solid(ish) shower gel, Little Miss and Little Mister stickie notes for my sister, and a candle.

I like my ten:

Ten

But I really need to finish the rest of Ten. Just one ear and half his hair left. Tomorrow, though. First I need to sleep.


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RIP My Favourite Needle

For the last year, every single embroidery project I’ve worked on has been stitched with the same needle, a Bohin No 5 Crewel needle.

Molly Mutante, finished last year in July… The Running Stitch on a Pouch… My Crewel Embroidery Needlebook… My Unfinished ABC Sampler… Every one of my Doctor Who patterns…
Molly Mutante (close) Scrappy Bits pouch #2 (mosaic) Needle-book with Crewel Embroidery Flower Daisychain ABC Sampler in progress

Anything I’ve stitched on linen or linen-cotton blend fabric or even quilting cotton if I used interfacing to stiffen it, it’s been stitched with that same No. 5 needle. It turned me into a Bohin needle apologist. I’ve got packets and packets of them in all kinds of sizes, I gave one away to someone in a swap who was looking for a good needle, I don’t ever want to use another brand of needle again, but that particular No 5 was my favourite. It felt good in my fingers and was as sharp and perfect as the day I first pulled it out of its packet, so I just kept on using it, until yesterday when it died.

Bent Needle

So that one’s gone to the little needlebook in the sky, but hey! I’ve got a whole packet of them, so I guess it’s all right if that one is gone. I bent it doing some hand-quilting on a mug rug/mini-quilt wall-hanging for the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap:

Hand Quilting

I finished up all the stitching with that bent needle, but it was kind of difficult getting it through where I wanted it to be, considering the general kink in the straightness of the thing. I suppose I pushed it too hard – multiple layers of fabric (front and back, with a lot of wadded up bits where the triangles all meet – the front is all triangles), a layer of batting and a layer of medium weight interfacing (I wanted to keep it fairly stiff so that it can be hung without the sides drooping). That needle treated me well, anyway, and it’s a shame to see it go to the little metal tin of bent pins and needles, but it was its time to go I guess.

Anyway, in other fairly ridiculous news (as regards that particular mini), I managed to feature the word BUTT right on the front of it. Or BUTTO, if you want to get technical, but it’s the BUTT that stands out so much to me:

Butto

That’s what I get for not paying too much attention to fabric placement when I stitched all those bits together. Oh well, I think my swap partner will like it regardless of the BUTT in the middle of it.


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It’ll be fantastic! (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 9)

I couldn’t find a (short) video with one of my favourite Ninth Doctor quotations (Do you know like we were sayin’? About the Earth revolving?It’s like when you’re a kid. The first time they tell you that the world’s turning and you just can’t quite believe it ’cause everything looks like it’s standin’ still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin’ at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re fallin’ through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… That’s who I am.), so instead, a clip of a happy little moment with Rose and The Doctor.

The Ninth Doctor might have wound up my favourite Doctor, if he’d been around a little longer, because Christopher Eccelston was fantastic. But even though David Tennant is my favourite, Eccelston occupies his own special little perfect space in my head and I always love rewatching that handful of episodes he was apart of, even if I find some of the actual plot lines kind of silly. (Living plastic, for example. Or the fart-happy Slitheen for another example.)

DW-SAL-Badge

The ninth pattern of the Doctor Who Stitch-a-Long, quite naturally, is Christopher Eccelston’s Ninth Doctor:

Doctor the Ninth

This pattern was created by (the also fantastic) Aalia, who also designed the first and third patterns of this stitch-a-long. This is her final official pattern (though there may just be some special extras coming along later!) and I think it’s probably my favourite of the three. When I first saw it, I’d said to her that I hadn’t been able to picture how she’d design a pattern around Nine because unlike some of the other Doctors, he didn’t really have many props, but that she’d perfectly captured his attitude, and I still think that. (She told me that she was going for the essentials: “the widow’s peak, the ears, the jacket, and of course, the attitude.”) I loved stitching this pattern and I love seeing it finished. You can find both the pattern and a picture of Aalia’s Nine here at Fandom in Stitches. She stitched her version on a beautiful blue marbled batik and it looks really great. (And I don’t even love batiks.)

Ninth Doctor closer up

I just love the pose Aalia gave Nine’s body.

So to repeat myself for at least the ninth time, this is stitched with a 2-strand split stitch. Unlike most of the others, I didn’t end up using any other stitch types anywhere in this pattern. I used the same purple as back in the Third Doctor’s pattern, largely because I didn’t want to buy more rayon thread, but also Nine sometimes wore a purple shirt, though it was a lot more muted than this shiny purple. As with Eight, I still need to sew on my sashing. Hopefully I’ll get it done this weekend so that I can show a First Nine Blocks photo.

A few details:
Fabrics
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Purple – DMC Satin Floss S550

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class!

mosaic78a51926ffe22dcb2da389176bc6f24d50475f7d

1. photo-23, 2. photo-24, 3. blk-7-drWhofinished, 4. photo-26, 5. Doctor Who 5, 6. Photo0392, 7. Seventh Doctor, 8. Fifth Doctor, 9. Fourth Doctor, 10. Seventh Doctor, 11. The Eighth Doctor, 12. Doctor number 6, 13. Photo0393, 14. Dw Sal, 15. Dw sal 2, 16. Doctor 3, 17. Doctor 4, 18. Doctor 5, 19. Doctor 6, 20. DWSAL – Eighth Doctor, 21. DWSAL – Second Doctor, 22. 7th doctor, 23. DWSAL – Fourth Doctor, 24. DWSAL – Fifth Doctor, 25. DWSAL – Seventh Doctor, 26. The Ninth Doctor, 27. Dr. Who Seven, 28. 6th Doctor


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Finally, the Eighth Doctor! (Doctor Who Stitch-a-Long Week 8)

It’s half a week late, but I’ve finally finished(ish) my eighth doctor! I haven’t put on the sashing yet, but that’s easy peasy and I can do it as soon as I’m caught up with everything else that needs doing right now. I had put in a request with the library to borrow the movie that features the Eighth Doctor, but then the flood hit and the central library in the city was badly damaged and that’s where the data centre was, so I think they must have backed up the (currently temporary replacement) website to an older version, which didn’t have all my requests listed any more. (No biggie. Considering the cost to repair that library and replace the book collection, cut back services and some lost data is pretty easy to handle.) Anyway, I re-requested the movie, and it’s actually at my branch waiting for me, but they’re closed on Sundays through the summer, so I have to wait until tomorrow to pick it up. I’ve heard the movie is pretty crappy, but that Paul McGann makes a pretty good Doctor anyway, and I guess I’ll soon see!

DW-SAL-Badge

The eighth pattern of the Stitch-A-Long is Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor:

Eighth Doctor (Now Completeish)

This pattern was created by Jordan/dozmuffinxc, who I don’t think has a blog. (Though I could be wrong!) Jordan is a queen of fandom craftiness who made this Adipose baby stuffie for me:

Addy

The awesomest thing ever. I call it Addy, because I’m super creative with names.

Anyway, you can get the pattern for the Eighth Doctor here at Fandom in Stitches.

Eighth Doctor detail

There’s nothing particularly special about my stitching on this pattern – it’s largely 2-strand split stitch, with a little back stitching for the 8. I’m not thrilled with the way the 8 looks, so I’m toying with the idea of doing… something, but I don’t really know what. Maybe satin stitching over it so that it’ll fill it all in a bit more? It seems too subdued, anyway. From the pictures I’d seen of Eight, I had the impression a little that he was more subdued anyway than the others, though likely that’s just that his costume wasn’t all crazy-cakes like some of the preceding Doctors. In fact, his blue Eight is a result of those subdued clothes: I didn’t have any rayon thread to match his beige cravat and there was nothing else that stood out about him, colour-wise, so I used the same blue I used in my version of the First Doctor – he didn’t have any colour impressions for me either!

A few details:
Fabrics
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Shiny Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class!


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A day late and a Doctor short…

Well, I’m officially behind on the Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long. I tried! But last week was a bit of a bad week at the WIPGirl House and then it was immediately followed up by house guests for four days, while I was working every day, on the hottest days of the year (so far, and Universe? Please don’t get hotter). Nothing like a too hot house, featuring 46% humidity indoors, with an extra three bodies in it, right? Ever since the flood, it’s been really humid here and, as it’s usually fairly dry, the heat feels much worse than we’re used to having it feel. Anyway, I finally broke down and bought a window AC unit because I barely slept all weekend. (ACs make me feel weirdly guilty because they do nothing good for the environment and I live in a part of the world where you only really need it for a week or two a year, but once you’ve got one and once it’s blocking a window, you’re pretty much guaranteed to start using it on all those days you might normally have just used an open window with a nice breeze to keep you cool. By and large I feel like I should be able to get by without it because what’s a week or two of being a little hotter than you’d like? Anyway, please realize this isn’t a judgement on people who live in places where ACs really are necessary. In a typical July, we’ll get three days that are hotter than 28C. Should I buy an AC or just, you know, hang out at the mall for the afternoon? Because that seems like a valid solution to three days of hotter weather.)

Anyway, here’s a peak at where my Eighth Doctor is at:

Eighth Doc-in-progress

I’ve mainly just got clothing left to stitch – the left side (our left, not his) of his coat, his cravat, and the sleeve on the right. So close! But what’s the saying? Close is only good with horseshoes and hand grenades? Anyway, I’m hoping to get it finished today/tonight at work (if I manage to take any breaks, it’s my first night solo since my dept. head quit and I’m going to be simultaneously doing his job (which is now my job) and training two new people to do what I used to do) so that tomorrow I can do a proper post about it. Or maybe Saturday, we’ll see.

In the meantime, I have two finished things to show you. I’d like to blame the recipients of these blocks for my not getting Eight finished (;D) but you know… I could have sewn them up a couple weeks ago instead of putting them off. First up is my block for Aalia at Joy of Stitches (and one of the DWSAL designers – she designed One, Three, and next week’s Nine) for the Livejournal Birthday Blocks exchange.

Aalia's Hufflepuff Themed Block

Aalia’s request was for a 10″ block in yellow and black, for a Hufflepuff quilt. The photo she linked for colour/inspiration is this Hufflepuff house crest, and that’s where my idea for the block came from. I do have some fabric with tiny fleur de lis on it, but it’s certainly not in black and yellow, so instead I bought a 6″ fleur de lis pattern from Jennifer Ofenstein (from her Craftsy shop), shrunk down the pattern a little so that it could be a 5″ square, and made two for the corners. The striped bit I actually paper-pieced as well, though I just drew out a 5″ square and then drew lines every half inch to make the stripe. As I was making this, I got REALLY tempted to just make a giant yellow and black bull’s eye for a block (I did the striped units first), but I’m really glad I went with the fleur de lis in the end, I think they’re really pretty. (Even IF I did get the bottom unit askew on BOTH quarters.) I mentioned this is a ten inch block, well… true facts: I used a fat quarter of the yellow and ALMOST RAN OUT. I don’t KNOW where all that fabric went to! (It’s probably all trimmings in my garbage bin – I’m not too good with angles and not wasting fabric.)

In any case, the next finished thing was just finished yesterday. It was due last week, but the aforementioned bad week really threw me for a loop. And it was an improv block, and I have a mental block about improv, so I put it off for a long time before starting it. This was my June block for the Flickr Simply Solids group:

Simply Solids June Blck

The idea behind Carly’s block was flowers and stems/twigs tumbling over a waterfall, you can see more on the idea here at her blog. I think it’s going to be an AMAZING looking quilt, even though a lot of us were a little wary of the whole… improv thing. I drew out six sample blocks before I wound up sewing my first stitch, and while I started out following my plan, I accidentally sewed a triangle on backwards and the whole thing went awry! I think it came out okay in the end, which I suppose is the good bit about improv, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking in the moment.

So next up… a paper pieced block for July’s Simply Solids block and… a mug rug for the Flickr Modern Scrappy Bits Swap and more and more stitched Doctors, but otherwise, I’m a free woman. (Well, I’m going to make a pillow case for my little sister and I think I’ve found my next project to work on – finishing up quilt-as-you-go thing I started working on a long while ago. Only four or five of 20 blocks are finished. Lots go to, but they’re pretty easy to do, since I’m just doing straight-line stuff.)