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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Radiant Orchid Mini-Quilt

It took me a long time to warm up to making a project for the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge – I didn’t have many purples in my stash, even fewer of them in that sort of reddish-pinky-purple that Radiant Orchid seems to be, and I just didn’t have any ideas. But then I read a blog post at Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘N Thread that introduced me to the hand over-dyed threads produced by Colour Complements. Mary was running a giveaway for threads from their Etsy shop and I got sucked into thread heaven, a place filled with pretty, pretty cotton and rayon, and I forgot the giveaway entirely: I just had to buy some thread immediately.

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge...

I paired up my sampler pack of threads (three sizes of perle cotton, a rayon chainette, and another very fine rayon thread) with three shades of Kaffee Fassett shot-cotton – Grape, Granite, and Lilac. I choose very quiet fabrics because I wanted to try out something called Kantha quilting and I wanted the stitching to pop, rather than blend into a busy print background. Kantha is a type of embroidery used in parts of India and Bangladesh to give new life to old saris – women would stack up several layers of old, worn saris and stitch them together using a running stitch which could be done in long straight lines or could used to create patterns or pictures. Most of the newer kantha quilts I’ve seen are done exclusively with the running stitches running across the quilts with little extra decoration, but if you do a Google image search or even go to Wikipedia, you can see pictures of some of the more decorative patterns that can be made with Kantha quilting.

Radiant Orchid mini-quilt

I did a little bit of both types, I suppose, since I did largely just straight lines, but also interrupted myself to include a very literal interpretation of the Radiant Orchid challenge. (So literal that I also brought an orchid home so that I could do a triple orchid take – plant, representation of the plant, colour named after the plant.) Because I was working with a sampler pack of threads, I had a little of a lot of varieties of thread, but not a lot of any of them, so I did five repeating rows of (six) different threads, which I also hoped would give it a nice texture and maybe kind of draw the eye around with the different shades of purple and pink (and little splashes of gold) .

Straight Stitching

I stitched the whole thing without a hoop or pins or anything – it was small enough it didn’t feel like it needed much support to keep it together, though I did start with the rayon thread and stitch it every 1-inch or so to help stabilize it enough that I really really didn’t have to worry. I was surprised by how much (overall) I enjoyed the process of stitching – it felt like it should have been tedious, but I didn’t get tired of it until I was near the end and using the worst of the threads – a 100% polyester (which feels scratchy and horrible) and the very thick perle cottons, which my needle was resistant to threading and which then didn’t want to take more than a single stitch at a time. The sparkle chainette (the one with gold flecks) was also a bit difficult because it was incredibly stretchy: I started with a piece of thread the width of the cloth and somehow managed to stitch TWO full lines without starting another length of the stuff.

Orchids

I free-hand stitched the orchids following a tutorial from Drago Art. For the flowers, I used another variegated perle cotton, this one in a blue-green-purple blend, but I found it sunk back into the background too much, so I outlined a lot of it with a very pale lavender DMC floss. Unlike the rest of the stitches in the piece, that back stitch does NOT travel to the back of the quilt – it’s all on the surface. A third thread was used to stitch the stem – it’s maybe a little too bright, but I like it anyway, so we’ll pretend I didn’t say that.

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Anyway, this project absorbed a lot of my time throughout the first couple weeks in March, so much so that I feel like I should be sick of it now, but I’m pretty proud of how it all came out. It kind of dresses up that weird little nook in the strairwell/kitchen along with that print of one of Rodin’s Cambodian dancers and the actual orchids. My sister will likely hate the purple, so it won’t last there too long, I don’t imagine, but eventually it’ll go dress up my Mum’s house for spring.

This was finished on 17 March 2014 and stitched entirely by hand, by me. The binding was sewn to the front and hand-stitched to the back. The fabrics are all Kaffee Fassett shot cottons: the binding is “Grape,” the front is “Granite” and the back is “Lilac.” The threads are all from Colour Complements, except for one shiny purple one (directly above the gold flecked rayon) and the orchid outline, which are both DMC, though one is cotton and the other a horrible, scratchy Polyester. (Seriously, I don’t recommend it.) The quilt measures 15.5″ x 19″ and it is nameless, as are most of my quilts.

This was also my Lovely Year of Finishes Goal for March (goal post here), so success on all fronts!

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge My Button


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WIP Wednesday: Little Things

Naturally because I have a bit of a goal list for the month, I’ve so far only worked on completely different things. Two of them totally new!

The simplest thing on my ginormous To-Do list was to add borders to two finished baby sized tops and send them away for a Linus group to quilt and gift to a child in need. I even had the borders cut.

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Sure, the lighting is horrible. But so are the borders! I don’t hate all borders on sight (like some capital-m Modern Quilters seem to), but there’s a time and a place for all things, and these two quilts were not the place for borders, apparently.

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Thing was, they weren’t very square and if you have a not-very-square quilt, adding properly sized borders can really help fix a multitude of sins. But they’re just so awful looking! I couldn’t decide if I should take them off or leave them on, and I left them in the end. I figure if the Linus group that gets them really hates them as much as me, they can trim off 2.25″ width to use as binding fabric (and be left with a skinnier border, that maybe wouldn’t look so bad?) or they can rip them off entirely or they can leave them on because maybe some kid somewhere will appreciate it anyway.

Anyway, after I got that done, I went digging through my drawers looking for a needle. I can’t remember what got me looking for one – I don’t think I had anything that needed hand-sewing – but I did and then I found a little embroidery project that I bought a while ago and never got around to making:

Mr Monkey Man

An embroidered monkey stuffie from Kiriki Press. They sell a sweet little collection of embroidered stuffie kits. This is one of the simplest ones – you only need to know chain stitch and running or back stitch to do the embroidery. I picked it up because I thought it was cute and because Kiriki is an independant Canadian company (and I want to support Canadian talent) and did I mention it’s cute? I’ve only been working on it a little here and there while watching tv, but then I haven’t watched anything in a few days now, so I’ve set him aside again. I’m determined to finish him this month, though, so to that end, I’m going to link up to &Stitches January finish-along. I have lots of other embroidery projects I could try to finish instead, but I’m feeling this one instead.

Potholders in Progress

I’m also working on some pot-holders out of that Christmas fabric I mentioned a couple days ago. I started out following a pot holder/hot pad tutorial, but I got distracted somewhere along the line and sort of did my own thing and then I thought how very boring it was (just this floral fabric on the front/heat reflective side, all that brown background fabric on the back side) so my brain went back to that original tutorial and thought I’d better add some kind of embellishment to break up the front a little.

So today I headed over to Fabricland and picked up a half metre each of those two crochet lace edgings – grand total of $1.13 – to test against the fabric. Neither matches quite exactly – in brighter lighting, the white is a much purer white than the fabric, which is a creamy yellow-based white and the beige is much too dark. (The beige does match the twill tape loops quite well.) But I have enough to do four hot pads, so I think I might just do two with the white and two with the beige and be done with it whether they match precisely or not.

So that’s what I’m working on! And then I need to get working on my bee blocks and some cat-faces…

Linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Wednesday Works + September Goals

This is a double whammy post – both my current Work in Progress for both the WIP Wednesday link ups (With Lee of Freshly Pieced and Needle and Thread Network for Canadian bloggers) AND for the September goal post link up for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I didn’t finish my August goal – to finish my Doctor Who quilt top – so I’m adjusting it to my September goal (and expanding on it slightly).

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

My August goal was to get the top put together, and I nearly made it – I got all the blocks sashed and pieced together and I got the inner border attached, but I stalled out on the outer border. You can see a part of it in the photo – it’s the wide band of the light blue fabric on the far left. I’m piecing in some words on two sides of the border, so I need to get those words put together before I can really finish the top.

I was started on the words, but my parents came to town last week and we went on our little mini-trip and that kind of sucked up the hours I might have spent finishing it in August.

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This is where I’m at right now, and it’s where I was at last week when I set it aside in favour of washing dishes and changing bed sheets before my guests arrived! I had planned to work on it some more today, but I had a pretty terrible day at work and I’ve been wallowing a bit. It’s a difficult thing being in that sort of mood because I know that crafting can be very relaxing and I could use a good dose of that, but I was so tense that I didn’t really want to deal with a fiddly project where making a mistake with my piecing might just make me blow things up into something bigger and more devastating than it actually would be. (Everything seems worse and more insurmountable when you’re in a bad mood!)

Instead, I got down to the difficult task of fabric shopping. The very lovely Michelle of Factotum of Arts gifted me an Etsy giftcard as a part of her One Year Blogoversary celebration/giveaway, so I thought… why not spend it on fabric for my future Birdie Sling:

Birdie Sling Beginnings

This photo does NOT feature the fabric I bought with that giftcard – it’s still got to be cut, packaged, shipped, etc! But this fabric was my starting point. I wanted to pick up interfacing for the bag, so on the weekend I went to Fabricland, which is a fabric chain that sells all sorts of varieties of fabrics, but has a pretty poor quilting cotton selection. They have a fairly large one, at least at the store nearest me, but most of the fabric isn’t very good quality. And then every now and again you’ll find something quality that you recognize – in this case, it was this poppy print from Laura Gunn’s poppy collection for Michael Miller. (One of my unquilted but otherwise finished quilt tops is done in this line of fabric; it’s definitely a favourite line of mine, even after all these years.) This particular print appeals to several different parts of me. It lets me have a fairly neutral bag – the bottom part of the bag will be in Essex Linen in Denim (so long as it matches… that fabric is en route too) – but one with a pretty print and a few little splashes of colour. It’ll let me have a kind of wild lining, which is something I love, via Laura Gunn’s rust stripe print from that same fabric line (also en route, or will be once the seller lists my reserved listing and I can buy it).

I pulled open and read through the instructions for the Birdie Sling and it sounds pretty doable. I think even I can do it, and I’m not always that great with patterns for things like this. It’s less intimidating than most of the patterns in Amy Butler’s book of baby patterns, at least, so that’s something!

I’m linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, as well as A Lovely Year of Finishes for September:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced My Button


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Star Surround Top

So I’ve gotten my Star Surround quilt top finished!

Star Surround Quilt Top

Looks pretty good, I think, though I wish I had a slightly better balance in the darks and lights. Still, for using four fabrics I really didn’t like very much, I think it’s come out pretty well.

I really want to get this thing done by the end of September, so I need to figure out a backing material and decide how to quilt it. I’d like to learn free motion quilting, so maybe I’ll make this a practise piece. I don’t know.

Next up this week is finishing up my Doctor Who quilt top:

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So that means sashing on these unfinished blocks. (And maybe changing the blue digit on my eighth block to a green one.) And then cutting out and putting on the inner border. And then deciding once and for all if I’m putting words (and maybe a sonic screwdriver) into the outer border and getting all of that done. I wanted it finished by the end of the week, but I’m not sure that’ll happen at all. We’ll see, I guess.

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


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Modern Scrappy Bits Swap Received!

I’ve talked about the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap quite a few times now – probably 4 times for things sent away and this will be the fourth time for things received. But for anyone who doesn’t know and wants to or should know… it’s a swap run on Flickr right here, where we get the name/address and some information about our recipient and then we make something small for that person (out of scraps!), send them some kind of notion or other, a postcard from wherever we’re from, and a fat quarter’s worth of scraps. The whole thing has been a lot of fun and I think I’ve gotten better at figuring out what to make for people (my first two were… meh, my last two I’ve been pretty happy about). Anyway, last week I got my package in the mail, which came over from Balu51 who lives in Switzerland.

MSBSwap Received

She sent me a really fantastic collection of scraps in yellows, oranges, reds, low volume, text prints… all sorts of good things. Up top in the picture is a stack of blue strips that she sent for doing a string quilt, since someday I would like to do a string quilt with my scraps. (I always say that, I never get around to it… One day!) I was talking to Balu51 via FlickrMail and she sent me a link to a really neat idea for doing a string quilt, a Stripey Lonestar Quilt block. (I find that website kind of hit and miss as to whether or not it will work – hopefully it’ll load for you if you’re curious! If you Google the name, the picture of it will come up in any case.) So now I’ve got THAT idea in my head instead of the standard style that looks like boxes on point.

She also sent me two skeins of what I think is perle cotton (the label is in German! but I recall that ‘baumwolle’ means cotton so at a minimum, it’s a cotton thread) in very lovely Griffindor colours (though I don’t suppose that was her intent! I just have Harry Potter on the brain for some reason right now).

MSBSwap Received

Also, Balu51 made me this pretty mug rug, which is now hanging in my sewing room. I can’t remember what I’d said in my sign-up form, but it was probably something wishy-washy about kind of liking everything and being happy with whatever got made for me because I’m always so happy to get mail and especially hand-made mail. Which is always true, but also probably the most ANNOYING thing to read when you’re trying to figure out what to make for someone you don’t really know 😀 Anyway, this mug rug is beautiful. The blues sort of match my bedroom walls and I find it sort of soothing and lovely to look at. I love the hexagons and the fabrics and the satin ribbon binding (which looks amazing!). I had admired this mug rug when the photos appeared in the Flickr group, and I’m lucky to have it come home with me. This is my first bit of art that I’ve hung up in my sewing room (which has my brother-in-law’s hockey related artwork and memorabilia on the walls – it’s actually his office, I just wanted more space, so I pay a little more rent so that I could have it and his desk has been stuffed into their over-crowded bedroom) and it’s great to have something so nice to hang up in there.

I keep thinking I should sit out a round and get to work on some of MY projects instead of always finishing the things that will be sent away, but I LOVE participating in this swap. There’s always something beautiful to look at and long for in the photostream.


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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!)

DW-SAL-Badge

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.)