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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Sunday Stash: Scraps and Solids

I’ve talked a bit lately about being on a Clean It Up and Clear It Out mission – in the kitchen, I’ve now progressed to having cleaned and emptied of expired or unwanted stuff the fridge, both freezers, the spice drawer, and the pantry cupboards – and it’s still not going super great in the sewing room. I have sorted more fabric out of my stash that I want to get rid of (mostly the previously mentioned children’s fabrics, as well as my non-quilting cottons like voile and canvas – I found a little more of both). Then yesterday I went through all my piles of scrap fabric and threw away anything that wasn’t at least 1.5″ square (I know, I know, there are people who use that or would stuff it into dog beds or whatever, but I don’t know any of those people and so it’s going to go away) and resorted everything by colour, removing solids, cross-weaves, and linen pieces.

Fabric scraps

I do keep my scraps sorted by colour in baggies like this, more closed up than that, obviously, but I don’t ever zip them up – I don’t know if this has happened to any of you, but I find fabric will get an odour if you close it up in anything for too long. I used to keep all my fabric in plastic tubs and after I moved to this house, it took me several months to get the fabric out of the tubs and into use… and every bit of it smelled musty. I had to wash and press everything, and since I don’t use fabric softener (and since I use unscented laundry detergent) I was worried it wouldn’t get rid of the smell. It did, thank god, but I might have had a much smaller stash if it hadn’t.

I’ve put my name into the Stash Bee pile, so as long as I get in for next year, I’m planning on requesting large kinda scrappy log cabins. I’m going to make two or three blocks ahead, so it was good to see what I do and don’t have much of in my scrap piles these days. I was surprised to see I’ve got virtually no purple and that my reds are dwindling. I was sure I had more purple (and there are two boxes in my sewing room that are full of junk – I have a tendency to stack things up if I can’t decide where to put them, so who knows what’s underneath – so I’m hoping there will be a stack of purple scraps in there), but I’m not surprised about the red, since I seem to make most use of it. I have piles and piles and piles of blue and green scraps though. Piles.

ANYWAY, my big cleaning/organizing goal today was to deal with my solids.

Solids stash

Fair to say I have more than I thought I did. Somehow I always think I haven’t got that many options for solids, but clearly that’s not true.

It might not look like it...

These weren’t in the photo above because I don’t want to mix them in with the rest: it’s all the fabric I’ll need to make the Mario quilt designed by Angela at Cut to Pieces.

Solids stash

And then there are all these – amounts of 2 yards or more. Seriously… where does it all come from? (Oh, that’s right. My bank account.)

Essex Linen stash

My bit of Essex linen is smaller than I thought it was, but that’s probably a good thing – it means I’m mostly using it up as I’m buying it.

Cross-weave fabrics

And finally my cross-weaves. Well, some of them anyway. The rest (I’d bought a FQ bundle of Moda cross-weaves some time ago) are in a box with a project-in-progress. These ones I’d bought (mostly) to make a Twelves Trees quilt. Obviously I haven’t done that yet. (Much like many of my ideas… I buy all the necessary components, and then never get around to making the thing.)

So that bit of my sewing room is cleaned up. Which is good. I’m going to store all these fabrics in the plastic bins I mentioned earlier, but I’m going to leave the lids off so that the fabric doesn’t get that cooped up smell. I just have to figure out where to store them…

Linking up to Finding Fifth‘s Sunday Stash, this week hosted by Lisa in Port Hope.

Finding Fifth


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Little Things

I’ve made a lot of little things in the last little while, so here’s a big photodump of an entry talking about all of them.

I guess I should go back in time to the thing I made longest ago, back in September or October, I think, which was a little mini-quilt, based on the Ravenclaw house crest:

Ravenclaw Mini

I made this for Mari-Ann/RockIslander, who is a Ravenclaw. I took a picture of the Ravenclaw crest from online, blew it up a fair bit, traced around the edges of the eagle and transferred the pattern (in reverse) to fusible web. So then I cut it out (using the sharpest cuticle scissors ever, which are so much more awesome for cutting delicate fabric bits than for mangling finger tips) and fused the bird to the background. It’s actually two layers of fused fabric – the background wing was done separately, so that I could use a darker portion of the fabric, which I hoped would give some depth and sort of visually separate the two wings. Then I stitched around the bird, creating feathers in the wings and tail. (You can see a photo of that here from Mari-Ann – my own picture of the back turned out terribly, but I’d already sent it away and couldn’t try for another shot!) In the crest, the stripes run the opposite direction, but I paper-pieced that portion as well, and forgot to reverse that pattern! Oh well.

I like to think that if I were a Hogwarts student, I’d have been a Ravenclaw myself, but I bet I’d have wound up in Hufflepuff because I was really far too lazy a student to have made Ravenclaw when I was in high school. Hufflepuff sometimes seems to be the fall-back house: you don’t fit anywhere else? Well, Hufflepuff it is, then.

Children's Wash Cloths

About two weeks ago I was clearing out some stuff from the plastic cabinets in my sewing room, and I found a pile of children’s fabrics I didn’t even remember I had. I tend to avoid buying children’s fabrics because I never know what to do with them and I don’t have children, so no particular need for items made using children’s fabric. But I do sometimes buy scrap packs of fabric, and I’ve started to amass a fair collection of children’s prints from those scraps and from the occasional times I’ve bought children’s fabrics to make gifts for friends who are having babies. When I found this particular print, I just got the urge to do SOMETHING with it, but it was a small piece of fabric – about 8 to 8.5 inches wide at the largest point by width of fabric – and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. Then I remembered having seen a tutorial ages ago for making wash cloths out of terry cloth and cotton. Well. Terry cloth I’ve got. Several years ago I had the genius plan to make little hooded bath towels for babies. Which, needless to say, didn’t happen. So yeah. Wash cloths. (I didn’t go look for a tutorial because… it’s just not that complicated.) I’m torn between making wash cloths till the end of time (or just the end of that million miles of terry cloth) to use up all the ginormous pile of children’s fabric I didn’t realize I had and just giving away the fabric. I was thinking about getting rid of it all on Sew Mama Sew’s December giveaway day, but to be honest, there’s such a big pile, I’m not sure I’m going to want to pay to ship it all away!

Liberty Pincushion

This is another slightly older one. Back in September I bought some Liberty of London fabric to try it out and see if I’d like it as much as so many people seem to. I don’t. I find most of their prints to be fussy little florals (which is pretty high up my list of dislikes) and while I’m sure it’s wonderful for clothing, it’s so thin that I can’t understand why (some) people want to use it for quilts. Yes, it’ll last for a while, but it’s kind of delicate stuff: I don’t think it’d stand up to continual use in a bed quilt. Anyway, in the pincusion, I blended the slightly thicker than quilting cotton Essex Linen with the slightly thinner than quilting cotton Liberty Tana Lawn, so I used interfacing on the Liberty fabric to give it a little more heft, which probably did it some good. The edges of the cathedral window, particularly near the bottom ends of it, are kind of loose and open in a way I don’t love, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to make them crisper, tighter corners. Maybe putting in a few whip stitches or something to join one edge to the other? (And also, maybe using a thinner fabric than the Essex linen.)

Anyway, you can make your own Cathedral Window pinnie using this pincushion tutorial on YouTube. The first one that I made, above, I made a little larger than the tutorial recommends. She says 10 cm squares for the patchwork back, which is about 4 inches, but I made mine 4.5 inches, and I shouldn’t have because it looks much nicer on the second one, which (though you can’t tell without scale in the photos) I made at the recommended size:

Liberty Pincushion

Okay, the tutorial creates a pretty great pincushion (I think) – I love the cathedral window look and it’s a pretty easy way of creating it – but it’s not the best tutorial out there. The words don’t always line up with what’s being shown in the video and there is one crucial bit of information that doesn’t get talked about that is only shown in text on the sidelines of the video (and if you’re watching the woman’s hands, as I tend to do, you might just miss it). So here’s the most important bit of information: the section that you leave open to turn the pincushion is in the patchwork portion of the sewing NOT when you sew the top to the bottom.

Liberty Pincushion

My stitches are pretty well hidden in the back, but that slightly rippled edge in the top right seam is where I left it open. When I made the first one, I sewed shut the patchwork and left open part of the side, which Did Not Work At All. I had fused on interfacing after stitching the patchwork section, so I had to rip it open and rip through the interfacing, and then restitch it closed by hand after stuffing it. Pain In The Ass.

Anyway, I made this pin cushion (and the following two projects using Liberty fabrics) for Cathy of Blueberry Patch, who won a giveaway prize from me alllllll the way back in August. Yes, it really took me until now to make and send it out. Cathy and I both own shoes made with Liberty fabrics, and I know she’s a fan of Liberty, so when her name was chosen for the prize, I decided to pick up the a Liberty scrap pack (and a couple Fat Eighths) from Pick Click Sew on Etsy so that I could try it out and have some fabric for making the prizes. At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to make with it, but I kind of love all the things I did make.

Liberty Fabric Bucket

The next thing I made was the good old fabric basket from Ayumi’s tutorial at Pink Penguin. This is a great tutorial and a great size and a great way to pull together some of the smaller scraps of Liberty that I’d gotten. The scrap pack had a real mishmash of colours and prints (because I used up all the good red ones in that first pincushion) and I had hard time figuring out how to make them all work together.

Liberty Fabric Bucket

In the end, I just went crazy with the colour combos and didn’t try to match things up at all. I added the little flange of green between the patchwork and linen portions to tie in the lining fabric a little more (especially since there was none of that fresh spring green in the rest of the prints). Some of these prints are just kind of crazy – scroll up to the other photo and look on the far left side at that little carriage print, can you imagine making clothing out of that? who would want to? Anyway, I think it all comes together better than I thought it would, even though there’s nothing in particular tying one print to the next. I used the Essex linen here again, which I think is nice for the base, since it gives it a little extra heft, which helps hold the shape of the basket. (I also put a fair bit of quilting into the basket bottom because I think that helps give it some structure as well. Though really at this small size it doesn’t need too much help. The one larger one I made was too loose and kind of floppy and really could have used a few layers of a nice stiff interfacing.)

Anyway, part of the reason I didn’t have a good grouping of colours to go into this was because I used up most of the red/pink prints on the first pincushion and then I set aside most of the “good” blues (all my favourite ones, anyway…) for making the next item I sent. I don’t have a good photo of this because we’re all light-shunning vampires at my house and I couldn’t find enough sunlight anywhere to photograph it properly, but a Tiny Tree Garland (tutorial/pattern by Noodlehead):

Tiny Tree Garland

I so wish I’d had some blue perle cotton to string these up, but all I had was gold, white, pink (sashiko thread), and red. I went with red because it was the most vivid colour (and white just looked… wrong).

Tiny Tree Garland

I made these using the aforementioned Liberty scraps, but also bamboo felt from TaDaa Studio Felt. I like the bamboo stuff – it’s as soft as nice wool felt, but doesn’t have the allergy issues I know some people have with wool (or the animal ethics issues some vegans have with wool — not that I’ve got that issue myself, but I’ve made things in the past for people who have).

Tiny Tree Garland

I was trying to leave enough space between trees that Cathy could cut it down into a set of seven hanging ornaments if she’d rather use the trees that way (garlands can be awkward! and I couldn’t figure out a NICE way to end the dangling strings – I was sure I had some giant shiny gold beads that I was going to string onto the ends, but I couldn’t find them for the life of me), but looking at the photos, I’m not sure I really left enough string for loops. Anyway, it’d be pretty easy to pull out what’s there and swap in something else. (I did knot the thread on either side of each tree, but… that’s what scissors are for :D)

Anyway, that was my special prize package for Cathy, who received it excitedly yesterday 😀

Okay, jeez. Epic length post here. One last thing:

Flannel-Voile Receiving Blankets

I’ve been all about using things up lately because I’ve been going through another crisis of OMGTOOMUCHSTUFF and these receiving blankets were a way of using up some voile and flannel I had laying around. If I had more flannel in the right colours, I’d use up the rest of my (small) voile stash on blankets just like these. These were made using a Self-binding Blanket tutorial. Mine are a bit smaller than in the tutorial because I only had 1 yd of each cut. I think I cut them in the end to 34″ square for the voile and 30″ square for the flannel, but I can’t quite recall. (I do know neither of the voiles were very well cut yards because I couldn’t get the full 36″ out of them!) Anyway, it came out to about 32″ square for the blankets. They’re not perfect by a long shot – the top-stitching is pretty appalling (I couldn’t find matching thread, so I just went for contrast, but ugh, every flaw is magnified) – but I think they turned out pretty cute anyway. And they’re so lovely and light-weight. Almost makes me want to make a giant bed sized one. (Not that I’ve got a source for extra wide-width flannel or voile, but.)

Okay. 2000 words. That’s longer than some essays I wrote in university. Time to wrap it up.


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Stuff and Things

I keep putting off writing a post – I’ll do it tomorrow, sort of thing – because most of what I’m going to post about is a little too light to bother about, so today can be a bit of a Random Thursday post, though it’s not really all that random: it’s sewing/fabric related, by and large.

On Wednesday, I received this really incredible swap package for the Flickr Fat Quarter Blender Swap:

FQ Blender Swap Received!

Love, love, love every bit of it. My swap partner really nailed it with this one – you might recall my saying the other day that I’ve been having a Pink moment? Yeah. These will fit right into the mix. I really love Painter’s Canvas (that’s the navy one), and would have it in every colour if I had the money to spend on it. The paper clips are just FUN and that aqua is really lovely.

I also received my swap package for a Livejournal swap, the Talk to Me Tuesday Pound of Love/Crafty Goodness swap, but I didn’t take pictures because I recorded a video. Just have to get the video off my phone and onto YouTube.

I recently mailed off stuff for that Livejournal swap and while I didn’t take pictures of most of what I sent, I did photograph the handmade bit, which was three pot holders:

Patchwork Potholders

I don’t know what sorts of colours my swap partner loves or what types of prints, so I pretty much just let myself go crazy with the scrap bags. I wanted to make something useful, but also beautiful, and hopefully I managed to accomplish that!

Pink Patchwork Potholder

I made this pink one first, more or less following the pattern in the book Zakka Style, which was compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale (I hope I got her name right, I’m too lazy to go look it up…). The book uses the linen as the binding, which I should have done as it really ties the whole look together, but I didn’t want to cut a big old bias cut right through the middle of my Essex linen. So dark pink instead.

Patchwork Pot-holders

The pattern is for the kind of pot-holders that you can put your hand inside to pick things up, so they’re all done in that style. But I quilted the crap out of these things and even though they function as pot-holders (I tested them!), I was too scared to try holding a hot dish with them. I feel a bit like the super tight quilting clamped all the inner layers together so closely that it holds the heat too close to your hand (even though it does reflect it back up). I don’t know. There are 3 layers of fabric, a layer of cotton batting, and a layer of Insulbrite in each of these, but I was still nervous about it.

This teal one is probably my favourite, but I’m a big fan of teal/aqua. That extra bit of patchwork in the middle was in the scrap bag just like that – it was an off-cut from a quilt top I finished last year (but have never quilted…). Love it.

Chartreuse (I guess?) Patchwork Potholder

This chartreuse one was the last one I made. You can tell I haven’t really made much use of chartreuse in my sewing because I didn’t have too many options in my scrap bins – I had to slip in some other shades of green as well. This features my least favourite binding (I should have chosen a darker coloured print) and I think it knew I wasn’t happy with it, because it gave me all kinds of trouble. There are a couple little puckers, I had to sew the joining seam THREE times. Ridiculous.

Anyway, those are all en route to their new owner, who I hope will love them.

And finally – I need to go blow-dry my hair and get ready for work (I work midnight to 8:30 AM tonight!) – here’s the first block of my next project:

First block

It’s a shame my ironing board shows through, but I’m loving how this is looking. I’ve only got the one block finished, but I’m going to make 30 for the quilt top (it’s going to be a baby top) and hope to get it all together very quickly.

Baby quilt fabrics

These are all the print fabrics I’m going to use, but today I got them all sewed up into strip sets to cut into the block components. All pressed and ready to cut, and then I’ll start sewing them into blocks. I’m using 2.5″ wide strips (the white is a jelly roll), and the blocks come out to just a little bigger than 8.25″ square, though I’m trimming them down to 8 1/4. It’s a bit of an unusual size, but it’s convenient to start with the jelly roll strips, so there it is.

Oh, and finally, here is my September block for the Flickr Simply Solids group:

Simply Solids Aenous Sept. block

More churn dashes! They’re having a moment in the blogosphere.


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Random Thursday

Is this supposed to be a link-up or is it just really… Random Thursday? Well, here’s a few random bits and bobs:

1. Next project

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I spent an embarrassingly long time sitting and staring at that one hexie yesterday trying to decide which way to go with it. The Paper Pieces package recommends sewing through the paper, but I want to use them multiple times and so I can’t help thinking it MUST be better for the paper not to sew through. The package does say you can keep reusing them anyway, but don’t they get all damaged in the corners where the stitches go? I don’t know. I’ve been planning today to watch a few videos on YouTube to see if I can decide which looks a more likely route for me.

2. Birdie Sling

Birdie Sling fabrics

Not sold on the denim yarn-dyed Essex Linen. I like it, a lot, but it feels too pale compared to the darker blue, maybe? (Special thanks to Michelle for her contribution to these fabrics being in my stash! :D) I thought from photos online that maybe it would be a darker blue than it is. I think a bag looks top-heavy if you put the darker fabric on top, and I could switch it so that the print fabric is on the bottom, but honestly I don’t want that much of the print on display. The bag on the pattern cover has a darker top band, but I think that large print on the bottom (with the smaller print up top) counter-acts the top-heaviness. I’ll have to think about it. I might have some Kona Nightfall fabric that would probably work (maybe?) and would definitely be darker. I don’t want to have to buy more fabric, in any case.

3. Leftover bits from something I’ve been working on.

Liberty Scraps

Liberty scraps. I’m not a big fan of Liberty (by and large I find their prints to be overly fussy, but there are a few I do like, even though they are fussy little florals), but wanted to see what the Tana Lawn was like to work with. I’m not 100% on board with the thing I made that generated these scraps (photos later – I want to be more happy with it before I share) and I wound up putting interfacing on the fabric because it was too light-weight (compared to the linen I paired it with). It also smelled a bit of bug spray – I have to assume that’s the fault of the seller, not the fabric maker, but I’ve been airing it out and can’t smell it any longer. (Also, I could smell bugspray at work the other day where no bug spray existed, so maybe I had some crossed wires in my brain…)

4. The solids Churn Dash.

Churn Dash

Just need a few more… Well, I need one more row’s worth, plus I’m waiting for 2 that will be sent to me. Love how this is coming together.

5. Some of my problem spots with the FMQ on the Star Surround project. If you have suggestions or advice for avoiding, please let me know!

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There’s lot of little things to nit pick with this one, which I will nit-pick in other photos instead, what I took this photo for was the kind of jerkiness of it. I didn’t get a smooth loop at all on that top one, which was just me needing to stop and get my hands in a better position (but just pushing through anyway). What really bothers me is the stitches just before it goes from a straight(ish) downward line into the loop – you can see a spot where I went from vertical almost immediately to horizontal, and although I mentioned this was a spot where I’d needed to reposition my hands, I ALSO had that same issue in places (sometimes) where I did come to a complete stop, and then started again. Sometimes I could get a smooth restart and then other times I’d go off in a completely different direction than I really “should” have. I KNOW that it’s not going to show much in the grand scheme of things (which is why I didn’t pick out any of my stitches, except where there were thread breaks and the one time I had a toe catcher), but I’d still rather learn to prevent it.

011

Okay. Quarter-inch stitches vs sixteenth of an inch stitches. I know this is about the speed of my hands relative to the speed of the machine, but… how should I sew into a curve to keep my stitches smaller and more uniform? I know, practise. Yay, practise. But should I be giving it a little more gas at the beginning of the curve or easing off…? Move my hands faster as I go into that motion? I don’t know. As with all my other little issues, they seemed to hit intermittently – every time I congratulated myself for a particularly well done bit, I’d wind up doing something dumb 😀 (If I hadn’t used such garish fabrics, I’d show you my practise stitches! My best rows were the first two, before I started paying attention to what I was doing, before I remembered to turn my stitch length to zero even!, then they got progressively worse for a bit while I figured out what to do to improve things, and then they started to get better again. My one practise row of stippling is… appalling. There’s a reason I haven’t done it for realsies yet. Definitely need a whole practise sandwich just for that! But I want to go through Leah Day’s method of practising in stages – u shapes, lobster claw shapes, etc. – before joining it all up in a properly random stipple.)

009

Okay, this doesn’t show super clearly because I could not convince my camera to focus on the problem spot rather than a spot an inch above it. But that particularly long looking stitch kind of in the bottom middle of the lower loop… My machine skipped a stitch. It only happened a couple times in the whole quilt, but I seem to remember reading something somewhere about what that means, but I can’t seem to find any information on the topic now! (I tried googling FMQ skipped stitch, but that didn’t help. It’s possible I just got bored of looking for answers, though, so I should probably search it again now that I’m not so focussed on getting that quilt done done done!) A couple of my skipped stitches, I went in with a needle and thread and couched the skipped bit (didn’t want to unpick, also didn’t want to leave a loop big enough for a kid’s finger to go into), but I didn’t do it every time. (It was awkward! And I don’t know how stable that couching will be, it’s not like with embroidery where you can secure it really easily on the back.)

010

Okay. You can see a bit of this in most of my photos, but the bobbin thread is even more visible in this photo because the darker part of the variegated thread is on the bobbin thread here, with a very pale part on top. I always thought this was a tension issue, but my machine is set at almost the highest tension available. I didn’t adjust it to the higher setting because it didn’t do this all the time I was FMQing, so I wondered if something else was at work?

I don’t know. If any of you do much FMQing and have thoughts or suggestions, let me know! I know it’s not easy to diagnose when you can’t see what I do when I quilt, but I figured someone might have thoughts.

[Also, I’m linking up to Free Motion Quilting Friday at Leah Day’s The Free Motion Quilting Project. If you want to see the finished quilt which has all these flawed bits of stitching on them, you can find it here.]


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Pencil Case style Zipper Pouch

Yesterday my sister and I went out to do all the things:
I went book shopping while she got her hair cut, we got manicures, we got our eyebrows threaded (this is like… high-speed plucking, but with a string rather than a pair of tweezers), we went junk food shopping (ahem), and… I forget. All I know is I hadn’t slept, because I worked the night shift again, and then we did all the things ever and then I came home and slept for an hour and a half so that I wouldn’t pass out in my dinner, and then I made my sister a little zipper pouch in the space of time it took me to watch the last 15 minutes of the Shakespeare episode of Doctor Who, plus the episode that came after. (Cats + traffic jams + other weird aliens.) (I’d forgotten how much I loved the season with Martha Jones. She doesn’t get that much respect in a lot of the online forums I read, but I really liked her and there were a lot of fun episodes in her season.)

Anyway, the book store that I went to, like a lot of book stores, has had to put more and more home decor and personal care items into the store alongside the books because book sales are tanking, and so I spent a long, long time looking at all the ridiculously tempting things they had there. (I bought some Polaroid style greeting cards and a Chuck Klosterman book, but otherwise avoiding spending money on anything.) When my sister came in, she found a zipper pouch, which was this great purple colour, but had ugly gold lettering on it, which she was tempted to buy to use as a passport/receipts carrying pouch while in the US next week – she and her husband are taking a road trip to California, leaving tomorrow and returning in September – and she’ll need to collect all her receipts for purchases that she might have to declare when coming back into Canada.

Honey. You live with someone who has a sewing machine and too much time on her hands. (I’m on vacation this week too! But I’m not taking a road trip to California 😦 )

Pencil Case-Style Zipper Pouch

So I made her a super simple lined and divided zipper pouch. I didn’t follow a pattern – it’s really basic! I just figured out the size she wanted (large enough to hold two passports, plus some room for receipts) and found some fabrics in colours I knew she’d like. I didn’t decorate the outside in any way – it’s just Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Black – because my sister is not into anything very fancy or cute or whatever. Even simple patchwork would have been more than she’d have wanted. She pretty much likes red and black and white, so there’s the black (and kind of white…) with a red zipper from Zipit. (The zipper pull is also from Zipit. I have a pile of Octopus ones, but this one with the robots in love was attached to my last order of zippers from Zipit. It seemed to fit the black white red theme a little better than any of my octopuses.)

Zipper Pouch

The interior is lined with a red MoMo print and then I put in a divider in a red Kona Cotton. It’s not perfect – somehow the divider feels loose, but I don’t know how to make it more taut? I did it the same size as the lining pieces, but should I have made it a touch smaller and then stretched the bejeezus out of it to make it fit but stay taut? I also messed up the zipper/seam somehow at either end – I’ve done it with my last two pouches and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but the zippers are winding up all lumpy on the ends and I couldn’t even top stitch this pouch because I didn’t think I’d be able to get the sewing machine to stitch over the lumps at the end where the zipper opens. (The end of the zipper isn’t quite so bad.)

Anyway, this pattern free sewing didn’t go so bad despite the few little issues and my sister is happy – it saved her $25 or whatever that one from the store cost and it’ll get the job done. (The photos are pretty awful though. I should go steal it back and take some better pictures now that I could use natural light instead of the garbagey yellow overhead light in my sewing room.)


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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.)