The Bramble and the Rose…April/May

I realise I hadn’t posted an update on The Bramble and the Rose, that I am doing as part of a stitch along on Ink Circles Stitchers blog.    Mind you, haven’t had clear enough vision to work on this at all since early May, so suspect this will be another project that I fall behind on.

This is my current progress as at first week in May.

The Bramble and The Rose - 3rd Update

And this was where I was at at the end of March.

The Bramble and The Rose, 2nd progress update

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The Bramble and The Rose… March

Am a bit late posting a photo here of my The Bramble and The Rose cross stitch I am doing as part of a StitchAlong on the Ink Circle Stitchers blog.

This is my current progress update.

The Bramble and The Rose, 2nd progress update

And this is where I was at early March.

The Bramble and The Rose, 1st Progress Update

Not a lot of progress, as I haven’t had time to pick it up each week, but when I do work on it, it’s very addictive.   Am using a Threadworx thread called Lava Rocks on 28ct Quaker cloth.

The design is a Tracy Horner design that was in the June 2009 edition of The Gift of Stitching digital magazine, but is now available as a pattern from Ink Circles.

Some of my fellow SAL members are also progressing well including Claire and friends and Sandra.

Another Friday Night Sew In Scheduled

This coming Friday night, April 16,  is Bobbi and Heidi Friday Night Sew-In for April, you can sign up and find all the details here.

Not sure yet what I might work on – possibly more of the Folk Art Sampler, as it would be good to get the centre blocks finished, so I can add the sashing and start the applique on the outer border.

Though Mum is coming for the weekend, a ‘putting stuff together’ day planned for Saturday, so as I’m not to good at sticking to plans, working on whatever takes my fancy at the moment, I may change my mind!

WIP Folk Art Sampler

Licorice Allsorts

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted on the blog, had disconnected my camera and it’s a major drama climbing under furniture to reconnect, and basically I was lazy!

And my oldest furbaby, Gertie has suddenly taken to taking up this pose everytime I sit in front of the computer… easy enough to surf the net, a bit difficult to type.

Gertie helping me update Flickr

So, this is a licorice allsorts sort of post, with an update of what I’ve been working on for the last little while and other stuff and nonsense.

OUT THERE IN BLOGLAND

First off, my lovely quilty fairy godmother Jasmine is having a blogaversary giveaway, she’s made a quilt from a jelly roll I sold in the big clean up last year!    She’s my fairy godmother, because the first time I ever met her in person, after corresponding online for awhile, she was wearing purple and black striped witchy socks with a tutu and a tiara!    And she almost conned a lovely man at the local pub into buying us a bottle of Moet Chandon – have loved her ever since.

Bobbi and Heidi have organised another Friday Night Sew-In for this Friday – Friday 19 March, you can find all the details here.    As Saturday is also International Quilt Day, I’m planning a night in on Friday that will probably extend over into the wee small hours of Saturday.   Will either do some more work on my Red and Green Sampler blocks like last time, or work on some Teapot blocks I am making as part of a Flickr Quiltalong.   By the way, I’ve finished the block I started at the last Friday night sew-in.

Source: Darlene C. Christopherson – A Perfect Union

FABRIC FONDLING

Mid February, inspired by my finishing the last of my Baskets full of Butterflies blocks, I dug out another old WIP.    This quilt was designed by Michele Hill and is called Folk Art Sampler, published in APQ Vol 12, No. 12 and 13 in 2005.    I bought the fabric for this quilt while away studing at the University of Ballarat in July 2005 at Gail’s Patchwork Emporium, prepped 5 blocks, and stitched one flower on one block and then put it aside, where it has remained ever since.   So during February and March, I’ve finished buttonhole appliqueing the 5 prepped blocks, prepped and started stitching another 2 blocks.    I bought some sashing material a few weeks ago, and want to finish the centre blocks and add the outer borders.    I think the easiest way to get this finished is to prep all my applique and fuse and stitch one side at a time.

WIP Folk Art Sampler

WHICH STITCH?

Since my last post, I’ve also finished another Blackbird Design Stocking as part of Dragon My Needle’s Christmas Design SAL – gee there is some lovely work happening in the gallery of photo’s.

Blackbird Designs, Love is in the Air - Be Mine, Stitches and Spice Gravestone 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread - Aged Pewter, Clover, Avocado, Harvest Basket, Apple Cider, Antique Rose

I’ve also made a start on Ink Circles The Bramble and The Rose as part of a stitch-along that my cross-stitch enablers Claire and Sandra are also doing.   There are a few stitchers working on this one on the Ink Circles Stitchers blog.   I’m using Threadworx Lava Rocks, which is more a solid colour then I thought it would be.   Was originally going to use 32ct linen, but didn’t like the linen I’d ordered online, so found a piece of what I think is 28ct quaker cloth and am using that instead.   Means will be a bigger finish, but am loving it so far.

The Bramble and The Rose, 1st Progress Update

TRAM TRAVELLING

I really hate catching public transport!    I miss my car, and being able to drive to work without the hassle of city traffic and parking.     The only thing that has made life bearable is that I am using the 45 minute journey to and from work as an opportunity to use needle and thread.   BUT, what to do while travelling that doesn’t involve major supplies?     My Butterfly baskets were perfect, as they were fused and all used black thread… but I didn’t have another fused applique project that didn’t require multiple needle/ colour changes.    So for the last fortnight, I’ve been working on another of my It’s a Redwork Christmas blocks by Rosalie Quinlan, and this is my progress to date.    There are 9 of these blocks all up, and this is my 2nd block, so this could take me most of 2010 to work on during my travels.

It's a Redwork Christmas

YARNING AWAY

And just to round out the whole needle and thread experience, I’ve also started playing with some crochet.    Inspired by Attic24, Do You Mind if I Knit? and Sarah London and some of the stunning work  they are all doing, I’m attempting to master the art of crochet.   While I’d love to try some of the more complex designs out there, I’ve started off simply, with a giant granny square, am going to use light pink, hot pink, red, yellow, green, turqoise and purple alternating with this creamy/white colour using yarn I had collected for another project that didn’t happen.

Giant Granny Square

And just to make sure she get’s her mugshot here, have a look at Gracie, my ever so slight crazy cat, assisting Mum as she prepared the surprise 50th quilt’s binding last weekend at my house.     I’ll post a proper photo of this quilt in a week or so, as the party is next weekend and it’ll be unveiled then.

Gracie helping with the quilting

Something….ummm…Red? South Seas Lace

Another finish for me this week, am on a roll!

This is a Debbie Draper design from The Gift of Stitching’s May 2009 issue.  Stitched using Threadworx Bleeding Hearts on white linen.

I started this as a Stitch Along with Claire and Sandra, but of course, I lagged behind, but was determined to catch up and get this finished.

Slight panic as I got closer to the finish line and I realised my strands of thread were rapidly diminishing… that’s ok – when I bought this thread at Quilters Bazaar last year and showed Mum she loved it so much she rang and ordered 3 skeins… but had forgotten that Lorraine had ordered them for her specially so she had them all from the same dyelot… and they looked completely different!!!

Then remembered that Jayne had also bought a skein elsewhere, and asked if she could bring it along when we had dinner this week… again – different.  Much more a burgundy red/plum colour that I had.

So, I was very frugal with my stitching, thinking of the best way to do each stitch to minimise thread use, stitching down to the last little scant inch on the needle.

Was close to the finish line last night when I should have been in bed, but knew I had to finish it and put myself out of my misery… was I going to run out of thread or not… NOT!    The photo below shows exactly how much thread I have left over.   Finished at about 1.00am this morning, so a very tired girl at work today.

If I’ve finished something, can I start something now?

I need to decide, considering how much of a recalcitrant SAL member I was, whether I want to join along with Claire and Sandra and lots of others in a SAL on Ink Circles Stitchers to stitch Ink Circles The Bramble and The Rose, which was published in June 2009 Gift of Stitching, which begins on 1 March.

I do love this design and would like to tackle it, and while I’m loving my Blackbird Stockings, the lots of thread colour changes can be annoying.   Except there’s no way you’d be able to memorise the pattern for this one!

Have been pondering doing this in a dark grey mottled Threadworx thread on a pale grey linen piece I have in stash (need to check if the linen is big enough) – not red I know, which is outside my comfort zone a little – but I think would look really dramatic with this design.   Hmmm…do I or don’t I?

Looking forward to tomorrow night’s Friday Sew in -recognise a few names on the list – Jan Q, Blessed, Fiona and Kate.

Still can’t decide what I want to work on – though I’ve got another early start tomorrow – up at 5.00am to be at a breakfast meeting by 7.00am – so will probably just pick up a UFO or several and try to make some progress.

Friday Night Sew-In

This Friday (19 Feb) Heidi at Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi at Crafty Vegas Mom are organising a Friday Night Sew-In and I am so in!

I had already flagged with family and friends that I was having a weekend of stitching this coming weekend.    Have been managing to continue my stitching every day regime, and finishing a few things, will post more on those later, but need to have a couple of days of preparation for the next big wave of activity.

SO – plan is to do some preparation work each night this week, with the lightbox and rotary cutter and as I have a very early start at work Friday morning (7.00am) hopefully will be home by 5.00pm to kick back and get started with needle and thread.

Have Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of the X Files to keep me company!

If you want to join along, go to the link here.

Christmas Design SAL – December 09

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care, Stitches and Spice Wintered Marble 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread Antique Rose and Avocado, Weeks Dye Works Light Khaki and Sunset, Crescent Colours Nutmeggie

Well, I managed to get finished the tasks I set for December for Yoyo’s Christmas Design SAL – two of the Blackbird Design Stocking Series from the January 2009 By the Chimney with Care booklet.   Knew I couldn’t do the third stocking as I need a different linen, which I’ll order this week, so the aim is to get that one finished in January, and hopefully at least 1 of the February stockings.

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care, Stitches and Spice Wintered Marble 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread, Apple Cider, Antique Rose, Avocado, Cornhusk

As I sat over 2 nights watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while I stitched the 2nd of the stockings, I estimate that each one takes about 5-6 hours to do.  I may try to make Sunday – stocking stitching day from now on!

It’s nice to be able to say that I have done what I set out to do.

Am busy finishing off my blocks for Aunt Pitty Pat’s Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap – want to get them finished this week and winging their way to her.   Will post photo’s when they are all finished.

Though having a break today, as Mum has come to stay for a week, and we’re having a sit down day – have all of series two of East of Everything to watch, Mum is doing some handquilting and I’m in a stitching mood, so will be working on some cross stitch (not sure what yet!) or some embroidery.

Having a great holiday so far… a bit of a viewing, reading and sewing feast.   Have been to the movies twice this week – on Monday to see Where the Wild Things Are and last night to see Sherlock Holmes – both thoroughly enjoyable.   Have more plans for flicks this week – hoping to see Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated on Thursday and off to see Little Ashes on Sunday – Robert Pattinson as a young Salvatore Dali…

As for reading, bought a bundle of books on a remand table the other day but have been on a bit of a reread kick – slowly working my way through the J D Robb Naked in… series.  Have read the first 13 of the series over the last few months, only 14 more to go!!!