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I’ve read how a few ladies like to applique or stitch with a cushion on their lap for a bit of support or to raise their work so they don’t end up with neck strain. Well I use a Stable Table – a little lap table with a bean bag base. It’s really handy, especially as it has a trough around the outside so things don’t roll off. It’s also slightly non-slip on the surface, so that helps keep things in place too.
Now while I find this table very useful, I wasn’t really all that in love with the coffee beans image that was on the top. So I decided to do something about it.
I had made a start on some of the blocks in the Homespun Magazine “Breast Of Friends” quilt, but I lost motivation after about 3 1/2 of them (there are 12 in all, I think). The first one I had made was this one – it’s a Leanne Beasley design and I really love the filled in backstitch swirls on this block.
So, rather than have the block sit in a bag and go to waste I thought I would re-purpose it. (If you’re interested in more ideas on “re-purposing”, check out NotJustNat – she’s a wizz at taking something old and making it new again!) I covered the original coffee bean picture with my block, slipped it back under the surface . . .
and voilà . . .
One updated stable table that should see me through many more stitching hours to come!
How have you re-purposed your orphan blocks?
I started out to make a bag so that I could applique this little stitchery on to it. The stitchery is from a retreat with Rosalie Quinlan and Leanne Beasley held in Nowra (hosted by Jukejema Quilting Barn) and was a practice in satin stitch.
So I had the fabric for the bag, chosen to match the variegated threads (Cosmo Seasons) used in the stitchery.
But then procrastination set it!
And stayed for a while!
And then a while longer!
To cut a long period of procrastination short, I ended up using the applique on the front of a journal cover. There’s something quite decadent about a notebook covered in fabric, don’t you think?
So this journal cover did not use any of the original fabrics (although it did use fabrics from my stash, so that counts for something). I’m loving these muddied/muted colours at the moment.
Well, then there was still the issue of the fabric for a bag!
So I stitched the bag outer.
And the bag lining.
And then I decided that I really, really liked the bag lining and that it should be a bag of its own.
And it is!
I’ve put a casing and drawstring on it, so I can fill it up or give it a little shape if it’s not so full. I really love the fabrics in this bag.
But then, what to do with the original bag outer?
Well, make another lining, of course.
So this one also used fabric from my stash (it feels good to use from the stash).
I left the lining sitting up a little at the top to give the look of piping, and then top stitched to keep it in place. I quite like the look of this one.
Both bags have been put into service and it’s lovely using fabric instead of plastic when I’m out and about!
What project of yours has evolved into something entirely different?
I do believe I really like working with felt! It’s a pretty forgiving medium, it looks good and it’s pretty adaptable to so many projects. So what’s not to like?
We had a bag full of goodies, including kits for 6 stitching projects. I chose to start with this bird and although I didn’t get it finished on the day, I did come home and keep stitching ’till it was done. And I’m glad that I did! His tail feathers are pretty cute and I really enjoyed the stitching and beading on the wings. I found that part of the day very relaxing and almost meditative. I think I can feel a bit of embroidery coming on!
I think it he’ll look pretty good hanging on the christmas tree. And who knows, maybe there will be a whole flock of them one day soon . . .
Finally . . . I’ve finished 1 cushion front! I know that doesn’t technically count as “done”, but it’s “done” enough for me. This has taken me a fair bit longer than I thought it would. I wanted a fairly solid effect (not too open like granny squares).
I’m pretty happy with the result, but my plan for 4 cushions (front and back crocheted) may need to be slightly modified. Perhaps a different back . . . perhaps not all of them complete this year . . .
I’ve been stitching away on Block 5
and Block 6
of Bronwyn Hayes‘ Catalicious BOM and I think I’m almost done!
My plan was to make a throw for the end of the bed, where our cat spends most of her time . . .
I’ve pieced the blocks and now the top is done. I just need to quilt and bind it . . . and that will be about the first thing actually finished this year!
Many thanks to Bronwyn for putting up a block each month – there are still another 6 to go, but for me I’ve done what I set out to achieve. I’ve enjoyed the quiet stitching on these blocks and I’m sure that the cat will take up residence pretty quickly!
I got myself a book . . .
and I’ve been teaching myself to crochet.
I thought that I’d make some cushion covers, so I started . . .
but I wasn’t really happy with the results, so . . .
And then I started again.
I’m much happier this time around. My plan is to make 4 triangles and join them to make a square.
1 triangle done.
1 partially complete.
Well, I haven’t had too many finishes this year – LOTS of new things started, though . . . hmmm, does this mean I have finishing issues? Or just busy multi-tasking? The answer depends on who you ask!!!
Anyway, I have finished this . . .
It’s the “Our Home” applique (by Lynette Anderson), which I wrote about here and here. It’s been finished for a little while, but now it’s framed and hanging on the wall. I put the year “2009″ on it, even though I made it this year, in honour of 2009 being the year we moved into our current home.
I’m really pleased with the way it turned out – a little piece of cheeriness celebrating our home.
OK, so it’s not like I’m in need of another project, but I’ve been seeing the Snowbound Block of the Month from Bunny Hill – and I really like it! The snowmen are so cute. But I decided I was going to start . . . and then I had a moment of indecision!
What was it that caught my imagination about this project?
Was it the fabrics (Rural Jardin – who can resist)?
Was it the applique which should go together pretty quickly?
Was it the snowmen?
Actually, it was a bit of all of those things. But . . .
I have decided, for now, to simplify (my life and this project) – so I’m doing it as a stitchery – in miniature!
Each stitchery block with be about 4 /12″ square. And I’m using some vintage silk thread that I picked up on my travels a while ago (I knew I loved it but didn’t quite know what to do with it).
So . . .
I started with the pattern and a fine (01) Zig pen (I find Pure Brown pretty good for tracing stitcheries) . . .
and traced it onto my fabric (which is the Rural Jardin plain in the aqua) . . .
then I started stitching . . .
There are 5 blocks available so far, with 12 in all to be done. I’m not sure what I’m going to add – maybe some little nine-patch blocks . . . we’ll see.
I quite liked stitching with the silk. It’s actually not quite as fine as would I would have preferred for this project, but still, I’m using it! I did a bit of Google-ing and it seems that the threads were probably made around 1925. They’ve held up pretty well – one spool was a little grubby on the outer threads, but most of the others are in pristine condition, with the label bands still in tact! There’s something quite appealing to me about working with older things (it’s a bit like antique furniture, I suppose). Whoever owned the threads before me must have a had a project in mind at some point, as there are 6 spools of one colour and a couple of another. Just goes to show – one girl’s stash is another girl’s treasure!
As I’ve been all over the internet checking out so many fantastic quilts as part of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I’m noticing things . . .
Grab yourself one of these . . .
and settle in for some fantastic viewing . . . (I’m not keen to grab photos off other peoples blogs, so just click on the links to see for yourself).
** Warning – viewing these blogs may inspire you to add new projects to your list of things to do! You may find yourself reaching for needle and thread as you read. Don’t say you weren’t warned! **
White backgounds are great – they seem to make for really fresh looking quilts.
Neutrals are everywhere too, and for good reason – they give a very elegant look to a quilt.
A few people seem to have a bit of circle thing going on, like I do.
Quilts with sentimental meaning are beautiful.
- And here
There are so, so many people just jumping in and taking on projects out of the comfort zones – and coming out the other end richer for it!
There are some fantastic quilt backs out there as quilters are endeavoring to use up there scraps and trim down their stashes.
Art quilts are beautiful.
Quilters all over the world put pieces of themselves into quilts for others – and it lifts the spirits of everyone . . . giver and receiver.
- And here
Oranges are definitely on my list of “I love these”. . .
- And here
Funky IS FUN!
There are quilts which you can’t help but admire – even when you know that you don’t have it in yourself to even think about attempting it.
There are all sorts of ways to include your family in your quilts!
You can be VERY creative with selveges.
Pinwheels always look great.
Hope you have as much fun checking out these blogs as I did!
This is one of my favourite quilts.
It’s not the most perfect.
It’s not been the most technically challenging.
But it’s special because it holds some pretty precious memories . . .
Our craft group booked a quilting retreat a few years back to celebrate the 10 years that we had been getting together to craft. While we had turned our hands to lots of different crafts over the years, and a couple of us had had a go at some patchwork, it wasn’t something that all of us had done. But none the less, we booked the weekend! We had a choice of a couple of different projects, but in the end settled on a Mystery Quilt (the pattern’s by Lessa Siegele). This project took us out of our comfort zone on so many levels . . . first there was the choosing of the fabric – 5 lights and 5 darks. For novice quilters, not knowing what the end product is going to look like can be quite daunting. Do we choose different colours? What about the colour value? So many questions. So many nerves.
But you know how it goes – when the going gets tough, the quilters go shopping!
We were given instructions for a little bit of preparation before the weekend, but we still didn’t have any clue what we were going to end up with!
Even though we were all making the same basic quilt, at a certain point in the construction process we had to draw a number each out of a hat, which gave us all different setting out directions. Needless to say, although we all had the same pieces (and a couple of the girls even had the same fabrics) the end result was a group of totally different and yet equally beautiful quilts.
I found it a real challenge to let go of being “in control” of the process and just have fun with it.
I found it a real challenge to choose fabric for a specific project and not know what the project was (which is funny really because I don’t generally have trouble buying fabric for no reason at all!!!).
I found that I really loved the fabrics I’d chosen.
I found that quilting with friends is such good fun.
I found that I should have made the quilt bigger if I wanted to use it on a bed.
I found a new passion.
Oh, and I found that I just love how this quilt looks hanging on my wall!
And that, my friends, is the story of my Mystery Quilt.
I’d like to say a huge THANKS to Amy from “Amy’s Creative Side” for organising this little get together and enabling us to “show and tell”! And now, why don’t you click back over to Amy’s blog and check out some more quilts as part of this wonderful BLOGGER’S QUILT FESTIVAL.