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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.

Satin Stitch - Rosalie Quinlan design

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?

Journal Cover

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!

Bag with drawstrings

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.

Bag with drawstrings 2

Egg fabric

But then, what to do with the original bag outer?

Well, make another lining, of course.

bag-brown

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.

bag-brown-2

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?

This little felt bird is one of the projects on offer at the Stitching On The Lake Day hosted by the lovely Sylvia and Fiona.

Felt bird with embroidered and beaded wings

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!

Felt bird - felt tail feathers

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 . . .

I’ve been stitching away on Block 5

Catalicious Block 5

and Block 6

Catalicious 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 . . .

Catalicious BOM Blocks - Bed Runner

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!

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!

Block 4 stitched – tick.

Block 4 pressed – tick.

Block 4 pieced – tick.

Block 4 of Bronywn Hayes’ Catalicious BOM is called “Brutus with Sue and Cynthia”. This photo doesn’t show the colour very well, but the dark fabric is an aubergine colour, with the other print a buttercup-y sort of colour.

I thought this was going to pretty quick to stitch, but it seemed to take me a little longer than I estimated. But not to worry . . . I’m enjoying seeing all the blocks come together . And I think I’m enjoying satin stitch! If you’re like me and struggle a bit with this stitch and you haven’t seen this tutorial from Melly, check it out and give her technique a try – it worked for me!

So, that’s Block 1 – Brutus The Cat

Block 2 – Friends

and Block 3 – Sisters

I’m trying to use supplies on hand for this project, which is pretty satisfying. These Sawtooth Star blocks will be 18 1/2″ square (finished).  I don’t usually work with large blocks, so this is a bit of a change for me and I must say, I like seeing progress in the large sizes!

I found this little lavender bag in the linen cupboard the other day – I’d forgotten all about it and was pleasantly surprised to see it. It’s filled with lavender grown by a friend of my mum.

I remember I loved doing the monogram on this, and did one like it for my great aunt who shares the “S” with me.  I must say that although I had forgotten about it, I was surprised to see “2006” stitched into it. How time flies (I do actually remember making it) – just goes to show the importance of dating our projects – like quilts. In the blink of an eye years pass and before you know it, the details you thought you’d always remember are just a little hazy . . .

Well, I was slightly lagging behind, but have now finished Block 3 of Bronwyn Hayes’ Catalicious stitcheries  “Sisters (featuring Brutus the Cat)” . . .

This block had plenty of satin stitch, which usually leaves me feeling a little anxious . . . but then I came across this tutuorial  by Melly & Me which really helped me A LOT!!! So now I am boldly approaching satin stitch without hesitation!

The stitching on the next block is under way . . . more to come on that later. If you want to get in on this block of the month stitching, it’s not too late. Click on the Catalicious button on my sidebar  . . . and start stitching.

I had this bag, designed to manage fat quarters, I think –  but seriously, is it big enough for that??? It worked well as a project bag, but didn’t look all that thrilling to me.

I had a Bronywn Hayes stitchery which looked lovely, but didn’t really have a home.

So what’s a girl to do?

This is what you get when you combine the two . . .

I covered a thin piece of board and stitched it into the top (clear) lid of the bag. Now I have a safe home for the stitchery and  a great project bag!

How do you use stitcheries in your world?

I’ve had a lovely time this week stitching Block 2 of the Catalicious Quilt from Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly who is generously offering up a design a month for the stitching pleasure of us all in blogland.

This block was stitched with wonderfully named “Raspberry Parfait” thread from The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads. (It’s hard to know if the colour or the name holds more attraction with some of these threads!)

I like stitching in one colour, and with these threads being variegated I still get a bit of interest with the colour . . .

I really like the way this block has turned out. It’s certainly got a bit more oompha than the first block (colour-wise), but I’m happy with both really. The first block hasn’t photograped all that well – it does look much brighter in real life . . .

I’m still keeping with my endeavor to use supplies that I have on hand and am looking forward to using some of the lovely reproduction fabrics that I have in my stash with this bed runner – I’m planning to make a runner for the end of the bed (where the cat in our lives seems to spend a good portion of her days). She’s a bit of a quilting companion, so this will be in honour of her!

It seems like such a long wait until block 3 next month . . . I guess I’ll just have to find something else to go on with – something from the long list of unfinished projects!

About Me


Welcome to Sue's World. I'm a wife and a mother to 2 great grown-ups, living in Canberra, Australia.

My craft interests include patchwork, stitching, scrapbooking and photography.

Please feel free to stop by from time to time, and I'd love it if you'd leave me a message to let me know you've been.

Thanks for stopping in on my world.

Email Me

sue@trendium.net.au

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