Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sneak peek

Hi, how are you?

This is a little sneak peek at some of what I have been busy stitching the past few months. I'm working on a book so a lot (lot lot!) of my time is devoted to this. Of course, I can't really share what I'm making. It's all hush hush and on the qt. ;-)

So that's the reason for much quietness here on the blog. And why I'm mostly sharing pictures of Blake at the moment over on Instagram. :-)

But I'm almost done and then I can started on the ever growing list of project ideas that have taken a back seat, so far back that it's more like in the boot.

Really looking forward to that. Just gotta push through this last week and a bit. :-)

PS Here's a picture of Blake.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Catching up


I am way behind sharing this: on the &Stitches blog we're hosting a Fictional Villains stitchalong. Sadly, I am unable to stitch along but my fellow team members are working on some cool characters. There's also a giveaway where anyone who stitches a villain can enter to win. Fun! And there's still time to stitch something and enter. So go check out this post about the stitchalong and this one where we're accepting entries.

Random bits: Tony and I went to a Bill Bailey show earlier this week and it was brilliant! I can highly recommend Limboland - if you can get tickets.

My parents visited us last week and my mum and I went to the V&A to see the Fabric of India exhibition. That is also highly recommended. Some of the embroidered textiles were mind boggling. Teeny tiny stitches.

By the way, have I mentioned that I joined the London Modern Quilt Guild? It's nice to be able to meet with fellow quilt makers and fabric lovers. :-)

Speaking of joining things, have you heard of The Fold Line? It's a new community, kinda like Ravelry, but for sewers and embroiderers. I'm carinascraftblog overthere and I set up a Hand Embroidery group. :-)

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Finished Project :: Hexie Mini Quilt

Solid Hexies Mini Quilt
Remember when I took part in the blog hop for All Points Patchwork? I'd got the project wrong at first, so I was hexie-ing along nicely when I realised that it was supposed to be fussy cut hexies not the solid hexies I was working on. D'oh! So I had to make a new project pretty quickly. It turned out quite cute, but of course that left me with an unfinished hexie project.

I finished it a few weeks ago and I'm really chuffed with it! It feels quite different from what I normally make. I mean, lookit, there is grey in it! Because that was the only colour background that wouldn't make the hexies disappear into the background.

Solid Hexies Mini Quilt
I turned my hexies into a mini quilt. The binding is a Denyse Schmidt print from Flea Market Fancy. Also in grey. I think it goes perfectly here. DS goes with everything. ;-)

Solid Hexies Mini Quilt
For the back I used a bit of a vintage sheet. One of my favourite fabrics ever. So pretty. And a fun contrast to the front.

Mini tutorial if you fancy making something similar:

Lay out your hexies in the order/pattern you want. For a nicer finish, stitch your hexies together first, then use fusible webbing to fix in place on the background.

You can appliqué along the edges of the hexies, but I decided that wasn't really necessary because I was going to sew across them when quilting.

Use a ruler to draw the lines for quilting, so it goes across the corners and middle of all hexies. Extend this pattern to the background too so you get a nice pattern of triangles.

Baste and quilt and then bind the quilt. Voilá! One fussy-cut solid hexie quilt. ;-)

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

10 Favourite Podcasts

Mustard seed stitch scarf
Yesterday was international podcast day, and I thought I'd share a few of the podcasts that are inspiring me / teaching me something / keeping me company while I'm stitching. Embroidery-stitching, not knitting-stitching as the photo might suggest. Sadly, there's no time for knitting at the moment. I actually started that scarf in the photo a year ago and it's still not finished. Go figure. :-)

So, podcasts! I like interview style podcasts, where you get to hear the stories of artists, designers etc. My favourite podcasts of this type all have one thing in common: the guest(s) do the majority of the talking and the host gets out of the way. I get really annoyed listening to podcasts where the host just goes on and on - about the topic at hand and, even worse, about their personal life, dogs, vacations whatever. Save it for the aftershow people! :-)

I also like learning something - it makes me feel like I'm multitasking. :-)

In no particular order, here are some podcasts I listen to:

What's Your Story - hosted by Meighan O'Toole. "I sit down with artists, makers and creative individuals to talk about their work, hear about their stories and anything else that comes up in between." Wonderful, thoughtful conversations.

Here's The Thing - hosted by Alec Baldwin (yes, the Alec Baldwin). "...a series of intimate and honest conversations hosted by Alec Baldwin. Alec talks with artists, policy makers and performers – to hear their stories, what inspires their creations, what decisions changed their careers, and what relationships influenced their work." The stories are interesting and Baldwin's voice is very soothing to listen to.

The History of English Podcast - hosted by Kevin Stroud. "The Spoken History of A Global Language." Starting way back with the proto Indo-European language and then slowly moving towards Modern English. Some of it I was familiar with already and some is new to me. Fascinating stuff. I'm really tempted to binge-listen to this podcast, but I'm forcing myself to space it out a bit so I can enjoy it for longer.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin - hosted by Gretchen Rubin. "Rubin discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft." I've been following Gretchen rubin's blog for a long time, but I was kinda hesitant about the podcast. I think maybe it was because of the sisters on a podcast concept. I was afraid it wouldn't feel relevant. But it turns out that it's a great set up. If you're interested in habits and happiness, give it a listen.

The Craft Planner Podcast - hosted by Sandi Sawa Hazlewood. This podcast is another great interview style podcast. Sandi speaks to lots of quilters/sewers/textile artists. If there's a quilter you love s/he may just appear on this podcast. I was excited to listen to the Denyse Schmidt interview a little while back. :-)

The Good Life Project - hosted by Jonathan Fields. "In-depth, unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers." More interviews. With people who seem to live very...purposeful lives. The conversations always have great depth to them and I always take away some insight about life and how to live it a little better.

Fresh Rag - hosted by Dave Conrey. "The No BS, Straight Talk Approach to Earning More from Your Creative Pursuits." Interviews with artists, crafters and makers, Mainly focused on the business side of things but also gereat insights into the creative process. And with the occasional swear word, just saying.

Creating Your Own Path - hosted by Jennifer Snyder. "In asking others about their journeys, I've found that we creatives often veer off course, forge our own paths and don't always fit a particular mold. We tend to be a multifaceted bunch and this interview series seeks to find common ground amongst us all. Prepare to be challenged, inspired and motivated." Another podcast with great questions and room for the guests to talk about their journey. And speaking of journey, Jennifer often travels to different cities to interview her guests in person. I think that adds an extra layer to the podcast.

The Infinite Monkey Cage - hosted by Brian Cox and Robin Ince. "Witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists' eyes." Not a podcast per se, but you can subscribe to it (or download it), so I'm including it. The show has a panel of different guests who discuss various topics. Often some of the guests are comedians or other non scientists and that makes for very entertaining discussions.

The Life Scientific - hosted by Jim Al-Khalili. "Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them and asking what their discoveries might do for mankind." Also not a podcast as such, but it's good stuff to listen to if you're interested in contemporary science and scientists.

Right, that's it. A few things to keep your thoughts occupied while you stitch/run/do the dishes/drive cross country. Of course, now I'd love to know which podcasts you listen to. What inspires you?

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finished Object :: Embellished Jacket

Flower Applique Jacket
When I bought this jacket earlier this year, I could immediately see the potential for embellishment. I mean, that pastel-y flower print was just begging for More Flowers!

Of course, I kept not doing it, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I finally got my act together. Perfect timing, since this is a summer jacket. And how much exactly is left of summer? Yeah. ;-)

Anyway, this is so easy and if you're not super particular about things being precise and perfectly stitched, then it's also quite quick.

Cut out a bunch of flowers from fabric. Lay them out on your jacket. Then cut bits of Wundaweb that will fit the size of each flower. Place the Wundaweb between the jacket and the flowers and iron in place.

Sew around the edges, using a thread colour that will blend in, and you're done. Actually, you could skip the sewing step, but if you sew around the edges of the flowers, then they won't get worn as quick.

Flower Applique Jacket
As you can see, my sewing around the edges isn't terribly precise, but I was more concerned about getting this thing done before Christmas than how it looks close up. Because no one is going to look at it close up. :-D

Luckily, we've had a few days where I could still wear it so I won't have to wait for next spring to sport my flowery jacket.

Actually, I'm thinking I might add some more flowers. What do you think? Would that be over the top or just right?

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