Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Christmas Designs

This week I have been immersed in all things Christmas and I have some sneak peek photos of my progress to share with you.

For some time now I have been planning to make Christmas stockings for the kids. A few years ago I designed them but unfortunately they remained in my sketch book unable to see the light of day. Sadly I just never seemed to find the time to make them up. There were always too many things on the "to do list" and not enough hours in the day. That is until now.

I formalized the original sketches that I had drawn quickly in my sketch book. Here they are with coffee mug in the distance!

The I took up needle and tread and started to embroider. Once the stitcheries were complete I then set to work on the sewing machine and made three patchwork pieces each in a different colourway. I think the red is my favourite.

Before long they were beginning to look like Christmas stockings, much to the delight of the kids who were secretly watching my progress from afar.

To finish them off I crocheted a length from 8 ply cotton to make a bow and then fixed some brass bells to the ends. That way they will tinkle as little hands explore their contents on Christmas morning.

With three Christmas stockings now complete I set to work on a Christmas table runner design that had been buzzing around in my head for a few weeks.

Once it was sketched I started on the embroidery, which is always the part I enjoy most. Next I sewed the scalloped border and hand pieced the mini stars, they are so cute!
Here is the table runner taking shape;

Both of these new Christmas designs will be up on the Stitching Cow website next week, so look out for them. With 2 months before Christmas you will have plenty of time to stitch them up yourself.
Until next time happy stitching!
Warmly Lenna

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homespun Magazine Secret New Quilt Project for 2011

I am just coming back out into the light after completing a new secret quilt project for Homespun Magazine.

As usual I started at a leisurely pace only to find myself racing towards the publishing deadline at a fast and furious sprint. The lovely Catherine from Homespun magazine commissioned me for the project which was to include 18 small embroideries and a centre panel.

When I discovered a new pretty floral range from Moda which included happy Polk Dots I couldn't wait to begin.Before long the fat quarter bundle arrived at my door. It was so wonderful to look at that I just sat it on my old kitchen dresser to admire for a week. I proudly shared it with some of my sewing friends who called in for a cuppa during the week. They too "gooed and garred" over it which made me feel far more normal.

In hindsight to leave it sitting for a whole week just looking at it was probably not the most sensible idea, although I like to think that each time I passed it my vision for the quilt became clearer in my mind. Here is the patchwork fabric stack arranged in all its glory.

Next it was time to choose embroidery threads, another part of the design process I enjoy.

Soon embroidery blocks started to appear as did sketches of the overall layout. Although I confess I totally underestimated the brain power that was needed to design the quilt based on fat quarters. And I have to admit that the layout was redrawn a number of times before the maths stacked up (thank goodness for calculators)

I even employed Miss 10 to unpick a few seams sewn in error. Yes I make lots of mistakes too!

Despite my mishaps eventually the quilt started to take shape and I was able to catch a glimpse of the finishing line.

With less than one week to go and visitors from interstate begging to explore Tasmania, I made the brave decision to hand quilt. This meant a daily routine of sight seeing during the day, gourmet cooking of an evening and hand quilting late into the night.

With cotton threads sprinkled around my home, piles of fabric offcuts surrounding my workspace and coffee mugs lined up beside my sewing machine I wondered if other designers worked in such chaos. I even had chocolate wrappers jammed in my sewing bin, a timely and much appreciated birthday present from master 14.

As I wrapped the quilt and addressed it to the lovely Catherine of Homespun Magazine I glanced at the clock. I had made it and with 3 hours to spare...what was I so worried about???!!!


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