2020 Vision

I’ve made fair progress so far with my 2020 Vision goals for the year, we’re a third of the way through, this year is going surprisingly fast! ; mind you, with 12 weeks stuck at home it would be a shame if I hadn’t!

Five Clothes;

  • Jeans; after putting it off for years I finally made a pair of jeans, I used my Morgan jeans pattern by Closet Case Patterns and I am pretty pleased with the result, I’ve worn them a few times since I finished them. Actually it wasn’t too difficult! Why did I wait so long!!
  • Trousers; completed, not my best make but they’ve got me started.
  • A sheer blouse; I’m hoping to make one this month.
  • Tailored Jacket
  • Tailored Winter Coat; these are both more autumn makes, so two finishes out of five.

Five Quilts

  • Coming Home Quilt; I’ve almost finished the top, down to the last stretch. This one is going to a long armer, so I’ll count it as a finish once the tops done!
  • Cottage Garden Quilt; I’m trying to clear the decks a bit before I start this one.
  • Baby Quilt; Completed and gifted earlier in the year.
  • Scrappy Quilt; My Staying home quilt is going to be pieced from the leftovers from my Coming Home quilt, so I’m classing it as a scrappy quilt, though I also need to start clearing my scrap boxes with a true scvrappy quilt!
  • Charity Quilt; I’ve a quilt for care-leavers which just needs the quilting finishing, I just need to get it out of the bag and get it finished!

Five Projects

  • Stitchbook Collective; I’m a couple of months behind with this, but I’ve just started with them again this week, so hopefully more progress soon.
  • Mum’s Memory book; I finished this just in time for my mum’s funeral, I’m really pleased with how it’s worked out.
  • Anthea Calendar SAL; I’m keeping up with this lovely stitch-a-long from Faby Reilly and I’m managing to do a wordplay for each one too with the idea of making a textile book.
  • Workshop finishes; I was close to a finish last time I showed you my embridered hare – next update is tomorrow! After that there is one more workshop embroidery to finish, a Bethlehem style stitching.
  • Finery Of Nature; Completed.

Things!

  • Slippers; I was so close to having this ticked off, until I discovered my kit had two left feet! Nearly finished…
  • Lampshade; No progress here, though I keep looking at the kits!
  • Jelly Roll Rug; ditto!
  • Wallet; This has gone on my back-burner a bit since lockdown, as I’m not going out to spend any money!!
  • Luna Lapin; I keep seeing them on facebook, so hopefully soon!

So officially I’ve got five finishes so far out of twenty, which doesn’t sound so good, but I have got four almost finished and two are on going over the year. Not too bad 🙂

Posted in 2020 Vision, Coming Home Quilt, Crafts, Dressmaking, embroidery, Serendipity | Tagged | 4 Comments

Peacocks and Peahens

Last month for the Foot Square Freestyle group we were making blocks for Lynn, she chose a gorgeous palette of peacock colours for her blocks, with no light neutrals, so all rich blues, greens and purples, with a bit of gold too.

I had a rummage through my stash, I didn’t have as much choice as I thought I might as they are colours I love, but the batik drawer came up trumps with the blues, greens and purples. The blue fabric is gorgeous and very apt I think as it looks like it has a peahen on it, I’m not sure what birds they are meant to be but in my eyes it’s a peahen!

I struggled a bit with the gold shade, until I searched my scrap box and found a single 10″ square of gold batik, so it was eeked out!

This was my first one, the pattern is a variation on a friendship star, which I think is quite apt for a block swop. I managed to get two birds nicely positioned for the centre block, though some of the others are topsy turvy.

I managed to have the birds the right way up on the next block…

My third block had a pinwheel centre in a star. I’m pretty pleased with my points on these blocks – I tend to make the half square triangles a bit bigger than I need and then trim them down – I think I’ve also finally found the perfect quarter inch spot on my new sewing machine!

This month we’re making blocks in red, white and blue, so time to rummage in my stash again!

Usually the blocks are posted out to each person during their month, however with the current situation we’re not posting until it’s safe, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing this quilt made up later in the year, I think it will be gorgeous. If you would like to see the other blocks made so far, please follow the link at the top of the post.

Posted in F2F, Quilt-a-long, Quilting | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Anthea Calendar SAL

What a year to make a stitch diary!!

I’ve just managed to finish the facing page for my Anthea textile book. This is the stitch-a-long by Faby Reilly, as well as stitching the design I’m also making a wordplay for the month. I’m choosing words or phrases about the month, including special dates etc. I decided early on not to include anything overtly covid, but it’s impossible to comletely ignore it…

April’s design is gorgeous, a cluster of violets.

Easter was obviously going to be the main date for April. We haven’t got any family birthday’s in April so I decided to include Captain Tom’s. Captain Tom Moore has gone from obscurity to a national treasure in a matter of weeks. He decided in April to walk 100 laps of his garden to celebrate his 100th birthday at the end of the month. His family set up a Just Fundraising page as he was aiming to raise £1000 for NHS charities. Somehow Michael Ball heard about it and interviewed him on his radio show. It just went viral, last time I checked he had raised £32 million!!! He made his 100 laps and the Yorkshire Regiment did a socially distanced guard of honour for his last lap. On his birthday a spitfire and a hurricaine did a flypast and he was made an honorary Colonel. My OH thinks it’s a shame they didn’t skip a rank so he’d be Major Tom!

The quote at the bottom is also from Captain Tom, he said for those of you getting worried and stressed about the current situation, just remember the sun will shine again… I thought it was a lovely message.

A lot of flowers are early this year due to the warm weather, many trees were in blossom. I always think of bluebell woods as a May thing, but the bluebells on the back lane were in flower for most of April.

The Chevin cross is one thing I have missed this year, usually about a month before Easter the local churches get together and erect a huge wooden cross on the top of the Chevin, you can see it from most of Otley town centre. I like seeing it up there but it was another casualty of covid.

My favourite plant in the garden in April has to be my magnolia stellate, it was beautiful, I wanted to include it’s full name but I couldn’t quite fit it in! The goldfinches returned to our feeders too, I usually think of them as summer visitors to ur garden but I might be wrong.

I think next month I might try and sketch onto graph paper the outline of each word, just say 5 squares by 34 squares, rather than just laying the cut out bits on top, it might make things a bit easier without taking as long as rewriting it all in the square. I also made a couple of errors with the colours. My usual aim is to simply use the same colours as the main square, I have a little organza bag to keep them all in. Unfortunately this time two extras sneaked in and I didn’t realise, so blossom and viola aren’t in quite the right shades, but I think it all looks OK. I also confirmed what I wondered for a while, 32 count linen measures differently on warp to weft, this explains why I had problems with my stitchbook pages. I now need to determine which way up before I start stitching each page!

Faby has just released the May pattern and it looks so pretty, lots of pink cherry blossom.

Posted in embroidery, Stitch-a-long, Textile Books | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Isolation Skirt

I’ve managed to finish a few things over the weekend, so I’ll share them with you over the next few days. I’m trying to reduce my fabric stash a bit, especially my dress-making lengths, I want to reorganise how I store things in my sewing room and really that means being able to fit it all in one large cupboard…

It’s time for some dress-making!

In the New Year I decided to order some new patterns whilst they were on half price offer, help to kick-start my sewing. One pattern was Butterick 6605. It is described as ‘Modern Fit with Ready to Wear Sizing’. Whilst the photo of the outfit is of a more curvy model, the line drawing is of the usual slim version, sizes vary from X-small to X-large.

I started with the top, using some lovely shirting left over from a previous project. I looked at the bust measurements and also the generous ease and cut out an extra small (34-35″ bust). It actually went together OK, but it felt a little snug, I let a little out on the side seams. I also found the hidden button placket made the front very stiff – it meant there were basically six layers of fabric and three layers of interfacing up the centre front. It also made the round neck a little uncomfortable. At this point it was nearly going in the bin! I slept on it…

I decided I had nothing to lose by hacking it, I wouldn’t wear it as it was. I took off the button placket, I undid all the edge-stitching round the centre front and neckline. I re-stitched it as a V neck. The centre front caused issues as it wasn’t on a straight with the fabric, I’ve checked the pattern piece and it wasn’t my cutting out!! In the end I used three small buttons from my stash with which I could get away with skimming the edge of the garment, rather than the large buttons suggested.

I think there is now a chance of me wearing it!

Next was the skirt, which is actually very similar to the wrap skirt in the Great British Sewing Bee in episode one. By the way, it’s quite exciting this year as one of my sewing buddies is a contestant, Ali (who blogs as Thimberlina or Thimbers on Instagram) organises the sewing meet-ups in Dewsbury a couple of times a year. She’s actually a paramedic and in all the time I’ve known her, I’ve only met her twice at work, twice in one week she brought a patient into my department when I was on duty, she took a selfie of the two of us!

So fingers crossed for Ali, she’s doing well so far!

Back to the skirt…

Having found the top a little snug, I took extra care with my measurements. I found it a little odd as it suggested measuring full hip, add 2″ for ease, then that is the size to go on! This made me a large size. Strange, but I did as I was told…

I was using some lovely linen which I’ve had in my stash for years, I mean probably 20 years, I seem to remember it was about 50p a yard at the shuttle as it had potentially excess dye in it. It has a lovely drape to it. I just had enough left to cut the skirt out.

The actual skirt went together easily. However…it was huge! Although it is a wrap skirt I couldn’t just wrap it further round as the hang was all wrong. I slept on it!

I decided to add two extra darts in the back and take in a good 3/4″ at each side seam, it means the pockets are a little deeply set, but it was either that or forgo the pockets. It was meant to have ties, however with the fitting issues I’d had I decided to use buttons instead.

When I stand still it looks OK, but I’ve remembered now what issue I have with a wrap skirt, when I walk up steps I show my leg, like a lot of leg, like the whole of my leg!! Maybe I’m just not lady-like enough to wear this style!! It’ll be fine for staying in days and I have quite a lot of those at the moment!

As for the pattern, it’s going in the bin!!

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Monday’s Meander Round the Garden

We finally had some rain here in Yorkshire last week and the garden is looking a lot better for it. Apparently it’s the first measurable rainfall we’ve had since mid March, which considering April is known for it’s showers, it’s pretty unusual!

The patio is starting to green up fast, the geraniums are covering their bed by the gate now, euphorbias are curling out their lime green bracts, hostas are opening their leaves and the white broom (in the middle) is in flower. I bought the broom last year at the Harrogate Spring Flower show, it was one of those plants where people stop you to ask where you bought it!

The sunshine and warmth has brought many flowers out earlier too. This aquilegia is down by the patio, it’s so pretty…

On Sunday it was Dawn Chorus Day, there were various internet events on to help you identify the birds from their songs. I set my alarm clock for 5am, the allotted time, with the idea that I would see how I felt when it went off. As it was I was already awake, so I got up, made a cup of tea, then sat outside on my arbour with an old quilt wrapped round me to keep warm and listened to the birds. It was all very peaceful, I can recognise some birds, like the robin and the blackbird, the wren and the great tit, after that it could be anything! I started listening to one of the broadcasters but it interfered with listening to the birds, I think it’s something I need to do later. It was a nice way to start the day.

Dawn Chorus cup of tea

I’ve quite a few clumps of camassia around the garden, I think they are stunning bulbs, so once I discovered they actually like my clay soil, I planted several! I planted a white one too last year but so far it hasn’t done much this time.

The rhododendron’s are coming into flower too, this one is by the big fence and I’m hoping in time it will grow into quite a big bush, hide some of the fence.

I’m making slow progress in the front garden, well I was until I did too much digging and strained my knee! Two pilates sessions and it’s much better, though I don’t want to push it. I’ve a lot to cut down and dig out in the front, trying to get some semblance of control! Having broken all my secateurs I treated myself to a new pair and some matching loppers, so hopefully I can crack on now. I also had a bit of a brainwave regarding all these prunings. Our tip is currently closed due to covid, so they’re stacking up – we’ve three ton bags full already. I suggested that if we bought a shredder, all the shrubby clippings could go in the hot composter. My OH agreed and collected one the next day!

Having a bit of a break from digging has given me time to think about what’s staying and what needs to come out – I’ve a lot to do!

Posted in Garden | 8 Comments

Morgan Jeans

I’ve done it! I’ve finally made myself a pair of jeans!! And they fit!!!

I’ve had the Ginger Jeans pattern on pdf (always off-putting for me!) and a paper pattern of the Morgan Jeans for years, and I mean years. I just kept putting it off. When my last pair of jeans became too indecent to even wear in the house, I deccided I had to buckle under and make some, after all I had all the denim and all the hardware extras to make them, I just needed a kick…

Ginger jeans by Closet Case Patterns are well known amongst the sewing community, , their Morgan jeans pattern is less well known, in fact it’s rarely mentioned. Ginger jeans are described as skinny leg, low waisted jeans, though I think you can get an adaptation to raise the waist level. They are designed for stretch denim. Morgan jeans on the other hand are described as ‘boyfriend jeans’, they are higher waisted, a button fly, and more straight legged. This style appealed to me more. It is also designed for non-stretch denim.

I thought I had some non-stretch denim, a heavy black one, it didn’t seem to give when I tried it, however once I started to sew with it I realised it does have some stretch, but the pattern has worked great with it.

I measured myself before and came out as a 14 leg and 12 waist. Helpfully it gives finished garment measurements, including calf and thigh, I decided I would make a straight size 12 instead as there was a fair bit of ease allowed for.

My original plan was to sew the whole thing with black thread, so all the top-stitching would be black, I wanted to be able to concentrate on sewing the jeans rather than constantly having to change my top thread. The first part to be stitched with jeans is always the back pockets and their stitched design. I decided to play with my new sewing machine as it does alphabets. I tried various fonts, but in black it hardly showed up, after trying various shades I plumped for dark grey, which shows up nicely whilst being fairly subtle, and I could sew all the seams in the same thread. My overlocker was already set up with black, so I could easily change between the two.

I stitched Crafty Creek on the back pockets and added a simple decorative row below. It’s not perfectly central and I’ll probably do it differently next time, but as an idea I think it works. So if ever you see someone with Crafty Creek on their bum, it’s me!!

Of course my OH had to take a photo as I bent over!

As with the denim skirt I made recently, with jeans you just have to steadily work your way through the instructions. They’re not actually difficult to make, it’s the fit that’s the tricky bit! The instructions were OK, though I thought the Merchant Mills instructions for the jeans skirt were clearer – I was glad I made that first. There was one instruction that I’m sure is incorrect and another which I didn’t understand until it was too late.

I made the jeans as per pattern until the stitching of the side seams, I machine basted these so I could try on and alter if needed. On the first try on the waist was huge, so I took some in at the side seams. It still gaped at the back. I was going to accept it and hope the waistband brought it in, but luckily I slept on it and this morning I undid the top-stitching and edge-stitching down the centre back seam so I could take it in there. It made all the difference. Next time I’ll make everything up to the point of stitching the main pieces together and then just baste until I’m happy with the fit.

I lined the pockets and backed the waistband with some cute quilting cotton, it’s got daisies and little mice on!

My sewing machine coped pretty well with all the layers of denim. It started skipping stitches at one point, but I just gave it a new needle and it was fine. I remember a tip I saw on facebook about the little black button on your standard sewing machine foot. I’ve been sewing for 40 years and I never knew this!! If your sewing over really lumpy seams and the needle is in danger of hitting the foot due to the angle, lift the foot, hold it level and push in the black button. It will hold it in the level position whilst you go over the hump! It works!!

Extra equipment I found useful; my wooden tailors block, I used it for all the seams, you press and steam with the iron and then quickly press hard with the block, it helps set the steam in and makes a lovely flat seam. Tailors ham, the sausage shaped one, great for pressing down trouser legs! Silver gel pen, great for marking top-stitching lines or button holes. Bernina buttonhole cutter, these are like mini chisels which cut straight through the buttonhole – they are so sharp!

I’m really pleased with the final fit, the adjustment at the back helped, I know which bits to look at next time. I think the stretch worked really well with the pattern too.

Closet Case do an on-line ‘book’ for making Ginger jeans and obviously it’s just as relevant for the Morgan jeans, I found it really helpful, they have pictures of ‘normal’ people in jeans with fitting issues to show which bit needs altering, lots of tips of choosing denim, sewing with it etc.

As you can probably tell, I’m well chuffed with my jeans 🙂

Posted in Dressmaking, Serendipity | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Coming Home Quilt

I’m getting there! There’s light at the end of the tunnel!!

I’ve cracked on with this quilt, hand-stitching all those leaves to the corners. I discovered that on a Friday night Andrew Lloyd Webber is doing a free screening on one of his musicals, it’s a perfect accompaniment to hand-sewing! I missed the first week which was Jesus Christ Superstar, last week was Phantom of the Opera, which is one of my favourite musicals, I just love the power of the music. This week was Love Never Dies, it’s the sequel to Phantom but I really didn’t enjoy this one much, the storyline was just too far-fetched! I got lots of sewing done though! Three weeks ago I was stitching leaves on…

There’s eighty leaves on the quilt altogether! Once all the leaves were stitched I made some 1/4″ bias binding, typically the fabric I wanted to use only gave me 20″ lengths and I needed 22″, so I had to piece it, though making one long strip was probably easier than 4 short ones. We had to undo a small hole in one of the seams to tuck the ends in as we sewed it on.

The quilt is pretty big now, about 72″, so it’s not easy to photograph. I had a bit of a brainwave though, I folded all four corners into the middle so you can see them all…

I’ve also made the blocks for the next border. This one took a little working out as I’m not making it according to Sarah Fielke’s design. The pattern is for another deep border with dozens of tiny triangles on! I decided I didn’t want such a big quilt, I’ve got three king size ones already, I wanted this one for the double bed in our guest room. I also felt it was quite a fussy border for the quilt, I wanted something a little simpler. Part of the design was some large triangles. I decided to adapt this, I checked the measurements and worked out what size of flying geese I would need to get the effect I wanted. I used the fabric with blue trees on for the base and then cut the squares in the mid to dark blue, green and purple fabrics. I prefer leaving the base rectangle intact, not trimmed away, as it means if my triangles are slightly off I still have the true measurement from the rectangle.

It took ages to work out the colour placements of the triangles! My original thought was to have all the colours mixed, but it looked much better in pairs. Of course I was left with two flying geese which wouldn’t pair up, so I unpicked and re-sewed them. I’m really pleased with how it’s worked out, especially with the trees in the background.

Once these are stitched onto the quilt, with silver grey in the corners, I just have three houses to applique in each corner and the top is finished! This is a quarter of my quilt so far…

I’m going to send this to a long armer to be quilted as even with my extra length on my new sewing machine, I think this would be pushing it. I’ll wait until the lockdown is over and then go and see them.

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, Margaret, TracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy, Connie and Monica

I’ll also be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

Posted in Coming Home Quilt, Quilt-a-long, Quilting | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Staying Home Quilt

I’m making good progress on my Staying Home quilt, it’s basically going to be made from the left over fabric from my Coming Home quilt, I seem to have rather a lot left!

The basis of the quilt are some pretty little designs from quilters in Australia, it’s been organised by Natalie Bird of The Bird House, to help everyone through the lockdown and general uncertainty of the pandemic. She got her friends in the quilting community to each design one 6″ block, it’s all free, there’s been a lovely group on facebook too. There’s sixteen blocks all together, I’ve shown you a few last week, here’s some more…

Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork designed this one, a pretty embroidery in the middle, surrounded by mini hexagons. Those hexagons were a fiddle, they’re only an inch across, corner to corner! I’m not a great lover of EPP and this didn’t enamour me to the technique!! Having said that, I love the block!

I nearly didn’t make this one, I think the colours in the original one put me off, silly I know, but it made the kitty look quite fierce. I then saw lots of other variations as people made them and it grew on me. This is the part of facebook I really like, seeing lots of different ways of making the same block. Some embroidered it, just the outlines or filling in the shapes, some did free motion embroidery round the blocks, some needle-turn appliqued it.

I decided to use bondaweb and machine sew round it. I couldn’t find my bondaweb so I ended up using Steam-a-Seam instead for the first time. Whilst I can see it’s advantages, I’m not converted, it doesn’t half gunk up your needle! However, from a point of view of being able to temporarily stick the pieces down before ironing them, it was a godsend, especially when I realised I was arranging them looking at the reverse image! I stitched them with the blanket-stitch on my sewing machine, it was fiddly but easier than I thought. The only bit I would change with hindsight is I would have free-motion stitched around the eyes, as they looked quite an intense blue before, but it’s lost with the stitching. I really like this one, it was designed by Pattern Poole.

The next one was a quick and simple one, designed by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession. I used the Steam-a-Seam and hand-stitched round, this is when I realised just how much it gunks your needle up – more so than bondaweb.

Another one I nearly didn’t dois this one by Deidre Bond-Abel of Hot Creek Quilts. The design was for applique, to me it just felt too heavy. I saw a couple done with embroidery and decided to adapt the design slightly. I just did a single line of chain stitch for the stem, instead of a 1/4″ wide one, I narrowed the body a little and gave him some legs and googly eyes. I then just embroidered over the design.

The last one to show you is this cute design of two little birdies sitting on a swing. I made them bluebirds, I like the way this one has turned out. The design is by Country Hart Designs.

So all together I’ve made nine so far, there’s another four I want to do, making thirteen in total. This may sound an odd number but it actally works out really well. I’m planning to make some 6″ house blocks to put inbetween the embroideries. Twelve of those will make a five by five block quilt, with borders and sashings it should get up to a reasonable size….and use up most of the left over fabric!

I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for lots of hand-stitched inspiration.

Posted in embroidery, Quilt-a-long, Quilting, Serendipity | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Tuesday’s Totter Round the Garden

Our lovely spring weather continues here in Yorkshire – I’ve even had to start watering plants, especially those which only went in this month!

My OH commented yesterday what a colour corner we have next to the conservatory, I think the daffodils are late because I was late planting them, so they’ve joined in with the blue brunnera and the pink camellia behind.

Opposite is my pots border – the soil here was awful, so I flattened it, put down some membrane and pebbles, and covered it with pots, I have a bit of a blue theme running through the pots too which adds a nice splash of colour in the winter. I also find having all the pots together seems to create a bit of a microclimate – I rarely water these, even though they’re in pots. Having said that I gave them a good drenching yesterday, we’ve not had rain for weeks! The acer is over 25 years old – I bought it when my son was born.

Plants seem to be sprouting up daily, these erythroniums are beautiful with their nodding pale yellow flowers, I think they’re called pagoda. The tall stems behind have appeared this week, it’s Solomons Seal, it’s getting a bit rampant really, but it’s not that easy to dig up! All the hostas are starting to unfurl their leaves too so hopefully soon the pond area will look verdant and lush!

I’ve been working on the front garden again this week, it’s a huge task, we’ve got three tiers, two narrow ones and one deep one. I’m pretty much clearing the top one at the moment, just leaving my favourite shrubs in. The marestail and bindweed has gone rampant here, so I’m trying to remove as much weed roots as I can before I cover it in membrane and the then weedkiller anything that comes through! I did this on the lower tier and it certainly helped. My problem now is that the top tier is probably 8-10 foot wide and 25 feet across at least, a big area to clear, so I’m tackling it bit by bit…

I’ve a purple magnolia in this area, it flowers quite well, but I have to say I’ve always been a bit disappointed with the blooms, they’re a bit of a muddy purple, I think maybe magnolias are one shrub when it’s best to stick to the original!

On one of the lower tiers I’ve an eschordia, The Bride, it’s in flower at the moment and it’s beautiful…

I took a photo from upstairs the other morning and the camera just caught a shaft of light coming down, it looked beautiful and not at all what I say through the viewfinder!

Hopefully next week they’ll be more progree on the front garden 🙂

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Harold the Hare SAL

It’s three weeks since I last showed you Harold and I have to say I’m quite amazed at the progress this time! I was getting to the point of thinking I’ll just get his head and shoulders done and frame it smaller…

Three weeks ago I’d just sorted out his nose!

I tackled his left ear first (as you look at it!) it was a bit ‘blocky’, I know that’s the techniques the designer uses, like a cross-hatching of stitches, but it is somewhat out of my comfort zone! I started adding some finer stitches to blend everything in a bit, most of the embroidery is stitched with three strands, I started over stitching with one or two threads, it seemed to work. Of course it would have been better if I’d done a little on one ear, then the same on the other, as it was by the time I came to do the right ear I had no idea which colours I’d used! Close up it looks a bit messy, but from a distance it looks OK.

I added some fine eyelashes, stitched in the highlight in his eye, whiskers will wait until I’ve finished the background…

There seemed to be an awful lot of stitching left on the main body. The original pattern only uses about 5 colours on a range – I think it was DMC 004 to 008, I started adding some warmer browns when I was stitching his face. I ended up with about ten different DMC threads in use, I also found a variegated one, not DMC, which is warm greys, browns, verging on purple. It helped to fill in a lot of the body fairly quickly as I got the colour change without changing my thread. Whilst this style of stitching is still out of my comfort zone, I do like the effect, a sort of ruffled fur look, in the close up you can see all the different colours, but they all come together nicely. The colour on the photo has come out more grey than brown, but you get the idea.

So Harold himself is now finished, though he does look like he’s hurt his paw, I’m not sure how that’s happened! I just need to do the background now, I’m thinking of a few grasses and tiny flowers around his feet. I think this is one of those projects when half the problem is knowing when to stop!

This stitch-a-long is organised by Avis, we share our progress every three weeks, please follow the links to see lots more stitching inspiration.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie

Linking up with Kathys Quilts too for Slow Stitching Sunday

Posted in embroidery, Stitch-a-long, Workshops | Tagged , , | 21 Comments