Stars-quilt April’17 update

After my last update, I set a goal of stars to be finished each month. I decided that a minimum of six was really doable, breaking the number into 1.5 stars/week, or at least two pieces of background attached every day.

This month it seems it worked. Thanks to a weekend trip, I even managed to do a little bit more! (EPP and its amazing portability!!!). If only I can sew more than six stars per month twice this year, by the end of it I should have all the stars completed (and so my initial goal for this 2017!).

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 34/84 (+7 from the last stats)

Knitted baby shoes

Back in November a friend of mine told me he was to become father this Spring. So I knitted a small gift, that now that has been delivered, I can openly share.

This was a really quick and easy project, perfect for beginners. I enjoyed working with small needles and that cotton yarn for babies. It’s extremely soft!

Although I already knew the gender of the baby, I decided to opt for a neutral colour (I love neutrals for babies!) and couldn’t resist to use these wooden buttons I purchased in a patchwork festival last Autumn.

Project: Baby shoes
Date: November 2016 – December 2016
Pattern: Patucos – zapatitos bebé, Oh! Mother Mine DIY (in Spanish)
Yarn: Baby smiles Cotton, Schachenmayr, colour 1066
Needles: 3.00 mm

A Majorca-style embroidered table-runner

I did finish this little piece of embroidery in February, but I had a difficult time trying to get good photos of it, and, truth to be told, I even didn’t know how to begin this blog post… This table-runner is embroidered in the island of Majorca’s traditional embroidery style, which has a particular design (these floral, vineyard-type motives) and a particular technique to execute it. I learned it some years ago while visiting the island, and had always one on the making since. But I’m really slow working on those pieces: I can spend a couple of weeks spending lots of hours on them and then “forget” them for some months until I find the urge / necessity/ inspiration to work on them again.

So, I think I started this one in early 2014. By that time I didn’t have any kind of sewing journal! I did lots of work on it during Summer 2014, left it aside, work hard on it again on Spring 2015, left it again, and decided to finish it during one of my trips early this year.

The embroidery is quite simple: chain stitch and a variation of the herringbone stitch for the filling of the motives, complemented with cross-stitch. The particularity is on the chain stitch: it’s stitched using a small crochet -and an embroidery hoop-. I used the same technique for block n. 11 of The Splendid Sampler and explained part of the process on its blog post here. I just love the motion of crocheting through the fabric and getting those tiny, tight, regular chains. Once all the lines are stitched, the motif can be filled using a herringbone stitch that is subjected to the chain, not the fabric.

The use of only one colour family (with slight variations on tone) is also characteristic; although one can skip tradition and go for multicoloured works, I really like the effect of using one range of colour throughout all the piece. For this one I use the same colour for all the lines, and play with tone variations for the filling.

Also typical are the fillings using cross-stitch. They should occupy all the space, so on the borders they are “cut” by the design itself. There are plenty of options for them (I normally search for ideas on Spanish craft-related magazines…), and on this occasion I decided to use the same design throughout the piece.

For the borders I used a hemstitch. I just love to do drawn thread work (I’m an absolute beginner on that, though), but the piece was too small to do more intricate work than just hemming the borders.

I bought this piece already marked on a local haberdashery, without knowing the fabric nor the marking system. The fabric is not the best quality, but what annoys me is that I can’t remove the markings. I tried washing with hot water, but with no results. Fortunately they are not as evident as it might seem on the photos, so well, that’s it.

I already have a new already marked piece and the threads for it -this is going to be on the blue family-; now I just need to find some time…

Project: Majorca – style embroidered table runner
Size: 30 x 42 cm
Date: Early 2014 – February 2017
Pattern: Piece already marked purchased in a haberdashery in Majorca
Main thread: Cotton perlé n. 12 Anchor 314
Filling thread: Embroidery floss Anchor n. 302, 303, 308, 1002, 275

The Cookbook QAL: 3. Lemon Whip

I’m not following this quilt-along quite regularly, but it’s nice to sneak in to just piece one block. On this occasion I went back to block n.3, although I think it’s turn to work on n. 13…

A couple of things about this one; firstly, I used a canvas fabric for the central flower. I just love this design (it’s from a canvas printed panel), but canvas fabric does add a lot of bulk on the seams, and makes it a little more tricky to sew the units.

Secondly, I’m not quite happy with the placement of the appliqué pieces. I think next time I’ll appliqué them drawing the seam allowances first on the unit – on another matter, it seems I’m pretty fond of appliquéing with a straight stitch…-.

    1. From Porto with love (canvas panel), Sarah Watts, Cotton+Steel
    2. Fusions 4070, Robert Kaufman Fabrics
    3. Life, enjoy the ride; Tina Higgins Designs, Quilting Treasures
    4. Hungarian Blue, Sue Zipkin, Clothworks Textiles

*The background is from the 1000Colours collection, by Lecien, grey n. 501

(This block belongs to a QAL hosted by Amy Gibson –Stitchery Dickory Dock– and based on her book “The Quilt Block Cookbook”).

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 10 revisited

I wasn’t pleased with my fabric choices for block n. 10 of The Splendid Sampler, and I had already made my mind up to sew it again long before the sampler was finished. However, for the sake of fabric management, I decided I wouldn’t revisit any block until the original 100 were finished. Truth is I don’t have much fabric left to choose from, but I prefer this second version rather than the first one. I think the main problem was that the print on the coloured fabric was too big for these pieces -the pattern was too much cut up and looked really messy-.

For a little bit of an update about how the sampler is going, I’m waiting for the sashing fabric to arrive. I will be sashing the blocks while revisiting those that need minor adjustments – I think this one was the only that needed a complete redo-. I’m looking forward to starting working on it again!

Pack your bag n.4 (April): Nylon bag

This month’s pattern for the Cotton and Color mystery Project of the Month program features a really quick project, with the novelty of using Nylon fabric for it. It was really fun trying to sew with a new material, that can’t be ironed and which I preferred not trying to pin. I used the marks on my sewing machine to fold the fabric as it was fed under the foot (fortunately, I could use the regular foot, being a Teflon foot not necessary), and clips to keep everything in place when needed.

This little bag couldn’t have come more handy, as it complements perfectly a birthday present I already have for a friend!

Exterior fabric: First of Infinity fabrics collection, Lecien