Monday, 25 January 2016

New to Me and You in 2016

Welcome to the first New to Me of 2016. Of course, as it is a new year we need a new button :)

For those of you new to the New to Me link party, it is where we celebrate the trying of something new, whether the attempt was successful or not!

My New to Me projects have been a real mixed bunch this month, I have

joined a new local quilt group! The group meets every week for 5 hours, so that should mean that I get lots of work done on the day, shouldn't it ??

I have tried my hand at some tiny tapestries, and might just have discovered a new addiction :)

I have also added a new tutorial to the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew archive (link at the top of the page) with my Christmas Card Hanger tutorial.

Speaking of Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew I have been lucky enough to have on board a host of new, generous sponsors for the monthly giveaway prizes. This month's prize, seen above, provided by CICO books being one of them. You can be in with a chance of winning this great prize by linking up your Christmas and Holiday makes here

I have also tried a new embroidery stitch for the roof of my sewing box embroidery, and used the lovely hand-dyed thread from 21st Century yarns for the first time whilst I was at it.

So, that's my New to Me projects this month now it is your turn. As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on January 31st, so you have some time yet to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Slow progress

Well there has been a little bit of progress on one of my 100 day challenge projects.

I joined a new quilting group this week and despite engaging in lots of stitching (and not-so-stitching) related chat, I managed to cut out and piece 120 of the remaining 235 blocks needed for my Up, up and away quilt top. Next up, trimming those 120 blocks and piecing them together in rows. I am really not looking forward to all that trimming, I can tell you!

No progress on the other two 100 day challenge projects, but still some embroidery done.

I have been beavering away at this in my weekly embroidery class. It will, ultimately, be one side of a sewing box, the other sides include ribbon embroidery and beading so this will be the easiest I think. There are about one hundred French Knots to be added to this before the side will be completed, but as these are most definitely not my favourite stitch to sew I need to work up the courage to tackle them :)

I cannot claim any credit for the shading in the roof embroidery as it is a result of using the most beautiful hand-dyed threads from 21st Century Yarns, who are the equivalent of a tempting box of chocolates for stitchers!

Speaking of tempting, this lovely craft book is the giveaway up for grabs for one lucky linker to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, courtesy of CICO books . So, if you have any Christmas or Holiday makes to report this month head on over to the link party to be in with a chance of winning.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday

Monday, 18 January 2016

Hanging around for Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew

Well, I enjoyed so much being organised come Christmas last year that I decided I wanted to be just as organised this year too. So what better way to be organised than with a monthly link party to keep me on track and a host of great giveaways to keep me motivated. Yes, it is time for 2016's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, which means time for a new button!

This year we have a great line up of bloggers and giveaway sponsors for you, so there will be lots of great projects to inspire you throughout the year and a great collection of exciting giveaways for some added incentive.

Here's where the monthly link ups will be throughout the year.
First up, it's me and my project for you this month will have you using up scraps, whilst organising your Christmas cards and brightening up your walls. What more could you ask for??

For years I have hung our Christmas cards on a length of sequin waste attached to an origami star decoration, but when I couldn't find it in amongst the box of decorations I decided that it was time to start afresh.

To make your own Christmas Card Hanger you will need the following:

1 - 1.75" hexagon for the centre (fussy cut if necessary)
5 - 1.5" x 4" border strips (border 1)
1 - 1.5" x 6" border strip  (border 1)
6 - 1.5" x 8" border strips (border 2)
10" square wadding/batting
10" square muslin (or similar) to back quilting
10" square backing fabric
4" - 0.125"/3mm wide ribbon (for hanging loop)
1yd/1m - 1" wide ribbon (for card tail)

Step 1

Stitch a 4" border strip to one side of the hexagon. Press the strip open and trim the right-hand end in line with the adjacent strip of the hexagon.

Stitch the next 4" border strip to the hexagon lining it up along the cut end of the previous border strip.

Repeat with 3 more of the 4" border strips

Trim the 1st and 5th strips in line with the top edge of the hexagon.

Attach the 6" border strip along this top edge.

Measuring 1.25" from the sides of the central hexagon trim the excess borders back to form a hexagon again.

Step 2

Using the 8" border strips follow the steps above to create a 4.25" hexagon.

Step 3

Layer the muslin, wadding and finished hexagon, in that order. Baste and quilt.

I echo quilted the hexagon in the borders. Trim the excess muslin and wadding.

Step 4

Using the quilted hexagon as a guide, cut the backing fabric to match the hexagon shape.

Mark the centre of the top edge of the quilted hexagon. Fold the hanging loop ribbon in half lengthwise. Matching the raw edges pin and baste the hanging loop to the right side of the quilted hexagon where you have made the mark.

Measure and mark 0.5" either side of the centre of the bottom edge of the quilted hexagon. Matching the raw edge at one end of the 1" wide ribbon, pin and baste as above.

Step 5

Right sides together, pin the backing hexagon to the quilted hexagon, pushing the length of the card ribbon to the middle of the sandwich to make sure that it isn't accidentally caught in the seams when you stitch.
With a 0.25" seam, stitch around the hexagon leaving one side unstitched.
Turn the hexagon right sides out and slipstitch the open side closed. Press

Snip the ends of the 1" ribbon to form a "V" and apply a few drops of Fray Check to the raw edges.

Hang up your Christmas Card Hanger and display your cards in style!

Of course it wouldn't be a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew link party without a giveaway and this month, courtesy of CICO books, we have the perfect giveaway prize to keep you on track throughout the year.

To be in with a chance of winning just link up your Christmas and Holiday makes below. One lucky winner will be randomly drawn when the link party closes at midnight on January 31st.

Thanks to these generous sponsors who make the monthly giveaways possible.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Tiny Tapestry

In my Stitch magazine that arrived during the run-up to Christmas there was an article and instructions for some lovely little tapestry brooches. Needless to say despite meaning to have a go at them I didn't actually get around to doing anything about it until now.

Turns out they are such fun to do and might even be addictive! The brooch on the left is stitched with tapestry wool that I had on hand and the one on the right is stitched with stranded cotton that was also on hand.

 They were so quick to do that I might just have got carried away and kept stitching!

The stitching on the left is more tapestry wool whilst the one on the right is a combination of hand-dyed stranded cotton and cotton knitting wool.

I bought the canvas squares and brooch findings from Tina Francis Tapestry and with another 3 squares of canvas waiting to be stitched I think I will definitely be going back for more brooch findings.

Tina is also one of the giveaway sponsors for this years Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, so if you would like to try your hand at these cute brooches be sure to link up in April. Of course if you can't wait until then check out Tina's kits here

The Link Party fun kicks off on Monday so be sure to check back then when there will be a chance to win a great giveaway prize for one lucky linker and a new Christmas home decoration tutorial to add to the Ho, Ho, Ho archives.

Grab this year's button and be ready to link up :)

Linking up to

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Challenging myself in 2016

Have you heard of Jen's 100 day challenge?


 Knowing how many New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside or get diluted because a whole year is plenty of time to complete them, Jen came up with the idea of a 100 day challenge. The thinking behind it is that 100 days is not too long to stay motivated for but long enough to complete a few big challenges. 

So Jen has challenged her fellow bloggers to 

1) Pick 3 specific Quilty/Craft goals - finish some UFO's?  try something new?  make that baby quilt?  declutter/destash?  easy/hard?  Doesn't matter, just be specific.  Specificity helps so we don't justify changing our goals midyear or rationalizing that we generally completed them when we only tried.

Naturally being the caring bloggers that we are there will be support along the way from fellow challengers and just to keep that motivation going, check-ins too. 

So, here are the three challenges that I have decided to go for in the next 100 days!

Bee blocks close up 

First up a Bee quilt that I said I was determined to finish in February last year! The quilt is Up, Up and Away from the book Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. The quilt consists of 589 white 2.5" blocks with a scrappy triangle in the corner. Thanks to my Bee mates in the Sunday Morning Quilts bee I have almost half of the quilt top pieced. I have now run out of Bee blocks so the rest is down to me, which means that I need to cut out and piece 235 blocks! 

You can probably see why this has hung about for so long :) 

 My second challenge is to complete my project for the Embroiderers Guild Capability Brown exhibition in May. I have the fabric, courtesy of Spoonflower now all I have to do is design and stitch the canvaswork insert! The final piece will be exhibited at Wallington which would definitely be a first for me, so if that is not enough incentive to get this finished I don't know what is :)

My third challenge is also embroidery related but I can't show you a photo of it yet, so have made do with this embroidered card! The project is a request sent out recently from the Embroiderers Guild to contribute to a large banner. I have never done anything like that before, but before I could talk myself out of it I replied to the email to say that I was interested in taking part. I am sure that I will be intimidated by all the wonderful embroiderers taking part, but that is a worry for another day!

So these are my challenges for the next 100 days, they should keep me busy :)

If you fancy challenging yourself too, head on over to Quilter in the Closet to check out the details. 

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