Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 8

For some people, "discipline" is a dirty word. In these days of "I can do what I like, when I like, and how I like", personal discipline has largely disappeared from our society.


But not so for those who love God. He has asked us to "Clothe ourselves with discipline", because He knows that this is the life that will satisfy us best, make us most productive, and make us a blessing to others. 


As you can see, "Discipline" is the theme for this month's block of the month free pattern,

So, chosen bv God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you.  Clothe yourself with discipline." 
Col 3:12-14


You can find the free pattern here in my Craftsy Store.

I seem to have spent the whole week writing up patterns. I have three quilts nearing the stage where they are ready to send off for publication. While in themselves the quilts are not complex, they have lots of different parts, and so there are pages and pages of details that I have to think about and try to write up in a way that can be easily understood. By the end of the week, I needed a break from them so that I can come back refreshed in a couple of days and pick up anything that is unclear, inaccurate or missed altogether!


My break has come in the form of starting on two cushion covers. I was given some beautiful Japanese fabric which has motifs designed to be used individually, not in yardage. They cried out to be made into cushions for our Family Room. One of our daughter has been in Japan for more than 30 years, so we have some of their amazing dolls scattered throughout our home, so these cushions will fit in perfectly. 


I've started the process and have prepared the appliques. They are going to look great on our grey lounge suite. With just the backing and binding to do, I am hopeful they will soon be on show!

Have a happy week!
Val

The cardboard and glue phobia

Some years ago we lived much closer to the South Pole, where it was cold and windy. We had a separate garage which was a very bleak place to be in the evening in the middle of Winter.  That's where my husband was relegated to work on his electronics hobby!


The alternative of working with soldering irons and electronic bits and pieces all over the lounge room wasn't on the agenda of this houseproud wife. 


Needless to say, interest in that hobby waned. One day a friend offered some good advice: "You need to do something with your hands. You are using your brain all day teaching students and need to do some handwork to relax."


At the time, we had a male colleague who was very good at tapestry - so good he had won prizes for his work. So hubby decided to take a leaf out of his book and a new hobby was born. He took to tapestry like a duck to water and enjoyed "painting with thread". 


He was so prolific that we spent a fortune on framing in the first year! I needed to slow him down a bit, so the suggestion was made that he tackle cross-stitch ... and he liked that even better ... and I could do things with the finished project other than framing.


And so began a number of years of beautiful cross-stitches being produced.  They became cushions and calendars, and box covers and wall-hangings. They made ideal gifts - for the many students' weddings, for the family, for friends ... and some I liked so much I refused to give them away! 


But then there was that kit! It was a beautiful fan and listed amongst the requirements to complete the project: "Cardboard and glue".  Those words were enough to shut my mind down and to put the beautiful completed cross-stitch in a drawer 
... for a very l-o-n-g time!


Fast-forward a decade and I saw that project in the drawer (yet again!!!). I've used cardboard and glue hundreds of time, so what was the hang-up? Paper craft may not be my favourite but I really needed to do something about completing that kit after all these years ... and get over my phobia. Would you believe it only took me an hour to put it all together. Why oh why was I so stupid and left this beautiful piece uncompleted when I could have been enjoying its beauty for the last ten years!


Unfortunately hubby's eyes deteriorated and he couldn't see to do cross-stitch so hasn't done many at all since this beautiful fan. With successful cataract operations, he sometimes says he would like to get back into the hobby again.

The moral in the story of course is to tackle things head on and don't be stupid like me!
And yes, all the above are my husband's lovely work!

Happy stitching!
Val

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 7

This month's block in the free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
is all about 'humility'.


So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you. Dress yourself in humility.  
Colossians 3:12-14

There's a little bit of stitching and some pretty flowers:


I picked up a packet of these tiny wooden coat hangers some time ago. They sat in the drawer waiting for just the right project, so of course one of them had to appear on this wall hanging.


I hope you enjoy stitching this block.


You can find the free pattern here in my Craftsy Store. 

Another thing I had in a drawer was this beautiful red fabric given to me by a dear friend. With a bit of black, and white, (with a hint of green), it turned into my pair of "Petals and Points" Cushions.


The pattern is in Issue 36 No 2 of Handmade Magazine.



Winter tends to put me in hibernation mode, even though we live in the sub tropics!, so the production line has been pretty slow lately. However last week I did get a bit of a "go on" and completed a quilt and did some decent work on another - secret projects so no photos yet.

Now I'm waiting on the postman to bring me some special fabric. I can feel another quilt coming on!

Happy stitching!
Val

More Fun with Felt

 In my last post I told you about the "Fun with Felt" class I will be teaching at the Creative Craft Retreat later in the year. The class has limited numbers so that I can give individual guidance to the ladies. This means they will have a wide range of choice, both of design, and felt and thread colours, rather than everyone doing the same thing.


I am going to encourage them to choose their design before they arrive so that they don't waste the first hour trying to make up their minds which one to embroider!


I was going to email them a dozen or so designs that I have drawn, from which they can choose ... but how boring is it to see a black and white drawing on a computer screen!?!   

I decided it would be much better to show them worked examples, so I've been having my own 'fun with felt' time and been stitching some of them:


We will be working on a small rectangle of felt which can be put on a bag, or Ipad or Journal cover or made into a needlecase or pincushion - ideas only limited by one's imagination. 


I am really hooked on felt at the moment!



Candy from Capetown recently sent me two photos of block of the month projects that she has completed. Here's "Keys to Contentment" from a couple of years ago:


and last year's free pattern "You are Blessed":


Hasn't Candy done a lovely job! Now she is starting on this year's "Hand-picked Wardrobe". If you want to join in this free Block of the Month programme, all the patterns from the last six months are still available and will remain free until the end of the year.

I hope you are having as much fun with your stitching as I am.

Val

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 6

It's hard to believe that nearly half the year has already gone! That means it's time to give you Block 6 of the Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
Hand-picked Wardrobe.


So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you.  Put on kindness ....
Colossians 3:13


 When you finish this block, the quilt will be half finished!


 The block for this month includes a pinwheel:


The free pattern is in my Craftsy Store here.

I've been addicted to felt the last couple of weeks. I am teaching "Fun with Felt" at the Creative Craft Retreat later in the year, so have been having a wonderful time preparing samples.  


In the bird sample, there are eleven fun stitches which give it so much texture and dimension: Blanket stitch around the edge, Fly stitch on the outside of the bird, satin stitch eye, cast-on stitch around the wing, then chain on the inner wing, Palestrina knot around the tail and coral stitch on the inner tail, back stitch leaves, stem stitch vine, straight stitch feet. Then there are the whipped woven circles on the ends.


 It is so much fun watching the transformation of some lifeless felt into a 'work of art'. I like the folksy feel this sample has. It's a genre I've been exploring a bit more lately. Who knows where it might take me!

Happy stitching!
Val