Fun with left-overs

Last year, the lovely Helen of Hugs and Kisses generously gave me fabric from her range, Basically Hugs, in advance of its release to the shops. The commission from Patchwork & Quilting magazine was to make a cot quilt from the range, and so I featured the fabrics around some Australian animals:


There was a little bit of fabric left over - not a lot, but enough to make me think it deserved another project. Dresdens are popular at the moment, so I gave them a bit of a twist, divided them into four, added a bit of embroidery and Fan Dance was born:

 

I love the effect of the colour shading:


It was easy to turn them into fans with just a little bit of embroidery:


You can find the pattern in Patchwork & Stitching, Vol 16 No 9.



The cushions now look really lovely sitting in our Family Room on my grey lounge suite.

When I buy a new fabric range (usually one or two a year), I like to have a layer cake and 2 or 3 yards of fabric. The thinking behind this is that with the 10 inch square layer cake, you receive small pieces of the whole range of fabric, then the yardage gives you what you need for borders and binding. I can usually make 5 or 6 projects from such a purchase. Here, for example, is what I made from the Double Chocolat range: 


Two wall hangings, a tablecloth, placemats, a table runner, a wall quilt and a peg-bag. That's a total of 7 projects. (I had to buy a bit more yardage to complete the extra project and I also bought two packets of 2½ inch squares which were on super special.) 

I love how each project has its own colour focus, depending on what fabric is used in the border. Then it's always fun working out how I will use the last little bits of fabric that are left over.

I've just completed a pretty bag using the Autumn Lily fabric. It's my third design from this range and I thought it would go really well using some French Braid and Jumbo Ric Rac:


and a sneak peak of the other two:



You would hardly know they came from the same range, would you? One thing for sure is that you have to  really love the fabric before you commit to making so many projects! I'm actually going to put the rest of this collection away for a while and come back fresh to it in a few month's time. There's another range burning a hole in my cupboard!

Happy stitching!
Val

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Pattern 6

Half the year has almost disappeared so it's time to give you Block 6 in the free Keys to Contentment wall quilt


It's easy to be thankful when everything is going well.


The key is always to have an attitude of thankfulness, no matter what the circumstances.



I hope you enjoy stitching this block. The pattern can be downloaded free from here in my Craftsy Store.

 Last year I taught Hardanger and Silk Ribbon embroidery at the Creative Craft Retreat and we made a pincushion and scissor-keep.  


I decided to make another set of accessories, this time using the beautiful Kacoonda silk ribbons and threads.


I added a tape measure cover to make it a threesome: 



I just love the range of colour variation in this gorgeous 054 silk ribbon:


Happily, the lovely editor of Embroidery & Cross Stitch magazine liked my design and it has now appeared in Vol 22 Issue 12:


I've had my skates on this week and I'm so happy to say I completed four projects, three of which are gifts. Now I'm onto some stitchery panels to accompany some French braid. I find it interesting that the most popular pattern in my store is a Christmas runner with French Braid centre - Ding Dong Merrily:


The fact that it is so popular really surprises me, but I guess there is something really lovely about French braid panels. They certainly are a great way to showcase a range of fabrics and use up lots of jelly roll strips!

Now I'm on the search for just the right jumbo ric rac to go along the sides of the braid.

Happy stitching!
Val 

Hooked on stitching accessories

It's no secret that I'm hooked on stitching accessories! You only have to look here or this page to see that I LOVE making beautiful pincushions, needlecases and anything else pretty that we can use in our stitching.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about "Sorting Out the Needles" where I admitted that it took a while for it to dawn on me that needles are tools that have specific tasks and therefore it is an advantage to have them sorted so that the right needle for the job can easily be found.

My solution was to design a six-pocket needlecase for packets of needles. I'm still in love with the concept so I decided to revisit the project and make one with this stitchery design on the front:


The fabric I've used has fond memories as our daughter bought it for my birthday when she was in New Zealand. I so admire a fabric designer that can draw roses like this:


People sometimes ask me if I come up with my own name for my designs. The answer is yes, and usually the publisher will keep the name I have chosen, which makes me happy. I called this pattern "Hanging by a Thread" and you can find it in Country Threads magazine Vol 16 No 6:


Earlier in the year I made a quilt in which I have used solid black fabric to show off a lovely fabric range. It was crying out to be named "Black Beauty" and it has just come back from the quilter looking gorgeous:


 Talking about names of projects, I realise that I am very fond of alliteration. Somehow the repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of words seems to really work for me. Guess what I've called this project with lots of fuchsias?


Fuchsia Frolics! As much as I love the fuchsias, it is hard to me to design something that doesn't have a rose or two as well!:


This week I have one more Christmas design to complete for a magazine and then I will be on to bags and purses. I just completed my first coin purse and totally love how it has turned out ... definitely more coming up!

Happy stitching!

Val