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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 680 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

For some reason I have not been able to get into my blog in the last few weeks. Time has been pretty tight, and on the odd few occasions when I’ve tried to blog, it just wouldn’t work. Frustrating!

This is one of the things I’ve worked on and finally finished. It needed sequins and beads, lining and cording.

I used two different size gold sequins put randomly around the embroidery. I seen one or two others finished and realised that I needed to keep the sequins in quite tight to fit them on the front and to keep them away from the seam at the bottom.

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A selection of beads in the same  and toning colours as the stitching were used to anchor the sequins down.

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This lemon printed fabric came with the kit for the lining.

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Much as I like it, it wasn’t right with the colours of the embroidery and the design was too large.

The burgundy and gold from my rose window quilt worked much better. I used the burgundy for the french knots and beads for the flower centre.

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The embroidered piece was machine stitched to the lining with right sides together, leaving a small gap for turning through on one side which was hand stitched. The two sides were hand stitching together to make the back seam.

The same burgundy stranded cotton was used for  cording that edged the seams across the top and down the back.

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Detail of the corded back seam.

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The finished scissor keeper. The end of the cord made a tiny tassel at the bottom.

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This is another Embroiderer’s Guild project I came across while I was tidying up, (one of many). It’s a scissor-keeper done in detached button-hole stitch. A new stitch to me, and it improved as I grasped it. This is the nearly finished first attempt. I then saw Alex’s and realised how messy mine was, big, uneven stitches. I pulled it all out and started again.

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I did more smaller chain stitches round the edge of each petal. This in turn means that there are more detached buttonhole stitches too.20140219-153735.jpg

I’m about to start the second petal here. I’m much happier with how it looks.
20140219-153819.jpg I like the effect of the varigated thread.

20140219-153851.jpgI done burgundy french knots for the centre of the flower. I want to put some beads amongst them too. Then it’s almost ready to make up.
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This is the stitch I’d started for the final strips a month ago. I was not really happy  with them, but wasn’t sure why, partly the colours, but mainly the stitch. I’d even sewn in all the loose ends, so I could assess it better. And finally, at the group this morning I realised what  the problem was – the main sections are diagonal stitches, the ziz-zag strips and the border are horizontal stitches and I was the adding vertical stitches. It was just too much. Also they didn’t cover the canvas well with the pinky yarn.

 

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I then started on the other side with Creole stitch, this is worked on the diagonal. It was very small and the scale looked unbalanced (I forgot to photograph this stage before I took it out). I then did my own variation on this stitch, which I’m sure is not really mine, and has it’s own name, but I’ve not spotted it in a book – yet. I’d also done the Creole stitch going from right to left, and I wanted the stitching to go from left to right on this side to lead the eye in to the centre.

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I started off with just two colours to make it a more restful area, but didn’t want it too stripy, so planned on doing two rows of one colour randomly. But the darker tone then became too dominant. (This sounds like Goldilocks and the 3 bears!!)

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So more pulling out! And the introduction of a third colour, again randomly, not one, two, three repeatedly.

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This is the opposite end, with a different random pattern of the three colours.

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And is the stage it’s at now, it should be easy to pick up and work on again in front of the telly!

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The first photo I took in artificial light so the colours are not true, but it shows the progress I’m making.

I realised that it won’t work in the same way as the centre panel and that I’ve ended up with a triangle leading inwards in the middle. I tried carrying on varying the colours and stitch widths and meeting at a centre point. But I’m not sure that it looks right (right hand side). The other side has ended up meeting with the same colour which I think looks better. I’m going to try doing both sides the same and seeing how that looks before I do any more on the right hand side section. It might need pulling out again!!

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The colours are not good on this photo,but it’s making progress.

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Filling in the last triangle on each side.

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Not sure I like the meeting of the ways.

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This side ended up meeting with the same colour, but different width stitches.

 

 

 

I’ve made a doll’s quilt for my great niece’s 4th birthday in some of the fabrics I used to make one for her when she was born.

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It was very pink and pretty, including the flower fairy fabric above, completely out of my comfort range colour-wise. I don’t seem to have a photo of the cot quilt, which is unusual. I photograph most of my quilts as they tend to have been for others and it’s good to look  back at earlier work occasionally.

But back to the doll’s quilt. I first started sewing and knitting for my own doll’s when I was very little. A knitted scarf for my old teddy, long since gone, the scarf not the teddy. The lady next door and one of my mum’s friends both made wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses, and they gave me the scraps of fabric, bits of lace and ribbon left over. One doll’s dress in particular sticks in my mind – a beautiful deep red satin, trimmed with white lacy flowers.

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This ribbon is about the same colour, and these are some of the flowers left over from the mid sixties in my stash. If memory serves me right, they were cut out and stitched in a ring around the neck. The hem was cut with pinking shears and left as a zig-zag  edge. I had a children’s  little sewing machine which I struggled with and found most frustrating because the top and bottom threads often failed to twist together and the seams came undone,  and the tension was rarely right, but I had enough successes for it not to deter me for long.

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This doll’s quilt used some squares I’d cut for the original cot quilt that were left over, so it was quite quick to put the top together and then I put fleece on the back.

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It then just needs hand stitching around the edge to finish it off.

My son has helped me make a 50th birthday card for my little big sister. She’s been taller than me since I was about 5.

We’ve been fumbling about PhotoShop again – I’m working on the principle that the more I use it the easier I’ll be able to achieve what’s in my head.

49 images of cats on the front and the one on the inside.