Quick Stitches

Cross stich Owl

Owl’s Teacup

Cross stitch flower (2)Cross stitch flower

 

Here are some little cross stitches that I have finished recently.  They were free kits with a couple of craft orders.

You would think that, being small, they would be great little projects for beginners to try.  But the owl had quarter stitches, half stitches and French knots while the flowers were stitched with one strand over 18-count!

Cross stitch Owl card

I made up the owl into a quick little card so that I could write a note to a friend.  As for the flowers, they are small enough to fray the edges and mount as patches on the front of greeting cards.  Or maybe use them on a scrapbook page.  Any other ideas?

 

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WIP No 2

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My favourite lap stand hoop

I am so happy!  Now I can finish this WIP.  It’s been packed away for ages;  I lost the graph and just found it yesterday.  So now I can make a start on all the back stitching.

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Looking a little bit creased and rumpled from being packed away for so long, but it’ll all come out in the wash – literally!  When it’s finished I’ll swish it through some warm water and gentle shampoo, rinse, roll it in a towel to squeeze out the water and then iron dry face down on a fluffy towel.

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Cross stitching accessories

These are my necessities for cross stitching bar the needle.  Scissors, floss, needle threader and two items which may be unfamiliar.  The little dark blue plastic box contains a sponge.  I run the thread through the damp sponge to keep it flat so it doesn’t twist as I embroider.  Does anyone else do this?  Also my pink floss card winder.  Each card can hold one full skein of floss.

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Plastic boxes for holding embroidery floss cards

I have been reading some cross stitching blogs and it is interesting to see how different people store their supplies.  This is pretty much my whole collection of DMC thread, which doesn’t take up much room at all.    In addition, I have a box of unused skeins of DMC floss plus two containers of other brands, so it all easily fits into one drawer.

When I’m done stitching, I roll my cross stitch in a towel and store in a clear plastic tote; everything else fits into my little case in the top photo.

WIP No 1

Half Square Triangles

WIP – what is that?  Work in progress, to the uninitiated!

Crafters knows that term well as a way to justify all those half finished projects that tend to accumulate.

This is one of mine and what you see are half square triangles in random colours that I am sewing into strips.  Eventually, they will turn into a quilt.  Just not sure what it will look like yet!

C’est la Vie

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This is all I have to show after spending a great day at the annual Craft & Quilt Fair last week.  Yes, I did remember to take my camera and yes, I took lots of photos of some beautiful quilts which featured in two quilt challenges – True Blue and Lest We Forget in honour of the Gallipoli landing, as well as demonstrations and workshops.   Unfortunately, after downloading them onto my (new) laptop, it decided that it would not turn on the next morning and I had to take it back to the shop – for the third time!  Too bad I so efficiently deleted the photos from my camera after downloading.

So the good news is that I was given a store credit to replace my laptop (a different brand this time!) but the bad news is that I lost all my data.

As if that wasn’t enough, I just purchased a new washing machine in the last few days and used it for the first time yesterday. The first load went through perfectly;  unfortunately it broke down on the second load, which then got rewashed about 4 times while I tried to get the water to drain out, which it refused to do.  Result – a very clean laundry floor and a new washing machine being delivered tomorrow.

They say these things happen in three’s …… can’t wait to see what happens next!

Fun with Bias Binding

I’ve been umm-ing and arr-ing about purchasing a Simplicity Bias Tape Maker for ages, and after seeing it on special recently, decided to go ahead – and I am so pleased I did.

Apart from the fact that I find it very difficult to resist a gadget, this little machine works very well and I was delighted with perfect bias binding in a matter of minutes when I tested it out.

So of course, the next question was – what to make! I couldn’t wait to get started and luckily happened across a blog called “Made by Loulabelle”. Verity has many excellent tutorials but the one which caught my eye was the Knitting Needle Roll which had some bias binding on it – perfect! I highly recommend you visit this site – the tutorial was very easy to follow and I was so pleased with the result that I made a second one for my friend so that she could store her knitting needles as well. (So much nicer than the annoying plastic container that I had been using.)

Knitting Needle Rolls

Knitting Needle Rolls

As for the binding machine, I have seen mixed reviews but I am more than happy with my purchase. The 1″ tip is standard and is what I used for my project. It produced the narrowest binding in the photo below which has been pressed in half. Very easy to insert the strip into the tip if you cut the fabric on an angle.

Various other tips are available separately, and I tried out the 1-1/4″ tip. Unlike the narrow tip (and because I didn’t read the small print on the packet) I didn’t realise until I tested it, that this wide tip only folds the fabric in half; so you have to insert the strip into the side of the tip, which is a bit fiddly but so worth it when you think how much binding you need for a quilt, and this machine does it very quickly with a press of the button. So much easier than trying to create bias tape perfectly with the iron – gotta be worth the price just to have no more burnt fingers!

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

This post is dedicated to my friend, Maria, who was the inspiration for the Knitting Needle Roll. Thank you for providing me needles and yarn so that I could knit a scarf on the trip back home from Sydney.