Thursday, 23 February 2012

Love is in the air

A little late for Valentine's Day, I know, but I did start tatting this heart on February 14th.

It's not a token for my loved one - I don't think he'd know what to do with it. Instead, it will join all my tatted snowflakes as Christmas decorations, either to bedeck the tree or the mantlepiece. The pattern is the Tatted Heart from Handy Hands, and I tatted it in size 20 Aida from Anchor. I was anxious to get started on this and didn't have the patience to fill a whole shuttle. This is what I was left with when the heart was done...

Talk about cutting it fine.

I've also been quilting this week, and have now finished the quilting on a project that I started about 5 years ago.

The quilt pattern comes from a book called French Braid Quilts by Jane Hardy Miller. It's one of those designs that looks more complicated than it really is. In fact, it's easy to put together. You just have to treat the bias edges around the pieced sections with a bit of respect.

I used a whole stack of floral fabrics that had been languishing in my stash, and bought only the pink for the squares and thin borders, plus the Japanese style large-scale floral for the sashing and borders. I started this quilt as a class sample, and thought I would experiment with fabrics outside of my normal range. Perhaps that's why it has taken me so long to complete.

It's quilted with the Bushberries pantograph design by Hermione Agee. I think this one may become a favourite. The scale of the leaves and berries makes it easy to follow the design, and my new EZGlide wheels make those curves a breeze.

Just the binding to go, and then it's on its way to my mum who is going to raffle it to raise funds for Friends of Gawthorpe, a charity which supports the upkeep of the nationally important Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth textile collections at Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Winter warmers

Winter has definitely arrived this week, and it has encouraged me to finish the knitted hot water bottle cosy that I started before Christmas. The pattern comes from The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore & Vikki Haffenden that Mr Q bought me for my birthday. With some help from the owner of &SewWhat in Chorley, I substituted Rowan Lima for the suggested yarn. Ever since I first saw Lima I was seduced by its softness and heathery colours, but as it is on the pricy side, I thought I'd try it in a small project before really splashing out.

I am delighted with how this turned out. The yarn is just as gorgeous as I had anticipated and I really enjoyed the simple cabling of the pattern. I'm looking forward to being toasty warm on the nights Mr Q has to spend away from home for work.

I have made progress with the Made in Cherry quilt along. I've sewn all the pieces together and added natural linen as a background. I have ideas for how to quilt it, but for the time being it'll get added to the end of the quilting queue.

We're enjoying the chilly weather. Stretched out in front of the fire...

this feels a little like a rotisserie!
chatting on FaceTime...

or playing outside...

I found this on the patio!

making the most of the sunshine with an ice-cream in the snow!
It's been a good week.