Thursday, 6 February 2014

A lot to Hoot Abooot

Another 'Country Romance' block
Another month just flew by and I'm beginning to 'panic' a little about the time I have left to prepare for our travel adventures - 'stitchers' preparations that is. As we will be away from home for several long stints in 2014 I want to be sure that I have plenty of hand-stitching projects to carry with me - so for some of the past month I have been busy preparing projects for travel.

In my last post I hinted at the TQ Club challenge project that I had completed. The 2014 challenge was to make a banner measuring 12 x 35inches. When we registered for the challenge were given two small squares of fabric.  The 2014 theme was OWLS and the fabric was to be incorporated in 2 owls using at least 90% of the fabric.  All other choices were up to the individual - that is technique, fabrics, colours, finishing.

After my initial decision to incorporate both applique and embroidery in my banner, I spent a great deal of time searching through my stack of mags and on the internet to find something that would reflect the image I had in my mind.  This took me longer than it took to make the banner!

Embroidered owl
I finally found an embroidery design I liked in a volume of Crafts to Stitch.  The design was a small square wall-hanging by Paula Storm. I embroidered the central image and added my own words. 
Initially I was going to put just the embroidered square on the front of the banner but after great deliberations I decided to use it as my label for the back of the banner. So the name for my banner was created - Life's a Hoot in Our Whoos!  Once the embroidery was completed I moved on to making the individual owls for the front of the banner.

Block design
Banner elements
The internet provides us with some wonderful 'free' designs for personal use as well as some very helpful tips and techniques.  I found inspiration for the blocks in my design at www.quilterscache.com  There is an amazing range of blocks on this site, with instructions and examples. The templates for my owls were taken from a free pattern provided by www.jackieclarkdesigns.com  

Completed banner
I'm really quite chuffed with the end result of my three days stitching (and two weeks searching and researching!).  But you be the judge and let me know what you think of my lovely Welcome banner.



Vertical sashings
Sashings complete
The challenge wasn't the only project worked on through January.  I have also been very busy working on Mr Bonney's quilt that I started in January last year (2013 project initially!).  I thought as this quilt was to be a king-size topper that it would be easier (and cheaper) to work on it as a QAYG project.  Well, after struggling with putting the last of the sashings on last week I have now concluded that I can only work on SMALL quilts - that is no bigger than LAP size.  Anything larger is going to the QUILTER - cost or no cost.  There is still some hand-sewing to be done on the sashings but in general I am quite pleased with the progressive result.

There were two other projects completed in January - a special quilt for the OGO and a beautiful embroidery for self.  

You may recall I completed a quilt called "Swircles" in 2012 which was displayed at the TQs annual exhibition in Toowoomba. The OGO fell in love with that quilt but I was adamant that it was made for a special couple and the OGO could not keep it. I promised him I would make a similar quilt just for him to have on our bed.  The top was finished in December and the quilter (Rosalie at Rose Quilting, Meringandan West) finished the quilting in January.  I still have to bind it but the OGO just loves it as a replacement for 'Swircles'.  So here it is - my "Promise Kept" quilt.

Bullion stitch roses
Feather stitch on fan plates
Dresden plate fan
Completed roses with ribbons
 One of the projects in my bag of stored goodies from "Faeries in my Garden' Gift of the Month was a beautiful table/dresser runner that I had put aside because I didn't know how to do 'bullion stitch'.  


Last November a member of the Toowoomba Embroiderer's Guild taught me the technique for bullion stitch and I knew I had to complete this beautiful runner before I returned to the first meeting in 2014. How delighted am I with my completed project after accepting the challenge of this quite difficult stitch.  This is a gift for ME and I will be taking it to Show and Tell at the Guild meeting next week.
Completed runner - Oh so proud!!

   


Love and hugs to all