Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Benjamin Biggs and some instant gratification!

I have to say I can't think which number this block is off the top of my head but at least it's nearly done!!


I have still been having to grab stitching time where and when I can as Mum has still been needing quite a lot of hands on living assistence.  She has improved quite a bit but 5  months of inactivity has really taken its toll on her strength and energy so I am still very much her carer. I hope to get her to the Physiotherapist next week to devise some type of exercise regime that is designed for an elderly, much weakened woman in an effort to halt the loss of muscle and energy and hopefully start to regain some of both!!

However, back to sewing!! I have another 3 BB blocks in various stages of prep, 2 are almost ready to glue onto the background ready to machine applique.

I have still been doing a little bit here and there of my Whig's Rose blocks. A much slower project as it's all hand applique. While I do love the quick results of machine applique I still really enjoy the soothing and relaxing process of handwork.

Now, the instant gratification of the heading is a small idea that sprung forth after spying some Fig Tree Charm packs I've had in my fabric stash for a few years. I had a sudden uncontrollable urge to cut up and stitch together these pretty fabrics!! Here is the result of a couple of hours playing on Sunday night after dinner.


The colour hasn't come out as saturated as it is the the flesh unfortunately but it's so pretty I think I may make it bigger than I had intended.  I was going to make a table topper but I am now considering adding some applique on a border of natural quilters muslin and continue the borders to a lap or bed size quilt.

I have no idea why blogger has suddenly centred all my writing but I can't get it to align left now! If that's my biggest problem today I'm a lucky girl!!

Enjoy life and happy stitching,
Rowena



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Quite a catch up! I can't believe it's July and the last time I posted was January! My Mother had a fall which took months to get over and I was having to do everything for her which put my quilting very much on the back burner. When she finally started to really recover she tore a muscle in her back which put her out of action for another couple of months. We are all back to normal now with Mum being a lot more careful about where she walks and how she does things, I'm very pleased to say!!

So here is what I've been up to, a little bit of Whig's Rose and BB blocks 13 and 16. The blocks in between are in various states of prep.


Whigs Rose (all hand appliqued)

Ben Biggs Block 13  (All BB blocks are machine appliqued with cotton thread that matches as closely to the applique pieces as possible)

Ben Biggs Block 16


Some of the BB blocks laid out to get a feel for what it will be like when finished ( use your imagination!!)


....and a few more...

So I will say goodbye and go back to prepping and catching up on my BB blocks.

Happy stitching,
Rowena



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Benjamin Biggs Block 12

Another BB block finished and the next one is being prepped. This block was an easy one but the next one has a lot more pieces!


School goes back next week, I can't say I'm looking forward to ironing shirts every day and being back on the school run, most of all I'll miss having my gorgeous 14 year old son at home!  I always love the summer holidays. I loved them when I was at school and I think that is part of the reason I enjoy them so much still, I remember exactly what it felt like to have all those weeks stretched out ahead to do whatever we feel like.  Sad to think it's over for another year.

Happy stitching,
Rowena

Monday, January 12, 2015

Benjamin Biggs and Jacob's Ladder

Not a lot of sewing going on over Christmas and New Year but I have finished block 11 of Benjamin Biggs as well as another block finished of my Whigs Rose.


Today I laid out the strips of my Jacob's Ladder in order to sew them together.  I've had these
blocks for quite some time!


Lastly a picture of my Christmas entrance hall.



I am hoping to get a couple of quilts made over the next few months for 2 of my sons and I'd like to get back to Love Entwined sometime . Finally after 8 years of having all my quilting and sewing machine stuff in my bedroom I have a sewing room, I'm so delighted. The set up is pretty basic at present but I'm loving it!

Happy New Year for 2015 and happy sewing!

Rowena













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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Benjamin Biggs Block 10

I've been very side tracked as far as stitching goes, I've been busy looking after my Mum who hasn't been at all well but is now on the mend.

I managed to get this block finished and I have almost prepped all the pieces for the next block.


I have also nearly completed the 5th block of my Whigs Rose.  I think it will be lovely, I have been fantasizing about the quilting I will do!


Happy stitching ,
Rowena


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Benjamin Biggs Blocks 8 and 9

Here are my BB blocks 8 and 9.  I must say block 8 was a bit of a fiddle to prep and I had to stitch on the machine very carefully but I am pleased with the end result.


I have tried to take a close up picture to show how invisible the machine stitches are.  I use a Gutterman cotton thread that matches the applique piece as closely as possible and then using a very , very small blind hemming stitch on my machine to stitch right up against the edge of the applique.  I am so impressed with the speed and the results I will definitely use machine applique on future projects!


Block 9 was a pleasure to make, prepping went smoothly and quickly and stitching needed to be careful on the flowers but again a great result!


I am looking forward to doing the next block, I am really loving this project.  Many thanks to the Just Takes Two ladies for their generosity in preparing and sharing these patterns.

On the Carpal Tunnel problems, I am so thrilled at the improvement in my hands!  Taking a diuretic and wearing the splints at night has given me such a huge amount of relief from the painful and irritating symptoms I am amazed and so grateful!  I truly recommend giving these things a try before rushing into surgery, perhaps you too may get relief as I have. I haven't been doing much hand sewing at all over the past few weeks to really give my hands a chance at improvement along with the treatment and it's worked!

Happy stitching everyone,
Rowena

Sunday, August 31, 2014

French General Mini Quilt and Benjamin Biggs

I haven't been doing too much handwork for the past few weeks as I have Carpal Tunnel pain in both hands and it has been really driving me crazy , waking me up at night and constant pins and needles , numbness and shooting pain at times.....sooooo fed up with it!  I went to the doctor and she put me on anti inflammatory tablets and diuretics as well as wearing a splint at night on the worst hand.  I wouldn't usually blog about my ailments but I know carpal tunnel problems are common amongst hand sewers and knitters.  I have stopped the anti inflammatory tablets because they made me violently ill but have been rubbing anti inflammatory ointment on the base of my palm/wrist, taking the diuretics and wearing the splint and I have noticed a marked improvement!!  I haven't been wearing a splint on my right hand because it wasn't as bad as the left but now I have had such an improvement, the pins and needles/numbness is 50% less than it was, I am going to buy a splint for my right hand as well.  If this can be of any help to someone suffering from this beastly problem it will be a paragraph worth writing.

So now to the bit of sewing I have done!  A couple of months ago I bought a little packet of 2 1/2 inch squares of a French General range, Le Bouquet Francais .  Such a pretty selection of fabrics! I have used some of the pieces for applique on Love Entwined.  The remainder have been sitting on my sewing table begging to be used.  So I had some scraps of shirtings left over from the Benjamin Biggs blocks which I used for sashing.  I made this little sweetie.






I used a strip of Josephine, another French General fabric range, for the border.  I am really pleased with the result.  It really lets the French General fabrics shine in the simple setting.  It makes me want to make a full size quilt using the same setting.

The Benjamin Biggs block I am working on for this month has very fiddly pieces! It will be an experience stitching these by machine, I'll have to go very slowly. I have been working on prepping it in fits and starts but must get it finished, ready for the next block which will be released any day now.




I'm afraid my Love Entwined has been languishing on my sewing table but I have been working on my Whig Rose, gradually getting the blocks finished and enjoying the hand sewing.

Enjoy your weekend.

Happy stitching,
Rowena