Thursday, July 24, 2014

embroidery finished.

My embroidery from a few weeks ago - this has been coloured using watercolour pencils, and I had started embroidering it.
The completed embroidery.  I like how the colouring has given depth to the embroidery.  I enjoyed stitching this.  Now I need to decide how I am going to use it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

And progress...

Sashings are on, now on to the borders.

This is the Girls Own Stitch Club quilt from Red Brolly last year.  I enjoyed doing these stitcheries, and love the look with the Tilda sashings.

So that was my FNSI and Saturday Stitching.

You can go see what everyone else snacked on worked on for their FNSI by visiting here.  Thank you for another wonderful stitching night, Wendy.

Friday, July 18, 2014


It is that time again  -  time to go visit Wendy here, and sign in for tonight's FNSI.  Check out her yummy, super simple recipe while you are there.  Maybe you will have time to make some before your stitching.  I dont have any puff pastry sheets, so cant make that one for tonight, which means I had better go find an equally yummy and easy recipe to make.  Something warming I think.

I have been cutting strips, and now am about to trim blocks to size, ready to start sashings.  Progress photos to come.
Enjoy your night, whether you are stitching along or doing something else.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

You need to be comfortable


Just like the Grandies are.





Of course the tongue helps a lot.


Kai has stitched a house and a tree.  Next is a frog.

Charlie wanted to stitch ducks.  One is almost finished.

They will be back next week to continue with their stitching.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

FNwF stitching

I joined in with Cheryll and at least 50 others for FNwF last night.  While watching tennis I was able to do some embroidery on my  "Girls Own Stitch Club" blocks from Bronwyn Hayes - her free BOM on her blog last year.  
Now I have almost finished the embroideries I am keen to get on to assembling the quilt.  

Go here to check out what other stitchy friends have been doing for FNwF.  So much to see, so give yourself plenty of time - and a cuppa.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Was There.....

Even if I didnt  RSVP on my blog, I did link on Wendy's blog, and I did turn up.

I hope you all had a fun night on Friday and managed to get some stitching done - or maybe you had some yummy energy boosting snacks to enjoy.  I cant remember that I had any of the said snacks handy, but my stitching did come out.  And some of it needs to come out in another way - I was stitching in a place where the light was not so good, and I have very crooked back stitch.  Maybe instead of redoing it though, I could hang it towards the back of the Christmas tree - Sound like a plan????

This is a little kit/pattern I bought while on the Quilters Trail last week.  It looked like a simple no stress project that could be achieved quickly.  Just the thing for last Friday night.  It is "Christmas Maidens 1" from Petals and Patches.

 Hmmm.  It is the top left one that is not so good.  Looks ok in this photo so no need to look any closer.

They are fun to stitch, and take only a short time.

To check out those yummy treats and snacks  great projects everyone worked on, go and see Wendy's post here.  It was lovely to join in with you all.

The boys are counting down.  3 sleeps till their Mum is home again.  I hope I havent spoilt them TOOOOO much, but we have had a fun (exhausting) week so far.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Experiments with colouring and shading

While doing the stitching on my watercolour pencil shaded embroidery (previous post) I got to thinking of the other mediums/methods I have used for shading or colouring fabrics.

 The one above uses inktense pencils and water soluble pastels  to colour the leaves and flowers.  It is heavily coloured.  I have used fabric medium to seal it, some of it full strength, but then I started to mix it with equal amounts of water, as the fabric medium tended to make the fabric quite hard and sticky.
 The girls have been coloured using folk art paints, watered down with half water and half fabric medium.  I love the colours and the soft effect of this.
 The rose on this postcard is shaded with water colour pencils and diluted fabric medium. I have used stem stitch to outline it.  The pencil has been applied much darker than the piece I am working on now.
For this "Hugs and Kisses" design I have  coloured the dress and shoes using inktense pencils, but keeping a much lighter/softer effect than on the flowers above, and using fabric medium with water to seal it.

I have found them all to be interesting to do, and for the most part have been pleased with the result.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

FNwF stitching

At our Hand sewing class at Sew This and That for the past couple of months we have been experimenting with water colour pencil outlining and shading of an embroidery design.  My FNwF project this month was to commence the embroidery outline of the design.

The shading is very subtle, though I may go over some of it if it needs to be more pronounced.
I haven't decided what I will do with my finished design - when it is eventually finished.  I have a lot of flowers and leaves to do in the meantime.

You can go over here to check out what everyone else has been up to for this month's FNwF.  Oops, and just as well I went over as I realised I had not linked up.  All done now. Thank you once again Cheryll for linking us up for a cyber stitching night.

Friday, June 6, 2014

From this..........

 To this........
This month's club project at Sew This and That is a peg basket.  I am not sure that my pegs will cope with being in a shiny new home, after the dingy, dull flower pot that they have called home for ever.
We used mesh for the base and laminated fabric for the hanging top, with boning stitched in to give it the shape.  Even better is that we finished it in the class with time to spare.  Every one took home a completed peg basket so we were all very happy.

Added bonuses are that I dont have to keep bending down to pick up my pegs, and also the little Grandies and the dog wont be able to knock it over.

Win Win........

I have just been reminded too that it is 1st Friday of the month, so I am off to join in with
If you are keen to join the fun, go here to sign up.  I am looking forward to having a lovely stitchy night.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The party is over.... for now

While I was having a great time at the Chookshed Party I also had  2 Grandies visiting. Not to be outdone by Gran stitching, they were on a hunting and gathering activity.  They needed cardboard, pipecleaners, glue, tape, pens - all of which I could provide.  I couldnt provide "you know - those circle things"  (maybe I could have if I had known which circle things were required).

One of the masterpieces created - a flower with lots of leaves - must have been autumn because the leaves kept falling off.  Many pieces of sticky tape later he was happy enough with his creation.

Bedtime - they love to read their books together.  

While that was going on I thoroughly enjoyed my time celebrating the Chookshed Birthday.  Thank you so much Chooky for organising such a wonderful Blog stitching party.  Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time and lots of stitching was done, even with all the bubbly, chocolates and other yummy snacks.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Still partying

Two more finishes from the Chookshed party.

These 2 placemats were requested by 2 of my Grandies.  When Charlie saw the Octonauts library bags I had made for Harry's birthday, he asked for a Tunip placemat.  Kai then wanted one but I couldnt get the character he requested.  I found the Scooby Doo embroidery so as he is a Scooby Doo fan, I decided to use it.  Again it came from the Diva Doodles machine embroidery site.

They are rather happy with them, and have used them at dinner time tonight - straight from sewing machine to table.

piping finishes the cushion

My first finish during the Chookshed party is our sewing club project for May from Sew This and That.

We did double piping between the 2 fabrics on the top, and a piped edge around the cushion.  It was to have piping accent meandering over the main fabric - I left that part off at the request of my daughter as she preferred it without, and she is having the finished cushion.

I think I have said it before - I love doing piping, and it finishes off many projects so well.

Party, but help first

Today I am joining in with Chooky for the Chookshed 2nd birthday celebrations.
There is still all day to join in if you have a bit of stitching time.

Go visit Chooky's blog to say hi and that you would like to stitch too.

While there, read this post where she is asking us for help.  It wont be a hard thing to do but if we all do what we can we hope it will make a difference.

I will be back later to share what I have been up to today.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Preston Bag

At the stitching day at Lets Get Stitched we received some awesome patterns.
One I was keen to make before my trip to Tasmania was Dawn's "Preston Bag".  It has large pockets on the outside, and I knew that would be a handy thing for my plane trip - and it proved to be perfect.

I searched for a time to find the fabrics to use for this one, then found the book fabric, which I have used for the small pockets on each side of the stitched panel. It worked well with the stitched verse  "Home is where the story begins".  From there I could choose colours for the rest of the bag.

 I found this (Lynette Anderson) fabric with houses on would work with my other chosen fabrics, to make the back pockets.
I didnt have any twill tape/ribbon to use for along the handles, but found a length of this ribbon which was the right colour, and works beautifully.
Of course you cant have too many pockets, so I added some inside.  I hoped to have the large one (bottom of  pic below) with a zipper close, but time beat me, so it didnt happen.  But the pockets are  deep so are quite secure. 

I also used a bag weight wadding instead of pellon in the bag, as I wanted it to be more structured - mainly thinking of travelling and wanting it to be able to stand upright.

This is a fantastic bag, and  to buy the pattern go to Dawn's Craftsy Store here. Or contact Dawn if you have any problem with finding it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I was along on Friday night (with my chocolate snacks) to join you all for FNwF.

 My poor little machine worked almost non stop on Friday night and yesterday, embroidering more of these cute little Octonauts bags.
I am almost done now.  One more character to stitch out and a few to stitch up into bags.

And because Grans can do anything, I have done the first of 2 Octonauts jumpers which Harry just knew Gran could make for him.

I wonder what his favourite characters will be next year.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


One great thing about having Grandies come for my birthday is that they all help to blow out the candles (well I should have said they blow out ALL the candles)
 BLOW !!!
 Yay!  We did it.

On Thursday next week, I am going to Hobart to visit another lot of Grandies.  While I am there Harry will have his 4th birthday.  He is having an Octonauts party as he and his little mates from Childcare spend a lot of time playing and roleplaying  Octonauts.  I have been making library bags for all the littlies going to his party, as a take home gift.

These are appliqued with my embroidery machine and are stitching out so well.  The designs came from here.  I wasnt sure how they would be as there were no instructions for when to add the layers of fabric for applique, but once I started I could work it out.  The bags will hold stickers, notebook and a few bits and pieces like that.  Oh and an Octonaut figurine, which is what they all like to play with.

Harry, being the birthday boy, requested his 2 favourite characters on his, so this is Kwazii and Dashi.  He has now asked if I could make him 2 jumpers, one with Dashi on and one with Kwazii on.  I think time will beat me so they will have to wait till I get home again.  But it is nice to know they think Grans can do anything !

Monday, April 28, 2014

I am in awe of my bloggy friends

As we often say, blogging friends are THE BEST. I am still amazed at how wonderful it is to meet up in person, and share a friendship like we have known each other for years.

It is thanks to my wonderful bloggy friends that I have sold so many of my patterns since I released them in early March.   And it is fantastic to see how they have interpreted and personalised their projects.  I have their permission to share the following photos.

Shez has made 2 of the Priceless Sewing Cases. The first one  is made to the pattern.

 For her second one, she made some changes, and has put the seams on the outside and finished them with a binding.  It gives the case a  different look.

When I was designing the pattern I was trying to decide which way to make it, and decided to go with hiding the seams on the inside of the case, and stitched them to make a smooth interior and a nicely "rounded" look to the exterior.  With the way Shez has made her second one, the interior still has a smooth look, and the outside looks great as well.  Love the addition of the personal tag on it too.

Shez has more photos on her blog post today, (here) so why not go visit and see what  fantastic work she does.

Miche'le embellished the front of her sewing case with a beautiful doiley, and has embroidered one of her favourite verses to complete it.  It looks beautiful.

She also made up the shopping compendium to match. She used a feature fabric in place of the embroidery that is on the pattern.

I cant direct you to Miche'les blog as she has had a real problem with a hacker, and can now not get into her blog to do a post.  Some people need to get a life dont they, and need to leave us alone, they have nothing to gain from causing problems on our stitchy blogs.  But she has a Facebook page for her business, By Hoki Quilts, Hokitika, and you can check out some of her gorgeous work and about her shop there.  I wont put up a link in case it gets hacked too.

I love the fabrics that Larissa used for her Shopping Compendium.  Larissa was the first to show a photo of one of my projects, so she was my very first pattern tester - and did a good job in pointing out a couple of places needing corrections.  (thank goodness she did, it is so easy to miss the little mistakes).  Larissa does the most beautiful embroidery.

I love to see the different interpretations, fabrics, embroideries and alterations that are made.  I hope that if you make up any projects using my patterns that I see the results.

You can check out the patterns here on my blog under the Mardi Kaye Designs tab.  To order or make any inquiries, please email me.