Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Hand stitching WIPs

I have been pottering away at a couple of Handstitched projects. Some of them are from the class I took with Rachel (which was AGES ago, but I'm still trying to get through them). Some of them are my own weird brain working away. Part of me loves having different projects on the go, because I can flit about as the mood takes me - some days I need to have a structured cutting & piecing and machine based activity, other days I just want to chill with a free form piece of hand sewing. What am I talking about? Well here's my current Handstitched WIPs...

1 - Medallion Quilt embroidery

Ok, this is taking forever. I don't know why as its really simple, but I have to be in a certain mood to get satisfaction from this. I think (and I'm just spit-balling) that the combination of the repetitive colour and pattern is not enticing me to want to sew. Don't get me wrong, I love the way it looks, I'm totally happy with my colour choice, and I know that I will be really happy with the quilt at the end if I keep on the way I'm going. I just am bored with the repetitive nature of what I'm doing. If I could throw some whacky colours in there or keep the colours but mix up my stitching I think I'd be more inclined to power through... Oh well. I'll just keep going slowly and steadily (by the way, I've come up with a solution for the corners of the next border. I'll share soon).

2 - Hexagon Appliqué Tree

This has become a schemozle. I still love it, but I think I killed it...

I started stitching down my hexagons using regular cotton. I couldn't remember how to do a blanket stitch so it took a minute or two to work out the kinks. And every time I put it down I had to re-learn my stitch when I picked it back up.

I was finding the cotton was snagging a lot and driving me a little crazy, so I thought I'd swap and try using perl or embroidery thread and see if that was easier/nicer. Planning to go back and unpick and fix it. Again, I went with a blanket stitch. It was cleaner because the thread was much nicer. My stitches were still a little rocky.

In the next section I thought I'd see if I could do an invisible whip stitch type thing, so enter another weird element to the mix.

Not to mention, I had to unpick one side of the bag because I couldn't manoeuvre around nicely when I was trying to sew. I'll try to remember this for next time...

But now I have this weird looking half sewn bag with odd stitches all over the front...

I'm seriously considering abandonment... Or maybe I should just rip everything off the front and start again. Thoughts?

3 - Folk Pear Cross-stitch

I was in a weird mood when I found this pattern, and I just really liked it. I bought the apple as well. I like working on this when I want to focus on intricacy... Not because I'm using fancy stitches, but because I have to focus and count and be 100% paying attention to what I'm doing. I'm not quite halfway, but it's coming along. And check out how neat the back is!!!


...well I think that's cool...

4 - Whole Cloth Quilt

 Another random purchase of mine, I bought this cute little panel and matching flannel backing. I haven't put in any wadding, it's just the two layers of fabric, I thought it might be nice to have a more lightweight blanket around. But I am practising hand quilting. It's not brilliant, but I think I'm progressing. I'm using lots of the techniques I learnt in Handstitched and am including some embroidery type elements, that I am hoping don't backfire on me.

I've done multiple lines of various length running stitch in the tree to hopefully look a little like wood (so my unevenness is totally on purpose!) and have tried to be more even inside the flowers. I've done a couple of these more rounded flowers with the daisy stitch (lazy daisy? Daisy chain? I don't know, it's got a proper name, any how). For the little birds I've done a backstitch. Now I'm pretty confident that I should not be using any of these for "quilting", not least because the back looks a bit interesting and there is the potential problem of little finger/toes getting caught in the stitches while sleeping, but I'm learning as I go so I'm not worrying too much. I'd rather learn these lessons on this $25 set than on my fancy and fabulous medallion (when it comes time to quilt it).

5. Quilting embellishments

I decided I need another, bigger, sewing book. The needle book I made at Christmas is so small that it is constantly overflowing. So, on a whim, I picked up this fabric at Spotlight. It's a lovely glittery print and I have started outlining the butterflies/moths with a brown perle. I think the perle is perfect because it keeps that glittery feeling, but I also bought a couple of darker browns, so I'm sure I'll mix it up as I go. I am actually quilting as I go too! So definitely learning having done Handstitched.
I have to say this is the bottom of my priority list and I've done next to nothing on it, so it might never get too far, but in theory, this is a practical project which is a win, as so much of what i make has no purpose at all :-)


So that's the contents of my embroidery bag at the moment. Yes it's a little full, but each of these projects is doing something different for me. And if none of them are pushing my buttons, I can always work on one of my machine WIPs...

E xx


  1. Wow some gorgeous projects there! I love hand quilting too, but it does take an AGE! At least you have lots of projects on the go for when you want to do something different. The pear is awesome by the way, I love that style. And a Hexie tree, what a fab idea! Keep up the good (gorgeous) work :-)

    1. Thanks Sarah. This is my first experince with hand quilting, and I am in awe of peopel who do this all the time. It is soooo time consuming. i don't know how they ever get a finish.
      And yes, I have a project for every mood :-)
      E xx

  2. You have some gorgeous projects going on there!

  3. Ooh, so many lovelies! And I adore that pear. So awesome! And there's an apple too???? :) Can't wait to see.

    1. There is an apple too. I have to finish the pear before I can start it, but I think a couple of little fruits for my kitchen will be just the ticket. I don't know how my husband will feel about that though :-)
      E xx

  4. Wow, Erin! I can't get over your handiwork. The embroidery on the medallion adds so much! Beautiful! And the pear just makes me want to stitch. Gorgeous WIPs!

    1. Thanks, Cindy. The embroidery is the total star of the medallion, but it is so time consuming. What are you working on?
      E xx


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E xx