Well the G&T is poured, the lime is sliced and the ice cubes are clinking! Some tasty nibbles have been prepared and are ready to eat. Having our own little party tonight at Foreman Towers with Mr F. Happy New Year everyone xx
Oh my goodness I have had another busy year! Lots of hand made goodies have been used to decorate my home, and lots of goodies have been given away as gifts, with a few commissions thrown in for good measure too! I really appreciate all your lovely comments and messages - I'm also over on FB and Instagram too, as Nicola Foreman Quilts if you haven't found me yet, and I'm looking forward to sharing another year of crafty goodies with all my blog followers in 2016. All the pictures below are of the crafty goodies I've completed in 2015.
Eeekkk!! Flowerville Block 2 by Rosalie Dekker arrived in the post back in October from Under The Mulberry Tree in Australia, and I hadn't even started Block 1 when this one arrived as I'd been busy so stitching Halloween and Festive projects. Note to self - stitch faster!! Anyway, I'd finally caught up with my projects and needed some hand sewing projects for the festive holidays, so prepped the back of the linen with a piece of weave line and I was ready to begin. These hand dyed Cottage Garden Threads are beautiful to sew with, and go perfectly with the selection of Tilda fabrics that will be used for the dresden plates that this will eventually be appliqued onto.
Back in September, I arrived home after a busy day at work and I was nearly giddy with excitement when I saw this waiting for me! My postman had delivered the most WONDERFUL parcel. Block 1 of "Flowerville" by Rosalie Dekker Designs. These beautiful Tilda fabrics and a selection of Cottage Garden Threads make up the starter pack. This was ordered online from Under the Mulberry Tree in Australia, although there are a few quilt shops here in the UK running this too. I was rather busy with other projects, so unfortunately didn't get to start this until now...
...and here's the finished stitchery block. I haven't made a start on the centre dresden plates yet, as I'm still deliberating over whether to wait and do them all at once when the stitchery blocks have been completed. I have a few more blocks to catch with, so I'd better make a start with block 2!
This is probably my last completed project for 2015. The pattern is "Anna's Sminkepung" by the Norwegian designer AnnAKa, and the fabrics are by Lecien. This was quilted very simply with Aurifil thread 50wt in a pale green colour, and although the thread is very fine (I usually use 40wt for quilting and 50wt for piecing) it was such a pretty colour that it worked really well. I added some pink cotton lace trimming, to match the pink zipper, and my top tip is to use a glue pen to temporarily hold the lace in place then machine stitch it along the edge of the lace using a slightly longer stitch length than usual. If I use a wider lace trimming, then I tend to attach the lace under the binding itself, but that was much too fiddly for this narrow lace! My stock of Lecien fabrics is getting dangerously low, so I need to arrange a shopping trip to Sew and So's to get some more. Anyway, this was been wrapped and will be sent off to the post office on my day off on Wednesday for a long trip overseas as a thank you gift. Hope she likes it!
Over the past 4 months, I've been receiving these gorgeous packages from Under The Mulberry Tree in Australia. This is Rosalie Dekker Designs latest BOM, Flowerville, and is made with a selection of Tilda fabrics and Cottage Garden Threads for the embroidery. There are 9 blocks altogether, and over the next few weeks I'm hoping to get one block stitched per week so I can catch up with this one. As you can see I'm getting rather behind with my stitching projects!
A couple of weeks ago, the next 2 stitchery blocks of United Stitches arrived from Under The Mulberry Tree in Australia. This BOM is by Rosalie Dekker Designs, and I've already completed the first 20 stitchery blocks, and stitched a few rows together. I'd been really busy with working full-time, and preparing for Christmas, and doing some home-baking for the freezer had left me feeling exhausted, and I really was too tired for any sewing. I had already prepped these blocks with some weave line (fusible interfacing) and just needed some peace and quiet to make a start on the hand embroidery. So this evening I managed to complete US021 using Cosmo embroidery threads. Also in my hoop this evening is US022. I've definitely recovered from the exhaustion of Christmas preparations. Can't wait for the next 2 blocks to arrive!
I really can't believe it's Month 12 - the final month - of the Thread Club already! This was organised by Lynette Anderson Designs, and has been a wonderful club to be part off. Each month I've received a parcel from the Little Quilt Store in Australia, containing 10 skeins of beautiful hand-dyed Valdani embroidery threads. An optional extra was these cute personalised wooden spools to store the threads on. I rather cunningly wrote the number and the colour of each skein on the back of the spool with a pencil, so once the spool is empty, I can rub off the pencil markings and re-use it. These are gorgeous threads to stitch with. Thanks Lynette for organising this great club!
Oh and Lynette's top tip is to use some Thread Heaven thread conditioner with them if they feel a bit dry, and it reduces tangling and fraying too. I always keep some in my sewing tin!
Hooray! I can finally show you the Secret Santa gift that I was busy making last week. Made with some gorgeous Lecien prints, some cute blue spotted fabric and some pretty pink lace trimming, and my favourite cosmetic bag pattern "Anna's Sminkepung" by the Norwegian designer AnnAKa. Unfortunately it was pouring with rain once I'd finished it, so had to do my photoshoot indoors. Surprisingly, once the gift was opened today at our works "Christmas do", my colleague guessed who her Secret Santa was straight away!
This gorgeous fabric "Christmas Fun" was a gift from my very good friend Lynette Anderson Designs a few years ago to have a play with, and has been in my fabric box for far too long! Lynette's book "Stitch It For Christmas" has inspired me, so the pattern was printed, the templates were traced, and I was ready to make a start on "Sleigh Ride" table centre piece...
...the stitchery design was traced with a Micron Pigma pen, and Weaveline fusible cotton interfacing was fused to the back of the background fabric.The first layer of applique was stitched into place with a neutral coloured YLI silk thread and a Clover Black Gold appliqué needle. I used DMC stranded threads for the embroidery. Mr F watched me while I was stitching the reindeers, and Mr F said "why are you stitching llamas??" - honestly, sometimes I wonder why on earth I married that man!!! I then turned over the edges of the centre piece with a glue stick and my apliquick rods...
...once the centre has been appliquéd into place by hand, I've quilted around the inner and outer circle using Aurifil thread. The trees were embellished with hand painted wooden buttons, and small rusty sleigh bells were stitched into place on the reindeer's collars...
...this was completed a few weeks ago, and it was put away ready Christmas. We decorated the lounge at the weekend, with a tree and some garlands. The conservatory will also be decorated very simply, with some fairy lights hanging around the tops of the windows, and this on the coffee table. Merry Christmas everyone!
Blogs I follow
These are the UK shops that I use to purchase my quilting supplies - fabrics and threads etc.