Monday, August 01, 2016

Working with Needle and Thread

It's been ten days since my sewing machine (my Jag) went into the shop. In my last post, I was wondering what I would do....bring up one of my other machines to do some piecing, do some handwork and/or finish some projects?

So far, I haven't brought up another machine. I worked on an outstanding project, started a hand sewing project, read a few books, cleaned my sewing space and started on a new project.

Block 47 Heroine's Crown
This hand appliquéd block is from the Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week project that I started a few years ago. I went through my blocks and realised that I only have 8 blocks left to do. When I complete a few more blocks, I'll write a post about how they relate to the fight for women's rights.

Hand appliqué is not my strength, even after making many orange peels, I appliquéd most of the pieces in this block by basting over the freezer paper, except for the oak leaves. Considering how difficult it was, the block came out better than I expected.

A few months ago, I discovered the Make Modern magazine from Australia. It has some lovely projects, it's a great price (the Australian dollar is roughly the same as the Canadian dollar) and it's available to download.

I've been interested in English paper-piecing but I really don't like hexagons! Don't know why, I just don't! I found a great little project that involves English paper piecing with triangles. It's called Shattered Cushions by Susan Bolte. It's from the eleventh issue of Make Modern magazine.

Aren't they lovely? I found some fat-quarters that I had been saving for something special - and this is it. They are grey and that lovely teal that's been so popular in the last couple of years.

The instructions suggest using a quick way of English paper piecing, but for me the whole point is to enjoy working with needle and thread. So I'm using the freezer paper, applying it to the back of the fabric and then basting each piece. It's just like doing those orange peels I loved so much.

Last weekend, I went away with my hubby. He went golfing and I drove around the wonderful back roads of the Upper Ottawa Valley. Most of the time, I had the roads to myself.

Antique embroidered hankies
I found an antique shop that had a few old hankies. When I spoke to the owner, he took out a box full of beautiful hand embroidered runners and tablecloths. Here is what I came home with.

I didn't dare iron them since I don't want to set any of the stains. I'm going to have to find some Retro Clean in Canada. This is what Cindy Needham recommends to clean these old beauties.

One of the hankies has a great lace border. Since it's plain, it would make a great background for a pretty art quilt. I'm still thinking about that one!

Antique hand embroidered runner

Finally, I framed "The Feather", the needle felted piece I made at an Out of the Box play day, It's hanging in our bedroom, but there isn't much wall space left.

"The Feather" is now framed
What I learned:

  • I didn't think I had much to say for this post, but it looks like I've kept busy, even without my sewing machine. 
  • It's been a nice change to do some hand work. I've even brought the projects to work so that I can play during my lunch break. It's a great way to spend a lunch break with my fellow crafters.
  • My trip through the Upper Ottawa Valley gave me a lot of time to ponder on one of the projects I want to do. I may have finally figured out how to put it together. I've chosen the fabrics and will slowly start playing with ideas. I want this one to be 3-D as well include needle felting and possibly fabric painting. I'm really going out of my comfort zone with this one!

Thanks for dropping by. This post is linked to a few linky parties. Please check them out!
MOP Monday, Main Crush Monday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Fabric Frenzy Friday, and Slow Sunday Stitching.


  1. You have been busy indeed!! That hand applique block is really beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Those antique hankies are such a treasure to find! The plain one will be lovely as an art piece. Thanks for sharing these on MCM!

  3. The hankies were definitely a find! I'll have to pull out my stash of them to see what treasures I have, though I don't think I have any lacy ones. Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

  4. Love your shattered cushions! Glad you could save some old handwork!

  5. I remember sewing that applique block... it really was challenging!

  6. Great job on Heroines Crown. I just went through all my blocks and need to start putting them together.


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