Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a little embroidery update: block five

we're nearing the start of block six, so i thought i'd get finishing four and five before i'm overloaded with school work... (i'm a little behind on four, but here's five!)

here's a close up of the embroidery, although not the best quality picture. i love the bunting. i have a feeling i might go overboard with it soon on the run up to christmas & decorating...

so it was back to school for me yesterday. so far so good. i'm hoping i'll be able to keep up with things in the blogging world - maybe i'll have to set aside my saturdays while the hubby is working to catch up on all the bloggy stuff. here's to a successful semester!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

fair results

okay. first things first, right? let's pick a winner of the St Patrick's Day giveaway... here it is:

and no. 7 was:

congratulations annemarie! you have the same name as my little sister! and it looks like you have the Irish luck... please email me your address information to lindsayladwig(at)gmail(dot)com and i'll have your prize out to you pronto.

now onto more prizes...

i'm so happy to report that all four of my items entered at the state fair won a ribbon of some sort. my afghan took first prize in its class as well as two other awards. i couldn't believe my eyes!

this afghan seemed to take the longest time to complete. i started it around last summer, i believe around the time when my sister was visiting. i loved the look of this right away, so i gave it a try - it's my very first attempt at cable knitting. i love how the tree branches seem to intertwine around each other.

then the border is made up of leaves sprouting out from the blanket. these are what seemed to last forever! but it really makes the whole thing look beautiful. i love this blanket more and more as i stare at it. i'm not sure if i'll make another like it, so it might just be a one of a kind in this household. i finished it near the beginning of the year - probably just before i started this blog. hence, no posting about it.

anyway, back to the fair... my knitted scarecrow also won a first prize ribbon in the knitted dolls category. yay!

my quilt was hanging way up high (and i'm kinda glad because it's so white) and was awarded a third place ribbon in its class.

one of my favourite quilts that i saw in the whole fair was this dragon appliqued quilt. don't those dragons look great? it won a best of division award of some kind. it totally deserved it.

the samurai cross stitch that i made for my brother took a second place ribbon. i wanted this item to win something most of all so that my brother could say he has an award winning piece of art. :D

cross stitching takes such a long time, so it's not my most favourite craft to be working on, but i love some of the results. i thought this Noah's Ark piece was beautiful.

and i really like the map of Oregon... (i'm now looking to find a UK map/Ireland map in the same style - anyone know where i could find one?)

the hubby and i loved this cake. super gory, complete with eyeballs and intestines hanging out!

i absolutely love the folds in this cake. especially that bottom layer. i wonder how long it took to do. it looks like a lot of work!

we also got to see a medieval show complete with sword fighting and jousting. it was pretty awesome, but the accents were BAD!

here's my favourite picture from the whole day. i was trying out my panning technique. not too bad for a novice panner. he looks great.

we had a very enjoyable day at the fair. now i'm already thinking of what to make for next year's fair to top this one!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a little craziness

only about a day left to enter my giveaway, so go ahead and leave a comment!

meanwhile, a little update on the crazy nine patch for the hubby. i've sewn all the main block pieces together - all 72 of them! phew! the hubby wants it a little bigger with plenty of drop on either side, so i'm waiting on some border fabric to make it a few inches bigger. this is going to be one crazy beast to quilt...

i love this fabric line though. and the best part is that i have the equivalent of two charm packs and almost a whole jelly roll left over to make some other fun things! so worth the cost. :)

it's the fair tomorrow! I'm excited!

Monday, August 15, 2011

the fair's coming to town

it's fair time again! i'm always excited when this time of year rolls around and for this fun event. this year i'm entering four things...

  1. my star sampler quilt
  2. the epic tree of life afghan which took forever to make. it just occurred to me that i haven't posted about it on this blog... i'll write more about it when i have fair pictures.
  3. a cute knitted doll that i made from a Jean Greenhowe pattern. in fact, he's the guy on the front page of her website.
  4. and finally, a samurai cross stitch that i made for my brother.
i'm anxious to see how they do against all the other awesome craftspeople. there were some amazing projects being submitted whilst i was there. one lady had a beautiful crocheted blanket. note to self: learn to crochet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

happy st patrick's day - a giveaway!!

*** this giveaway is now closed. thanks for all the lovely comments! and stay tuned for future giveaways! ***

okay, i know it's not really st patrick's day, but i wanted to share these with you. these are some really cool embroidery designs by Sara over at the split stitch. a while ago, she sent out a request for interested persons willing to stitch some of her designs. when i read it, i jumped at the chance!

she then sent us a list of patterns we could choose from and when i saw "st patrick's day" i knew my choice was made...

as a native irish born lass, it appealed to me straight away. i couldn't be more excited to incorporate some fun irish embroidery into my homemade crafts. so i got to stitching!

sara drew up a bunch of cute images, which i have come to call 'irish icons'. they're simple, straight to the point, mini patterns of what every person probably thinks about when they hear about 'the irish/ireland'

although i'm irish, i'm a non-drinker... so the following pattern represents root beer for me. mmmmm! i can't get enough root beer. seriously. i could never get bored of that drink!

while stitching these little cuties, i had to go out and find a smaller embroidery hoop than my 14-incher. although 14" works, it was really too big for these guys. so i bought this really cute small embroidery hoop. and guess what? i'm giving it to one lucky reader! complete with this cute leprechaun hat stitched loveliness. it's probably my favourite pattern out of the whole group. i haven't mounted it permanently on the hoop, in case the lucky winner wants a working hoop.

the second item i'm giving away to the same lucky winner is this irish themed clutch. isn't it awesome?! i found the pattern for this clutch while blog surfing, when i came across Anna's clutch tutorial.

i included some more stitchery on the front of the clutch, with the ireland flag as the ruffled background.

i found this funky clover fabric at Joann's a couple of years ago, which works perfectly for the back. and i used some other green fabric from my stash for the insides.

so that's my giveaway. these two beautiful items up for grabs! simply become a follower of my blog, and leave a comment below telling me what your favourite thing about ireland/the irish is. i can't wait to hear your responses!

so, good luck to ya!

the giveaway will close on friday 19th august at 10pm mountain time. so that gives you a week and a day to enter. it IS open internationally - i know what it's like to live in a different country than the US and not be able to enter stuff!

[also, apologies for the BAD lighting in these pictures. maybe i'll retake them tomorrow with better lighting...]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

beginner's luck happens

i have to give a shout-out for one of my favourite bloggers. i joined in an embroidery quilt along with Clover & Violet, and am thoroughly enjoying it. i blogged about my first couple of blocks, and even entered for their giveaway. and i won! i hadn't entered a lot of giveaways before then, so it was kinda a case of beginner's luck. and this was my prize. i was so excited to receive it when it came. yay!

but not only that. and this is why Clover & Violet are so wonderful. she even sent me some scrappy supplies to make my own ruffle coin purse! BONUS! i can tell already that she's one of those rare gems that goes above and beyond her duties. THANK YOU!!

and this morning, i sat and sewed it together. i think i need to work on my zipper tabs a little more, but i'm really happy with my first attempt. also, i didn't have a ruffly-making machine foot; this was all manual folding! not bad, eh?

so go and visit Clover & Violet and see what they have going. they have some AWESOME tutorials. ;)

Monday, August 8, 2011

here's what i've done today:

i actually haven't had a sewing day for a while, and with the start of school rapidly approaching, i thought i'd get some in before i'm drowning in homework.

i finally got all the squares sewn together for the hubby's quilt. it going to be a mass of crazy nine-patches like these:

and here's my big pile complete, and ready to be sewn into a quilt top. i would have soldiered on through sewing them all together today, but the lighting is so bad in here in the evening, i kinda don't like to sew at night.

i also had to catch up on my skill builder sampler quilt. this week (or rather last week, and i'm only just getting around to it!) was learning bow ties. these must be the easiest configuration to sew in the world. and i really like the look of them and the shape they give. now i'm thinking i want a whole quilt like this. oh dear...

coupled with a handful of movies, i'd say my day was nice and relaxing and productive on the sewing front. AND i managed to do the dishes and a load of laundry. not bad. ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

finished placemats (well, almost)

***These are now entirely finished - check it out here!***

warning: this is a picture loaded post, so may take a while to load up. but it's worth it. read on...

since seeing these placemats on modabakeshop.com, i knew i wanted to make them. as it happened, i also had to have a couple of charm packs of Sweetwater's Hometown fabric as soon as it was available, so i used them to make my placemats.

side note: the hubby and i are planning on buying our own home this autumn, and i'm so looking forward to decorating it however i like! i knew i wanted fun colours for the dining area that will semi-work with my citrus kitchen. the hometown fabric works perfectly! these placemats will set the colour standard for the rest of the dining area. :D

okay, back on track: instead of adding a personalised applique to the center panel of the placemats, i wanted to be able to use them when we have guests over for meals. i went with a more neutral idea, yet a unique talking point. i decided to design my own embroidery for the center panel: the word 'eat' in several different languages. don't they all look great?! (i haven't added binding yet since i ran out of matching fabric.)

of course english made it into the line-up:

and german, because i'm an intermediate german speaker, and the hubby's heritage is part german.

swedish: (i had to find a word with an umlaut! [the two dots above the first -a-.] also i have a certain affinity for sweden and swedes...)

turkish, because it looks so good.

spanish. dunno why. i guess because the hubs wanted it?

and french. i usually hate hearing french. it really doesn't sound very romantic to me. sorry! don't mean to offend... it just rubs me up the wrong way! but i had to have it, again for the hubby.

i thought i'd take some close-up pictures because they look so yummy!

don't you just wanna make these for yourself? (keep reading!)

this is really my favourite word, visually. it looks so balanced somehow.

i used a meandering quilting stitch to quilt these lovely placemats. i love the look right after they're washed, but since i don't have the binding on yet, they remain crisply quilted. also, i forgot to take a picture of this, but i used grey thread on the top and red underneath. i thought red on top might overpower some of the fabrics, so i used grey. but i wanted red on the bottom to stand out on the neutral fabric, and it looks awesome. just believe me.

this is my favourite square of them all... not only can i not stop looking through all the cities, but it has two special ones to me: Boise, my current city, and Exeter, where i used to live. Exeter, UK that is (i'm sure there is an Exeter, USA somewhere...)

so there it is. i'm excited to use my placemats when they are finally complete with binding etc, and we're in our own house doing some entertaining...

i decided to let anyone download my patterns, for now. i'm hoping to make some more embroidery pieces, and perhaps sell them. but right now, you can have my 'eat' words! just click on the picture below, and it will pop up in a different window/tab where you can right click and save. then just print the file as a full page photo, and you should be set!

first set:

second set:
please let me know if you decide to use these and send me a photo if you make something with them. i would love to see your work!