Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day


I've been following the "Modern Piping" course on Craftsy and wanted an opportunity to practice piping royal icing. I needed an intricate line design, so a quilting pattern seemed a good idea and with Valentine's day just around the corner, it had to be a feathered heart. I found the design on the Quilt Rat blog.  The icing mix was  a little thick and like free motion quilting, it's going to take some pratice to improve. The family didn't complain though - I finished icing the cake on Sunday amd the last piece disappeared yesterday!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Harikuyo Festival

Today is Harikuyo - the Festival of Broken Needles. You can find the story of Harikuyo at PlaysWithNeedles.

The needles I treasure most are the hand made  needles I use for Japanese embroidery. Like all the other Japanese Embroiderers I know, I keep my needles in a piece of wool felt. I have spent a lot of time with these needles over the last year but nowhere near long enough to break any.

I thought about what I should post today because I don't normally blog about work in progress. I prefer to show completed items. But I thought I'd break my rules for once. So here is my second JE piece - Bouquet from the Heart of Japan.

I have been working on this since September. Life has been pretty busy over that time. With a business trip to India, a week at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and the mad preparations for Christmas, time has been freuently in short supply. The cold weather we had in January played havoc with skin and for a while I had to put my JE to one side because I could not keep my hands smooth enough. But I'm back on the path again.

As I'm showing my work in progress, I thought I would show another of my WIPs. This free-motion machine embroidery is put of a slightly larger piece which I am hoping to finish in a week or so.

The relationship I have with my sewing machine needles is a much more functional arrangement. I use good quality needles and replace them often. To store my broken needles safely, I use a plastic pot which originally held mini chocolate eggs.

When Graeme saw this picture, he asked my why I had taken a picture of a small dustbin!