{Book Review} Coloring With Thread

Seriously you can't make me do this. That was the very thought in my mind when Jodi (the content editor of F+W & The Quilting Company) emailed me about sending a book all about embroidery. "You've got to see it. It's a really beautiful book." Jodi told me.

Oh well, she's so so right.




I am completely in love with all the projects in this "Coloring with Thread" book. I mean, how can the animals and florals look so artistic yet pretty in their very own way? However, I was daunted by the fact that I was not too good in embroidery. Well, I have never stitched a full embroidery piece of work. It has always been small flowers to go with patchwork pouches. I shared my fear for hand embroidery with Jodi but she was so reassuring and encouraging that made me wanted to just give it a go.

And this is what I chose: Topiary.



This is the actual picture from the book. What an exquisite work of art.



Here's my try for Topiary.



What do you think? 

I kinda like how it turned out.



I did not follow all the stitches and opted out some illustrations.



Since I did not have much time to continue stitching the inner petals, I chose to use a fabric to appliqué. *Fabric from Lecien*



Work in progress: I started but stopped sewing for a few days because I did not know how to proceed. A struggle initially but a breeze followed. *Embroidery Thread from DMC*



Halfway through sewing, I realised I could do better by doing a branch stitch instead of normal back stitching to outline the branches.



And then painting the flowers was too rigid until the idea came to me that I could guide the needle in between the stitches for a more realistic picture. Can you see from the close up photo?



It felt so good doing French knots properly for the first time. I did not want to stop.




Trying to be as neat at the back as the front.



The most important point is, I finally tried doing a full hand embroidery!

The stitch guide and instructions were wonderful and very clear which helped me a lot in understanding different embroidery stitches and when to use them. 



What I have learnt from hand embroidery this project is, there's no right or wrong. You just stitch to your hearts content! I tried following the tracings initially but the pen markings faded after a day or two. When I retraced, the positions were not as accurate anymore so I had to draw with naked eye. So I just roughly outlined the florals and branches and started sewing in my own way. It was the most liberating and peaceful moment ever to sew like you are painting a picture. I was completely in awe with myself for stitching without thinking much. 

This is an amazing book you should get if you would like to try hand embroidery even if it's for the first time. You will be do motivated and inspired to try even more embroidery projects as you move on.

Thank you The Quilting Company for this wonderful opportunity to try hand embroidery! 

Coloring with Thread will be available from December 20. You can get this from here and here and here.

xx

Callington Mill Collection by Penny Rose Fabrics

First of all, I would like to thank Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Fabrics for always sending beautiful fabrics to me even though they understand how slow handsewing takes. Callington Mill by Leonie Bateman is one of the fabric collections that I grew to fall in love with. And now, I am so much in love with this country style design.

After lying around for a couple of months, these amazingly wonderful fabrics were made into a few things I really like.

Rose Puffy Pouches

I had this idea after coming across a flat rose sling pouch in a local market. It was more of a tribal design but I thought Callington Mill will made a perfect country-style pouch too. I was so right this time.

 







A few pictures to show how I handsewn the pouches.







This is a smaller pouch. A pretty one too.











I added a little batting to make the rose "pop" so that it is puffy and more 3-D. It feels so good holding a "snuggly" pouch in your hand.


Tulip Zippy Pouch

This is a cute little pouch that I made from a patchwork tulip flower. It has a wide base great for lippy,  earphones, cards etc,











Isn't the this fabric collection stunning in a subtle quiet way?

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Till next time!xx

{Book Review} Weekend Quilting

A couple of months back, Fons and Porter kindly sent me a few new wonderful books for book reviews. One of which is this beautiful book "Weekend Quilting' by Jemima Flendt. Jemima has a blog at Tiedwitharibbon where she shares her creativity in sewing and quilting. I am a big fan of her work so I was really excited when flipping through her amazingly written book for the very first time.



Fons and Porter never fails to impress me with their book and printing quality. I have nothing but positive comments. What I really like about "Weekend Quilting" book is that the instructions are very clear and straightforward. Not lengthy or in a nagging tone. You make what you see. Fuss free easy sewing.

"Weekend Quilting" is divided into different chapters to teach on different sewing techniques from flying geese to pinwheels to english paper piecing to foundation paper piecing. There is definitely a project for you to try out. This book is great for beginners to intermediates. There are plenty of pictures for step by step instructions and most importantly, not too lengthy words or paragraphs which I find it hard to understand sometimes.

I was completely smitten by the "Blooms Mini Quilt" project with so many pretty flowers and leaves. And also, I finally found the "Heat and Bond" interfacing for appliqué in my local shop. How would I miss the chance to try it out on this project's applique?



I made a cover for my yarn basket. Now my yarns are shaded from the sun and dust from lying in the recycled flower basket.




I bring the yarn basket whenever I take a rest for some quiet crochet time. It has moved from room to room in the house.







I like how well it fits the basket.




I took a week long to machine appliqué the flowers and leaves. Not too difficult with my new found favourite blanket stitch in the sewing machine. It just takes a bit of patience and effort.



I sew two lace on each side to tie to the basket handle.




When I started arranging the appliques on the background fabric, I felt like an artist trying to paint a beautiful picture of a garden. It was truly a enjoyable and happy time for me.



This "Blooms Mini Quilt" can also be used as a table mat. I used it once when my friends came over for tea. They were so impressed.




Machine quilting was done completely on the normal walking foot. Not free motion quilting.  I just went a little slower during quilting so I could move the needle through the spaces. It worked anyway and looks great anyway. I was lazy to fix the free motion foot.



I hope you enjoyed what I made for this book review. You can get the book from here, here and here. Grab one soon to make something for your house, yourself or your loved ones.

Fabrics used for this project is designed by The Cottage Mama (Lindsay Wilkes) from Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Designs. The pretty collection is called "Prim & Proper". I really really love the vintage inspired prints and colours. Thank you Kristl for sending them to me!

And Thank you very much Jodi for sending me this lovely book!xx