First up, the parades for March’s Le Petite Projects are up at Sinta’s and Sherri’s blogs.  This month we did Endless Summer by Pam Buda.  It always amazes me how different but still amazing all the treatments of the pattern turn out.  Go and have a look, there are also some cute pooches with quilts 🙂

Oh… this is probably going to be a long post, so I hope you have some refreshments with you or at least something to stop yourself from falling asleep on your keyboard whilst reading.

Friday night, I was supposed to do a Friday Night Study In not a Friday Night Sew In, so I should not have had anything to share about Friday, but… I got a little too excited about being able to start on Vignette that I brushed my study aside and did some sewing instead. I think I already posted a photo of the arrival of my materials for Vignette, but I am going to do so again, when you see the yum for yourself you will understand and appreciate it anyway!

Lecien Basics for Vignette

Lecien Basics for Vignette

These are the Lecien Basics Fat Quarters, the Red spot yardage and the Hanky Linen which make up some of the yardage for the Vignette in Stitches Mystery Quilt. I purchased mine over the telephone from (I think her name was Mary) at Patchwork with Gail B in Victoria in Australia, so thanks to her. Also I guess I should then mention that all the supplies came via my mum’s pocket for my birthday so thanks to mum as well. I said it before but I am going to say it again, it makes me want to eat it, the colours are so deliciously sweet.

Speaking of sweet along with the next bunch of supplies, I actually got candy!

Sweet Broderie Fat Quarter Pack and Cosmo Thread Pack for Vignette In Stitches from In Between Stitches plus Candy!

Sweet Broderie Fat Quarter Pack and Cosmo Thread Pack for Vignette In Stitches from In Between Stitches plus Candy!

I, (mum),  bought the thread and Sweet Broderie pack from Melissa and Leslie and the other staff at Inbetween Stitches in California. I had emailed a few stores to find out who was going to have kits available, and luckily I found Inbetween Stitches. I hounded them a bit .. have you got it yet? Have you got it yet?… Hey it’s me again Have you got it yet? and then when I found it I could the tricky Lecien Basics part here, I did that and ordered the rest from them.  I had to follow up with a call as my mum is a little wary of purchasing online and was concerned about the order and I actually got to speak to Melissa (I think) in person.

Anyhoo, the candy was used in an instant (we say lollies here in Australia, and say sweets in South Africa) anyway you say it, it’s still nice.  but the rest I was almost too scared to touch, because it was wrapped and packaged so nicely! Also for my slate cosmo thread I received a reel of Cosmo multi thread (Perri blogs about it on here blog here) which is the same as the embroidery skeins only its 2 threads on a reel, like regular cotton. So no need to seperate threads! woot!

I know that most people who have seen Rosalie Quinlan’s fabric range Sweet Broderie, love it, and I did too, I’ve seen photos in Vignette, on Rosalie’s Blog, at Fabric Stores, blah blah, and yes I loved it BUT I have to gush a bit here,the photos don’t do this fabric justice, and I didn’t realise how gaga I was going to be about it until I untied the ribbon on the fat quarter pack and started pulling out fat quarters for the cutting!  I am totally in love with this fabric line and am hugely happy I am going to be using it for the next 2 years in the quilt!

Maybe some more photos will explain?!

See what I mean, look at those colours, aren't they divine??!

See what I mean, look at those colours, aren't they divine??!

Just in case you didn’t get it the first time:

Here are both Issues of Vignette the Cosmo Threads and Sweet Broderie and Lecien Basics Required for the Quilt

Here are both Issues of Vignette the Cosmo Threads and Sweet Broderie and Lecien Basics Required for the Quilt

So lovely, I was both immensely excited about starting and absolutely terrified that I was going to totally stuff this up!

I decided to enlist some help, so went back to reading Vignette Issue 1 so I could refresh my memory about what I was going to be doing.  Just to make sure I thought I would get someone else to read as well, to double check what I was reading. So I asked Mini Me (aka She Likes her Steak Bloody designed and created by Rachel from My Friend Charlie and Co).

Mini Me Reading Vignette, to check what we need to start Block One

Mini Me Reading Vignette, to check what we need to start Block One

And she was quite useful, including pointing out some nuances I might have missed if it wasn’t explicitly pointed out to me.

Mini Me, showing me some stuff (yeah with both her hand and her foot, it was REALLY important) I had to pay attention to

Mini Me, showing me some stuff (yeah with both her hand and her foot, it was REALLY important) I had to pay attention to

So after being reassured but sternly reminded to be careful, double and triple check everything and not to just dive in, I started to cut. And after cutting I proceded to sew.  I was sewing excruciatingly slowly, it was almost painful to listen to the sound of the machine crying for me to let it zing along the seams, but I did not relent.  I was so scared and the tension was getting…. well more and more tense.  This was Hitchcock slow stitching, where only something bad could happen at the end.  And then it did…

Vignette In Stitches Block 1 - My First Error

Vignette In Stitches Block 1 - My First Error

yep… that red spotted border on the right… it had to be on the left?! I quickly ran to the other room to check Mini Me thoroughly for signs of any Voodoo-esque pins causing my partial lobotomy, but there was none.  This curse, I inflicted it on my own. *sigh*

My unpicking was only slightly slower than that slow stitching I mentioned.  I got there and fixed it. All the while also silently being attacked (no this time it was a real attack, not an imagined one) by some rabid mosquitoes, on my toes and ankles of all places!  Now, I know you’re thinking get over it Q, it’s only a mozzie (Aussie colloquialism). [I know Josie doesn’t get them up there… but you get Midges right Josie? ]. And I grew up in South Africa, where you get vaccinated for Malaria right, but trust me… African mozzies even if they are larger and louder, they have nothing on these little suckers.  And here for some reason, I am a mozzie magnet, if you invite me to outdoor events, I double as a guest and mozzie repellant because they will all be sucking my blood instead of the other revellers’.  Ok so it’s not really that dramatic, but it does suck 🙁  Luckily I have a friend in Soov, the anaesthetic post bite antiseptic that rocks my world and stops me from scratching myself to the bone, everytime I am attacked.

so… block fixed.  I then had to sew and attach shoo fly blocks, but I shooed them away pretty quickly because I wasn’t willing to tempt fate after my border stitching issue so I just cut the strips in preparation and thought I would do something I was much less likely to mess up. Tracing the stitchery.

Strips on the Left are from Sweet Broderie and Lecien Basics in anticipation of being used for the Shoofly Blocks, that will be along the left and top edge of what I have currently stitched together.

Strips on the Left are from Sweet Broderie and Lecien Basics in anticipation of being used for the Shoofly Blocks, that will be along the left and top edge of what I have currently stitched together.

I created my own light box on the cheap. Probably don’t try this at home, but it worked for me 😀  I placed my bedside lamp with the shade on my bed inbetween my legs (don’t even go there!!) placed the top of a plastic storage container on my knees, and traced with Vignette on the top of the storage container and the light shining up through it.  I used a Pilot Frixion pen (experimental studies of its use and launder-ability can be found on Josie’s blog). I bought one with black ink, which was also coincidentally on sale at my local supermarket for $2.66 yay! I traced the borders on the white hanky linen and then also the birdie block on the pink and white Lecien Basics square.

Then I needed to attach my stabiliser.  Leanne recommended using parlan, I went into my local quilt store where the owner said she didn’t have any but that she thought it was similar to what she was using on a stitchery block at the time I went in – whisper weft – but also added that the whisper weft was so fine, that the bright colours she was using was actually visible through the front if she jumped around instead of tying off each area of stitching. I didn’t like that idea, so am using medium pellon behind mine.  I also did not add the white scraps to the sides of the block to protect it and make it easier to use in a hoop, because I don’t use a hoop. What what what ?!? you say?  I went to a seminar/course thing that I did to refresh myself on how to do some basic stitches and the course deliverer is someone who gave me a lot of good tips on stitching said… why use hoops? She had never done so and is quite an accomplished stitcher. I have one, but I am not using it.

I did the tracing and then came to add the pellon and had a momentary dumb moment (again) when I ironed it on to the block (oh somewhere in between I went to bed and slept, this is now Saturday morning!) and the tracing disappeared. Ack!?  -edited to add- I had kinda forgot that it was going to disappear with the heat, so had a panic because it was like *poof* all gone… and of course now that the pellon was ironed to the pack how would I then re-trace… – my brain switched back on and I remembered.  Referring to Josie’s experiment though (phew!) I chucked it in the freezer and it reappeared. Whilst waiting for it to freeze, I popped out to grab some refills for the Sew Line Glue pen, and some more paper 1 inch hexagons, for the hexie quilt. Grabbed 3 cute fat quarters too, which made me happy and feel ready to take on the challenge of starting to stitch!

Dood, it's like Magic Man, after freezing the lines re-appeared

Dood, it's like Magic Man, after freezing the lines re-appeared

I went to Perri’s Blog, because I remembered that she had posted a good tip about how to finish off a loop of chain stitch nicely. And I began stitching my birdie block.  I did this for a few hours only as, I really did have to do some study, and Saturday night I had a meeting with some lady friends for wine and pizza and general frivolity which was most enjoyable.  I tried to do some stitching when I got home (I was sober thanks, just tired) and decided that it was a rather bad idea after looking at my stitching with a critical eye.

This morning, I wanted to get right back into it, but I remembered I also intended to make the block I decided on for my Block Swap Adventure for April. So I did that, and here is a sneak peek of my block for my partner Amanda in Ohio. I will post this off tomorrow, so it should get to Amanda within 2 weeks.

April Block Swap Sneak Peek for Amanda in Ohio

April Block Swap Sneak Peek for Amanda in Ohio

Then, I continued with my stitching a little and here is where I am now… Finally I have started on Block 1 of the 16 Blocks of Vignette in Stitches.  I aim to complete Block 2 and Block 3 (released in issue 2) before the release of issue 3 (I think!), so stay tuned to see how I do.

Vignette Block 1 Work in Progress, Bird Stitchery piece

Vignette Block 1 Work in Progress, Bird Stitchery piece

Hope you had a lovely weekend!