Monthly Archives: August 2013

Book Review: “Civil War Legacies; Quilt patterns for reproduction fabrics”, by Carol Hopkins

I bought this book recently when I was in Birmingham, in the Cotton Patch shop, getting my ‘basic supplies’ for quilting. OK, I know this book isn’t necessarily ‘basic’, but I’d been reading the reviews on Amazon, and drooling over the photos in it, so when I saw the actual book in the shop, I couldn’t just leave it there, could I?!

Civil 1

The book is a large format paperback of 80 pages (cost me £14, but the price varies online from £12 to £19). The book has 15 smallish quilt designs, with detailed instructions, fabric requirements, piecing directions, and so on. Average finished size of the quilts is about 22 x 28 inches – these are wall quilts, not bed quilts, which is exactly what I want to make. The back half a dozen pages give information on quilting basics, but I found that they were a bit too brief for me, as a beginner. That said, however, Carol does give a very useful tip for making ‘flying geese’ units (a triangle with two smaller triangles sewn to the short sides), using only a rectangle and two squares instead and then stitching diagonally across the squares and flipping back the squares across the diagonal to make the triangles, which means that the fabric is less likely to stretch out of shape, and more likely to end up the correct size. I have tried the ‘traditional’ way, and got in a real mess with it, so I was pleased to see this better method explained.

This is the quilt I want to make first (I could make all of them though – they’re so scrummy!). It’s called ‘Lincoln’s Logs’, and doesn’t have even ONE triangle in it (easier for a beginner).

Civil 2

I’ve already bought some fabric – this is from a range called Chateau Rouge, by Moda fabrics. I bought mine on Ebay – if you live in the USA, you can buy it easily all over the place. In the UK, nothing’s ever that easy!

Lincoln 1

Later on, I’d like to make this quilt from the book, too.

Civil 3

And this one……

Civil 4

You may have guessed, red is my favourite colour  🙂

The book is great, and a good incentive for me to practice basic techniques so that I can progress on to more complicated designs. A lot of ‘basic’ patchwork books have designs in that just aren’t my style – cot quilts, and ‘bright pastels’ that just put me off. But this book has muted, refined designs that are so lovely, I could make them all (time permitting). The instructions are really clear, and the pictures, as you can see above, are gorgeous. Well worth getting!

Title: Civil war Legacies: Quilt patterns for reproduction fabrics

Author: Carol Hopkins

Publisher: That Patchwork Place (imprint of Martingale & Company)

ISNB: 978 1 60468 057 7 (Paperback, 80 pages)

Price: US$24.99 (about £14 in the UK

Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 11 – It’s finished!!

After attaching the pansies last time, I was getting impatient to finish this project. I have to be careful I don’t spoil things with my impatience, at this stage!

All the embroidery  is finished, including the sequins all over the background

All the embroidery is finished, including the sequins all over the background

The sequins needed to be applied last – tiny purply blue sequins with purple metal wire coil chips all over the painted gold areas, and gold 2mm sequins with gold chips all over the black satin areas. That only took about an hour, so now THE STITCHING IS FINISHED!!!

Floral23

I was most pleased with the strawberry flower, out of all the flowers in this project. I love stitching strawberries and their flowers anyway, but I’d never done a stumpwork one with detached petals before, and this one was tiny – just three quarters of an inch across altogether. The three gold loops in the centre are what makes it so lovely, I think.

Floral 24

Scarily large image of a stumpwork strawberry flower that's only really 3/4 of an inch across

Scarily large image of a stumpwork strawberry flower that’s only really 3/4 of an inch across

The starflowers came out OK in the end – very pretty, but not very ‘star-like’, as I found it too difficult to crimp the ends of each petal’s wire to a point with my tweezers.

Floral26

The blackberries are so realistic, I just love these!

Floral28

I’ve mounted the finished stitching in a black satin five inch square box, and it just fits nicely in the lid. I added an extra layer of wadding under the fabric, as I felt that all the wires and gold thread ends on the back might make the surface look puckered, otherwise. I haven’t decided yet what to do with the box, but then embroiderers don’t usually think rationally like that  🙂

Floral29

For those of you interested in how long this took, I did count the length of my stitching sessions, and they totalled 45 hours for the stitching, plus an hour to mount it in the box.

As I’ve mentioned in each of this series of posts, this design is available as a kit pack from Alison Cole, in Australia. I’d not done any of her kits before, and I really enjoyed doing this one. She has a large range on her website, so it’s well worth a look. I’m quite tempted to try one or two of her other designs, now….  🙂

Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 10

I’ve been leaving the pansy stumpwork petals till I’ve stitched almost everything else on my panel – partly because that’s the order they are listed on the instructions, but also because they looked the most complicated to make, as they have shading on them. The instructions by Alison Cole said to work the petals using long and short buttonhole stitch around the edge (thereby covering the edges and filling in the petals in one go, as I did for the strawberry flower). However, I decided that buttonholing the wire first, then working satin stitch for the background shade, and then doing straight stitch highlights would work better, and I was pleased with how these came out.

The stitched petals for one pansy flower, ready to be cut from the hoop

The stitched petals for one pansy flower, ready to be cut from the hoop

The upper petals had lilac backgrounds with Madeira #3 highlights, and the lower petals had lemon backgrounds with lilac highlights. I loved using these colours!

This was how much I’d done *before* attaching the pansy petals and leaves – quite a lot is already finished, so I’m getting to my ‘impatient to be done with it’ stage!

Only the two pansy flowers need to be attached now, and then sequins sewn all over the background fabric

Only the two pansy flowers need to be attached now, and then sequins sewn all over the background fabric

All five petals needed to be attached by sinking the wires down the same hole, which was easier than I’d been anticipating. Then I worked a small gold coil loop in the centre. Here’s one of the finished pansies, after I’d attached it:

A completed stumpwork pansy, about an inch across

A completed stumpwork pansy, about an inch across

As you can see, I couldn’t resist adding a few sequins ‘just to see how they look’! More about that next week!

Read about Tudor needlework in the latest AIM online magazine

In the August issue of Artisans in Miniature online magazine, there is an article by me on Tudor needlework which you might like to take a look at – it starts on page 60.

Issue 47 - Tudor nwk 0 cover

Here is a sneak peek at the article – the wallhangings shown are two from my range of Tudor wallhangings kits for doll’s houses, each stitched on 22 count canvas with Anchor stranded cotton. They are available from my website.

Issue 47 - Tudor nwk 5 Tudor nwk article p62

The AIM magazine is FREE, has 103 pages, and is packed with articles on all kinds of miniatures and related topics. This month’s issue has the theme of the Tudor era, so apart from the 5 page article by me, there is an interesting article on how to dress a twelfth scale Tudor woman doll, too, as well as other articles on village life, show reports, and what’s new in the world of miniatures, for instance.

Issue 47 - Tudor nwk 2 Dress a Tudor woman info only

The magazine also has the first in a series of three articles on miniature needlework – this article focusses on all kinds of needlework for babies and the nursery, so there are gorgeous photos of tiny crocheted baby dresses, knitted toys less than an inch high, and so on. It’s really worth a look!

Issue 47 - Tudor nwk 1 nwk for babies info only