It's day 3, and time to show you how I've appliqued and stitched the four feature blocks.
As I wrote yesterday, I fussy cut the little circles from two fabrics as a design element for the daisy centres.
I've decided to use just three embroidery threads in the design as there are only three colours in the fabric palette - pink, grey, and turquoise.
HINT: Start with a NEW size 9 embroidery needle.
Believe me, when doing applique you notice how much easier it is when you start with a brand new needle!
CHOOSING STITCHES: I don't plan what stitches to use until I actually have the needle threaded in my hand.
A few people have asked why I don't get others to stitch my designs for me, thus freeing up more time to plan more projects and write more patterns.
Honestly, it wouldn't work for two reasons.
1. It's only when I am actually stitching a block that the design tells me what stitch or colour thread it needs, and...
2. I enjoy stitching a new creation myself! I have a stitcher's heart, you see.
With these daisies I thought I'd either backstitch the petals or chain stitch them, but it didn't feel right once I held my needle threaded with pink over the block. So blanket stitch became the star of the moment!
Normally, as you know, I use white hanky linen or soft cotton sateen in pale solid colours for my block backgrounds. This project was different because the cream background fabric was patterned, so I needed to choose stitches that wouldn't get lost amongst that pattern. The blanket stitch stood out, as did the leaves which I loosely fly-stitched...
For the bees I used a variety of stitches - chain stitch, stem stitch, backstitch, running stitch, and satin stitch...
When all four feature blocks were finished, I traced a 4 1/2" square around each one with my red heat erasable Frixion pen to centre the block before cutting it...
When I was happy with them I used my rotary cutter to separate each one into their 4 1/2" squares, ready to be pieced...
Tomorrow I'll piece the table runner and explain my fabric choices, and why I made a small change to my original graphed design. Sometimes the fabric speaks louder than the design.
Designing, sewing, writing and formatting patterns, stocking my shop, emails, blogging, and writing my e-zine takes me 6 full days a week. Recently I've been lamenting the simple things I used to do each day, so I've made a start on changing things.
That is why I made THIS household planner.
You see, I'm an organiser and planner by nature, but I've strayed badly the last few years and have decided to 'do what I know to do' and get back on track with time and home management, as well as proper business hours.
So far this week I'm feeling quite empowered!
Today I even made made a fresh batch of scones - I haven't made them in almost a year and yet they were a family favourite found in the weekly menu for decades before Elefantz became so busy and I stopped being organised with meals and snacks.
Want to take some time out of your own busy schedule and make some too?
Pre-heat your oven to 200C (400F).
Sift 2 1/4 cups of self-raising flour into a large bowl.
Beat together 1 egg and about 3/4 cup of milk.
Rub about 2 tablespoons of soft butter through the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and pour in 3/4 of your milk/egg mix.
Important : Using a knife, cut through the scone mix to incorporate all the ingredients. Nana taught me to always use a knife as it helped the scones rise higher because you weren't 'beating' the mixture around with a spoon.
Pour in the rest of the milk/egg mix, and cut it into the mixture until all combined.
The whole process of 'cutting' the mixture together will take no more than 50-60 seconds.
Turn the mix out on a floured board...
Pat it down gently, and mould into a circle about 1" high.
Lift it off the board and place in the centre of a baking tray lined with paper. Score it across the top with a large floured knife to make eight sections...
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
We like ours slightly browned...
Break apart and serve with lashings of butter and spoonfuls of your favourite jam (mine is Ananoth Boysenberry from New Zealand!)...
And don't forget to 'butter and jam' the little broken bits that fall off the side.
They deserve respect too, and besides, they are my favourite bits!
see you tomorrow,