"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Splendid Sampler block...

When I first answered Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson's call to design an embroidery block for The Splendid Sampler project it was August, 2015. Wow, almost a year ago! I had no idea at the time just what kind of buzz this Splendid Phenomena would create across the globe, but today we're on to block 31 of 100 and this thing gets more and more popular every week. Brilliant, eh?!

First off, WELCOME to all the new visitors to Elefantz. It's a pleasure to meet you, and I do hope you stay a while and have a look around. It's a friendly place where we chat a lot and I get to share bits and pieces of life, sewing, and Jesus.

So today it's my block you'll be stitching, and the brief I was given when designing it was to share a story about my love of sewing and bring that story to life in my block. So I did. 

It's called "Blossoming"...

....and the story it tells is of me and my precious daughter Blossom and how we taught ourselves to stitch and quilt in a tiny cabin atop the icy highlands in winter.

We learned from magazines and library books, everything was hand sewn, even our first quilts. That was 2005 and for the next four years my girl and I were rarely seen far from needle and thread or each other.

By 2010 Blossom had grown up quite a bit and her interests fell elsewhere, but by then I was designing and had been featured in a few Australian magazines.

The memories of those four years with my girl, learning the ropes in a new-to-us quilt and stitching world is a highlight of my life thus far. We were totally blessed to be 'blossoming' together. 

I've stitched this block three times now. Here's the alternate version on tonal fabric and in different 
thread colours...

Those two blocks were both posted away to Pat Sloan in the USA last year so this month I decided to sew a third version 'just for me'. I'm rather fond of adding little pops of applique so I tweaked it!



Perhaps you'd like to add applique to bits of your own "Blossoming" block?

Here's a few simple tips:

Trace the design onto your fabric but omit any sections you intend to replace with applique, like I did with this bird's wing...

 
Turn the pattern sheet over on your light box and trace the reverse shapes you intend using for the applique onto the smooth side of some fusible applique paper (I use Vliesofix)...


 Cut out each shape from the fusible paper leaving a 1/4" buffer all around. Fuse the shapes behind scraps of fabric with a warm dry iron.
Cut away each shape along the traced line with small sharp scissors. 
 

 Peel away the paper, fuse in position on your traced block with a warm dry iron.
Fuse some stabiliser behind the block (I've used Weaveline) and you're ready to begin stitching! 
I blanket stitch applique with a single strand of thread, and backstitch with two strands.


 One other thing - you'll notice I don't trace the petals of small daises.
Instead, I put a small dot where the lazy daisy stitch petals start and finish. This means no tracing lines show when you stitch the lazy daisy petals.


Need help with backstitch or lazy daisy stitch?
I have a tutorial just for you in THIS blog post, and it comes with a free practice pattern too!



Want to share photos of your completed Splendid Sampler blocks? Pat and Jane have a Facebook group with over 13,000 members sharing their versions of each Splendid block - head over HERE



If you'd like to stitch more of my designs you'll find quite a selection HERE in my Craftsy Shop and HERE in my Etsy Store. 



I also have a Stitchery Club! 
6 new patterns are emailed to my members on the 17th of each month.



Well friends, that's it from me today. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know a little about Elefantz and the story behind "Blossoming".

I should tell you that I'm about to take a 10 day 'holiday at home' break from Elefantz. Yay! I want to declutter a bit, potter around and sew 'stuff', take afternoon naps, watch good movies, read a book or two, and generally recharge my batteries after this incredibly long tropical summer which resulted in Autumn never arriving. 
I'll still blog the two free BOM's on the 1st (Postcards from Heaven) and the 5th (Gentle Domesticity), but that's all.

All going according to plan I'll be back on board per usual on June 7th - which also happens to be my daughter Aisha's birthday so it's one of my favourite days of the year!

Till then, be blessed, breathe deep, have fun and make memories.
hugs

42 comments:

  1. Jenny,
    I love this design, and the three different ways you stitched it. I hope your holiday will be restful and refreshing and productive. May God continue to bring you joy each day and new designs to stitch.

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  2. Hi Jenny, thank you for this adorable block and it's so nice to get it 'early'. I think I'll add the applique to mine. Have a wonderful break.

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  3. Beautiful block, Jenny. I'm looking forward to sew. I wish you a happy holiday. Hugs

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  4. I love this design, thanks so much for sharing it! I like a patterned background and think I may just do the applique too. What fun!!!

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  5. Jenny, I've been quietly following your blog for a few months now. I love this design so much. It's so cheerful and cute! Enjoy your holiday, and I love the new header you have for your blog!

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  6. Hello Jenny,
    Thank you for this neat block. When I saw the name Jenny I hadn't realized it was you, but when I saw the design I knew. I follow your blog and I adore your embroidery. It is great that Australian stitchers are sharing the is splendid sampler journey. I keep talking about your stitchery to people in my Canadian quilting guild. Thanks so much for your generosity!
    Peggy (https://pegsplace.wordpress.com/)

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  7. Jenny~

    Love this block! Oh and the picture of Blossom this week was priceless. I wish for her the birth I had with my Matthew...2.5 hours start to finish and no stitches..even though he was a month early we were home in 24 hours! And to think he turns 25 this fall ...yikes!

    Kalli

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  8. Thanks Jenny, yet another gorgeous block. Guida

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  9. Jenny I adore this block and the history surrounding it. What a beautiful project. I hope you are all well there. Mimi xxx

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  10. What a lovely story! I don't have a daughter, but always wished that I had. However, I do have nieces and great-nieces that lives out 10 hours away. Three of my young nieces are coming to spend a week with me near the end of summer and I had planned some learn to sew projects, since my sister and their moms do not sew. I'm a good cook, but my sister's passion is cooking, so cooking lessons were not a good option. You've now given me an even better idea of a fun activity for their visit. To teach them how to embroider would be a lot easier with three at a time, than sewing.

    I've been admiring and following your work for years. Thanks so much for sharing your time and talents with all of us. This block is beautiful and I look forward to getting started on it.

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  11. Gorgeous Jenny. YOu are the best! It is so pretty!. Enjoy your rest - be blessed!

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  12. Love this pretty block Jenny! I have mine all traced out ready to stitch.... can't wait! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Christine x

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  13. Love love your SS stitchery block and thank you for showing us three different ways to stitch it.... Thank you Jenny.

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  14. Enjoy your break! I loved reading your story about blossoming.

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  15. Jenny I am so excited to do this block - I am way behind in my Splendid adventure, but I am flying to a niece's graduation this week and I will take your block with me! I follow you on Instagram as well and enjoy your patterns. Thanks for this wonderful block.

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  16. Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for this beautiful embroidery block. I can't wait to get started on it and I think I will add a bit of applique as you have shown. Such fun awaits!

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  17. So thrilled to see your pattern today in the Splendid Sampler lineup. Thank you, Jenny! I enjoy your blog so very much and your stitching too! Blessings to you and your family on this beautiful Sunday in the USA.

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  18. Good Morning Jenny! I always get excited to see one of your new designs and this one is awesome! I like the way you have added some pretty fabric appliques to your blocks, they are cute and make a fun stitching project more unique. I hope that you have a special time on your vacation and achieve all that you wish. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

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  19. Thank you for sharing your beautiful block and the story behind it! My only problem is deciding if I want to do it all in embroidery or applique some of the shapes ~ I love both versions!!!

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  20. You work is so beautiful and you have such a wonderful testimony! I'm sure you've been asked this question a million times, what do you trace your design onto your fabric with? A pencil of some kind that won't disappear with an iron? Thanks. I look forward to all your updates! Beautiful!

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  21. I've been collecting all the blocks and didn't realise you had made one for this series (well done to you) but as soon as I saw this block and the name, I just knew it had to be you and your story was so lovely. I wish my daughter enjoyed sewing, but she doesn't :)

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  22. I love this block and the story! I have been a follower of yours for a long time . So thrilled that you( one of my personal favorites!) are a designer for this series. Thank you for the time and careful thought you put into this design.

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  23. A wonderful design and now so many more people are going to be exposed to the beauty you create. I'm glad you were tagged for SS. I loved reading about you and Blossom sewing high on the mountain tops. What a wonderful upbringing she had. Next, you'll get to share with another generation in a few years. =)

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  24. Absolutely beautiful design Jenny. Love it !!

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  25. What a beautiful block! I have it copied onto my Solvy product and am looking for just the right fabric to stitch it on. I have never used the brand of embroidery thread you mention in your directions - is there a conversion chart on the internet to convert your brand to DMC? I am so excited to start on this block.

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  26. You constantly amaze me with the beautiful designs you create and this one is no exception. I have stopped doing the sampler after a couple of disaster blocks but I am definately going to make yours. Have a well deserved break, refresh, renew, revitalise. Angel hugs.

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  27. It's a beautiful block Jenny. xx

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  28. Liebe Jenny,
    Erhole dich gut und sei gesegnet.
    Vielen Dank für deine wunderschönen Muster!!!
    GLG
    Nelly

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  29. I just *knew* your block would be fantastic!

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  30. Thanks you so much Jenny I love your block, have been eagerly awaiting it and it is gorgeous! Enjoy your holiday at home. Love and blessings Alison xx

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  31. Ah - the block I've been waiting for is finally here, lol! Oh Jenny-girl it's gorgeous!!

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  32. It is just adorable, and the story with your daughter is so sweet!
    Hugs from the south Spain!

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  33. Another beautiful design. Love the inspiration for your block.

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  34. Jenny, I absolutely loved stitching your block and I always look forward to your newsletter and seeing your beautiful new designs. Thank you for the inspiration, both spiritually and creatively.

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  35. Absolutely wonderful, thank you so much, Jenny

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  36. Love this, THANks so much!

    I'm wondering what you use to trace your design? It's so light. Looks like it would be very easy to stitch on.

    Hugs,
    Gina

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  37. Gina, a special post about my sewing essentials is here - http://www.elefantz.com/2015/04/supplies-things-i-use-when-i-stitch.html

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  38. Lovely block. I followed your tips and added applique. God bless you for sharing. xxx

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  39. A very beautiful block design, thank you

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  40. I can't thank you enough for Block 31 Blossoming. I have fallen in love with hand embroidery due to your block. I finished it today and my husband said its the best block I have make in the splendid sampler group. I can't wait to start another.

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  41. i love your work, I am so glad you are in the splendid sampler, i also follow you on craftsy.
    take care

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x