One of the comments I received the other day was from Jenny, who asked if she could see comparison photos of my original Vintage Kitchen redwork blocks and the new colourful version I'm currently sharing with you.
So today I'm going to answer a few questions which have cropped up here and on social media lately.
I'll begin by answering question 1 from Jenny:
In the 2015 redwork project I used predominantly backstitch and a bit of lazy daisy or cross stitch. This time around I've added extra stitches and more detail to a number of the blocks...after all, as in life, my style and abilities improve or alter direction over time.
Here's the 'new version' of 'My Scrappy Vintage Kitchen' block 1, which I shared with you a few weeks back...
The added details from additional embroidery stitches, as well as the happy colours, made this a delight to stitch.
But my altering the block wasn't just about adding to, but also taking away.
Here's the original redwork block from 2015...
In comparison to the updated block it's quite plain and simple - which enhanced the redwork style of wall hanging it later became.
Now look at my new version...what's missing?
I never liked them sitting in front of the milk bottle so this time around I let the milk bottle shine instead.
Now let's take a look at block 2, which I shared with you last week...
For the new version of 'oven helpers' I wanted to fill in that first oven mitt because in the redwork block of 2015 it was quite empty...
Again, this worked nicely in it's simplicity for the completed redwork wall hanging but when I decided to remake this design in colours and with added detail it really came alive...
Can you see why I'm really loving this new updated project?
This is how I finished the redwork version of My Vintage Kitchen four years ago...
...and this is progress on how my 2019 version in colour and detail will be completed.
Similar is many ways, but oh so different in others - though staying with the theme of 'vintage' days-gone-by I hand quilted both versions.
Question 2: "How big are the Scrappy Vintage Kitchen blocks?"
They are the exact size as shown on your pattern sheets so set your printer to 'actual size' or 'do not scale' before printing them.
Each of the stitcheries must fit inside a 3" square block.
If you don't have a printer which works that way I can tell you that Block One was just slightly more than 2¼” wide, and Block Two was 2½” wide.
Hope that helps!
Question 3: "Do you hand embroider or machine embroider?"
What is an embroidery machine??? LOL!!!
I hand embroider everything.
Question 4: Do you draw your designs by hand or use a computer program?
I draw everything by hand, freehand, and it can take many hours or even days with pencil and eraser until I'm happy with the rough copy. Then I take a deep breath and draw the design with black pigma pen ready to scan and add to a pattern sheet.
Question 5: What's the fabric you use for your stitcheries?
It's called hanky linen, though it's nothing like a hanky fabric, and is a 45/55 percent mix of linen and cotton. It's available at most quilt shops and online in Australia, but there's nothing the same overseas. (people have searched and cannot get it). I've tried some similar fabrics purchased from the US just to test them for my customers but truly, they've not impressed me.
You know, our walk with Jesus is like comparing my older redwork stitcheries with the updated and improved colourful ones.
The designs from years ago (they were drawn up and stitched late in 2014) were fairly one dimensional, safe and simple, yet they were lovely to me at the time because they were the best I could do with the ideas I'd drawn on paper - just the way my walk with Jesus in the early days was much simpler because He required less of me as I still had a lot of growing to do.
Sketching up the blocks this time and casting a critical eye over them to assess what changes could be made and how I could add more detail, bringing them to 'life' as it were, I acknowledged my own growth in confidence and ability as a designer these past five years.
Not wasting a single moment or experience, as I was preparing this blog post the Lord impressed on my heart that we are meant to grow and mature spiritually and in character the longer we walk with Christ, and how important it is that we compare ourselves today with the person we used to be - five, ten, twenty, forty years ago - and consider whether our relationship with Him has grown, stagnated or drifted away.
Honest? I've grown, and continue to grow, but today's lesson from God is one I must continue to follow as the weeks and months pass by - a regular 'stop and examine' time to make sure I'm moving forward with Him and not treading water or slipping backwards. But even as I'm growing closer there will always be areas of my life that need adjustment from on High and I'm taking those lessons onboard today as well.
Perhaps this is His reminder to you as well?
Let us examine ourselves today and ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance to show us what may be lacking in our relationship with Jesus so that we can continue moving forward, growing closer to Christ in spirit and in truth.
May the Lord bless you today with every abundance from His loving heart!