Saturday 4 February 2023

New Theme Announcement

Thank you for all your wonderful Portrait quilts. That was a great start to the year and now we have an exciting new list of themes:

  1. Patterns in Nature
  2. Maps 
  3. Collage
  4. Vintage
  5. Circles and Squares
  6. Spices
  7. Mosaic
  8. TBA


So our next them is: 2. Maps

The deadline for this theme is May 1st 2023 at 10.00am GMT but remember you can always put your post up earlier and Schedule it.

In the meantime, you are welcome to share your thoughts, ideas and progress here on The Endeavourers Blog.

Whilst I'm here I would also like to thank Barbara, who has kindly offered to help me on admin.

Happy Sewing!

Janine :)

Wednesday 1 February 2023

A Quilted Portrait

 Each of the challenges I've participated in with this group have challenged me in one way or another. This one - portrait - was no exception. I started out with an idea of doing a portrait of myself, and then quickly abandoned it. Instead, I chose to do a fantasy portrait and have some fun. 

Meet Fizzle. While thinking about this portrait, I watched a YouTube class from Alex Anderson on making portraits. She suggested putting little bits of ourselves into the portrait. Fizzle is a little bit about my mother and a little bit about me, and a lot of fantasy. My mother's name was Phyllis, but one of my cousins frequently got away with calling her "Fizzle". My mother would always laugh when she called her that - but only she could use that name. My mother had red hair, but nothing like Fizzle's hair in this portrait. My mother also had green eyes, so I featured them for fun. 

Those eyes were such fun to make! The eyelashes and liner were cut from a piece of Marcia Derse fabric. I was amazed at how well it worked. See that blue nose? That's a nod to my favorite coffee shop - Blue Nose Coffee - I thought that was a fun addition. Of course, you can see Fizzle is wearing her favorite earrings, cats! I had to have cats in there somewhere! 

Her dress with the feather print is a nod to our family's love of birds, and the wording "Inner Artist" just seemed perfect, too. 

To construct the portrait, I started by building an improv background in scraps of low volume prints. I cut the portrait components randomly, using orange strips for the hair, a fussy cut piece from a Kaffe Fassett fabric for her headband, a Carrie Bloomston print for the dress. Fizzle's face is two-toned just to give some depth and so it doesn't just fade into the background. Her lips are another little fussy cut from that Kaffe fabric. Once I had the portrait laid out on the background, I deconstructed it and started attaching it to the background, starting with the neck, then the face, then the hair, etc. It is all done in raw edge applique, which I stitched down to the top before adding the batting and backing. Once the portrait was in place, and all pieces were stitched down, I added the batting and backing and used my beginner's level quilting to meander around the portrait. I used a smaller stipped around the arrows in the dress, and called it done. The binding is a black/white batik dot, which I thought worked pretty well. 

The finished quilt is 16-1/2" square-ish. 

I'm looking forward to the next challenge! 


A Double Portrait: Spring and Summer

 My quilted portrait started with a watercolor I painted as part of an online workshop in intuitive portrait painting offered by Melanie Rivers:

A quick and easy portrait from a workshop.

Melanie has you use only 3 colors (the perfect example of value doing the work), and I really liked the effect of the pink and yellow face with green hair.

I thought it would be fun to translate into fabric, and used applique, thread sketching, and textile paints to create it.  

As I was stitching the flowing hair, it reminded me of Botticelli's Primavera, and the reverse with its warm color palette reminded me of summer -- which, in Italian, is Estate, which I never knew before!

Uffizi Gallery, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons




For the lines of hair, the heavy metallic thread I was using needed to be put in the bobbin, and worked from the back.  I liked the appearance of that face too, and made sure that side had good hair too.  :)


A detail of the thread work on the back.

Of course there are things that I would change or do differently if I were to do this again, but I loved working on this.  It was like having a good friend with me in the sewing room.  :)

I really love the fabric line that I used to make the facings around the portrait -- it is called Fresh as a Daisy by Laura Muir, from Moda.  I would love to make another version of this portrait using those fabrics!

If you would like to read more about how I made this piece, you can visit this post at my home blog,

Catch and Release

This is my quilt made for the "Portrait" prompt. It's inspired by a photograph taken when we traveled to Swan Valley, Idaho, to see a quilting friend. My husband, Mike, was nearing retirement at the time, and he was interested in taking up fly-fishing in his next life. Our friends generously arranged for a fishing trip on the Snake River near their Idaho home. 

Here's the original photograph of Mike with a cutthroat trout he caught that day.

For a long time, I've wanted to render this photo into fabric, and this seemed like as good a time as any. I sorted through my scraps, looking for anything that could be used.

And then, I went to work, starting with the jacket below the face.

When the whole portrait was done, it looked like this.

I had a fabric in my landscape bin that made a perfect background. I fused it to the background and then added the border. Batting was added without the backing, and then it was thread painted. When the thread-painting was finished, I added the backing and quilted it lightly. 

This is my first attempt at a full-on face. Prior to this, I'd only done human faces in profile. The nose was the hardest part for me to replicate.

I quilted some branches onto the tree, and did some quilting up and down the tree trunk.

Also, I quilted some clouds in the sky.

The fish was thread-painted along with the rest, but then I added some glitter thread to give it some sparkle.

Here's a close-up of the fish.

Backing up a little bit...

From there, I did a little quilting in the border, and then added a binding.

The back is made from this fabric that's been in my stash a long time. It was just what I needed.

And there you have it. My quilt, "Catch and Release," ends up at 21 x 16.5 inches. I had fun making it. I hope you like it.

Hank the Tank

So, this one was a tad difficult to get going on. I had so many ideas. I’m not the best at drawing, I have a habit of getting the proportions wrong – most things I draw look a little bit squished. 

Thinking that might not be the best look on a person I thought it might work for one of the dogs if I go with a cartoony look. Nothing says cartoon more than a Basset Hound! So Hank, our old rescue that we had to say goodbye to during the second covid lockdown, popped into my mind.

We have photos and quilt creations of Charly, Wilbur (in sihouette above) and Maggie but none of Hank, aka Hank the Tank. He was the biggest Basset we ever had and a complete and total pet. All he wanted was to be minded. As long as your arm was around him he was ok. A good philosophy for life I think. A hug a day keeps the blues away.

We got him at the age of 10 from a lovely lady who had to move house and couldn’t take him with her. Bassets have a lifespan of 10-12 so we weren’t sure what we were in for but we had him for 3 Christmases’ and we loved him.

He got thinner as he got older and my main mission in life was to make sure he was eating enough so I spoiled him rotten. Towards the end he wasn’t able to jump and couldn’t get up on the couch so we would take turns sitting on the floor with him watching TV. We all missed him so much, but Gordon more than he had missed any of the other Bassets we had had before, which was a surprise. Maggie was very mopey for a few months too and eventually we plucked up the courage to get a puppy so now we have Humphrey who is heading towards being as big as Hank and he’s only a year and a half.

So I wanted to do something with Hank as the main subject for ages and I thought Portrait, could be anyone, pet etc. fit the bill. Great you would think, so why the difficulty getting started?

I couldn’t decide how to make a pet portrait of Hank.
  • Go really cartoony with Ticker Tape and make something to go with the Wilbur quilt I made a few years ago?
  • Go some bit realistic and make an applique quilt with different shapes and colours applied in layers.
  • Try a collage style pictorial quilt - I am very drawn to these at the moment. I did make a collage flower and discovered you need lots of fabrics in various shades for this one! I’m fairly sure this would take ages to do too.
I dithered, I dathered (I’m sure that’s not a word!) and I got nowhere very fast. My friend Suzanne reminded me that I am slow to start a project and can take my time to get going. Deadline looming I settled for what I thought would be the quickest and went Ticker Tape.

I have taught this in a day long workshop and estimated 2-3days to complete Hank. Well, that was waaaay off. My friend Paula says however long you think it will take you to make something, double it. For me and my slow starting ways I am thinking triple it. So, I didn’t get this finished in time. But I like it and I like where it is going (even if the eyes are a bit cray-cray). There will be a finished Hank portrait at some stage in my future!


I have learned procrastination is the universe telling you a decision needs to be made, getting started is harder than finishing, never be afraid to rescue an old dog (they all break your heart a little bit no matter how long you have them) and sometimes the deadline isn’t the point, enjoying the process can be just as important.  


Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done with this month’s challenging theme.

POP ART or The Poppy Diptych


I was really not looking forward to it as my portraiture skills are around about zero and my sewing mojo was altogether elsewhere. But, coming back to my blog after a time away, I found a host of new icon options to click on so I had to do a little trial and error investigation. To my surprise, I discovered I could alter a photo of our dog, Poppy, with coloured shadows and highlights and that put me in mind of the Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol and suchlike. 

You can find out more about how I altered the photo and made this quilt over at Rainbow Hare

I'm very much looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made for this challenge :)

Repeat Offender

West of Scotland  

Repeat Crime Department 


Booking and Arrest Report 



Last Name - Gull

First Initial -    C

Date - 01/02/23   



Address -                             No Fixed Abode

Occupation                           Scavenger 

Marital Status                       Unknown

Age                                       8 years

Sex                                        Male

Weight                                   1.3Kg

Height                                   63cm





Defendant is charged with the theft of an ice-cream from the hand of an individual on the 5th August 2022. Alleged crime occurred on the Largs seafront in full view of several witnesses, who were able to identify Mr C Gull as the perpetrator of the crime. 


 The victim had recently purchased a two scoop ice-cream cone from the Nardini Ice-Cream parlour. Victim was about to take his first lick of said ice-cream, when Mr Gull swooped down from his perch on the nearby lamppost and knocked the ice-cream from the victim's hand. Mr Gull then proceeded to consume the ice-cream cone now lying on the Promenade, leaving the two scoops of ice-cream to melt in the sun.





Previous reports (see Booking Reports 250421IC, 310522IC, 160722IC) highlight the serial nature of Mr Gull's offenses. Mr Gull has also been reported (Booking Reports 230621CH, 010722CH, 290722CH) for serial thefts of chips from individuals on the Promenade enjoying fish and chips with a sea view.




Arresting Officer     PC Thistle 

Location                    Largs Seafront

Booking Officer       Desk Sergeant CT Stitches

To find out more about the making of the mugshot head on over to Celtic Thistle Stitches  

Portrait and Van Gogh

 I made a pillow for my nephew with his kids' silhouettes.  My niece got pictures of the boys for me since they all live 500 miles away. There is an embroidery on the cover that you can not see very well. So here's a close-up. I have a sewing machine that does fancy embroidery!

Next is a bag I did from a Van Gogh painting. The quilted piece got reversed in the translation. But the thread painting was fun.

 Here's a close-up. The Van Gogh painting is titled "Wheat Field with Cypresses".