"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Three Wise Men Christmas card 2003
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Card for hospital staff who saved Ken's life while he was on life support
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Op shops can be full of wonderful finds!

Yesterday I had some time to spare in between clients, so I browsed around a few local op shops. The first one was Savers, which is a HUGE place, but I rarely find anything worth saving in there as far as my linen collection goes (although I do buy most of my clothes there!). They have a lot of tablecloths, but mostly printed, and the doilies are all crocheted, which I don't collect. The next op shop was a small one at the back of Savers, and I have sometimes found little treasures in there. Yesterday I found two! A beautifully stitched little cloth with a crinoline lady in each corner. It was $6, and a comment on the price tag noted there was 'moth holes' on the cloth. Well, they weren't - it was actually just wear and tear of the fabric in one small spot, and barely noticeable. The other item was a small doiley which had a design of tulips stitched in rayon thread, which gave it a lovely sheen. Nicely stitched also - I take my hat off to whoever did it; rayon is awful stuff to work with, although I now have "Thread Heaven" to help me next time I use it. Should be interesting to see if it makes any difference!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Recent eBay wins..

Well, that third posting worked okay, so I will try for a more interesting one this time.. What you see on eBay is not always what you get. Or should I say what you think you see in the photo on the auction. Yesterday I received a small cloth which had been advertised as hand embroidered. I am not easily tricked into thinking machined embroidered stuff is hand embroidered, but in this case it was quite hard to tell. There was only one photo of the cloth which was not close-up, so it was almost impossible to see what the stitching was like. However, it was a pretty design, and very cheap ($5 - that should have warned me, but more about that in a minute), so I bid for it, and won it without opposition. When I opened it up today, it was clearly machine embroidered, probably in China or the Phillippines, where so much of this kind of work comes from. Now before anyone reading this gets in a huff about my comments, let me assure you, I have no problem with machine embroidered cloths, and no problem with where they originate. In fact I have a few of them in my linen cupboard that I use regularly, and this particular one will go in with them. BUT! My passion is hand embroidered cloths, because this is what I do myself, and I can appreciate the work that goes into them more than I can appreciate machined items, because I don't do that at all myself. So, I was a trifle annoyed that I had been 'tricked' into bidding for this cloth. So I phoned the seller in N.S.W. (her phone number was on the Aust Post satchel), and explained to her that I was not happy that she had advertised the cloth as hand done when it wasn't. She was very apologetic, and offered to refund my money, but I said no, the cloth was pretty in its own right, and I was happy to keep it, but I warned her that some other eBayers are not so forgiving, and if she wasn't more careful about her descriptions, she could get some rather nasty feedback. She admitted that she didn't know the difference between hand and machine embroidered stuff, so I explained that to her, and we closed the conversation quite happily. A couple of weeks ago, I received two lovely suppercloths in the mail ex eBay. They were both hand done, with hand crocheted edges, and about the same size. One had cost me $5 and the other $25. My friends gasped at the difference in price and asked how that could happen. In this case, it was due to the relative experience of each eBay seller. The $5 cloth was listed by someone who did not normally deal with linen, and just wanted to get rid of it quickly. She obviously didn't bother looking at the Textiles categories to see what she might compare hers to. I would cheerfully have paid up to $40 for this cloth, it is quite spectacular. The other cloth was sold by a lady who sells a lot of linen, and she knows what it can fetch. I was the only bidder in both auctions, which surprised me, as they were both so clearly exquisitely hand stitched and finished off. Hence my comment in brackets in the first paragraph, about being cheap at $5 - sometimes you get far more than what you bargained for! Love that eBay!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Long Weekend of stitching

We had a free weekend this first week in April - first one for a long time, and the last for a while longer, according to my diary. So I decided to make the most of it and stitch, while hubby watched the Superbike Races at Phillip Island. I completed the Calico Kats cross stitch, which will need a light wash before framing. I also completed two smaller projects - cards for a birthday exchange that I am in on an MSN Group called "Cross Country Stitchers". There are about 15 or so ladies in this birthday exchange group, and we commit ourselves to sending each person a handmade birthday card on their birthday. There are four birthdays in April (one of them being mine), so I have three cards to do. Well, one now, as two are done! The other item I wanted to work on was my Colour Change Sampler, but I didn't get around to that. At last I am going to get some of my UFOs finished off! I can embroider, but not crochet, so I have been storing tablecloths and doilies which I have finished stitching, but needed edging. An old friend living in Gippsland loves to crochet, so we are heading down there in the middle of April for a weekend, and I am to take all my stuff needing crochet edges, and she will do them for me - yippee!!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Patra's Place

Patra's Place Hello to whoever is reading this! It is mostly in the experimental stage, but like everyone else, one has to start somewhere. I have a cupboard full of UFOs and SINS, which I have added to today with a win on ebay: a Semco wall hanging - a map of Australia with the floral emblem of each state. Like so many of these early kits, it lists Semco floss/thread numbers, so I spent half an hour with my conversion chart, noting the corresponding DMC floss numbers on the instruction sheet. What a pain, but necessary if I am ever to stitch this item.