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

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is the chart I am working on for the Guild commission. I was asked by another blogger to provide progress photos, so the first one is below.
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On my sixth day of stitching, this is where I'm up to after about 6 hours. Gosh I envy you girls who have time to sit and stitch all day. But then again, I don't think my eyes (or my hands!) would survive a nonstop 6 hour marathon!
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This is my first attempt at Mail Art. It still has some back stitching to be done, and of course the name and address stitched on. Hard to tell on this picture, but for the snow, I used one strand of white DMC and one strand of silvery metallic thread. It really sparkles!
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This is the unfinished centrepiece of a duchess set that I found in the op shop where Lee-Ann works.
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These are the doilies that match the unworked centrepiece.
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Friday, October 20, 2006

My first commissioned cross stitch!!

I am so excited! (And a teeny bit nervous). The Embroiderer's Guild take on commissions from people asking if any of the members would do some kind of stitching for outsiders. We have all kinds of requests - the Ceremonial Group of ladies work on the garments worn by priests at one of our cathedrals (possibly more than one, I'm not sure). People ring up saying they have inherited a half-finished patchwork quilt - could somebody finish it off? And then there is the mending - very old (and sometimes not-so-old!) embroidered/crocheted/knitted/tatted items are brought in that have been damaged in some way, and the owners don't know how to repair it.
The other kind of work is when somebody wants an item stitched as a gift. Last month, W. (one of my volunteer colleagues) asked if I would be interested in doing some cross stitch commission work. I said yes cautiously, not wanting to commit myself to a Teresa Wentzler epic which would send me to the grave much earlier than planned! But no, this was a Prairie Schooler Xmas design. A man wants to give it to his wife for Christmas, and it has to be done by early December so he has time to get it framed. W. dropped it off to me today, and I am quite confident about finishing it in time. It is on 14ct Aida and only uses 7 colours of DMC. Everything was provided, so I raced down to the photoshop tonight and got a photocopy of the pattern twice the size of the original, so I can mark it off as I work, without spoiling the original chart. I have stitched a grid on the Aida and put it on the frame, needles all threaded with the colours, and the chart is marked into a grid as well. So I'm rarin' to go!!
Only one thing remains - how much should I charge, and how does one charge for stitching? W. said the ladies in the Guild set their own prices with whatever they do; there is no set charge from the Guild itself. She suggested that I keep a record of how many hours I work on it, and how many stitches I work in an hour. I already know my average is about 130 stitches an hour. Let's assume this chart has 8,000 stitches - that would take me about 60 hours. Would $10 an hour be too much? $600 sounds an awful lot of money for something like that!! Even $5 an hour - $300 - sounds a lot, but W. said people must be prepared to pay for our time the same as paying for any other work, and she said she had told the guy it would run into several hundred dollars. Comments please!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sharing my passion for linen.

Lee-Ann left a very warm and friendly comment a few days ago, relating to her visit to my home to see my linen collection. Thank you dear Friend, for those compliments about me - you know the feeling is mutual! I want to explain something here to those who read my blogs. I have made many new and close friends via the Internet in the last five years, and now and again I refer to those people and the things we do together from time to time. Lee-Ann and her hubby Rob have become great friends with Ken and I, and we have enjoyed each other's company enormously recently. But as I said to Lee-Ann, in deference to our husbands, I am not going to write a detailed account of every time we meet, as Ken and Rob are not 'into' blogging, and could be uncomfortable with our personal lives splashed all over the Net!
Having said that, I will go on to say that we have just spent a great two days in the country with Lee-Ann and Rob, and at their request, I presented a talk about my linen to a group of ladies up there. They were mostly middle-aged or older, and were delighted to have a look at the pieces I took along to show and tell, particularly the aprons. Ken had never seen me do my talk before, but he was a captive audience this time! Even he enjoyed it, probably because a lot of it relates to his Mum, as she has given me so much of her own work. I like to talk about that, as each piece has a special story or anecdote which makes it all the more interesting to my audience.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Front of Tea cosy from England.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Replies to your comments.

I never fail to get a buzz out of reading all the comments left on my blogs, but I regret that I am remiss in acknowledging them sometimes. I try to visit all the bloggers who visit me, but if I haven't done so, please don't think I am just ignoring you - not so! I guess most of you know how it is. Blogging is such great fun, but sooooooooooooo time-consuming! And my blog isn't half as busy as some of those who read mine - I don't know how they have the time! Anyway, thanks to all of you who have left comments lately. Normah has been admiring my linens, particularly two crinoline ladies stitched in purple. She asked if I am a 'purple person'...which made me chuckle, thinking of the Purple People Eater song from the 50's! Yes, I do love all shades of purple, violet, mauve, etc., although I can't wear them successfully - just doesn't suit my skin tone, unfortunately. Catherine has also been enjoying looking at my collection, and mentioned that she has inherited linen from her Mother. She has promised to put some on her blog; I'll keep nagging you to do just that, Cathy! I absolutely love seeing things that people have inherited - so much of mine will never be identified, coming from auctions and op-shops...:-( Maggie is one of my most regular visitors - going by her comments on nearly all my pictures! I am so happy to know that she and others share my love of hand embroidered linen. For so many years I have been alone in my passion for it, but now I am surrounded by soul mates!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

On one of my other blogs (Patra's Other Place) I wrote about the latest additions to my swap(playing) cards collection. I have posted the pics of the following six cards because of their stitching theme, in line with what Patra's Place is all about.
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Another pair of swapcards that appealed to me because of the sewing theme! Aren't they nice and bright?
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This is one of a pair of swapcards depicting Crazy Quilt stitching. I'd never seen this on playing cards before, and had to have them for my collection!
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Friday, October 06, 2006

The second CQ swap card.
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This is one end of an unfinished table runner from England. It is on the drab brown linen that was commonly used during wartimes when quality linen was scarce or unavailable. The crinoline lady here is almost finished - just a few flowers and clouds to be done, but the other end of the runner hasn't been started at all.
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Unworked teacosy, on the same brown material as the runner above.
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