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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh dear...what have I got myself in for now??

The Stitchin Fingers website has got so many fascinating groups, I just have to look at most of them several times a week, to see what everyone is working on. Members of the website can join any group they like, and I joined about a dozen, but cut back on some when I realised that I just was not going to have time to participate in every activity that appealed to me. I moderate the Cross Stitchin Fingers Group, and I'm taking part in exchanges for the ATC Group and the Fabric Post cards Group. ATC stands for Artists Trading Cards, and they can be made from paper, textiles or any other media as long as it conforms to the one size - 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Here is what I've done so far: The top one with red buttons is completed, and will be on its way to someone as soon as she sends me her address! She will be sending me one of hers in return. The green ATC below that was just a WIP when this was taken, but I finished it tonight, so will take another photo. These three are paper ATCs, with some material trimming to add interest. ******************************************************************************* But not only am I working on ATCs and fabric postcards (no photo of those yet), I am seriously keen on CQ blocks, and have hundreds of ideas buzzing around in my head. All that I need is more fabrics, and here is what I bought on eBay this week: Several pieces of Japanese-style fabrics,
These two cute fabrics with sewing machines and other sewing notions, followed by matching plain fabrics.
And more teapots - aren't these gorgeous? There used to be a lot of fabrics around with teacups and teapots but it is getting harder to find, so I was delighted to find this one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Patchwork Chook is finished.

My friend Cheryl came to visit yesterday, to sit and stitch for a few hours. Poor Cheryl didn't get much of her own stitching done, because I asked her to help me put The Chook together, and it took all afternoon! Anyway, we got it done, and here she is, hanging up in the kitchen. The black cat behind her is not Topsy ready to pounce - it is a picture on a calendar!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nearly a week later...

Ken and I are still coughing and sniffing, but feeling marginally better than we were a week ago, so I guess that is something to be grateful for.
I spent a few hours with one of my stitching mates Sharon, on Friday. She is a great motivator for me, as she is willing to try new things, whereas I take a while to pluck up the courage to start something new. Sharon is the friend who got me hooked on blogging, and she started crazy quilting after seeing it on other blogs and websites. So when I finally took up CQ in order to practise my embroidery stitches, who did I turn to for advice? Shazzy!
I (or should I say 'we') made great headway on my Teacup CQ block on Friday. Sharon brought out her large stash of buttons and bits for me to choose from, and she offered suggestions on how to utilise them. I am almost brain dead when it comes to being creative; I can follow instructions to the nth degree, but when it comes to making something original...well, I wait to be told, lol! Anyway, this is what I have achieved since I posted a photo of my CQ last week. I think even Sharon will be startled when she sees this - I spent most of Saturday night working on it, and I'm quite pleased with the result. It is still a work in progress though, so it might not be touched again for a few weeks, as there are other projects with timelines that need to be worked on before I can 'play' with this again.
Today (Sunday) I did a few variations of Cross Stitch for my TAST sampler.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update on my bits and pieces.

The MOTH and I have been stuck indoors for three days, due to the weather (cold and wet) and both of us having caught a cold. Neither of us went to work yesterday or today, and while he stayed in bed most of the time (sensibly), I wasn't sick enough to do that, so life went on as usual - washing, ironing, cooking and stitching. Here is what I've been doing: Added a few more examples of Fly Stitch to my TAST sampler. I'm not 100% satisfied with my efforts, but it is a great learning process for me. I think I'm doing okay, then I look at the other girls' TAST samplers and realise I've got a long way to go! But hey, I can live with that.
Added some more embellishing stitches to The Chook. The reason I'm doing them on here is to see how they look before I stitch them on to my Teacup CQ block below: ...to which I have added some beads and a row of pink rick rack since I last posted a photo of it. I'm not happy about that teapot button. I want to have it on here somewhere, but it looks a bit lonely stuck there all by itself. Guess I'll remove it and save it until I've put more things on the block, then have another look. Any suggestions from you CQ experts out there?
Finally, I've been doing some more on my friend's 50th birthday pressie. She doesn't read blogs, so I can safely put this on here...I hope! This is a picture of the finished picture in the book I am working from: Nearly forgot to tell you - I've added another apron to my collection. You can see it here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Embroidery exhibition.

Today was wet and cold in Melbourne, but for me, it was a perfect day! In the morning, Sharon and I went to an embroidery display put on by Bustle & Bows, a specialist needlecraft shop in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. It was not a large exhibition by the usual standards of big halls, in fact it was in three average size rooms of the local community centre, but the quality of the work displayed was...well, I can't find a suitable adjective. It was simply superb. We spent two very happy hours there, going around once, then doing it all over again, just for the sheer pleasure of all that eye candy! We both took heaps of photos, and no doubt Sharon will have put hers on her blog, so do visit her to have a look. I took about 30, too many to put on here, but I've put them on my Flickr account, so if you go here, you can have a look. Just as a teaser, here are just two of the items that impressed me: I LOVE our native Kookaburras, so this pillow really called to me!
A stunning example of goldwork.
Bustle & Bows run classes, and had a room full of gorgeous hand made goodies for sale to raise funds for charity. I paid just $2 for this exquisite blackwork pincushion. ****************************************** The rest of my day was spent stitching. (That is, after I'd done the week's ironing, and made a pot of soup for tea: Sweet Potato and Chilli - perfect for two sneezing and coughing senior citizens!!). I made some headway on the cross stitch picture I'm doing for a friend's 50th, and I practised my embroidery stitches on my patchwork chook: and my TAST stitch sampler:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Two centrepieces featuring fans.

Everything Japanese seems to be 'the flavour of the month' in Australia lately - not surprising, given the beauty of most Japanese crafts, whether it be textiles or painting or whatever else. These two centrepieces were not made in Japan, but the designer was obviously influenced by Asian arts. I received these today in the mail from Queensland, from one of my regular eBay sellers.
While on the subject of things Japanese, I bought this beautiful hand made card at a Sunday market years ago. Not with the intention of giving it to anyone at that time, but I finally decided to part with it last month. One of my elderly Japanese friends had a birthday and I thought she would appreciate it more than most people I could think of. She did!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Two doilies.

I also found these at the EGV while I was going through their remnants drawer. One is a centerpiece with the most incredible satin stitched flowers on it - here is the doiley, followed by a closeup pic. The other is a simple white cotton circle, surrounded by a gorgeous crocheted edge. I try not to collect anything other than embroidered linens, but now and then something like this crosses my path and I can't pass it up!

Free fabrics stash!!

Today at the EGV, I looked in the Remnant Drawer as I usually do, just to see what has been thrown out by other Guild members. This drawer is a large deep drawer and is mostly nearly empty, because other people get there before me. But today I struck gold! I think someone must have been clearing out a deceased estate, there was so much material, I don't think it was the result of one person having a clean up of their stash. I took a bag full of goodies, as did one of the other members who came in just after me, but the drawer was still overflowing when we left! Here is what I have added to my stash:
A piece of cream colored Aida, a square of canvas type material, perfect for a needlepoint project, and a piece of fleecy material suitable for padding patchwork projects.
Pieces of material in assorted patterns.
Pieces of material in floral designs.
Useful fabrics in plain colours.
Ten completed hand stitched blocks for a quilt!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Two small projects finished.

This card has just been posted to Sue in the UK. She was my exchange recipient in our Cross Stitchin Fingers card swap.
I started this piece just to play with variegated threads, but one of my friends just loves this shade of purple, so as it was her birthday today, I turned this into a birthday card, and she was delighted!

Op shops.

Today has been lucrative! Last Monday I went on an opshop trawl after I finished work. Today, I went back along the same roads, because there were two or three opshops that I missed out on last week. Here is what I found: The cutest kitty teacosy!
A very old/vintage embroidered toaster cover.
Two nice centrepieces and a tray cloth.

Stunning cloth from eBay.

I keep saying on this blog that I've bought something from a favourite eBay seller. Well, there is more than one - there are a dozen eBay sellers whose sites I check regularly, as they have the best linens around. The lady who sold me this cloth was one of the first people I won an auction with, and I've bought heaps from her since then. This little cloth is absolutely superb - just check out these photos!

But wait - there's more.

Sweet little supper cloth, nicely stitched. Closeup of detail.
Somebody finished this little kit, then discarded it...or maybe it was done as a gift and the recipient didn't want it. I'll never know, but I couldn't bear to see it languishing on a shelf in the opshop.
Fantastic book about collecting linens and laces.
More stitched kitties! I wish I could find some more time so I could have a shot at needlepoint - these are so cute!
For 30 cents, this mag was a bargain. Mary Hickmott magazines are one of my favourites, and this one has some neat Xmas designs in it.