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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

EBay goodies.

Four nice items arrived today from one of my favourite Sellers:
A beautifully stitched centrepiece: Closeup of centrepiece stitching: Assisi-style embroidery with exquisite crocheted edge: Do you remember seeing this design on my blog earlier this year? I stitched it as a black kitten on a red couch. So when I saw this version, I just had to have it as a comparison to the one I'd done. Yes, ANOTHER UFO. I couldn't resist this unusual design, and it won't take long to finish it. Nor will the other 500 I have in my stash...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Op shop goodies

On Monday morning after I had finished my work for the day, I decided to spend the rest of the day heading south to visit some opshops that I've previously driven past but never had time to stop and look at. There were about 10 of them all along one main road and some of them yielded nothing at all to interest me. But at one or two others, I found some goodies! This dear little half apron in perfect condition - I doubt if it has ever been worn. The design is appliqued on with tiny, perfect stitches. The label says 'made in China' but that does not lessen the standard of the embroidery for me. A few bundles of laces, most of which will soon be on their way to my dear American friend Pam. How's this for a bargain?! Unworked printed supper cloth! It isn't vintage linen - more like a polyester blend, but a nice little project for $5!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today's stitching.

One of the many benefits of going to a craft show is that it gets you all excited and inspired. I'll never reach the standard of some of the work displayed, but that is not an issue with me. I am happy to admire it, then go home and play with my own work. I downloaded a cute freebie design recently which I thought would be an ideal pattern for variegated threads. I have heaps of those, but can never find the right project for them. I dug out this dark purple Aida from my stash, as well as the variegated threads, and had a little play. Ken said "It's dark, isn't it?" Yes dear, that colour purple is dark. That's why I've used light coloured threads. Ho hum.

This little piece is just about finished. The white background and some back stitching, and it's ready to be sent off overseas. Just hope the recipient isn't looking. It should be a surprise, but those of you who read my blogs regularly, know how impatient I am to put things on here. Naturally there will be another photo here when I've finished stitching and mounted it in a card, but I just have to show it NOW!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Additions to my Stash.

Naughty girl...I really can't afford $100 on more stash, but what the heck? These Craft fairs are only on here once or twice a year, and I don't go EVERY year. This is what I bought today: Rick Rack!! I've never seen so many colours in dear old rick rack - different widths too, and I just had to have some. The teacups are on a small sheet of peel off paper; I hope to use them on an ATC some time in the future. The enamelled beads on the left will be used to embellish my CQ blocks (current and future), and the beaded flower thingy is going on my teacup CQ. I took it with me today so I could have it on hand to match bits and pieces to it.
I couldn't resist this booklet of Crinoline lady designs. It states on the cover they are for candlewicking, but they can of course be used for anything such as redwork or other embroidery.
This little kit is for two napkins. One with a cupcake and the other with teacup and saucer, to be appliqued on to the napkins provided. The photo of the finished articles is in the kit - what a good idea!

Craft & Quilt Fair in Melbourne, 26 July.

Today I went to the Craft & Quilt Fair with some friends. We arrived at 9 am and left around 4 pm. When I got home, Ken said "I can't believe you have spent the whole day at that craft fair!" Men...they will never understand the joy of SEX (Stash Enhancement eXperience). Sandra, Kathie and I strolled up each aisle until it was time for me to go to the workshop I had enrolled in - 'Crazy Patchwork'. For $15, the participants received this kit, and for an hour we were shown how to make the pieces into the cute chook you see here:
There was not enough time to finish it, so I hope to do that in the near future, as a way of practicing my CQ skills.
Guess who was in the same workshop? I knew Sharon was thinking of going to the Fair, but we hadn't made any arrangements to meet up, so it was a lovely surprise to find her in the class! We sat together and chatted while we worked on our chooks.
I have posted all the photos I took of the Quilt exhibition on my Flickr site here, but here are two of the quilts that took my fancy in particular. I hope Barb from Woof Nanny is reading this - the quilt below has been made entirely from ties which the owner bought from opshops!!

The quilt below is one of several which were made to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

New table cloth for the collection.

This arrived on Friday from one of my favourite eBay sellers in Australia. Her linens are of consistently high quality and this one is no exception. It is a Semco cloth which has a woven border around the edge, and the pattern stamped on it for stitching. The embroidery is simple, but beautifully done.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stitchin Fingers Exchange card

Our Cross Stitchin Fingers group on the Stitchin Fingers site decided to have an exchange of cards for our first activity. I am still working on my card, but today I received this lovely card from Miriam in The Netherlands, along with the three cute little wooden charms.
I couldn't resist adding this pic of her notepaper and envelope - gorgeous!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Antique market goodies.

Today I visited our local antique market. I'm only going there once a month, otherwise I'll spend far too much, if I go every week, as much as I'd like to. This is what I found today: Gorgeous little art deco supper cloth. With four matching napkins. Three tea towels - I couldn't resist the kitty one! The other two are plain linen, getting harder to find these days - great to embroider iron on transfers.
I also bought an apron and some swap cards.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pretty doilies given to me yesterday.

A stitching friend came to visit yesterday, and we spent most of the morning talking instead of stitching, but never mind, sometimes people just need to unload, and that's more important for peace of mind than sewing, which can be picked up later in the day. My friend presented me with these doilies which she had found in an opshop. She had given them the Napisan treatment, so they are in pristine condition! I am touched that in spite of having so much else on her mind at the moment, she still thought of me when she saw these and bought them. My friends are GOOD FRIENDS indeed.

*********************************************************************************** This isn't worth starting another post for, so I'll just tack it at the end here. This is where I am up to with my Stitch sampler. A bit more Chevron stitching done since the last photo I posted of this (and yes, there are more mistakes but I am not going to waste time fixing this as it is only a work in progress), and some Algerian Eye stitches at the bottom. (I think they are called Algerian Eye...funny name!)

Incredibly beautiful eye candy!

While I toil slowly on my first Crazy Quilting attempt (but I am enjoying it, slow as I am), I look in awe at the work of more experienced stitchers. Cheryl from Cheryl's Chatelaine has another blog, I've just discovered - on which she has a record of the CQ round robins she has done with a group of other stitchers. Even if you don't do this kind of thing yourself, do pop in here for a look. Their blocks are simply stunning.
As I said above, mine is coming along slowly. I've had to unpick a few rows of stitching here and there, as when I'd finished what I was doing, and held it up for inspection, I was shocked to see how untidy my stitching was in some places! But the rows of stitches are not long at all, so it didn't take long to unpick and re-stitch what I'd done. Sharon H. gave me the tiny green dragonfly in the top right hand corner, and the red rosebud in the bottom right hand corner was in a bag of goodies that somebody else gave me last year. I've also added two pieces of pretty braid (yellow at the top and pale green at the bottom left side). Long way to go!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I've been stitching.

Just in case you thought I'd taken a break from my stitching, I thought I'd better post some photos of what I've been doing. Since joining Stitchin Fingers, I've been enjoying the process of re-learning traditional embroidery stitches, and how to do variations of them. I've used a large piece of Aida for my sampler, which is really just a working piece, not a decorative sampler as such. This shows what I learned in the first three weeks: Herringbone, Buttonhole/Blanket Stitch, and Detached Chain/Lazy Daisy. The Buttonhole stitching looks ratty because I used stranded cotton instead of pearl or another more robust thread. But that is the beauty of doing an ongoing workshop or course - you learn by your mistakes.

The fourth week was Cretan Stitch. I could not get my head around this one for days! After studying numerous needlecraft books and internet sites, I managed to figure it out. Certainly not a favourite stitch though, as you can probably tell. I did as little as I thought was necessary to show I'd learnt it, then gave up!

The three rows at the foot of this show I've done tonight - Week 5's stitch - Chevron Stitch...and I've just noticed a mistake - oh pooh.

And the rest...

This is about 10% of the project I am doing for a friend's 50th in November...I'd probably be half finished by now if I hadn't got involved with the online embroidery lessons!
I've only done a bit on my CQ - blanket stitch in green thread, and herringbone stitch in burgundy. After I took this photo tonight, I did some detached chain work in pink thread.

And just for a change: I found this gorgeous pincushion at an opshop yesterday, for 80c...yes, eighty cents!!! Who could bear to part with this little gem and see it sold for a few cents, after all that work??

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Coincidence, and luck.

While I was at the Guild yesterday, and looking through their extensive library for a specific book on stitching, I came across this book. I'm not left handed, but one of my fellow volunteers is, so I showed it to her and she was delighted. She didn't know it was in their library and said she'll probably borrow it soon. The coincidence about that is that an hour later, I was in an opshop not far from the Guild, and I found the same book - for $3! So I snapped it up, being sure that one or more of my stitching friends will be left handed, and will find this book useful.
As for luck - being in the right place at the right time can be lucky. Again, while I was in the Guild library, one of the members came in with an arm full of tapestry and a cross stitch kit. She said one of her friends had decided to try stitching, but changed her mind, and said to give everything to the Guild - someone might want them. I wasn't interested in the tapestry, but I was VERY keen to add this to my stash!
Finally, here are two sweet vintage handkies that I found for 50c each at The Salvos Opshop.

Doilies on show at Embroiders' Guild of Victoria.

Members of the Guild were asked to contribute any doilies they had, to put on show at the Guild's monthly display. I took about 20 of mine and they were all included. I took these photos just as the display committee ladies had finished. There are more display boards, but these will give you an idea of the variety. This board is devoted to crinoline ladies and English cottages - right out of the 1940's, we thought. Three of these are mine.
These are mostly floral designs. The four large centrepieces are mine.
This display shows hardanger, cutwork, and other kinds of whitework.
These are all duchess sets. I didn't think of bringing any of mine, but it is just as well - they wouldn't have had room for any more.
The members were asked to bring embroidered doilies, not crocheted, but as there were so many regardless, the committee decided to display them anyway. They do make a pretty display, don't they.