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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New purchases.

Sharon and I visited Bustle & Bows needlecraft shop today, and when I found this redwork stitchery featuring chickens, I had to add it to my bag of goodies. I also bought some buttons and other bling to use on patchwork ATCs and FPCs.
As well as the apron I found today at an opshop (see my apron blog for a photo), I found these two little mats. They aren't really doilies, just squares, but nicely stitched.

And still more....

Like many of you, I continue to buy new patterns and stash, even though I know full well I have no hope of ever stitching them all. But you know how it is, you see something that is just so cute/pretty/stunning, you simply must have it in your stash. I've seen these patterns elsewhere on blogs and websites, and wondered where I could buy them. Somewhere along the line I stumbled across this great website called ABC Stitch Therapy (what a suitable name!), and discovered to my delight that they stocked just about all the patterns I have been after for months! These four arrived last week, and I have two more on the way. I've always loved the concept of mermaids, and hubby loves to fish, so this is destined to hang on a wall sometime soon!
Ladybirds are the cutest bugs, especially when they come in multicolours like these!
What is it about cupcakes that has taken the craft world by storm in recent years? They've been around since Adam was a boy, at every child's birthday party, and suddenly, what's old is new again.
This design is one of a series, but this is the only one I wanted. It is so typical of a cat who has just had his food placed on the floor in front of him, and he looks up at you as if to say "this is NOT what I ordered" - LOL!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Unique Fabric postcard

Joy is one of my new friends on the Stitchin Fingers website, and today I received this fabric postcard from her. It is made using the selvedge of various fabrics, embellished with some neat stitching and beadwork. Thanks, Joy - a lovely addition to my collection of FPCs!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Update on Peacock CQ

It's been a busy day (and night). Here it is at 1.45 am on Wednesday, and I'm only just posting these photos!! The second day of the patchwork class was as much fun as the first. Everybody made great progress on their blocks, and were mostly pleased with their efforts. It is fascinating to see the difference in tastes of colours and embellishments. Some girls used pale pastel colours, others went for floral, while there were only two for us who chose vibrant darker colours. I took the first photo below with my camera, but still wasn't happy with the colour reproduction, so I stuck the block under the scanner, and while the colours are more accurate, I couldn't fit the whole block in the picture.
I have several blogging friends to thank for their donations to this project. Sharon gave me the little golden peacock ages ago. Liz in Kansas sent me beads, several lengths of cord, ribbon and perle cotton in peacock colours, and the tiny brass peacocks which are not on here yet, but will be. Another blog swap partner whose name escapes me at the moment, sent me several pieces of green fabrics which I've used here. The 'feather' item on the purple fabric above the centre is an ear-ring I found at an opshop. I still have some lace to attach, some more stitching to do and beads to add, and then it will have a border around it. But I've got some other things to do before I finish this, so don't hold your breath waiting for the finish!

I'm off to Kinglake Middle Primary School tomorrow to deliver the last of Lorna's fabric postcards. There are 120 students there, and I only have 66 postcards left, so after a discussion with one of the teachers, we decided to give one postcard to each family, as there are 77 families represented at the school. So I had to make up some more quick cards tonight to fill in the gap!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crazy Patchwork Class.

Our Guild is running a two-day class on Crazy Patchwork this week. I've never taken any 'real' lessons in this, and I decided two days is better than none at all, so I booked in. There are six students in our group, and today we created our block. Tomorrow the fun begins - we embellish! Our tutor Julie is an excellent teacher - she is very experienced in her field, and loves passing on all the special tips she has learnt over the years. She is also very friendly and patient, which makes the classes fun and relaxing for us all. She had brought a heap of fabrics and trims that we could use in addition to what we'd brought with us, and if she saw an opportunity to add some of her stash to our blocks, she would come over and show us where it could work. She added some lovely bits to mine after this photo was taken. Here is my block when I was still deciding what colours to use where. The colours in the photo aren't true to life; I don't know if it was because of the lighting in the room where we were working. My theme is Peacocks - something I have been saving fabric and bling for to do for ages! Julie watched while I selected fabrics, then made suggestions that I wouldn't have thought of, but realised immediately her judgement is far better than mine! For instance, once I'd cut the peacock for the centre, I wasn't going to use any more of that fabric, but Julie suggested I cut a section of tail feathers print out and use in a corner. Then she cut some more off, and we used that elsewhere. I could see the logic once it was done, but I just don't have the imagination to do it on my own. Come back here in 24 hours to see what the finished product looks like!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fabric postcard from USA and ATCs from India.

Liz in Kansas sent me this darling fabric postcard for our Yahoo FPC Exchange Group. We'd agreed to make a kitty postcard for each other.
Liz also sent me some little extras - knowing my love for all things peacock, she sent these ribbons, beads, and bling.. I didn't realise what these two tiny little things were until tonight, when I laid them out to photograph - tiny wee little peacocks! How cute is that? Thank you so much, Liz! ********************************* Pallavi in India contributed some of her ATCs to the Bushfire Victims project. I asked for postcards, but I know the recipient of these unusual and very attractive ATCs will be delighted. Thank you very much, Pallavi!

A smaller spend up at Eltham Antiques..

On hearing that a friend had restocked her corner of the market with some new linens I just had to go and inspect them. I wasn't disappointed. And it didn't cost me much at all really - just $40. There was a huge pile of doilies and cloths, but here is what I brought home: A table runner and four napkins in Assisi work. Very old by the look of it, not done on Aida - it is on linen, and incredibly finely stitched. This is the reverse: Three of the napkins are just okay, but the fourth one... is badly torn where the napkin has obviously been folded for years, and the fabric has disintegrated. So I may just cut the stitched piece off and use it in a patchwork project.

And the others.

Two nice little Crinoline ladies. I have a number of cloths and doilies in this umbrella design, so I was pleased to find this little sandwich tray doiley to add to them. Another thistle doiley to add to the ones I have! This is a very unusual design duchess set - a Mexican lady I think, going by the cactus on the smaller doilies.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm still wearing my L Plates.

When it comes to embroidery, I am still a novice compared to so many others, but that is not surprising, seeing I have only been an on-and-off-again stitcher all my life until about eight years ago. So I'm enjoying learning new things both at the EGV and through the Internet, particularly the Stitchin Fingers TAST Group (Take A Stitch Tuesday). The members of this Group are given a new stitch to learn every week (with one break a month). I fell off the wagon for a few months earlier this year, but have been trying to catch up with the new stitches posted. Here is my effort for some of this year's stitches. I haven't done all of the stitches shown on TAST, as some are simply too complex for me to figure out by diagrams alone. I learn much quicker when I have someone at my side to show me.
I do enjoy using some of the easier ones on my little patchwork postcards though. I finished this fabric postcard today, and it will be on its way to the USA tomorrow.
I didn't make the ATC below. It arrived in today's mail from Cindy, for our ATC Group exchange for May, using the theme "My Country". Do I need to say she is American? I love it!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A lovely fabric postcard from a new friend.

I 'met' Lorna through the Stitchin Fingers Fabric postcards group, and we have become good friends since we worked together to bring FPCs to the younger bushfire survivors. We have exchanged FPCs and ATCs with each other as well, and this is one that I received from her last week. These pretty FPCs were sent to me by Neki in Spain, who is donating them to bushfire survivors. People have been so kind for this project.

A very old embroidered picture.

On my one day a month as a volunteer Gallery hostess at the Guild, I spend the day with two delightful ladies. I hesitate to give their names here, as I don't know if they want to be made 'public' on blogs like this, so I shall just refer to them as M and W. M. does Library duty. She works on updating information on the Guild computer records for the Library, and checks books etc. in and out as members drop in to borrow and return items. We share a common interest in cross stitch, and so we often have stuff to show each other.
W. has been a Guild member almost since it began, and has a wealth of knowledge about the Guild, the members, the Collection, the library; in fact just about anything relating to textiles. She runs educational courses now and then, and participates in others, as well as organising all kinds of other events relating to the Guild and other embroidery groups. I said to M. last week that we are both very lucky to be on duty on the same day as W. because we often pick her brain about things we need to know, and she is always willing to help. Like me, W. collects aprons and other vintage embroidery, and when she culls her collection, she often brings things into me to ask if I would like to have them. One such item is this old embroidered picture, which W. said was given to her as part of a deceased estate or some other collection of embroidered items.
I have several pieces like this in my collection, but none of them framed. My friend LeeAnn in Malmsbury once found a set of unstitched linens in this style, in the opshop where she works, and gave them to me, saying "You WILL embroider them one day, won't you Gina?" Of course I will! And pigs might fly backwards too...But when I saw this one in the frame, my fingers just itched to get those linens out and start working on them. They would be so easy - just back stitch and straight stitch. Child's play really. So which lifetime will I schedule it in to?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Embroiderers Guild Volunteers Day

Every year, our Guild puts on a morning tea to thank the volunteers who work there during the year. I've not been able to attend on previous years because of my work, but this year I was free to attend. I had a head cold coming on, but I dosed myself up with cold and flu tablets, which temporarily made me feel human again, and stopped the sneezing and sniffing, so I'm hoping I didn't spread too many germs there yesterday. The committee members provided a delicious morning tea with scones and cream, sandwiches, and all kinds of cakes and goodies. Good old fashioned country cookin'!
I knew some of the Country members would be present, so I took along a bundle of Fabric postcards from my Stitchin Fingers group. Just as well, because one of the ladies I met lived in Wandong, and told me that she and her husband lost everything in the fires except the clothes they were wearing at the time they were trying to defend their home against the fire. She talked at length about her experience of that day, and it was plain to see she was still very much traumatised by it. She apologised for 'rambling on' about it, and said that some people get bored with hearing about it because it was in the news for so long. I encouraged her to talk as much as she needed to, it is therapeutic to do so, and she agreed.
I told her about Stitchin Fingers and the Postcards group, and brought out my bundle to show her. She thought they were absolutely lovely, and was delighted when I invited her to choose one. She chose one of Lorna's cards, and said she will write to Lorna and thank her. Isn't that nice? That is why I want to give these cards to people personally, instead of just leaving them at one of the Recovery Centres. It is important that the recipients know the story behind them.

The Phoenix is finished.

I finally got all the backstitching done, and this RR is now in the mail to England, where Jane will add something spectacular to it, I'm sure!

Monday, June 01, 2009

I've been shopping.

I went insane for a moment last week, and spent an awful amount of money that we can't afford right now, but I was depressed, so some retail therapy was in order. I don't look at eBay any more because of all the temptations, but the Antique Market at Eltham is just too hard to resist. I found all this there last Friday. I LOVE traycloths, and have a large collection of them (probably over 100), but can't resist adding to it, especially when these only cost $8 each!
This cloth cost $25, and I think I diddled myself. By that I mean that I'm pretty sure it is machine embroidered, not hand-stitched, and I don't usually buy machine stitched work. But this was so pretty.
I have so many suppercloths worked in this Assisi style of design, but this is the first one I've seen with tulips. Crocheted edge, perfect condition - and only $25! This cloth is beautifully stitched, and in excellent condition for its age. I was particularly keen to have it because a few years ago, I found a doiley made of this same fabric, with the same daffodil design stamped on it. I did the embroidery myself and had a friend do the crochet edge. This is a table runner, again beautifully stitched, with some cutwork in there as well, and a lovely edging. I probably wouldn't have looked twice at this, because I have several doilies with bluebirds on them, but this had the four little ones below pinned to it, with a price of $5, so I snapped it up. Sorry about the blurred photo; I was in a hurry to get all these done and obviously didn't focus properly. I just drool over these vintage doilies with their stitching perfection. This one is done in silk thread, and the crocheted edge has been done in the same thread. An art deco pair. I had a closer look at this pic earlier, and realised that the doiley on the left (partially under the other) is actually upside down - the back of it is showing instead of the front. You can understand why I didn't realise that at first; the stitching is so good on both sides that it is almost impossible to tell the difference. Another art deco style doiley, very pretty, don't you think?