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

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good and not so good day.

I spent most of today at the Embroiderers Guild exhibition, selling raffle tickets and chatting with other Guild members. I was wondering if any of my blog readers would turn up and say hi, and guess what - Tannia did. It is such fun to meet my cyberspace friends - thanks, Tannia! Unfortunately the Guild doesn't allow anyone to take photos of their exhibitions, so I don't have any to put on my blog to show you. But I can show you what I bought from the Gift Shop. This is a plain old Spirex ruled notepad, made special with a calico cover appliqued with a cupcake! Couldn't leave this behind - what a great notebook to write recipes in.
As you might remember, I have a growing collection of pincushions of all shapes and sizes, and the Guild always have heaps of them for sale in their Gift Shop. I allowed myself just one today - this square shape is new to me. And I adore that elephant design.
Tonight I received an email from Cheryl, who alerted me to an item on the Needlework News website. They had discovered my Peacocks blog and given it a nice write up. Thanks Lakshmi, for telling them about me!
The bad news is that I smashed my car up on the way home from the Guild, so I'm grounded for a few weeks at the least, I guess. The upside is that because I'm forced to stay home, I'll have lots of time to stitch - lol!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How do you know what to do next??

Some stitchers have a rotation system, where they line up all their works in progress, and work on one for a set period (ie. one night) before going on to another. I've thought about this, but don't think it would work for me, because so many of my projects have time frames that mean I have to stay on one thing until it is finished. At the moment, I've caught up with my Stitchin Fingers exchanges (FPCs, ATCs and round robin), and am looking at my next patchwork block to be cut out. Our tutor isn't running classes in school holidays, so I haven't had anything to do this week or next week, although J. did give me the patterns for the next two blocks, so I could start making the templates and cutting out the fabrics.
But I have an Assisi project which was started early this year, and meant to be finished by May, for a friend's 60th birthday. She went overseas in the meantime, so I figured there was no rush for the Assisi job to be finished. I have two crazy patchwork blocks almost finished (Teacup and Peacock themes) which I had intended to finish in time to enter them in the Whittlesea Show. I also have the Black Cats on Brick Wall patchwork wall hanging to finish off with a border.
None of these will take a lot of time, but I think I'll finish off the Assisi work, as it is for someone else after all, and I'm not really fussed about entering stuff in the Show this year. There is always next year. Speaking of shows, I forgot to mention earlier the Embroidery Guild's annual exhibition, which started on 12th September and finishes this Sunday 27th! So if you are in Melbourne and want to do something other than watch the Grand Final on Saturday, do drop into the Guild at 170 Wattletree Road, Malvern, between 10 am and 6 pm. I will be there all day on Sunday, as a gallery hostess and manning the gift shop, so if you come in on Sunday, come over and say hi!

Two more Fabric Postcards.

Tonight I finished off these two FPCs. The one with the Dalmation among the red and white fabric is for one of the ladies in my Patchwork class. She used the red and white fabrics for her blocks and the completed quilt is lovely. She gave me some of the scraps of fabric that were left over, and when I told her I would use them to make postcards, she looked a bit sceptical, so I decided to make one up straight away so I can show her at the next class!
The other one with the gold butterfly is for a Stitchin Fingers exchange, and will be posted off to Mary Lou in the USA on Monday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Magic Mushroom ATC

Remember the mushroom ATC that I posted a photo of here recently? Well, I received my partner's ATC today - isn't it beautiful! Many thanks, 'Michelle Mermaid'!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Op (thrift) shop treasures.

I am shocked by some of the embroidered items I find in opshops. Some things such as long stitch pictures are not such a rarity, as they are generally done from kits that were sold by the thousands. However, I could not leave these behind at Savers in Greensborough today. I'm sorry the photos are not as clear as they could be, but I'm sure you can see the potential. May Gibbs designs are usually found in books and charts, and I believe this one would be from a book as it is beautifully worked on 32ct fabric, and mounted carefully on acid free board - $4. But then it has been jammed into this cheap frame, with no backing and no glass. It was on the bottom shelf under a heap of other frames and I rescued it immediately I saw it! This exquisite piece of hardanger was one of four, similar designs, different colours, all framed the same way. They were $15 each, which is peanuts when you think about the work that went into them, but I just couldn't afford to spend $60 to take them all, so it was with great regret I left the others. At least they had glass in the frame to protect them from dust and dirt, and I hope that they will find a good home with someone else who will appreciate them. If you want to see what else I bought on my opshop spree today, go here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Card Tricks

The fourth block in our patchwork class is a design I have seen many times at exhibitions and on blogs, and wondered how it was done. Now I know! Here is my completed block:
The MOTH had a close look at this and said "I can see mistakes. The material isn't lined up correctly". "Oh?" I replied, and waited for his explanation. "The dots on that material aren't matching properly. And the cup cakes are facing in different directions." "I know, dear. That's not actually a mistake, it is the way I've laid the templates on the fabrics to cut them out. The important thing is that the seams and corners are matching. If I do this design again, I'll use plain fabrics, or at least a fabric with a random non-directional design printed on it". He didn't understand of course, but he eventually admitted that it looked nice. Hmmph! When I showed his Mum today, she thought it was lovely!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another fabric postcard for my collection.

At Stitchin Fingers we had a Textile postcard exchange this month. I still have one to make and send, but Judy in South Australia was much quicker, and sent hers to me within a week. I saw some of her FPCs on her blog, with cupcakes as the theme, and asked if she would make me one. She did - isn't it cute! Thanks Judy (and thanks also for your concern about my hubby - much appreciated).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Third patchwork block complete.

The third block design we had to do in my patchwork class is called Drunkards Path. I finished it last night, and am looking forward to showing J. tomorrow at the class. I'm quite proud of my work in matching up all the seams and corners nicely! The next design I'll be doing is called 'Card Tricks', which I've been dying to learn, ever since I saw a photo of a completed block on someone's blog a while ago. I made the templates and cut out my fabrics today, so J. can get me started straight away tomorrow. The following two weeks are school holidays, during which time J. will be taking a break, so she will be giving us two more block designs to work on, one of which is the 'Dresden Plate' - another patchwork design that I just love!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Australian Fairy Wren in cross stitch.

This is my final piece for our Stitchin' Fingers Cross stitch round robin. It is for Jane in the U.K., who had asked for birds to be stitched on her RR. I chose the Splendid Fairy Wren for several reasons. I've got several patterns in books for this beautiful little bird, and have been waiting for an opportunity to stitch one of them. So when Jane nominated birds for her RR, I immediately decided on the Fairy Wren. It includes a DMC floss called "Electric Blue" which I had bought on a whim ages ago, simply because I love the colour. I hadn't found anything to use it on until now, so I was pleased to see it listed on the threads for my pattern!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A new ATC finish.

This is an ATC for our monthly Stitchin Fingers ATC swap. Cobi suggested the theme Magic Mushrooms. I was a bit suspicious at first, being an 'oldie' and thinking magic mushrooms meant an illegal substance. But Cobi explained that it was just another name for a fantasy concept of what I know as toadstools. OK then!
This pic is completely unrelated to my stitching, but I just took it a few hours ago, and couldn't resist posting it here. This cute Kookaburra just sat and gazed at me while I took dozens of photos! You can see the rest of them on one of my other blogs here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My Teapots round robin is home!

My Teapots Stitchin Fingers Round Robin is finished, and arrived home today! Two of the six ladies are very fast stitchers, and they finished their piece on my RR in record time. Because mine took the form of an oblong table runner instead of a square or circular panel, I had to take two photos - one of each end, to show you how it looks. The colour is really 'off' in these photos - I took them in the kitchen under fluro. light and it looks much darker than the actual colour. It is 14ct cream toned Aida, and to finish off, I plan to put a border of fabric around it. I need to ask a few friends for their advice on which fabric to use, as I have several gorgeous fabrics to choose from! Left side:
Right side: