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

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm back online!!

This is the best Xmas present I could have wished for this week - to have the internet back! I'll write more about that particular trauma on my other blog, but for this blog, here is my last minute Xmas gift to my mate Cheryl. She has had a very stressful year, particularly at work, so I figured she'd appreciate the sentiments on this. After I took this photo, I made it up into a small wall hanging with 20 minutes to spare before she arrived here to swap Xmas gifts. She absolutely loved this!! Said she would be hanging it in her office the next day, but would bring it home again - doesn't want it to disappear from her office!

Happy Xmas and see you around sometime

I just posted on my other blog that we have lost internet connection at home, so I'm doing this at a friend's house. Telstra have been massively unco-operative, and I don't know when or if we'll ever get back online, so I just want to wish my blog friends all the best for Xmas and The New Year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last minute Fabric postcard

The Postcard Group on Stitchin Fingers didn't have a Christmas swap organised, so I jumped in last week and said we still have time to do one. There are six of us - three Aussies and three overseas, so I've paired each Aussie up with a 'foreigner', and my partner is Sheila in Scotland. Here is my fabric postcard which will be mailed tomorrow (Monday 13th) and hopefully, will arrive before the 25th. If I'd had a few more days, I would have added beads and sequins to liven up the stitching, but I think the Smiley button cheers it up a bit!
Completely unrelated to this post, but not worth creating a new one: I've just posted pics of a new apron on my Aprons blog for anyone who is interested.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two little Christmas gifts.

Two down, one to go. Now that I've given one of these to Val, I can post a photo. The other one is for a friend who doesn't read blogs, so she won't see this in advance of me giving it to to her. I'm frantically working on the third one, and hope to post a pic next week. If it doesn't get finished in time for Christmas, the recipient will get it for her birthday next year! She doesn't know I'm doing it, so she won't know the difference - that's the best thing about surprise gifts, isn't it!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Fabric postcard received.

Linda in the UK sent me this gorgeous cupcakes postcard. I was supposed to make a cupcakes themed postcard for Sharon, but I had a blonde/senior moment and forgot it was cupcakes, and made mine a teacup theme (see previous post). Luckily for me, Sharon said she liked it anyway, so I didn't have to make a new one!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fabric postcard.

I swore I wasn't going to participate in any exchanges this year, but when I saw the topic for a postcard exchange on Stitchin Fingers was to be 'teacups', I just had to go for it! I've just finished this little card for Sharon in country Victoria, and am waiting for her to send me her address so I can mail it to her. In the meantime, I'm waiting on one to arrive from Linda.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am in shock!

Of the nine items I entered in the Lilydale Show this weekend, six won a prize! Three firsts - Biscornu, Japanese Doll wall hanging, and Redwork lady calico bag.
Two Second Prizes: Peacock Crazy Patchwork Block and the Black Cats patchwork wall hanging.
My Teacup crazy patchwork block won a Third Prize.
So you ask, why am I so surprised? Well, they must have different judges at these shows, or perhaps it is because my work is up against work by different people. OK, the Biscornu won first place in its category in both shows. Maybe they'd never seen one before! The Redwork lady came second at Whittlesea. The Japanese doll hanging didn't get placed at Whittlesea, but a first at Lilydale? I was flabbergasted because of all the entries, this was just a quick easy kit that I bought at a craft show!! Took me about an hour to do!
The Peacock CQ block came third at Whittlesea, and second at Lilydale. The teacup CQ wasn't placed at Whittlesea, but got a third at Lilydale. There was no other example of Crazy Patchwork at either show. As for my Black Cats, I entered that at Whittlesea two years ago and it wasn't placed. It was a last minute decision to enter it at Lilydale this year, so I was tickled pink to see it placed!
Lilydale is a smaller show than Whittlesea; here is the Homecrafts Pavilion.
They didn't have many quilts compared to Whittlesea, where the quilts were hung on the walls and from the rafters.
Some of the framed cross stitch displays - absolutely stunning work.
One display section with mixed needlecrafts such as crochet, tatting, embroidery, and small cross stitch.
There were several stallholders demonstrating their craft - I thought this was a great idea.
All in all, it was a fun day. Perfect weather, spent with a fun girlfriend who talked me into having a couple of tattoos on my arms! You'll have to see my other blog if you want to know more about THAT! ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cross stitch gift and strip patchwork

I've gone off the rails again...the UFOs are languishing at the bottom of my WIP basket. Hey, I have to have a break occasionally! Anyway, Christmas is coming, and I've got gifts to stitch. This one is supposed to be for a mobile phone cover, but I'm tossing up as to whether I'll do that, or put it in a little frame for the recipient to put on her desk at work.
I sometimes buy mens' ties at opshops to use for patchwork, and have a box of them now. My friend Helen is helping me remove the linings and cut them up. When I saw a pattern on the net (it has also been in magazines), for quilt blocks using strips of left over fabrics, I decided the technique would be a great way of using some of my ties stash. Yesterday I felt like playing, so I cut strips of tie fabric and did this block, which is actually four six inch square blocks sewn together to make one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Next Show!

I dropped off some of my embroideries to the Lilydale Showgrounds today. I had seven of the nine that I'd entered at Whittlesea, but when I mentioned to the steward that I had two more items in my car (I'd been showing them to a friend earlier), she said "Bring them in!" The ladies said they were happy to accept last minute entries, as their numbers were down this year, so I added my Black Cats patchwork wall hanging, and the Romantic Dancers bookmark (I wasn't going to enter that, as it had just won at Whittlesea, but the steward said that didn't matter - this was Lilydale!) There were several people in the queue behind me, and when they heard my discussion with the stewards, they said "Oh, we've got more in our car too!" so off they went and retrieved their extras. For anyone in Melbourne reading this, The Lilydale Show is on this weekend at the showgrounds which are two blocks behind Maroondah Highway, just past the railway line.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Photos of my winning works.

Well, I came home with two first prizes, two seconds and one third - and $34 in prize money. While I am chuffed about all this, I need to explain to you that five prizes don't make me the best of the best! Local shows like this are a starting point for the big time shows such as Melbourne or Sydney Agricultural shows, and they (the local ones) don't attract the amount of work that the state competitions do. Several people have said to me in past years that if more people don't enter the needlecraft sections of these shows, they are likely to be closed, as it is not worth judging one or two items in some categories. For instance, although my bookmark won first prize, there was only two bookmarks entered! And the biscornu was in a section called "Cross stitch items not in any other category", and mine was the only entry, so I got first prize! Still, it is a buzz to see one's work up there on view for all to see, with certificates attached, regardless of whether it is the only one in its category ;-)
The two cross stitched bookmarks entered - mine is the black and white one.
These three are all mine - funny how they put them all together. The larger peacock on the right hand is the 2nd prize winner here - it is stitched on linen, whereas the others are on Aida. My Biscornu - the design is Pam Kellogg's - waving to Pam!
My three patchwork blocks, all together again. The centre block (peacock) has 3rd prize in this category.
This one was a real surprise - second prize for simple redwork! Waving to Bronwyn Hayes - thanks for your cute pattern ;-)
I took many more photos of the other crafts in the Homecraft Pavilion at the Show, but I'll post them on another blog tomorrow if I get time. Thanks to all my dear friends who have left congratulatory messages. If you have never put your work into a show, DO IT! If I can win something, anybody can!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Great excitement here!

I just spoke to a friend who visited the Whittlesea show yesterday, and she told me that four of my pieces have won prizes - two first prizes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be going there later today to collect my items, and will try to get some photos to post here tonight. I should have waited until then, but I'm tickled pink!
Another Melbourne blogger is also very excited, with good reason! She made a crazy patchwork quilt, which has been sold for $70,000! What a fantastic achievement - firstly to make this quilt (I doubt if I'd have the skill or the patience) and secondly to sell it to someone who obviously appreciates the countless hours of work and materials that go into such a project. Go here for a look, and leave a message of congrats. for Robyne!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tapestry Guild of Victoria show

Last week I attended the Tapestry Guild annual show, which was fantastic as always. I've posted 10 photos on my 'Needlecraft Shows' blog, but for some reason, I can't get the rest of my photos on there. I'll try again in a few days, but in the meantime, do have a look at some of the best cross stitch and needlepoint I've ever seen.

Not much sewing going on here.

I've lost my mojo at the moment. My hands ache almost all the time, and stitching gets harder and slower. As does typing on the computer. I've taken up Tai Chi with a friend, as it is said to be good for people with arthritis, although I don't know if it will help my hands. The other thing that isn't helping is my old computer and ME operating system. I'm finding that I can't open up more and more websites, including some of my favourite blogs, because their upmarket systems don't recognise mine any more. So, for anyone on my sidebar here who thinks I have deserted them, I haven't. I see a bit of your blogs, then my pc just freezes, and I can't leave comments. I guess the day is coming when I'll have to give in and upgrade my computer. Sigh....So lately I've been spending more time reading than stitching or blogging. I've done a bit on the Sailing Ship commission, as that is only back stitch, and I've got it on a frame, so it isn't so hard on my hands.
We spent a couple of days in Sydney last week, and Ken's cousin looked after our house, so I stitched up a fridge magnet to say 'thank you'. Cousin doesn't tell anybody her age, so I'm hoping she'll appreciate the sentiments here!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Embroidered Doyley holder

I've mentioned my blog friend Sylvia here before. She collects Royal memorabilia, and I've added a few small pieces to her collection recently, for which she swaps some of her embroidered items. The Coronation hair pins I mentioned in the previous post attracted Sylvia's attention, and we arranged a swap. I think I got the better bargain, and she thinks she does, so it was another very satisfactory exchange. She sent me this gorgeous embroidered "Doyley" holder:

Sunday, October 03, 2010

L'ucello's in Melbourne.

l'ucello is a vintage haberdashery store in Melbourne's CBD - I wrote a post about it earlier this year, although I hadn't been there myself. But last week on a visit to town with a friend, we made a quick detour there, and it was very worthwhile! I didn't have my camera with me, but I found another blog that has photos of l'ucello's interior, so go here for a peep. I'm sure any of you in Melbourne reading this, will dive in there as soon as you get the chance! I purchased a few little goodies in our quick visit:
A card with hairpins dating back to the Queen's coronation in 1953, and a section of very old woven band of fabric, possibly dating back to WW1. Kim at l'ucello said she intended to check this out at either the Shrine or Anzac House.
Half a metre of this darling fabric! My friend Julie asked what I was going to do with it. Julie is not a craft person, so she doesn't understand STASH!
****Note to Sylvia**** If you are interested in those hairpins, let me know!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Additions to the linen collection!

One of my old friends who sells on eBay, contacted me last week to tell me she had a couple of boxes of linens from estate auctions, and invited me to drop by for a look. I said I wasn't buying any more, but I'd love to look...I came home with some lovely goodies to think about, and have decided that my collection will be enhanced with these items:
Square centrepiece with darling crocheted edge of teacups and teapots.
I already have two of these scotty dog doilies, but done in different stitching.
I also have this peacock cloth in the same design, but a different colour scheme. Unfortunately this cloth is rather badly damaged around the edge, so it might end up cut up for a patchwork project.
Beautiful little cloth stitched in variegated thread, Lagertera design...I think.
I try to avoid adding whitework to my collection, as it opens up a whole new parameter in my range, but would you refuse this piece? Absolutely stunning pulled/drawn thread work.
This cloth is unspectacular to a layperson, but it is so perfectly embroidered, I cannot tell the difference between the back and front.
This is one of a pair of hand or tea towels, also in a Lagertera style design. At first I thought the fabric was huckabuck, but it is actually 14 ct. Aida.
I don't usually buy other people's cross stitched work, but this example is done on linen, and so finely worked, that I decided to include it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quilts From All Over

The Rotary Club of Hawthorn put on a stunning show of quilts at the Hawthorn Town Hall last weekend, and of course Sharon and I weren't going to miss that! It was the first show the Rotary Club have staged, but the ladies we spoke to said they hoped to make it an annual event. The selection was unusual in that it included not only modern quilts, but some very old ones that are in private collections, and had been brought out for this show. Very worth while seeing.
Unfortunately I didn't take my camera, so I can't show you any pics of the quilts, but in a side room there were a dozen or so stall holders with plenty of delicious fabrics, books, etc. to tempt us. I refused to let myself buy any more fabrics, but I couldn't go home without this cute 1950's retro stitchery, and some buttons!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two small UFO finishes.

I've had a couple of stints of Volunteer duty at the Guild's exhibition, and taken the opportunity to finish off a couple of small UFOs that have been lying around forever. Most of the members on duty bring something to stitch, because we just sit there most of the time, answering questions and taking money for sales or entrance fees. These two are odd bits that I've picked up in opshops, or been given, and they were a handy size to put in my shoulder bag for the day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A gift and a nearly-finish.

My colleagues at the Embroiderers Guild know my love of vintage linens, so they often present me with an item that they've been given, but which they have no use for. R. gave me this uncut Fautleys Duchess set on Tuesday, with four skeins of Anchor floss that are required for the pattern. R. says she realises that it will probably never be embroidered, but she would rather it be loved as it is, instead of being thrown into an op shop.
Jane over at Loopy loo's adventures, talked me into joining a swap she is in...THAT is a huge lie. I actually asked her if I could join the swap, once I'd seen what she was doing! They are called 'siggie(signature) blocks, and everbody makes one the same size (6" square) and swaps with a partner. I don't yet know where this will lead to, but while I'm waiting to find out, I'm already planning my second block. They only take a few minutes to construct, and you can put whatever you want in the centre block. I chose to stitch a simple design which I'd traced from an old transfer book. It is nearly finished, just a few more stitches which will take about 10 minutes, then it will be on the way to Jane. t