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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vintage sewing needles.

I spent most of today with Ken and his sister, helping to sort out stuff at their Mum's home. When SIL found this, she asked if I wanted it; of course I said yes, please!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Works in Progress.

Ken's Mum needed a minor medical procedure on Friday, and she was transported to the medical centre by the non-urgent ambulance transport service. I met her there and waited while the procedure was carried out, ready to take her back home. The doctor wasn't happy with the result, so he organised for her to have an X-ray to have a closer look at her throat. I drove her to the hospital where this was done, then drove her home. I left my home at 9.30 am and didn't get back until 4.30 pm - a much longer day than what I had anticipated! But it worked out well for my stitching progress - all that time in waiting rooms! If you look at the post previous to the last one, you can see how much I achieved on this little redwork yesterday.
I've been working on this bookmark/wall hanging mostly at nights, or during the day when I've had some spare time. Again, if you compare it to the previous photo last week, you can see how much I've done! Not finished yet, but nearly there. This was one of those fiddly little things that I dropped in favour of something more interesting, so I'll be glad when it's completed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Traditional hand painted fabric from India.

You may have seen the embroidered peacock that my friend Lakshmi made for me. Today I received another gift from her: several samples of Kalamkari hand painted cotton. This textile has a very long history, which you can read about here. To Western eyes, it looks very simple, but an incredible amount of work goes into making each piece, and I understand that it is very expensive to buy. So I am greatly appreciative of Lakshmi sending these pieces to me. I haven't decided how I will use them, in fact I may not even use them on anything, for fear of messing them up! At the moment I have them in a plastic display envelope so I can carry them around safely to show my friends who can't see it here on my blog. Lakshmi has photos on her blog, showing how she has used her Kalamkari fabrics, and they look so pretty. Ken is very taken with the little elephant - he'll no doubt want me to make something which features it in a prominent position!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My UFO list for this year.

These are the unfinished projects that I plan to work on this year, and hopefully complete. The majority are so close to being finished that each one would probably take a couple of hours to complete. But as we all know, life gets in the way, so I'll be happy if most of them are done by the end of this year.
I bought this duchess set on eBay about 5 years ago. The doilies were nearly finished, but the centrepiece hadn't been started, and I had great fun selecting colours for the peacock. But once he was done I lost interest! And he isn't QUITE finished - there is one tail feather not finished, and his topknot still to do.
This crazy patch block is not very old - I started it last year, and only have a bit more embellishing to do before I put a border around it, and the backing.
This is supposed to end up as a bookmark, but I'm going to put it on a tiny hanger and display it. It is a silhouette of two people dancing, with some words at the top. It was a challenge project about 6 years ago, but the group disbanded and I tossed it aside.
I bought this on eBay a few years ago, pretty much as it is here. All I've done so far is a bit at the bottom where the kangaroos are. All it needs now is the word Australia at the top, and a few more names of towns on the map.
This was the very first round robin I took part in! Once I got it back, I should have finished the edges etc, but again, lost interest in it because I wasn't happy with my lettering at the top! So that will be fixed, and a border done.
This isn't really a UFO - more a WIP, as I started it last year, and take it with me to work on when I have to wait somewhere. The next time it will be worked on will most likely be in late February when Ken has an appointment to see his cardiologist. I always get lots of stitching done in that waiting room!
This is a Semco Blackwork kit. I wish I'd never started it, as it will take me a long long time to finish! I deliberately put it on the frame so it is 'in my face' whenever I walk into my craft room. I'm very good at ignoring it, though..

Fabric postcards.

I am committed to making a few more FPCs early this year, for the birthday exchange group I organised on Stitchin Fingers. There are two birthday girls in January, and I've just mailed these cards off to them today:
I used old doilies as the starting point for both of these, and embellished them with sead beads, sequins, lace, and stitches.

Another Christmas exchange!

This gorgeous ATC arrived today from Cobi in the Netherlands. I just love the beading, and have commented on another blog that she has inspired me to be more adventurous with my use of beads in embellishing my work. I tend to stick with seed beads, but this looks so effective, I'll try it as soon as I can!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Christmas fabric postcard from the U.K.

Shelley in England was my swap partner for the Xmas Postcard swap on Stitchin Fingers. Her FPC arrived yesterday - and like all my swap partners' cards, it was worth waiting for! Isn't this beautiful??

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The last of the Autumn postcards.

This Stitchin Fingers exchange was a long and drawn-out affair, due to mail delays, people getting sick, and the number of postcard each of us had to make. But the last one I was waiting for turned up today, and it was worth waiting for. From Debi in the USA - thanks Debi, it's lovely!

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Over at Patra's Other Place, I posted a spiel about my new year resolutions - something I don't usually do, but this year I have a few things to focus on. I've thrown away an old favourite pair of slippers, I've committed Ken and myself to filling in our daily rainfall chart (not difficult, seeing it might not rain again for months), and I've signed up for Pam Kellogg's monthly Biscornu challenge. Well, she doesn't call it a challenge, but it will be for me, lol! I've only made one biscornu, and enjoyed doing it so much, I was determined to make more of them. But last year I got involved in so many swaps, exchanges, round robins, etc. that I didn't have time to do all the things I wanted to. (Does that sound familiar to everybody who is reading this??)
So, my fourth New Year resolution is to spend this year's stitching time on keeping up with Pam's biscornus and working on my UFO stash. I get really disheartened and cross with myself, when I look in the cupboard and see all this stuff. Stuff that I started but didn't finish, and stuff that other people started and didn't finish. Silly me took their stuff on without taking my own into consideration. Some of it was MIL's work. It amuses me to know that 80 years ago, there were women who started things but didn't finish them - just like us!
I've noticed on some of my favourite blogs that there are a few other stitchers who have also decided to concentrate on finishing UFOs this year. Must be the Year of the UFO. Well, it will be interesting to see the results in 12 months' time. Will I have completed 12 biscornus? And will I have finished any UFOs? I certainly won't have finished ALL of them - MIL's suppercloth will probably take me all year on its own. Ah well, battle on regardless and rewardless.

Meeting with like-minded people!

On Sunday afternoon I met up with five ladies who have got to know each through the Internet, primarily on the Stitchin Fingers website. Sharon B. the creator of Stitchin Fingers, was in Melbourne, staying at The Windsor with her husband, for a few days, and invited some of her Melbourne contacts to meet up with her for coffee. My friend Sharon H., who I had met years ago also via the Internet was in our group, and she has done such a good write-up on her blog, with great photos, I'm not going to write about our afternoon - just hop over to "A Stitch Today" and read on! Here is one of the photos I took: From left: Sharon H. (standing), Wendy (sitting), Robbie (sitting), Sharon B, Wendy.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

First finish for this year!

Finally! I have finished the Christmas card for Annie - better late than never. This pattern is from a book called Two Hour Country Cross Stitch. It took me more than two hours to do the back stitching alone! I don't know where these people get two hours from, geeezzz...Anyway, I'm happy with it, and I hope Annie will be too. It is stitched on 18ct Aida which has silver lurex thread running through the fabric, making it sparkle. This photo doesn't really show it up.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Do I need to say any more?