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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabric postcard from Arizona, USA.

This beautiful postcard arrived in the mail today, from Joyce in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Joyce was my other 'partner' in the Stitchin Fingers Mixed Media postcard swap. I love the way she has incorporated icons of Arizona in her picture - very clever. The postcard is much better looking than the photo - there are different textiles used, as well as beads, and very effective machine embroidery. Thank you Joyce!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two of my projects, and Jane's Humbug.

Today I finished this postcard for Jasmine in the U.S.A., who is my swap partner for the April FPC exchange on Stitchin Fingers. The theme was 'mixed media' and at first I wasn't going to participate, as I don't use paper, felt, or other exotic stuff on my fabric postcards! But I changed my mind when I thought about what I can use, so this FPC includes fabrics, laces, ric rac, beads, buttons, sequins and two metallic motifs (tiny butterfly and red flower). Do you think that fulfills the 'mixed media' criteria?
I am still in love with Sunbonnet Sue and her friends after doing two appliques last month, and today I caved in and did two more to complete my 'block' on the pink napkin. So I have Sunbonnet Sue, Oriental Sue, Sunhat Sam, and Wind Blown Sue! Three of them still have to be stitched on and embellished, but I'll leave them alone for a bit, while I get on with my UFOs. This Sue block has a purpose, believe it or not. I want to make a small quilt for each of Ken's great (grand?) nieces (his niece's daughters), using the Sunbonnet Sue character on them, so I'm going to show this block to them and their Mum, and let them choose which "Sue" they want on their quilts.
One of my favourite Stitchin Fingers swap partners is Jane in England. We have just completed an exchange of Humbugs. I posted a pic of mine here a few weeks ago, and here is Jane's Humbug, which arrived in the mail today. Isn't it gorgeous?! I was lucky to actually get this. Jane told me that while she was making it, one of her sons took a liking to it, and it kept vanishing from her desk!! Jane is a very talented lady, who dabbles in many crafts other than cross stitch. Here is a link to her blog. She makes beautiful cards, and sent this one to accompany her Humbug. Thank you very much, Jane - I love everything as usual!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ANZAC Day, 25th April.

I recently visited The Shrine Of Remembrance in Melbourne, to view their current exhibition "Threads Of Connection", and I thought today was an appropriate day to post some of the photos I took. I've only given details of what I know from the display notes. All of them were handmade, and several were done by servicemen. Two of the WW1 embroidered postcards in this display are from my own collection.
Quilt embroidered with the names of servicemen and women, I think.
These two crocheted cloths were rescued from a council rubbish tip...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Guide to finishing your UFOs.

I wrote this for the UFO Group at the Stitchin Fingers website, and thought it might be useful for some of my stitching friends who read this blog, but don't belong to Stitchin Fingers.
How to finish your UFO projects.
The first thing to do is pull out ALL your UFOs from wherever they are. Lay them out on the floor where you can clearly see each one. (If they are big items like quilts, fold them so they don't take up space).
1. Have a note book or sheet of paper and pen handy, and make a list of all the UFOs, e.g.
*Tiger Cross Stitch kit
*Picture of Fairies Cross stitch from (name of chart or book)
*Patchwork pillow/Quilt
(and so on) Leave two or three lines between each title.

2. When you have done the list, go back over it and fill in details, e.g.
Tiger Cross Stitch kit - all threads, needle and chart are/are not with kit. (If there is anything missing, make a note of it).
Patchwork Pillow/Quilt. Need batting.

3. Now you can start thinking about making a firm decision, based on the materials you have available for each project. At this point you could re-write your list, putting it in order of which projects have everything needed to complete them. There may be other factors which influence your choice of first project, such as something you promised as a gift for somebody.

4. Once you have decided on which UFO to work on first, put all the others away (TIDILY) in one place if possible. Get all the requirements for the UFO and keep everything out on view in a spot where you can see it all the time, and work on it when you feel the urge. Depending on your circumstances, this might not be feasible, but the important thing is NOT to put it away with your other UFOs. Keep it separate from any other craft project. This will enable you to focus on the one project without becoming distracted by something else that looks more interesting!

5. Finally, just DO it! Force yourself to work on this one item, and you will find that as you get closer to finishing it, the faster you will go, and the more interesting it will become.

6. Show off completed UFO to friends, family and bloggers, and celebrate with champagne and/or chocolate!

7. Pull out the next UFO on your list, and go back to Step 4.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My birthday postcards!

It was finally my turn to receive fabric postcards from the other seven girls in our Birthday swap FPC Group on Stitchin Fingers. I have received six so far - and one of those is an extra from someone who is not even in this group! Thank you, Mary Lou - it was a lovely surprise! Above: From Liz in Kansas and Sue in England. Above: From Sheila in Scotland and Mary Lou in Canada. Above: From Joy here in Victoria, and Lorna in England. Sheila and Lorna sent extra goodies! From Sheila came these huge sheets of alphabet transfers, and a darling little cross stitch peacock card. Lorna sent another hand made card and a fridge magnet.
Thank you all very much - this has been such a fabulous group of girls to swap with!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Visit Cathy to enter her giveaway!

Cathy over at Crazy By Design is celebrating her 200th post by giving away some great stitching supplies to three bloggers. Go have a look and leave a comment, but don't stop at the Giveaway post - Cathy's blog is one of my favourites. It is very colourful, full of Cathy's exquisite crazy patchwork.

A little bit of eye candy.

A stitching blog without pictures can be boring, so I took a few photos of odds and ends today. The UFO I am currently working on - a Round Robin completed in 2003, but never finished off by me. This shows the top half. I'm stitching wattle down the centre, and am trying to decide if I should add the same wattle design horizontally between the rows. Each design is so small, I feel the whole thing needs borders and stuff to fill all that empty space!
Took another break from UFO work to start another "Sue" applique. This one is called "Oriental Sue". I still have to do the blanket stitch around it, and add some small embellishment, but not too much, as the Japanese fabric is enough on its own.
These patterns arrived in the mail today from ABC Stitch Therapy in the USA. This is a super mail order company to deal with! Very friendly service, and a fabulous array of stuff to choose from. I couldn't resist this cross looking rooster. I may do two - one for Ken and one for a friend whose family love chooks like us. Another cheerful cupcake cross stitch - I have this one in mind for a friend who has been going through tough times in the past year..
I found this at a local opshop today - 6 metres of calico for $10. One can never have enough calico ;-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New haberdashery store in Melbourne!

If you live in or around Melbourne, and are reading this blog, you MUST visit this blog, and then go to the shop "L'uccello" - old fashioned, vintage haberdashery galore at the Nicholas Building. Next door to Buttonmania, and I KNOW many of my readers have been there!! The Nicholas Building is an absolute treasure trove of art and craft shops and studios. Kimono House is another of my favourite stores there.
The Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Lovely Assisi work by a friend.

My friend Val is more a Paper person than a Fabric person, but like many of us she is interested in most crafts from a distance! However, when I started showing her my cross stitch work, she fell in love with Assisi stitching, so I guided her along by having an SAL, where we both embroidered a Lyrebird in Assisi. Val finished hers first, months before me; in fact she eventually took mine over and finished it for me!
Since then she has been finding small cross stitch projects to work on, and I asked her permission to put some of them on my blog (she doesn't have a working blog right now). So here is Val's work: Aren't these two exquisite? Val chose her own colours instead of using what was suggested in the pattern, and I think hers are much better (although the original design was very pretty too, in deference to the designer!)
For anyone who is wondering what I'm working on since I finished my Sunbonnet Sue applique, I am now back working on a UFO, but I can't put a picture of it here because it is to be a gift for Someone Who Reads This Blog.;-)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Sunbonnet Sue

Couldn't help myself, could I? I have been wanting to do one of these for years; collecting patterns, bookmarking blogs and websites, etc., and finally last week, after seeing a particularly cute quilt, I just couldn't hold back any longer! This is on one corner of a large plain pink napkin that I had in my stash. I'm going to eventually put three more Sue-type appliques on it, but all different. I've found patterns for "Oriental Sue, Windblown Sue, and Sunhat Sam" as well as heaps of others, but I'll use those three this time around.

Monday, April 05, 2010


I wasn't going to put the Followers gadget on my blog, as I try to keep it free of extra stuff so it doesn't take forever to download on to people's computers, especially those who are on dial-up. But when I discovered I had 16 followers, I thought it was a bit rude of me to ignore them, so I've added the gadget now. I know most of you, but there are five strangers to me, and I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment so I know who is watching me - lol! Also, I'd like to reciprocate by visiting your blogs too. Elena, Kyles, Gathering Goodies, mjhall446, and Sara - come on down!!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Just want to wish my blog friends a very happy Easter. I've written a lengthy post on the subject of Easter on my other blog, but as this is supposed to be my Stitching Blog, I'm not going to reproduce any of it here!