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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween stitchery.

With the Owls wall panel finished, and no chance of the Rainbow Kittens being finished in time for the Whittlesea Show, I decided to have a little break from all that, and stitch a cute witch in time for Halloween. It is not a big deal in Australia, although it has been heavily marketed in recent years, and there is lots of Halloween gear in the shops. But I saw this pattern somewhere last year and thought it was so cute, I just had to do it! It only took a few days to stitch the witch and sew a border, thin wadding and backing to it. Today I added gold beads to the stars and the black cat button, which had a dual purpose in holding the layers of backing and top together. This photo was taken before the final embellishments were done, and shows the true colours of the fabrics. I took this a couple of hours later when the panel was complete, but I could not get the colour right! This is the back.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My linen collection to go on public display next year.

Followers of this blog living in Melbourne may have heard of the historic Bundoora Homestead, but I doubt if interstate and overseas readers will know of it. The Darebin Council own and administer this lovely old home, and they display the council art collection there, as well as other exhibitions from time to time. There is a new annexe added to the original building, where they have other exhibitions during the year. I was talking to the manager last year about my linen collection, and she wasn't interested in exhibiting any of it. But there is a new manager now and she is very interested! They are drawing up a contract for me to agree to show my linens there in August 2012.
I am over the proverbial moon!! How often have I said that I would love to put my collection on show to the public? Now it is going to happen, and I don't have to do anything myself - they have their own team of people who will put up the display. The manager and her assistant will come to our home to see what I have, and between us we will select what to include. I will be there while they organise the display and can put my own ideas forward, but I don't feel qualified to say much. I'll just be happy to see what people think of it when they visit!

New additions to the collection.

One of my blog/opshopping friends gave me a bag of goodies the other day. Included in the bag was this tin of buttons, which I gratefully accepted, as I didn't have a lot of buttons in my stash. I've never gone out and bought ordinary buttons (just the novelty ones from craft shows), so this lot has been sorted into colours and put into containers ready to embellish some future project. Lyndel also gave me these two vintage shelf trims. I love the way they were used to decorate kitchen shelves decades ago. The longer one of these is just the right length for one of my shelves, but there is no blue in our kitchen decor, so I don't know if I will use it there or not. Suppose I could put it up for a while and think about it!
I found these items in the Vinnies opshop in Ashburton earlier this week. It's been a while since I've found anything of this quality in opshops. Goes to show it is worth checking them whenever you pass one!
This is obviously not embroidered linen - it is a Thai Silk scarf, but I thought it is pretty enough to show on here. Cost $3.
These four napkins are hand embroidered. I was so excited when I found one under some tablecloths, so I kept looking, and found two more. I figured there had to be four, so I pulled everything off the shelf and sure enough, found the last one. $1 each. It took another 10 minutes to carefully fold and replace everything I'd taken down, but I didn't mind, especially when I discovered the supper cloth underneath for $3!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paddy's Market at the Embroiderers Guild.

Paddy’s Market
Saturday November 5, 2011 10am to 1pm
The cupboards of Embroidery House are full to explosion point with donated goods that will be moved on at bargain prices. Our members have been busy cleaning out their sewing rooms as well as producing fantastic products to sell. Books, fabric, canvas, threads, hoops and frames, wools, notions and more. Be early to search for that fantastic find at The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. 170 Wattletree Road, Malvern. 3144

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crazy patchwork block

For the Skill Builder Samplers last week, Leila asked us to make a crazy patchwork block. I was happy to do it, as I love this technique. I used some of my opshop ties to make this block. The photo does not do it justice however; the colours are much more 'purple' than what they look here. Additional comment Thanks to all who commented on this block. I don't plan to embellish it in any way at this stage, but I am thinking of making some more blocks with the ties, perhaps a different colour scheme for each block. Goodness only knows I've got enough differently coloured ties to do another 10 blocks!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photos of quilt show on other blog.

The quilt show at Nunawading was great! I've just posted my photos on my Quilt Show Blog here. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment on there if you have a look at it. That blog only had two visitors when I posted the last lot of photos from the NOTY quilt show at Eltham Community Centre. At least, only two bloggers kindly left a comment to let me know they had stopped by! I just want to know if it is worthwhile continuing to do this; if not, I won't bother any more, as it takes a while to transfer the photos from my camera to the computer, then on to the blog. I do know how much I enjoy seeing photos of quilt and craft shows in other states of Australia, and around the world, that I would never see if people didn't post photos on their blogs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another Quilt show in Melbourne suburbs this week.

Eastern Palliative Care is holding its inaugural quilt show on Friday 21 October and Saturday 22 October at the Nunawading Uniting Church 355 – 357 Whitehorse Road Nunawading from 10 am – 4.30 p. Beautiful quilts, some never seen in public before are coming from metro and regional Victoria, interstate and overseas. Retailers will be in attendance, there will be demonstrations and fabulous refreshments. All proceeds will support Eastern Palliative Care in the provision of its free, specialist in-home palliative care service.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to make mini Christmas stockings.

Last week I posted a photo of some mini Christmas stockings I'd made for a charity group. I made some more this weekend, and took a couple of photos as I went along, as a few people have asked me how I made them. First step is to cut strips of Xmas themed fabric and sew them on to calico or other foundation fabric on the angle as shown here. (I'm sure most of you would know what to do here - the first strip is face up, sew the next strip face down on the first, press back, and so on). Next step is to make a template of the stocking, and cut out two from the strips, remembering to reverse the template for the second cut. Sew bias binding across the top of each piece, lay them right sides together, sew up all around to the top, and turn right side out. The first time I did this, I sewed the bias binding to the top after I'd stitched the stocking pieces together, but it was so fiddly, I did it the easy way this time. It probably isn't as neat as some people would like, but hey, they are going to be filled with candy and given to underpriviledged children - do you think they will care about a bit of untidy binding?? I nearly forgot - add a piece of ribbon or ric rac to the stocking somewhere, so it can be hung from a Xmas tree or whatever.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owls and Pussy Cats.

Thank you to those who left comments on the previous post about the Owls. I have decided to leave the metallic running stitch around the owls, but I removed what I'd done from the feet, as it really looked 'clunky' because they are small in comparison to the rest of the design. I re-stitched them in the same gold thread that I've used to backstitch around the moon, and they (feet) look heaps better. I've got a few small finishing touches to add, and when it's all done, I'll post a final photo.
I probably won't be posting anything here for a few days now, as I am going to get stuck into the Rainbow Kittens to try and finish them for the Whittlesea Show in the first week of November.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Owls wall hanging just about finished.

I was determined to finish this today, and it is all done apart from the final hand quilting of the border, and the moon and stars. I am going to place a gold bead in the centre of each star as well as stitch around them, as I saw something similar at the Quilt show on the weekend, and it looked lovely. I'm not 100% happy with the trapunto work; the padding itself looks good, but I've used a metallic thread to quilt the owls, and it looks too hard. You can't really tell from this photo, but close up...I'll see how I go for time, I might pull it out and redo it in gold stranded cotton, which I will be using on the moon and stars.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

NOTYQ Exhibition at Eltham Community Centre today.

NOTYQ stands for North Of The Yarra Quilters, who put on a display of their members' quilts every two years, and it is always a fabulous exhibition. I took 38 photos, and have posted them all on this blog for anyone to look at. I keep that blog just for my photos of the quilt and needlecraft shows that I go to, so that I can delete each show when I post photos of a new one. If you happen to visit the blog, please leave a comment so I know you've been there; there are never any comments on it, so I have no idea if it is worthwhile posting all those photos!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Quilt UFO at opshop.

I have volunteered to work at our Brotherhood Of St Lawrence opshop for two half days a week, and am thoroughly enjoying the experience of helping to sort out all the stuff that people donate every day. This morning I found this unfinished quilt, and asked the manager to price it so I could buy it. She said she didn't really know what they would put on it, and asked me to suggest an amount. I said $10, and she was happy with that, as most of the goods in the shop are under $10. It has the batting and backing, and has been partially hand quilted, so that needs to be finished off, and the binding added. I've brought it home so I can send it to Jan, to finish off and add to her next shipment of OzComfort Quilts. I hoping she will be able to finish off the quilting by machine, as it would take ages to finish by hand, and Jan does so many quilts for her OzComfort Quilts, I hate to think I might have given her an extra workload! Tiger kept on strolling in front of the quilt every time I tried to take a photo, so after three attempts, I just left him there!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Mini Xmas stockings, mug rugs and coasters

Jan over at Oz Comfort Quilts has asked her followers if they would make some little Xmas stockings to be distributed to needy children via various charities. I have had a pattern for these for a while now, and was glad to use it for one of Jan's charity projects. I'm sending them on to her with my recently completed quilt top. I exchanged mug rugs with Jean in New Zealand a while ago, but have only just got around to photographing the rug she did for me. We had a giggle over the size of hers - it was the first one she'd done, and when she received mine, she realised hers was a tad large! But I assured her it didn't matter - mats of any size are useful on coffee tables - our remote control caddy sits nicely on this.
This mug rug is from Wendy in the USA - another exchange partner. I sent her a mug rug, tea towel, napkins and Tim Tams, and in return she sent me this lovely mat, two sets of beautiful coasters, and a packet of chocolate flavoured licorice. I'm afraid I wasn't too keen on that, so I shared it with my American friend here, and Ken has scoffed the rest of it!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Progress report on my current projects.

I have started the Trapunto stitching on the Owls wallhanging. It is slow going, because I am using gold thread, to blend with the gold printed outline of the owls.
The Rainbow Kittens haven't been pushed to one side. The blanket stitching around the cat has been completed on three blocks, and there are three to go. I half finished one today while I was at the Guild.
All the pieces are ready to attach to the background fabric for my 'Abandoned At The Opshop' project, and I will probably work on this next week.

Showing off my work!

The Embroiderers' Guild change their gallery display once a month, and invite members to submit their work according to the theme selected for the month. For October, the theme is 'Flowers', so I submitted my Iris wallhanging and the smaller YoYo flowers hanging. When I arrived for my volunteer duty today, I was tickled pink to see them hanging up with all the other beautiful embroideries! When you enter the Gallery, this is on the left side (the tables and chairs are there because there was a class on before I took the pictures): And these are on the right: My small floral hanging is under the larger quilted item on the left. The Iris quilt is at the end of the row. The Guild members there today said it really made a statement with those purple fabrics! They were surprised when I told them the centrepiece was a tea towel.
They stay here for the month of October, then I'll be taking them to Whittlesea, and later on to Lilydale for the Homecraft shows.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Grand Final Day.

I had a most productive day - my Grand Final was the completion of my second 'charity quilt' top for Oz Comfort Quilts. I added the border to finish it off, and it is ready to send to Jan to make up into a quilt. The colours of the border fabric don't look much in this photo; they actually match the brown blocks rather well. With the two four patch squares and patterned fabric left over, I made a little block for myself as a memento of this quilt! While I was looking in my books for instructions for Trapunto, I came across instructions for 'reverse applique', in my old book Reader's Digest Book of Needlecraft. I haven't looked at this book for years, but I can't bring myself to part with it, as it does give very detailed instructions for many kinds of needlework. I did find a kind of Trapunto, but not quite what I want, and while I was flipping through the pages I came across a chapter on Reverse Applique. I'd seen this on a few blogs, and wondered briefly what it was all about. Now I know! I did a quick trial run, using three fabrics. They are stacked on top of each other, tacked together, and pieces cut from each top layer to show the layers beneath. In my case I used a piece of patchwork fabric with sun and stars as the bottom piece. On top of that is a piece of fawn colour, then the green floral. A square piece was cut away from the green, then a circle cut from the fawn, to show the sun. At the last moment I cut a bit more to show one star! Before the pieces are cut, the edge is machine stitched to hold the fabric while you cut. A very interesting exercise!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Progress on my Owls.

The border is done. I took this idea from the many quilts and wall hangings I've seen at craft shows and in magazines - so quick and easy. Just sew strips of fabric together, then cross-cut them to make new strips with little blocks of each fabric! My next step with this is to add the batting, backing and binding, but this won't be as easy. I want to do the owls in trapunto, which I've never done before. But I've been shown how to do it, and have instructions both on the Net and in books and mags. Don't hold your breath watching for the final result! Although it would be nice if it was ready to go in one of the Shows coming up.