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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Painted and stitched picture.

After messing around with this for the past few weeks, adding stitches here and there, changing a few colours that I wasn't happy with, I suddenly decided I'd had enough of it. The end result is not quite what I wanted, but if I spend any more time fussing over it, nothing else will get done. So I found a suitable frame in my box of opshop frames (bought for the purpose of framing my own work cheaply!), and tried my picture in it. It is just a temporary job for now, as I haven't laced the back of the fabric properly, but I'll do that in due course.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabric postcard arrives from U.K. at last!

Sheila in Scotland posted her fabric postcard to me well before Christmas last December, and I can only imagine that it has been caught up with masses of mail delayed by the severe weather conditions in Europe at that time. It arrived today, and I just love it! The technique reminds me a bit of what I did with the painted fabric workshop at our Guild; Sheila as used a piece of fabric with a snow scene printed on it (patchwork fabric?), and she has embellished it with beads, stitching and bling. Gorgeous!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hospital stitching.

I spent most of yesterday at the Austin hospital, while Ken had an angiogram. In the recovery room, family members are allowed to stay with the person they accompanied. It is one big room divided into cubicles by curtains. We had to be there by 8 am, and most of the morning is spent waiting until it is your turn to be 'done'. Ken went into surgery at 11.15 and came out at 12.30. I went off to have lunch with a friend and got back about 1 pm. I stayed until around 3 pm, but when I was told he had to stay until 6.30, I decided to go home and pick him up later. I had better things to do than hang around for another three hours with a woozy half asleep husband!
So in the four to five hours I was with Ken, I managed to get a fair bit of stitching done. I took my vintage peacock 3 piece Duchess set to work on, as it is has been on my UFO list for ages, and I keep putting it aside for something more interesting. Yesterday was a good day for simple stitching which didn't need a pattern to follow. I finished the two small doilies, but haven't finished the centrepiece yet, although now I've made a start on it, I'm determined to keep at it until it is complete.
The painted fabric scene I started at the EGV workshop is just about finished, so I'll scan that in the next day or so and post a pic here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

EGV Summer School.

The Embroiderers Guild of Vic. closes down over January, but runs a Summer School for the members, who sign up for it early in December. I decided to enrol in one of this year's workshops, and now wish I'd joined up for more! I thoroughly enjoyed my two days at the Guild with tutor Wanda, and a dozen other ladies. Our class was called "Embroidered Gardens or Landscapes", in which we learnt how to apply paint to fabric, then embroider details of a scene on to it. I have messed around with painting calico, and stitching random patterns on it, but this was a chance to learn to do it properly.
Wanda supplied the fabric (Clydella) and the paints, and we had to bring a photo or picture, our threads and sewing necessities. I couldn't find a photo of a garden or landscape that appealed to me, so I took this picture from a Japanese calendar. Which I folded in half to use this side of the picture.
The first step was to draw a sketch of how we wanted our picture to look, defining the background, midground and foreground. Then we wet our piece of fabric, and applied paint in the colours and areas we'd chosen to match our pictures. This was then dried with a hairdrier, and ironed to set the colour. This took about an hour, with much laughter as we moved around the table with tubes of paint and checked each other's fabrics. This is what mine looked like: The next step was choosing the threads to match the painted fabric, as well as extra colours needed to embroider our pictures.
Wanda showed us how to start stitching the background, and most of us completed that by the end of the first day. Mine shows the mountains in the background and the outlines of the ravine and trees on the right.
The next day, Wanda looked over our work and made suggestions for added stitching where she thought it would enhance the picture. By midmorning, I had filled the trees at the top with French knots, and couched threads down for the tree trunks at the foot of the picture.
We moved onto stitching the midground area, and by the end of the day, most of us were finishing off the foreground and highlights of our pictures. During the afternoon, Wanda also gave us a demonstration of how to frame our work, from stretching the fabric over board and lacing it, to selecting a frame. All in all, a very useful and enjoyable workshop.
By 3 pm, this is where I was at. All this needs to finish it is the foliage on the trees at the bottom, plus a few more seed stitches and lines on the ravine to fill in the blank spaces.
Our class room. Wanda has done many of these embroidered pictures over the years, and had about twenty on display to inspire us. These are just two of them.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year resolution, or goals for 2011.

I was making up a new list of things to do this year, and went back a year ago on this blog to refresh my memory of what UFOs I had listed back then, that I wanted to finish. There were seven listed on the blog post, but I added a couple more throughout the year. I had two CQ blocks to finish, a bookmark, Aussie RR sampler, Xmas RR sampler, Calico redwork bag, Peacock duchess set, Semco blackwork kit, and the cross stitch map of Australia. I finished all bar the last three items. So my 2011 list starts with those three, but they won't be first off the rank as far as finishing them. I can manage the duchess set, and probably the map of Australia, but the blackwork project will probably stay on the back burner for a few more years...
My UFO list 'to do' this year is as follows:
*Peacock Duchess set
*Art deco tea cosy (this was given to me by someone at the Guild, and it only needs an hour or so to finish the embroidery)
*Bluebird supper cloth (another project started by someone, that ended up in an opshop or on Ebay, I can't remember) which needs about 10 minutes of stitching to finish.
* cross stitch map of Australia
*a small cross stitch of baby Lorikeets, which a friend gave me about 10 years ago. I only re-discovered it a few months ago, and as the friend has since passed away, I would like to finish it for sentimental reasons.

New Projects - I'd like to have these done in time to enter them in one or both of our Homecrafts shows later this year.
*Japanese Crane fabric quilted wall hanging
*Owls wall hanging (a kit purchased at a craft show last year)
*a patchwork throw or wall hanging made from my collection of men's ties. I'd also like to make Ken's niece's daughters a small quilt each, featuring Sunbonnet Sue, but that will be low on the list of priorities, as I doubt if I'll have time after attempting everything else on this list!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Friendship stitchery

Cheryl gave me this little stitchery kit for Christmas, and apologised for not actually stitching it for me. I told her not to fret over it - I would do it myself. It only took me a couple of days. I haven't decided what to do with it - maybe frame it, or sew it on to something else, or use it in a block for a patchwork project.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christmas gifts of stitching.

I was delighted to receive some handworked gifts for Christmas this year. This fabric postcard is from MaryLou in Canada - one of my cyberspace friends on Stitchin Fingers. We weren't in a swap, so this was a nice surprise in the mail just before Christmas.
Ken and I drove up to Bendigo on the day after Boxing Day, and on the way home, we dropped in to see LeeAnn and Rob at Malmsbury. They invited us to stay for a barbecue tea, and presented us with gifts as well! Mine included these beautiful patchwork place mats, and the gingham apron with a crocheted Dolly Varden design - gorgeous!

CQ goodies from Pam K.

For a few years, I have been reading the blog of Pam Kellogg, and it was largely her influence that got me started on crazy patchwork, although I don't embellish my projects to the extent that Pam does. Her stitching and beadwork is fantastic! Knowing she loves collecting lace, I've been buying laces whenever I see them at opshops, and every now and then I post her a parcel of laces, just 'cos she is a lovely lady! She is also a very generous person, and as well as sending me American needlework magazines that aren't available here, she has also sent me several examples of her stunning CQ works. I purchased one from her Etsy shop, but the other three she has sent out of the goodness of her heart. I recently asked her permission to post pictures of them on my blog, and she said that was fine with her. So here they are, and to dear Pam, thank you very much again for your generosity and friendship. My best wishes to you and hubby for a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. (BTW, I've just mailed another package to you!)
This is actually a 12" square wall hanging - Red Hat Society theme.
Pink and Black cushion with cord to hang.
Slightly larger cushion with peacock theme.
Cell phone pouch, also using a peacock theme. Can you tell, we both love anything with peacocks!