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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bundoora Garden party and my tea cosies.

I have been invited to display my vintage tea cosy collection at Bundoora Homestead's Garden Party next month.  It is on Sunday March 18th from 2 pm to 5 pm.  This is a lead up event to their Tea Cosy Festival in May, where they will have hand made cosies on sale to raise funds for Cancer Council Victoria.  (That's what I'm making my tea cosies for).  The cosies I will have on show at the Garden Party will be my collection of embroidered ones that are part of my linen collection.  Apart from that, it should be a lovely day if the weather is fine.  The gardens of the Bundoora Homestead are beautiful, and there will be other activities, as well as food to buy, or you can bring your own picnic.  Click on the link above to find out more.

It's shaping up to be a busy year for me; my collection is going to be having a few outings!  I've already given a talk for the Boronia Probus Club, and the Ringwood Probus club has asked if I would do a talk for them too.  That will be in April.  Then in August/September, I'll be back at the Bundoora Homestead with some of my linens.

Another tea cosy.

Inspired by my friend Helen's suggestion, I made my second tea cosy from my collection of ties.  I was going to make up a crazy patchwork block, and cut it into the shape I wanted, but ended up simply piecing strips of tie fabric side by side on a calico foundation.  I have some tutorials on how to make tea cosies in my collection of craft books, but I've studied them enough to know what to do, so I didn't actually consult any of the books when I made this yesterday.

 It only took a couple of hours, but the worst part was the hemming of the bottom edge; I had a choice of binding the edges or hand stitching the lining and outer cover with blind hemming.  I should have chosen the blind hemming!  As usual, I was in a hurry to finish it, and found a length of ribbon that was a close enough match to the fabrics.  Well, did I make a mess of that!   If you look closely you can see that I ended up doing two rows of zig zag machine stitch to hold it together, as the ribbon wasn't really wide enough, and the fabric edges kept slipping out.   And it pulled the sides in a bit too much.  Ah well, you live and learn.  I'll know better next time.  I've typed up a little tutorial for myself with easy instructions, because if I don't make another cosy for a while, I'll forget what I did!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tea cosy photos.

There it is. Not your usual half moon shaped cosy, but Helen suggested making it the easy way, and so I did - just an oblong shape folded over, with ribbon on the sides to keep it in place. This was more of an experiment to see what I could do, and I took the opportunity of using up small squares of fabric from my scraps box. At the end of a patchwork project, I cut my scraps up into squares or strips so they are ready to use if I want to make a small scrappy item such as this. One side is made up from 2" squares and the other side from 4" squares. Helen had given me two pieces of upholstery sample fabric last week, and it was perfect for the lining. Some bits of leftover wadding filled it nicely, and buttons at strategic spots hold the layers together.  Next time I will use the same fabric(s) all over instead of different ones each side.  I'll also try to make the rounded shape cosy next time.  Would you buy this at a tea cosy sale?

Tea Cosy.

I whipped up a teacosy today.  I was visiting my friend Helen the other day, and telling her I was thinking of making a teacosy for the Teacosy Festival at Bundoora Homestead in May.  This is an annual fund raising event for the Cancer Council of Victoria, and they ask people to donate handmade teacosies which are displayed in the gallery for a couple of weeks.  Visitors to the gallery can purchase the teacosies, which are left on display until the end of the event, and collected afterwards by the buyers.
I had been showing Helen my ties CQ blocks, as she has a vested interest in anything I do with my ties, seeing she has spent many hours helping me de-construct them over cups of tea!  When we got to talking about the teacosy festival, and I said I might make a patchwork cosy, she suggested I make one using some of my ties.  Great idea!  But I didn't want to use the ties for my first effort in case I stuffed it up :-(
so I just used some of my scrap stash.  It has turned out very nicely, but I have some finishing touches to do before I take a photo and post it here.  Watch this space...there will be more teacosies appearing in due course!
Helen and Gina, taken on Helen's 70th birthday last weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crazy Quilt Journal Project, February block complete.

My quilt blocks for this project will all be made using ties, as I wrote earlier this year. I am making each block in a different colour range, and will try to incorporate a theme of some sort as well. When I created the purple block for January, I didn't have a theme in mind, as I just wanted to make a start on the block regardless. But I gave my second block the theme of Valentines Day, hence the bright red.
Next month being March, my block will be in shades of green, for St Patrick's Day! Anyone know where I can find an embroidered shamrock? Before I close this post, I want to show you what I bought on Amazon recently. It cost an arm and a leg; the pack of cards was only a couple of dollars, but the postage was a shocking $A17! I was spitting chips and put in a complaint to the seller, but all they kept saying was that Amazon set the shipping rates according to what the item is, not how big it is or how much it weighs. Fair enough, but it only cost me $12 to ship a book from the USA last month, which was at least four times the size of a deck of cards. Enough grumbling. Check these out - so cute!
A pack of playing cards featuring crazy quilt designs by Allie Aller. The box is at the top right of the photo, and the card next to it shows the front of all the cards.  Allie has a picture of herself for the Joker!  The CQ photos are only on the King, Queen, Jack and Ace of each suite, and each photo is a different design.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Memory quilt wall hanging finished.

I finally put the wadding and backing on this wall hanging, and 'bagged' it to finish off rather than add a border, because I didn't want to put anything around the edge of the 'woodwork' fabric. I haven't quilted any of it yet; instead I've used vintage brooches and buttons in strategic places to hold the layers together. As it won't be on a bed or chair, nor thrown into a washing machine at any time in the near future, I'm not too concerned about the lack of quilting. I could hand quilt in the ditch around the black areas, but for now I'll leave it. Ken has already chosen a spot to hang it - in the lounge room, by taking down a tapestry that wasn't done by me. I'm just pleased that he likes it enough to hang it in the lounge, rather than be rolled up and stored with the rest of my projects, lol!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Surprise package from Pam, bits and bobs.

Pam K is one of the most talented CQ embroiderers in the world as far as I'm concerned, so I am always tickled pink when she sends me one of her creations! This is one of her three dimensional CQ cats. The second photo is a bit closer so you can see the detail. Pam embellishes to the NTH degree - fabulous work! Thanks again, my dear friend :-)

I found this cloth at the opshop today for $3, and even though it is machine embroidered, it is so beautifully done I decided it was worth adding to my collection.  You can't tell from the photos, but most of the thread is metallic, with a lot of gold thread used.

Check this out.  Tiger follows me all around the house when he is inside, and if I settle down in one room for a while, he has to settle down with me.  But please, Puss - not in my lace box for goodness sake! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mitred corners mastered!

Last month, I was having fun experimenting with small projects from books that I'd borrowed from our library. One was a small mat made from scraps. It has been sitting unfinished on my desk up until now - all I had to do was the binding. I usually take the easy way out when I bind my patchwork projects, by 'bagging' them, or sewing a strip top and bottom, then on each side. But as this was a small item, I decided to have a go at mitring the corners. I have been shown how to do this, I've watched tutorials online, and I've studied the technique in books and magazines, but it contined to defy me. But today I made up my mind, I was going to do it. I have a DVD put out by Patchwork & Quilting magazine, called "The Secrets to Perfecting Mitred Borders and Bindings".  I put it into my computer and started playing it.  Trotting back and forth between my sewing room and the computer room, I managed to achieve a nicely mitred binding on my mat - hooray! And it isn't so hard after all...just have to hold your tongue the right way, lol!
It is a bit hard to see, but you can see how neat it looks!
Change of topic.  This embroidered cat came from Jan Elliott in Canada, who buys lots of goodies at estate sales and auctions, and onsells many of them on her Etsy site.  Her own passion is collecting scarves.  When I saw this pussycat on her Etsy site, I asked if she would like to swap it for some silk scarves I'd found in opshops here, and she was happy to do that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Button Shop in Malvern.

A few years ago, I was searching for darning wool to mend Ken's socks. I finally found some in a haberdashery shop in Glenferrie Road, Malvern, but I didn't take a note of the address. I've looked for this shop a few times since then, but obviously didn't walk far enough, because I found it again the other day, and the saleslady said they've never moved from where they are now! I asked her if I could take some photos to post on my blog, because I know the readers based in Melbourne would love to know more about the shop once they knew what goodies were in stock, and she was happy for me to do so. Apart from L'ucellos and the Button shop in the Nicholas Building in the CBD, this is by far the best haberdashery shop I know of in Melbourne.  Just take a look at these photos and see if you can compare it with anywhere else! Leaves Spotlight and Lincraft for dead!
The Button Shop, 181 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
All those red draws along this wall hold buttons!
They also sell wool and related knitting and crochet products.
Ribbons, ric rac, braid, etc.
And needles of course, as well as anything else you want in the haby. line.  I could get happily lost in this place for weeks!!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

CQJP 2012 update.

I added some more lace and beads to my purple block, and have decided enough is enough for that one.
My February block is a red one (Valentines Day inspired) and I put the fabrics together last night. I'm looking forward to playing with this as I have lots of ideas for embellishment. Last year when I signed up for this challenge, I wondered if I'd be able to keep up. The way I'm feeling now, I think I will be well ahead all year! I just love fondling my beautiful silk ties, and matching up the fabrics for my blocks. It doesn't take long to do the basic block, and if that is done early in the month, I have three weeks to play with it. That still leaves time to work on other projects sitting in the wings.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A website to show off your UFOs!

While I was at the Guild today, I was browsing through the latest magazines in the library, and came across an article about two ladies who have started a collection of UFOs as part of a university project. It struck a chord immediately, and I copied down the website address so I could check it out later. They don't call the collection UFOs - instead, they refer to "Unfinishables". Hmmm.. whatever. They are asking people around the world to either post their UFOs to them in the UK, or email a photo along with a completed questionnaire that is provided. OK, my crafty bloggy friends - dig out your oldest UFO and email a pic to this site The Unfinishable!