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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Decluttering, and an experimental block.

I have accumulated so much fabric this year that I ran out of space to store it, and it was in piles on the floor, which I kept tripping over. As most of my sewing stash is on shelves in the wardrobe of one of our spare bedrooms, I decided to make some more room in there for the excess fabric. On the top two shelves, we had stored photos albums, boxes of photos, board games, old calendars, and other stuff we couldn't bring ourselves to chuck out. I hauled it all out on to the floor, gritted my teeth and started sorting out. I filled a box full of paper for the recycle bin, threw out a box of negatives that were not needed, as the photos were safely in albums years ago. The albums and other photos went back on to the top shelf, along with other folders and the board games. The calendars are still to be sorted out and given to local schools for kids to cut up, although I might keep a few for craft purposes. I looked up on Google "How to recycle old calendars" and found some great ideas!

Finding myself with two extra shelves for my fabric stash, I relocated other items like threads and kits, and fitted the bags of fabric on the shelves below. Happy Jan!

One of the many quilting and patchwork books I've borrowed from our library had a very easy version of the Chevron pattern. I had to try it out just to see if I could make it work for me. I'm happy with the technique, although next time I'll be more careful in my selection of the fabric with a pattern. This one should be all the same way up, but it's not. All part of the learning curve.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Small projects.

I had some fabric left over from the Aussie birds quilt top, so I used it to make a table topper or centrepiece, whatever you want to call it.

Whilst sorting through my stash for the right fabric to start another project, I re-discovered some lovely chicken fabric, and decided to throw together some placemats to sell at a Guild fund raising afternoon coming up.  Ken loved these, and was upset to hear that I was donating them for resale!  I had to tell him that there was plenty more of those chooks left and I could whip up more placemats for him later on!
I used up bits and pieces for the borders on these, hence the black borders on the sides of one of the mats.  They are not meant to be a matching set, and I can see I will have to make sure they are labelled separately so people don't start making rude comments about them not matching!
 The back of them is just gingham.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quilt top for Aussie Heroes, and an old doiley.

I'd started this quilt top a month ago, but once I got tied up with the exhibition at Bundoora, I didn't have time to do any more on it. So it was at the top of my To Do list this week. I've tried several times to get a clear picture of the fabric, as it really is lovely (Australian birds), but this is the best I could do. It was too long to hang vertically on the clothesline, so I hung it sideways, and flipped the photo around on my computer!  Hard to see on the pic,but there is a brown border around the green sashing.

While I was sitting in the gallery at Bundoora, I did quite a bit of stitching in between visitors.  I'd taken an unfinished supper cloth, and this traycloth commemorating the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. I bought it unworked on eBay years ago, but never got around to stitching it.   I spent the first day working on the supper cloth and felt like I was getting nowhere (it only has about 2% done), so I decided to work on the tray cloth instead, and am very pleased with my work.  It just needs the Olympic torch on the right hand side, and some gum leaves to finish it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New linens for the collection.

My exhibition at Bundoora is now closed, and I am thrilled to bits at the success of it. I've posted details of the final week on my Early Australian Linens blog, but for this blog I want to show the readers some more cloths that were given to me, as well as a stunning cloth and doiley that I won on eBay last week. I haven't been looking on eBay much since I retired from working, as I could not afford to continue spending so much once Ken was the sole income earner. But sometimes I wanted to check out the prices that various things were getting on eBay, or I'd look for something on behalf of friends who don't have an eBay account. I was doing just that last week when I discovered a little supper cloth and matching doiley, and as the embroidery looked to be stunning in the photo, I decided to place a bid. To my surprise I won the set for less than $12, and when it arrived, I was simply gobsmacked that nobody else had discovered it!

I have other supper cloths like this, but this is by far the most beautifully stitched, and with a hand crocheted edge as well.

While I was sitting in the gallery at Bundoora on Saturday, a couple came in to chat to me and tell me about their family linen. They were an older couple, and said their children had no interest in keeping the cloths, which had been made by the man's grandmothers in Germany around 1880. I said I would love to see them, so they turned up the next day with these three cloths, and insisted that I keep them, or pass them on to someone else who would appreciate them. As he was able to give me the names and dates of the makers, I will be showing these to our Guild collection ladies, as they may be interested in adding them to the Guild Collection.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Publicity for my exhibition.

Leader Newspapers have a small article and photo about me in two of their papers - Diamond Valley and Preston.  Here is a link to the Diamond Valley Leader item.
I presented a half hour talk about collecting, cleaning and storing vintage linens today, and it was well received.  I hope I have influenced thirty people to go home and retrieve their grandmother's linens from the bottom drawer, and learn to appreciate their value.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mug rugs.

The staff at Bundoora Homestead are all very friendly and helpful.  They have been very kind and patient with me, and the cafe manager has brought me a coffee every morning within minutes of me arriving!  She said she does it for all the staff as well as any exhibitor who is on duty in the gallery, and won't take payment.  So I decided I would make them all a little gift, and yesterday whipped up five mug rugs.  I knew all the girls loved cats and dogs, so I figured I was safe using patchwork fabric featuring them.  The first pic is the front, and the second pic is the back of each one.

I gave them to the staff today and they were delighted!

New additions to collection.

Haven't had time to scratch myself lately, but finally got around to taking pics of the linens that were given to me last week by a visitor to the Bundoora Homestead gallery.  The first two are beautiful centrepieces, whitework and cut work respectively.

This is a very unusual piece of white work - looks like it may have been a nightdress holder, as it is envelope style with embroidered initials.  The lady who gave it to me said it was made in a convent in England.

Pristine white table cloth with cut work.
 A more recent embroidery I think - sweet cloth with tea set around it....
 And matching napkins.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Generous visitors at Bundoora!

I have been given some beautiful old linens which I will be posting photographs of here in the next few days.  Click here to read how I came by them.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

No more difficulties with comments

After receiving emails from bloggers relating to that awful thing you had to do when posting a comment, I have removed that now.  So providing you have a blog account of your own, you should now be able to just leave a comment without having to type in codes and all that rubbish.  OK, it is supposed to stop spam, but I check my blogs most days, and if I find a comment that isn't nice, I'll just delete it!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

My linens at Bundoora Homestead.

A few readers of this blog expressed interest in hearing more about my linens exhibition, and I have been writing reports and posting photos on the blog relating to the exhibition.  Rather than repeat it all here, if you want to see pics of the display etc. you can find it here.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

A new quilt top nearly finished.

I received a heap of Aussie icon fabric to use for quilt tops for Aussie Heroes Quilts, and amidst the mayhem that is my life at the moment, I have put together some of the fabric featuring Australian birds.  All I have to do now is the borders - a border of the same green as the sashing, and an outer border of another colour, probably brown.  Then it will be on the way to Jan Maree to make up into a quilt for one of our Aussie Heroes, who must be feeling depressed since the deaths of five soldiers earlier this week...