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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some new embroidered items.

I found this lovely set in our opshop last week: traycloth with matching napkin and sandwich tray doiley.

 Today the postman brought me a parcel I'd been expecting from Kathleen in the USA who does the most exquisite embroidery, and sells some of it both online and in her 'bricks and mortar' shop at her home.  I would love to visit her shop but as I can't I'm just glad she sells her linens online as well!  When I saw these matching teatowels on her blog I emailed her immediately, begging her to put them aside for me!  And now they will be gracing my kitchen : - )  Thank you again, dear friend.

Finally, I've been doing a bit of stitching myself, just quick and easy back stitch for a table runner that I'm doing for the One Xmas Project A Month blog.  I've got a large stash of Xmas fabrics, but wouldn't you know it, I need to buy a bit more to match the fabric I've chosen to surround these stitcheries.  Hope to get to Darn Cheap Fabric in Heidelberg tomorrow, and find what I want.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hand stitched tea towel.

On the Down To Earth Forum we are having another fun swap. This one was for tea towels or hand towels, which could be hand made or purchased if the participant didn't have the time or skill to make one. I chose to embroider a vintage linen tea towel, using a vintage transfer that I had.  It is all worked in back stitch.  The lettering is a bit wonky; do you think it looks more like Classes than Glasses? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tatting Torture continued.

This is a sample of Tatting:

This is as far as I got:


Saturday, July 12, 2014


I thought I should let you know how I'm going with learning to do tatting.  I'm not.  Tatting, that is.  Our tutor provided us with an instruction book containing a tutorial DVD.  It was a tutorial all right, but on painting, not tatting!  The publishers in England had put the wrong DVD in their book, and of course nobody realised until I (and probably anyone who got that book) put the DVD in their computer and tried to play it.  Our tutor had the original DVD and very quickly made copies of it and posted them to us.  But before mine arrived, I had an unfortunate accident.  We've been having our kitchen painted, and last Tuesday I came into the kitchen without looking at the floor, and tripped over a toolbox that the painter had his gear in.  The poor man nearly had a fit - he was from Iran and couldn't speak English very well, and he kept on saying Sorry!  so sorry!  I kept trying to tell him it was my own fault, but I think he had visions of being shipped back to Iran in the near future!

I went down like the proverbial ton of bricks, hitting cabinets and tables all the way, ending up with badly bruised shoulder, elbow and knee.  Lucky I didn't break any bones, but I've been very sore since then, and today I just didn't feel up to the long drive to the Guild and back for a two hour tatting torture session.
So I put the DVD on the t.v. instead and curled up on the couch with a cuppa to watch it.  Well, the more I watched, the more I realised that I will never be able to do tatting.  As I wrote earlier, I can't knit or crochet, as my fingers just seem to turn into thumbs, even before the arthritis set in, and that hasn't helped either, as your fingers get stiff after a while and refuse to co-operate with your brain.  So I rang our tutor, and explained, and she expressed sympathy for my injuries, but pleaded with me to come back for the last lesson next week. She said if she can at least get me doing the first stitches, I should be able to continue from there with practice.  Hmmmmm....

Monday, July 07, 2014

Weekend stitching.

It's been a busy weekend sewing-wise.  I've had some half finished bits that I was determined to finish, as well as starting some others.  The two that I finished are mug rugs for special friends, both of whom read this blog, and I won't be surprised if they guess who is going to receive these mug rugs!  This is for someone who said she would like something with kangaroos.  Well, there is a few on both sides of this!

This is for someone who loves cats and London.

I am working on two stitcheries now - one is the Xmas Project for July, and the other is a tea towel for a swap on a forum that I belong to.  I won't post photos here until I've finished them, which won't be long as they both have deadlines this month.
Finally, I cut up some sheets from an opshop into strips and strip-pieced them to create the beginnings of a couple of baby quilt tops for the PNG Quilt Collective.  This is what they look like now before I cut the piece into two sections and add borders to them.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Learning to tatt.

I foolishly enrolled myself into a three day (one day a week) class at the Embroiderers Guild, to learn tatting.  It needs to be said that I cannot knit, and have very limited experience in crochet, so why would I want to learn tatting?  Apart from how much I love the way it looks on the edges of linens and other decorative ideas, my late mother-in-law was the unknowing catalyst.  She was an excellent knitter and embroiderer, but didn't like to crochet, and couldn't do tatting.  She used to tell me how her grandmother tried to teach her tatting, but she (MIL) simply couldn't get the hang of it.

So with her in mind, I decided to have a go at learning, and if I succeed, I will send a little thought up to MIL on her heavenly cloud, and hope she will be proud of me.  Well, if she was up there watching me today, she would have been chuckling, I'm sure.  I was all thumbs - my fingers got hopelessly tangled with the cotton over and over again, and I am sure that our lovely tutor Sylvia had just about had enough of me by the end of the class!  The other five ladies seemed to have conquered it and had lovely long rows of neat knots while I was still struggling to hold the thread in place..

To make matters worse, Ken phoned me in the middle of the class.  Not on my mobile - I had it switched off.  So he phoned the Guild office and the hostess on duty came looking for me.  I was so embarrassed, and furious at Ken for calling about something that he could have dealt with himself!  The girls were laughing at me when I came back in cursing him, and I was so mad I completely lost concentration, which didn't help the tatting.

My usual reaction to this kind of situation is to not go back to the remaining classes, but Sylvia could see I was not in a good frame of mind, and she said "Don't go home and cry - just keep having a go.  It will come, trust me.  It took me months!"  So I got my shuttle and thread out after tea and showed Ken what he had interrrupted  (he was exceedingly apologetic, I might add), and lo and behold, I did one perfect little knot!
So I'll keep practising and see how we go next Friday.  No photos to show now, and don't hold your breath for next week - ha  ha!

Large donation of quilts for the PNG quilt collective.

A very generous lady and her friend recently donated 25 quilts for our PNG babies.  You can see them all here on the PNG Quilts blog.