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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quilters Companion magazine

Melody, Christine and Julia - you were all correct in your comments on my blog in November last year when I said the proposed article about the PNG Collective hadn't been published in Quilters Companion yet.    You said that it can take a few months after an interview, for the item to be published.   In today's mail I received a complimentary copy of Quilters Companion Issue No.65 - with a full page article on me with the PNG quilts on Page 107.  Yaaay!  Yaso will be delighted when she sees it, as I was.  I've already had one email from a lady in Western Australia who read the article and contacted me to say she would like to make a quilt for us.

I emailed Yaso a few days ago to ask if she had distributed any quilts yet, but I haven't had a reply, so the chances are she is in some remote area of PNG and unable to send or receive emails.  As soon as I hear anything from her, I will post an update here.
Next day...
I received a reply today from Yaso; she arrived home a few days ago, exhausted and with a sick tummy.  But she tells me that the quilts were well received, and she got some good photos, so when she is feeling better she will send them to me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Australia Day - 26th January.

No stitching today - just celebrating being an Aussie!  Go here to see what we did to celebrate our National Day.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lace and crochet washed.

I had washed sheets and towels today, so there was no room on my clothesline for these last lacy items.   I've also got a little mini clothesline which is designed for travelling or people who live in flats I suppose, but I find it handy for rainy days when I can hang out smalls under the shelter of the patio where they will still get wind and any sunshine that might be around.  It is is also useful for the overflow from the regular clothesline!  So that is where I pegged all the delicate items that I'd hand washed.  I did wonder if I was doing the right thing by hanging them in the sun, but I decided it was the perfect way to bleach them back to their pristine whiteness.  The ecru and other non white items weren't damaged at all.

But OMG, look at all the ironing I have to do now...I usually enjoy ironing my linens, but this lot will take a few days, I think!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thanks for your comments!

Thank you all for your congrats on my good news! In response to two of the comments left on my previous post, I have some quick replies:
 Sharon, I'm shocked to hear your news, will call you this week.
Linda, I don't think any of the linens were embroidered by my late friend; in the years that I knew her, I don't recall her being involved in crafts.  From what her hubby said I think all these were inherited, or given to them during their married life.

I soaked all the whitework overnight and hung it out this morning.  I also did a load of normal clothes washing and was dismayed to find that once I'd pegged out the linens, there was no more room for the clothes!  So I had to re-peg all the linens to squeeze them up closer, leaving two lines for the clothes.  I forgot to take a photo of them on the line before I brought them inside, so you'll have to wait until I've pressed them and can take a pic of them on the clothes horse.

The last lot of linens to wash are the lace and crochet items.  I don't think I'll be soaking them overnight in Napisan; instead I may soak them for about 10 minutes in Softly, then peg them out to dry for a short while, but bring them in while they are still damp, otherwise they might stretch out of shape.  I guess I shouldn't even peg them out, but I don't have the room to lay them all out on towels to dry, so I'll just have to be careful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More linens done. And good results!

I've already emailed some friends who read this blog, but for the rest of you who have expressed concern, my colonoscopy showed nothing to be worried about - not even one polyp!  All clear and no need for any further colonoscopies. 
I was feeling so good about that, I came home and put some more linens in to soak, got them out on the line long enough to dry..

..brought them inside and had them all ironed by 9 pm!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


The table cloths are washed and ironed, and ready to be photographed.   This is the second lot to be washed - aprons and guest towels at the back, and all the small doilies on the front lines.  Don't they look sweet blowing dry in the Aussie sunshine!   I took this photo in the mid afternoon, and they were dry within an hour.  They are all ironed, ready to be photographed, and the third lot (large doilies) will be put in to soak tomorrow.  Not sure when, as I will be having a colonoscopy in the morning, and don't know how I'll be feeling when I get home!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cross stitch Tiger.

In addition to the linens in the previous post, I had another surprise today.  I received a packet in the mail from my friend Jan in Canada.  She collects scarves, and if I find something in the opshop that I think she might like, I post it over to her.  In turn, when she finds something that I might like (or in this case that I saw on her online shop) she sends it to me. 
This is a tiger worked in cross stitch on black 14ct aida.  It is too big to frame and hang on a wall (we have no more space on our walls anyway!), so I don't know what I'll do with it yet.  Perhaps a cushion, but I wouldn't want our little tigers (cats) to start kneading and clawing it, so I'll have to think about it a bit more.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

HUGE addition to my vintage collection!

I got up this morning expecting to spend yet another day lolling around the house trying to get up enough energy to do something...anything!  in the heat wave we've been having.  Even with a very efficient air conditioner and the new roof, the temperature of 44 deg.C outside was so severe, the house felt hot inside even though the air con. indicated it was 24 deg.  But the day turned out much better than I thought!

We had a phone call yesterday from an old friend whose wife was a very close friend of mine until she died 8 years ago.  Her husband has just sold their old house near us and is in the process of clearing out the house in order to move to a new home.  He said he remembered his wife and I discussing linens and lace, and he wanted to know if I'd like to have her collection before he sent it to the tip.  Of course I jumped at the offer, and so he arrived this morning with two baskets:

He stayed for a cuppa and we caught up with all his news, and he admired Ken's new t.v.   I started to look through the baskets, and asked him if he'd offered it to his kids (two sons and a daughter) and he said yes, but apart from two family heirloom table cloths that he gave his sons' wives, they weren't interested in the rest of it.   As soon as he left, I emptied the baskets on to the floor.

And soon realised that it was going to take me quite a while to sort it all out into categories of embroidered table cloths, doilies, crocheted work, other lace, etc.  Once I got that done, I pulled out the table cloths and put them in Napisan to soak for an hour.  Once on the line, it only took an hour for them to dry, and they are ready to be ironed tomorrow...or when the weather is a bit cooler!
Here is a sneak preview - you will have to wait until everything is washed and pressed before I post photos of individual pieces here!
 Two aprons.

 Beaded jug covers - these are VERY old.

  Smaller doilies.

Guest hand towels.

 Larger doilies, centrepieces and traycloths.


Unsorted crochet, lace and tatting.

I took a couple of photos of the table cloths before washing them, and I can't wait to show you!

Watch this space....er, blog - for more linens!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rolling up sleeves and getting down to business.

I am the Queen of lists.  I make lists for everything; sometimes it helps me to organise my life, but other times it just complicates things.   But things are going to be different this year.   I've just added another blog to my sidebar One Xmas item a month .  Narelle led this project last year (and possibly before, but I wasn't aware of her blogs then) and when I discovered her on Melody's blog I hopped across to see what it was all about.  Everyone who joins up commits themself to making one Xmas themed project a month, and posts a photo on Narelle's blog on the 25th of each month.   I made myself a Christmas project list last year.  Three weeks before Christmas.  Of course that was one of the above mentioned complications at that time of the year, and all I did was make quick and easy mats from my stash - all very nice but not what I'd planned on.

So I've joined up with Narelle's group and made myself a list.   One page with 12 lines, January to December.  I went through my magazines and picked out twelve Xmas themed projects that I intended to make in previous years but never got around to it. I've even got the materials for January's project ready and sitting on my table and all going well, I'll whip it up tomorrow (we're going out today otherwise it would have been done today).  Most of these projects are small and easy - no huge quilts and wall hangings....well maybe one.  I bought a beautiful Xmas panel on eBay last year with the intention of embellishing it with embroidery and beads for a wall hanging to enter into the Lilydale show.  But it never got started, so perhaps I'll make it a long term thing where I just do a bit at a time over this year.

 I've printed out another 'list' sheet from a blog dedicated to simple living, which has heaps of good ideas on organising yourself - this particular list is titled 'Projects to Try'.  As most of you who read this blog would know, we all have heaps of books and magazines with markers attached to indicate the things we want to do.  I've even made a journal listing them all, so why on earth would I now want to make another LIST??   Well, in the journal I listed everything I'd like to do, but I do realise that I'll never achieve that, so I'm going to go through the journal and pick out the items that I had in mind for other people, or simply because they strongly appeal to me.  In between all these, I've got fabric to make up into quilts for the PNG babies....it's going to be a busy year.  Hopefully Ken will find his retirement feet and spend more time with his mates going fishing or bike riding, leaving me to do my own thing at home in peace!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Babushka mat.

This is my second project for the new year.  It started out in December when I was busy making up table mats and runners from my Christmas fabric stash for last minute gifts.  I made a block with the blue stars fabric and white fabric, and was going to embellish it to make a mat, but I couldn't decide what to do with it, so I just put it aside.   The other day I was looking for something else and found the machine embroidered Babushka girl patch.  When I held it against the blue and white block, it seemed to belong, so I added the silver ric rac on each side, then the borders, and voila, another table mat! 

Then I remembered some fabric I bought a few years ago which would be perfect for the back.  If you are wondering why the back has no border, it is because I used the 'envelope' style of finishing it off instead of the usual way. 

Happy new year starts with tea cosies.

The biennial Tea Cosy fundraising exhibition at Bundoora Homestead is on this year from 26th February to 25th March.  The proceeds will go to the Australian Animal Protection Society, so I decided to use some of my cat fabric stash to make two tea cosies. I would have made more, but this year the organisers have placed a limit of two items per donor, as they receive so many, and only have limited space to display them.
My thanks to my friend in Sydney  who sent me a heap of kitty fabrics last year - hope you like what I've done with these, Sylvia!