Tuesday, 31 May 2005

New Chicken Scratch Apron

Today, for an all-too-short time, Gina, Sharon and I had a quick run through a couple of Op Shops. And amongst other things, I acquired two more aprons.

And, just quickly, I have to post details of this one, as the Chicken Scratch is quite different:


here it is a little closer:


Now, what has fascinated me is that this has a stitch combination (making those four-petal daisies) that I have not seen before, in book or example.

AND it includes an unusual knotting process - I'm not sure if you can see it here:


It is most curious - there is a little knot across some single crosses (the ones between daisies), and one in the middle of the daisies with four around it, and one in the bottom right of the circles, where the cross starts off.

This is a beautifully made apron, fully lined - and I got it for $2.50

It was meant to come and live with me - along with the $2 one with cross-stitch kookaburras on green and white gingham.

And it was nice to meet Sharon. We had a lovely, but short day.

Monday, 30 May 2005

Fan-tastic DYBs

Today, my DYBs arrived home. It doesn't sound much when you just say that. It doesn't explain what a package of beauty came through the post.

DYBs are a special form of Round Robin, called "Doing Your Block". In this case I pieced six blocks, which looked like this:


and sent them off around five friends, who then embellished one each. This one (above) is the sixth, and I now need to embellish it myself. In the meantime, I was embellishing one each for them - I am just finishing Maureen's, the last one, now.

There is no set theme for the whole DYB - I asked people to work fans on mine. And I have another three blocks out there in another Round Robin that are similar - all will be going in a wall-hanging of nine blocks at the end.

So here are the five stunning blocks that arrived in the mail today - if you click one each they should take you to larger ones on Flicker. If you click on the link below the photo, then either click on the photo again, or use the enlarge icon (depending on your browser), you get the very detailed copy.


This one, above is by Maureen. Largest size HERE.


This one, above, by Viv. Largest size HERE.


The above one is by Patti. Largest size HERE.


The one above is by Anne. Largest size HERE.


And the last one, above, is by Catherine. Largest size HERE

They are just so lovely in real life that I am stuck for words to describe them. Thank you all so much, Maureen, Viv, Patti, Anne and Catherine.


This post has been edited to add links to the largest sizes.

Again - To see the most detailed shots you need to be logged into Flickr (ie a member, if you are doing it by clicking on the photos and then choosing "view all sizes"), or else anyone can click on the links, and then click again on the photo or use the enlarge icon (depending on your browser), and you get to see the most detailed.

I know I keep saying it, but these are stunning blocks, and worth the careful study.

I'm baaaaaaack!

Well, there is no explanation for it, but my ability to read blogs (including mine), has returned. So I am off to scan my beautiful DYBs, which arrived home today.

Nice to be back - and tomorrow I get to go and play with Gina (of Patra's Place) and Sharon (of The Blank Page), so the world cannot be all bad.

Sunday, 29 May 2005

Totally Frustrated!!!

Well, at this point if anyone can explain to me why I also cannot read any blogger/blogspot blogs, including my own (yet can post), from two different computers an hours' drive apart, while others still can, I would really love to know.

And NOTHING has been done to tweak this computer. Was reading it fine on IE 6.0 a couple of days ago. If anyone else is successfully reading on IE 6.0 at the minute, would love to hear from you.

Hopefully my laptop is no more than a week away - and if I cannot read with whatever updated browser is on that, I may get really agro. (You think I'm not now???? Cannot even read them on the most updated Mozilla available).


I'm going AWOL

Thanks to Calidore for letting me know that she can read my new posts - so I am at a total loss. I cannot read any blogger/blogspots, even mine, even though I can update it.

As I am about to move to a laptop, it may mean I will not even be able to read them at the other house (that computer is going to be a boat anchor).

So I may be gone for a few days - even up to a week. But I will be back.

And I am really missing not being able to read about half of my favourite blogs! :(

Saturday, 28 May 2005

Apronology II

I've just had a few interesting days doing the rounds of my Op Shops to see what aprons are around - not much, but some fascinating conversations.

The most interesting ones are what some ladies identify as "Fete aprons", usually made of three rectangles joined along the long side - two colours on the sides and a different one in the centre, that they reckon are leftovers from women making dresses. They would then make up an apron, and put it out at a fete, rather than wear aprons made of the same fabric as their dresses.

Then one of the women really prompted my thoughts, by saying her mother had talked about "Bazaar Aprons", where women got together to have bazaars, and each woman or group of women would have a stall, and there was much competition about who had the better apron. And sometimes even competitions for best stall at the Bazaar, which included how women were dressed.

So that reminded me of this photo:

Apron Photo

This is the Stratford Mechanics' Institute Bazaar of 1899 (yes, Stratford, Victoria, Australia, on the river Avon). It includes two matrons (one at least known for her fancywork skills) and a male "secretary". The rest are younger women (married and single), and their aprons are rather spectacular.

Yet, I suspect several things. Firstly, women of their station and that era would not have been wearing aprons when entertaining (they often dressed in their best to walk across the paddocks on Sunday, to sit in parlours with neighbours similarly dressed). When they did work (and work they did), their aprons would have been much plainer - they would not have risked their fancy-work in a harsh work environment.

Later hostess aprons (ie the 1950s ones), seem to be glamorous half-aprons - where there is a bib is was usually more ornamental than functional. Imagine, for example, a ruffled heart as a bib.

So I suspect my informant was right - there was an actual genre of fancy "Bazaar Aprons" - and this one of my m-i-l's, although I think it is from the 1970s or 1980s, possibly had its origins long ago in that style. It would be nice to think so, but we will never know.

And it would be nice to know where Gina's embroidered aprons (I think of the 1930s) fitted in as well. (Wish I could link - bother blogspot being down for me!).

PS1 - I can now better appreciate the tradition in the first piece of sewing we girls had to do at secondary college in the 1960s. It was to make a bib-and-brace apron in a revolting mushroom-coloured cotton. That we then wore for cookery.

PS2 - If anyone would like a better copy of the apron photo above (it is copied from a published book), I do know where the original is held, and I will seek to borrow it and copy in a month or so - that museum is packed up for redevelopment, and all the photos are in a cabinet in a corner with the rest of the museum packed in front of them. Anyone know of any other photos like this???

Apronology I

Okay - I am posting blind, but it does seem I can post. And I can read any other blog except those at blogspot (which includes mine). Drat!!!! I am missing seeing what my friends are up to.

However, since I can post, I will forge onwards!

This is an apron pattern from my m-i-l's stash:

Apron pattern

I was wondering why she would have bought it (she knew how to make an apron without needing a pattern), when I read the back and realised it originally contained transfers for the applique rose and holly. So I looked inside and yes, there they were. Still unused.

But what is this???? Another set of transfers, for three different aprons - one of teapot and cup motifs, one of garden motifs and one of sewing motifs, like this:

Apron transfer

So I really believe she put it there, even before she knew me, for me to find it.

My m-i-l is slowly slipping away from us (she is 92, and we know and accept it will not be long), but she has really enjoyed up until now seeing my sewing. Before her marriage, in the late 1920s, she was a sample-maker in the garment trade in Melbourne (our state capital). The sample-makers were not the fastest machinists, but they were the best. In later years she made commissioned after-five wear at home, and really enjoyed a range of crafts and sewing.

When we cleaned up her unit, for a number of reasons, DH and I only collected a small sample of her work. This pattern was included as I have always been interested in aprons, more for what they stood for (the 1950s woman shown is impossibly thin, my impression as a teenager of the 1960s is that as feminism advanced, aprons became less a popular symbol of domestic glamour, and less a platform to demonstrate sewing techniques).

I have been collecting fabric, items and ideas for a "Homage to my Sewing Machine" work for a while. And was very impressed by Laurel's Tribute to her Mother, which took a similar theme. So now I will be able to include motifs that I can directly associate with Flo.

I think she meant that to happen.


Help!!! Blogger is really playing up on me, and I cannot read my blog, or any of the others out there with this server. However it appears others are still reading it. And I can get in and write posts - just I cannot see them. And I can read other blogs not at blogspot.

If there is some kind soul out there who could just e-mail me at kapana[at]netspace[dot]com[dot]au and let me know this post got through- I would really appreciate it. I THINK my problem is somewhere in the new version of Mozilla just loaded, but I am not sure. :(

Friday, 27 May 2005

Working on Maureen's DYB

I am still working on Maureen's DYB - but I have set a deadline of one week - today week we will have coffee and I will hand it over. So I have photocopied where I am at, and started sketching:

Linda for Maureen

I have a few problems with this block - I wanted to do the Lyrebird, but that immediately meant that it wouldn't sit well for me with hearts and flowers and lace. So that removed a few options.

Then, I wanted to demonstrate a seam at class, so I picked up this block and added the beaded seam - which has further restricted what I CAN do in that area. I knew I wanted to weave some vines across the block somehow, so that is what I have done - but I am not totally happy with it. Maybe it is that half-completed butterfly at top right (using waste canvas) that looks like a spider in the photocopy.

But what I am happy with is the design of the leaves. I have been meaning for a while to go over and look at Crewel-work books as a source of motifs. And yes - there are heaps and heaps of designs that can be used in CQ. Maybe not in full-blown Crewel (although anything is possible), but I just love the lines of the flowers, leaves and birds that you can find over there.

Oh well, off I go again ............... Oh Dear - I don't need another addiction. :(

First Piece of CQ

I have just been over at GarnetSunshine's blog, looking at her first piece of CQ. And it has reminded me how important it is to keep a record of what you are doing, right from the start. I still have my first piece of CQ, and here, for the record, is a picture:


This was random-pieced by my mother, who was a sane-patchworker (note - for those not into crazy patch, these are the people who use all cottons, measure their pieces and want all lines to meet. Crazy patchworkers get upset if their pieces are the same size and lines meet. And they cut up their friends' clothes).

I embellished the vest - there is ONE embroidered seam (chain stitch), but a piece of waste canvas work and heaps of tatting. Some things change, some things stay the same.

Then, I never kept a picture of my second-ever piece, and I no longer have access to it. It was a cushion (note, I am in Australia, a pillow is something I put my head upon when I got to sleep). So when someone is starting out, as is Garnetsunshine, I get really happy when I know they have good photos.

Welcome, Garnet Sunshine. I am sure your Mother-in-law will adore her pillow. It is beautiful.

Thursday, 26 May 2005

Crinoline Ladies from Gina

Here, just for a bit of fun, are four different (but identical) Crinoline Ladies from Gina - they are the four different corners of a supper cloth. And I do like the sort of daisy chain that links them all, too.

And, speaking of Gina (at Patra's Place), she has just posted a picture of her favourite apron (with her in it) - and I do remember her showing me this one - it is stunning. I seem to use that word a lot, lately.

Purple Crinoline Lady

Pink Crinoline Lady

Aren't they wonderful - I still have a few more from Gina to post - and more transfers from Andrea, over the next week. Thanks to both. :)

Pam's Chicken Scratch Heart

Pam over at Kitty Me Designs has worked a Chicken Scratch Heart, but added a motif to it - it is always fascinating to see someone take an old discipline and give it a modern look. Well worth popping over to have a look at it on her blog.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Aprons from Maggie Ann

Maggie Ann at Knitting Kat has blogged her aprons - including a most interesting antique one.

Apronmania II

Last post for the day, hopefully. These are Flo's other three aprons, with one little closeup. I have only posted small pictures. I am still working out Flickr for non-members, but I think if you double click on each picture it automaticaly takes you to the larger version. Here's hoping.


Apron 4

Apron 3

Apron detail

And, this is one of my favourites:

Apron 2

More Chicken Scratch

DH and I have been having a lovely day, drinking coffee and looking through his Mother's aprons etc. And I had forgotten this bit of Chicken Scratch was in there:

Chicken Scratch Table Cloth

This is a simple supper cloth, where the design is like this:

Chicken Scratch detail

And, if you really look closer, it is like this:

Chicken Scratch close up

From this you can see two things - one is probably why it is also called "Snowflaking" (although until Pam came up with that name, I had not heard of it.

And secondly, how this technique is not only a partnership of stitches, it is also important how the light blocks are emphasised, the medium checks are "used" and the dark ones are almost covered, to provide the overall shaded/lighter effect.

Flo, who worked this piece, was at the CWA (Country Women's Association) with Margaret, who worked the example I posted the other day. So they would have learned this together in the 1980s, I think. But my impression is that it is something more from the 1950s, when gingham like this was available when there was little else to use for decoration.

So, if you see it around in Op Shops or garage sales - you just might be tempted to save it from the rag bag.


This is my favourite apron from the four (I have just counted them), that my DF and I got from his mother's unit when we were clearing up there. Somewhere, too, I am sure I have some patterns.

Hardanger Apron

This one is Battenburg, which was a special interest of hers. She wasn't one to entertain, so it was probably more the challenge and achievement of making a large piece, than making something to wear. The white would never have been practical.

Interested in more on aprons - pop over and check out Pamela Kellogg's blog. I'll be back later with the other three aprons from Flo's collection.

This post has been edited

*Mea Culpa (and Thanks Joy)* I originally called this Hardanger, in a slip of the mind - I do know the difference (it IS Battenburg), just wasn't thinking. And I now know this is a Bazaar or Fete Apron - more about them one day soon.

Aprons to the right of us, Aprons to the left of us.

The Aprons continue and multiply. Thanks Mary-Frances, I now know how to link directly to a post. So, here is the latest from Mary-Frances - an apron that becomes a bonnet, and in company with an Australian one lurking in the USA.

And, since I now know how - here is the direct link to the organdy ones.

And thanks also, M-F, for theoriginal link - although some of us were off on a different thread - it must just be the Year of the Apron. If you are at all interested, and haven't been there - have a look at the original link on Angry Chicken.

And I want to go and photograph some of m-i-l's on the line, and it is RAINING!!!! We have waited so long for this rain, and it isn't heavy, and it comes now. Not that I am complaining, mind. It is nice to know that they still know how to make it.

More Aprons

I was just having another surf through that Apron site, and realised that one of its participants actually makes and sells repro aprons: do check them out, in case you missed the links.

Now I see what Mary-Frances means about suddenly being hip.

I watch out for them already in Op Shops - not that there are a lot around (well, I haven't found any there). But it will be fascinating to see if this is something that is going to be the next real collectable.

Now, where was that camera .......

Tuesday, 24 May 2005


Aprons have always fascinated me - they are a practical accessory for the woman in the kitchen (I still wouldn't be without mine), yet in earlier times they were something that was highly decorative - many were the apron made more for appearance than use. They also said a lot about the position of a woman - the hostess, the housekeeper, the mother.

The other day I posted these Crinoline lady aprons from Gina's Collection at Patra's Place. Hopefully, once her camera gets back into gear, she will let us see some of the other interesting ones.

So I was especially taken by the ones posted by Mary Frances - wish I could work out how to link to her exact post - scroll down until you get to some organdy aprons - I've never struck them like that before.

And, thanks to her blog, I have found more aprons on Thimble, on Wee Wonderfuls and Angry Chicken (who pointed to Apron Chronicles - make sure you see the samples).

I have a few in my collection (well, maybe three), and nothing to rival Gina's. The best is my m-i-l's bib and brace hardanger apron - I really must photograph it. And I have nothing CQ - just one that is random squares. The best I can do is promise to put them on the line soon for a photograph, and post this picture of something I made years ago - my Peg Bag with Attitude. If you are going out to the clothes line you may as well do it in style - not that I have ever actually used it. Maybe one day.


Scrapbooking images

Yesterday, I was looking for something to read in the newsagents, and I hummed and ha'ed for some time over Scrapbook, a large (bigger than A4, smaller than A3) plastic-wrapped production, for $11.95. And it apparently included two copies.

I really hate those ones where you have to buy them to see what is in them, and $11.95 is a lot of money for casual reading.

But I am so glad I did. They are stunning. What I got was Vol 1 and Vol 4 (the latest), and they are crammed with heaps of well-printed stuff for silk prints. lots of angels, flowers and other things. The only drawback is that if you are into decoupage, they are printed on both sides, so you will always be losing something. But this is the A4 section of one page:


And, not all pages are like this. There were 32 printed pages in the one I counted, and of them, ten pages were one picture to a page, suitable for framing. And lots and lots of Christmas Cards (although smaller than original size), and other larger pictures. And all very nice.

So, I got curious. They are published by Topmill Pty Ltd, and distributed in Australia by Gordon and Gotch. I have to admit at the start I suspected that they were published elsewhere and just Australian covers added - but no, there is even one of a colured brochure for a Sydney National Park. But not much else in the way of specific Australian content. And I think they may be a fairly small publishing house (so all the more reason to support them).

They appear to have published a number of other titles, such as Yesterday's Ladies, Yesterday's Flowers, Yesterday's Fashions etc, which I think would be similar, and an number on trains and historical photographs. They have also produced a range of Decoupage books that could be interesting.

So I think I can see some silk prints coming up!

Monday, 23 May 2005

Crochet Crinoline lady

One of the ladies at the Neighbourhood House has just given me a photocopy of an early pattern for a crochet Crinoline lady - I have no idea what it should look like, but it is an edging for a handkerchief.

You can find the pattern HERE, but you will have to be a member of Flickr to copy it.

Would love to see what it looks like if anyone ever makes it.

Sunday, 22 May 2005

Melbourne Bead and Gem Show

Today was my trip to the Melbourne Bead and Gem Show (I had a leave pass for a day as Debra from Nan's Cupboard needed a bus driver). And I had a ball! And spent too much money.

It was the last day of the show, so there were heaps of specials - I bought a fair bit of stuff at 50% off marked prices. And my favourite buy was a string of Malachite and Azurite Hearts:

Heart beads

I adore malachite - it is probably one of my favourites, but I now have too much for even me - so to be able to pass these along to my class at $1.50 each is bliss. And I love using naturally occurring substances - I have to admit I prefer not to be a plastic person.

There were too many nice places with websites for me to list them all - but you can have a surf for a while on the exhibitor list. But I do have to admit I did like the Venetian Glass beads from The Italian Place. And I enjoyed the friendliness of Bead Needs of Hoppers Crossing (a Melbourne suburb half way to Geelong)

Then, as if that was not enough, it was the monthly market on the other part of the Flemington racecourse. And it was good. My highlight (amongst many) was meeting Rod Barnett, who made one of the Dragon sculptures I have had for a few years (and I was sad to hear he is not doing nay more of them).

What else??? Deb tells me that Jadams Pewter is in the process of moving back to Queensland (they were at Drouin, in Victoria). But Wow!!! Although he does not do mail order, she does have his catalogue, and is willing to order in. No more could I ask. I want more of the fairy I used on Viv's DYB.

And there is still the Victorian Bead Society Bead Symposium, Fair and Monster Stocktaking Sale (I hope they don't find too many monsters when they stocktake!!!), to be held at Moorabbin June 3rd to 5th. It is just possible I may be able to get to that as well.

I do like nice beads - and think they will go well on my mobile phone bags - they are small enough to use really nice stuff, as they are almost like jewelry - you lose nice stuff on larger works.

Crinoline Ladies on Aprons

Gina, from Patra's Place, has a number of fascinating embroidered aprons in her collection. The two I have posted below are Crinoline Ladies (knowing some readers are rather attached to them). Gina has some that are even more fascinating, showing ladies dressed in modern fashion. For me, these are probably the most interesting part of her collection (well, maybe - there is other stuff too). As I have never, ever, seen anything like the ladies who were modern when the aprons were made.

Crinoline apron 1

I don't know if you can pick it in the picture, but the upside-down parasol forms a shallow pocket. Very clever.

The larger version can be found HERE.

This is the other that Gina generously allowed me to copy:

Crinoline apron 2

The larger version of that one is HERE.

Thank You, Gina, for allowing me to post there.

Saturday, 21 May 2005

New Block on Sharon's blog

Sharon has just released another block on her blog. Love it - especially the beading on the lace, and the use of wide ribbon

Speaking of Beading

Speaking of beading - Margaret J had a good idea at class the other day. Some people may know about the "Florence way", where Florence cuts down a small, round takeaway container, and puts corduroy in the bottom, and uses that for beading.

You can see a picture of that HERE on Sharon's site.

What Margaret had was one portable beading dish that was the lid off a cream bottle, and another that was the lid off a large yoghurt container - which is a bit bigger than a cream bottle lid. She had glued corduroy in both. I was really taken with the yoghurt one.

What I liked about them is that you could fit a lot of them into a very small space - they would easily fit into my workcase. Then you can have one for each colour bead you are using. And still easily bend to pour the beads back into their baggies.

Experimenting with Beading

I have been experimenting with beading - this seam is "out of my head". Must find a minute and go Google and see if there are evening-dress style beading instructions anywhere on the net that can be adapted to CQ.


My good news is that I am off to the Bead and Gem show in Melbourne tomorrow after all. I have a leave-pass for the day, and Deb from Nan's Cupboard needed a bus driver (hers fell through), so I might even find a beading book there that has what I want in it.

Friday, 20 May 2005

Maureen's DYB grows

The Lyrebird on Maureen's DYB is partially finished - I am quite happy with it, but picking out the tissue paper is giving me the irrits.

Linda for Maureen4

Then I need to do some more work on the tail feathers. This block is really unplanned - I have no idea what I will do next, but I will probably work a bit more brown, and try and get some darkish green in there.

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Embroidery Transfer #4

Here is another of the transfers from the stash Andrea found.

Pansy Transfer

This one is dated 1935, and the design appears twice on the sheet. I love pansies, so won't have any problems working out the colours. Purple!!!!!! Thanks Andrea!

The larger version can be found HERE.

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

You know you've got it bad when ....

You know you've got it bad when you are hanging out the washing, and you put a pair of pinkish purple knickers next to a pair of aqua-blue ones. And you immediately start dreaming what you can make with that colour combination.

Readers in USA may not relate to this - I gather they do not hang stuff out on clotheslines!

Chicken Scratch Link

Thanks to Pam, for this link to Chicken Scratch. I didn't link at the ideal spot on Pam's blog before, so the discussion on it is HERE.

Peacock from Gina

Over my morning coffee I am trying to decide what to post from the Gina at Patra's Place collection. And I chose this peacock:

Peacock 3

This is one corner of a supper cloth, worked on white cotton or linen. There is a larger copy HERE (Remember to click with your cursor or use the enlarge icon).

Gina wasn't sure of the needlework style when I put her on the spot - she mentioned Broderie Anglaise (my spelling) and Richelieu - it doesn't seem to be the second, not sure about the first. This is a photograph, and from that it is hard to see what is the brown thread and what is the brown carpet seen through the holes!

But I just love the way the tail fans out, and am thinking how I could use it superimposed in stem stitch and other embroidery onto a cq.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

A new little soul and a new blog

Several days ago I heard that a dear friend has had a new little crazy-patch baby. A very, very special welcome to Erin, sister for Chelsea.

And not in the same league, but today a new blog was born. I am not saying who, as she may wish to remain anony-mouse, and will not be posting seriously for a little while yet. But welcome too, to Floozina's Cave.

Chicken Scratch

There has been posting on Pam's blog about Chicken Scratch, so I thought I was post a picture:

Chicken Scratch

This is a square by Margaret J in the Quilts of Unity - just I cannot administer that site at the minute to return the block there (they rotate), so I thought I would post this example for Pam and her readers to see.

It really is a wonderful piece of work, and is becoming one of the lost forms of embroidery.

Maureen's DYB

Work has started on Maureen's DYB:

Linda for Maureen3

This is the Lyrebird from Gina's Duchesse Set. I printed the doyley from the computer, traced it onto tissue paper and it is being worked with a single thread of DMC.

No peeking M3

Monday, 16 May 2005

Blue Bird Motif

Here is a motif from Andrea's 1930s transfers - this is a Swallow - is that the same as a Bluebird of Happiness???


These appear a lot on linen - I have some, Gina has a lot, and I know another collector who really likes them.

Here is another version from Gina's Collection:

Bluebirds traycloth
This is a "Good Morning" traycloth. Imagine having breakfast in bed delivered on something like this.

I know Gina would love to know who is reading her blog - and if you drop her a note over there, she might be persuaded to scan stuff in which you have an interest, and post it on her blog - she is still working on her camera, but I know her scanner works - she scanned this one. I am sure she would respond to requests like - "Any nice horse and carriage motifs out there?" as she is a most generous person.

Sunday, 15 May 2005


When I posted the pictures of the Lyrebird doyleys from Gina's collection, I did say I would explain them for those overseas. So HERE is a link to a page about them, HERE is another, and HERE is another (Hmmmm, limited vocabulary syndrome). :)

Lyrebirds fascinate me for crazypatch, in that I haven't settled yet on a motif for a very distinctive Australian piece of work - and this might be it. The Lyrebird is a little like the Peacock - beautiful in form, but directly opposite in colour. A wonderful mimic, but quite shy - very opposite to the vain Mr Peacock. It takes its name from the Lyre shape of the two main tailfeathers - and just occasionally my father used to find them in the bush and bring them home for us children. Not because they were "Liars" with their mimicry, as I thought when I was a child.

So I have been collecting motifs for a while, and would really like to use one in crazy patch. Somehow I am turned off Kangaroos and Koalas, but still have the Lyrebird in the back of my mind as a motif.

One day, maybe.

Egyptian - Found it!

The house is now returning to normal, since I have found the stash of Doyleys I was looking for (note spelling - I am thinking about it after carefully reading this one). That included even doing the vacuum cleaning (found three good beads under couch!).


This Doyley is a special one in my DF's collection (where else would you find a bloke with his own pinking shears???)

We think it was worked by his grandmother, but we don't know when. So it will always be a SIN (Stuff I'll never Sew - thanks Gina).

But I was wondering, Gina, now that I have found it - is it the same as the one in your collection????

Fabric size 22cm x 22cm

Semco Linen

I am a little disorganised this morning, so have not yet chosen what to post from Gina - there is so much there. But, before I do, I have realised I need to explain Semco. Being the age I am (and not saying what it is!) I started embroidery as a teenager in the 1960s, and just assumed the whole world used Semco patterns.

And I have been under that misaprehension until this morning. Because I got out my copy of Needlework and Associated Collectables, which mainly looks at Australian stuff, and was reminded it was produced at Black Rock, near Melbourne (in other words, relatively close to me). I now assume Americans, for example, have never heard of Semco.

I went off to the web found them in the end - and they are still producing embroidery designs, and I know Debra at Nan's Cupboard (sorry, no website), was showing me their new bead catalogue the other day.

There is a little bit of history about them (they were founded in 1907) HERE, but nothing about the huge factory - their Australian address is a unit in Sydney and they have a similar address in New Zealand. They were owned by Coats for about seventeen years, but went under new ownership in 2000. So I suspect they are now just importers. But it is nice to know our brand name is still out there. And there are a couple of interesting photos from 1932 in there.

Picture???? You want a picture, too????

Okay - here is a Crinoline Lady from Gina at Patra's Place, that fascinates me. Probably not a true Crinoline Lady, and she has some sort of other influence I cannot pin down. And I love her. I have to admit I don't (quelle horreur!!!) actually like Crinoline Ladies. They are a little bit too submissive for this feminist - haven't they realised if they are in their garden in that rigout they will get it grubby??? Now this lady - she has got a bit of attitude, and isn't going to be waiting around just looking pretty.

And, are those Fritillaries down at bottom right - however they are spelled??? I suspect she may be a plant collector and have grubby garden clothes for when she does get in her garden.

She's probably not even Semco. And I am off to check out that half-finished Egyptian doiley from my mother-in-law. I wonder if it was Semco????

Crinoline Lady 1

Pam's Quilt

Oh! Wow!

Sometimes I must have tunnel vision. When I was having a look at Pam's blog at Kitty Me Designs, I had a little bit of a poke around, and found a finished CQ wall-hanging by her on her attached webpage. But I didn't realise that further down her Forum (it is like Peggy's used to be), were very detailed posts of the process and closeup pictures.

So, if there is anyone else who has been there and, like me, didn't find the "Crazy Quilt - a Journey" section ....... Do go back and have another look. It really is wonderful. I love it when someone comes from another area of the fibre arts and finds CQ, and I love Pam's writing style as well.


Saturday, 14 May 2005

*groan* re webring


I have been fiddling with that webring stuff, and I cannot get it to work.

So, for the minute I am going to delete that webring and will come back to it some other day when I can work out the html codes and that sort of stuff. Think I need to read my "HTML for Dummies" again.

Unless there is anyone else out there who would like to have a go at establishing one. Gina and I would be there like a shot. :)

Linen Collectors who blog

The eagle-eyed may notice a new section in my side-bar referring people to "Linen Collectors who blog". This is because I am trying to work out how to create a webring - so there is not much there yet. And the whole web-ring may refer only to Gina and I, if we don't find anyone else. And this a really huge learning process for me.

Sooooooooooo - if there are any other linen-collecting bloggers out there who would like to join - keep an eye out while I work out how to work it. Would love to hear from you. We would be looking for blogs where people actually post information about their collecting, and hopefully pictures. Could be fun. :)

Stand by for more info (which may be a few days at the least!)

*waving to Gina*

DYB for Maureen3

The last DYB has arrived for me in what has been a wonderful series. This one is for Maureen 3 (often called M3, and many other things). DYBs (Doing Your Block) are a special form of Round Robin, where there is a group of six people, who each make six blocks. They are mailed off, and each person in turn totally embellishes one block, and you do the last one when they return home. Blocks are usually six inches, never more than eight inches, and you have a month to work on on them.

They make wonderful samplers of the design response from six different people. But M3 has come up with an even more sneaky option (she is like that!). She has made identical blocks, and then asked those that complete them to put them in a sealed bag. You are not allowed to look at the finished ones until you have finished yours.

So, this is the one from Maureen's two (I am the last one left) that I have chosen to work upon.

DYB Linda for Maureen

I chose this one as the long white satin section is slightly wider, and would make a nice spot for a feature. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it yet, so am starting with seams (I always do all seams), and a piece of lace from Gina.

It did start being a cream-on-cream, but then I just thought - I want to work a lyrebird outline or two - one might go on here.

And Maureen3 is on her honour not to look at these posts until she gets her DYBs back - because she is making me look at that sealed bag and not open it. (I have actually put it in my Mother's Keeping, and she is firmly instructed not to let me open it until I finish).

Lyrebirds from Gina

Here is another set of Doilies from Gina, who has the Patra's Place blog. I cannot wait until she gets her digital camera up and running again - although some of the smaller ones could be scanned - hint, hint. And then loaded onto your blog. :)

Gina has a few particular themes she likes - including Australiana, and these Lyrebirds fitted in well there. She has the same design worked by different people in different colours - and I have to say I like the first of these two better:

Lyrebird 2a

This is the second:

Lyrebird 2b

The first one comes from a Duchesse set (have I got that spelling right????), which has two of these smaller doilies with the larger one:

Lyrebird doiley

Firstly, some thoughts on how I copy stuff like this:

The first two images were too big for a scanner. So all I did was put them on the floor and stand above them, taking a flash photo with the digital camera, and later cropped it onscreen. I do a lot of my student work like this - it is quick, easy, and gives a good result with my middle-of-the-range camera. The real trick is being at right angles - in other words directly above it, not off to the side.

It was useful that the carpet was a dark brown, and non-reflective, but not essential.

For the smaller doiley, Gina scanned it and sent the scan to me. Which is probably a better result for seeing absolute detail of the stitches, and the colour may be a little better, and the whole a lot crisper - but both methods are okay for me. Just scanning only works with small items or to give detail from larger items. And some of the coronation/royalty stuff you have, Gina, would look stunning scanned.

That's one of Gina's other themes - Royalty. But I reckon we should all go over to Patra's Place and beg Gina to take photos ASAP of her 1930s (I think) aprons. Or else I will have to visit again with my camera. :)

Secondly, I thought these were the same Doiley, just with different edges added by the embroiderer. But, when I look at them on screen, it seems the outline is a little different (and possibly therefore earlier), for the highly-coloured one, as opposed to the Duchesse set. I had heaps of fun with just the quick look at this collection - getting serious about the various influences on the linen through the first half of the 1900s would be fascinating.

Thirdly - why Lyrebirds???? Even (for those overseas), what is a Lyrebird???

Well, that is a whole new post. Soon.

Friday, 13 May 2005

Kitty Me Designs

Pam over at Kitty Me Designs has started a blog and a journey in Crazy Quilting. I think it is a blog (I'm not expert on social software, just this one is slightly different in format to what I am familiar with).

But I am sure there is some interesting stuff developing on there - You are bookmarked, Pam!

More Fans from Gina

Here are the other two fans from the Gina's stunning collection.

Fan doiley 2

Fan doiley 1

The more I look at the two similar fans I posted yesterday, the more I reckon they are the same Apple Blossom from my Mother's 1947 Semco Supper Cloth. Perhaps it was the same designer, at the same time.

I could get really hooked on this study of embroidery from the 1920s to the 1950s ...... And Gina - Laurel tells me she has a fair collection - especially focusing on Bluebirds. Maybe one day there will be a linen-collector's list/society/webring.

And, while we are talking fans - there are some lovely outlines in J.Marsha Michler's Motifs for Crazy Quilts.

Now - what will be the next series from Gina that I post????

Peacock Block #21

I am still working away on the Great Peacock UFO - I really want to finish it, but have a few round robins arriving, so need to work on them for a while. But, as I get near the finish, it really is calling out to me just to work through and finish the whole thing. Which also means I am not experimenting - I am just using a few similar seam treatments and beavering away joining sets of blocks.

Peacock Block 21

This block is a number of offcuts just cobbled together to make a block to carry the motif. It has been dyed with Oze-craft dyes and then embellished. I extended the branch that appears on the motif out behind the bird (using Coral stitch), to try and make it look a little less like a Motif just plonked on there.

I really like the paste fake gems on the tail, but didn't have enough of the darker blues and greens to do the whole job - but I still like the effect.

And I have discovered my reel of green Sulky machine thread that I am using more and more - it is what I used to sew down the tail.

The flower bottom left is a failed experiment, now with a red paste gem in the centre - suddenly it was exactly right, and is being used to break up a long joining line.

Thursday, 12 May 2005

Laurel's Memory Block

Some of you may remember Laurel was making a block in memory of her Mother, using mainly her precious sewing items.

It is now finished, and has become a machine cover, which is most appropriate with all the sewing-related items it shows. And is something in everyday use and view.

Laurel's machine cover

This is a beautiful but useful piece that enchanted us all when we saw it this afternoon - you have can a look at a larger view HERE. Don't forget to use the enlarge icon, or click with your mouse on the picture.

Thank You, Laurel, for allowing me to share it with others.

Fans from Gina's Collection

Now that I have had a good look at the images from Gina's Collection (Gina runs a blog called Patra's Place), I don't know where to start. So, I thought I would start with some fans, as there are a lot of Fan Round Robins running - these two fascinated me with the two different interpretations of the same pattern.

Here is one:

Fan doiley 3

and here is the other:

Fan doiley 4

And, since I am collecting Apple Blossom patterns, I especially loved these.

More tomorrow!