Monday, 31 January 2005

Comments on Posts

I have been thinking over what Sharon, the Queen of bloggers, has written in her blog where she spells out that replies to comments on her blog are following the comments, as that is like a continuing conversation. Which I can appreciate – but in some ways that does not work for me.

For example, in my last post about cords, I wanted to add a photo, and I don’t think I could do that in comments. And I was adding a heap of extra information, so I decided to do it as a new post. Although I do think if I had my brain in gear I should have put the pattern details for the Lily of the Valley in comments.

I am just learning this blogging thing, and I find what I do is have a quick look at a blog I am reading to see if there is a new post, and if there is, I read it. I haven’t learned all this science yet of RSS feeds, or whatever it is. So, with my reading style, I miss all the continuing conversations, which are hidden away, unless I go looking for them. I cannot hope to memorise things like, and think like – oooh, there were no comments on that post last time, now there are five, must have a little look-see and find out what is in there. So comments are something I tend to miss out on – although I must do a few more replies to things on mine.

And I am reminded how evidence is given in court in Australia – there is evidence in chief (the posts), and then cross-examination (like the comments). You can throw in anything you like in the cross-examination. Then, finally, there is re-examination – by the person who helped lead the witness through the evidence in chief – and there can be no new material admitted in re-examination – it has to stick to things raised in the cross-examination. So, I know it is a terrible metaphor, but I am sort of going that way. I will try and get a chance to acknowledge comments, but if I am leading with new material, even if it arises from comments, I will do it as a new post. And I guess everyone is different – and as long as we say how we are doing it (and I appreciate Sharon letting us know where the interesting little comments are on her blog), we will be forgiven for being different.

When I grow up, I want to be like Sharon and her blog.

And all this rambling is to hide the fact I haven’t done any sewing – except there was a bit of tatting done for a fan last night while I was watching the tennis. The garden is winning at the minute.

Sunday, 30 January 2005


Sharon was asking if my blog is helping me with my UFOs.

Time will tell. This is not a good month to check - being holidays, with more time. At the start it really made me work in an organised way, but now the RRs have hit again, and two a month takes a fair bit out of me - plus the Tsunami block. And another project (the Suffragette block) has a deadline. And I lost a bit of the month with finishing my Journal (paper, published, history-type. Real life work, non-cyber).

But it makes me want to work on UFOs in an organised way, so I have stages I can show off to say they are finished. But I am firmly prioritised (built into me, I am the punctual type). First I do my RR commitments (but I very easily put them aside if they are early) and they have to be finished before I work on the UFOs. My biggest challenge is not going off and starting things that are NOT RRs or UFOs - like, right now, I want to make more mobile phone covers.

And that poor naked block from the Peacock Wall Hanging is just creeping lower and lower down the pile.
Naked block
So here it is, just to remind me. But then, I haven't had this blog for quite a month yet. And I have done a fair bit on this block, but not quite ready to show it off. But Miracles may happen.

Making cords

Nickie was asking about the cord on the Mobile Phone cover

Well, when I am making something in a hurry, I just grab anything I can that will bulk up. This one was two strands of #8 #5 DMC perle in green and two in bone, one strand of green ribbon floss, one strand of gold ribbon floss and one strand of gold crochet wool. I think it was the bone together, the crochet wool with the green ribbon floss and the gold ribbon floss with the two green threads. But what goes with what doesn't matter - just each of the three "cords" in the plait (maybe you call them a braid) is made up of a few bits. Whatever I can get my hands on, that tones in with the piece, but with gold for sparkle. Gold is a bit like a universal donor (in blood types) - it goes with anything.

Here's another cord I have made, although it is probably a bit hard to see the detail (and about as close as you will get to a picture of me on this blog!)

That cord is one plait of a commercial purple cord, one plait of green rat-tail with a gold knitting wool and one plait of the first cord I made, which wasn't bulky enough for the work. That was a twist (ie not a plait, a double twist) of purple embroidery threads (DMC stranded) and blue and gold metallic ribbon flosses. I just kept going until it got bulky enough for me. That one would have been too bulky for the mobile cover, but I reckon two of those plaits on it as a double twist would have been brilliant - but I was too impatient.

Nickie also asked about the Lily of the Valley, which is actually a Bluebell, that I want to do. It is one of the Semco Minis - their kit no 6020.0025. But I am just going to substitute cream and white for the two blues and it will be perfect Lily of the Valley. I reckon (says the botanist in me) that the leaves are too ovate for bluebells anyway - but it may be a different one to the species I grow.

Saturday, 29 January 2005

Oh My Sainted Aunt!!!!!

Oh My Sainted Aunt is Right!!!!

I just did a Google Search to see if my blog came up on Google. It does, along with two other blogs also called Chloe's Place. One of the posters started at six days of age.

And a couple of web pages of the same name - one belonging to a rather cute Daschaund.

But at least 95% of the hits were for an "adult movie" freely available on the internet, with the same name. On the little bit I looked at (ie one line on Google, I wasn't going any closer!) .....

It would appear to have absolutely nothing to do with Crazy Patch.

Oh, My Sainted Aunt!!!!!!!

*Retires to a corner to stitch and consider options!!!*

Catherine's DYB

Now, having got the mobile phone cover out of my system, I am back on Catherine's DYB. This is a work in progress, and you can see it HERE. Wish I could load direct from flickr, but I have a little anomaly with java that I think is stopping me.

This is a DYB block, and Catherine is sending out a challenge with 3D blocks that are irregular in shape. Have been reading on one of the USA-based lists about joining things without seams - you can put fabric between and then applique down (with some sewing and flipping if you like) on the strips of fabric in between, so the applique overlaps onto the blocks. That MIGHT be the way to go here. But no doubt Catherine will come up with something original.

Back at it - choices:

Continue Catherine's DYB
Put Lily of the Valley on the Suffragette block
Work on Chris's Dragons

Oh Help! decisions, decisions, decisions!

Mobile Phone Cover III

Just a few more thoughts on that mobile cover (with the benefit of sleep, and a cup of coffee!).

Firstly, the dimensions of the block, before making up (ie with seam allowance) is about 10cm x 14 cm. So I had to cut about 2cm off what was previously going to be a stubby needlebook. It was done as a RR block with my class (Margaret, if you are reading this, I really hope the green flystitch I had to cut off wasn't your work! If it was - sorry).

Secondly, although the "height" is fine, I would probably make it about 1.5cm narrower - to make the phone fit a little more securely - at the moment it slides out a bit too easily.

I just had to grab whatever fabric was at hand (not much) to make it up - I chose felt for the back to give some protection, but that is what has made the corners so rounded - I don't mind them, but a CWA judge would sure mark me down for them!

However the felt is white, and I live on the corner of two unsealed roads, and my car is always full of dust. I think white may be a very poor choice for this cover, and there will be a new one in autumn tones, fast. I do have some brown suede I am considering for backing - but then, I might CQ both sides too.

I didn't have any cord handy to make the strap, so did a quick plait of perle cotton, two ribbon floss and some gold crochet yarn. With time on my side I would have made a double length and then twisted them to make a more substantial cord. Or made one in Kumihimo. Or made three plaits and then plaited them again.

For the ends of the cord I just knotted them and sewed the knots against the sides at the top. I think there is a way I can work out later with beads and cords so it can be either a short or a long strap, as required. Later. Later. Much, much later.

Friday, 28 January 2005

Mobile Phone Cover II

Here it is - whipped up in a hurry (can't you tell), except embellishing for this block went on for a long time.
Mobile Purse1

Now I think I will wear it for a while before making any more, to check it works. But I do like the concept - and they should be quick and easy to make. In a number of colours. Need a purple one, and a black one, and a Victoria one, and a brown one (shows less dirt)

You may never see me again! (Especially if I don't go and cook dinner!)

Mobile Phone Cover

My trusty old mobile phone has died, so I had to get a new one in a hurry. And this one is seriously tiny. 10cm x 4cm. I need something to carry it around in, and I think it just might have to be a CQ amulet bag, around my neck. I have a lovely embellished block intended for a needlebook from a class RR that just might be what I want. All I need is a cord .......

Sure makes a serious alternative to needlebooks for Round Robins

Just imagine - a whole serious of quick amulet bags to hang around my neck, in different colours. Want to go and make now, but need to do some other serious work (not to mention cooking dinner!)

Wednesday, 26 January 2005

Australia Day continues ......

Thinking further about Symbols of Australia that can be incorporated in CQ.

I do like that fabric that is often to be found in Spotlight of the early Australian food labels. I often cut them up and send them off as individual motifs in the AUS/USA swap. Some of them are wonderful, such as the swaggie with the kangaroo tea label, and one of the jam ones. A lot of them are dead-set boring too, so I usually send a couple of them, to make up for their lack of attraction.

But while they would make a good, arty contribution to a kitchen CQ, they don't really go with lace (except maybe that jam label).

So we're back to wildflowers. I cannot wait to find a reason to use that Lazy Daisy/Fly Stitch combination in pink I was using the other day to do Pink Heath, which is my state emblem.

And, of course, there is always Wattle - our National Emblem. Just, somehow, I cannot see an emu, or even a kangaroo, as something I would be wanting to incorporate into my own CQ.

Enough rambling - I am off to do some real work. Public Holidays??? Bah! Humbug!

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, our national day, so my mind is exercising itself trying to think how nationalistic symbols fit into CQ. I know that whenever I have to embellish something and need to put an Australian symbol on, I now tend to go for the old threepence or sixpence with the coat of arms on it - the kangaroo and emu are recognisable, the material is silver and the simple circle is elegant and easy to incorporate.

When we have the annual Aus-USA swap I something find charms of Australian animals, but wonder how usable they are in CQ for our sisters in the USA. More often, I have been fabric stamping images originally by Ida Rentoull Outhwaite, as some thing Australian. But hardly sort of "iconic" Australian. But there are some other wonderful illustrators on that website (although not necessarily Australian - amazing how easy it is to get side-tracked)

The problem is - while kangaroos are recognisable, they hardly belong on Victorian CQ. And while I could work in/send fabrics in the orange/brown ochre colours of the inland - I am not from there, I am from the green and purple part of the country. (The Great Dividing Range starts just by my back gate, if you are wondering how long a bow I have to draw for the purple)

There - see what I mean? Put the snow on it in winter, and I live in a purple, green and white landscape. (*Groans* heard offstage, left)

Anyways, where am I heading???? The picture above is to make up for the fact I cannot find my Lyrebird Cross-stitch pattern to post here. The Lyrebird is the Australian equivalent of a peacock - beautiful tail etc, but shy and a symphony is browns, not a showoff like the peacock. But a wonderful mimic. I grew up in the bush and remember chainsaws arriving. It took us a while to work out why we could hear them on a Sunday - it was the Lyrebirds.

So here, for Australia Day, is a little bit about Lyrebirds

Now, what are other Australian symbols that fit with CQ???? Gum Leaves? May Gibbs with her Snugglepot and Cuddlepie??? It is hard to find illustrations on the net of her work, I think because they are so well controlled by the charity they were willed to. But in the meantime, it is good to see some Cross Stitch Kits becoming available.

Anyone got any other thoughts on how to incorporate "Australianism" in CQ???

(And, totally from left field - my spell check wanted to replace Snugglepot with knuckleball. Go figure!)

Monday, 24 January 2005

Dragons Flying Around

Today Melody posted some photographs of my blocks in the Dragon Round Robin, which are now on Peggy's Forum. I was so glad to see them, as I haven't seen photos of how they have been going, although I did see Chris's stunning work on Clementina before she left.

Cannot wait for them to come home again so they can become another UFO. I think I will be making them up into a Dragon vest, but I am still not totally sure. When I did the piecing I left my options open. A shoulder bag is also a distinct possibility.

[edited to remove link as Forum no longer available]

Sunday, 23 January 2005

Waste Canvas

Ooops, should have explained the Bluebell in the Tsunami block a little bit more for those not used to me. It was sewn using waste canvas, and there is a little bit about how to use it HERE

But basically Waste Canvas (sometimes wrongly called "Tearaway"), is tacked on top of the fabric. You then cross stitch through it and pull out the waste canvas, leaving the design behind, like this:

It is wonderful for crossing lines in crazy patch, and especially for going across lace. Even more so when you have good contrast (which wasn't brilliant in the Tsunami Bluebell)

Semco Cross Stitch Minis, Tsunami block and UFOs

Now that I have had a good sleep, I am more ready to contemplate my Tsunami block and think what next.

The Tsunami block, more by good luck than good management, turned out to be reflective of a tropical night on an Indian Ocean Island (palm tree in mother-of-pearl and the threepence as a silver full moon - with an Australian coat-of-arms). The peaceful, regular blue ripples of a lagoon under the full moon. The tatting represents the earthquake away from the lagoon, white lace the confusion of waves going in all directions.

So probably the English bluebell is a bit out of place - unless you decide it is a rare tropical orchid.

But I had wanted to work it for a while, and I needed to break up that big section. It is a Semco Cross Stitch Mini, and I got several at my local needlework shop for $2.95 - they may be a little more elsewhere, but not all that much more. The thing I like about it (and it is the first time I have tried one) is that the chart is exceptionally large and clear. Sometimes you get little kits like this and can hardly read the charts. I have only worked about half of the design, but there appears to be plenty of threads. And I really, really want to convert this to Lily of the Valley somewhere, but haven't got a prospect coming up in the near future.

Hmm, or have it??? It could be just what I want for my next Suffragette block, which I need to get done for the Quilts of Unity. And soon.

So, it is back to thinking What Next?

Dragon Block - I thought it had to be done by 1st Feb, but looking at my chart - that is when it is supposed to arrive. Whew! Has to be finished on 1 March. Move it down the list.

Suffragette Block - needs to be done some time in February

Catherine's DYB - needs to mail 15th Feb

Fan blocks - mailing date 1st March.

Peacock UFO - no deadline, move down to bottom of list. It will make me work on things with other deadlines if I know I am not allowed to touch it until I knock a few over.

And this is the only way I can manage the RRs and UFOs - look carefully at what is due next, and go for it. But don't move the UFO down all the time.

Off to work on Catherine's DYB - the other Semco mini is just perfect for it. But maybe just a little bit of Suffragette Lily of the Valley on the side.

Saturday, 22 January 2005

Tsunami Block finished

Have finished the Tsunami block - and finally got to load it onto Flickr.

Tsunami finished

Now - which UFO / RR was it next????

Stitch Combination #2

Here is another treatment of Feather Stitch on my Tsunami block. I MAY have seen this elsewhere as flowers in Brazilian, but I THINK the seam adaptation is mine.
Stitch comb2

First I worked the Feather Stitch in green perle, then I worked from my finishing point along the lace, adding a Lazy Daisy around each arm on that side. I do this often with Feather Stitch. Then I came back down the Feather stitch on the other side adding a small straight stitch away from the arm, but in line with it.

Next, I took a large tapestry needle (needs a large eye to punch a large hole, and blunt for lacing) and threaded it with Anchor Aristata - but any thick thread works - Colourstreams silks "Exotic Lights" are good too. Come up just to the right of the arm proper, go under the arm, around and through the straight stitch, back around through the arm, through the straight stitch again and back through the fabric under the arm.

And move on to the next arm. If you are using the Aristata and it starts to unravel, snip the ravel off, and it will last better. Once it starts it is murder!

Stitch Combination #1

I'm working away on my Tsunami block, and have settled on this stitch combination - right out of my head, but no doubt someone else has invented it first.

Stitch Comb1

First up I did the green Feather stitch, and then for each flower I first worked a Lazy Daisy with a longer than usual end stitch (you can see one at the top). Then I did a Fly stitch where the bottom part (the leg on the "Y") started at the top of the inside of the Lazy Daisy and went down again near where the flower joined the green stem. This fills up the Lazy Daisy.

I like it! If I was really good I would do two Pistil Stitches in yellow at the end of each flower as well for stamens - but I do want to get this block finished.

Tsunami Quilt blocks

Not a lot of stitching been going on here over the past few days, as I continue to battle with a paper (ie not thread or cyber) deadline. But hopefully some soon. Faced with a DYB, a Round Robin (the Last Dragon), the Tsunami Block and the Peacock UFO, I have instead been tatting for fan edgings. Go Figure! And with the amount of tennis to watch, I would have thought some stitching would creep in, but no such luck.

More of my time has been spent in my garden.

However I have had time to find pictures of some of the other Tsunami Blocks, and they are beautiful.

So I think that is what I am off to work upon next. When I have finished clicking on the names under those blocks and surfing around all the lovely work all of those others have produced, quite apart from their Tsunami blocks. I might be gone for days!

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Where I Work

One of the things that fascinates me about the web is looking at people's workspaces. I did see a list of URLs mentioned on a list somewhere that consolidated photographs of everyone's workspaces, but do you think I can find it now? Nope.

Anyway, this is how I work when I am piecing (which is quite different to when I am embellishing). Piecing is a solitary, hectic time, embellishing is a social, talkative time.

I piece in the living area, standing at a cutting table with my 1918 Singer.

The ironing board is behind me, although I can put a small, tabletop board on the cutting board as well.

And the reason I piece here is the view. It is a little dry at the minute, as this is the bulb bed, but the birds, like Rosellas and Lorrikeets are there all the time.

You cannot quite see it in this - put my front gate is just behind the tree. Must try and work out how to personalise this template to add it - then you are coming in through my purple front gate to visit with me.

Multiple Piecing

When I was piecing my blocks for the DYB, I also had a play with multiple block piecing, where I drew four blocks on a large piece of backing, with a double seam allowance between them, and put my five-sided piece in the middle of all four blocks. Then I pieced around it (and it was messy!) as if it was one big block.

There was a little bit of latitude though, as there was a "margin for ends" in the margin in the middle.

Then I put tacking lines in to show where the four blocks were, and trimmed back where I have yet to add fans.

This is what I ended up with. I cut out the block from top left, and it has already gone away (after a fan was added), to go in a DYB. Now I just need to add fans to the corners of the three blocks, and this rather odd-shaped block is going off in the Fan Round Robin.

So it would also be an option for people in the Fan Round Robin to send four blocks like this, either separate or one on piece of backing, as long as they do not total more than a 14 inch by 14 inch block (ie four seven inch blocks). There is a lot to be said for working with standard size blocks!!!!

So I will end up with nine blocks for a wall hanging. Six will be by individual people (one person per block), and the other three will be worked on by five different people, who can work wherever they like. It sure will make an interesting wall hanging.


Not a lot to report today, as I am still in the middle of that real-life, paper-based deadline. And starting work on getting a Fan Round Robin going. So I am thinking fans everywhere. Love the ones on The Frankie Files. Thanks Sharon for that link.

I'm off for a long country drive now, which will end up with fish and chips at the wharf with the seagulls. That might be the aim of the drive, but it means I will get at least two pieces of tatting done to go on RRs (Not, I hasten to add, while driving the car). Now, what colours ......

Monday, 17 January 2005

Fan Blocks for DYB

These are the six Fan Blocks I have just sent off in the DYB (Doing Your Block). When they come back to me, five will have been embellished, each by a different person. I will then do the one that was least liked. *grin*

There are still three more to go, which will be sent off in a normal Round Robin - to make a Wall Hanging of nine. In this set I was experimenting with the size and number of pieces, and how to top the fans with braid or lace.

Round Robin Rush Hour

It's a bit hectic here at the minute, with Round Robins on all sides. I have had Chris's Dragon Bag arrive, which is the last piece I have to work on in the Dragon RR before my own piece comes home. And today, as one finishes another starts - Catherine's blocks in the DYB (Doing Your Block) RR have arrived - and just like Catherine - they are verrrrry different. That is the fun thing with DYBS.

And I have finally got my own DYBs all pieced, and they were mailed off today. So I am going to have heaps of pictures to post. But, in the meantime, while I was piecing I pieced a block for the Tsunami Quilt, from the same palette of fabrics as I am using for my DYB.

When I am piecing I often forget to add braids, ribbon and lace as I piece, even though I want to. For this one, which has to happen in a hurry, I needed a kick-start with the embellishing, so I made myself piece a "something" in each time I did a seam. So I am fairly happy with it, except for that large patch at bottom left. I think I might still need to put something on there to break that up a bit.

But apart from that - I am ready to start embellishing. The poor old naked block is going to have to go on the back-burner for a while.

Sunday, 16 January 2005

Another Hint

At the Retreat in Canberra in Oct 2004, everyone wrote down hints, and these are now on Sharon's site. And now I have another one.

I have spent a good part of the day finishing the six blocks I needed to have mailed out on Friday for a DYB – so I have been doing a lot of piecing. In the past I have kept the tiniest scraps, but never in an organised way. So now I have realised if I have two ice-cream containers on my cutting table, the rubbish goes in one and the tiny scraps go in the other. I put a lid on it, and it comes out again next time I am piecing. And the time after that, and the time after that.

And, when I want to make something really small, like a broach, or maybe even a needlebook, I have all the pieces pre-cut and ready to choose from.

Saturday, 15 January 2005


This blog is developing a little mind of its own - I made a mistake in the date on a post, and coupled with changing it to Australian time in between, it now keeps resorting into the wrong order, and I don't have time to get my brain around changing it. So it is sort of in order, and sort of not - some of the new posts are towards the bottom.

That's life - if I don't tinker with it any more it should be right after that

Back in a couple of days!!!!

Signing Things

I'm still off working on the NB (Naked Block), and planning if this will be the place where I have my hidden signature for the wall hanging.

My hidden signature is reasonably new, and isn't so much "hidden" as "not obvious". I wonder if others do things like this - put in a something special to just them?

Mine is my initials, which are actually LB, and not C.something. So my signature looks like this:

CQ sig

It is a script L, finishing in a Bee - not bad for the daughter of an apiarist, I thought *grin*

So, apart from serious thoughts like that, no stitching yesterday, and not a lot in the next few days, except maybe to get the next lot of fan blocks pieced. Have to - deadline passed me like a train, while I was dealing with another.

And the weather has gone cool and misty rain, so I really want to garden - stitching is going to have to wait a couple of days, although I believe a dragon might have arrived recently in the mail ......

Friday, 14 January 2005

"Seeing Things"

I wonder if other people out there "see" things that are not there????

Like Dragons in Clouds.

Previously I'd only struck one example of "seeing things" in CQ

Landscape by Jenny

This is a section of a landscape by my friend Jenny, from a couple of years ago. Suddenly, looking at it, we realised there was a serpent's head coming in as a ridge from the right, complete with tongue. We still think it is weird, sort of a sleeping Guardian that decided it was going to put itself in the picture.

Well, I am now working on the Naked Block. In between piecing DYB blocks. On the NB I wanted to break down the solid light blue before I started stitching. So, in experimental mode, I have been dabbing on ink from a fabric stamping pad, and then I thought I would add a few rubber stamps, but sort of only bits of them, so they didn't take the eye too much.

And, this is what I got:

Peacock Block 17 detail

It is supposed to be the top part of a rose. But, combined with some stitches that were already there, if you look at it, suddenly there is the head and neck of a scrawny old peacock with a hooked beak and heaily-lidded eye, looking in from the side.

I have been debating whether to try and highlight him with thread, but think I will lose him if I do that. I will just leave him there, as the Hidden Guardian of the Wall Hanging, and make sure I don't sew over him.

You can see him, can't you??? It isn't just me, is it????

Well, even if it is, he's staying there, just like that!

You Asked for It!!!!!

Gentle Reader,

If you suffer a sudden shock as a result of seeing this post, it is all Sharon's fault. She is the one who asked for the close-up.


You want to get even closer?????

They are in flannel, with non-slip stuff on the bottom, from a commercial pattern - "My Favourite Things Pattern Designs" #037. And I should acknowledge the original genius for this idea was Sue from Ouyen (because acknowledging where we get ideas from is something that is rather important for me)

The Bras re-appear

There is much excitement around my online community of friends, as an article on our CQ Bras has appeared in "Homespun", a national magazine here (Thanks Melody!).

And I am also working on those that are local (six of them) appearing in a local embroidery exhibition at the end of February, and possibly getting a few down from other makers - two have been promised so far. These were made for our National Retreat in Canberra in Oct 2004, and can be seen on Sharon's site

In the meantime, here is my Bra - in Purple, Green and White (the Suffragettes' colours). The background is a tablecloth I dyed purple (using Dylon) that I wore to the formal dinner (along with a dress now cut up, and my CQ slippers).

CQ Bra

I call it "Breastplate for a Modern Boadacea", and there is even a silk print of a stained glass window of Boadacea from the back of a playing card (can you follow all that?). The two oval plates are reminiscent of armour (and there to easily cover raw joins on the clips) - they are actually detachable broaches that I sometimes wear, as miniature CQs. Other odd things on there include a silk print of a suffragette card and a silk print of a scan of a enamel pansy suffragette broach I found in a junk shop that I often wear.

It really is amazing what you can do with silk prints if you don't limit yourself to image sources.

CQ slippers??? did I hear you say. Actually, I have never photographed and recorded them - must do it one day. Hang on - I know where there is a picture of my feet!

CQ shoes2

I know it doesn't show - but I was wearing purple socks!

Thursday, 13 January 2005


Well, here are four of the fan blocks for the DYB - real ife is interferring, and I won't get to make any more until at least the weekend.

Basically I settled on jewel colours plus black, but at this point have been avoiding using black in the actual fans. And, of course there is more purple, but it isn't showing up. A good start, but still more to do.

No-one out there knows how to get the iron-on gunk off the back of a motif, do they???? Have a feather motif I want to put on the wall-hanging, but it has that thick, rubbery stuff on the back, andI don't want to iron it onto the block. All suggestions welcome.


My DH, bless his little cotton socks, has just reminded me that UFO, in his previous workplace, was a common acronym for "Unbelievedly Flat Out"

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

Present from Peggy

Imagine my joy when I got to open my mail on Sunday, and found a wonderful doiley in there from Peggy, with a stunningly executed miniature peacock thereon! Peggy is having a cleanup, and thought I might like it. Yes!!!! Thank You, Peggy.

When it arrived it was white, and I didn't really want white in this wall hanging, so what more appropriate than I hit it with the Ozecraft dyes from Peggy. And I am really happy with it. This is probably the section I will use, as a filler between blocks - not sure where yet - somewhere in the middle.

Peacock Doiley

I was a bit hesitant about using the Ozecraft at first, as I didn't want to overdye the peacock. So I thoroughly saturated the doiley, and gave it a really dilute wash. Then I got game and started putting neat stuff in the background. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

This picture actually shows the embroidery larger than it is. The exquisite little peacock is just 5cm (2 inches) from head to tail.


Finally back on the other computer, so can upload pics again. These are the two sets of blocks I have joined, plus the fifth and final block, at the bottom.
Peacock DYBs
Peacock DYBs
Peacock DYB

Top: DYBs by Mary from Norfolk Island and Chris, now from Victoria. Mary's I pieced with a print from the internet, and on Chris's I was experimenting with fans.

Middle: DYBs by Deanna, from Victoria, and Patti, from Qld. This was Deanna's first work in a RR, so I am honoured to have it. I still have my first piece of CQ, and find it fascinating to go back and reveiw it every now and then. Again, on Patti's, I was experimenting with piecing fans. I thnk I put the black tatting on before I sent off the block, but I love the way Patti extended the points with the heart beads. And the way that she has the green flowers linking from one space to another.

Bottom: DYB by me

Ssssssh! Don't tell anyone, but these are all now one, joined strip. Yayyyyyy! Major UFO milestone to celebrate. It gives me some idea of the finished size of the wall hanging, too, as this strip is its full height.

I'm still working on the naked block, but with the ideas I have, it will be a while.

It's getting hotter - need Fans

Gentle Reader, I have never been a sane patchworker. My mother smokes and was a sane patchworker. I do neither, so I think there is a moral there somewhere.

So, I have been going quite demented piecing fans into my current blocks. Aaaaagh – set angles, pieces the same size. It is sane quilting. :(

I started piecing them onto the foundation, and it was okay, but not as good as I wanted. First I tried going from one side to the other, then from the middle going outwards.

So then I cut the pieces, and joined them before I put them onto the block. Which let me put the lace on as well, before I put them on the block. So I am now happy with the process, although it is fiddly, being six inch blocks.

So, where am I? Three of the six I need to get done before 4pm are done, and I’m running out of steam. And it is getting hotter. But at least that means the tomatoes will ripen. I’ve noticed a few of the CQ people I talk with are also avid gardeners – although one describes herself as having a “black thumb”. I couldn’t exist without my garden, so it is going to creep in here. But not today – too hot.

Wonder if the wonderful Maureen B will take a choice of three blocks instead of six. Cannot do it, though, as I am running that DYB. Back to the machine.

Gonna be a hot one.

Was woken early by the cockies in the big redgum – they are squawking up an absolute riot. Today is due to be 37 degrees, which is about as hot as it gets for here. Summer has taken its time coming, but it looks like it is here at last.

Which is my perfect excuse for staying inside, and not gardening. And piecing the last four of the six blocks I need for the next DYB (Doing Your Block) Round Robin, that have to be in the mail in three days’ time. These ones are off on a new future UFO – Ooooh, a FUFO, not even a WIP or a SWIP.

I am experimenting with piecing fans in CQ, and each one will have one fan, and the whole thing is jewel colours, with black, and some white lace. Similar to what I did for Christmas ornies – sort of Victorian. Little bit of purple, but moving away from it a bit. But the other thing is, as soon as I have done these, I need to do something for the Fan RR that will be in March or April. I was thinking of piecing four six inch blocks on the one piece of foundation, so it can be cut after the RR to give me four more blocks the same size as the DYB blocks, and the could all go together easily in the one wall hanging.

But that would be ten blocks – which just don’t work. Visualising two rows of five, and I don’t like it. So maybe, just maybe, if I piece the four blocks, and then cut out one, embellish it up and send it off for the Tsunami quilt ……

That means I would be sending around RR block in a funny shape. But what I would get back would fit in easily with the DYB blocks. And it could be fun to see how different DYB blocks (where each person works only on the one block), would be to the normal RR ones, where people can wander all over the place and build one on top of another. With all blocks made from the same palette.

Hmmm – might be a fun FUFO

Tuesday, 11 January 2005

Some progress, some not.

Well, I am still thinking about that naked block. But I am moving along with joining other blocks. I did have a picture to show off, but it isn't working, and I am on the wrong computer. So, you don't get to see them for a day or two.

I think the thing with UFOs as large as this one, you need to have small, achieveable goals along the way to tick off. Very soon I am going to join all five blocks in the strip down the righthand side - that will be a major achievement. There wasn't going to be a long seam in it originally, but I ended up doing extra DYB blocks when someone dropped out at the last minute. So, look as much as I can, I cannot see a way to put the extra blocks in without one long seam. And I don't suppose it matters all that much anyway. I can just find a few more things to put over it to break up the line.

Monday, 10 January 2005

Music to stitch by

Stitching away, not a thing on TV (non-ratings period), especially late at night. Need music. Wonder what other people stitch to???? Quiet, relaxing music, or upbeat stuff. Classical or stuff I don't even know the name of. Need to research some of my own CDs to see what works. :)

Of Bear and DYBs

Still working on naked block (read - thinking about it. May have a better idea how to darken back the bright blue), but in the meantime, here is a picture of two of the other blocks. I joined them yesterday and embellished the joing seam.
Peacock DYBs

The block on the left is one by Rina, in the first DYB we ever had - we think it was even a world first. The one on the right is by my dear friend bear (an internet friend I haven't even met yet). I have pieced all the blocks in this wall hanging, and embellished some. Bear stands alone as someone outside DYBs and RRs, who did this embellishing just for me - with a peacock with a fair dose of attitude in the centre. And bear also does stunning silk ribbon embroidery, and all sorts of other clever things, as you can see in the block. And I'm not sure that I have had a chance to show it off before, so here it is.

And that is also the thing about DYBs (Doing your Block). I pieced the six blocks each time, but then each one was embellished by a different person (while I was doing one for each of them). So I am doing very simple seams, so as to not intrude on their designs. When they went aorund, I asked for peacock theme, and some fascinating stuff came back.

And, experimenting with some different threads. This time it was DMC perle #12 crochet cotton - I have heaps, being a tatter. I love their black. But the rest of the colours I have are more, well, murky. I wonder if they have different ranges in different years - there is a lot of pewter and dusky pink in what I have. And Sulky metallic machine thread - it comes out of the needle almost as well as my favourite, Madeira metallic machine thread.

So do enjoy these - I am off to the naked block again, and the greatest UFO of them all - my garden!

Sunday, 9 January 2005

Naked block, here I come

Have been to the market (got two hand-carved mother-of-pearl palm tree ear-rings for 50 cents), and taken some photos. There is a more accurate picture now at the start of the blog as to what the wall hanging looked like as I started blogging.

And I have taken the naked block off the big UFO, and I am off to work on it. So I might be gone for a few days. This is what it looks like now:
Naked block

The central motif is from a pillow case that Rosie sent to me, so it was originally white. I threw it in some Dylon dye to try and colour it (but not lose the peacocks altogether). It is still a bit light, so I might actually try dabbing it with Ozecraft dye.

And there are some excess bits of piecing on the back I am going to need to keep - am going to need filler bits everywhere - this wall hanging has grown like Topsy.

Only other thing I have to remember is that I cannot put too much on top right - there is a motif of a feather to go across there. Sure I got three of them when a shop closed down - very expensive, but where else do you see large motifs of peacock feathers. I have the two "normal" ones, but am sure I got one from a white peacock as well. Just cannot find it in my stash.

This block was deliberately made without much in the way of patterns in the fabric so that I can play with stitch combinations. I am actually enjoying using Presencia #12 crochet cotton, and making the stitches do the talking. But maybe just a leetle bit of Colourstreams silk .......

See you in a couple of days ......

Ho Humm

Not a lot more to report this morning, as I got so excited by what I finished yesterday that I posted twice. And, probably, it is a case of deciding what I will do next. Probably should take a proper pic of it as it is now, as that one in the first post isn't quite right.

Then it is a case of deciding if I attack a naked block (Rosie sent me a peacock I pieced into a block, but havne't embellished), or take the easy way out and just do some seams between two blocks. Or work on my monochrome block, which has a deadline attached to it, but is now boring.

Hmmmm, seams will give me a quick fix, naked block is a major undertaking, but it has some nice, plain spaces to try some intricate stitch combinations, and I am into them at the minute. ....... And DH wants to go to the Saturday market - I got a lovely Balinese silver peacock there not all that long ago .....

Okay, get organised ...... need a picture first :) Then, if there is any coffee left, it is the naked block. I feel empowered. :)

Saturday, 8 January 2005

Getting Serious

Okey dokey - apart from remembering another major UFO (there is a Dragon Vest out there in a RR that is about to come home), I have made a serious start on the Peacocks.

Peacock DYBs
At this stage I am working on joining lots of double blocks, and occasionally finishing a block. In this case, the one on the left was a DYB I had to finish, and the one on the right is by Maureen B in a DYB. And it was a bit smaller. So I am going to just add sections of fabric that tone in, and then work on breaking the main lines. Maureen gave me the unusual, Peacock-type button on the bottom left of her block, plus the lace to go behind it, so I was prepared to allow it to sneak onto her block. But otherwise I won't be making any changes to DYBs.

And, in order to just get the thing finished (I sound almost exasperated with it), I am doing some very basic stitches in Presencia #12 - again just to join, and not make the joins stars in their own right.

UFOs??? What UFOs have I got, anyway.

Well, I suppose I should consider what UFOs I have, and should I attack them in an organised manner. Last year it was supposed to be one a month, which worked for about three months.

And, one problem is some need a lot of work, and some only need a little.

So there is:

The Peacock Wall Hanging (major, needs heaps)

The Dragonfly Wall Hanging (major, but not a lot left to go)

The Jenny Bee Country Garden Sampler - major, still a bit to go. It's that ruddy cricket!!!)

Peacock vest - result of a RR, just a bit to fill in, and then I have to make it up. Trouble is - I invented the pattern, and may have a bit of fun with the making-up stage.

All my UFOs live in a little footstool (apart from the sampler), and that's all there is, really. If you don't count Hearts I owe, and Hearts to be made up, and my Biblical vest, from a RR years ago. And some landscapes. And a couple of Christmas stockings.......

Nothing like the 100 some people are able to list. And really only one WIP (not even a SWIP), which is an almost monochrome block for a community quilt. .......

Sure there's nothing else - maybe some WIPs to be created soon, but only for the DYB and for the Fan RR

I'm sure I can do this in a year.



Friday, 7 January 2005

Do I really want to do this????

Hmmm, do I really want to do this, have a blog - there is only one way to find out. Not at all sure about this blog thing, but thought I would go and have a play anyway. :)

Peacock Wall Hanging
Maybe 2005 will be the year of the UFO - here is one that I am determined to finish this year - a Peacock Wall hanging made up from a number of Round Robins.

(I have to admit this is a second pic - not sure you are supposed to go back and edit old posts ..... however, this is closer to the state of it when I started the blog. Although there is a lot more purple than shows up on my screen - always a problem I have)

I am to the stage of sewing the blocks together (and therefore embellishing the seams) as well as finishing off two of the blocks that were my commitment from DYBs (a particular sort of Round Robin, where everyone embellishes one of the six blocks you make, and you have to do the last one).

Okey Dokey - less playing on the computer, and more stitching, I think. :) Actually, I do want to work on this UFO, but need to get another block finished first. Which is another story for another day.