Saturday, 30 April 2005

Peacock Block #20

This is Peacock Block #20 - not that I am working on them in order, it is just I had to draw a plan and give them numbers or I was going to lose track.

Peacock Block20

If you really want to, you can see a bigger pic HERE

Don't forget that, once there, you need to click on it with your cursor or use the enlarge icon to reach full size.

This block is mainly a section from a Doiley that Peggy sent to me. I dyed it using Ozecraft dyes and replaced the french knots in the centre of the flowers (which were coming out) with beads. It is a beautiful and very delicate piece of embroidery, and it was showing a few wear holes in the doiley, so I was glad to be able to give it a new life.

The tatted emblem below it is one where I was experimenting with some Anchor perle #8 crochet cotton - and I am impressed. I don't usually like tatting with over-dyeds as the distance between the colour changes is so great that I reckon the effect is more patchy than blended. In this case you get several colours to a ring as the colour changes so often. Must check out the other colours.

Peacock Blocks coming together

The blocks I am joining for the Great Peacock UFO are getting bigger and bigger.

Peacock Blocks

This one is not as good as it could be - flash light is not good. This one has DYBs at the top from Rosalie and Alison, and part of a doiley from Peggy and a DYB by Chris on the bottom row. The smaller block at bottom right is a filler by me.

I'll try for better pictures tomorrow. But this block of blocks is finished, and I am off to work on two more.

What is Doctor Flannel???

Not a lot of stitching happening here at the minute - I am between round robin blocks, and am sort of skirting around the edges of the Great Peacock UFO. One section of joined blocks almost complete - maybe a picture tomorrow.

But I find I put different sorts of threads in different places - and have just dug out the Perle #8 crochet cottons, and been working with them again - a nice and easy to use alternative.

And, after discussions on "What is Flannel?" on one of the lists I read, I have been chasing up a little on Doctor Flannel.

I am a little confused, but I think I am getting it worked out. Flannel to me, including "Doctor Flannel" is something that came in a workman's shirt, especially a "Shearer's Shirt". So I dug out my slightly upmarket Shearer's Shirt and checked. Yep! Doctor Flannel in that is a thick, almost felt-like woven, pure-wool fabric. As per this label:

Doctor label

However this is a 1970s shirt, and I don't know that workmen wear them any more - shearers in Australia now seem more identified with the Jackie Howe blue singlet. This is more like a short-sleeved tunic, collarless, with two or three buttons at the neck, but not open right through. It has extremely strong reinforcing under the arms.

And looking around I haven't had a lot of luck finding a photo of someone wearing one - except this:

Doctor Flannel Shirt

So, where am I at, at the moment???? One of my students had some Doctor Flannel at class the other day to make pages for a needlebook, and it is nothing like the Doctor Flannel in my shirt. The shirt one, even though I think they were worn next to the skin, are extremely prickly, and much thicker. Although I have seen reference on the net to grades of Doctor Flannel.

I THINK the shirts are a superseded working men's shirt, and the brand name of the flannel probably came from early advertising, when the superior class of the fabric was being emphasised - probably it was seen as good for wicking perspiration, especially for shearer's, who all succumbed early to arthritis/rheumatism???? Really strange medical claims used to be made in early advertising.

So, is it a case of what was a working men's clothing fabric brand name is now a gentrified, lovely soft type of fabric, rather than a brand name?

And, is there any other sort of woolen flannel now in Australia apart from Doctor Flannel? In other words, are we calling all woolen flannel Doctor Flannel? And is it unique to Australia? Is it made in Australia? Oh Dear - I could go off here and get lost for ever. Think I will stitch.

but then, I added this later. The shirt:


Friday, 29 April 2005

One buy from Wednesday

Here is one of the cards from Wednesday - I got it "cheep" due to the nibbling on the corner. I can see this one as a silk print once day, maybe. In my "Homage to my Sewing Machine" work,

Thread Card

If anyone would like to copy it, there is a larger one HERE

Thursday, 28 April 2005

Really serious blogging article

If there is anyone out there interested in really serious blogging in Australia, there is an online article on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) site, with transcripts of a lot of interviews. More about politics than craft!

A Nice Surprise

Now, I wonder how many times I have been to Bustles and Bows in Union Road in Surrey Hills??? Lots. And, when I think about it, I may have noticed before that directly over the road was Neighbourhood Centre - but I didn't have reason before to go YES!!!!!!!!!

I work for a Neighbourhood House here, and am totally committed to them as a very basic and practical way to do things in your community. I am off to organise for this afternoon's class as soon as I finish here,

But now that I am travelling to Melbourne so much, I am looking for one down there somewhere that might be an option for me to fill in some time - shopping is fun, but expensive. (Although I have thought of something I can check out next time - there was a Needle Sampler I saw at a place once that I would love a photograph of. Yes - Needles, not Needlework). So I am looking at local Neighbourhood Houses - and this one was just a little further away, so I hadn't even found out about it yet.

But what the heck - there it was, so I headed straight in. Neighbourhood Houses are like that - just rock on in.

There was a lovely volunteer on the front desk called Margaret, who works there on a Wednesday - and Gai, the Director. They have a shop front, a hexagonal room purpose-built off that, and lovely old renovated cottage behind that. Talk about space heaven!!!! I'm going to pop back next time and talk to them some more, but if their Stitch and Chat session (which is on Mondays) had been on a Wednesday or a Friday, it would have been exactly what I was looking there. And such a nice, friendly place - I need a Melbourne "home" just like that, with a top embroidery shop straight across the road.

I can dream.

Good Day in Melbourne

Yesterday was another nice day in Melbourne - for those I know are reading from overseas - this is our state capital, and is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from where I live. My DF (Dear friend) is working there now one or two days a week, and when they are a Wednesday or a Friday, if I have nothing on I go down with him. Then I have the car while he is at work.

This time I was heading for my favourite of all second-hand bookshops in Melbourne - more about that soon. But on the way I got caught by another one - I have seen the Merchant of Fairness in Balwyn before, but this time I could stop. It is good, well-organised and has a largeish sewing/craft section. Well, several shelves. I didn't buy there this time, but was tempted.

Then, it was on to Kew. I parked (it is in High Street, but away from the junction, the other side of the cemetery), and just happened to walk past an Op Shop on the way. Should I go in? Does a fish swim? Not a lot to tempt, but I got two doilies, pinned together, for $2. One is really nice:


The other was just a standard crochet one, but usable. Both are fairly smoked, but I think wood smoke, not tobacco smoke, as they don't have an odour. I was thinking about how to get them white again, and then realised that I would probably then throw them into tea to get them brown again. So maybe I will just wash it.

Another thing is that I usually cut these in half and piece them into a seam, but was finding it hard to know how I would cut across it - I like those big sets of three leaves, and would have to cut through one, no matter what. Although I could cut it into three and piece it into a corner. Then, on looking at the scan, I can see a tiny tear in one I cannot see just by handling it - so that is the one I will cut across.

This is a closeup of a section - I really should do some research and work out what kind of lace this is called.

Doiley closeup

Onwards, and into ABBRA CARD ABBRA ROYCROFT, the bookshop I was heading for.

Calling Lloyd's place a second-hand bookshop is a misnomer. It is packed with secondhand books and miscellania and a very organised and HUGE lot of postcards. I went through the "glamour" section, which is the lovely ladies sort, and there were a few I was tempted by for silk prints, but I desisted. There are sections like "fans", "Angels" and so on. I finally bought two local scenes, for historical purposes, a Christmas card featuring a sundial and a reproduction Suffragette card. Total - $24. No - there were five .... I forgot the double-sided one for advertising sewing thread. Bit nibbled on one side, but nice.

Then I started looking at the other bits. There are thousands of little collectable things - should have taken the camera. I was looking for a purple plastic Hoadleys (?) "tin" for Mary, but there were none there. But there was a little old toy sewing machine at $100. Tempting, but no.

Then I went (very quickly in the end) through three HUGE piles of old knitting books, Womens Weeklies etc. Didn't get time to look in them, sure there must have been heaps there. It is the sort of place where you could spend hours, but I was thinking parking tickets take a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere, so I had to head off. But I do love that place.

Then I thought - I have half an hour up my sleeve, I need some thread and I can just call in at Bustles and Bows in Surrey Hills (I had been tatting for the Dragon vest while I had been a passenger). And there I made another lovely discovery - but that will have to wait until the next cup of coffee - this post is getting waaaaaaaay too long.

PS Lloyd Roycroft's Bookstore is 680 High St, Kew, phone 9859 4215. There may be a couple of days in the week when he is not open, but I forgot to check, so if you are going a great distance (and it is worth it), check first.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

Here be Dragons

My vest from the Dragon RR is now pieced, and looks like this:

Dragon vest 5

And I still have another piece to make a matching bag.

Here are the promised closups of two of the Dragons:

Dragon vest 2

This one is by Chris, and there is a very close closeup HERE. Once there, you will need to either click on it with your cursor or use the enlarge icon.

This dragon begun as a picture in a 1920 filet-crochet book. I transcribed it to a cross stitch pattern and printed that. I traced around the sections (it was a black and white silhouette thing), and stitched the outline through the tissue paper onto the vest.

My idea was that people would fill in various parts of Clementina, but Chris fell in love with her, and this was the stunning result.

And here is the one by Maureen B:

Dragon vest 3

I think what I will be doing is just doing very simple stitching in greens, browns and golds, so as to not take from the wonderful work everyone has done.

And, I cannot resist it - here is my companion Poochie, lying in her bed beside the computer, demanding a tummy rub.


Sunday, 24 April 2005

Bear's Fan Block Finished

Linda for Bear

This is my part of Bear's blocks finished in the Fan Round Robin. Bear made four blocks, but there are five people working on them, so I have to leave a little bit for others.

The thing that fascinates me about round robins is how they take us out of our comfort zone - I normally never work with red or pink, but Bear did mention scarlet, and after that, it just happened - this one to me seems almost Spanish or Romany.

You can see all four blocks HERE, and this block when I had only just started work HERE. I wanted to empahsise the rays of the fan, so know from the start I was putting tatting around to define the fan, and the pink (and green) seam outside the fan is to pick up colours in the other blocks. The single ear-ring up near the top is in similar colours.

You can see an extra large picture (where you can pick out all my errors) HERE.

I have left two seams for someone else, and hopefully someone might put some flowers over the top of the lace doiley in the corner.

Hope Bear likes it. I am keeping it to show my class on Thursday, then it is off to New Zealand to Janelle. And I think I am now about to disappear for a few days - be back Tuesday night with some Dragons.

Saturday, 23 April 2005

Fairies for Viv

I hear a little whisper from the bunker in Western Australia that a little bit of Fairy magic has arrived at Viv's place, so I feel I can now post pictures of my DYB for Viv. These ones got home a little early, as everyone was so quick, and M3 conspired to get hers done early.

And, I have to say, I am quite happy with how this DYB turned out. You might remember my planning HERE. Now, I have to admit that when I actually posted the photocopy, all that work had been done - but I wasn't telling Viv that. And, I did use the photocopy to do the planning.

So, the finished block looks like this:

Linda's DYB for Viv

The whole block was designed around the idea of the fairy on a branch of Cherry Blossom.

Linda for Viv-part

I also wanted to work one of the Apple Blossoms from my mother's unfinished supper-cloth, which is in the top left. I have put one of the Mother-of-Pearl Rosary beads in the centre of the flower. The Bluebird of Happiness is an ear-ring I found at the same time as the Rosary Beads - there is butterfly on top right from that little find too.

Linda for Viv-fairy

The fairy is one by a local manufacturer of pewter charms mainly for sun-catchers. I did get DH to take the ring off the top, and grind it down, as I was able to attach it with stitches through other parts of the charm - and I think tat looks more natural. I get rid of those rings whenever I can. She is holding a single cultured pearl from an old necklace.

The blossom is random rings tatted together (usually five), and sewn on - the cotton is Alton Basik (sp?), which Sheridan kindly sent to me to try - I love the way the shading worked.

Linda for Viv-dragonfly

The Dragonfly has wings which are my invention - they are a form of needle-lace on wire, in a dark green metallic thread - with a bead added on towards the end. They are fiddly, but I love them. I did do some instructions for them years ago - must see if I can find them again.

So, that is it - I do love this block, and was quite happy with it, and really enjoyed the theme. It makes me want to work with Fairies again - but I have got sooooo much else I need to finish first.

Dragon RR is home

My vest is home in the Dragon Round Robin, and this is how it looks:


There is some stunning work on this vest (plus the two pieces towards the top that are currently loose). You can see a realllly big picture HERE (Don't forget to either click on it with your cursor or use the enlarge icon, depending on your program, to get maximum size)

For this Round Robin, which has been a long one, with more than the usual number of six, first I pieced just the bottom of the right-hand side. I added just the outline of Clementina, with the idea that everyone d a little bit to fill her in.

But Chris was first, and she fell in love with her, and did the whole lot! If you come back in a couple of days I will have a close-up scan of her, as she is stunning.

So, that left almost nothing for everyone else, so I pieced the bottom of the lefthand side. (Lefthand side in the picture, not left-hand when being worn). And I posted that off to Helen, who started the Rowan Tree, and added the tiny little dragon under it, who is a bit shewiff in the picture. Helen - had you noticed that one has a personality all of her own. Thank you for sending her to me. :)

Then, after Helen, Tosh got her dragon claws into it, and added that really cute little green cross-stitch dragon, and some seams. Then it was Maureen G, who extended the Rowan Tree, added the stones under it, and a green Celtic ball for Clementina to play with, and that fierce little green dragon down near the left bottom.

Then it was over to Melody, and Clytemestra flew in - you can see her surfing along a seam on top left. And a really lovely beaded fringe on the bottom of the right section.

Over to Catherine, who decided there was no room left - and she was right. So she pieced the loose section on top left, and did a HUGE piece of waste-canvas (Catherine, I do know how much work is in that!). That is Clementina's Welsh cousin.

Then, finally, after waiting for ever, Maureen got her claws on it. And did a stunning dragon on another loose section that she had pieced - come back soon in a couple of days for a closeup of that as well.

So, where to now???? I have started piecing, and have fitted all together except Catherine's - which is just a tiny bit too large. And then inspiration hit - I can have a vest and matching bag. I am in Dragon Heaven!!!!!

Oooooh, but they are all lovely - and I have another UFO that I want to finish NOW. Well, two UFOs. So, thank you to all who worked upon it, and to Maureen G for hosting the RR - it has been beautiful beyond belief.

I am going to be strong. No RRs for me in the second half of the year. I want my vest and bag.

Do call back in a couple of days for just a few more pictures.

Friday, 22 April 2005

New Crazy Blogger

Just been having a little surf through new members of the Bloggers Who Embellish webring - you can find the links on my sidebar for it. I tend to go for the "list" link, and then work my way up from the bottom until I reach ones I know.

Then I subscribe to the ones I like using Bloglines.

The one that have caught my eye this morning is Rita's Needlework. Do drop over and have a read.

Thursday, 21 April 2005

Embellished Denim

It was like this:

Previously, I had made a bag/purse for my mobile phone. Now, I needed to do a demo at class on how to make one up.

So I thought I would just work the new Semco mini cross stitch kit on a piece of denim, and make that up as an everyday working holder.

Then I decided I would just slip a bit of lace on the denim, before I started cross stitching. But after I did that, there was a ragged end on the lace, so I did some silk-ribbon roses to cover that. And one thing led to another.

And this is the finished result - embellished denim.

Using Crazypatch techniques, but without the seams.

Phone Bag

The idea of using two pieces of rat-tail cord, sewn on and sewn together at appropriate points, comes from the genius of a lurking Possum, who pioneered that technique on a bag she made for me.

I love these little bags - this one is a little too ornate for everyday wear - so I really do need to make a couple more, in different colour schemes, to show off a couple of other ideas I have.

And, I hate to say it - ATCs (Artists Trading Cards), don't do a thing for me. But I hear Viv is making ATC-sized purses. Which is basically what these are. (Would love to see pictures of Viv's, but I know she is busy). I really do want to make more - and I will do stage-by-stage scans as I go, so you can see my process.

And so I can perfect getting the tassel dead-centre. And I know there were a couple of online sites with lovely small purses - can anyone remind me where they were???

Dyepot Threads

Joy in New Zealand is just soooooooo lucky. She writes that she is "just down the road" from Dyepot Threads. Lucky Lady!

But she has let me know their website, and I think that, if I wasn't just off to the first class for the term, I would be gone for hours. Enjoy!

When I come back I will hopefully have a picture of my latest small project - I am into embellished denim.

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

Bear's Fan Block

This is one of Bear's four Fan blocks in the Fan RR.

Linda for Bear

I agonised for ages, but finally decided to work on just one of them, not on all four.

Bear has asked for jewel colours, and even mentioned scarlet. I couldn't quite do the scarlet, but did decide to pick up the deeper red that Alison used on the block on which she worked. And the pink is to pick up the sort of tangerine on two of the other blocks. You can see them HERE, although the tangerine looks hot pink on my screen.

With this block, I decided to emphasise the rays of the fan, by putting a circular top to the fan - I had four hours in the car yesterday as a passenger, so I did the tatting then. I had already decided I would be putting a rosebud in as the feature, and using it to break the line of the tatting a little.

Now I need to go off and work on highlighting the rays of the fan. I might even put a line of stitching straight up the white as a sort of "false" ray.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

Wandering around Melbourne

I have a Dear Friend (DF) who is working one or two days a week in Melbourne at the moment, so I hitched a lift down and borrowed the car for the day. Now I am back at his office waiting for him - and playing on the computer. But if has been a fun day.

First, it was off to the Needlecraft Book Services, and a few of those books. It is so much more fun to actually see the books. I did end up getting the Fairies iron-on transfers - but I won't be using them until I photocopy the whole lot first.

And then there is a decoupage book that is probably over a hundred colour vignettes of Victorian angels - wonderful for silk-prints. And a book on fabric boxes. I think that is a direction that I will be going down soon.

After that, I went just a couple more blocks up Bay Street (North Brighton), and the found the Embroidery Den, which moved to new premises at 357 Bay St just two weeks ago. It was previously in a side street. They have two different ranges of Flower Threads (including the Danish ones), and a few other yummy things.

After that it was up to Malling Road in Canterbury (one Bug Art card of a Dragon, that will look very nice as a silk print) - I love Bug Art cards, and think they are my all time favourites.

Then, just a hop, step and jump from there it was into Bustles and Bows in Union Road in Surrey Hills. Just a lidddddle bit of lace.

And that was me in enough trouble for the day!

Sunday, 17 April 2005

Books I have to have

Running a bit late, but I have been having a look at this month's offerings from the Needlecraft Book Service at Brighton, Victoria. And, Ooooh, I am so tempted.

Sharon over at In a minute ago is scrumpling, a mix of freeform knitting and crochet, and I would love to do that too, except I cannot knit. Have I mentioned here that the only time I ever cheated at school was when we had to hand in a piece of knitting we had done at home, and I bought a piece at the op shop? The year before I failed needlework because I didn't hand my knitting in. The only subject I ever failed at school.

So I have this thing about knitting (I could never get it), so have given away all my wool. I will resist.

But there is this nice book there called Freeform Knitting and Crochet by Jenny Dowd. I'm sure if I had it I could learn ......

It is a really nice catalogue this month. When isn't it????

That side of the foldout was the one that got me. Yes, that one. The one that starts with Chinese Embroidery: Traditional Techniques by J.Bertin-Guest. "Stitches used in Chinese embroidery form the main part of the book" .... $45.00 down to $36.00

Then, immediately under it: Crazy Mosaic: Inspired Creations from Shattered Treasures by Tracey G. Bell. Does this sound familiar? "Folk Mosaic is the new, popular face of traditional mosaics. Recycle china, glassware, toys, souvenirs and memorabilia into planned or spontaneous works of colour, texture, humour and shape. It's easy, it's fun and needs not special skill".

Hmmm, wonder if, after I have cut up my wardrobe, I have a few plates I can smash??? I have always been drawn to mosaics, and I saw a pot being made like this the other day at the Neighbourhood House. Only $19.95 (save $10).

Underneath it - a book of Fairies and Elves iron-on transfers. I want!!!!!! Only $10.95, post free if ordered with something else...

A William Morris stained glass pattern book - I can feel some designs coming on. I love William Morris.

Time to stop dreaming and add up.

They don't have a web page, but I think it you e-mail them your address, you get the catalogue in the mail every month. Probably only mail to Australia though. Sorry, guys in the US.

I have always found them reputable (and very nice!), but if you are wary of committing your details to an e-mail, you can ring them on 03 9596 8742, fax 03-9596 8743, or drop them a note at 211 Bay St, Brighton, Vic 3186.

Now, which ones am I going to get????

House of Embroidery Threads

There are a few threads that are my favourites, and pretty high up the list are over-dyed cotton perles. I love them for embroidery, but also for tatting. The three currently in my box are Hand-Dyed Hues and Dyepots (both from New Zealand) and House of Embroidery (from South Africa).

I was getting the first two from The Thread Studio, but they weren't at Stitches and Craft this year (Maria told me they were in Tasmania at the time). (and I cannot find Dyepot on the site). There used to be a local stockist for the House of Embroidery stuff, but she closed down, and I miss them. Especially the cards of three co-ordinated colours.

So I am feeling nostalgic, as Dawn sent me the African Folklore Embroidery site, where they have the House of Embroidery threads on the home page. And some quite different embroidery designs. It would also interest those who have children embroidering.

And there were nice peacocks scattered around the site, too.

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Conversation in an Op Shop

The other day I was in an Op Shop (for non-Australians - I think you call them Goodwills).

I wasn't going to go in, honestly. I was just going past when I was getting my lunch.

But there was a huge sign on the window - "Sale - Clothing $1 per item".

Well, who could resist that. So I went in, and picked out a pair of child's pyjamas (three piece, nice embossed white top), a two-piece suit in Thai silk and cotton (top silk only) and two dresses, and took them to the counter on their individual hangers.

There were two ladies there, one young and one older. They piled them up and said "Eight dollars". I thought "ummmmmm" and said "I wonder if you could tell me how you reached that total?"

So the older one took each individual piece (suit = two pieces, pyjamas [quite small] = three pieces) and got to eight.

I said "I really would have thought a suit was an item, and a set of pyjamas is an item".

The younger said "No, that's what it says on the window - $1 an item".

I asked how much a pair of socks would be. She said "One dollar".

So I said that I didn't really want them, if that was their pricing policy - whereon the elder said "Well, you can have them for four dollars then". While the younger one kept saying "But that is what it says on the window - per item".

I paid four dollars and took them - but I really wasn't quick enough. I should have said "So, all the dresses down there (waving to the dresses down the back) are a dollar each, is that right???"
And when they said "Yes", as they would have had to, I should have picked the $300 wedding dress - I would have been happy to pay their eight dollars plus the extra dollar for it.

Rosary Beads and Saints

Maureen C from Kemmaur's Corner (check it out, she is doing a good series of posts for beginning CQ people), posted the comment below, and I have brought it up to the top again, as I am having serious thoughts about these beads, and was wondering what others think.

Maureen wrote:

I've been reading your various postings on the Rosary beads with interest. I have several sets of Rosaries (complete and broken!) some of which date back to the 50s(1950!!)Funny though,I could never use the broken ones in my CQ........just doesn't seem "right"And I won't bore you on how I cringe when I see people wearing them,most inappropriately in my opinion, as jewellery/personal adornment with all sorts of get-ups that defy description.
BTW:some of my "old" holy pictures do translate rather well to being printed on fabric! [End of Maureen's voice]

I am not a Catholic, so I know I could not have the same feeling about Rosary beads. And I have been wondering if my sending them to people unasked, or putting them on RR pieces unasked, could actually be offensive to people. Firstly to those who, like Maureen, could not bear to see them made into anything other than a Rosary (and I totally respect that feeling).

And, secondly, there are those out there who may have had an unfortunate experience with the Catholic Church (no details necessary), who may be hurt or offended by receiving them unasked. So far there is one on a RR piece, and I shall check with that person if that is okay, but I am now tending towards not giving them to people unasked.

But I do still feel it is okay for me to take them from the bottom of a basket of junk in an Op Shop and restore them to being something precious, although in a different form - maybe even in conjunction with people feeling they may be blessed by the prayers said over them.

What do other people think???? I don't know if the Catholic Church has some form of "finalisation" for a Rosary???? Such as the only way to "finalise" a flag is to burn it with respect???? Are there any other items out there that are "sacred" (in both meanings of the word) that should NOT be used in CQ??? Or used only after very careful thought?

And, a PS for Maureen - have you had a look at the Catholic Church site of Saints??? Heaps of lovely pictures there, and already digitised. I was going to write that I just wished St Phocas (Patron Saint of Gardeners), looked, well, more gardener-like. But I see they have a new picture on there.

Although the one of St Clare of Assisi (one of the Patron Saints of Needleworkers) doesn't excite me. However the one of Rose of Lima (also for Needleworkers) is a nicer picture. There are a few patron Saints for Needleworkers - take your pick.

Friday, 15 April 2005

Conni is blogging

I feel like one of a group of bloggers who is circling the field, and all of a sudden one of them goes "I found one, I found one", waving in excitement.

I have found another crazy-patcher who is blogging.

Conni at The Scoop, Score and Deal in the USA is a Crazy-patcher (and many other things, including doll making).

And she has a garden - there are a few here the two passions go together. Welcome Connie

Thursday, 14 April 2005

Rosary Beads

It is raining here, which is wonderful. So I am spending the day making my second batch of tomato sauce, and cleaning the Rosary Beads in between. And blogging.

Which probably means it will be quiet for a few days after this, as I will run out of things to say.

But, after much cleaning, one broken bead, and much discussion, I think the beads are Mother-of-Pearl. And still very lovely. And were very much loved.

Which really makes me sad to think they ended up in an Op Shop, even though they were broken.

A lot of prayers must have been said over them, they are so worn and with grime worked into the holes (which is coming out). And, even though I am not a Catholic, I guess that makes them rather special.

So, I think what I will do from here is quietly write the story of where they were found, and how many, and send out a bead each to 56 people who will use them. And I keep just one for my fifty cents.

Like, I might send out five in the Aus/USA swap. Then I could use a few in Round Robins, making sure I explain where they originated.

I think I would feel happier doing that, than just putting them somewhere in my stash. Maybe the power of the prayers multiplies. It would be nice to think of them arriving unheralded, to someone who would love them because they were unique - I am sure I do not appreciate them enough, having 57 of them. I would appreciate them more if I only had one.

Wonder what else is out in the junk baskets in Op Shops (which is where this was - along with two tiny Bluebirds of Happiness).

I think I might keep an eye out for more Rosary Beads.

"Just Happening"

Over on her blog, Annie has been talking about the embellishing process, whether it "just happens" or is planned. (Actually, she is talking about the stitching, I think she is, more correctly, using the term "embellishing" to refer to adding the "hard" bits after the stitching).

I am a great fan of the "just happening" school - stitch a seam, see how it looks, decide what is next, add another element, which makes me thing of something else.

Except I have just made a sudden change and done some planning - and for this block I like it.

On Viv's Fairy DYB, I had planned to the extent that I knew I wanted a fairy on a branch of cherry blossom over a pond, and that I was going to do some apple blossom. Then I started thinking about other things I wanted to put on there, and realised that very soon, I might end up not having spaces for things I wanted to add.

So, I thought I will sketch the block, and draw a plan. Not that I am good at sketching.


I zipped down the street, got a photocopy, and started to draw on the photocopy.

Currently, it looks like this:

Fairy Photocopy

Nov Viv, before you have twenty-thousand fits, there won't be a safety pin in the finished work.

But I do like this as a design technique.

I am off to stitch.

Textiles as Texts

I've mentioned before that some of the projects on which I work are community development work, where the message in the textile is much more important than the stitches, and that these work on a number of levels. I am still exercising my mind on how to "put that down on paper" (what is the cyber equivalent???), so I haven't forgotten, Sharon.

This is on my mind for a couple of reasons - I am child of the sixties and seventies, so easily take to wearing protest buttons - here is my current one:


It may surprise overseas readers to know that the Australian government imprisons children (and adults who have not been committed of any crime, without a public process such as a trial). This is something that makes me quite angry. So I bought this button at the market on Saturday, and it will ultimately go onto a banner that I want to make - a white CQ dove on a purple background.

But so many people have said they want the button too, that I went searching to see if I could find it for sale on the net, but I couldn't. I bought it from a Rural Australians for Refugees stall, and I did find a rather interesting card for sale on their site.

The image is only small, but it looks to me to be a crazy-quilt map of Australia.

It is another Textile being used as a Text - in this case a medium that I delight in, that does not usually get out in the arena of political comment.

Rest of Crinoline Lady

It looks like there are a lot of Crinoline Lady fans out there. I have put the final part of the directions up on the net as well - not that there is a lot more.

You can find them HERE

And such a pity that the pattern isn't given in there anywhere to trace.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005


Rosie, bless her heart, has suggested the beads in my Rosary might be Moonstones. And I think she may be right - I knew they reminded me of something.

So 58 of them for fifty cents is pretty good.

Although I think the small, flat joining section is shell (not necessarily Mother-of-Pearl)

Thanks Rosie

Tuesday, 12 April 2005


At the same time as I got the embroidery book with the Crinoline ladies (see below), I got a partial set of Rosary beads. They have me a little confused, as I am unsure what they are made from.

Rosary Beads

They are solid oval, relatively large and my first impression is that they are Mother-of-Pearl, but I was wondering if there are any bead experts out there who can confirm this - although I know it is difficult from a picture. My impression from a shell that I used to have is that the coating (and buttons are much the same) is quite thin.

These are solid, sort of opalescent, and appear to be a natural substance. Can any bead experts out there help??? The coin is an Australian five cents - I think it is similar to the American one - but I must get one of them, one day.

Crinoline Ladies

Have just had a wonderful find at an Op Shop - a 1949 copy of Needlewoman and Needlecraft (English), which I got for five cents!!!!!

There are quite a few interesting things in it - including a tatting pattern - but I thought some people might like to see the Crinoline Ladies. I'm not into Crinoline Ladies myself, but know a lot of people are. And this one is quite complex. And the tree to the right of her ain't half bad, either.

Crinoline Lady

There is a large picture HERE, with some of the details of the threads used, but unfortunately there is no pattern. You had to buy it for sixpence hapenny. (Once at the larger version, you need to click on the enlarge icon, or on the picture with your cursor, depending on your program). The details of the threads continue onto the next page, and I haven't scanned that - if you really would like those details, please feel free to contact me.

The magazine doesn't show the total design - this is as close as I could get:

Crinoline Lady

On the back cover of the magazine is an advertisement for a book on Crinoline Ladies:

Crinoline Lady

The big copy for that one is HERE.

When I first saw the magazine (It is quite small), I thought - hmmm, late 1950s to early 1960s. I'll have that.

Interesting, when I finally found a date in it, to see how far out I was.

Sunday, 10 April 2005

Working on Viv's DYB

Oooops, I have Maureen3 champing at the bit, with nothing to work on, so have done a little bit on Viv's DYB. Just a little bit to keep her quiet, you understand. :) Cripes, Maureen, they aren't even due to arrive at your place until 15th May!!! *grin*

Linda for Viv

I want to make it as the fairy, perched on a branch of Cherry Blossom, looking down into a pond. So, this is where I am up to at the minute.

I can feel some apple blossom coming on though.

I have to admit I like taking the full month with a DYB, as I do a bit, think about the design, change my mind, go off down a different path, do something else, think about it again ...... .... You get the idea?????? *grin* (No, I'm not holding out on Maureen, I wouldn't do that, would I? You want to see me hold out? You wait until I've got your blocks!)

Saturday, 9 April 2005

Quilts of Unity

Just finished hanging the Quilts of Unity as part of a larger quilting display. And this setting really does show them off well.


There is a much larger picture HERE, and you can scroll from one side of the display to the other. Don't forget to click on the larger picture with the cursor to make it even larger.

This was my second project using calico squares to involve the community in the form of quilts - the first was the Quilts of Understanding.

Quilt squares as documents fascinate me, and projects like this work on a number of levels.

Bear's Fab blocks

These are Bear's Fan Blocks, which have arrived with me for the Fan RR

Bear's Fan blocks

Alison has chosen to work on one block (top left), and I am having real horrors. I love the concept of finishing that block, and continuing on to one other, a bit like the never-ending story people pass along. But the other part of me wants to do a bit on each block.


As Alison said: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

I think the never-ending story, pass it along, appeals to me. At the moment. Stay tuned.

Apple Blossom "Sampler"

Have I mentioned how much I love my laminator????

I'm not one of those to play with Photoshop, or things like that. So what I have done with the Apple Blossom suppercloth at this point is:

1. I have taken a number of scans of the pattern and finished embroidery.

2. I traced that embroidery onto tissue paper and embroidered my own version - in colours quite different to those of the 1940s.

3. In a simple Word document I inserted a number of those scans, including two of different sizes of the pattern.

4. I outlined those patterns with a fine felt-tip pen, so it is easier to see them through the tissue paper.

Apple blossom

So this is what the printout looks like at this stage. I thought I would scan it, as it may be of use to others - so there is a larger version HERE.

Now I will laminate it, and I have a sturdy "sampler" of this design with traceable master.

I do like my laminator.

Thursday, 7 April 2005

Not a lot doing

Not a lot doing here - I am still looking at Viv's block and trying to work out what exactly I am going to do - which is odd - usually I work it out as I go along. I do the seams first, and by then I have worked out what I will do as the accent points.

In the meantime, I need to do a trip away on business, need to organise quilts for an exhibition and get some work done in the garden.

So I probably won't be back here for a couple of days. But by then, with luck, I might have the next block in the Fan RR to show off.

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

What's next????

Hmmm - now, what's next??? I've done a little bit of work on the Peacock UFO, but I think it is time to start thinking about the next DYB. Viv's Fairy Blocks have arrived here early, and I have picked one out. This is a fairy charm I had put aside for her, so chose this block:

Viv's Fairy Block

Think what I am going to do is have the fairy sitting on a branch of Cherry Blossom, over a pool - there are central pools on some of the other blocks as well. Then maybe extend the vegetation bottom right - not sure yet .....

These blocks are going in a Fairy Wall hanging to go in the bedroom where Viv's grand-daughter comes to stay, and she has been involved in working on the blocks - I think this is going to be a wonderful project.

Not sure when I am going to get time to work on it though, as there has been a sudden, last minute call to have the Quilts of Unity in an exhibition this Sunday - and I am not organised.

Monday, 4 April 2005

Using Satin Ribbon

One of the things I sometimes do when piecing a block is to add wide satin ribbon across patches as I piece. Especially in blocks that are going out in Round Robins. These then provide a “mini-canvas” for people to show off their stitching.

As I am working my way through this section of the Peacock Wall Hanging, I have noticed how well Alison and Chris used that satin ribbon in the two DYBs in this section.

Here is Alison’s piece:

Alison for Linda

And here is the piece from Chris:

Chris for Linda

Both are similar but different, and both beautiful.

Sunday, 3 April 2005

Peacock Block 20

At the minute I am working on and around what has become Block #20 in the Peacock Wall Hanging. This is a small block that includes a section from a doiley that Peggy at Kaliko Kottage sent to me.

Peacock block20

There is a closeup HERE (don't forget to click on it with your cursor)

I have dyed the doiley (using Ozecraft dyes), and pieced it onto other fabrics. The doiley itself had been well-loved, so I have just avoided holes, and I have removed the remaining black French Knots from the centres of the flowers – some were already missing. They have now been replaced with small seed beads, and I am embellishing the seams where it joins blocks #4 and #7 (numbers don’t go in order in this work!).

Saturday, 2 April 2005

Blackwork on Crazy Patch

Sharon has commented over on In a Minute Ago, about how excited we both are after seeing Jill’s work in a current DYB (Doing Your Block). Sharon has heaps more links over there for Blackwork.

Jill is using Waste Canvas to add Blackwork to CQ blocks, and has kindly allowed me to show off her blocks here.

The first one I spotted was her DYB for Maxine, where she has used the waste canvas both for cross-stitch (the Sweet Pea) and for blackwork, and has added other stitches as well:

Jill for Maxine

You can see a closeup of this block HERE. Click on it with the cursor to enlarge.

In the second block, for Kate, Jill points out that the stitches around the butterfly are actually Fly Stitch:

Jill for Kate

I am really excited (have I mentioned that???) about this Blackwork, but also by the way DYBs are providing a “forum” for individual style. Which is what it is all about for me – I will borrow ideas and techniques from where-ever I see them, but hope my work is always “me”, and not a copy of someone else.

What to do with Treasured Pieces

I've just spotted a new Australian blog I think I will be watching with great interest. Patra's Place is where Gina is discussing her UFOs and SINs (I will leave it to you to find out about SINs), and I know she has an interest in collecting old needlework.

As the custodian of a number of "Granny's Pieces", with no next generation to pass them to, and a background in museum collection management, it really perplexes me as to what I should do to ensure these pieces and my best work, doesn't go out in a garage sale.

Some things I can easily cut up - but some I definitely would not!

Well, not quite finished

Well, there I was, just looking idly at the block (see last post), and I realised something was wrong.

Yep - no antennae on the butterfly. So, back to the needle.

The butterfly is one of my better ones - I was using threads that were close in colour, to try and make it look sort of shaded, and it is edged in a blue Madeira metallic - which was awful to use, but looks nice.

The purple flower up in the opposite corner is one I am experimenting with a bit at the minute - I think it needs wider ribbon. But that is where I got to put the "real" (ie cultured) pearl - there is at least one going on each block I do in this DYB. And it has been a wonderful DYB - everyone talks to each other, so I know where the blocks are, and everyone is mailing on time (or even ahead). And the blocks are really lovely, and challenging me a lot. I've only got two blocks to go now, and I will be sorry when it is over.

In the meantime, I have joined some blocks for the Peacock Wall Hanging - I can see then end in sight there, too.

Friday, 1 April 2005

Patti's Block finished

I am going to have to stop working on Patti's block - although maybe there is just a tiny pink patch towards the bottom ....

But I have it until the 15th of April, so you never know....

Linda for Patti4

There is a very detailed picture HERE

Would love to stay and chat, but I really, really want to go and work on my Peacock UFO




I love my CQ classes dearly, and the Quilt project was fun, but now I have two weeks off. And I am going to do some very serious work on my Peacock Wall Hanging UFO.

My golden rule is - if I have a RR that should be with me (ie not one that has arrived early), I have to finish that before I work on UFOs. And with some serious work, I will be finished Patti's DYB tonight - call back in a few hours for a picture. Then, if you don't tell, I won't (about working on Viv's DYB, which is here early), I can go and do some Peacock Blocks.

Because my next fan block is not here yet. :)

Wonderful, wonderful holidays.