Sunday, 30 October 2005

Stash Sunday - bits and pieces

Stash Sunday - my container for broken bits of junk jewelry, ear-rings, medallions etc. All the things that don't go somewhere else


Nearly There

Nearly there - this is the point at the end of today's sewing


I just need to:

1. Do the lining

2. Decide on length of ties

3. Replace the chain on the left pocket - it does not work

4. Neaten it up. (Read: remove safety pins)

5. Write notes.

I'm off to see DH's Mum - we always stop in the foyer with the dog and whatever I am crafting, and talk to the oldies there. They have been waiting to see this finished too.

I will make the deadline. Just.

There are some other lovely bags over there too.

Since you were asking ...

Sharon was wanting to know how people were going - well, here it is, right at this minute. Note the coffee!!!!


Some may not have met my machine - this is the only one I have, and it is coping quite well with the denim.

But I need to move the coffee again before I start sewing.

What I am discovering so far is that the bag is much heavier and bigger than I expected. As I have put a gusset and thickened in the base. And they were large jeans (mine) to start with.


Friday, 28 October 2005

Rae's Purse

Yesterday, at class, Rae was working on purse sections. She has two grand-daughters coming to visit, and intends to have them make their purses up with her, from the embroidery she has completed. This is one of them:


The front has really interesting use of gold feather-stitch and beads:


But what really caught my attention was her use of sequins. I am not a great fan of sequins, and I don't usually use them. But can you see them in this picture?


Rae has sewn one green, glittery sequin under each piece of lace. The bead holding it down is on top of the lace, and she still has to catch the lace down with tiny stitches.

It really looks good, and has a "refined" glitter from quite some distance away.

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Ready to Make Up

My Jeans Bag is ready to make up. Hopefully that will happen next weekend, as I am still being monstered by deadlines - life will not actually look anything like normal until December.


I could keep working on this for ever, and it would stay a UFO for ever - but Sharon and the Bags of Fun deadline is making me get serious.

One of the things I have just added is some very old beads I bought on a trip recently, which had been made into fringes. It is almost as if they have the paste in their centre that goes on the back of glass to make "paste" jewellery. And then they are faceted, so they glitter beautifully, with a sort of "cool", silver glitter.

I have tried scanning them, but they don't show up. They are around the white flower at centre top, and I put one in the centre of each piece of the Chicken Scratch Heart, where they are like tiny little diamentes.

I have mini deadlines today, tomorrow and Thursday, a heavy day on Friday, and then a few days off. So I really want to get it made up then.

But in the meantime, I am blown away by some of those appearing on the Flickr page for this challenge. Do drop over and have a look.

Sunday, 23 October 2005

Stash Sunday - Buttons

It was too much for me - I have joined Stash Sunday. How easy is this? Just take a photo of part of your stash on Sunday, and post it. I don't even have to stitch!

Some of the others were talking Halloween Stash, but I don't have that sort of stuff - and we're not too big on Halloween where I live. So I just rocked over and took a picture of my entire button stash. It looks like this:

Stash Sunday

Wanna see some close-ups???? Here are the shells (Mother of Pearls):

Stash Suday2

and the covered buttons - I keep them for the centre of gathered-ribbon flowers, and for puffs. When I get around to making them.

Stash Sunday3

My entire stash lives in that cheap yellow container you see at the back - I can easily pick up the whole lot, or just take one drawer for a project. They are sort of sorted - shanks in one, flats in another, shells in one, covered in another.

Wanna see more stash???? Rock over to the Stash Sunday Flickr site.

Friday, 21 October 2005

Katrina Blocks

Apart from the fun with Buttons in the Birko yesterday at class, two of the Katrina blocks advanced, and a new one started.


The one above is by Maragret J - she is working on her seams.


This one is by Margaret G - she has added a machine-embroidered motif of Australian wattle, and will be working on the rest of her seams by hand.


And this is a new block from Karen - she has gone for Purple, Green and Gold.

Anyone and Everyone is welcome to make blocks for the Katrina Quilts - all will end up in a quilt that will be auctioned. You can see more blocks HERE, and the Guidelines are HERE.

Thursday, 20 October 2005

Playing with a Birko

Birkos were popular here in the early 1970s - it was the only cooking equipment in one place in which I lived as a student. I'm not sure if they were called that overseas - or even existed there - but I have just found one lurking in the back of my Beloved's cupboard.


So, at my class today, I did what any self-respecting cq person would do. I threw some cut up dark blue crepe paper, plus salt (dunno why, seemed like a good idea) into the water, and proceeded to play. I have found dark blue crepe paper is the only one that works really well - and I don't have good pics of the fabric to post - but it seems to work for all.


The main fun today was with normally-unwanted white plastic buttons - especially shirt buttons. This was the result:


The buttons vary according to the plastic that makes them up - all these were in the same time - bring "soup" to the boil (and turn off), bring back to boil a few times, and voila!

Wonder how lace and onion skins would go in a Birko. Or Rue ......

Tried shaving cream dying too - which was a total failure. Stand by while I experiment some more - unless someone knows where there are some instructions??????

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

New Books

Not a lot of stitching going on around here at the minute, but I do have two new books.


The first one is my fourth Janet Haig book - very nice, and a few ideas I will follow - but $50 by the time I managed to get it here, with international post and everything. But I do like it - I am gravitating more and more towards the English books - I am giving up my subscription to Embroidery and Cross Stitch (which is Australian) and moving to Stitch, which is English. Stitch challenges my brain.


And, then there is this one, which I have been looking at for a while. It comes out of the Inspirations stable here in Australia - I gave up on Inspirations years ago - just how many Bunny Rugs can there be????? And I probably wouldn't make many of the bags as they are in the book (but could look at that cover one for ever). But it does have very good instructions and patterns for a number of different bags.

And there is just one bag pattern left I am looking for - a sort of new-moon shape that hangs over the shoulder. It lends itself wonderfully to crazy-patchwork. And I have a dragon I want to turn into a CQ bag.

A bit like this one, but with a flap on it. Must go and look at the pattern books in Spotlight, and see what is around.

And, I really need a few more UFOs - don't I??????

*Bangs head on keyboard and goes back to real world deadlines*

Monday, 17 October 2005

Thank You Everyone

Thank You Everyone, for reading me. Some time today the fifty-thousandth hit happened since I have put stat-counter on my blog.

I would never have believed it.

Thank you for visiting, whoever you were, number 50,000, and 50,001 and all the rest too.

Sunday, 16 October 2005

For Mary Frances

Mary-Frances over on Frequently Wrong, but Never in Doubt has asked for a closeup of St Clare, and for Stitch combinations. So, here is my St Clare:

St Clare2

The largest closeup is HERE. When I did this wall-hanging I was looking for an austere, pre-Renaissance mediaeval look. So all stitches were working in my favourite seam treatment, which always complements whatever is around it, without trying to be a star itself. All fabrics were either gold or olive green. The button is one Catherine found and gave to me.

The portrait is one by Frampton that I found on the net - it seems to be around in other combinations too, but the gallery in which I found it is no longer on line. Clare is shown sewing at her embroidery frame.

Now, by coincidence, Mary Frances was also asking bloggers to post their favourite embroidery stitches - and this seam treatment is mine. I use it all the time, for its strength and elegant simplicity. It is merely a line of Herringbone, and then I go back along the line again. First I do a straight stitch from the centre, going up and beyond the cross of the Herringbone. Then I come up as close as I can to the junction of the three threads and do a small locking stitch, drawing the point of my needle across the fabric to make it a small, tight, almost invisible stitch. That is what holds it together so well.

You can see again I am using it for the same purpose in my All That Jazz block (look top right).

I do have another variation, which instead of a straight stitch across, I do a pistil stitch (French knot on the end of a straight stitch). You can see it in the picture, bottom right, in this post.

There are some more combinations HERE, HERE and HERE. These are from my period of playing with Fly stitch, amongst others.

Okey Dokey - who else has some stitch combinations handy?????

Saturday, 15 October 2005

St Clare in many guises

I have long had an interest in St Clare - one of the Patron Saints of Needlework. The only image I had of her was a 1908 painting by Frampton, downloaded from the net and printed on silk. The picture is no longer on the net. I have worked her into a Heart and a sampler:

St Claire

So I was delighted, the other day, to receive a request from Kathleen Robards, a cross-stitch designer from the USA, to use a card I had posted on this blog. This is how the card looked when I posted it:

Thread Card

Kathleen had been looking for a design to create a cross stitch of St Clare - and this is what she has come up with. I just love it. Especially as it shows St Clare as an older woman. She looks wise and serene. And she has a pot of coffee. Well, that's what it looks like to me.


Kathleen tells me that she is not aligned with any publishers, and sells only on the internet. So here are her details if anyone wishes to contact her. Her eBay ID is gramma_kate

Needlework Card

Now - does anyone know where there is a nice design she can use to create St Phocas for me??? Who????? Patron Saint of Gardeners.

Friday, 14 October 2005

Progress on My Jeans Bag

I've finally finished the Blue/Bird Swallow on my Jeans Bag.


Now I just need to sew down motifs that are just tacked on, and put all the bumpy stuff like buttons on, and make it up.

Wonder if I can get that done this weekend????

I used two strands of DMC throughout of the bird, varying colours and mixing them - and I wanted that primitive look with the stitching. Hopefully it worked.

For those who have come late to my bag - that is Chicken Scratch without the gingham on the Heart.

Some of the other bags are finished in this challenge - you can see them at Bags of Fun

Who's a Lucky Duck?

I'm a Lucky Duckie - look what M3 made and sent to me:


For those who do not know - I am a purple person. And Maureen sent the pattern too, which has quite got me thinking of something else I might do.

Stay tuned. :-)

Nice Dover Samplers

Some nice Dover Samplers this week. Especially this one. I can see it used for embroidery. And this one for silk prints. There is a link at the bottom to subscribe.

Thursday, 13 October 2005

Playing with Layouts

Today my Thursday ladies and I played with the fan blocks - and it was more fun than dominoes, or any of those other games. After a while we settled on this one - but when I look at it a picture, the bit on the right doesn't work

Tentative layout

So I will move some more blocks, and that will make me move some more blocks.

But I have definitely given up on sashing - these were meant to go together. And it will be quicker than the complicated sashing I was going to do (read - it would never get done, I am the Qeen of the UFaux)

And I should have posted this link as the best way to look at all the work. It is the set I made for them on my Flickr pages.

Margaret G's fans

Margaret G, from my Thursday ladies, was also in the Fan RR - this is how she decided to join her blocks.


Then she covered the seams with ruched ribbon and beads. It really does look wonderful in real life, so I consider myself lucky to have seen it.

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

My Fan Blocks are Home

My Beautiful Fan blocks are home. Not a lot of time to work out who did what, quite yet, but I cannot resist posting them here for everyone to have a look - especially those early in the round, who have not had a chance to see them finished.

Here they are:




Very special thanks to Alison, Bear, Janelle, Janet and Rae for the beautiful work on these. They will fit in perfectly with the other six to make a wall-hanging of nine. Now all the fun is going to be working out which block goes where, and which way up. And I have got a little sashing idea I want to try out, too. So this may be a UFO for a little while.

Saturday, 8 October 2005

Julia is blogging

Chloe pokes her head up from stuffing papers into 200 envelopes (Don't ask!) and sees that Julia is blogging.

Wonderful!!!!! Julia is another person I want to be like when I grow up.

*Makes a cup of coffee and goes back to the bits of paper*.

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Disappearing for a day or two

Look not for me for the next few days - I am away with the Fairies, driving around all over the place, and arguing the finer points of capitalisation and grammar.

Real world is out there monstering me with deadlines, and I am not even getting stitch.

Roll on the weekend.

But in the meantime, I am thinking masks for my All That Jazz block. And there were these nice stickers in the newsagents. Know I can Google "masks" and then say show me pictures - but these are a little bit of fun.

This is one of the ones I am not using


Back soon.

(If you actually type in "mardi gras mask", even without the talkies, and then choose "images" at top left in Google, the range of masks is stunning).

I may be away longer than I thought!

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Stitching Thoughts

Pam and Jacqui both have thoughtful posts on their blogs about the sort of stitching they have moved through (both have a cross-stitching background), and why they find crazy-patch/embroidery fulfulling.

Like many others, I enjoy crazy-patch because, when you think about it, every piece of work is a one-of-a-kind. It is not about following an exact design by someone else - although techniques and styles are followed, and sometimes even piecing diagrams. But that is where it stops.

A piece of crazy-patch is a bit like a finger print - no two are ever the same.

Apart from very exact diagrams appearing occasionally in embroidery or quilting magazines, it is not a division of stitching that lends itself to "patterns". Which is probably what makes it hard for magazines, which are project-based, to include it as much as many of us would like. And why it works so well on the net, which tends to be more exhibition-like.

In other words - look at this wonderful work of art, rather than "this is how to make an exact copy of this wonderful project".

Wish I had some time to stitch!

Maybe if I find a nice picture, somewhere in my files, it will make me feel better ......


One of my vests from a few years ago - it rarely gets worn, it is so bright (and short).

But it is one-of-a-kind (thank heavens), and shows where I was at then.

I came to crazy patch from a tatting background (not embroidery or quilting, like most others), although I had done a little cross-stitch. But my main focus remains finding a medium through which I can express myself - rather than a way of producing "items".

I wonder what this particular piece of expression says about me. Don't think I will go there!

Sunday, 2 October 2005

Curves in Flip and Sew

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful pictures this morning over on Alison Aller's blog showing how she puts curves into her CQ work. I had always wondered, as I do so admire her work.

Pop over and have a look!

Saturday, 1 October 2005


I have been doing a little work on my All That Jazz block - adding roses and wisteria, although they are not finished as yet. I need to add some green for leaves - maybe seed beads????