Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Here I go Again

Oh Well - here I go again. This is Bag Mark II


So, what am I going to do differently???

It is a smaller, therefore lighter bag. So far I have unpicked the top of the legs and rejoined it to give me the bag, and I am going to experiment with a box bottom. I have discovered how to do them properly now.

It is going to be less ornamented, and I think I am going to wrap a cord around it twice, like a drawstring bag, to close it.

And I may not even line it - we will see. Then I can just keep sewing buttons etc on, as I go.

Saturday, 26 November 2005

All That Jazz Gallery


Sharon has the All That Jazz Gallery up and running. More blocks will be added as she gets them - and what is there already is stunning.

Thank You, Sharon, for your wonderful work!

Ooops - I have mailed my block, so better get the words to Sharon before the snail-mail gets there first.

*Going back to deadline stuff*

Guess dat's just another one.

Thursday, 24 November 2005


Yes, I know I said I would be too busy to post for a week - but I just have to pop in and say what part of the business for yesterday consisted of - as I had so much fun.

I went to Mooroolbark (an outer suburb of Melbourne), and it was twice as much fun, because I was with Sharon from A Blank Page and Gina from Patra's Place. And it is an easy day out for anyone in Melbourne - all you need to do is pop on a train, as all this is right by the Mooroolbark station.

First it was a quick whip through the antique shop opposite the station (I only got to look at postcards, but the prices there seemed quite reasonable - seemed to have lots of old cake tins I could have spent a lot of time looking at). Then a quick lunch - a few choices.

After that, guided by Sharon, who knew the area well, we nipped across the back and came around onto Sandlyn House, which is why I am here. This is a quilt shop I used to know in Montrose (near a Dutch Cake shop), but it is now four times as big. It has a really good range of charms of the button type, and well-sorted into themes (love that!), excellent range of ribbons (wired and silk), threads etc. Friendly lady on the counter (please go out the back and look at all the quilts) etc etc etc.


Exhibition of Antique and Vintage Quilts, Thurs 5th January to Sat 4th February 2006 - entry gold coin donation.

Did I say how easy it was to just hop on a train to there. There is a location map on the website, but they are at 48 Manchester Rd, Mooroolbark.

AND - next door is a Salvation Army Thrift Shop (of course we went in), next to that a second time fashions (we didn't have time), and around the corner, on the way back to the station, an old-fashioned haberdashery and wool shop (does a fish swim?).

I think we could have spent hours more. But what time we did spend, was fun. (We were actually driving - there was another op shop too, in the shopping plaza at Kilsyth, the next suburb. Aaaaagh!)

Thank you ladies, for a lovely, although rushed day. I think I want to go back there with more time.

Tuesday, 22 November 2005



Jo in New Zealand, who is a crazy-patcher, has a blog! And some lovely scenery.

Gloria's Other Apron

Here is the other apron from Gloria's Mother-in-Law. Cross-stitch, but beautiful and very Dutch.


That will be it from me for a while - the deadlines are all crashing together, so I possibly won't be back until next Tuesday, the 29th. But after that I am hoping for lots of stitching time.

Sunday, 20 November 2005

All That Jazz - finished!


It is finished. A super-huge one is HERE.

This block was started on 16 September, in response to Sharon and Annie, with assistance from Pam, deciding to take on making a quilt to auction to aid survivors of Katrina.

We were asked to take the theme of All That Jazz, and take in the colours of purple, green and gold, the colours of the New Orleans Mardi Gras.

My block was pieced using those colours, plus some fabric from a swap and some other patterned fabric from a top one of my students found in an op shop.

My first step was to tatt the black tatting and base it on gold lace. Then I worked the modified Chicken Scratch up the centre of each ray of the fan, and decided this represented the balconies I am told are in the French quarter in New Orleans. I worked all the seams on the main part of the block in purple, green or gold metallic threads in herringbone with a back cross. I decided the pattern was so busy I needed to keep seam treatments simple.

On 29 September I converted an old filet crochet iris pattern, and worked it in one corner with waste canvas. Not botanically correct, but it is there to represent the Louisiana iris. After that I started adding the ribbon roses and wisteria on the tatting, and worked the seams on the fan to represent their stems.

On 12 November I worked the mask, using a soup of purple, green and gold beads to make the feathers on the mask, to represent mardi gras beads that come in those colours. I added vintage silver beads in the Chicken Scratch of the fan. Following that I worked the treble clef, outlining it first in black and then adding the gold beads.

Finally, I beaded (and extended) the pattern between the mask and the treble clef, and added some embellishments - the vintage clip reminded me of the iris and of the blue "burst" below it. The gold fan is for the Southern ladies, and a tiny Bluebird of Happiness has been added nearby. There is a small blue gemstone Heart, and my signature at bottom right.

My last step of all was to tatt the pink tatting for the centre of the fan, work some gold chain-stitch (with a sparkly), and then add five small cultured pearls.

Now it is ready to send off to Sharon, once I have shown my Thursday ladies.

Nearly, Nearly There

Just a tiny bit to go, and my Katrina Block is finished. Have to go and do it. No more blogging until finished!

Saturday, 19 November 2005

Gloria's Apron

A week or so ago we had a wonderful explosion of Dutch embroidery called Dootstopwerk, on this blog and over at Googies Garden. If you toodle over there, and scroll down, you will see a closeup of the work on this apron, plus a sampler piece on dark blue. The fabric used is a special one that has the lines woven on the top for the embroidery to be woven under (if that makes sense).

On Thursday Gloria brought this apron (and another, post soon, it is cross stitch) to class, and we were all so lucky to actually have it there to look at.


The large version of the apron photo is HERE and my posts on it were HERE and HERE.

Crazy Quilting in Ecuador

Check out Momo Mare over in Flickr. Wow. She is a missionary in Ecuador, and has even made a peacock using waste canvas.

On the line of "Things meant to happen" - her name is Marilyn. I am about to reveal a deep, dark secret. My middle name is Marilynn.

(Growing up as Linda, where there was an advert, in Australia at least, of "Sleep wonderfully warm with Linda", for electric blankets, I had enough problems at school. I wasn't revealing my second name - "Who do you think you are? Marilyn Monroe". The double n is another story, but too long for here).

Nice to find another Marilyn who quilts.

Friday, 18 November 2005

Meant to Happen

Back in August, I posted the story of Ada Macdonald's needlework book, which she gave to my mother over thirty years ago. You can read the original post HERE. I had always considered Macdonald to be a fairly common name, so it took a while, after Sue told me that her husband was connected to the same small town, for me to put two and two together.

This morning I asked her if Ada Macdonald fitted into her husband's family - and discovered that he was, indeed, her grandson. Ada only ever had one child, a son, and Sue never met her.

Sue is a tutor at the Neighbourhood House where I have also been tutoring - and she is the most wonderful embroiderer. Some of her work is HERE. And she has a daughter to pass the book along to - because I am going to give it to Sue as soon as I finish scanning the pages. I have been loading them on the net - you can see them HERE. I better get a move on - I am anxious for the book to return "home"

I am sure that is what Ada had in mind, when she gave it to my mother, over thirty years ago, many, many miles away from where I will hand it back to Sue.

Think I will just ask Sue if she has a photograph of her - I would very much like to see what she looked like.

Thursday, 17 November 2005

Handbags galore

Handbags sure are the easiest way to carry your art around. Thanks to Rick Rack Ruby for the reminder about Handbags Galore! Check out the links to the exhibitions.

Life here remains busy, but another deadline got ticked off yesterday, and a big one the day before. Now just a conference paper to write and a regional bookshop to run, and I will be finished for the year. (That does not include unpacking the car, which currently has 16 very heavy boxes in it - better go and do that!)

Looking forward to some stitching time.

Monday, 14 November 2005

Treble Clef

The Treble Clef from my Katrina block is finished.

First I Goggled for images, and had a lovely time looking at some jeweled ones. I copied one and printed it the size I wanted, and traced it on tissue paper, making sure I knew which bit overlapped which.

Then I embroidered the outline in black perle 12 crochet cotton.


Then I removed the tissue paper and worked inside the black outline with tiny gold petite Mill Hill beads, using a careful mix of larger ones to emphasise the long straight bit.


Finally, I added a vintage glass piece to the tail and filled in the larger areas between the gold beads. And this is the result:


Sunday, 13 November 2005

Working on Katrina Block

Work progresses on my Katrina block. This is the mask motif


You might remember I was showing off how Margaret J used the same bead soup the other day:


That's what I like about CQ - everyone takes a technique, but adds their own individuality to it.

Saturday, 12 November 2005

Dover Sampler

Just enjoying a cup of coffee and my Dover sampler for this week. For anyone into Medieval Art (and I am), this one looks beautiful.

Revisiting UFOs

This UFO popped up the other day, so I took a quick pic.


It was originally pieced over two days when I was doing a CQ demonstration, and is made from thirty pieces of linen-look (actually polyester) fabric from a fabric swatch.

The thirty pieces of fabric and the "coat of many colours" means that when I sent it around in two vest round robins (the first time each half went separately, the second RR they went together), it went as a "Biblical Vest", so there are Biblical allusions all over it. Then a few friends added bits. And I still have to finish it.

But while I had it out, I thought I would photograph it - I have been building up a set of vests on Flickr, and trying to get good photographs of all my past work/UFOs - and that is a big job!

I like vests - I actually wear them sometimes - I prefer wearables/carryables for CQ, rather than something else to hang on my walls - no space there.

*Back to real-life deadlines*

Friday, 11 November 2005

Update on Dutch Embroidery

Emmy from the Netherlands has kindly named the Dutch embroidery as Doorstopwerk, and advises it is no longer popular there. Thank You, Emmy (who has a wonderful website - the words are in Dutch, but the pictures need no translations).

Emmy has also loaded some more photographs onto her Flickr pages.

And Googs has scanned the example she had yesterday, plus another one.

And I did a Google and found lots of pages in Dutch with Doorstopwerk, none in English, and no useful illustrations.

Isn't the net fun, when you get a subject like this!

Pictures from Tosh

Tosh, who is a wonderful crazy-patcher from Queensland (ie Australia) has been loading her photographs onto Flickr. I love her work, as she uses a lot of different fabrics and approaches her work in quite a different manner. Pop over and have a peep.

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Katrina BlocksII

Two of my Thursday CQ ladies, the two Margarets, have totally put me to shame. They have finished their Katrina blocks.


The one above is by Margaret J - she handed it over to me as she couldn't stop working on it.

The one below is by MargaretG - and is just as lovely.


You might notice something in common on both - we have made a bead soup of purple, green and gold beads (Mardi Gras beads, although I don't think they are this ornate), and have been making string of them and laying them every which way, and then couching them down.

Here is a closeup of Margaret J's beads:


I am going to use mine in a different way again - must get back to stitching.

Today was a little sad, as I have had to tell the group that due to other commitments I will not be able to be with them next year. Some of them have been with me for the full two-and-a-half years, and I will miss them very much.

Isn't it always the way .....

Isn't it always the way. The other day Gina at Patra's place posted a picture of a rather interesting supper cloth, sort of like Chicken Scratch, but not. I hadn't seen that sort of work before.

Then, wouldn't you know it, Googs came into class today with this:


This is the work of Goog's Mother-in-Law, who is Dutch, and she didn't at the time know the name for the embroidery. This appears to be a sampler piece. The threads vary - the white seems to be a crochet cotton, the red is a double twist and the yellow is like six strands of DMC.

And it is very complex!

The fabric is actually a closely woven heavy cotton that then appears to have the white pattern superimposed on it (not by hand), for the weaving to take place. Which seems to be the same in Gina's piece, except her pattern is totally different.

Isn't it interesting how you see one piece of something, and then you see it around again and again.

Does anyone know the name of this form of embroidery????

There is a super-large picture of it HERE, so you can get a really closeup look.

But I would still love to see a scan of it. Pop over and say "Hello" to Googs, and I reckon if enough of us ask her, she might be prepared to try and scan.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Auditioning buttons


I have been goofing off, as I have deadlines all around me, and should be working on my Katrina block. But this was calling me, so I have got to the stage where all the blocks are joined (I use the same stitch, just different perle crochet threads), I have added a few fan charms and am now auditioning buttons.

I think it is going to be backed on calico, with a black satin (or maybe deep purple) bias.

The large one is HERE

If you would like to see who worked on the blocks, or closer views of them, they are HERE.

Post around here are going to be sparse over the next few weeks as I have some real-life deadlines and big jobs. But hang in there - I will be back. Better get my Katrina block finished.

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Stash Sunday - Something Old

It is Stash Sunday time again. Something Old, they say…. Hmmmm…….


Well, this is almost as old as I am. And it was made in the early 1950s. Is that old enough???

Some years ago I was cleaning up my Mother’s Stash, which included bags and bags of stuff in the shed, where the possums and elements had got in. There were bags of clothes people had given her to cut up, that she had never got around to. Most were just turfed in the tip, but the best I kept and put through the washing machine and deconstructed them for my stash.

That is where I found this. I had just washed it, and was about to take to it with the scissors, when my arthritic little Mum almost hurled herself across the room and rugby-tackled me.


That is your Christening Dress. Your Aunt Iza made that for you!

Well, I had never even known I had a Christening dress. And it is now badly rusted. And I think the rust is increasing. But the really good lace around the hem is still perfect. And so is the smocking.

And there is no next generation in my immediate family for which it should be restored.

To cut, or not to cut. That is the question.

Saturday, 5 November 2005

Bags of Fun Gallery is Up

As a weekend bonus - Sharon has the Bags of Fun Gallery up. Ooooh - and I hadn't started to hope yet, as people still until the 8th (next Tuesday) to finish.

But the start is there. Thanks Sharon!

Quick UFO

I am having a quick deviation off to the left, and putting this UFO together:


All I need to do is join the blocks, which are from a DYB and a RR, and stitch the seams. And back it and add a hanger.

Shouldn't take long, should it????

You can see the individual blocks HERE.

Friday, 4 November 2005


JeansBag Final

That's it - I am finished. Not that I won't find more broaches to pin on it, mind.

So now I need to write about it???? Design-wise I didn't do anything, just kept thinking "What do I want to play with next". I was in Chicken Scratch mode, and did some freeform Chicken Scratch in black on the blue heart, and then appliqued it on. Then I did the bluebird, and put a Chicken Scratch Heart around it. You can see the process for that HERE. And the rest I just sort of filled in with whatever came to mind. You can see the stages HERE.

And I could have kept going forever, except it had a deadline for the Bags of Fun of four days' time.

So I made up a base, and sewed that in. Then I made an insert that was about the same size, cut from template plastic, and covered it in fabric (so it wouldn't cut through the bag). Then I added a hidden pocket in behind the zip.

After that I made an internal "bag" with pockets, to line it. The black braid is to cover the stitching there. Sewed straps and attached them with gold plastic buckles (from Spotlight). I wanted to be able to detach the strap to wash it if necessary.

The belt is tied like a men's tie, so if I want to close the bag I just pull one part of it, and it closes.

And that was it. Except there was not quite enough fabric in one pair of jeans (lining base, envelope for plastic, belt, strap), so I had to cut into another pair of jeans. I have the top of them left. Just looking at them, they would make a nice bag .......


All I would have to do is sew on a couple of buttons. And just put a seam across the base. I wouldn't get side-tracked into doing too much more.

All Pigs on Runway Three, and in the hands of the Air Traffic Controllers.

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Nearly, Nearly, Nearly There


Just some braid to sew on, and an embellishment to go. The ties look a bit short here, but it is tied like an old-fashioned men's tie - pull the back one and the bag closes more, and the tie is longer. But still just needs something below it.

The blue tatting around the lefthand pocket is new, and the bag is now lined, with denim pockets, and even a hidden pocket inside the zip.

And that will be it. Maybe it really does get finished tonight.