Saturday, 31 December 2005

Well, Drat!!!!

Well, Drat. The Dragon Vest is going back in the UFO box. All I did was get out the Country Gardens Sampler, and DH almost fainted. "NO, not THAT!" he cried.

And I looked, and in twelve months only one thing has happened to it.

This is how it looks at the minute:

Sampler Jan 05

There is a slightly larger photo HERE, but I need to work on the quality.

I am stalled as I have the grasshopper/cricket to finish, and then just add all the stumpwork. I have the pieces ready to go. Trust me.

So I have uploaded all my small photographs onto a Flickr set (sure makes you get organised as to what you have recorded, and what you haven't!), and I am off to work on it. I did enjoy doing all the "boundaries" in this, using CQ stitches - wonder if I can add a few more beads now, without losing meaning.

For those who are unfamiliar with it - it is the Country Garden sampler from Jenny Bennett (Jenny Bee), a stumpwork designer from Sale, in Victoria (ie one of my local needlework shops I actually walk into). I did classes for all of 2002 with Jenny for this - just it is the giant UFO that has never been finished.

(In looking at Jenny's page for the links, I see she has her new Sea Life sampler up there. I get to walk in and have a look!)

When I get it done, I am allowed to go back to my Dragon Vest. And Biblical Vest. And Peacock Vest - I haven't even photographed that one yet.

Now for the Dragon Vest

Someone asked what I was working on next - it is the Dragon Vest.


This was from a round robin, and all I have to do is work on the seams - I will not be adding any more dragons, apart from a few small charms. I do have a few cloth motifs, but the colours are all wrong for this piece.

Some of the work on this vest is among the best I have ever received in a RR - some of them are in the Flickr set for this piece.

Vests I have made

I have just been organising my photos - I do love Flickr. I have just made a set of my vests - although I can think of at least one UFO that is missing.


This is my current favourite, although my Dragon Vest may well take over.

Friday, 30 December 2005

Making the Dragonfly Wings

I have just had a search - my description of the Needle Lace Dragonfly wings are in my blog for July. If accessing them there - you need to remember the most recent posts are at the top - scroll down and then read "up".


You can look at just the pictures in a Flickr Set, but it isn't much good for directions.

Dragonfly Wall Hanging

The Dragonfly Wall Hanging is ready for binding:

Dragonfly Blocks 3

A slightly larger one is HERE.

Although I may yet pin an occasional dragonfly broach on parts that are my own work - makes a useful place to keep them.

The middle sides were made as one large block that was then cut in half - the central block is from a round robin in 2003, and the top and bottom rows from a DYB (Doing Your Block) in 2004.

Here are the sides:


Larger one HERE. This one has one of my needle-lace dragonflies at the top (I blogged it ages ago - will find the link later), then a Susan Clarke original pin, the beaded dragonfly I posted yesterday, and a cheapie glass broach. Not sure the glass broach is really a dragonfly, but it looks close.


This is the right-hand side. Slightly larger one HERE.

The top broach is a beautiful copper one from my friend Chris, and there is a white dragonfly from my m-i-l's stash. The glass button was one from Nancy Eha, when she came to Australia. The butterfly near bottom right is a set of stumpwork wings from the incredible Maureen III, and I think the gold dragonfly with rider was a gift years ago.

I am still thinking about how to mount this. I think I am going to just bind it with a narrow binding, with internal wooden supports, and then lace it onto a lashed frame of natural wood.

But that decision is still being made - it might just get a temporary treatment.

I have counted the number of dragonflies on this wall hanging, and not counting those printed on fabric, I think there are 36. But maybe I need to count again.

Thursday, 29 December 2005

Now for a change in colour

Now for a change in colour, away from all those blues and emeralds. Back to the light blues and olives of my Dragonfly Wall Hanging. It needs to get finished too.

So I have been playing with this beaded Dragonfly, which was adapted from Beading by Diana Vernon.


There is a slightly larger one HERE.

I will be trying this Dragonfly again, maybe on a Heart. And one of the lessons it has taught me is, do anything you can (short of murder) to get even seed beads. They may look even to the naked eye, but once you put on the technician's headpiece to bead (which I wouldn't be without now), they can look like a dog's dinner for the cheaper brands. And it shows in the final result.

Might go and put the headpiece on, and re-sort my beads according to quality.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Peacock Closeups

Here are the closeups of the four corners of the Peacock Wall Hanging - hopefully there will be enough quality for people to get a look at them. Just as a reminder, the whole thing is made up of three round robin blocks and twelve DYB (Doing Your Block) blocks, plus a special from Belinda and fillers from me.

There is a bit of overlap on the pictures, but you should be able to get the idea.

You can see who did which block on the Flickr Set - this is far from being all my work, although the piecing is all mine.

The Wall Hanging is now totally embellished - I just need to find the RR books etc and work out what date it started, so I can do a signature. Then I will bind it. Might try the French Facing technique Allison was so kind as to post. Thanks Allison. (Edit note - my apologies to Allison, and my appreciation to Arlee for pointing out I had attributed this to the wrong A class lady)

Top Left (larger version HERE):


Top Right (larger version HERE):


Bottom Left (Larger version HERE):


Bottom Right (Larger version HERE):


Tuesday, 27 December 2005

Peacock Wall Hanging

The Peacock Wall Hanging is nearly finished. And it is dashed hard to photograph!

And, it isn't square - or flat - but given all the bits that make it up, I reckon it is turning out quite well.

Peacock Blocks F

The largest size is HERE.

I had a lot of time to sit and stitch over the past few weeks, as there was little else I could do. So the strips were joined, and those seams embellished, and all sorts of other bits added.

And I fell in love with Delicia beads - especially the faceted ones. I hadn't realised Delicia is a brand, not a size. And these are just so beautiful. At times it was like working with Roman mosaics.

For this piece, there was a motif that needed a little bit of extra help - so I put dark beads around it, then Delicias around that. And some seed beads and a Svarkorski (sp?) in the centre.

Peacock Blocks 2a

But it was in this piece, where I beaded on top of a fairly flat picture of a feather, that those bronze-mix Delicias came into their own.

Peacock Blocks 12

The original feather was a bit of fun. I put an actual feather on the scanner, and then printed the picture on silk (or was it calico?), and got the image, but it was nothing like the real-life feather. So hence, the beads. I did the outer gold ring first, the dark blue second, and then filled in with the bronze ones.

And I am very taken by the large bead in the patch above. It is genuine Venetian glass, and doesn't show up all that well in the picture, but has a beauty all of its own that you could lose yourself in.

I'm still not sure how to handle pictures of this wall-hanging to show it off - I think I will take it in about six sections, with macro, and put them up, so you can all have a good ogle. It is just impossible to get the whole thing.

But if you would like to have a look at some of the individual blocks, there are HERE.

Tosh thinks there is a Beading Bible in that Bible series, and I seriously want it. I want to learn more beading techniques. I have Nancy Eha's, but I want MORE! *Drumming heels on carpet in tantrum*

Actually, I have a beaded Dragonfly up my sleeve, I think .....

Monday, 26 December 2005

My Library 4

This is the second book my lovely DH gave me for Christmas - I have all her other books, so had to have this one.


The formal details are: Crazy Quilt Decor by J.Marsha Michler, published 2005 by kp books, an imprint of F+W Publications of Wl (where-ever that is, in the USA. Why do they always assume everyone overseas knows their abbreviations?). ISBN 0-87349-765-1. 144 pages, paperback.

The book is project-based, and there are probably not a lot of things in there I would make - mine is not that sort of household. I can imagine what DH would say if I put crazy-patch scallops along the top of a shower-curtain! So I guess there are only so many wall hangings you can have.

However, what fascinates me is the way her style has changed, and how she puts colours and stitches together. And there are a couple of totes in there I like, and the pattern for the Japanese money bag.

And just to look again and again at her Far-East Fanfare quilt. This book has gone a little overboard for me on tassels, but they do make me think about how she uses them. And her Hearts that start each section cause me to think.

And, that is what it is all about, after all. Jumping off from one idea to another.

A lovely book for that.

My Library 3

I have the most wonderful DH, and this is one of two books he gave me for Christmas.


It is a companion book to this one, which I already had:


When I got the Embroidery Stitch book, I don't know why, I just assumed it was an Australian edition of an English book, but now looking at the silk ribbon one, I think they may have both come out of Australia, but assume they are distributed elsewhere as well.

The Silk Ribbon Embriodery Bible is by Joan Gordan (who appears to be Australian), as was published in 2005 by Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0 7318 1261 1. It is 256 pages, hard cover, bound with the most wonderful large spring, that means it opens flat.

Two of the Australians who have designs in are Robyn Alexander (from Colourstreams) and Jenny Bennett (Jenny Bee from Sale, near me).

The Embroidery Stitch Bible, by Betty Barnden (who appears to be English), was published 2003 (I have the 2004 reprint), by Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0 7318 1175 5, and is 256 pages, also in the same lovely binding - which is what attracted me to it first. This one was $(Aust)36.95

The thing I like about these books is that there are heaps of very-easy-to-follow instructions. I was a bit thrown in the silk ribbon one to see Pistil Stitch called "extended French Knot", but I guess I can live with that sort of thing - happens all over the place.

I don' know if there are any others in the series - there in nothing in either to indicate, but I have a funny feeling I have seen a "Quilter's Bible" or similar in the same format.

Anyone know of any others???? Because I was really happy to add this one to my bookshelf.

Sunday, 25 December 2005

Christmas Lunch

DH, doggie and I have not long returned from Christmas Lunch. Which was lovely and peaceful. For the past few years we have taken the tack of going off by ourselves (there are no children in our family), and having a picnic somewhere in the nearby bush. This time it was at a picnic reserve that was logged many, many years ago, and has now regrown.


Notice the stump on the left - the original trees must have been huge. And we had it all to ourselves.

Three small rivers join at the flat, we were at one of the junctions - here is one river before joining the other.

Christmas 3

There were lots of tree ferns around, something special to Australia. Here is one of the larger ones, in the middle of the flat. It would have been about 25 to thirty feet high.

Tree Fern

Christmas Dinner

We had a lovely lunch of potato salad (secret recipe), rolls, ham and salad. There was more, but we didn't have room for it. And a nice wine.

And the Christmas Bush/Mint bush was out. This is a small native tree that flowers at Christmas in the cool temperate southern rainforests (where we are). The scientific name, for those so inclined, is Prostanthera.

Christmas Bush

So, we had a lovely lunch. Now it is back to catching up with the rest of the family.

Friday, 23 December 2005

Merry Christmas II


Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas - courtesy of my 2004 Christmas Wreath - a wonderful Round Robin. You can see the largest version HERE.

New Year's Resolution - cover my pin-up cardboard sheet with some attractive solid fabric. Maybe even calico.

Thank you everyone for your messages - they are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Sewing with the Angels


Yesterday my beautiful mother-in-law, Flo, went to sew with the Angels. She was 92, and had a wonderful life of sewing and craft - starting as a sample maker in the garment trade in the 1930s.

I will be having a little while off, and will be back after Christmas.

Friday, 16 December 2005

Going Away for a While


I am going to be away for a while, maybe as much as a week. Hopefully I will be back before Christmas. But if I am not - I hope all my readers enjoy the Peace and Joy of Christmas.

Christmas Ornies Day 3

The Christmas Ornies are ready for posting


The larger picture is HERE.

Now, back to the Peacocks.

Rick Rack lace

Pamela Kellogg over at Kitty and Me is posting some beautiful pictures of Rick Rack and Crochet Lace. Do take a peep.

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Little Christmas Gifts

I wonder if people would have liked to join my class and I at Christmas lunch today?????

Our tradition is that the week after classes officially end, we go out to lunch and everyone brings a small container of nice things for CQ. We specify that they have to all fit into a matchbox or a film canister - although there is a tendency now to decorate the outside of them a little.

They all go into a bag, and everyone gets one back from someone else - no expensive gift-giving that way, but lots of fun.

And I also like to make a little box of goodies up for each student too. So here I was, at the start:


I had already bought the boxes at The Warehouse (a cheap chain - four boxes for $2. I have a stockpile of them). They had been painted with folk art paint, an angel cut from Christmas paper at the top, and varnished. At this point I was filling them, and my matchbox.

This is how the tops looked.


This was the last of my wrapping paper, and it got me thinking. Computer printouts always bleed when I glue them, but one colour photocopy from my Angel book could go a long way. And I could colour-photocopy the box my old jigsaw came in.... that would make stunning box tops. (Slight diversion - I have copied a photo of a Ferret onto a mouse-pad for my beloved for Christmas - please don't ask why. Imagine good photos of some CQs on a mousepad. Ai Yi Yi - Officeworks, for those in Australia, $9.95)

Meanwhile, to resume normal programming ....

So, we have just had a rather lovely lunch, and I meant to photograph all the containers before they were opened, but in the excitement of the moment, I forgot. So, here are just a couple:


This one has braid wrapped around the film canister, and then was put in a little baggie made from wire-edged ribbon.


This one has been opened, so the packaging is not perfect.


And this is what was inside one container. All sorts of things turn up in them. The silver decoration was on top of the film canister, not inside. So it becomes a bit of a challenge to see how much you can fit in.

And they are really good fun.

So, we got to talk about the class having an exhibition next year, with weekend workshops ......

I am so glad Joan, one of the students, has agreed to take them on while I am having to deal with other matters - too nice a group to let go off and disperse.

Christmas Ornies Day 2

Why did I leave it to the last minute? I would love to keep sewing on these - four inch blocks are really nice - perfect fit in the hoop. And this picture does not show how much they are glittering.


Larger size HERE.

In the end I have used only the one gold metallic thread and some old ivory crochet cotton, and just whacked these through quick.

You might also notice I was experimenting with the combination of three of those seed and bugle bead combinations on each. I like them. I have been playing for a while with Fly stitch with two seed and two bugle beads, but then had the idea of adding another seed bead. Fly stitch makes them much more even than just sewing on beads with straight stitches.

So it is:

1. Come up through fabric

2. Pick up, in order, seed, bugle, bugle, seed. Go down through the fabric about a cm away in first part of Fly stitch.

3. Come up through the fabric in the "V" between the two bugle beads, pick up another seed bead, go over the thread and down through the fabric. You should then have a "V". Come up inside the V, pick up a bugle and a seed, go down through the fabric.

Simple, but I like it. Very easy to make evenly each time.

And, in the meantime, here is a picture of my favourite Ornie I made last year:


Larger size HERE.

Those wreaths are fun - just draw a circle and stitch around continually using all sorts of green threads and ribbons, maybe fine gold thread as well. Add red beads or French knots, and a bow at a strategic place.

And I am really sad I didn't have time this year to tat the snowflake. Because I have found those little clear centres as Svarkorski (can never spell it) crystal - the fire in them is stunning.

Next year .......

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

My Library 2

This book is getting a fair bit of use at the minute.

Angel Book

It is a Dover book, ISBN 0-486-28751-3

It has provided angels for the silk prints on my Christmas ornies, which is turn resulted in gift tags. And something else I have up my sleeve I cannot post quite yet.


But it is a lovely book, full of beautiful angels, Christmas, Easter and "non-seasonal". One days, in all the other things I want to do, there will be an angel wall hanging. I have been collecting them for a long time.

Waste not, want not.

Waste not, want not.

When I was printing the angels on silk for the CQ ornies, I made a test print first on paper to check the size. So I cut them out on double thickness paper, wrote on the back piece of paper, and laminated them.

Result - personalised gift tags!


I'm still stitching on the ornies in spare minutes - they are nearly finished.

Christmas Cards???? Rats - still have to do them. I wonder if I keep the nice ones and silhouette the covers, and laminate them, will I have some nice gift tags for next year???? Although I have this nice book on Angels.

Oooh, might be time for a library post.

Beautiful CQ photos

Iffen your eyes are tired, and need something to make them glad - do pop over to Kim in Fargo's Flickr page. Beautiful CQ and Hearts. Don't miss the little boxes at the bottom - there are several pages.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Christmas Ornies Day I

The Christmas Ornies for this year have progressed.


So far I have:

1. Printed a heap of angel prints on silk. But I ended up liking this one best, so I used it for all three.

2. Drew a four inch square on the foundation, turned it over and repeated it on the other side

3. Did a quick and simple machine piecing around the prints.

4. Turned over, tacked/basted around the four inch line, turned over and trimmed back, leaving a small seam allowance.

5. Added bits of lace and trimming coming in from the side. Some is rather nice wired gold gift-wrap ribbon, minus the wire. It will make nice dragonfly wings some time later.

5. Hooped the two I have six inch hoops for. I need another hoop.

6. Using gold Madeira machine thread, started sewing down anything that moves (ie mainly the trimming). That’s the one at top right.

And, that is it until dark. I am off to garden.

Monday, 12 December 2005

Leaving it to the Last Minute

Yep - done it again. Leaving Christmas to the last minute. So the Peacocks are about to get packed away until after Christmas (maybe), and I am off to make at least three Christmas Ornies as special last-minute gifts. And I still have a box (well, matchbox size), to pack for my class lunch on Thursday. And real-life things to do, so I better get my skates on.

Christmas Ornies 2004-4lite

This is the style of Ornie I will make again. Just a square, hung from a point, with a bead drop on the bottom. And I have already printed silk angels to go in the centre.

And at least I know the main thing/s I am getting for Christmas from my beloved. We were making a quick run through a bookshop yesterday (Angus and Robertson at Fountain Gate, Sharlee), and it seemed to have a good craft section. I spied two I hadn't seen around (one I had heard was out), and asked if Christmas hints were in order. The Dear Man grabbed them both, but now we have to play the game of my pretending I haven't seen them or know anything about them.

And I want to read them! Now! I only got a really quick look in the shop. Rats!

Sunday, 11 December 2005

PB 3 - tinkering

Tinkering time with Peacock Block 3. Not a lot of stitching time, as things get busy.

Peacock Blocks 3e

The main change is that I found the three buttons I painted in peacock colours with nail polish, that I wanted to put on that wide green and black ribbon. And it just didn't work. So since gold will go anywhere, any time, I assisted the gold peacock in its flight over there, and added the buttons to the foliage where the peacock had been.

I have almost finished the seams joining this block to the next, and I just want to put a branch on the blue lace for the bigger peacock to roost.

Then it is onto a joining seam on the other big strip, and I join the two biggest strips.

Getting closer, but Christmas might get here first.

Saturday, 10 December 2005

My Library II


I've just picked up my copy of Stitch, the British (or is it English?) Embroiderer's Guild magazine. It is usually my favourite mag, but this one, oddly enough, doesn't have as much in it that I want to work. But it is nice to have the collection of them slowly building up. And that link has a couple of interesting online articles.

But then again, there is an interesting bag in there that has got me thinking. The shape, not the technique.

After much thought, I have given up taking Australian Embroidery and Cross Stitch, but have found a few interesting articles in the current Inspirations.

Speaking of which - I see they are about to bring out one of their special projects books, which is a CQ Bear. Supposed to be out late November, but I haven' spotted it in shops around here yet. There is an advert in the magazine, but nothing on their webpage as yet. Guess I will have to wait.

Friday, 9 December 2005

Quickie on Peacocks 3

Just a quickie this morning on Peacock Block 3

Peacock Blocks 3d

This is from the camera, not the scanner, which is not as good. But it does not all fit on the scanner.


The block has now been joined to the rest of its strip, but the main news is I have been experimenting with those shell sequins (are they pailettes or similar spelling?) that are around. I have been frantically collecting them, but hadn't tried actually incorporating them in any work. So there are two sets of the larger ones - bottom left and just under the tulip top right.

I got these out again and started thinking about them as I spotted a new colour in my local reject shop - a sort of light emerald - much more a peacock green than the lime ones, which was the only other green I had seen around.

So in bother cases I was experimenting on blending them in with little chains of seed beads. Then I used the smallest ones to make a flower at bottom right.

They have potential - but need a little more work.

I'm off to work in the garden. Beautiful garden weather.

Thursday, 8 December 2005

A Book for Today

Here is my book for today - the fifth one along on my shelf. Which is probably the one I would have chosen next anyway. It is Australian Quilt Heritage by Margaret Rolfe. It actually came out of John Fairfax publishers in 1998, but I am not sure if they are still distributing it - Margaret seemed to have a lot of copies herself to sell. Maybe someone out there knows???

ISBN 1 86343 333 3 paperback, 96 pages


It is arranged chronologically, and chock full of coloured photographs of historical quilts, even a few crazy ones, and ones that inspire us in craziness (if you know what I mean).

I have actually put a big version of the cover on Flickr - the quilt on the cover (and it is only a part of it), is amazing. You can see the big version HERE. That quilt is made by the Hampson sisters, and is in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. It is dated around the time of Federation (1901), and was made in Tasmania.

Now I am going to have to restrain myself for a while, and go and do mundane things, rather than go off and scan more book covers.

Down girl, down!

Cataloguing Books

"W" (who is a reader I have only just met, waving), has pointed out a neat site called LibraryThing.

It allows you to catalogue your library online, has a blog associated with it, and looks fun for the serious library owner. I'm still trying to work it out - I already have a few hundred of my non-craft books catalogued in a program on my computer, so not sure that I would be changing over, but it has interesting possibilities. Thanks "W".

And it is not quite the same as a cosy little chat amongst stitchers about favourite stitching books on Flickr - which is also fun. So I am off to look at my shelves, pick out the fifth book from the left in the craft section, and have a look at it. Unless it is one posted already in My Library set. Then I will go for the sixth. :) Back soon.

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Beading Book and Books in general

This is the beading book I picked up the other day in Book City - not sure if that chain is in other Australian states - it is a discount chain in Victoria.


It has some nice stuff in it - and appears to have come out of England. I was particularly looking for seam treatments, and there are a few - not a lot, but a few, and a rather nice wired dragonfly I might attempt to make with thread and then sew down.

And, at $12.95 Australian, I reckon it was quite cheap. 112 pages, lots of nice coloured pictures and clear diagrams.

Here is the title page for those who want that sort of thing. The ISBN is 1 84400 298 5


So - all this has got me thinking about my books. I slipped over to Flickr, and made a set for the books where I have got covers already scanned and loaded. I love books. With a passion. And I am now resisting going off and scanning all the covers of the things I like to use, and talking about them.

I am going to ration myself. Maybe to one a day????

But if you would like to pop over and have a look through my Library, it is HERE.

And if anyone is interested in having a yarn about books (without posting actual pages, which might have copyright issues), I have set up a little Flickr group. I would love to know about some of the other books out there people find useful/inspirational.

Beads are Nice

Beads are nice. I should play with them more. This is the Peacock's Tail, finished:

Peacock Blocks 3c

Now I want to go off and experiment more with Fly Stitch with bugle beads - maybe adding a seed bead to the end of each side one as well. I can see a bigger tail somewhere - except there is little space left.

And I wanted to cover that large purple thing - so just played with some beads. In this close a picture you can see threads going everywhere, but they are gold, and look okay in real life. And the gold beads reflect down in the purple as well.

I want to play with beads more - I bought a book the other day ... now ....where was it?

Toodles off looking for book. It was a cheapie.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

CQ by Buttersweeet

There is some nice crazypatch hidden in Buttersweet's photos on Flickr. Always interesting to see the approach by others. It looks like Buttersweet is a photographer who sews.

All I Want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas is classes with sharonb.

Mmm, and maybe a few vouchers for four extra hours a day.

What else could a gurrrrl want????

Monday, 5 December 2005

Progress on PB3

Peacock Block 3 is progressing. Although this picture is a little drab as the broaches mean I cannot properly close the scanner lid. Or the scanner is upset because of the bright broaches. Something like that.

Peacock Blocks 3b

So far I have put some purple metallic chains on the green block near bottom right - they're not showing up at all. Then I put a seam in the blue lace (under the peacock tail), and beaded the blue lace to the left of that, using the lace pattern to give me a bead pattern.

You can see how it looked before HERE. Then I decided to make a peacock tail in beads - working it out as I went. So I have worked the feathers using bronze bugle beads in a fly stitch, and have beaded the first "eye". Had to stop then and go to bed.

This morning I got up, pinned on the feather and two peacocks, and the large feather motif, just for the record. I have two of these motifs I have been carrying around for years - each time I find a place on this wall hanging for one, it gets overtaken by something else. I am running out of places for it.

But this block is just a smidge too narrow to fit where it has to go - so I make put in a long skinny piece of fabric, and may have a place for the feather at last.

How Wonderful

How wonderful to see Jacqui on All Stitched Up take one of my Crinoline Ladies and work her in blackwork.

This is where the internet is wonderful for spreading ideas. The blackwork is so right for the Crinoline Lady, and has me itching to try out blackwork now.

Thanks Jacqui!

Sunday, 4 December 2005

Stunning New Work on Line

If you want to see an absolutely stunning new work - do pop over and see what Pam Kellogg has been up to now at Kitty and Me.

(Later note - blogger is playing up at the minute, and won't let me comment on there (word verification playing up) - so I have left my comment at

Back to the UFauxs

Back to the UFOs/UFaux. There are a number of them on my sidebar, but the three at the top of my "to do list" are the Peacocks, Dragonflies and Fans. Most just want a bit of finishing up and mounting. To my total disgrace, in looking at my visual journal (ie book = paper) last night, I discovered it was exactly a year ago today that I charted the Peacocks and Dragonflies and said I was going to get them finished.

So I had a hard look, and decided on the Peacocks, as it needs most work. If I can get them all ready to back (the Fans is), I can set up and do them all at once. Getting a big, flat space to work is often a challenge. And I need to find the backing fabrics for them all - and the siding ones.

So this is the next block on the Peacocks:

Peacock Blocks 3

It was in a Round Robin where I ended up sending around two blocks, not just one, as the first person misunderstood and did far too much on the other block, so another had to be sent. Everyone did beautiful work on them both, but I knew I would have to fill in a bit.

That's what I am off to do now. After I reload a whole heap of pictures onto Flickr for the blocks in the Peacocks and Dragonflies. I hadn't realised how good sets are there for organising pictures, so have no idea where the pictures are for half the blocks twelve months ago on Flickr. Think they were from before I bought a pro account anyway, so would have been lost.

So I am off to reload them, so I have them all up there.

(Late note - I did it! And it made me realise how important it is to keep track of large works - some blocks had not been scanned. So I apologise to anyone who has me in their favourites on Flickr - it really was an overload. The three links at the top of the post are to the sets - did I say how much I like sets???)

Saturday, 3 December 2005

Bag Mark II finished

Bag Mark II is finished. Well, "commissioned", in that it is now ready for full use. It is not "finished", as I will just keep adding stuff to it.


However I am happy with the basic structure - after adding four small tucks to the waistband at the front, which took the ties to the sides. They were more towards the back, which was making it gape a bit too much. The smaller opening is much more serviceable.

The picture above is what it looks like with a jumper stuffed in it - the one below is flat, which it will never be.

The tucks were strengthened by the two coins and button you can see in the picture below, just below the waistband.


In fact, I am so happy with the structure that I think I want to make Mark III - same structure, just really take my time with the embroidery .......

Boxing a Bag

"M" has asked for boxing instructions, so here goes (this is actually a second attempt - Mozilla/Blogger just lost the first, huge post as I was about to send - aaaaaagh!)

Firstly, this is just a way I worked out - I am sure there are other ways - and I didn't take pictures as I was doing it, so I hope the instructions work - Sharon - I might have to make another one, just to take pictures!!!!!


1. Lay the bag flat, and measure from side to side. It doesn't matter if the seams are not at the sides/corners, but the bag does need to be flat (have a straight seam).

2. Cut a long rectangle for the base, four inches plus seam allowance wide. To calculate the length, make it four inches less seam allowance shorter than the distance across the bag.

eg if bag is 14 inches across, and your seam allowance is a quarter of an inch, the length of the base is ten and a half inches long. ie three and a half inches shorter than the distance across the whole flat bag.

Note 1 - for a six inch wide base, it is just the same - make it six inches less seam allowance long - ie five and a half inches shorter than the length across.

3. Turn bag inside out. Find middle point of bag and middle point of long sides of base. Pin right sides together and then pin all of long sides of base to bag. Machine.

4. You should then be able to manipulate the ends to sew across the ends, and your bag is "boxed".

Note 2 - if you reduce the ends slightly, either by tapering, or making the base slightly narrower overall than the given measurements, and make tiny tucks in the bag at the ends to fit it to the base, it gives it a more bucket-like appearance. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

Another idea is that, since you know the dimensions of the base, you might also cut a piece of template plastic the same size and make a fabric sleeve for it, and wedge it in the base to give more shape to the bag and protect the base from sharp objects that might get thrown in the bag.
So, this is where my bag is now - it is already becoming a favourite to just grab. I am off to look for more ties to give it more variety. But I would have to say that you should leave boxing until you have done most of your embellishing - as having the base in does make it harder to sew things on.


Do call back in a few hours, and I will have this bag as finished as it is going to be.