Sunday, 29 January 2006

Dover Sampler for my Dragons

Ooooh - I am a happy little Vegemite (An Australian term to mean I am happy - and oooh, didn't I have fun on the previous link).

Meanwhile - why am I happy? The Dover Sampler this week includes these prints - exactly what I want for my Dragon Vest.

So I print that page out, blow it up a few times on a photocopier, and make myself some tissue tracings, and off I go.

Thanks Dover! This one is nice, too.

Click HERE to go to a subscription form to be e-mailed the Dover Sampler once a week. It is good.

Spotto! - Lynn

Spotto! I've found another one. Someone who blogs and crazy-patches. Have a peep at LAM's Blog, and if nothing else have a look at the Archives for October. Lynn has made the Hussif and Pursiff combination - well worth a look.

Saturday, 28 January 2006

Stencils

Calidore found these stencils a while ago - I have finally tracked them down at The Warehouse - except one is the same and one different to hers.

stencils

Must check out the Scrapbooking shops - maybe even buy a scrapbooking magazine???? Wonder if there are onsite websites of scrapbooking supplies that sell templates .......

Cripes - I will be gone for ever!

More Playing Cards

Card17Card16


There are a couple more old playing cards over in my Graphics set at Flickr. I've loaded these two for Freda, who was looking for stuff English.

Must look out for more of these old cards at Ephemera Fairs - not that I get to that many. But when I do, they are relatively cheap.

Classes with sharonb

Many of you know the stunningly wonderful sharonb through her webpages and her blog.

You will go there and be lost for ages - there is the Stitch Dictionary, and I dropped the button box, and so much more.

So this is just a reminder, for those who may have missed it, that Sharon is teaching online this term with joggles, and there are places left.

I have signed up, as Sharon has only made the commitment for a one-off at this stage, and this is the sort of chance I may never have again. And I didn't think the class was all that expensive, when I checked it out. Definitely cheap compared to how much travel and accommodation would be to go anywhere to a Retreat, or anything like that!

And a lot of the stuff would apply to art-quilters in the wider community, as well as art-quilters who are crazy-quilters.

The reason I am writing this now, is that Sharon has very generously given me a look at the class notes for review purposes, and I have been completely blown away. It is like getting a full, personal e-book from Sharon, just crammed with illustrations of her work, in glorious colour, and all the theory of what she has done is explained. This is exactly what I have been after.

So, even if I didn't work through it, or take part in the online discussions that go with it, just to have this as a resource would be wonderful. To think that it might be available one day as a book is the sort of stuff of which dreams are made.

So if you have been hesitating - go for it! It suits (and will inspire) the beginner. For someone like me, who has been around a little while, it is amazing, and I am just so glad I am going to be given this opportunity.

And I am looking forward to the chance to actually take an online class, to meet up with the others working through it as well.

Friday, 27 January 2006

Rain!

Wonderful, wonderful rain here.

Not a long lot, but heavy at times.

And it has been falling on the fires.

Breast Cancer Blocks

Thanks to Freda and Judyth for the Guidelines.

The deadline for blocks is 1st April, so that I can do. And I do like this project - it is one of the oldest ongoing ones in crazypatching (if not the oldest), and does always deliver.

Kate has given me the okay to post them here, as the wider they spread, the better. But I haven't put Kate's e-mail out there on an unprotected page - please contact me if you would like her e-mail to write and volunteer a block, and to get the address to send it to.

GUIDELINES

The Crazy Quilt Benevolent Society is sponsering its 8th annual fundraising event for breast cancer research and the advancement of crazy quilting.

There will be two different color choices this year for CQ blocks.

***Monotone Blocks:

Use the same color family on the whole block such as white on white (see example on my eboard on the conference tab--2005 blocks), purple, pink, blue, yellow.... any color is acceptable.

***Jewel-toned blocks:

Use jewel toned fabrics such as red/ruby, blue/sapphire, green/emerald, yellow/topaz, black/onyx.

DO NOT USE WHITE FABRIC on the jewel toned blocks. Embellishments may be white.

________________________________________________________

Guidelines:


1. Cut foundation fabric 7 1/2 inches square. (I will trim blocks to size later)

2. Center and mark a 6 1/2 inch square on the back of the block. (This is the edge of the block. Do not embellish past this mark.)

3. Center and mark a 6 inch square inside the this square. (This is the seamline)

4. Center and mark a 5 1/2 inch square inside that square. (DO NOT SEW beads or buttons beyond this point. They will have to be removed so I can sew the squares together)

5. COVER the entire block with fabric.

6. Embellish the block any way you wish. Suggested embellishments are your initials and or the date. (see the block on my eboard as an example, on the conference tab.)

7. Write your name and where you are from on the back of your quilt block.

8. Write to me privately to volunteer a bloack. [Kate's e-mail available from Chloe at kapana(at)netspace.net.au] I will give you my snail mail address when you are done with the block.

9. CQ blocks are due at my house in Chillicothe, Illinois by April 1st, 2006.

10. We request that you send $5.00 with the block to help defray the cost of making the quilts. If you send more than one block, $5.00 is all that is necessary. People outside the U.S. who volunteer a block do not need to send money. It is too difficult to change different currencies. The donation is not mandatory, but very helpful to those of us who make the quilts each year.

Anyone can join the Crazy Quilt Benevolent Society fundraiser even if you have never made a crazy quilt block before in your life. It's a great opportunity to raise money to help all women
every where.

The blocks will end up 6 1/2 inches square, but PLEASE cut the foundation fabric bigger than that, following the guidelines above. I will trim them to size later.

Bushfire update

The bushfires are still burning across the river, and are just as serious, and where I am now remains just as safe. But I am feeling so much for the people there - this is another long sapping wait like 2003.

And that was how it was until I heard on the radio about half an hour ago the unconfirmed news that a camp where I spent a fair proportion of my life in youth work has been destroyed. It is the uncertainty of not knowing if that magic place is gone, that is sapping.

Suddenly, these fires are much more real.

Usually, I enjoy tatting in black, but yesterday's piece, worked as I watched another magic day of tennis on the TV, suddenly has another meaning.

Tatting8

LATER NOTE: I feel guilty saying this - I was relieved to hear it is not Caringal that is gone, but Connan Park. Because any loss is a great saddness. Both are properties of the Scout Association, and Caringal is a wonderful, big training complex. It is still very much at risk.

Breast Cancer Donation Block

It has been a couple of years since I have made a block for the quilt co-ordinated in the USA by Kate from Chillacoothe (or similar spelling, but those who know who I mean, know who I mean).
I think this was the first I made, in 2001, and I find I haven't kept a digital record of the others I made, for the next one or two years - I know there were two in the next year.

Donation block1

Maybe I kept a "paper" record - must look.

I feel a yearning to make another, and know it is a six-inch block, and know the colours. But cannot find anywhere any details of the deadline date.

Can anyone help???? Have e-mailed Kate, but no reply as yet - and I know how busy she is!

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Craig's Needlework Book II

64a

If anyone is looking for me, I am over at Craig's Art Needlework Book at Flickr, with a cup of coffee, uploading pictures. Had given that a rest for a while, and am now back at it again.

This page is not yet uploaded as I write, but I thought it an interesting approach to a simple bird, using Fly Stitch (my current favourite) on the wings.

For those not familiar with the story, you can find it HERE. It is a very special book.

Australia Day

Card13

Today, the 26th January, is Australia Day - the national day in which we celebrate what we are. Although it is a day of mixed feelings for the Indigenous people of this land.

And although we are now much more than Kangaroos and Koalas, here are a few of our animal symbols. Just to celebrate today, and get some more of my old playing cards up in my Flickr set. There are a few more over there, too.


Card11Card14

gatherings

I've always been a fan of Pat Winters' work, so I am delighted to see that she is blogging.

You can find her at gatherings, and I know she has a website somewhere, but do you think I can find it at the minute. Help!!!! Someone. I know Pat makes the most wonderful stuff, and beachcombs and gardens as well, in Indiana.

Late Note: Pat's web page is well worth a visit! It is HERE.

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Nothing really doing

I'm back in blogland, but nothing really to blog-on about. The fires are still out the back, but we will not be at risk here (this is the house in suburbia with no fuel-load to carry a fire), but it is quite serious across the river, where the small towns back onto the forest and plantations.

And the saddest thing is that people are breaking into motels and stealing the wallets and mobile phones of firefighters who are out fighting. I don't think you can get much lower than that.

I haven't been doing any stitching, and don't have any planned - maybe just a little bit of tatting while watching tennis, in between watering in the garden. I don't have anything planned at the minute - just having a holiday before I start classes with sharonb.

Sunday, 22 January 2006

Back in a few days

The fires where I currently am are getting a little worse, but there is no risk right where I am. But I am about to disappear for a couple of days for work-type stuff, so won't be blogging. That's probably going to be the scene Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays for the next few months. Not a lot of time to stitch, but I guess there will be things on the net I won't be able to stop myself talking about.

Very smokey here, and the main fire front is supposed to be about three kilometres from a neighbouring small town. But thanks to the rain a few days ago everything is pretty green, and once the fires run out of state forest there isn't a lot to burn. It means that cars here are getting covered in ash, and there are burnt leaves falling everywhere, but no real safety issues for my immediate area. Although there is a lot of concern for smaller settlements in the edge of the forest just across the river.

There is a huge column for smoke that is hanging over everything - it even shows up on the radar as if it is rain.

So my disappearance is work, not fires, and I will be back in a couple of days.

St Clare as a Heart

It has been very hot here for the last few days, although we had a real tropical storm (which is not usual), two days ago. Today they are saying 43 degrees, which is 109 in the other scale. So I am staying inside with both cricket and tennis on TV.

There are uncontained bushfires near, too, although we are quite safe here. From what I can work out one front is currently burning right through where we had our Christmas picnic.

In the meantime, I have finished Heart #16 for Ulla in Sweden.

Heart16

The largest version is HERE.

This is St Claire, the Patron Saint of Embroiderers, at her hoop.

I am particularly happy with the Chicken Scratch on the right - I have been trying to get that pattern for a while - now I just want to try it on an even larger area.

And I am happy with the vine. It ended up being Feather Stitch with a single Fly Stitch worked on each arm - I like Fly Stitch, it is so precise.

And the tatting is my own work. Think I will go and make another, only finer. I have somewhere in mind for it, just have to organise ways and means.

Saturday, 21 January 2006

Suffragette Heart finished

Heart18fin

My Suffragette Heart is finished - although it still looks a little like "Country Suffragette" - that's the gingham in it.

It is up for swapping on the Chains of Hearts list - no nibbles yet.

I'm off to finish St Claire (or is it St Clare, must check), who has a home waiting for her, and then think what next.

Book- Quilted Bags and Purses

Book15

Borrowed this one from my local library - and have to say I am rather glad I didn't buy it sight unseen from a catalogue.

It is Quilted bags and purses by Mary Jo Hiney, a Sterling/Chapelle, various distributors - in Australia Capricorn Link. ISBN 1-4027-0201-9. 144 pages, hard cover. Appears to be 2005.

I am sure it is a nice book - but it just didn't grab me or inspire me. There are a few different shapes for totes, and I am sure the instructions for making them up are wonderful.

So I won't buy - but may well borrow again from the library.

Nice places, Libraries. And with computers, the more we borrow the needlework books, the more they might spot there is a readership out there for them. And the more they might buy.

Why not ask in your local library if they have a way of recording requests for books/types.

Why not check out their catalogue, to see what else they have in their system.

Friday, 20 January 2006

Owls

Well, I just couldn't resist - I was reading Shell's blog, and there was this cutest little Owl. And I thought I had it in my cards, too. But mine were different. And, before I knew it, they were in the scanner ....

Card1Card7Card9

Is it any wonder I never get any work done!

Macaroni Monologues

Last one for me for the morning - but I must tell you about Macaroni Monologues - a blog that began on 1 January and is a fun read. Marcia has tried a few different craft/sewing things - and if we all drop over and say "Hello", she might start doing crazy-patch. Would be fun to see what she made. I enjoyed the dolls - a Gardening Angel appeals.

Graphics on Playing Cards

Card4

Yesterday I reloaded Boadicea to my Flickrs, and that reminded me I have some other nice cards that people might like. The large size of this one is HERE.

I think this was the one given to me by the wonderful Catherine and M3, when we found a heap of them at an Ephemera Fair. I might go through and post some others, as there may be some people would like to download.

They will slowly go up in a Flickr set. Wonderful thing, Flickr.

Heart for Swapping

Heart18b

Heart #18, the Suffragette Heart, is almost finished - only two small seams to go. They will be done today. The other two Hearts have found homes, so this one will be my swapping Heart in this lot. Joan has chosen the Chicken Scratch Sampler, and I will be sending St Claire to Ulla when she is finished.

I was really happy with the Chicken Scratch when I put the chain-stitch edges on it - the straight one is almost like a braid, and it brought the Heart right into focus. I think I will play with this a little more in the future.

So I am off to Chains of Hearts to offer this one up as a swap. If more than one person wants it, it will go to she who has been longest on the list. I hope that doesn't put Newbies off - you never know, you might be the only person who likes it!

And I will try and make some more - I have enoyed these. After UFOs taking so long it is really nice to get the "quick hit" of getting something finished.

Thursday, 19 January 2006

Suffragette colours

Bra2a

I've had a little off-blog comment about someone not realising Purple, Green and White were the Suffragette colours. So it caused me to dig out my Suffragette Bra - made for a Breast Cancer fund-raiser in 2004. The rest of them can be seen HERE, courtesy of sharonb.

There is all sorts of symbolism in this one - there is a silk-print of a scan of a Suffragette broach I own in the centre, a Boadacea print you can just see, and a print of a Suffragette card you can't see.

Boadicea

If anyone would like Boadicea, the largest is HERE.

Why Green, White and Purple (Violet)? It stood for Give Women Votes. Today one interpretation is equal access to decision-making for women at all levels. So it is still relevant, and I still work in it a lot, especially when I submit blocks for Community Quilts. Here is one such block:

Suffragette2

There is a super-huge one of this HERE, as I was playing with stitch combinations.

So I always have a bag of Purple, Green and White handy.

Heart #18

This is the third of three Hearts on which I am working at the minute. It was an experiment to see how it would look when I pieced in the small Heart in Chicken Scratch.

Heart18a

I was feeling a bit lazy at the piecing stage, so just grabbed my purple green and white bag (those who know me know that bag is always handy). They are the Suffragettes' colours, and I work in them a lot.

So, crossed with the gingham, this Heart has ended up almost country. Certainly not one I can easily put lace/Victoriana on. The only thing I have really found that works with gingham is Broderie Anglaise lace, and all mine is too large for a Heart anyway.

And that would make it look really Dolly Parton. But Rick Rack is okay.

The white on green CS on the left is an experiment with candlewicking cotton - I am still trying to find the perfect thread. But I won't be trying that again, believe me. It broke all over the place and piled up. Totally yukkie - but probably perfect for Chicken Scratch. I hadn't used it before, and bought a ball specially.

I'm off for coffee this morning with Joan, to work out what Hearts she has left available for swapping. Think I might give her the ball of candlewicking thread too. If she can't use it, she can pass it on too.

Now, somewhere I have the purple buttons I did in a Birko.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Catching up on Reading Blogs.

I'm catching up on blog reading - there is something wonderful happening over at Alison Aller's - do go take a peep.

And the wonderful Willa has a blog, and is journalling her Journal Quilts.

*Chloe disappears back into blog reading*

Chicken Scratch Heart finished

Heart #17, which is a Chicken Scratch Sampler, is finished:

Heart17c

I was doing a little experimenting with this one - I started with a single strand of DMC, and ended with sewing machine cotton - which I preferred. And a large neck-chain magnifying glass. The last section is the bar above the Heart - where I was experimenting with ways to make a lattice for roses that had a solid edge.

But the most interesting thing is I hadn't realised how different the two foundations were for the different stitches - here they are before the circles were added:

Heart17b

As you can see, one uses straight stitches in the middle of a check to hold the circles, the other uses crosses. Those crosses are less common in patterns. I think now that when I did them again I would extend the cross just a little further into the white check, which would make it look a little crisper, as parts of the purple go into the white circle.

But overall, I am very happy with this Heart. I have someone I need to catch up with in the next few days that I owe a Heart to, and I want to giver her a choice that includes this one. If she chooses one of my others, there is still someone else at the top of my list I would like to offer it to - so this one may not get to come out into the open for all comers.

Now - who is playing tennis today I can watch. And stitch.

Late Note: This Heart has now gone to live with Joan, as I owed her a Heart, and she chose this one.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Quickie Chicken Scratch

Just a Quickie tip on Chicken Scratch this morning - I had hoped to write in more detail, but the reality is that I now work on Tuesdays, so time has got away.

If you look at gingham, while the dark and medium checks are usually square, in the smaller, and I think the larger gingham, the white ones never are. Just the nature of the beast.

So you need to take a peep at your fabric, and if it is important, work out which way you want it to run.

Heart 17-18

With this one (if your screen doesn't distort it), you will see a skinny Heart and a wide Heart. Both are the same pattern.

Thanks to Maggie in the UK for a reminder about this site for Chicken Scratch instructions.

Monday, 16 January 2006

Heart #16

Heart16

I have re-numbered my Hearts again - but the only person that should confuse is me. *grin*

This Heart is similar to one I made for Maxine a couple of years ago, and at that time I thought I would make two similar Hearts each time I pieced, and make a similar one up for myself. Hah! Now I do a colour photocopy and laminate it, so I have a perfect and attractive record, and I get more Hearts made to swap.

So, although I usually don't repeat Hearts, in this case I am, and am trying to make it as different as possible to the last one. And there is someone special I have in mind who will have first refusal for it.

How to swap my Hearts is exercising my mind a little, with a lot of very welcome new members on Chains of Hearts. I usually offer what few I make, which are very complex, to first comers who have a Heart waiting to swap. That way they go to where-ever they are meant, by chance.

But sometimes I make them with someone in mind, or I owe Hearts to people - which I try to avoid, as I never know when I will get them done. And, is it fair that those who spend a lot of time on the computer get a better run at them than someone on dialup who can only go on every few days????? Oh Gosh, this is complicated.

So I am off to work out a system where those I offer to first comers go to those who have been on the list longest, who have something waiting to swap........

At least I am getting a lot of time for stitching. It is cricket and tennis time, and I am being a couch potato in any spare time.

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Heart #13 on the hoop

Heart #13 is on the Hoop - well, sort of. (I am going back to fill in a missed number, having finished #15).

In this case, I have been meaning to experiment with two things. I wanted to make this Heart as a swap Heart:

CSHeart2

But the problem is that it is a seven inch (not six inch) Heart - and there is no way to make it just slightly smaller.

And, for a while, I have been wanting to try the very small-check gingham (I think it is still gingham). This is the result:

Heart13

The small Heart (with the larger one for comparison), is worked with a single strand of DMC, and is 5.5cm across (cannot lay my hands on the ruler with the inches - we're not supposed to think in them in Australia any more).

But this small Heart should piece into a full-size one beautifully - I have a couple of ideas to experiment with. This will then be a Heart for swapping.

At this stage I don't think I will put the deeper purple part around it - but I may change my mind. And I would say - if you are thinking of learning Chicken Scratch - don't start with the smaller gingham. I like its delicacy, but it is not the easiest.

Heart #16 is also on the hoop - well, I have two hoops. I think that one is already committed, as I owe a Heart to someone special - with any luck I will be back tomorrow with that one partially finished.

Saturday, 14 January 2006

Nice Sites

If you are one of those people who likes looking at the ornate Visual Journals of others (mine's not that ornate, but it suits me fine), have a peep at Leslie's Journal on Flickr.

And, while I remember - Julia aka Ribbonwhiz over at Camille's Place, has been posting some lovely progress shots on her blog. I reckon if I was doing a Chloe's Blog of the Week, that that would be it for this week.

Heart #15 finished

Heart #15 is finished - although I have just discovered there was never a Heart #13. Strange - I am not suspicious, and discovered it on Friday 13th!!!. Never mind - I have another one up my sleeve, but it is already committed.

So, here is the rest of the story....

Heart15b

I was pulling out the waste canvas (and snipping it into short bits), when I noticed how it almost can be used to make a plaid or a picket fence (on the left).

I started the circles, just to show how they are done AFTER the waste canvas comes out

Heart15c

This is the next stage - the Chicken Scratch is all finished, and I want to try something else on it.

Heart15fin


And this is the finished Heart. I am really excited how the beads look in the flower in the Chicken Scratch. Now I am off to offer this Heart as a swap on Chains of Hearts.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Working on Heart #15

I'm still in pickles-making mode, but working on Heart #15 in coffee breaks. This one will be for swapping through Chains of Hearts, the Yahoo group. For this one, I was inspired by the Heart I did in a hurry that I did on my Jeans Bag. This is it:


CS8b


For that one I did the Chicken Scratch by copying crosses from gingham onto tissue paper, and working them:


CS8


Also, if you look at the naked #15, you will see the bare right-hand side that is perfect for Chicken Scratch.

(I really have to watch what I am doing - I see by Statcounter that someone has happened on my blog by looking for "Naked Chloe")

If you look in that set, you will see another Heart I worked direct onto the denim using waste canvas, but that was a higher count, like 14 count, from memory.

So this time I working the crosses using waste canvas, but I think this one is 12 count, and I am working with Perle 12 Finca crochet cotton. I go across a double set of lines to make the crosses, not just one set of lines - all the waste canvas does is give me the perfect grid.


Heart15a


Do call back soon for progress.

More Hearts Loaded

Not a lot happening here at the minute to blog on about from a stitching point of view - real life has been a little busy, and I am making mustard pickles.

So I have uploaded a few more Hearts, which is making me look at them again. I really enjoyed making these, as I could try out ideas, and had forgotten the one on this one:

Heart5

It is the very simple cross stitch using waste canvas Heart, which was then filled with simple daisies. Could be worth thinking about a little more. Hmmmmm.

Back to the pickles.

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Chains of Hearts

It is a rainy morning here, and I have been organising on the computer. That's when I realised I didn't have my Hearts from Chains of Hearts up as a set on Flickr.

They are now, but not all are loaded. That will happen soon.

This is mainly because I am looking for something to fill in a few weeks - I don't want to start something big, just in a mood for something small.

So I have dug out a pre-pieced six-inch Heart, and might work that up for a swap. And must pre-piece a few more for future swaps. It is really easy, and they are a nice mob over on that list.

Heart15

Here is the one I think I will work on - I'm off to let it tell me what it wants on it. Maybe a Dog Violet in waste canvas.

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Another Vest UFO

This is another of my UFOs - I have been getting through them so fast I thought I had better have a hunt and see what else I have to do.

Vest7

The larger size is HERE.

This was a round robin, and I need to check to see who else was in it. I know Bear and Bernadette were. I think it was a vest RR, and I asked people to work in Peacock colours. Sound familiar?

The picture above is a bit weird as I was playing and clipped a bit off the left shoulder, but it was also my attempt to draft a princess line from a suit pattern, so I may have trouble making it up in the end anyway.

But it is still out there as a UFO I would like to get finished - but it is a bit further down the list.

Monday, 9 January 2006

My Library 7

Here is another book from my library - designed for the traveller. It is arranged state by state, and then by region and town, so the visitor can check out what quilts can be seen in the area. There are a lot of Crazy Quilts included - some I have not seen in other books.

Book14

There is a largeish cover HERE, and a huge one HERE.

The book is 336 pages, hard cover, good index ISBN 0-646-36164-3 Published 1999 by AQD Press, Box 202 Hunters Hill, NSW 2110 I cannot remember what I finally paid for it, but it was not cheap.

The cover on this one is a 1925 Nursery Rhyme quilt by Amy Amelia Earle, from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.

And, speaking of books - Sharon has also posted an image of a book I don't have - an earlier (I think) one by Margaret Rolfe.

Science and Nature Embroidery

Melody at Two Cents, who did that wonderful Moon Rock embroidery, has started a Science and Nature Embroidery Group at Flickr.

Her Moon Rock process is over there, and some other stunning stuff.

I am starting to think that a "Mother Nature/Earth Goddess" could be an interesting theme - one of mankind/womankind's oldest images, in a modern context. Have a look at the one in the pool from Creative Chick.

Administrative Stuff

Looking at the data for this blog on Statcounter, I see I have a lot of regular readers out there, who are not subscribers.

*waving to them all*

Just for those who are starting to discover blogs, and have not found out about it yet, there is a website out there called Bloglines. You can subscribe (it is free), and then tell it which blogs you want to read.

Then, each time you log onto your part of bloglines, it tells you which of your blogs have been updated, so you do not have to endlessly go to your favourites and click on blogs that are not updated that often.

And, if you are looking for other nice blogs to read, slip over and have a look at Bloggers who Embellish. But take a cut lunch with you - there is a lot of really nice reading there, and when you find ones you like, you just copy the address, open another window for Bloglines, subscribe, and you have them for next time. And off you go back to the other window looking for more nice blogs.

Definitely Finished

Image35

The Country Garden Sampler is now definitely finished - thank you all for helpful comments. In the end I added what I am calling a Hop Vine (very stylised). This broke up the lines I was worried about, and filled the spaces, and remained true to the design - it is just an expanded seam treatment.

Staying true to the original design was important to me - it stopped me from adding a waste canvas butterfly just outside the area (well, over a border), just about the snowdrop.

And Jenny encouraged us to be creative with the border treatments, which I found easy, as a crazy-quilter. One thing I don't remember her telling us, but I did, was to find the elements that I wanted to emphasise, and do them first, all in one treatment. Then fill the lesser ones in first. So this is what I did with the Foxglove, Crocus and Rose. That is what gave greater impact to the boxes.

Jenny actually used a few fine braids on her borders, whereas I stitched all of mine.

But overall - I am very happy. This is the first (and probably only) Sampler I will do in my life, but the discipline was an interesting exercise!

Off to the framers!

Sunday, 8 January 2006

Bookmarks

Acting on a suggestion from Googs, I have been playing with bookmarks. (Yes, I know we were talking about what to do with used Christmas cards, but it got me thinking).

Bookmarks

What I have done is colour photocopy my fan wall-hanging - both full size and 50% reduced, and cut slices of various size. The colour photocopier has much more intense colour than a computer printout. Printouts are okay, just not as good.

I am lucky in that I have a fair-sized guillotine, and also a laminator.

I have just laminated the slices, trimmed them again, punched a hole (missed the centre in the first one), tied a bit of funky yarn, and Voila! Bookmark!

It has all sorts of possibilities with Kumihimo threads, beads etc.

And I am really enjoying looking how the slices work when they are disconnected from the rest of the block around them.

Sampler Completed - I Think

Sampler Final

There is a huge one HERE (do not attempt on dialup!) and one that is a bit smaller (but bigger than this), HERE.

For those who have not been following my travails - this sampler was designed by Jenny Bennett (Jenny Bee) at Sale, Victoria, Australia. She has a number of other samplers on her website, but I think this is her best. Her original is HERE.

In 2002, I did classes for a year with Jenny, and almost finished it, but put it aside until recently, due to other pressures. I sure am glad to get it finished.

Jenny sells the sampler as pre-printed fabric, so she is the artist, and I am the artisan - and during the classes Jenny had no issues with people changing the sampler and adapting it to suit themselves. For example, I have a purple tatted butterfly to top right of the Foxglove, as I did not wish to do a spiderweb. Many of us changed her specified colours as we went, just for the fun of it.

So this is a sampler, of the modern type, as we learned heaps of different techniques (well, I did, for sure), as we went. And I have enjoyed myself thoroughly, and am rather glad to have it finished. It is a major work, not to be attempted lightly, but well worth it.

That is the up side. Now for my problem.

There is a spot, almost in the centre of the sampler, that bothers me. It is where straight lines meet between the Rose, Lilac and Foxglove. As a crazy patcher, I would instantly put something over it, and that is what I find myself wanting to do to that spot now. Not something large, but just something to break those straight, bare lines.

It I had spotted it in time, I would have left a break in the silver border around the Foxglove, and put in a small waste canvas flower, but too late. That is a complex double seam that would not be easy to unpick.

I have looked at a charm (considering a 9ct gold rabbit, but too obvious, anything else not good enough).

At the moment I am thinking about a small, trailing piece of green vine. Just something to break it.

Any suggestions anyone???

Or, should I just leave it and accept that the whole design is based on square boxes, and celebrate that.

So, maybe it is finished, maybe not. Deadline for me is to take it to Jenny on Wednesday for framing.

Now - which UFO can I get a start on before classes with Sharon in February????

Finished!

Finished! Well, maybe. The Country Garden Sampler, that is.

This was one of the last pieces:

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I have finished the Fuschia (in the middle, under the Dragonfly), and found the right bit og twig to go under the bird's nest.

Elsewhere, I have even finished the ruddy cricket. No closeups of it though.

But there is one piece still worrying me - do call back in a few hours, when I have taken the final picture before framing - and by then I may have solved it.

Saturday, 7 January 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Twelve months ago today, encouraged and inspired by sharonb, I started this blog.

(was going to link to Sharon - but for the one day of the year, her page is down, or my browser is playing up, or whatever. But we all know where to find sharonb, don't we).

It has been a lots and lots of fun, and I am relieved that I have got a few of the UFOs I listed at the start finished. Whew!!!!!

It has been a lot of fun, and I appreciate all my readers - it makes it worthwhile, and I love the comments, just feel a little guilty I don't get time to respond to them all - but I do slip over and read the blogs of the people who leave the comments. Love doing that.

So Thank You, Everyone, for a wonderful twelve months!

My Library 6

Here is the Meryl Potter Crazy Patchwork book I was talking about the other day. It is one of the two main Australian books - although I am not even sure it is still in print.

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It is Crazy Patchwork (Lothian Craft Series) by Meryl Potter. Lothian Books, 1997 (reprinted 1998), 72 pages p/back, ISBN 0 85091 797 2. It is project-based, although it has a "stitch library". It is a good basic beginner's book, although I have to say the projects don't excite me much.

And the same could be said of the other, being a good book for a beginner, although some of the projects (a pink cq dinosaur!) are a little more different. There is, for example, a beautiful evening jacket, and some nice vests, and a good armchair caddy.

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The full title for this one is Creative Crazy Patchwork, by Heen Moore and Theresia Stockton, Fairfax (although mine has a sticker saying it is now distributed by Sally Milner), 1998. 80 pages, ISBN 1 86343 298 1

Friday, 6 January 2006

Dragonfly for Sampler

The Dragonfly for the Country Garden Sampler is finished - and I am rather happy with it. Glad I persisted and pulled off the two wings I thought were too big. Then I followed Jenny's size - when all else fails - follow the instructions!

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The awfully big version is HERE.

This is this little chap in context - he is bottom left in this picture. Although I do have to say - I think this one is more of a damselfly than a dragonfly.

I used my system of making dragonfly wings for this one, and not Jenny's.

So now there is only the Fuschia, a bit of Wisteria, and that dratted Cricket. (Have I said that before).

Oh, Yes - I need to find a stick to sew to the bird's nest, too. And slip my signature in there somewhere.

And that is it - the end is nigh.

Thursday, 5 January 2006

My Library 5

No more stumpwork today - the Dragonfly wings I made are too big, and after looking at them for hours, they are going to have to come off while I make another set.

So instead, it is back to my library shelves. And doing this is definitely making me look more carefully at my books. This one was published as part of a series in 1993, and I think I have another one, maybe the one on Surface Embroidery and Smocking.

Book11

There is a super-large (ie same size as the book) HERE - it takes a while to load, but means that you can see the actual stitches on the cover quilt - which seems to like a lot of spider-web flowers.

Margaret Rolfe then went on to write Australian Quilt Heritage. But the interesting thing I found was in the small print - the book editor was Meryl Potter, who herself has written an Australian crazy-patch book - I had always wondered where she fitted into the picture.

Meanwhile ..... back to this book. Its title is Australian Heritage Needlework: Patchwork, Applique and Quilting by Margaret Rolfe and Val Moore. It was published 1993 by Lothian, 72 pages, paperback. ISBN 0 85091 578 3. And I would think well out of print and unavailable.

The quilt on the cover is held at the Kyneton Historical Museum, in rural Victoria. It is a doll's quilt, and a close look shows that some parts, possibly silk, are shredding.

There are a few other interesting quilts inside - the Christina Brown (1815-95) quilt that is in the National Gallery in Canberra, and the Tasmanian Fan Quilt, which has been published elsewhere. But one of the other things about this book I like is that it has good, large diagrams for some of those fans, and good large outlines for Australian wildflowers for embroidery.

This isn't a book I use a lot, but is interesting to have if you are thinking about the history of crazy quilting/publishing in Australia. Must find my other book in the series.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

Current State of Play

Here's the latest picture of the Sampler - the colour is better, but I still cannot seem to get a crisp picture. Oh Well .......

Sampler Jan 05a

The really big one is HERE.

More stumpwork sampler

A little bit more has happened to the Country Garden sampler. The Violet has been finished, and the Daffodil and Bumblebee.

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If you look at this one, you can see the unfinished Dragonfly just at the bottom. I think it is next, as once I do the Fuschia, I don't think I will be able to put it on the scanner. And those wings will take a couple of days, so don't expect pictures in a hurry. *grin*

This is a bigger one of this picture HERE.

You can see the whole set HERE. I have added another one just near the start of the top right-hand corner, so as you go across the set, it is sort of in sampler order, not in order of adding or completion.

So then there is only the Dragonfly Wings, a tiny bit of Wisteria, the Fuschia and that ruddy Cricket. It will be last. Trust me.

Used postage stamps

Stamps

Is there anyone out there, outside Australia, who has children (or grandchildren) at a school where there is a stamp club???? I obsessively clip stamps off my letters, and I have a lot, and nothing to really do with them - I used to include them in swaps, but am not swapping at the minute. I know there are charities I can give them to, but they are worth so little, that I would prefer to pass them on to a group of children somewhere that could have fun sorting them and learning about what is on them.

If you do have contact with such a group, drop me a note on kapana[at]netspace.net.au

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

Using up old Christmas cards

We've just been sorting the Christmas cards - I was looking for any where I could nick the graphics - no such luck this year. But then, I started to think.

We don't have a Christmas tree, and I have always been promising myself a CQ one. Maybe, if I cut out a shape, from corrugated cardboard, and cut up the cards, and sort of tiled them on, like fake CQ ......

I would need some silver paper, or green paper, to make the solids, rather than put pattern next to pattern. Or maybe paint the whole thing green first, and just leave spots blank????? Nah - think I like the idea of creating solids.

And maybe paint some seams on there - or use a pen.

Varnish the lot, put some holes in it to hang the Ornies I have collected and Voila - I have a quick CQ Christmas tree.

Wonder if I have enough cards?????

Monday, 2 January 2006

Bit of a Ramble (No Pictures!)

Sharon, who is back over at inaminuteago, was kind enough to write:

I have been thinking about ways to sustain energy for larger works while they are in progress. All last year I watched with interest the blogs of both Linda at Chloe’s place and Pam Kellog of Kitty and me . Over the past year both these women have constantly blogged their work in progress. Other crazy quilters have done so too but I am focusing on these two bloggers as both Linda and Pam have a particularly prolific and beautiful out put and I am wondering/thinking if their blogs assist in this. [end quote]

Well, Thank You Sharon! I am rather chuffed to find myself in the same category as Pam Kellogg, as I think her work is very special.

I have to say, thinking of your question – I don’t know!!!!! The scientist in me wants an identical me, as a control, who doesn’t blog, to see if the output would be the same.

But there is one thing I do know – it inspires me to better document and record what I am doing. But on the whole I THINK I would be doing the same stuff anyway – much of what I am writing about on my blog at the minute is stuff that I started before I started the blog. I just started the blog to make me finish it – but that is more a matter of life pressures rather than blogging making that possible. I do have to say that I don’t run around thinking “I have got to finish this so I can blog it” or “I need to finish this so I have something to blog about”. I can always find something else to blog on about (Oooooh – is that a new use of the word blog???)

But, what I do know is, I am having more fun doing it.

I have always been a writer/publisher in some form (and am still a paper-based publisher in real life), so it is something to which I think I took naturally, and it didn’t really hold any fears for me. And I am also by nature a cataloguer and documenter, so this was a fun way to do it. Having a scanner and a digital camera is a very effective in making web-publishing achievable.

[Deviation – any newbies reading this – start your documenting now, if you haven’t already – you will really regret it later when you want to look back and see how much you have grown].

Also, I don’t write for a particular audience, although I am delighted to find people do drop by. As a list-maker/cataloguer, youy greatest joy is when someone actually uses what you produce – just producing the thing itself is meaningless, unless someone actually uses it – and I think blogs are possibly the same. So I guess I tend to try and make it attractive – it is not a place for me to take the woes of the world, even though I have very strong views on, for example, Human Rights issues. They don’t belong here. This blog is for Stitchin’

Although there is always that Banner I want to make of a white CQ Dove of Peace on a purple CQ background.

Need to go and write that one in my paper-based visual journal (which is a whole different story).

Sharon – I don’t know if the blog changes my output volume – I suspect it doesn’t. I suspect it doesn’t even do the extra bit of pushing to make me finish – but it does make me feel better when I do. Because people then make nice comments, and you think the whole thing has been a bit more worthwhile if it means things to others too.

But it is a bit like bouncing ideas off friends - it may change the nature of my output - I am very much someone who works on something (eg the peacocks, dragonflies and fans) as a way of examining that theme, and once I have done my examination, I don't really have to finish the piece to be done with the theme. So maybe there is a tiny bit of reporting/being accountable to "someone" in there. But I don't really think that is the big issue. The big issue is having "someone/something" out there to bounce stuff off, which often helps you clarify things for yourself, even if no-one answers.

Does that make sense????

Sampler Progress

The sampler is progressing along quite well, although holidays are over for me now, and I am about to have a few days off from it.

So far:

The Tiger Lily and Crocus have been finished:

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Scanning them sure gives you a closeup picture - I have clipped the errant thread after this.

The Bluebell has been finished:

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The Cyclamen has been finished:

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There are a few others added to the Flickr set, as I get the record almost complete - but they were finished years ago.

Next I think it will be the Bumblebee, Daffodil and Violet, then the end will be nigh. That will leave the Fuschia, a bit of errant Wisteria, some Dragonfly wings and the ruddy Cricket/Grasshopper. It will be last!