Monday, 27 February 2006

Random stuff

Life is a little hectic around here at the minute, so I may not be around much in blogland for a few weeks.

Which is a pity, as Sharon'’s classes are getting really interesting -– Jo, I am not normally a plan-ahead sort. I don't usually put anything on paper, although I have occasionally in the past. I usually wing it, and don'’t work according to Sharon'’s "paths"” methods - I try more a “blended” approach - break down lines and fill in spaces so the eye doesn't know where to go next.

So, what I am after is Sharon's approach of telling the eye where to go next. And, apart from that -– I need to see what I can learn from trying to be disciplined in my work. At the moment I am very much someone who does not plan. I work something, that changes things, so I work something else, based on what I have just done. I wing it, and enjoy the journey (and occasionally get to the destination and regret missed opportunities that might have been realized had I planned better).

Sharon is quite happy for us to talk about what we are doing, as long as we do not reproduce her notes verbatim -– we are on seam treatments this week. The course is excellent, especially on design theory. The "“recessive"” seam is just a note for me that I want that seam to blend into the background, not be one of the ones that jump out and demand attention -– I want the eye to go elsewhere at that point.

So, in the meantime, here is where I am up to with my Breast Cancer block. It was a little bit planned, but the background it totally unplanned. Still a few seams to do, and one major piece to add, and a few beads to add to the heart. Maybe.


Sunday, 26 February 2006

Pssssst! Wanna see my Home work?????

Psssst! Wanna see my homework from Sharon's classes???

Only the diagram.

It is an absolutely glorious mess!


This is only the very small version.

You can see the largest version HERE.

But I had to put up only the smallest one here, so you have some idea what you are going to look at.

The choice is yours.

You have been warned.

But jeepers - I had fun doing this!

I wonder if the finished result will resemble it in any way.

And the Dog, who will normally eat Anything, has refused to eat my Homework!


Poppalina's Mini Crazy Quilt

If you get a chance, drop over and have a look at Poppalina's mini crazy quilt at Flickr.

And have a browse around the rest of her Flickr pics too - I have been watching them for a while.

Stitching Along


A start has been made on stitching my block for Sharon's classes. And I immediately struck a snag.

The first thing I did was put the bottom corner of my block in a hoop, tension it and embroidered the scallops (from a stencil), and a seam along the green bias binding. I like using bias binding like this, like a sort of piping.

The problem is that I hadn't properly caught the ivory silk to the right of it under a seam, so I didn't spot that it was pulling out there and along the join with the pink to the right. The foundation is the same colour and the piece of doily similar, so I didn't spot it until later.

So at this point I have added the start of an extra seam on the ivory silk to hold that piece, and started colouring the acorns and oak leaves to hold the rest of the silk in place. I need to press it now to get the silk to shape to the patch area again, rather than buckle.

I am left with a few options - I could cut back the most jagged piece of fabric, along the line of the pink, and put something else along it, as the foundation is so similar in colour. I think I am going to fully fill in the oak leaves and acorns with stitching, which will make them less "white", so can then afford the white tatting along there - maybe.

Having created the strong green bias line, I like the way the white tatting breaks it again.

I might also do some in blue, and audition that too. Or move the white right down the seam and build up a button trail there as well.


Think I will think about it a little longer, and go and put the tatting on my Breast Cancer Block.

Saturday, 25 February 2006

Nil, Nothing, Zilch.

Nothing to report this morning - not even a nice site to point to .... Hmmmm.... maybe if I think hard ...

I am starting on seams on my class block, and finishing a long piece of tatting for my Breast Cancer block. Then it will be ready for the last stage.

But no time for stitching today - real life gets in the way and have to be gone to work for the day.


Nice pictures????

Have a look at Marci's new Flickr page. Or, if you have not already seen them - Julia's Crinoline Ladies. She has been wonderfully kind, and produced the Design Sheet.

Back tomorrow - if I am lucky.

Friday, 24 February 2006

Look What's in the Dictionary

With Thanks to Inside my Head.

Look what's made it into the Dictionary.

Thursday, 23 February 2006

Value Finder

For ages I have been sort of keeping my eye out for red cellophane - I am told if you look through it, you see different "values" in your quilt blocks.

Well, today I found two things - I found a new quilt shop and I found a Value Finder in it.

The new quilt shop is Maggie Robertson Design - just opened in Traralgon. But she has had a presence on the net for a while. I was especially happy to find it, as the only other quilt shop in the town had just closed down.

And there was a Value Finder on the shelf.

Value Finder

I am told that these are used by sane quilters to look through - and as soon as I looked at my class block, it was quite different. And the square on it sort of acts as a small window template - I am still working on how to use that.

I am told that this is a tool that lets you look at fabric and see only its lightness or darkness. Red finders let you view anything but red. Green finders let you view anything but green.

There is a lesson HERE on using them - I am off to try and work it out. It fits in well with the first week's class with Sharon - although maybe a little more complex than where we are currently heading.

But a fun tool. And I am really finding it useful to put the photograph of my current block up on the computer and look at it from a distance - sure lets you see it in a different light, too.

Rescue Mission Ahead

A major rescue mission is about to be launched!

In my "spare" time I have been helping out at a local history museum, where the museum has been closed for over 12 months for redevelopment. We are currently sorting through everything, including things that have come in and have not yet been catalogued, but were put away from "some future time".

And this is what we found the other day:

First view

When we opened it out, we found a very degraded, but quite clean signature tablecloth, in a very fragile condition:

Full cloth

(There is a larger copy of this picture HERE)

It appears at this stage that what we have is a very fragile old tablecloth that some well-intentioned person has, at some stage, put in a washing machine! Aaaaagh!

What do we know so far?

Central panel

The tablecloth is dated 1918, from the Stratford Methodist Church Harvest Festival. The museum is at Stratford, and yes, it is on the Avon River, but in Australia, not England.

It only came into the museum in the past few years, in this state. But details of the donor are not currently available. It is made up of blocks, with a backing of small sections of any white fabric available. Some look a bit like nappies. Or parts of old sheets.

Tablecloths such as this are well-known as a fund-raising method. You paid a certain amount to write your name on it, and someone embroidered them - I have yet to have to have time to look and see how much the embroidery varies from block to block. The central block is excellent.

What will we do????

Nothing in a hurry!

It is now sitting on well-washed 100% cotton for support. We will make a roll (cardboard tube, with aluminum foil over that, then cotton over that), and roll it. Then cover it again in cotton. The larger the roll, the better.

We may then seek more expert advice, but it may be that the best way is to take off the backing (very poor condition), back the quilt again, with supportive stitches, onto cotton. Put the backing onto another new piece of cotton, and put each on a roll. The backing is as interesting as the front, in a way, but does not give any support - rather the reverse.

The names have all be transcribed - so that piece of paper, which came with it, needs to be checked.

It is going to be a long, slow and exciting process.

Tutorial for hand-dyded lace

Sandie over at a beautifulcraft has produced a wonderful and detailed tutorial for dying and painting lace, ribbon, silk etc. It is really well illustrated.

Thanks Sandie!

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Block Pieced


Yes, I know I said I wouldn't be back until Thursday - so this is a real quickie. My block for Sharon's class is pieced. (And I really prefer to be able to scan, rather than photograph. This is considerably lesser in quality)

After all my agonising about colours, I went with this - no purple M2.

The print, when I really looked at it, is a hand-tinted sepia photograph, so I worked with the sepias and off-whites, with a little bit of each of the hand-touched colours, apart from the purple wash.

And I like it. Except instead of just having paths for the eye to wander around, it is more like a Roman Candle for the eye. Drat. But fun.

The one thing about it that I do not like are the parallel lines on the the right-hand side. Normally I would get rid of them by cutting back before I put the second row around, but in this case I couldn't, due to the doily placement.

So I am working on my "If I have a Fault, I make a Feature of it" technique. So I have something in mind for that ivory almost-square.

And what did I discover????

That I could only use half the fabrics I picked out.

And that my stash is really skinny when looking for nut brown (and light nut-brown), and in a shed full, I only have one piece of apple green.

Gotta run - got something really exciting to work on today (not crazypatch), but no time to blog it. Thursday!

(And that is without my telling the story of how I almost burnt down the house with the Birko. New wash basin coming up).

Sunday, 19 February 2006

Starting the Block

Just as I disappear for most of the week - I have started on my block. The sewing machine picture has won.


Originally I wanted to do a block no larger than 8.5 inches - the maximum size to fit on the scanner. But the block size is really determined by the centre patch - I usually make it one third of the size of the block - this one is 5.5 inches high, so really needs to be 16.5 inches square. But since it is less across, I think I can get away with 12 inches. This is how it looks on a 12 inch cardboard square. When I looked at it on an 8.5 inch background, it left me nowhere to get patches on so I could play.

So this is where I am up to - I am off to fossick in my stash.

And I am not sure what the Dragon is up to - I wouldn't be so lucky as to have got a Dragon that lays balls of thread, would I?????

Pre-piecing exercises

I am still mucking around with my pre-piecing exercises. Nothing to do with my stash being at the other house, so I cannot piece. Oh No! Never!

Well yes, maybe it is.

But it is making me take the time to think about the colours, which is good, as I never do that in this depth.

So I have been down to the hardware shop, and collected some paint cards. Which are wonderful - Sharon probably ethically cannot suggest this, as they are not in shops for people to come and grab for sewing projects.

So I got out my notes and read them again, and put the cards with the four main colours on the left, and a couple of options for blues on the right.


Then I cut up the cards, and this is where I made an interesting discovery. What I am calling "pewter" is actually in those blues I should put in from the other side of the colour wheel.


So that left me with a whole lot of pieces of paint I am not going to use. Will I throw them out??? Not on your Nellie! I am going to find a nice little box and store them, to play with time and time again. And get more. I can go to a lot of different hardware shops, like junkies go to different chemist shops. That way they won't realise I am really a colour junkie in the hardware shops.

Wonder what colour I can paint the box I will put them in ......

But I also like the cards with the three suggestions on them. Maybe I need to collect two of each card????

(At this point, M2, if you are out there - do you realise there is still no purple in this?)

And that was where I was - making a list of different little stash points where I had thread hidden, to start doing the thread samples.

There is the crochet cotton (I use a lot of Perle 12), ribbon floss, Needle Necessities, the DMC, and my thread boxes. I started getting that out. I looked at it against black and white.


When I realised these are the colours in an old print I did as a sample print, once on silk, for a future work of "Homage to My Sewing Machine".

But I cannot find it. Anywhere. Not even the original picture.

But I did find this one. It is just a rough one on cotton, but has cobalt blue, orange and apple green in it, and purple in the background. Found ages ago via Meggiecat.


It could be a real challenge. Do I do a ninety-degree turn, abandon the sauce bottle, and go for this sewing machine print????

I could have real fun. It would be a total riot. Just I need a sort of neutral to put in there to put between those colours, to stop them going ballistic at each other. (Judith Baker Montano taught colours as "warms", "cools" and "nuetrals". I still think that way a bit)

Or keep searching for the sewing machine print that fits in with the colour of the bottled sauce???

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I am gone for a couple of days - probably not back until Thursday. By then I will have a block pieced. Week two of the lessons are due, and I need to keep up.

(I am getting a little worried about the Dragon - it is starting to mention words like "stash" and "hoard". And I am sure there were more threads on that chair before I went to get the camera)

And yes, M2, I think you will win!

There is an explanation ...


There is an explanation. There really is. But it is quite long .....

Yesterday I went to Melbourne (ie two hour drive away), spent the day helping with a stocktake, and totally Toyota'ed at the end of the day, I was asked if there was anything from the workshop I would like as a "Thank You".

Now, you may find this strange, in a workshop full of electronic gear - I said "Does anyone want that stuffed dinosaur on the shelf up above Jim's Desk???"

"It's Yours!". And we got it down, and it wasn't' a dinosaur - it was a Dragon!!!!!!

So it was adopted on the spot, and came home with me.

The dog has refused to accept it. So it was sitting all alone on the couch, while I was running around cutting up paint samples and finding matching threads.

I went past, and it was sitting on my computer seat. DH denied assisting, but said that "She can't reach the mouse".

Yes Dear.

I came back five minutes later, and she was sitting on my threads box like this, with mouse in hand, and had been drinking my coffee!!!!

There are limits! I wanted thread out of that box. And it hasn't even got a name yet, and it is drinking my coffee!!!

It got kicked off there PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick) and is now sitting on the scanner saying "You're not getting to this until I get my own coffee!"


I can see a battle ahead - despite the beautiful colour of the gold wings from this side.

Anyone got any suggestions for a name????

I dropped the Sauce Bottle

With apologies to I dropped the Button Box - I think my block for Sharon's class is going to be I dropped the Sauce Bottle.

I am still in research phase - I hope this link works - I am playing with a Colour Palette Generator. And THIS is the Result (I hope the link works).

I haven't tried some of Sharon's other exercises - I'm not cutting up embroidery magazines, I don't but Women's Weekly and New Idea - and all the spam mail is red and blue. And the wrong reds and blues at that.

Sharon has suggested I consider very light or very dark turquoise in the embellishments - and here was me thinking Cobalt Blue!

But I did get a Colour Wheel yesterday, that I can sit and play with. Just a little one, that I can play with - it is different on the other side.


Now I am off to have a raid on hardware stores for paint samples...... I have refined myself to Ivory, Charcoal, Rust (with variations), Olive and Platinum - if I can find them.

Saturday, 18 February 2006

Another Crazy-patch blogger

Just doing a little surfing, and discovered Judith at Crazy In Pieces. Judith is also doing sharonb's class - that is turning into quite fun community. It Judith who was offered a 1950s wedding dress to cut up - as long as she made one block from it first. What a treat!

Do pop over and say hello.

Starting Classes with Sharon

Like a lot of other lucky fibre artists around, I am starting classes with sharonb. The first week is colour theory, design theory and piecing a block.

So, what have I done so far?????

I have printed off 41 pages, and put them in see-through page protectors.

I have bought an older-style lever-arch folder to store them. I am sick and tired of those white-covered ones that break down. These have metal on the bottom, so I can slide them in and out on the shelf. Lots of times. I got three. I wonder will that be enough????

I have had a rough read.

I have been overcome with a lust to obtain my own, real colour wheel. They cannot be found locally - thank heavens I am off to Melbourne today to work.

I have been over and bought some threads at Embroiderer's Oasis - but cannot pick out luscious braids (she has new ones), until I decide colours. And I want a colour wheel before I do that ....

I have wondered if they still have those individual paint swatches at the Hardware store - I sure could have fun with them,

I have fantasised about time to make a nice title page for my class book. It needs one - this is why I have gone for individual sheet protectors, rather than bound ones - I can just keep adding stuff in.

And, in between all that, I have bought purple beads to make a purple dragonfly on a Heart - Bear has first refusal.


And I have made another batch of tomato sauce. I am looking and wondering if I make take these colours as my starting point???? Nahhhhh. Well, maybe not the blue funnel. Ochres, and olives and black.... I am getting excited. The more I look - even the charcoal of the heat diffuser ... White too, but not the red of the cutting board in the far left .... Silver? Maybe .... Imagine pewter embellishments .....

Look out - here comes the tomato sauce block!

Better get my skates on - have a day's work in Melbourne. I'm passenger - I am going to read my lesson again on the way. And I have brokered a deal - I will do a day's stocktaking, if we call by an art shop first so I can buy a colour wheel.

I know I don't need one for the classes. I just want one.

Friday, 17 February 2006

Country Garden Sampler Framing

Yesterday I went to visit my Country Garden Sampler, which has been in at Jenny Bee's for a while for framing.

Jenny rang me and asked me to come in, as the moulding I had chosen had been discontinued, and she needed me to choose another one.


Here it is - stretched and boxed, waiting for a moulding. All along I have gone for a wide but simple one - and this time the only one available had too much red in it. Hopefully it will be rubbed down, and come out in a colour more similar to the boxing.

Not long, and it will be home.

New Book - Handbags

Yesterday I treated myself to a new book - Hip Handbags: Creating and Embellishing 40 Great-Looking Bags by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader.

It is published by Lark Books (New York), 128 pages, hard cover, ISBN 1-57990-601-X. I paid $39.95 Australian for it.

And I love it - don't be put off by the very startling cover.


The majority of the book, 112 pages, is made up of 28 different bags, from seven different types/patterns. Then, at the rear, are 13 pages of "art" handbags - picture handbags made of recycled tins, cigar boxes, with faces, in felt....

I feel inspired.

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Catching Up

At last - a chance for a catch-up. I have been away on work and family stuff and my e-mail took a dive. (So, if anyone mailed me Monday morning Australian time, and you haven't heard back from me - you may have been a casualty).

But snail-mail was working, and look what came for me:


I love the way the colours work together in this one - and that is interesting rick-rack, and a good way to use it.

Thank You to Jo in New Zealand for this lovely heart. You are right - the bronze ribbon is beautiful.

Sunday, 12 February 2006


There has been a little bit of discussion about Dragonflies on the Chains of Hearts list, so I have been wandering through my photographs, trying to pin down how many I have made with the needle-lace wings, like this:

Linda for Viv-dragonfly

This one was for Viv, and the one below was on the Country Garden Sampler


There is another one on my Dragonfly Wall Hanging:


The trouble is - I don't have as much as one photograph of my first one, when I invented them. It went off on a DYB (a sort of Round Robin) to New Zealand.

Dash - how many times have I said it is important to keep good records???? But I do have a series on the wing construction.

That's it for me for a couple of days - I am off to work and to do some real-life stuff for a couple of days - back Thursday night or Friday morning.

Breast Cancer Block 4


Not a lot getting done here, but the tax is half way through.

I have started on the seams on the background block - the cardboard Heart is to remind me where the purple one goes - it is safely packed away, and still has one major piece of work to go on it.

This block sits in front of me to look at while I balance stocktake figures, and I finally decided the lace at top right was too much - so I unpicked a seam from the back and tucked the end of the lace in that. I am now much happier, but need to come up with a way to break the blue patch up - maybe just a seam across it. I am definitely a "sew all seams" person. And when I run out of seams, I just create a few more.

Back to the tax!

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Robyne's Cards blog

Not a lot here at the minute for me to blog on about - my accountant says that if I don't get my tax done by Monday that she will lock me up without needles and threads. Scary woman -- she knows me too well. It is the only threat that will work.

In the meantime - Robyne Melia has two new blogs, Bobby's Cards, where there are now wonderful reproductions of her gift cards, and Bobby's Patterns and Kits. Do pop over and have a look at those cards! (And there are nice Bunny Rabbits in the kits, too).

Friday, 10 February 2006

Waste Not, Want Not Heart


Well, the Breast Cancer Block I didn't like is now a Heart - and I quite like it. Not sure I will like sewing through the extra thicknesses though - nor the parallel lines I ended up with.

But I think a nice spray of white silk-ribbon flowers in the centre, and a bit of white tatting, and you won't know it.

Thursday, 9 February 2006

Breast Cancer Block 3

It was all far toooooo much for me. I have abandoned the block with the red in it, and pieced another.


I am much happier with this one - the red and pink were screaming at each other. The green bottom right on my screen comes up as olive in this one - it is really a deep forest green,

As M2 will say - back in my comfort zone.

The smaller Heart has also been temporarily mounted - just so I get an idea how it looks.

I'm off to work on this one. And maybe cut up the other one and see what it looks like as a confetti Heart. Waste Not, Want Not.

Monday, 6 February 2006

More Landscapes

Here are four more Landscapes - in this case by two brilliant local women.


This one is by Maureen Bond, who some readers will know as M3. Wish I had kept a larger size. Maureen made everything, window, tiny CQ, flower pot included. The wall paper is fabric.

The one below is by Jenny, and I think was unfinished at this stage.


Jenny created this one as a Central Australian scene - and it was only as we were looking at it that we realised that the spur coming out from middle right could be seen as a sleeping serpent spirit - complete with a tiny group of threads as a tongue. It is stunning.

Several years ago Jenny (who is not currently active on the net, unfortunately), made two six inch Landscape Hearts to swap through Chains of Hearts. I think I am over-using the word, but these are also stunning. She was basically working with ties that had been unpicked and then washed, giving her all sorts of textures.

Some may also remember Jenny from her "Tie Guts" quilt - a white cot quilt made mainly from the internal sections from ties.



Thanks to Jenny and Maureen for allowing me to post these - they are the end of my Landscape series. And the end of me for a couple of days - back on Thursday.

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Australian National Quilt Register

This one made it into this blog quite some time ago, but Julia at Camille's Place has reminded me of it again - which has caused me to actually start a category for links on my sidebar. Not that I am going to have heaps of links there, but this one is really good.

It is the Australian National Quilt Register - once you go there, so to the Quilt Tree section (linking does not seem to work), and you can pick out the Crazies and quilts that are specifically Australian.

Enties on it include quilts in private as well as public hands.

Thanks for reminding us, Julia.

Breast Cancer Block 2


Here is the next stage of the Breast Cancer Block. It is, as several guessed, a Heart - not a pair of boobs (I hope that term is international), but that is an interesting idea.


The squishie goes to Jo in New Zealand for the closest guess - she said the magic words of "Chicken Scratch". Nobody picked purple - which did surprise me.

This Heart will, I think be laced around some acid-free cardboard, with a little bit of wadding to make it a bit more 3D, and then sewn down onto the block.

I think it will then have fine, off-white tatting around it - but I am not sure. The little bit of foundation has been left there to give me an idea of what it will look like. I keep looking at the thumbnail size to see how it looks:


Maybe it needs just a smidge of red in the bottom left corner. Maybe just red ribbon coming out before I sew down the Heart???

For the technical, this is how the Rose and Chicken Scratch were added. You can see a little bit of blurring down the bottom where I tried drawing on the waste canvas.


After this picture, the waste canvas was removed (12 count, for the technically inclined), and the weaving was then added. The Chicken Scratch was worked in Perle 12 DMC crochet cotton.

I still have something extra to go on the actual Heart, but that gets added right at the end.

Right now I am off to work on the background block. Not sure what I am going to do there yet - colours or all gold????

Anyone like to make a block as well? Due in the USA on 1 April. Details are HERE.

Landscapes - continued

Landscape Three has been found -


This one is bright, and where I moved away from the JBM formula. I scrunched up the foreground and ironed it down with a hot iron and damp cloth. Then I sort of shaped and singed the edges of that fabric, then lifted them up out of the way for a while. Then I just flipped and sewed across the base, from left to right.

Probably the technique is shown better in Landscape Four - which has only just been pieced, with a little bit of sewing:


This one always tempts me to hang it as it is - an exploration of the relationship between solids and patterns.

I still have a few gems by friends to post - just waiting for permission.

But in the meantime, the Landscapes are all building up in my Flickr Landscape set, and I am off to stitch. Will have the stuff I have been working on for my Breast Cancer block later today.

Saturday, 4 February 2006


This week's Dover Sampler has some lovely free angels to download. I have this book, and love it.

Robyne has moved

Gosh, Robyne is a quick mover. *grin*

I did tell her I would wait until she was ready for me to announce it, but it is all tooooo much for me.

Robyne will be, I think, in future most at robynefmelia. Do pop over and say Hello.

Just a reminder - she is the one from these cards.

Now I am definitely going off to stitch (and vacuum, and take photos, and maybe even make more sauce).

Landscape UFOs

I have been looking through my UFOs, and seeing what else there is that I have to admit to (and therefore finish). And found these, trying to hide in the bottom of a box. Both are unfinished, and are from classes I took with Judith Baker Montano a few years ago.

This is the first.

Landscape1 - unfinished

It is supposed to represent the view from near my home, where the plains suddenly rise to form mountains. I've just been ferreting around in my files, and found this picture from here (and inspired a little by Sandy posting her scenery pics).


So JBM didn't really like what I was doing, as she teaches perspective, and all that sort of thing. So in my next class with her, I took some curtain samples (all in the same palette), and this is the result - also unfinished:

Landscape2 - unfinished

But the problem was - I forgot to take any fabric for the sky. So this is calico, painted blue and the sandstorm (this is my Central Australian block) is squelched teabag. I'm not happy with the righthand rock.

There is one more to come, also unfinished, but I need to get the camera out. Maybe it will be up later today. The third one is much more advanced, and quite, ummmm, different.

You will find landscapes in this style scattered throughout the various Judith Baker Montano books - I do have to say that some of hers are stunningly beautiful.

Yesterday we visited a wood exhibition at Orbost - ever noticed how many crazypatchers have partners who are woodies????? That site is being a bit difficult for me in Mozilla, but is oaky in IE. Here is my favourite piece.

And I didn't get enough stitching time yesterday to have a post ready on my Breast Cancer block. But today is stitching time, so it will come.

Assembling a Crazy Quilt

Annie over at Loopy Lace is continuing to blog her processes as she assemble the All That Jazz quilt - and it is turning into a fascinating online lesson in crazyquilt assembly.

This is a special, not-to-be missed chance to learn online from an expert.

Thank You, Annie, for what you are doing!

Friday, 3 February 2006

Robyne's Cards


After much work by Robyne - you should be able to see a link to her cards HERE.

Hearts Back and Forth

Not a lot of stitching time around here lately - it is more sauce making and long drives. But I was delighted to receive this Heart from Sandie in South Australia. It was a swap for this Heart.


Sandie lives in the beautiful Flinders Ranges, and has recently posted pictures of the scenery to her blog. Well worth a look, especially if you are from overseas and have never heard of the Flinders Ranges. This Heart is very beautiful - thank you Sandie.

In passing - someone out there on Chains of Hearts (where this swapping is happening), was concerned they only had quilter's cottons to use - this one is all quilter's cottons, apart from the picture, and is very lovely. The picture could even be replaced by another piece of QC (I'm tired of typing it and getting the apostrophe right) and it would still be beautiful. It is the composition of colours and shapes, and the embellishment that makes a Heart, not the chemical composition of the fabric.

And, while piecing my Breast Cancer block the other day, I pieced two more Hearts that I will put aside until one day I have a spare minute to embellish them. (In passing, I put out the challenge to see if anyone could pick what I was doing. Two are close, in the comments, three are not. All will hopefully be revealed tomorrow - if I get some more stitching time)


Nobody seems to have wanted to swap my poor, lonely, sad, little Suffragette Heart. Which doesn't stress me, as I like her very much, and she is happy living with me.

Thursday, 2 February 2006

Robyne Melia

Part of my fun yesterday and today has been a "discovery" of Robyne Melia, a fibre artist and gardener from outer Melbourne. Robyne teaches crazy patchwork and other needlework all over Melbourne - these are two of her gift cards


I am totally enraptured with her style - which is totally stitching on the example with the dragonfly. I am not sure yet if she adds anything other than thread to her work.

Robyne also designs patterns (is that the right word?) for fibre sculpture and other works - and has a blog bobbyla. She recognises this has limitations - and hopefully will be changing/moving soon. But, in the meantime, you can use it to check out where she is teaching. Just watch out that a lot of the posts are contracted, and you have to look for a little "more" to click.

And I cannot find photos for all her card range. Would love to be able to check them out.

I'm looking forward to following Robyne around the blogosphere.

LATE NOTE: you should be able to see pictures of all Robyne's cards HERE.

All That Jazz comes together

The All that Jazz quilt is coming together on the blog of Annie (Genius and Goddess of Quilting). Do pop over and have a peep.



This is one of my finds from yesterday - a card of old white buttons, from an antique/collectables shop in Mooroolbark.

Sharonb uses a lot of the old white buttons in her work, and I like that look. Especially when they are clustered together.

And I think these might take dye well in the Birko.

I think these are 1950s or earlier, but would be interested to hear from any button collectors who can tell anything from these scans.

But gosh, they are hard to scan. Even with the contrast with the grime currently on them. I think they are going to get a soapy wash - buttons were intended to go on clothes that were washed, weren't they?????


I have probably been in more than my fair share of swaps in the past, and have hosted more than one or two, but have had to pull back due to a lack of time - and a stash it will take me a hundred lifetimes to use anyway.

But there was one around on the lists that I was seriously considering, which was mooted as a crochet for tatting swap. I can tatt, but cannot do more than very, very simple crochet. Have never taken the time to learn to read a pattern etc.

However that swap now seems to be broadening out into a general motif swap, and while I wish them all the best - that isn't my thing. And my reasoning may sound selfish (and probably is), but it is this:


This is my work from four hours as a passenger yesterday. The snowflake takes 50 minutes, the next two 20, the last one 30. (If anyone is adding up, one actually took a heap more as there was a bit of serious unpicking there - anyone tried to unpick with a pin in a car while DH keeps warning "bumpy bit coming up?)

The snowflake will also look much more ummmm, regular when it has been pressed.

I have a five-hour trip coming up in the next few days - so there will be more motifs and lengths from that.

I am not going to "tatt to order", but if anyone is interested in swapping any five tatted motifs/lengths (you get a scan of what is currently available, to pick), for equivalent effort in crochet baskets/snowflakes/roses (I can just manage tiny doillies), please feel free to e-mail me at kapana[at] so we can talk colours.

If there are too many I may make a list, and you may have to wait in line. And, while I love all my readers equally and dearly - I am really only after crochet at this stage.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Old Quilts at Sandlyn Patchwork

Just back from a really fast trip to Melbourne to check out the exhibition of old quilts at Sandlyn Patchwork in Mooroolbark. It only has two more days to go (Saturday and Sunday). Will write more about it later, and there are no crazyquilts there, but thought people may like this one:


If you are in Melbourne, you only have Saturday and Sunday left!

Nancy Eha's new book

Just when I haven't got time to blog or read, an e-mail surfs in telling me about Nancy Eha's new book.


I want!

Breast Cancer Block

Busy, Busy, Busy around here. Definitely no blogging on Mondays and Tuesdays in the foreseeable future, and Wednesday (like today), may be really brief.


So here is my start on my block for the Annual Breast Cancer Raffle in the USA. Wow! A chance to have your work seen in a quilt at the Omaha Retreat. How many years has it been going now??? Eight????

(The real reason I am doing it is to raise funds for Breast Cancer research, and to help crazypatchers attend that Retreat, but what the heck - it is nice to send something over there to be seen too).

So, the question is - what do you think I am going to do in that blank space? I do have a definite plan, and there is a squishie out there for the most accurate (you may have to be detailed!) guess as to what I am up to.

The squishie will include tatting .....

(In creative writing, this is called "prefiguring". Throw out hints and suck 'em in early. Any takers????)

Gotta run!