Friday, 21 January 2011

And the Stash is going to ...

Names were put on paper, one was chosen with eyes shut, and


500gm of stash is heading for Sharon in Melbourne. Hope you enjoy it.

If the others would like to drop me a note on kapana[at]ausvic[dot]net with a snail mail address (need yours, too, Sharon), I will slip a little bit in a normal envelope for you. Motifs and lace go a long way.

Arlene, do we KNOW if any CQ people have lost stashes? If we do, I will see what I can scratch up.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Any Aussies out there reading ....

Any Aussies out there reading this who would like some lace, embellishments and other goodies?


I am having to do some serious stash reduction. So if you are an Australian, and would like 500gm of this pile, leave a comment on this blog. Some time after midnight on Thursday night, AEST, I will put all names in a hat and pull one out.

Really sorry to overseas readers - postage just makes it too difficult to send out bulky stuff, and bulk is what I have to reduce.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Comfort Doll 10 finished

Comfort Doll 10

Comfort Doll 10 is finished, and I think I am getting closer to the shape I want.

Here she is with her immediate two predecessors - No.9 is on the left, and No.8 is on the right. It was a matter of both shape and size.

Comfort Dolls 9, 10 and 8

So I have drawn a pattern - you can find it HERE, if you would like to have a got at one too. She is a tad over five inches high. The pattern looks a little like Caspar the Friendly Ghost.

I like working with one piece of fabric - quick and easy. But I like working with pieced ones as well - just have to be that little more careful not to get seams in sensitive places when turning it out. I leave the bottom open now, and bead it closed at the finish.

You can see the whole lot on my Flickr set. There are five of them now in a bag waiting, but I am going to keep them with me until March 8th, International Women's Day, and then make a decision about whether they go to a refuge in Australia, or across to Comfort Doll HQ.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Comfort Doll 10 on the hoop

Comfort Doll 10 on the hoopAlign Center

Comfort Doll 10 is on the hoop. Well, she keeps jumping hoops actually. She is one piece of fabric, for a quick test of the modified pattern, but needs to be set up on the 8" hoop then moved to the 6" hoop as I can't reach the centre easily to sew.

She was supposed to be fast (only silver or white threads), but I did find some DMC perle 5 white thread. This is a beautiful, thick, soft thread, in the twisted fly stitch at the top. It is perfect for that.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Comfort Doll 9 finished

Comfort Doll 9

Comfort Doll 9 is finished - she is almost exactly six inches tall, which is the upper limit for dolls in the project.

This is my first one off the eight inch hoop. but I am still going to modify the pattern. Off to try another one - maybe just out of one piece of fabric.

And here she is with her smaller sister. This one was much easier to work with and finish than the smaller ones.

Comfort Dolls 8 & 9

The previous dolls, and a link to the project, can be found in my Flickr set.

Not a lot of sewing or posting going on around here at the moment - we are all very saddened by the flooding in Queensland. Our hearts go out to them.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Fly Stitch Combo

Fly Stitch Combo

This combo is in response to Sharon B's challenge over on Stitchin Fingers to post something with Fly Stitch. You can see a slightly larger one HERE.

I was wanting to experiment with the Twisted Fly Stitch flowers in pink, and they don't look bad from a distance. But close up they are a bit raggedy.

The stitching order was:

Line 1 - Chevron Stitch (that was easy!)

Line 2 - one Fly Stitch where the locking stitch goes over the Chevron Stitch, finished with a Pistil Stitch (I do this a lot)

Line 3 - Three French knots on every second Chevron Stitch, topped with a Fly Stitch closed with a Pistil Stitch (Beware - hard to get consistent)

Line 4 - on the intervening Chevron Stitches, in pink: a single twisted Fly Stitch on each side, closed with a Pistil Stitch, then three Twisted Fly Stitches up the centre, closed with a Pistil Stitch.

Line 5 - Stars in cream with two Fly Stitches, one almost on top of the other, facing opposite ways.


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Dolls 8 and 9


Comfort Doll 8 is finished, and was a bit of a trial. She is a bit like all of us, has odd bumps all over the place where they shouldn't be. She was only four and half inches tall in the end, and was just too small. So I have moved to the 8" hoop. Here she is for comparison with Doll 9.

Comfort Doll 9

I like the system of just fanning a couple of pieces of fabric across. Just need to make sure that none of the seams are in a delicate corner when turning.

The dolls before her are in my Flickr set, where there is also a link to the Comfort Doll Project. Still working on the perfect pattern.

Two Days Late

Sharon, the Queen of Bloggers, is over at her blog celebrating her 7th Blogiversary. Many Happy returns Sharon.

It made me check - I know I am some time in January. Rats! Missed it by two days. I started blogging on 7 January 2005. And the UFO I blogged then is still unfinished. But I have at least joined the blocks. Does that count as progress?

Current state at Flickr (It is the Peacock Wall Hanging)

Orts Jar

Orts Jar 2011

Not an exciting photo, I know - but it is my first Orts Jar. And it should be very interesting by the end of 2011. Orts are little leftover scraps - in this case threads left on the needle when a seam is finished. From my life elsewhere, I know it is difficult to photograph clear glass with a flash, but thought I would put it on here anyway.

The reason for picking a sauce bottle - the narrower the bottle, the more defined will be the different layers - except they will probably all be purple, pink, green and white anyway - but the idea is to see if they are.

And ward off some evil spirits.

There is much discussion on Orts Jars over on Stitchin Fingers.
I am off to stitch - and try to resist going out to buy a lovely narrow bottle of pickled asparagus, which I love very much. Just for the bottle, mind you.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Tomorrow will be Two months to .....

Suffragette Badge

It is two months today to the centenary of International Women's Day, on 8 March. Although I do not go deeply into the politics, I do have an interest in the original Suffragettes. Those who have known me for a while know I have a tendency to branch off into all sorts of combinations of purple green and white, and the badge, above, is an early suffragette one that I wear on occasion.

And I like to pause and do something on the day, in celebration of the fact that I am a woman in a country where I have freedom to make choices. So I will definitely be doing something on the occasion of the one hundreth such day.

At this point, I think I will take my stitching, and sit and stitch all over the place in public. I am sure the local bead shop will let me have a little bit of space in the morning, there is a nice cafe just down the mall where I can have lunch while I stitch, and I am not sure where I will go for the afternoon. Guerrilla Stitching may be in order - I may even go and sit and stitch in the local shopping plaza.

On what shall I stitch? I think it will be a purple, green and white Comfort Doll, for the Comfort Doll Project. Somehow, it seems appropriate. And if any other Stitchers see me and come up and talk (we Stitchers tend to be a forward lot that way, you should see how people approach me when I am Tatting in public, like in hospital waiting rooms), I shall have little bits of paper with the URL handy for the blogspot.

Is anyone else likely to do the same thing - or have any ideas?

Apple Blossom Block 8

Apple Blossom 8c

Just a quick post to show off progress (not all that fast) on Block 8. The dark green seam is where I was trying to get my eye in doing Herringbone at three different lengths - it is not easy. It was then finished with Pistil Stitch.

I've previously posted the Twisted Fly Stitch, but the Chevron Stitch combination at bottom right is new.

Chevron Stitch Combination

Step 1 - Chevron Stitch in Hot Pink

Step 2 - Rows of Fly Stitch on each side in light green (I cross from side to side - two stitches one side, cross to the other side, two stitches that side, cross back). Make sure the one on the bottom has the locking stitch from the Fly Stitch locking over the Chevron Stitch as well.

Step 3 - One one side do a Detached Chain closed with a French Knot, on the other a Pistil Stitch. Again, I cross from side to side in groups of two, but you might be happier working one side and then the other.

I like closing Detached Chain with a French Knot at the minute.

And I had fun with it the way of embellishing the tatting. Except that mercerised crochet cotton does not like doing French Knots I am tending now to use three wraps for the French Knots, not the standard two.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Wogga is back

I have found my missing Wogga Blocks. The full story is in the Flickr set. Where were they? Safe is a side pocket of my sewing bag. Trouble is, my resevoir of narrow lace was not with them, but that is the only thing I am seriously missing now.

This block had not previously been posted.

Wogga3aAlign Center

But I find I only have three blocks so far in this series. Back to the sewing machine (as I can find the raw ingredients) and I will have a heap more naked seams with which to play.

Sane quilters would have horrors over these blocks, as they are so warped. But I just crochet an edge, and join - the crochet is very forgiving.

Meditation on a Seam

Apple Blossom 8a

I was really sure I was "over" Twisted Fly Stitch. I was. So I picked up a block, and started to do a basic Feather Stitch treatment of a seam, to work on later. I was just one stitch into it, when I realised that Feather Stitch was just a chain of joined Fly Stitches, so would twist as well.

And it did, but not very successfully. Even when I put a fair bit of pressure on it, and only used very small stitches. So dash it, I went along it again, and sort of "tied" it with a small locking stitch. This was the result - Tied Twisted Feather Stitch. Bet that isn't in any stitch dictionary.

Apple Blossom 8b

I sort of liked it a bit, as a knobbly Feather Stitch.

So what to add? First I went along it in the pink. working a Fly Stitch that I closed with a French Knot, instead of a straight stitch. Then I added a straight stitch in the middle, sort of following but curving the arm of the Feather Stitch.

I was a bit restricted for colour on the other side - I didn't want to put the candy pink on the salmon pink, and didn't want to confuse things with white. These blocks have very limited colours. So I went for green, working two opposite Fly Stitches on top of each other at the end of the arm, to form a star. They took up a bit of room, so I did a French Knot every second arm.

Another Stitch Combination is born. But I need to escape from the Feather Stitch and Fly Stitch for a while.

Attack of the Twisted Fly Stitch

Fly Stitch1

It had to come - I have discovered Twisted Fly Stitch, and have an excess of naked seams on my new Apple Blossom blocks. You can find directions for the Stitch HERE, although I do it a little differently. All I do is, when the needle comes up through the fabric to make the "tail" of the normal Fly Stitch, I avoid going through the V, and come around it and go into it from the front, and the V twists. (Yes, I discovered it by accident, then Maureen B had to tell me what it was)

Anyways, being Feather Stitch Tragic, I had to try for a few combinations.

Apple Blossom 7a

Feather Stitch, one arm to a side. Second pass in green two Detached Chains. One on side one (the lower side) continues the line of the arm, the other makes up the pair. On the other side, one comes out at right angles to the arm, and the other points directly down to make the pair.

The bottom line then has Detached Chain with a Twisted Fly Stitch on top of it, then a Pistil Stitch. The top line has a Twisted Fly Stitch and a Pistil Stitch. There is a slightly larger version HERE.

This version was worked in a fine crochet cotton, and I don't think the stitches bulked up enough. I went in search of something else in my colours, and found some vintage knitting rayon in my late Mother-in-law's stash. It didn't fit with the all-cotton policy of this work, but I argued it would put a little bit of her in this work, so off I went.

Apple Blossom 11a

Feather Stitch with two arms to a side. Second pass lower arm gets a Detached Chain pointing down, upper arm two French Knots and a middle Pistil Stitch.

Pink and white flowers are a varying number of Twisted Fly Stitch, finished with a Pistil Stitch. The slightly larger version is HERE. At the end, I didn't think the rayon was the right thread either - I went looking for a thick perle cotton.

Apple Blossom 10a

Feather Stitch with two arms to a side. Second pass lower arm gets a Twisted Fly Stitch, upper arm gets a Detached Chain with a Twisted Fly Stitch on top of it, then a Pistil Stitch.

Pink Stitches are Twisted Fly Stitch in varying numbers, finished with a Pistil Stitch.

So that was it - I think I am over Twisted Fly Stitch for a while. I have put all these in my Flickr set for Feather Stitch, if you are after more combinations. I'm off to Sharon's Stitch Modules to see what else I can try. Might even get to watch more tennis (the season has hit in Australia) on the TV while I work. Cricket coming tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Back to the Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom 12Align Center

I am back at work on the Apple Blossom Quilt. You can see more of it in the Flickr set HERE.

Yesterday I pieced another six blocks for it, making a total of twelve. Not sure if this is the final number, and it will make a nice square wall hanging, or if it will go on to be a quilt. This block, above, is the last that my Mother was embroidering - I will finish that embroidery (I did think of leaving it unfinished), and make it the signature block. Must get Mum to write her initials fairly large, and embroider them on. The year gets finished when it gets finish. I mean, it was started in 1948!

There are still a lot of the unembroidered pieces, where I could use one to a block and embroider them after they are pieced.

Because the truth is - I really made these blocks so I can go all-out for 2011 on Sharon's Stitch Modules. I need the naked seams!

And, as an end-thought, which is probably the most important of the lot - I am meditating on personal style. This work is probably closest to where I am at, at the moment. I really prefer working with just threads and pieces of tatting (narrow laces gets a look in on other things, and seed beads), rather than lots of things that get just sewn on. The threads I use for this are almost all crochet cottons in particular colours.

It doesn't mean I am giving all the rest away, but a lot of my buttons which are too big to use are off to a friend so she and her grand-daughter can have a granny's button bottle together. But I will keep the small pearl ones.