Thursday, 22 August 2013

Where do old machines go?

So, where do old machines go when they can no longer sew?

This one, and another, are living at Rusty's Collectables at Rosedale, just up the highway.

And I have spent faaar too long on Photoshopping it to get rid of the background.

But Jeepers, it was FUN!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday - the Moths

Work in Progress for this Wednesday is Mum's Moths. About 25 years ago, she made these moths and cocoon in a workshop with Annemieke Mein at Sale. The process involved fabric painting and free machine embroidery, special fabrics and other secret activities.

Mum was always insistent that it needed Emu feathers for the antennae (note to non-Aussies - large, flightless bird). She was also insistent that they had to be from either side of the Emu!

I have finally obtained some, and she was right - they are perfect. Now all I need is to find some beads (I have heaps) and at least duplicate the beads on one wing on the other.

And maybe shorten the antennae - not sure.

Where do you obtain Emu feathers from? They are the feathers on the slouch hats of Light Horsemen, but in this case we finally found someone who had a wild emu that ran up and down the fence near the house, and regularly left some on the barbed wire. I think it must have run both ways, as there are definitely feathers pointing both ways.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Feather Stitch Combination

A new Feather Stitch combination. It is a random Feather Stitch over which I have sewn Fly Stitch to give a fern effect. For the locking stitch of the Feather Stitch, come up on one side of the Feather Stitch and go down on the other. The flowers are random green French Knots, then pink ones.

You can see my other Feather Stitch combinations HERE. The whole block is HERE.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

The most energetic sharon b over at Pin Tangle runs a Work in Progress Wednesdays, to inspire slow coaches like me to get a wriggle on - so I have decided to post my world-record attempt.

This WIVSP (Work in VERY Slow Progress) was started by my Mother in 1947 as an embroidered supper cloth, which she never finished. I had a go at it in the 1980s, but my embroidery was obviously so unlike hers, that there was no point.

So I have been allowed to cut it up, and "re-birth" it as a wall hanging. Two blocks are totally finished, and four are almost finished - I just need to do the second pass on the Blanket Stitch around the edging.

(The purple purse on the corner is the WIP for next Wednesday - may as well plan ahead.)

This week I have finished Block 9, below. Blocks seven and eight still await however, as do Blocks  ten and twelve - why do anything in order?

This is Block 9 - you can see the whole lot HERE, and find some of the stitch combinations in the sets HERE.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

UFO Framed

I hate to think how long ago I finished this block, in classes with sharon b - must dig out my paper journal. I had it framed about three months ago, and it currently is visiting my Mother's room. It ended up being in a shallow shadow box, and I like it very much. I am into very simple framing as well as stitches.

And this photo has reminded me very much about organising and backing up photos. I went looking for the folder on my computer to add the final photograph, and all the ones of it in progress have disappeared. So I was very, very glad to find I had loaded them all to Flickr, and I could just download them again to store on my computer! You can see the process HERE.


Yikes!!! I have just looked at my Journal - it was finished in March 2006. Thank Heavens for paper journals as well.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Feather Stitch Combination

I love doing Feather Stitch Combinations, and this is my latest. When I start, I never know where I will finish. This one is on Block 9 of the Apple Blossom Quilt.

First step, above, was to work a random line of Feather Stitch along the seam I wanted to cover. I chose this seam as it was between two solids, which would show it off best. Then I worked three more small lines of Feather Stitch, each coming in to finish on an arm of the original line. By this time, I am starting to keep an eye out that I don't make any spots in the centre that are going to be too tight.

Then, starting at the "roots" of the climber, I either put leaves (one detached chain) or bracts (two detached chains with a French Knot in the centre) on each arm of the Feather Stitch. (I had a bit of training in botany in another life - bracts are specialised petals, that often look leaf-like, that are the outer surrounds of a flower). For the leaves, I tried to start the Detached Chain part way up the Feather Stitch arm, and finish beyond the end of it, to make it a little more leaf-like.

For the bracts, I tried (but did not always succeed) to make the first Detached Chain a continuation of the line of the Feather Stitch arm, then the other other as close as possible to a right angle, in order to give most room for the flower.

Finally, I worked three or four Buttonhole Stitches in the centre of the bracts, and finished them with three Pistil Stitches coming out of the centre Buttonhole. Sometimes I missed, but I was trying, I promise. The Pistil Stiches were the anthers of the flower, so should have been yellow or orange, to represent pollen. There goes the botanist again. Except I am working this project in pink, green and white only. I could have got away with using white, but there more I do, the more I like the monotone, and change cotton colours as little as possible.

Both threads were DMC Perle 8 crochet cotton. Heaven alone knows what the needle was, but the smaller head helped the French Knots.

If you are unsure of any stitches, see sharon b's stitch dictionary.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Crochet Cotton

Just finished a quick Chevron Combination. This was similar to the last Chevron Seam, except I was doing the same on both sides. And I had picked up a mercerised (polished) cotton, that was hard to work with. So hard I have gone through the project bag, and pulled out all the other mercerised cottons. The French Knots were particularly difficult with three wraps 

AND I have gone to Spotlight and bought three more balls of DMC Perle no. 8.

(The good news for me is that I used to go to the next town for Spotlight - and it has closed there and moved HERE. Just a quick run up the road. And I am sure it is a clever move that there is a camping store right next door that will look after bothersome males while important shopping is happening).

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Chevron Stitch Combination 2

Here is the combo I worked yesterday, again. It is based on a Chevron Stitch, and when I worked the second example to take staged shots, I don't think it has worked as well, as they are more staggered. However probably I am the only one who will notice.

So first - work a row of Chevron Stitch, with large-ish "caps"

Second (above), along one side work a Fly Stitch, as in the third from the left, making sure you lock the stitch over the cap of the Chevron. Then work a Detached Chain finished with a Pistil Stitch. I am using three-wraps of the French Knots.

Third (above), work a Fly Stitch closed with a Pistil Stitch. Then work a Pistil Stitch in the V of the Fly Stitch.

I like Fly Stitches, and use them a lot, as I can get them even easier than just adding straight stitches.

I must do a few more for my Chevron Stitch Combinations. I am enjoying getting my stitches organised again.