Monday, January 30, 2012

working on the wall hanging

I am still working on my wall hanging: I have almost finished the stitcheries.  Next is attaching and  embellishing.  I had hoped to finish before the end of January but that is not going to happen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

After Australia Day

I was too busy relaxing yesterday to do any blogging.  There was cricket on the TV and so I sat, and sat and stitched most of the day.

However I did spend time thinking of this wonderful country we live in.  Many of us come from immigrant families.  My husband is English and my Grandparents were from the UK and Europe.
This is also a special day for us as our youngest daughter was born on Australia day quite a lot of years ago.

I have enclosed the pic above as I think it speaks of the open spaces we enjoy:  our wonderful beaches and open skies.

Whenever I go to the beach I think about the fact that we are all connected by the sea and the sky no matter how far apart we are.  There is great focus these days on what we own - surely what we share is more precious and more enduring.

Enjoy every day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 I know January is not finished yet but I am really pleased with the amount I have managed to do this month.

The fabric in the first pic has been in my stash for years and I decided it was no use
to anyone while it was in the cupboard.  I cannot remember why I bought it in the first place - probably because it was a bargain.

My eldest daughter gave me some of her stash recently.  I know, it was just what I needed - more fabrics.  Anyway there was a large piece of high quality polar fleece.  Unfortunately it was a very dull colour,  like the colour of milky coffee but as you can see in the second pic it matches the cotton fabric perfectly.  Once I saw the two fabrics together I just new I had to make a couple of cot covers for the twins.  They are very light weight but nice and cosy too.So the stash is a little thinner.

This gorgeous embroidered satin fabric was also in the bag.  When Meaghan bought it she intended to make a cushion so today I made it for her.  It is appropriate to make it now as it is the beginning of the year of the dragon.

These pieces are from my own stash.  I have decided to make a mini quilt or collage or small piece of crazy patchwork each month and have put a some fabrics and trims in zip lock bags for each month of the year.  These ones are January.

I have just a few days to complete it before the end of the month.

The cricket will be on the TV tomorrow - it is the Australia Day Holiday - so I will have time to do some stitching.

I hope everyone is having a terrific week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

progress - slow but progress

I am still working on my wall hanging. It has been a challenge as I have found it very difficult to do the machine stitching on such tiny pieces of fabric. After much thought I have decided to try a different approach - using felt and beads etc to build up the small stitcheries. I am determined not to give up on this and Carol has been very helpful with ideas and encouragement.  

Visit Carole's blog here 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

books in the post

This week I have received 4 books in the post.

The first one was a gift from my friend Julie.  It is really gorgeous - the title is "An Elizabethan Christmas" by Sheila Marshall.  It provides detailed instructions for the creation of Elizabethan Christmas Tree Decorations.  I intend to put this one away until the winter.  These are the kind of projects to work on when the weather is cool and and house is warm and snug.  Thanks so much Julie for thinking of me and sending this book.

The other three are ones I ordered last week.  They are "Fabulous Surfaces" by Linda Monk, "Mixed Media: new studio techniques"
 by Isobel Hall and Maggie Grey and "Contrasting Elements" by Jan Maries.

I have plenty to read and to inspire me now.  I really don't know where to start.

I bought these books here

We are so lucky to have such beautiful books available at reasonable prices.

Thanks also to Linda for helping with including links in my posts.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I am having trouble with this post.  Not sure why.

I have been sorting through some old photos and thought I might make a collage of the place I previously   lived.   Our house was by a fresh water lake and the reflections and scenery were different every day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

another project finished

 It has been another cool day today so I have spent this afternoon watching the cricket test match from Western Australia and stitching.
 I am really happy to have finished this journal cover.  It is something that has been on my mind for some months and I haven't had time to spend on it.

 I have to admit that I had a few difficulties with this - only because I was not concentrating.

Once I settled down it came along nicely.
I have used an organza ribbon to tie around it and a little loop & toggle which is designed for jewelry but suited this perfectly.

Everything I needed for this was in my stash, even the book, so that is very satisfying.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Journal cover

My journal cover is coming along nicely.  

I have my three grandsons staying so there isn't much time for sewing.

This evening I have ironed some thin batting to the back of the work.  I would not usually pad a cover like this but I want it to be extra luscious to feel as well as to look at.

 The weather has turned quite cold and very windy so our evening visit to the beach was brief and limited to walking. The wind was howling and the water was really rough:  the boys thought it was fantastic of course.    Now they are all settled in on the couches with quilts and pillows and we are watching a DVD of the Smurfs.

Tomorrow they want to do some sewing which suits me fine.  I think the weather will be pretty cool again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Playing with the sewing machine

 Don't you just love picking fabrics and threads and trims to start a new project?  I do.
In fact I think I could spend a lot of time planning and not much actually stitching.
My husband is out this evening and so I have my sewing machine on the kitchen bench, the 20/20 cricket is on the radio and I can see out my kitchen window: the sun is just disappearing now.  Daylight savings is great.

The second pic shows the stitching I have done this evening.  The colour is not good but never mind.  I have stitched ribbons and trims onto the fabric with the doiley attached.  Over the top I have added burgundy nylon tulle and stitched it down with matching and contrasting threads. 

I managed to break one needle: I serviced the machine last week but forgot to change the needle.  It really needed a thicker, stronger needle anyway so now it is done.

The batting and lining are downstairs so it will have to wait until tomorrow.  

It really is good to be doing something creative. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Eastern rosellas

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These beautiful eastern rosellas visited my garden today.  I am always amazed by the detail and colours on these birds.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

making welcome

Yesterday we visited some old friends for a lovely relaxed lunch outside.

Our friends are recently retired and I had encouraged Carol to take up some embroidery.  We had spent some time discussing ribbon embroidery:  I sent her home with some ribbon, hoop. needles etc and The ABC of Ribbon Embroidery and I was pleased to hear that she had enrolled in a local class'  You can imagine how disappointed I was to learn that she had found the whole experience really discouraging.  The "ladies" in the class had been together for many years and didn't make any attempt to welcome two newbies.  I have attached a pic of what Carol had been doing in the class: her comment was that it was no where near good enough!  She felt quite intimidated by comments that were made and says she will never be good enough to do any form of embroidery. 

What is it about some people that they cannot encourage others?  

I intend to stretch and frame this piece and give it back to Carol - it is good work and she should be proud. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Taking care:

Our sewing machines and equipment serve us well if we just give them a little attention.

I was unimpressed when my overlocker would not work properly last evening but when I tried to recall the last time I gave it a good clean and changed the needles I just could not remember.

This machine is not used often but I do want it to work when I am ready so tonight it is having a lovely clean up.  I use a pressure can of air to clean away the dust and make sure there are no threads lingering.

 Changing the needles is not a lot of fun but neither is re-threading the machine so sharp needles are a necessity.

I find the re-threading very challenging so I have treated myself to a baileys and milk in the hope that a more relaxed attitude will help.
It has been another warm day (38degrees here) and I have my eldest grandson Ben here with me.  He is content to watch some DVDs with the air conditioning going.

At present he is watching Thor on blue ray with 3d glasses on.

We only have one pair of these glasses and this is the first time they have been used.  He assures me they are really good.  The sound is amazing - I am not sure I need to see it all though.

I can hear a little rain on the roof just now and the sunset is a fiery red.  

Tomorrow should be cooler and after babysitting the twins we will go out for a meal and to the beach I think.

Monday, January 2, 2012

thinking out loud

 The weather here is quite hot at present: about 39 degrees today.  It is not the best time to try fine needlework so I am spending time messing about with needle felting which achieves several things.  First it is a chance to use up some scraps, second is the unique piece of fabric that results and finally it is really relaxing.The first pic shows the fabric which has an old piece of nylon scarf attached with some free style quilting.

 The second is the back of the created fabric.  I used a piece of felt as the background material and you can see how the needles force the applied fibres and threads through the backing.  You can also see my quilting threads on the back. I will probably line this or perhaps paint it.  I am not sure what I will be making with it yet.
The last pic is some of my favourite hand dyed fabric and a lace doiley I coloured at the same time.  The photo makes the lace look a lot lighter - in fact it is close in colour to the pink on the fabric.  

These are the beginnings of a journal cover.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

 I have finished my little purse.  The fabric consists of scraps of fabric & thread felted together on the embellishing machine.
 Tulle was then bonded with mistyfuse and it was then lined with cotton fabric.

I added some stitches and joined it together with blanket stitch and some other stitching.

It has turned out quite well: very shabby chic.

Just the right size for my phone.