… And another one

I’ve cranked another one out! Last one, I promise…

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.33.26 am Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.33.49 am Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 8.34.19 amAuntie Marion’s daughter, who wins ribbons for her tatting at the big Melbourne show, saw what I made the other night, and offered a trade. She’d teach me to tat if I made her one for herself. Considering how expert she is, it was an offer too good to resist. So I gave her free rein with my blue fabrics and she chose a nice formal floral print in polished cotton. Four of us are meeting for coffee this morning, and I wanted to get it ready in time for that.

It’s the same design as before, varying only slightly in size; I’ve used batting scraps, and it’s a great way to chew those up in a constructive way, but you have to work with what you have. Also, this fabric would be difficult to feature in any quilts I have planned in the near future, so I’m happy it’s getting used.

Now all I have to do is work out when I can have a lesson or two!

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Tatting Toolkit completed

Here it is, ready and waiting for Auntie M’s birthday at the weekend.

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Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 9.20.03 pm Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 9.20.46 pm Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 9.22.07 pmIt’s smaller than the original toolkit, because as I said in my earlier post, the tools are different, and she doesn’t want TV remote control pockets.

So I’ve given her pockets for scissors, crochet hook, tweezers and a spare shuttle, and on the other side, a buttoned pocket for her threaded tatting shuttle and work in progress.

I’ve also given her ribbon ties for folding it up and taking it with her when she goes to her Fibre Arts handwork group each week.

I’m pleased with this one. I like the colours, which helps a lot, it’s small and neat, and was quick and easy to make. I was able to refine some of the detail on this version, with the benefit of hindsight.

I hope she’ll be pleased with it too.

Blue Ribbons and Huge Grins!

To everyone who encouraged, supported, donated fabric, wrote haiku and put up with me whinging — THANK YOU!

Worldwide Friends has won First Prize in its category and Best Exhibit of Show.

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I’m totally stoked (if you’re not Australian, this translates as delighted, thrilled, very happy, chuffed and gratified). Can you tell?

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To all the Worldwide Friends: I couldn’t have done it without you.

Carla, Australia: https://grannymaudsgirl.wordpress.com
Tracey, Australia
Nanette, Australia: http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au
Dale, Australia: https://elladeewords.wordpress.com
Rita, Belgium: https://gwenniesgarden.wordpress.com
Jan, Wales: http://thesnailofhappiness.com
Lynn, France: https://thetialys.wordpress.com
Viv, France: https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
Gun, Sweden: https://rutigt.wordpress.com
Cath, USA: http://wombatquilts.com
Sue, USA: http://sewingmagpie.blogspot.com.au
Esther, Netherlands: https://ipatchandquilt.wordpress.com
Emmely, Netherlands: https://infectiousstitches.wordpress.com
Jule, Germany: https://jule62.wordpress.com
Annett, Germany: https://knettycraft.wordpress.com
Carole, UK: https://aslightobsessionwithbooks.wordpress.com
Kirsten, UK: http://thepinkrosebakery.com

The most remarkable outcome is that the Judging Team have asked me if I will please attend their next sewing group day on Wednesday next week, bringing the quilt with me to give a talk on how it came to be, how I made it, etc. And would I please like to join them every week after that….?

The Husband thinks it’s hysterically funny that when I first turned the corner and saw the quilt and its ribbons, the first word out of my mouth was a rude one. Not a very, very rude one, but not ladylike, nonetheless!

PS: we’re keeping blue ribbons in the family. Auntie Marion’s tatting took First Prize as well!


Tatting Toolkit

A while ago, I made a sofa-arm tool kit for the Dowager. 

The original tutorial can be found here. I’ve been asked to make another, for a different set of tools. The Husband’s aunt, the Dowager’s sister, is a demon tatter. Tatting (or frivolité, or occhi, depending on your country of origin) is done with fine cotton yarn, and a small shuttle, and is used to make lace. Auntie Marion wins prizes, as does her daughter, who ran away with the tatting ribbon at the Melbourne Show. Here’s an example of her work:

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Now, Auntie Marion wants her own tool kit, still with a spool holder and pincushion, but also with a pocket for the shuttle, another for scissors and a third for a small crochet hook. She doesn’t watch much TV, so no TV remote pockets are needed, and it’ll be an altogether smaller item. She’s also given me a free hand with the fabric I use, and I picked out a lovely Robert Kaufman print of native Australian flowers, with a blending solid for the back and binding. It’s a fabric I bought on impulse years ago and will never use because the scale’s all wrong for my work. It’s her birthday at the end of the month, her daughter, SIL and grandchildren are coming up from Melbourne for the event, and we’re having a big gathering here (I’ve got the biggest dining table in the tribe), so I need to have it ready for then. No pressure… Still, considering the Dowager’s only took a couple of hours, it shouldn’t be too tricky.

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We’re off to the Mackay Show this morning. I can inspect the hanging of my quilt and make sure they’ve put the artist statement up with it (I have my doubts about the impartiality and efficiency of the hanging and judging crew…). I’m also going to look at the preserves, baking, poultry, tatting (Auntie Marion has an entry and should carry off the ribbon) and painting sections.

The Husband is on night shift and will be asleep all afternoon, so I can sew to my heart’s content.

SAL 13: Kowhaiwhai’s nearly there…

I haven’t given this the attention I should, due to getting all excited about making my first blocks for the F²F block swap.

Once I realised it was *Gasp! This Weekend!*, I had to get cracking. I should have got it finished, but time got away from me.

Here’s where I was last time.

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And here’s where I am now.

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I think I may just prefer it the other way up… Let’s see how I feel when it’s finished. Just a little bit to go, and I’ve decided to put an inscription underneath, so it’ll be done next time.

This time, we’re joined by not one but two new members – welcome Jacqui and Jess! I may be the first to post because my Sunday starts earliest. Give the others in later time zones a chance to wake up and publish their posts, and then do hop over and take a look at what they’re up to.

Avis at http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Claire at http://claire93.wordpress.com

Gun at http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Carole at http://aslightobsessionwithbooks.wordpress.com

Alison at http://minervahandmade.wordpress.com

Jule at http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Elizabeth at http://stitch4therapy.wordpress.com

Wendy at http://thecraftersapprentice.blogspot.co.uk

Lucy at https://lucyannluna.wordpress.com

Cathy at http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com

Jacqui at http://thestitchingline.com

Jess at https://everthecrafter.wordpress.com

PP Stash: getting my head round it…

The process of creation, that is.

OK, the process of making doesn’t frighten me any more. I’ve now made 6 blocks, accompanied by bad language, unpicking, cutting and recutting pieces I’d miscalculated, and hopefully the worst of the mistakes are behind me. Now, it’s a different problem. I want to make my own designs.


This block is Marley by 627Handworks, so-called because of the three ‘little birds’. Cute design, flawed make…

This is one of the ‘not quite right’ ones, and instead of going to an F2F participant, it’s going into my stash.  It’s not so much the piecing and accuracy, which is only OK-ish, it’s more that it’s 1/8 – 1/4″ short on two corners, and I can’t expect someone else to accept my mistakes. It could still be used, but the seam allowances would have to be fiddled with. The colour scheme may look familiar to one of you out there, and if you’d still like to have it knowing the problems, let me know.

I don’t have EQ and am not sure I could learn to use EQ even if I got it, so I can’t play with how things will look that easily. I’m quite good at visualising colour, so I’ll rely on that. However, there are all sorts of things I’d like to turn into blocks, but I can’t get my lame brain around how to arrange the pieces so that it works. Or perhaps it’s not the order so much as where to place the breaks between the pieces and keeping them to a minimum. Any hints, tips, suggestions or pointers towards online resources to help with this would be gratefully received – I know there are heaps of you out there who do paper piecing all the time.

TeardropStarTemplateI have drawn up two blocks I like. One of them is going to be used for F2F, so I can’t show you progress on that, but this one is the Teardrop Star I showed you before, and it’s for me, to add to my block stash. I’ll show you what it looks like when it’s done.

Now I just have to pick fabrics…

Building a different kind of stash

It’s a new obsession – as if I needed any more, where quilting is concerned….

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Evidence of industry. I don’t think anyone will accuse me of wasting fabric scraps…

So far, all the blocks that I’ve made and planned for F²F have been paper pieced. When you’re making a block for someone else, you want to push the boat out a bit, showcase your skill a little, go the extra mile, because it’s only small and you don’t have much space to impress with, and whatever you do end up making won’t take forever anyway…

Previous experiences with paper piecing haven’t been happy. I’ve found it hard to work back to front, upside down, sewing on the back of the piece. I’ve tended to avoid even looking at PP designs. But with the end of WWF and the hard grind that went with ensuring it was completed in time, I’ve been enjoying a slower, more considered pace of working. I wanted to build a new skill and it seemed the obvious place to start. It helped to organise myself very thoroughly up front and not regard the need to unpick as a disaster, but as a valuable lesson in checking not once, but twice.

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Wanted: Good home for multiple scraps of all colours. Must be prepared to accept very small scraps and odd shapes and generate very little waste…

So, I’ve come to a decision. Alongside the blocks I’m making for F²F, I’ll be building a personal stash of 12″ blocks. There’s no colour or design theme. There’s no purpose in mind. I just want to have a basket full of gorgeousness to dip into whenever I need to make something for someone in a hurry. And 12″ blocks are great because they’re big, and versatile. You can place them straight or on point or round the outside as a border or in the middle as a central medallion.


#1: Hand drawn ‘Teardrop Star’ template – hope it works!

I’m not going to post about it whenever I make one, but I may show off a handful of them from time to time. And I’ll be really happy if anyone out there falls in love with one of them and would like to become its new owner, so please speak out if you see one that works for you. The first one is already in the pipeline, and any patterns from F²F that I think work particularly well will be repeated for my stash.

It’ll be like a little quilty holiday from whatever big project I’m currently engrossed in. Not quite a portable hexie project, but something quick, small and perfectly formed!