SAL 54: Dahlia #1

It’s SAL time again, and this time, I’m ready 🙂

I missed last time because we’d been travelling and I had nothing at all to show. But now I’ve got the new project up and running.  It’s a Kaffe Fassett design, from his recent Bold Blooms book, which I posted about earlier. I had to buy myself a new tapestry frame because nothing I had was large enough and none of the local shops stocked one which would accommodate a 22 inch canvas. Nor could I buy the yarns he specified, which are a bit specialised and mostly only available in the UK. So I’ve had to make substitutions based on the image in the book. The colour variations in the DMC tapestry wool I’m using are not as subtle and delicate, but I think it’ll be acceptable. Not exactly like his, but enough to make a very nice cushion cover!

So, without further ado, here’s where I’ve got to. Not a huge amount done, but the chart is rather tiny and keeping track is quite difficult. Hopefully I’ll have made some slightly more impressive progress next time.  I’m already thinking about doing this same design in a different colourway. I’m thinking an orange/red/hot pink dahlia on a navy background… I like this new frame a lot because it stretches between the two arms of my chair and takes the strain off my own arms a bit.

Do go and see what the other talented people in the SAL group are working on. We’re an international group so not everyone will be posting at the same time, but if they haven’t got their post up yet when you visit, do make the time to go back.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie, Jackie

See you next time, on 16th December!



A little giveaway…

I have leftovers. Too big for scraps, too small for curtains.

The ruler gives you an idea of the pattern’s scale

This is the fabric I’ve used for Miz Lizzie’s curtains. I have two pieces left over, which would make a very pretty cushion cover or maybe 4 place mats… They’re 25 inches high by 22 inches wide (including a selvedge on one side).

Now, I’m also looking to expand the list of blogs I follow. You guys know what I like. You can see who I’m already following from the side bar. It’d be great if you could recommend some new ones!

If you’d like these fabric pieces, let me know and I’ll mail them off to you. Just leave a comment below, together with your blog recommendation. And even if you don’t want the fabric, it’s always good to hear about new blogs. I’ll pick a name at random on Monday and let you know who it is. If you win and I don’t have your details, I’ll respond to your comment, so keep an eye out.

Good luck and have a good weekend 🙂

Curtains for Miz Lizzie

This job has taken forever to get started. And an eternity to finish.

Somehow something more ‘important’ always seemed to get in the way. Anyhow, it’s done. Miz Lizzie is now adorned with her new curtains, and I love how they’re looking.

To remind you, here’s a before shot, showing the bunchy dark blue (and incidentally grubby and slightly niffy) curtains she came with.

I do love the new fabric, and feel that she looks fresher and less gloomy with them in place. I’ve also greatly reduced the volume of the net curtains behind them. I could probably do without the nets entirely, if it weren’t for the fact that they do stop people snooping through the windows, which is almost irresistible when strolling around in caravan parks…

It’s going to be a while till I get round to recovering those 1980s pinkish seat cushions with blue and white ticking, especially the backrest parts, but the quilts and cushions do a decent job of hiding most of that.

She’s looking smarter now, ready for our summer holiday trip in February. We’re heading back north, for another gastronomic tour: Townsville, Ingham, Cairns, the Atherton Tableland, Port Douglas and Mossman. We’ll be visiting all sorts of places for a taste of the tropics and a chance to sample freshly grown and produced delights. More on that when the time comes.

Now, what shall I work on next…?

SAL 53: a time to dance

And a happy dance it is!

The big blue sampler is done. I realised I’d be away when the SAL after this one is due, and I didn’t want to wait for the session after that before I finished it, so I pushed on hard and got it done. It’s been a long time coming (I started it at the beginning of April 2016), but it’s complete at last. I suspect this one’s going on the wall in my sewing room 🙂 It will be quite strange not having it waiting beside my chair, especially after the fairly intensive stitching of the past few days.


And after:

I’ll be sitting out the next SAL, as the Husband and I will be on an adventure down south in New South Wales with the motorbike and trailer, catching up with a load of friends at our touring bike club national rally. Once I’m back though, I’ll be starting something new and completely different!

Do go and see what all the others are working on. As always, be aware of time differences for this multi-national group, and if there’s no post up yet, try again later 🙂

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie, Jackie

The next SAL is on 29 October, but I’ll be away, so I’ll see you back here on 19 November. 

PS: Some of you might find this post familiar, and you’d be right. It was posted early in error when WP ignored the timing I’d put into the scheduling, for some reason. I took it down as soon as I spotted it…

Another Grawlix

You may recall an earlier post on the subject of Grawlix.

The meaning of this word is the use of symbols (for example, *%!#$&!), to indicate the use of salty language without actually being offensive. I had occasion to reach for this word again today.

See what I mean?  This is, or was, my trusty steam iron. Getting elderly, no longer immaculate as to sole plate and needing to be decalcified a lot more frequently than before, but still reliable. Except today. I was pressing curtain fabric. Yes, I’ve finally started making curtains for Miz Lizzie the caravan, and the fabric is exceedingly wrinkly from being folded up and stashed away. I set the iron down on its heel and turned away to pick up the next piece when I saw it  s l o w l y  toppling towards the edge of the ironing board. Well, normally you’d lunge for the toppling item and rescue it, but this is a steam iron in use, remember, and the minute I started my lunge the brain went “Ding ding ding, it’ll be boiling hot, you moron”. So I had to stand and watch as it hit the floorboards with a loud smack, exploded into several pieces and boiling hot water poured out. The next thing I lunged for was the power switch. Luckily I have everything plugged into surge-protected power boards at waist level, so I didn’t have to grovel in the hot water to reach the plug, a fine recipe for electrocution.

So I spent about an hour doing online comparisons of various steam irons, and am now the proud owner of a nice new one, with a bigger water tank, a power cord 3m/10ft long, automatic cut-off when not used for 3 minutes, and best of all, a ceramic sole plate that I can scrub clean without damage. It’s such an excellent all round improvement that I feel the need to unveil my latest motto.

Accident?  What accident? I needed a new iron!

SAL 52: Border country

What with all the hand quilting that’s been going on round here, I haven’t quite reached the bottom.

Here’s the Before shot, pre single-strand backstitching on the ‘lace’ strip at bottom right:

And here’s where we are now. The two short ‘lace’ border strips on either side finished, but I didn’t manage the narrow border across the bottom. However, as I’ve now finished my hand quilting marathon, hopefully I’ll do better next time, when I hope to have that extra border done, finishing off the bottom of this tiled section. Then it’s just the last bits of the outer borders to go!

As always, the SAL group is working on a wide and gorgeous variety of stitchery, so I urge you to go take a look at their work. We’re all over the world and in all different time zones, so if their SAL posts aren’t up yet, try again later. Here’s the list, and a big welcome to our newest member, Jackie.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie, Jackie

See you next time, on 8th October.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook: Viv’s page

When the idea of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook was first proposed, Viv was one of the first to jump on board with gusto.

Before the Sketchbook reached her, however, we lost her in July 2016. This was a great sadness on two counts; first for those who loved her and miss her still, and secondly because the Sketchbook also needs words as well as the beautiful images which have been contributed. Viv’s great skill was with words, and the lack of her contribution left something of a void.

Viv’s daughter Sally has kindly consented to allow us to feature one of Viv’s poems to amend this lack. The piece which has been selected is called ‘Conjunctions’, and discusses the importance of building and maintaining the connections between us, a sentiment particularly appropriate for the far-flung Sisterhood.

I was asked to letter and insert Viv’s poem.   I have done this in a connected way, with each verse linked to the next with paper and thread. I thought about adding some pieces of patchwork, another of Viv’s passions, but ultimately felt that her words were splendid as they stood, and needed no other adornment or distraction. I’m happy with the simplicity of the execution.

You can see my own page about the Sketchbook project by clicking the link at the start of this post. Alternatively, go to the blog created for this project by Sandra, for a different perspective.

So, I give you Viv’s contribution. She’s with us after all…