Saturday, April 28, 2012


Wednesday was a play day.  It was ANZAC day and a public holiday here.  As our daughter was working at the race track we had the wonderful opportunity of spending most of the day with our adorable grand daughter, Lilian.
Before Lilian arrived I was painting and stamping fabrics.
Yellow Orange painted fabric   Red Purple painted fabric
It was just calico fabric which I wet and crumpled then painted with acrylic paint while wet. (The colours look ugly here, but really, some of them were quite pretty.
After it dried I got the moulding stamp out to do some stamping – also with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium.
basket for printingbasket weave stamping
The basket weaving stamping
Potato masher fabricPotato masher printPotato masher print inked
Potato masher stamping. 
Stamp back to normal
After re-heating, the stamp comes back to normal.  I used the toaster to heat and re-heat my stamp.
All in all it worked out okay but the stamp has to be very indented so as the relief parts stamp well.
Lessons were learned.
Lili Painting
Then it was Lilian’s turn to paint. 
Lili on the bench
Then we did some bare foot cooking. Pumpkin scones. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Learning from Friends

It has been a week of learning and doing.  Finally a little craft time.
Firstly there was my TAST project to do.  After a couple of days pondering and tweaking the design I have come up with ‘The Look’ (named by Shirley because she thought it looked a bit like an eye)
The Look
I was having a devil of a time trying to keep those french knots in a straight line and under my control.  So, I turned to the ‘master of french knots’, aka Shirley, and she put me on the straight (sorry about the pun) and narrow.  Then, most of them went straight and I learned the correct way.  It made me really confident about the stitch and I ended up quite enjoying them.  Also enjoyed doing the beading and learnt a few tricks of the trade from a video I recently purchased called “Bead it like you mean it” by Lyric Kinard
Here is the journal entry for french knots where you will see I had other ideas too.
French Knot JournalFrench Knot Journal 2
Teresa over on All things Vintage was very supportive when I couldn’t quite ‘get’ a pattern I was trying to make.
It was Isabella’s journal from Faeries in my Garden and for the life of me I could not understand what to do.  I knew Teresa had made this one so I contacted her being too embarrassed to contact the people from Faeries and looking like  too much of a dumb cluck.  In the end, it was all too much and like the song goes, I did it my way.  It is okay and I know the birthday girl recipient is going to love it anyway, cause I made it for her.
Anneliese from Stitching Lady has inspired me to try my hand at stamping and colouring my backgrounds.  I have done a little bit of this but may now start doing a few of my TAST samples on my ‘new fabric’.  The kitchen table was turned into an art space yesterday and I painted some backgrounds.  Now to embellish, stamp etc.
Kitchen table after lunch.
Some pretty washing.
The formy thingy I bought at a craft show and have just remembered after reading Anneliese’s blog.
You heat this up, not too hot, press it onto something textured and then stamp with it.  When you done with that stamping, you reheat it back to plain ready to do a different one.  Brilliant.  Can’t wait to try it out.
Thank you Anneliese for your inspirational work, and thank you to my friends for helping me out.
Drop into Pintangle and see what others did for the french knot (Week 16 of TAST).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting Funky and Feeling Funked

 Time is tight around here lately.  There is housework, bookwork, family commitments, quilt club ‘stuff’, garden (very low on list at present), shopping, computer (too much of), husband who wants to go away all the time,   etc. etc. etc.  Wait……I haven’t added any time in there for creating.  Got the idea?  I have just read Lesley Riley’s post about making time for creating.  You can read it HERE.
  We have 72 x 20 minute opportunities in a day to create.  Right, I am going to ‘take’ 20 minutes out of my time each day specifically for this.  Admittedly I do sew in front of the tele at night but a lot of what we want to do can’t be done in the lounge chair in the evening. 
Now that I have vented this stuff here is my creation for stem stitch.
Funky Funghi - Wk 15 Stem Stitch
Entitled “Funky Fungi”. 
Stem stitch is a bit of a boring ol’ stitch and one I have been doing for as long as I’ve been holding a needle.  Sooooooo, I thought I would jazz it up a bit with a bit of bold colour.   The edging is two rows of stem stitch and the whole picture is created in stem stitch. The dots in the the background are just representations of those cute mushrooms you see with the red dots.  You could also work the stem stitch like this for some simple roses too. 
TAST is really good for exploring, and coming up with new ideas.  To see more stem stitch creations  visit the Pin Tangle site HERE.  Well, just visit Pin Tangle for inspiration!!!
Finally, a photo of me with my madcap sisters in law on a weekend away together.
L – R Mary, Me, Carmel, Annette, Catherine.  (I cheekily call them the ‘Nuns’)  Mary Therese, Carmel Patricia, Annette Cecilia, Catherine Majella.  Absent was our sister in law, Karen Sad smile who was sick.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Leaf–little berries

Big Leaf with little Berries - Wk 14 TAST
Satin stitch is fast becoming a favourite as I worked it this week.
Admittedly it can become a bit tiresome and monotonous, but the end results are worth it (mostly).  Of course, as I went on with my piece I learned things.  Firstly, I wish I had done the berries in a straight colour and not variegated.  The variegation has to be very subtle and this one turned out not to be.  I should have quit after berry No. 1, but no.  In the end, there was no way I was going to pull them out and start again as I was very happy with the working of them.  Also, a hoop is essential.  Shirley’s  nagging    message on the hoop has finally got through,
Importantly, satin stitch is a stitch that cannot be rushed.  Each stitch demands patience and time..  Thus it has taken me almost the whole week staying up late each night.
The thread I used in the leaf is a hand dyed cotton from Stef Francis.  I loved the way it sat, and it has a lovely sheen to it too.  The border is some of Shirley’s No 5 perle – 3 strands couched down with three satin stitches every half inch or so.  I am helping Shirley reduce her thread stash  Smile
   Inspiration for Satin Stitch          Satin Stitch journal
On the left is the inspiration for my piece.  It comes from a book Shirley picked up at the local Lifeline shop, simply called “Embroidery” – over forty embroidery projects for you and your home – Introduction by Una Stubbs.  It is from the 1980’s.
Sharon B has some wonderful highlights of satin stitch on her ‘browse’ post HERE and also there are many more examples on her TAST week 14 page HERE (go to the comments section and follow people’s links – some amazing eye candy)
I have a second piece of satin stitch I have started so will continue that in the background in the coming weeks.
I have also been busy in the sewing room over Easter, but much of what I have done is secret quilting business, so can’t share right now.
Off to the coast tomorrow for about 5 days, so no internet Sad smile

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A catch up week–12 Stitches in a Pot

Over on TAST last week Sharon announced a catch up week for people to get a chance to finish off some of their samples from the past 12 weeks.  She put out a mini challenge for those people who still wanted to stitch something. 
I read it wrong and thought we had to come up with something for the whole 12 stitches, but you could use just 3 – 6 of the stitches in your piece.  Oh well, it was extra challenging!  The process of designing something took about 5 days which left me just 2 to stitch Smile  There was, of course, much deliberation and changing of mind before I got to the point of producing my “12 Stitches in a Pot”

12 Stitches in a Pot
Actually, for one of the few times, it turned out almost exactly as I drew up in my sketch book.
Mini Challgenge Journal
Also during this catch up week I managed to finish a UFO.  About 18 months ago I decided I had to do something with all the I Spy fabrics I had sitting in the cupboard and decided on these hand pieced hexagons.  ???/#@#%
I got quite fed up with it in the end and decided to put all the hexagons together and see if I had enough for a small child’s quilt  Yep – I did – so then I was ready for a quick painless finish.
Hopped onto my new princess Pfaff and did a fancy herringbone type stitch to join them all up.  It was a breeze.
Hexagon I spyHexagon I Spy back
Front and back – Sorry about the bad photo but geesh it is bright.  Kids like bright right?
It will go into the cupboard in the expectation that some day another grand child will come along.  Lilian already has her own I Spy quilt which she loves.
Like on the radio, I am now going to send a cheerio call.
Group Photo
Hello to ‘Aunty Nellie’ who I believe pops in and reads my little blog now and again.  Nellie is married to my dear friend Yvonne’s uncle and I met her at quilt retreat.  Hope you are well and still producing your wonderful embroidery etc.Nellie.  Hugs.