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May 2017

June 2017

WIPW

Not a lot of work but I have finished two of the Xmas decorations.

It took me 3 or 4 attempts to get the right stitch to sew the edges together.  I had thought of stitching needle lace around the edges but gave that away fairly quickly.  I sewed the front and back together using quilting thread and a whip stitch.  Over this I then stitched and edge using my version of Van Dyke stitch.  I had to try a few different threads for this but ended up with the same perle 8 I had used for the cross stitch.  This gives a nice edge that you can attach to.

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  Onto this I sewed the seed beads and used a DMC stranded gold metallic thread. (Mouline No E3821 x 1 strand)

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I crocheted 150 chain stitches to make the hanging thread using the same gold metallic thread.  I was surprised at how strong it was as this thread usually shreds.

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The red stitched one was next and I used the same method but worked out a better way of attaching the beads.

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So, 2 down and 6 to go.

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Next Op

Back to hospital today for the next operation but they don't want me there until 1pm.  Just hope they keep me in over night again because there is no transport to the island after 5pm.  I have lined up a bed at my son's just in case.

My friends grandson has Cystic Fibrosis and because of this we all contribute to fund raising for research.  Each year they have a fair and sell goods to raise funds.  This year Kay made some lovely quilts which she sold far too cheaply and there was a pretty pink one that I bought as a present for a new baby that is due.

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It was hand appliqued,

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and embroidered.

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And I've just been told the new baby, is a BOY!!!!

 

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Busy weekend

I find that my eye is improving but I have no sense of balance and see everything very lop sided.  Definately not good enough to drive.  I had said that I would make some cushions for my friend Kay but the overlocker was a bit sick, it turned out to be the power board, and I couldn't see to sew anyway.  I was feeling very guilty about not getting these finished.  I took them one each day, I couldn't see the black fabric at night, and got them finished, finally.

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The brief was "put in some zippers"  but she had sent a sample that was piped so the edges were piped, (even harder to see), but there wasn't enough fabric to cut it on the bias. (I wasn't happy about that.)  The zippers were sewn into a placket so they were hidden.

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Then there was the problem of getting them to her.  I can't drive, so it had to be the post.  I got the bus up to the big shopping centre, 40 mins each way, only to find there was no post office.  Back again to the local post office and away they went.

I tell you it wasn't 5 mins after I got home when the telephone rings. " We have a visitor from the USA with us can we bring them over to the island and I can pick up the cushions?"   I should have known.

Then the phone starts again.  Mum, my washing machine is broken can I come and do my washing at your place?  (and be fed, stock up on food  and other things.) 

Again, Mum, it looks like being a good weekend we thought we would come and visit with the girls.  Better ring my other son and see if he wants to come as well. 

Hi Guy, everyone is coming to lunch, how about you?  "I'm sick."

Hell, no food for that many people.  On the ferry to get the bus.  But it is Saturday and the bus doesn't start till later.  My watch tells me I walked 15 kilometres on Saturday, and there was all the cooking (three with special food requirements), and getting the place in order.  (My flowers are blooming and make the day a whole lot better.)

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Sunday was a lovely day and today I have got the washing on the line and a few more loads to go through the dishwasher.  Going to have to get some more shopping.  Twelve people to feed goes through the food.


More Books

I find I can't read for too long so these books are perfect, lots of pictures.

I have bought the Japanese version of Yumiko Higuchi's books so when I saw an English edition I thought it might explain some of the Japanese text I couldn't work out.

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I bought my copy from Amazon but I think it would have been cheaper at the Book depository.  The difference in price seems to be caused by the exchange rate.    The format of the book is a lot bigger in the English version which is great for seeing the stitching and using the patterns but the Japanese books contain a lot more designs.  I found that I had translated most of the requirements but am still a bit in the dark about the type of linen fabric that she uses.  The images in this book are of a very high quality and this is a great big plus for me.  All in all I can recommend this book.

The next book is by Sharon Boggon, "The visual guide to Crazy quilting design".

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Now, there are a lot of books on Crazy Quilting but not that many that focus on how you design your pieces.  This book is really dense with information on all that stuff you need to think about before you stitch and it also has lots of stitches.  So much so I might even consider doing some Crazy Quilting.

And the third book is a how to book on Marketing by Teena Hughes.  50 Marketing Secrets of Successful Women.

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There are lots of tips on how to market your products from women who are doing it successfully.  The women who have contributed come from a number of different countries and it is a great resource to help you get your product or service out there.  If you have a small business this is a most helpful book. (And I am one of the 50 women quoted in the book.)

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The one eyed monster who reads books.

That is me.  My eye is all bandaged and I am finding it difficult to see with the other but I know I will adjust.  I had trouble with the operation and that will take a few days to get over.  Although I can't see to sew I can read.  I am going to have to read this book again in more detail.  I knew that I could have trouble so I sat up late and was reading right up till they were ready to wheel me in.  I just had to finish the book.  Having to wait to get to the end would have killed me. 

Now this is not a novel. 

The Ancient Paths by Graham Robb is a very well researched and cross referenced piece of work.  Considering that it's content questions what we have been told since the middle ages about Roman expertise in building roads and the role of the Gauls and Celts it needs to be.

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I am sure that  the academics will be testing all the math and evidence.   Yet I do believe there are some truths written here.  The Roman's were ever good at praising themselves and old Julius was a murderous bastard.  (I saw a quote once from the Roman Senate that labelled him as committing "crimes against humanity",  but they still accepted all the loot he brought back.)

I remember standing in the lower reaches of the Cathedral of Bayeau in France and realising that I was looking at a Gaulish not Christian monument.  It came as quite a shock back then.  If what he proposes in this book checks out we are going to have to rewrite quite a lot of history.  In the meantime this is going to get the academics in a tizz.

There is another good review here from the Guardian and here from the Telegraph

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WIPW

The stitching of the "field of stars" is now finished, all eight stars.  (I still have to remove the tacking.)

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No 7 is nothing like the pattern.  I made a mistake and kept changing it.

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No 8 is perfect, not one error.  (I finally got it right after all those attempts.)

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Now I have to assemble them.  I am now starting a trial of what I think I want.   It is rather like a round pin wheel on a string.  The join is going to be the challenge.  This is the backing fabric which was a gift from my friend Angela.  I have been waiting for something special to use it on.

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Today is the day

I am off to hospital today for the next operation.  The first has been pretty successful although I managed to get a sinus infection which is receiving lots of antibiotics to get rid of it.  I am such a worry wort.  I know everything will be fine but I still wonder what if...?  So we had my husbands birthday lunch last Sunday even though his birth day isn't until tomorrow.  Just the family, and we all got together at Indigiscapes.  It isn't the flashest place but it is beautiful and very kid friendly.

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Monique brought at friend 'Will' , who is the class teddy.  There are 2 teddies, Bourke and Wills, as in the explorers.  These 2 go home with students on weekends and then the student writes stories about their adventures.  After lunch we all headed out to do the Wildflower and Tallowwood Walks, Will went with us.

He saw that the creek was very cloudy after all the rain we have had but that this made a wonderful mirror of the sky.

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It took a bit to explain why you could look down and see up.

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He also saw some bright orange fungi growing on a tree branch.

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And where those bush babies had written all over the scribbly bark.  (Some other people had left their initials.)

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Then he saw the 400 year old Tallow wood tree.

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Monique read to us how all the other trees had been cut down by the timber gatherers but that this tree had been hit by lightening 300 years ago and had grown very twisted.  This had saved it's life and today it is home to koala bears and all other kinds of animals.

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We stopped at the pond to look at the wild ducks and birds and he saw these dark shapes under the water, they were tortoises.

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Then he got a bit tired after all that walking so got to have a ride on Uncle Guy's shoulders, with Monique..

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Then he went with Monique and Jasmine to draw some pictures of their adventures on the walk.

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He had such a good time and my husband loved his birthday lunch.

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Adventures with my sewing machine

My inability to see clearly does have it's funny side you know. 

The quilt top I am working on along with the cushions requires me to use my sewing machine. 

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This is great.  I can see the stitch guides clearly and it is only straight sewing I'm doing.  Putting in the zippers was a bit more challenging and as I  shorten my zippers by sewing across the teeth, this  was nearly my undoing.  You have to watch that the needle doesn't hit the nylon teeth or it can break. 

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  I can't see the needle too well at the moment, so I sewed slowly.  Then I hit the teeth and the needle got stuck there.  I managed to get the foot off the shank and release the needle without breaking it, twice.  Third time I wasn't so lucky.  It broke the top of the needle around the eye region. Then that small part of the needle fell into the bobbin area and didn't come out.  I turned the machine upside down.  It got my dyson onto it.  I shook it. Nothing came out. 

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Back when I was newly married I had a new you beaut Singer sewing machine that had cams that you inserted to do fancy stitches.  It was an expensive machine and my pride and joy, and nearly the death of me.  The foot pedal blew up and somehow I managed not to get electrocuted.  The whole pedal melted into a molten mess, and I blew the fuse box as well.  What had happened was when they machined the housing for the engine they didn't clean out all the metal shavings.  One was left in there and that one fell into the motor and it blew up.

The image of this close call has stayed with me all these years and now I had a part of the needle in the machine and I couldn't find it.  The bobbin case is isolated from the motor but if I didn't find the needle shard who knows what damage it could do?  As a last resort I went to my elderly neighbour and asked if I could borrow his magnifying glass, he uses it to read because his eyes are worse than mine.  He wasn't about to let 'his eyes' as he calls it be taken away by a woman, so he came over to help me look.  What a picture we must have made?

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The upshot was that we found that tiny piece of metal and extracted it with the point of a long pin.  While I had the machine in pieces I cleaned and oiled it, well.  Living on the waterfront means that metal can rust easily hence all the oil to protect it.

I don't know.  Nothing is easy, is it?


Interesting day trip

I had an interesting trip this week up to Toowoomba.  The weather was terrible and the trip up took me almost 4 hours and then another 3 to get back home again.  I was really tired after all that driving.  I went to a trunk show talk by Michelle Hill who is hanging up her hat and not doing any of this kind of thing again.  So it was a must do.

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I bought a copy of her new book 'Stitching with Beatrix Potter' not that there is anything that I will stitch, rather, just to have a copy for reference.

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After my stay in Cumbria a few years ago when I visited Hill Top Farm, (again, and again, and again), I was just enchanted by the Stitching done by Potter.  I wasn't allowed to take photos and there were no post cards for sale of her work.   But she was a great embroiderer as well as being great at lots of other things.

Michelle is best known for her William Morris inspired fabrics and quilts which you can see here.  But I was able to look up close and her stitching is so fine and that quilting is to die for.

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And when you get up close you can see all kinds of embroidered embellishments.

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When I got home I found a gift from my husband on my desk.

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Isn't that sweet.