Design Feed

Some interesting tea towels

One of our members came to our last patchwork meeting with some tea towels she had been given.  They are hand painted and then the ends have been decorated with crochet.  They are now for all us to use. Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 11.06.40 am
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I had a teen-aged student who's parents came from Portugal, where these came from.  She used to complain that all they did was crochet.  Everything was covered in crocheted and she called her mother and aunts the "Crochet Marfia".

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They are intense but colourful.


I am in the process of developing a class on applique and want to include a number of different techniques.  I had to make a friendship block for my friend which used a technique I think I will include.  It is a good method for larger pieces of fabric.

You will need a base fabric to applique it onto, applique fabric and iron on interfacing. 

Make sure that your pattern piece is cut on the bias because this will make it turn through and stitch in place evenly.

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Put your iron on inter-faceing  with the glue side against the right side of your fabric.  Trace your pattern onto the wrong side of your main fabric,

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then sew around this line.  DO NOT IRON.

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Trim back your seam allowance.  Turn to the interfacing side and make a small slit in this.

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Turn through to the right side.  DO NOT IRON.

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Roll the edges between your fingers to get the edge to sit straight.

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It is never easy to pull your points through.  You could use a collar turner.

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Or put a thread through the corner

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and then pull the corner out when you turn it through.

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Position your applique piece onto your base fabric and now iron in position.  Once you iron there is no turning back so make sure you have it in the correct position.  Slip stitch the edges into position.

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This method works well where you have larger and regular applique pieces.

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On with life

I have my hands full at the moment with some extra studies.  They were just going to be a few fill ins but instead I find myself back at the books.  I can not write a piece without first doing my research.  All that Study I did for my degrees has brain washed me and I find it almost impossible to write a personal piece.  Then I do drafts 1 to infinity.  That comes from being a class room teacher I hope the kids took all my lectures on board as I have.

What I really want to get into is my course of "Art on the Ipad" with Susie Monday.  I did an introductory course with her in the USA and it has whet my appetite for more.  I've signed up I just have to get past all the things I have to do first!

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Then I have a group of Craftsy classes I have purchased and haven't got to yet!

I need to do a course on managing my time better.

Stitching Stories

There is a wonderful post on friend Pam's blog about an exhibition she saw at the Adelaide Art Gallery in South Australia.  This exhibition is work of the Yarrenyty Arltere women. I was so taken by their work this sent me looking for their web and facebook pages so that I could learn more.

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source: facebook

These women come from Alice Springs so they are desert people.  There are lots of wonderful artists out there but this is the first time I have seen indigenous women stitching.  They not only stitch but they use old blankets that they dye with natural dyes first as their base cloth. 

Having lived in Arnhem Land I really appreciate the humour that is distinctly theirs and I can imagine those women stitching and laughing at their own work.  I love the thoughts of this artist who has given her pieces two heads because she has two thoughts in her head at the same time, should she stitch but she would like to go into town as well!  I felt exactly the same hanging out the washing and thinking I should be hosing the garden and was pulled between the two.

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The other thing that struck me was how much they like stitching for exactly the same reasons we like stitching but they are far more insightful about their experience.  Marlee Rubuntja says:

In 2009 I came to the art centre, I thought , I'll try this. And now I come everyday. Then I got strong for this art centre, I love this art. In 2009 I didn't see properly what was happening, how this art was getting me strong. In my head and heart I grew all these ideas and I started  feeling well again. Now I feel like a strong woman, I like talking for this place, this art because I want others to be encouraged to get strong also. When we first started sewing we were in kindergarten, then we started focusing properly and moving to primary school, then high school then university- and now I'm waiting to be a professor of sewing! Look out world, I might sew Parliament House!!

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Thinking about the  week 1 TAST challenge this section of stitching using just running stitch an old dyed wool blanket and wool yarn, that looks like it comes from Lindcraft or Spotlight, is inspirational.

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Last of the series

I have finished the last design for my series of embroideries about Peace.  But I'm not sure how this is going to stitch out, it could be great or a disaster.  Actually, the last saying "Peace is in your hand" is probably the most forceful of all the embroideries in the sentiments it expresses.

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I have these embroideries framed, ( in cheap frames) and hung on the wall behind my computer and there are one or two that I think need to be restitched.  The designs are good but the choice of stitches selected is not.  I think that is a job for the future.  I will just be pleased to get them finished at this stage.

After I had designed this I sat down and made up one of the kits I bought in Houston from Odile Bailoeul.

I just love her fabric designs and this backed velvet is fantastic to sew.  This is Hercule the cat.  (Notice all the feet for my machine are back in the cabinet.  I don't want to lose one again.)

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The instructions that came with the kit are terrific.  Her method of construction is so simple that I had the whole thing finished in under 20 minutes, I need to add a tassel on the zipper yet.  Oh Dear!  Reading her instructions again I find I have invented another way to construct a bag! I didn't follow her instructions at all!

This is one bag pattern I am going to add to my folio of bags.  I will put together a little tutorial when I make the next one.





New toy

I have a lovely, big , Canon camera.  It takes amazing photos BUT it weights a ton.  Put a big lens on it and it weighs two ton!

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I have been thinking about buying a new camera after seeing the Sony that Pam and Rose had in Guatemala.  Yesterday I picked it up from the store along with an extra big lens, batteries and cards plus the camera case the shop assistant said would go with it. 

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Problem!  The camera case is too small I am going to have to take it back and get a bigger one.

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Just because they sound knowledgeable doesn't mean that they really are.  I should have checked.  Now I have another long trip back into town.



So much for accepting things as they are!  You only need a few computer problems to get the blood pressure rising.  I have just downloaded the new operating system for my Mac, High Sierra, and I thought I had updated all my other programs.  Then I found that Keynote (like power point) wouldn't work.  My drawing program had to be updated and a whole lot of other things.  All this just leads to frustration.

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I am supposed to get Emails with new passcodes.  They still haven't arrived, 8 hours later.  That is Mr Telsta's fault.  I have now got some on my phone after a morning of being able to do nothing.  Or nearly nothing.  I have managed to draw up a rough design for my next peace embroidery.  I have to clean it up a bit yet but without the codes the program keeps sending me messages saying I don't have authority to use it.  Grrrrrr.  (Remember acceptance.)

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Just what do I want for 2018?

Last year saw me wanting to "Live with Direction" and I think I pretty much kept to this.  This year I am not sure just what I want from the year. 

I plan to:

  • go to Thailand in December, that one is easy. 
  • Visit Sydney for a week and catch up with relatives
  • Finish my judges accreditation.
  • Complete the TAST Challenge
  • Complete the projects on my list.

I also want:

  • Time to be quiet.
  • Time to paddle my kayak.
  • Time to stitch just for me.
  • Time to learn how to use my Ipad for art.
  • Time to be with friends. 
  • Time with my son Guy.

These lists are only part of what I want from the year. The problem with this is that there are so many other people and things competing for my time that I feel guilty when I do the things "I " want to do.  Then stress builds up and I become ill.

Looking at the lists I think I expect too much of myself.  I am just an ordinary woman not super woman.  If things don't work out how I planned I have to learn to live with it, not lose the plot and stress out, which is my normal reaction.

So this year I want to "learn acceptance of what is."

After I wrote this I read that "enlightenment is the quiet acceptance of what is." (Wayne Dyer)

And then I thought of the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

So maybe I am not alone in finding it difficult to accept what is? And all this navel gazing has had a positive out come?

(I also think both my sayings for 2017/18 could be the basis of some embroidery designs as well. Add this to the list of projects.)


It's a bit like Xmas

I put in orders for supplies for some of my 2018 classes and unexpectedly some have started to arrive.  I wasn't expecting to see these until well into January or even February as I had ordered them from China.

It makes learning how to insert zippers so much more interesting when you have zippers that our a bit different.

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I'm going to have to buy some more of these as I can think of lots of things I could use them in for myself!

Just checking

That is what I did yesterday.  Dropped into the discount fabric shop to just check what was there.  I'm afraid it was much of the same old, same old, but I found some fabric that was reduced in price and although I'm not sure what I will use it for now, I know it will be just perfect to use in teaching projects next year.

I try to keep the prices of my kits reasonable and sometimes you have to use less than ideal fabrics to do this.  But not this lot!  It is so bright and colourful that it makes me smile. 

This will be perfect for a Children's Class.

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These will make great bags for using zippers.

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and I have no idea what I will use this for but I like it.

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Amazing that a bit of fabric can make me feel so good.