Design Feed

Major Failure

Oh dear. Hours of work have just hit the garbage.

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I made a prototype which was perfect.  So what happened? Well I added an interfacing but that on it's own should not have caused this failure.  I think the killer was asking my husband to clean up the pattern for me.  He has made it look nice but shaved a few millimetres off the size.  That together with the interfacing makes this design a failure.

Oh well back to the drawing board and I will do the drawing myself this time.


Starting a new project

I am getting ready to start a new project.  There is always the need to have something to put the project into keep it clean and transport it.  I would normally use a zippered plastic bag but have found that although these are good,  sometimes they don't fit the embroidery hoop and If I enclose cards of embroidery thread I misplace them or leave them lying around and then can't find them. 

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So for this project I have made a draw-string bag with a pocket inside for the pattern and embroidery tools.

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Years ago I bought a bundle of manufacturers samples to make skirts for little girls and I still have a bundle left over.  They are a light cotton (I think they are from the days before poly-cotton was so cheap), and all the pieces measured 7''x12".  I used 6 pieces to make the bag. Four for the bag, one for the pocket and one for the drawstring casing.

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I could have just overlocked the seams but I didn't have the overlocker threaded and I hate having to thread that machine.  So I used French seams so that I would not have any frayed threads getting on my work.  I joined two pieces each to make a front and back  then sewed a hem on the fifth piece for the pocket.

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I placed the pocket a little higher from the base and stitched a divider for the pattern and the embroidery tools.

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For the draw string casing I cut another piece of fabric in half and attached that to the top of the bag.  Stitching down from the top edge for a frill .  I still have a bundle of these pieces left over and have been keeping them for over 20 years.  Time to use them up.  I think I might make bags for my grand nieces.  The eldest is now 12  so bags like these are good for things that girls like to keep.

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All that was left to do was insert some cord and I had my bag.

Then I made a holder for the embroidery tools I would need.  Very quickly, with a scrap of lining fabric.  This has worked so well, but looks so bad, that I am going to remake it properly.

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Heads. (These ones don't talk.)

There is a Pottery business here on the island that has been here for years.  Wright's Pottery.

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I have often bought plates and other odds and ends but they also makes flower pots and bird baths.  I would eventually like one of the bird baths but for now I have a new collection of flower pots.

 I want them for my upstairs rear balcony. 

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It is very bland at the moment and I have to be careful with pots in as much as there can't be too much water used up here.  (It will rot the balcony timber over time.)  These pots will all be planted out with succulents that need little water.  I am going to have to design a special stand to put them on under the window.

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I couldn't decide which ones I wanted so I bought the lot.

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They are not the most beautiful but they are unique.  They speak of where I live and everyone has it's own character.  I have started planting them out and each one is to be named.  I'm testing the names, they may change as I get used to them.

This is a mother and son pair and she looks a bit South American.  He is a Rafael, not sure about her yet, but it could be Carmen.

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A woman with presence.  Agatha?

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This is my sister and I.  One dark one fair. Carolyne and Glenyss.

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A husband and wife pair.  Brian and Margaret.

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That leaves just one. A mystery man.  I wonder who he is?

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Not keepings up

I am one of those people who likes to write.  Every piece of embroidery I design becomes an entry in a journal.  I used to keep a daily journal of my life but now it is down to 'notes'.

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But I have kept some of those old journals.  When we moved I had nowhere to keep them so all except the most precious were consigned to the bin,

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At one point I thought I would make covers for everyone but they took up too much space in the book case.

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So the one I am working on at the moment has a tattty old cover.  It is a piece of wool that I was experimenting on regarding how to sew up the covers.

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Actually this journal is about the book cover I have been working on and talked about in my WIPW post.  I think this is the most detailed account I have ever kept of a piece of work.  I have pasted lot of bits and pieces in the pages and I will need a rubber band soon to close it.

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At the front of the book I write my musings about why I am stitching the piece.  Well it actually started as a bit of rhyming verse.  The question I asked myself was "when I look out my window what do I see?"  Kindergarten stuff.  I find the more I write the more images come into my mind.  (I think in pictures.)  This piece is beginning to feel that I haven't scratched the surface as yet.  I walk around the house looking out every window asking, "what am I seeing and how does it make me feel". 

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Yesterday I started taking pictures.  Of the scene I have just finished stitching.

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To some ideas about future stitching.

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Doing this I managed to get photo bombed by a dragon fly.

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From the back of the book I write the nitty gritty of what I am doing.  Threads, stitches, how I changed the stitch, what to expect when I use that stitch that way.  

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I put a full copy of the stitching in there along with the drawings and then take each part and write how I stitched it.  That is great if I then teach a class about that piece.  I am able to assemble the notes easily and it is a great memory jogger when asked a question.

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My friend said I should make a book out some of theses journals.  Now that is food for thought.


Parcel in the post

There is a little shop, nearly at the end of the road to the water, at Kingston Beach in Tasmania, called Wafu Works.

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(image from Wafu Works website.)

There is so much to see in there and so much that I would like to buy and not just textiles.  I really want this tea set.  I'm just not sure it would get here in one piece.  Every since I read the stories of the girl in the moon and her rabbits I have loved this type of design.

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(image from Wafu Works facebook page.)

 On their web page there is an image of an appliqued lady on paper.  You have to see these, they are quiet beautiful.

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I have just bought a bundle of vintage cotton fabric to use in a gift  I need to make and the parcel has just arrived in the post.  Problem is, they are so beautiful I won't want to give it away.

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Now I realise that I have a whole lot of gifts that have to be finished for Easter.  March is going to be a VERY busy month.





I came across an exhibit at GOMA that I found a bit weird.  They were garments made from skins.

Animal fur wasn't unusual.  We have seen that before although the cloak design should have been a warning.

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How about frogs?

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One way to keep the cane toads under control.

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Then there were lizards.

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Shoes or a handbag but clothing?  I think not.

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Finally, fish.

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There was no smell, it just envoked a weird feeling in the stomach.

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Small projects

I cut out 5 projects that I am sewing for Easter Presents for my quilting buddies but they have been languishing on the design board.

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They are small bags but I needed something to close the flap.  I thought about velcro but as these are to go in your handbag I thought that was a bit bulky.  I also considered a snap fastener, but that is a bit old fashioned and you have to line up the snap.  Then I happened on rare earth magnets. 

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These magnets are small but super strong. With metal touching metal they are almost impossible to pull apart.  I have found that If I cover each surface with fabric they make a really good closer on small bags.  They are also not very expensive, about 45cents for a pair.  Now that my delivery of magnets has arrived I can get the production line started again.  (I will show you the finished product after I have given the presents which should be the end of March.)

Image and Data Resources from the Met

I came across and interesting article on the Metropolitan Museum's Web page that states the will have an "Open Access Policy" to images they believe are in the public domain.  So I put in 'Medieval Textiles' and an 'good' image of Courtiers in a Rose Garden: A Lady and Two Gentlemen came up with the Public Domain symbol displayed.

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Then I put in 'Medieval Embroideries' and got very excited.  (This is a section of a larger work.)

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I am going to be able to look at and uses as inspiration such a range of work.


More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.