Embroidery Feed

Robyn's House

Robyn asked me not to put her photo up on my blog so you won't find her here.  (TIP:  Look on Facebook)

But I have put together some images that I took when visiting her home.  It was just the most generous gesture to open her door to the public.  Some of the highlights for me were the embroidered books that were scattered around.  A beautiful way to keep memories.

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The little kick-nacks.

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Her order of Australia displayed on a beautiful old embroidered cloth.

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The antique baby bonnets crocheted using silk thread and bullion stitch.

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The dresser with Xylonite pieces.

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The original Gumnut Baby quilt and that collection of post cards that went right around the room.

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Those jelly beans that were in dishes throughout the house.

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Glancing out the window there was a small fish pond complete with gold fish.

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Old quilts and new quilts.  All her quilts are hand pieces and hand quilted.  (The ones on the dinning room table were piled high.) And her huge collection of Xylonite pieces.

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The garden was full of quilts.

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I should have noticed these things as I came in but I did see them as I left.  The big clam shell full of floating camillias.  So old Queensland. (She has over 100 camillia trees in her garden.)

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The bush seed pod wreath on the wall.

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Her Mother's flowers.

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And that bird bath.

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Thank you Robyn.

 

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WIPW

The children's class is progressing well with still another day to go.  We will see just what they will come up with for the backs of their bags.  But one really nice thing is that one of our past students has joined us to train as a tutor for the classes.  She is now at University and it is great to see another generation coming through.  (This is a warm fuzzy.)

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I am working on designing my Children's Classes for 2018.  At the moment this first design is giving me grief.  I want to use the bundle of Aida fabric that I have in stock but my drawing program only draws between the lines not on them.  I have a horrible feeling that I am going to have to draw this all by hand. 

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Computer Day

I am not moving from in front of my computer today because I can sit all day and watch Craftsy Classes.

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Yesterday I sat and worked out just what classes I wanted to watch and there were hundreds to choose from.  I already have a heap  of purchased classes I haven't completed and some I have completed and want to watch again. Still.  this is too good an opportunity to miss.


Oh Dear!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! 

I didn't go to the hospital on Monday.  On Monday I realised that I have just one week to come up with a project for the Children's Classes in the September Holidays.  That is whilst I'm driving up and down to the hospital and everything else going on.  So it is panic stations here at the moment.   Getting the project ready also entails preparing all the kits etc.  I don't know if I can do this.

Anyway, we had decided on making a draw string bag.  Not your normal easy to put together bag, one that is a bit more difficult.  I have had to tweek the design a bit but I think I can come up with something.  Normally this kind of bag is lined.  This will not work on a production assembly line.  All the kids will finish at the same time and we just won't be able to put them together.  Most of the machine stitching will have to be done in advance.  The solution to this problem is my major concern at the moment.

This bag has a round base 7" in diameter.

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The sides are one piece of fabric 20.5" long and 10" deep.  Normally with this kind of bag you would put the seam at the centre back but we won't have time to put the casing on so I have moved this to the side seam. To neaten the top edge I have bound it with a contrasting fabric the same as that round base.

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Then stitched the draw string casing in place, also in a contrasting fabric. (I like to mark my construction lines with tailors chalk because it is easy to remove.)  I think this is as much of the pre-construction that I can get away with.   I have started work on the basic design which is based on yo yo's.  Even beginners should be able to handle this.  The good thing about this design is that it can be extended.  I am just going to do the front designs, the rest is for the imagination.

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After the kids get to this point we will have to sew up the back seam and insert the base. I timed myself and it takes 15 mins to sew the bag together. I think 2 of us will be able to handle this but I might need another volunteer on a machine.  The finish is not what I would like, but it is more important to get a finished product here.  There will be a few of my dedicated embroiderers who would prefer to make the bag in the traditional way so I will put together a few kits with just the components so they can finish their work at home,

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One design down, I need to stitch another.

I have called this a 'Mary Bag' from the rhyme, 'Mary, Mary quite contary, how does you garden grow.'  I have added a lady bug to this one but there are all kinds of creepy crawlies that could but put on, as embroideries or charms.  I know a couple of the boys might like 'dead flowers or weeds'.  I better be prepared for that.

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The snowflake decoration tutorial

I promised to put up this little tutorial some time ago but with all the drama going on here I forgot.

 

You could use this method for any type of round decoration.

For my decorations I used a 32 count linen which is a a bit stiff and a cotton,( with a high thread count) printed fabric for the back.  Other fabrics could by used, some might even gather better than these ones did.  I also used a heavier card  (1 for the embroidery, 1 for the backing)  for the shapes, not the very heavy but an in-between weight.  It has to have enough stiffness in it that it will not buckle.

 I wanted a finished size of 3"  so I used a template to trace the shape onto the card.  I then found the centre and marked the quarters on the card with a pencil.  This is important because there is nothing worse than a piece that has an off centre design.

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I then took a round bowl that was larger than the desired finished sized and marked a cutting line.  Again making sure that the embroidery was in the centre with an equal distance to the edge on all sides.  The back didn't really matter if it wasn't centred so I just marked the circles.

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On both the front and the back I stitched a line of running stitch about 1/4" from the edge.  (I tried doing this with the sewing machine but the result wasn't as good.)

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I put a long pin through the centre of the card and then through the centre of the design and pulled up the gathering thread, it sat just right. 

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I used the extra thread left over from the gathering to lace the fabric in place.  This was repeated on the backing shape.

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I then attached the hanging cord so it could be enclosed between the two sections.

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The back and front were whip stitched together using a cotton quilting thread, which is just a bit heavier than normal sewing thread.  To start the stitching I ran my needle  behind the fabric for a short distance before my beginning stitch and did the same when I finished the thread.

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To stitch Van Dyke stitch I ran the thread in the same way as before using a perle 8 thread.

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This was stitch over the two edges of the decoration.

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Van Dyke stitch is worked between two imaginary lines.  In this case the edges of the front and back shapes become the lines.

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Because I used an even weave linen inserting the needle at a 2 thread interval kept the stitch even.  It was also easy to work around that hanging thread.

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When you use this stitch in this way it raises it up and makes a good edge to attach beads to but can be also used as it is.  In fact using this stitch on an edge defines the edge and gives an attractive finish.  I have used it on needle cases and even pages of fabric books. This method of construction does take some time but gives a good finish to your piece.

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WIPW

I have been working on my sprained back by resting, not lift anything heavy and not bending over too much.  It's working.  Now only going over speed bumps, coughing  and sneezing cause a lot of pain.  All the other pain is being controlled by pain killers!

Charlie has the idea of how not to do too much.

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I did finish the peace embroidery for August.  I don't really like it much.  I should have used an even coloured thread.   I think I will put this one down to experience.

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And because I have tried to keep still I have started some more knitting.  This is another shawl and I am trialing some wool that I bought a couple of months ago from 'Kaalund Yarns.'  (As you can see I am doing some 'reverse' knitting as well.)

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This is a really nice wool.  The spinning of the yarn is even and has given it a nice twist.  Very satisfying to knit with this wool.  Just wish I didn't make so many mistakes in the pattern.

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On the home front my husband has been raising my stress levels by knocking on the doors of heaven but so far St. Peter is keeping him out.  Not too good for my blood pressure and that 4 hour round trip to the hospital isn't too good for my back either.  Now that he seems to be out of danger I am going to sit at home today and sew.

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Some 'Silly Stitching'

My definition of 'Silly Stitching'  is something that can be done on a hand frame, isn't too mentally challenging and I can talk to friends whilst I stitch.  I don't seem to have anything that matches that description at the moment.  So when an add for a 'learn to stitch' sampler turned up in my inbox I paid attention.  I also paid attention because the shop sending the add was "Purl Solo" in New York.  One of my favourite shops in the whole world, well in the top 5!

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The Sampler is simple and stunning.  Precision of stitching will be of the essence because of the simplicity of the design.  I will have to be careful what letter I work on whilst I'm chatting to friends.

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The letters and style are very similar to those found in Elsie Svennas' book "A handbook of Lettering for Stitchers".  You can still buy this book on Amazon.

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But you can also obtain it as a free PDF down load here.  I saw some linen fabric like this last week and I'm sure I have that thread.  Looks like I have found my next silly stitching piece.  I could just buy the kit and save myself the trouble of making patterns and sourcing materials. The kit has weeks dye works linen which is really nice to stitch on. 

 

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The after effects of the eye operation

I was warned, but I didn't believe them.  I can see dust and dead ants and spiders webs and other things I have been missing. (Like just how many wrinkles I have on my face.)  I never knew that I had blue rings around my brown iris',  I thought my eyes were  just plain brown.

I finished a friendship block for one of my quilting friends.  Before the operation it looked good.  After the operation it looked terrible.  I have now re-stitched it and I can see an improvement.  The brief was to use blue fabrics on the base cloth provided and she wanted a basket of flowers.  I like the idea of a handbag.

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But I just had to add a little colour.  I used a deep red for the stitching around the handbag and added French knots to the centre of each of the flowers on the bag.

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I was tempted to use a bright yellow in the centre of the flowers but restrained myself and used a bright blue for the seed stitching.

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It is always a good feeling when you can tick something off the 'to do' list.


A small exhibition

While up having coffee with a friend at Cleveland I took time to drop into the Redland's Council Gallery.   It had an exhibition that I had already seen but in a side room was a small display by an indigenous artist, Claudia Moodoonuthi.  

Her work was all based around her two dogs that she had got from the RSPCA  as rescue dogs, Ruby and Hunter and her culture.  The dogs looked a bit wild to me but she obviously loves them.  She has a very interesting web page that gives a lot more information about her.

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Camp dogs are often a subject for art but this is the first time I have seen them shown like this.

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The paintings have that simple presentation and she has added wooden cut outs of the dogs in each one.   You could really feel the personality of each dog.

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She is a very young artist, not long out of school, and it will be interesting to see how she develops.

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