Patchwork & Quilting Feed

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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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.


I'm a sucker for a sale

When I came to find fabric for the back of the quilt I have been working on I found I had really gone through my stash of fabrics.  I had to piece lots of bits to get enough fabric for the backing.  Then I got an email saying that East Coast Fabrics were having a sale.  Now that was timely!

Monday is my babysitting day, so once I had dropped the girls off at school I drove directly there.  My goal was to get backing fabric for the next few quilts I need to make. ( Well, I know that all my grand nieces and nephews are lining up for a quilt now that the youngest is getting a new one.)  I was one of the first into the shop.  I got a trolley and loaded up.  I was only going to buy the $4 per metre fabric but I actually bought some at $8 per metre as well.  I was one of the first in the check out line which by this time was getting rather long.

The cheap stuff, 2.5 metres for a single bed backing, cost me $10 per quilt.  (Considering that price would have been at least $50 from a quilt shop I think I did well.)  

I will have to add a little to sides of this one but it will make a great backing.  I don't think I would use it on the front of a quilt though.

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And I also bought these at the same price.

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I'm still a couple short but I thought I had better finish these first. 

I have bought a couple of overnight bags for my grand daughters for Xmas and I want to put all the bits in there, like pajamas, brush  comb, tooth paste etc.  And I found the perfect fabric for the wet pack.  I intend to line the bag with a waterproof fabric and use a different coloured zip for each girl.  They both love pink, good thing the tooth brushes were a variety of colours.

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This nautical themed fabric just jumped out at me and I had to have it.

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And I'm not sure why I bought this one.

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And finally, I'm sure I will be able to incorporate this fabric into the piece I am planning for the next children's embroidery class in which the embroidery design is all about hands.

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Now I have to find somewhere to put all this loot.

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WIPW

Well, the knitting is a write off.  I am still trying to get the pattern right.

I started on some cross stitch, but all I do is make mistakes because I can't see it.

So, I have settled on finishing some quilt tops that have been languishing in the bottom draw.  I was making this one for Jasmine, but it isn't pink.  My grand nephew Leon is going to get this one.  I decided on the layout back in September 2014.

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I must have done some sewing on it because it was partly put together.  I had cut the left overs into pieces so continued with this to make the quilt wider.  Then I found I didn't have enough of these to go right around the blocks so ended up just keeping them in the middle sections.  After doing this I realised that it was too long and narrow with the 8 blocks so cut it back to 6 blocks and used the other 2 to make cushions. 

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I managed to buy some fabric at East Cost Fabrics where the fabric is very cheap, but good quality, for the borders.  They are all in place and the next job is the quilting.  I might send it out to be quilted but then again I might do it myself.  I just have to think about that one.

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I'm glad I made it shorter.  It is still the length of a single bed and looks more balanced this way.  So all was not lost over the last week.  Making the cushions is the next step.

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Start of another week

Remember when the weeks used to go slowly?  It is a dim memory to me.  We moved to the island to retire and I am so busy.  I have another week of 'busy' coming up.

Last Friday and Saturday I spent with my friend Angela up at Toowoomba.  I always enjoys this time.  I am looked after like a queen.  Allan, Angela's husband is a fantastic cook and he always makes the meals interesting.  Added to this he likes baking.  So when I head off to the quilting group my lunch is packed for me and that includes home baked bread rolls.

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Angela is an expert quilter on the domestic machine, sweet sixteen and a long arm machine.  They are off soon for Europe and she has made 6 quilts to take to friends and relatives.  I like this hexagon quilt in particular.  It would be a great quilt for a boy.

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And the quilting pattern suits the quilt and I think is something that I could manage.

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And how about this for a cot quilt?

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You could use up little scraps and still put together a quilt quickly.  Clever lady my friend.


Another project finished

My cottage patchwork group always have our Mother's Day Breakfast the Sunday after Mother's Day, that was yesterday.  After all the rain we have had recently I was a bit worried about the weather but the morning was fine with banks of incredible clouds in the east.  (There is another island underneath some of that cloud.)

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It was an interesting drive to the venue.  Through thick fog and blinding sunshine.

The ladies had decorated the table.

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And made bags of goodies for everyone.

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They all had delicious, non fattening chocolates in them.

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The challenge this year was to make a Book-Cover in the Boro style.  I put a lot of thought into my piece and actually had some Boro fabric from Japan that I was able to use.  I left the darning stitches that someone had put into some of the pieces and embroidered over the top of them.  I also left 4cm seam allowances as I had embroidered a larger piece so that the book-cover could be unpicked and re-purposed latter on.  It was a bit scrappy and didn't look like any of the others.

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And the others were great.  Some used non traditional fabrics.

Not traditional

Others used traditional fabrics.

Boro

This is going to be a hard act to follow next year.

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War Quilts - 6

I hate it when they write "maker unkown" but that is the case with most of the quilts that were in this exhibition.

The central section was stunning and the use of the squares 'on point' must have been a nightmare to stitch.   (Love that butterfly in the middle.)

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There is so much that is unknown about the making of this quilt but the mind can make up all kinds of senarios.  There are some wonderful ideas for flower applique.

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And I was interested to see the little pattern of cut diamonds here and there.  I wonder if they were part of the uniform or added later?

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It makes some of the wool applique we see today look a bit basic.

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War Quilts - 5

This quilt (or table cover) is the second of two that were made by a tailor(s).

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This is the work of a very experienced stitcher or stitchers.  No soldiers sitting around and sewing in their spare time here. Although, it is made from the same woollen fabric as those in use in the English Military at that time.

In the central image, (that was copied from a painting) you can see the face of every person and put a name to each face the images are so good.  The whole of that image is inlaid work, not applique.  This is similar to the Prussian Quilts and although no one knows how these techniques moved from Prussia to England this quilt was made at the time by a tailor with a German name surname, Zumpf ,when Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert (who was German) was on the throne.

What I was attracted to was the two outer borders which were first inlaid with fabric and then embroidered with silk thread.

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The inlaid work gives the perfect shapes but laying the silk thread and then embroidered.   The satin stitch over it is perfect and would have taken a lot of skill.

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All the details are so perfect on this quilt.  The horns of plenty that have been placed in each corner mirror each other to perfection.  Even to the use of a lighter green thread on some of the tips of the fronds.  The silk shading manages to give dimention to some of the flowers.

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There must have been a strong tradition in the German States of this kinds of work for some time.  This level of skill and finese doesn't just appear from nowhere.  Then it is blown away with the tides of history.  The unification of the German States, industrialisation and the World Wars.  We are left to sit and wonder.