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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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I go in for my first eye op this Friday so I'm trying hard to get my 'Peace' embroidery finished to post on the 1st of June. 

After the bombing in Manchester last week these embroideries are taking on an even deeper meaning for me.  I still experience bouts of P.T. S. And  though they don't take the stress away and these events bring back the nightmares just looking at the embroideries is soothing.  If I am feeling this on the other side of the world my heart and prayers go out to all those who have experienced this horror in Manchester and to those who live with it daily in the middle east.

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I think that one of the embroideries is going to have to be what we say in our Christian church service.

"Peace be with you."

The other WIP is still in my head.  On a visit to Melbourne last year I visited The Dr Suess shop and seeing the actual painting inspired me to think about an embroidery based on the paintings, but what?  When reading one of the books to my grand daughters and seeing them chuckle and engage with the story,  and then stitching these peace sayings,  I think I will do an insiprational saying for each of them taken from those books.  Some saying that can be framed to hang on the wall in their bedrooms. That they see every day and could inspire them and make them laugh.  It will have to have the 'Cat in the Hat' in them,  he is just ridiculous.  As the girls tell me.

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Choppy and the Universe.

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This is the last sample for the Children's Classes in July.  It isn't what I first planned. That was a space dog but I was watching my son's dog as he sat in the backyard and he looked so pensive I knew I wanted to embroider him. This will be a good design for the beginners as the whole of that universe could be glued in position leaving just the dog.  Even the stars around the border could be glued in position.

Choppy is a dear little dog and a great character.  This is him when he was younger.  He is getting rather long in the tooth now.

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You have to watch him because he likes to get into the beds.  It starts with sitting on top,

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And next thing you know you find him under the blankets.

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I took the background I had drawn for the space dog, made it bigger and did a little sketch of Choppy looking up.  He was actually looking at some birds he wanted to catch.  He doesn't like them in his space.

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So this class is now already to go.

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Stitching is difficult at the moment.  I was quilting a quilt on my sewing machine and caught my thumb under the needle.  My first action was instinctive and I pulled my thumb away.  This broke the needle but left a jagged tear in the ball of my thumb.  It is slow to heal and still quite painfull after a week has passed.  So embroidery has to be of the type that doesn't hurt.  I am surprised just how much I use my thumb.

I found that I could crochet so made a couple of kitchen towels for a friend.  Then I found I had no buttons.  I have no idea what happened to them all in the move.  I had jars of them but they are nowhere to be found.

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I can knit, but all I seem to do is make mistakes that I have to unpull.

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And I have started on my peace embroidery for June.  I can manage cross stitch in a frame, slowly.

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 I have one more box top to finish but I am finding holding the stitching difficult.  This is my grand daughter's little dog Choppie.  He is getting very old and frail.

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And I am working on a piece of Boro stitching.  I need this finished for next Sunday.  I think I should be focusing on this piece.

I am keeping the words of the Haiku Master Issa in mind doing these things.

"Oh snail,

Climb Mount Fuji,

But slowly, slowly"

Which could be a version of the fourth step of humility,

"Endure the pain of development and do not give up."

So much for reflection, back to the stitching.


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This never seems to stop, stitching samples for classes that is.  I am in the midst of stitching samples for the next Children's Class which will be on the 4th and 6th of July at the Queensland Embroiderer's Guild. 

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Why the rush to get this done? Well the Doctor's have finally decided that I must have some operations on my eyes and my sinuses.  This is to start at the beginning of June and I will not be able to sew for about 6 to 8 weeks.  So  the needles are flashing.

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One more to go.  These are all going to finish up on lids for small hat boxes.

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April's 'peace' embroidery made for very intense stitching.  So for May I have decided that my piece should reflect simplicity.  To this end I selected a piece of Aida that was lurking in the bottom of the draw.  I don't usually work on this fabric unless I have to.  But this month it spoke to me in a quiet voice that it was perfect for what I wanted.  And what I wanted was a piece of 'Red Work'.

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When I started this project I bought a bundle of cheap frames to mount the embroideries in, so the size of the opening became my starting point.  I tacked out this first and then another line to allow some clearance around the work.  The thread is just a DMC stranded, No 221, that I had in my thread box and I will work the whole design in this.

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I am  challenged when in comes to some spatial tasks, like charting letters.  I had to draw this a number of times and even then didn't get it right.  When I have finished stitching I will draw it again.   The other challenge I have is spelling.  I had to think overnight how to spell remember.  (It is not rember)  I started this piece with a bit of unpicking.

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But the words are now on the fabric and I intend to stitch a rose design around them.  This little verse is taken from the "Desiderata"

One of my favourite poems.

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I am now up to the last colour but have decided to unpick the lettering.  I just over complicated the whole process. Plus it is now April 26th and I need to finish this before the end of the month.  I haven't even considered May's piece.

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But I am working on the next 'Children's Class'.  I am going to design a lid top for a small hat box, 61/2" across.  Now this sounds quite easy but it is the putting together of the piece in the time available that has been my challenge.  But, I think I have solved the problem.  Some time ago I bought some fabric tape that had glue on the back, like sticky tape.  It makes a fantastic finish around the edge and is quick and easy to put on.  Now I have to remember just where I bought it.

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I have classes rushing up to meet me but I have taken some stolen time to do a bit more stitching on my 'Peace' embroidery for this month.

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When I did the drawing for this piece I envisaged it as layers of colour, like you see in some illustrations.  But threads are not paint and the process of stitching gives a different effect.  It is the very light colours, especially the pink, that I have found difficult.  It shows every imperfection of my stitching.  As it is only the second layer I am hoping the other colours will distract from this.  I put the most prominent colour, dark blue, on first thinking that this needed to be toned down. The light blue is only maginally better than the pink but the mid blues look as though they will be fine.  I'm wondering if I should have made the pink the first layer?


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Too much time spent teaching and not enough on my own work, or that is how it feels.  It is Easter this coming weekend and I am teaching the following week.  Still I love teaching and I keep coming up with new ways to teach old techniques.

So the only work I have done is a little stitching on a prototype.  I like this gentle type of design that you see in modern Japanese stitching so I thought I would have a go at designing some of my own.  I have decided to just use DMC stranded cotton for these pieces,  there will be three in this set.  To be a bit different I decided to use  2 strand of cotton for the lettering and Portuguese Stem stitch.  I think it could have looked just as good in Back stitch or stem stitch, but that was too easy. 

All the rest of the stitching will be done in 1 stand of DMC cotton and I am experimenting with stitching in layers.  This is something different for me so I am enjoying the experience.

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Well, 12 years later, I can now cross this one off the UFO list.

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I did lose it, find it, lose it find it, then lose it again.  Then it turned up in the boxes when I unpacked when we moved here.  Another positive is that as I finished it now I can put 2017 as the date.  That means I have finished the sampler for 2017.  You beaut!  It amazes me that in that time I never misplaced any of the cottons so all the colour is the same.  I did separate the pattern from the project for a few years but all is well that ends well.

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