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October 2013

Hishizashi Project No 8

 Hishizahsi Project No 8 

Tote Bag with Continuous Pattern

This is not a quick project, there is a lot of stitching in this one and it was testing working across a lot of different motives.  I stitched this bag onto the curtain fabric (22 thread to 1") that I bought last year because I wanted to use the new hand dyed Sashiko thread that I bought from Indigo Niche.  It was just wasn't right on the Hemp fabric (18 threads to 1") and I thought that the motives would looked better a bit smaller.  You will find that a half metre of 20 count Zeigart linen (Cork)  is big enough for the bag and would give you a similar effect .


Because the fabric has such a 'drape' I have attached a light iron on pellum wadding to the lining, which is a patchwork cotton fabric.  I thought about using webbing for the handles but it just didn't look right, so have made the handles from the main fabric.   


I could have stitched straight across the width of the fabric (which could still be done) but I wanted to see how the pattern would work on a conventionally constructed tote bag.  (That is with two side seams.) To do this I machined one side seam before I started and made this the middle of my pattern, then out to the other side seam in both directions but stopping just before the last motive.  When I had completed all of the pattern, bar this motive, I stitched the remaining side seam and then came back and finished the missing section.  This was how I was able to achieve the continuous pattern that looks as though it was stitched in the round.


If you want to achieve the same look on a different count fabric you will need to adjust the width of your bag or add or subtract motives depending on the count of your fabric.  By starting  at the side seam, or the point on your fabric where the side seam would lie, it isn't difficult to achieve this look.

What was difficult was printing such a large pattern.  It was just too big for 1 sheet of A4 paper.  The pattern is over 2 sheets of paper and there is an over lap so that it can be pasted to make 1 sheet (Part A&B).  This is great to see the whole pattern but a bit small for the motives so I have included these in a larger format (Part C).

As I said this isn't an easy piece to stitch but it does give a nice result.

  Download Sheet 1 materials

Download Sheet 2A Hishizashi Pattern part A

Download Sheet 2B Hishizashi Pattern part B

Download Sheet 2C Hishizashi Pattern part C

Download Sheet 3 Construction

WIP Wednesday

I can see the end. 

This was one block a day for 365 days.  Looks like I am going to finish the blocks with a month to spare as I only have another 30 blocks to go.  Is is helpful being about to sew them together in rows as you go.  All that straight sewing would put me to sleep.  Even some of the bigger rows here have been a trial.  I just can't hold my concentration for that length of time on such a repetitve task.


Because these hearts are all hand stitched needle turn they are great to take with you when you want some small hand sewing project to have on hand.  I usually take them with me when I babysit my grand daughters but when I got home last time I found that I was missing a bundle.  What had happened was that the 2 1/2 year old liked them and took them for a quit for her doll.  They were all arrange in the crib and she wasn't sure how to keep them in that pattern. 

It looks like I will have some fabric left over so I will make some dolls quilts.  There will have to be two or else there will be tears.  It will give me a chance to audition just how I want to stitch the quilting.

Link to Pintangle and WIPW see what the others are doing.

Sorting things out

It has been lots of talk up to now, and trepidation at what might be, but we now have a firm date for the builder to come in and start the renovations. OMG.  How am I every going to decide what to put into storage and what to keep out in my work room?  How long will everything have to stay in storage?  Will we find another home?  How am I going to teach with all my things in storage?  I looked at Agulhas da Meri and find she is sorting things out as well.  I am getting so depressed and anxious about it all.

I am going over to stay on the island for a while and I might stay there until the builders break for Xmas on Dec 20th then back here for another 3 weeks then hopefully we can move downstairs.  I have classes to teach in January, February, March, April by which time I have to decide if I am going overseas with my husband.  I don't think the house will be sold by then but if it is I will have to find somewhere else to live. What will happen to Charlie?

There was a time when I would have taken this all in my stride.  I happily moved all around the world and from state to state with my husband.  Our last big move was from Cairns to Brisbane and I sold most of our worldy goods, packed the kids in the car and drove the  3,000 kilometres to Sydney. Then I drove back again on my own, another 1,000 kilometres, to find a job and somewhere to live leaving Bill with the children there.  This time I am finding it all a bit hard.  Added to this we got hit by lightening again last night in a big storm and it blew up my new wide screen TV.

Portugese Embroidered Cloth

My good friend Kay, who is the wife of my husband's best friend Rod, (they have been friends since they were 16 years of age) and I both belong to the same cottage Patchwork Group.  At our meeting this week it was Kay's turn to provide supper and she brought along an old supper cloth that was her mother's to serve the food on. DSCF0067_2

Both Kay and I lived in north Queensland when we had our children.  Kay in Ingham and myself in Cairns.  Kay came to Australia via the USA from Jamaica and at this time her mother was living in Cairns.  Her ancestors had gone as cattle ranchers to Jamaica from Portugal and this supper cloth had originated from Portugal.  I don't think she realised what this piece was. Just an old cloth with sentimental value.

Yes it is old and wearing thin but the yarn has been hand spun, hand woven and the edging lace and embroidery are also all hand worked.  It is starting to fall into holes with age but this has been going on for some time as the careful darning shows.

IMG_0817 - Version 2

I only had the camera in my phone to take these photos and the cloth was over a pale green bench but I think you can still see the beauty of it. The fabric had been woven on a narrow loom and hemstitched together and then embroidered with Whitework and pulled thread stitching.


The work in this rose is very like Madeira embroidery.


Around the edge is a piece of lace in network.  This has been worked separately and then attached to the cloth. 

But it is the pulled thread work that I find especially interesting.  Back in August  I had thought I had found out exactly how this was done but I had missed the stitching in the areas that weren't pulled, the embroiderer had carried the thread across this area.  I had seen a similar piece in 2011 that if you look really closely was worked in the same manner.


It is a bit hard to see in photos but in this piece it stands out when you see it up close.


Each row is worked all the way across to the end and then back again.  I still wonder how they could see the threads to count them and get the work so even. 



I decided that for the Guild children's classes in January we would make cuffs so they could be worn as braclets.  Now children have very small wrists so adapting my patterns to suit needed some lateral thinking but after lots of false starts I think I have it licked.  

The biggest wrist I could find was a 10 year old, (the 16 year olds were a lot smaller)  and that was 8 inches and the little 5 year olds were 6 inches in circumference, some were even a bit smaller, but kids have a habit of growing.  I will cut all the pieces at 8" and then shorten them to suit the child before they start stitching.

I decided to design motives that could sit in the middle of the band and the children could add their own ideas on either side of this.  Then came the problem of what a 5 year old can stitch and what a 16 year old is capable of.  And, what if boys want to come to the classes?  They will not want to stitch girl things.

The final designs came out as sew on decorations for the little ones.

IMG_9655 - Version 2

Girly ones for most and skulls for the boys.  I bet there will be some girls that like skulls.


I thought I had better make one design a bit of a challenge for our teenage princesses.  We have some super stitchers in this catagory.  Now I don't think any of them will want to stitch this but they will all feel good that I recognised their stitching ability.

It will be hot in January and wool felt cuffs will be extra hot.  I have backed every cuff with a cotton fabric so making wearing them more comfortable.  It will also hide the back of the stitching and elastic loops for closing can be inserted.  This will save having to stitch button holes.  It is good to get all that out of the way before Christmas.



The State Quilt Show

This is held as part of the craft show every year in October.  This year there were 450 entries of which over 250 had been entered for judging.  And there were some pretty impressive quilts.

The winning quilt by Pam Hill was far more impressive when you stood in front of it than this image.  It glittered with diamonties and the quilting was to die far.

Glenys Chung won the best hand quilted with this Baltimore

She also won the small quilt, best wall quilt and a judges choice award for this stunner.


This applique quilt by Olwyn Nostrom  was beautiful.

And up close it was even better.

I was pleased to see that Robyn Ginn OBE won first place  in the Professional Appliqued section and it this setting that same quilt that looked subdued in Toowoomba just shone.