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April 2015


Well I sat and stitched for about 5 hours.  Maybe not all stitching was in the same direction, some was unpicking.  I made a mistake on the count, just one mistake, but with Kogin there is nothing but to undo it and start again.


I have decided to use two colours on one side of the piece and one colour on the second piece.  This will give those who are not experienced in the counting a chance to complete the piece without too much frustration.


I hope I can get some more time to just sit and stitch.


Starting a new project

I have been asked to design and teach an advanced class in Kogin Embroidery.  I have been thinking about this for a while and have decided to use the odd count Kogin Patterns.  The reason for this is that this count gives a lot more scope for design and there is a large bank of traditional patterns available in the form of images of clothing in museums. These are in the form of jackets and trousers that were made using hemp fabric and cotton yarn.




There are numerous designs and from different pieces  I have taken bits to come up with my design.  I liked this central motive.


Aslo this diagonal background design.


I am also looking at including this design as side panels alongside the main design.  I have also seen this design used in Chinese stitching.


At this point I have started to chart the central panel, although I haven't finished as yet.  There is a lot of work in this one.


I am still thinking about the possibility of using different coloured threads or if I will just use one colour.   It would be easier to stitch in a number of colours as the runs across the fabric would be shorter making the counting more manageable.

This one is going to join my WIPW projects.

Westerly Winds

The winds have swung around to the west and although not really cold like the ones that come off the snow from the South West they have lowered the temperature.  My daughter has to catch the 5:30am ferry to get to work on time and at that time in the morning it is cold.  Good thing I have just finished a pair of hand warmers for her.


I have never knitted anything with a thumb in it before and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  I am using left over Aran wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills, the same wool I used for the jumper I made her last year.  I like the wool from this company.  It is always of good quality and is Australian made.  With so much sheep wool produced here it seems a crime to buy it anywhere else.  Next thing will be the hat.


These two patterns are free downloads from Purl Soho.  The patterns are clear and accurate and they have great images to show you the tricky bits.


In the dark before dawn people from all over our little island made their way down to the main beach to gather for the dawn service.  We have very few street lights here so it was just dark shadows that converged out of the night onto the site.  Men, women and children.  Old and young.


 All the seating was very quickly taken and the crowd spread out to fill the whole park.


 There was around 400 people there and on an island that only has 600 houses this was a large percentage of the inhabitants.  (Many more attended the main ceremony at 10am.)  The familiar words that are the service were said and as the service progressed the sun rose over the bay.



 Yesterday I was up on the Darling Downs and as we drove past small country schools we saw those communities all gathering for the school services.   This is the one occasion in the school calendar when there are never any behavior issues with the students.  Everyone knows the significance of the day and the sacrifices that have been made.


As I stood there in the dark I thought of my father who was an airman in the Australian Air Force.  The war took a terrible toll on his life but he never missed a dawn service.  I think he would have liked this one.


 At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Lest we Forget.

Music for the eyes

Sometimes I look at a piece of embroidery and think how melodic the piece looks.  The balance is just right along with the other elements and principles of design.  It is just like a piece of music.

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Artist Zsanett Zsirmay  has also looked at the embroidery patterns, especially cross stitch, and made the connection between the pattern for this and those of music boxes.  She then took the patterns and made sound weavings out of them.  (You can see this story in a lot more detail in dezeen magazine.)

The melodies are strangely modern, a bit like Phillip Glasses' work. ( You tube 1)


I find the more I listen to them the more I like them.  They remind me of curtains moving in the wind.  (you tube 2)


You can find a full explaination for each embroidery and the melody that it's pattern makes  here along with information about the artist.


Not a lot of sewing this week, in fact not a lot of anything.  Just entertaining visitors.  I had a group for dinner on Friday, then others for lunch on Saturday and then on Sunday 16 people sat down on the back deck for lunch.  The new Weber did it's job but I just have had no energy for anything else.

So my meger contribution for this week is one Sashiko coaster.  This set is not traditional designs but something a bit more modern.  I am thinking about keeping this set for myself.  I have seen some crockery from Vietnam that has this dragon fly design.  The two would go well together.



My daughters future inlaws are here to visit for a few days.  They came over from NZ to visit the Australian Quilting Convention in Melbourne and are stopping over on the island to catch up with two of there sons who live here in Brisbane, Matt and his brother.

First prize in the Challenge was won by Jeannie Henry from Queensland.


They told me that they were trying to buy Pam Holland's book  "The Adventures of the Amazing Alphabet" .

The only place you can buy this book is through Pam personally or Pam's website.  This is a great book and the quilts are fun to make so do visit and have a look.  I was able to make one of the letters in a day so the projects are very 'do-able' and just so cute.

I thought I was going grocery shopping but...

Well I ended up doing the groceries at the last minute but my husband hijacked the day, again.

Remember that Landrover Ute he bought?  The one that knocked over the letter box.  He doesn't like it any more after that incident so he has to have a new Ute.  So off we went to buy him a new Ute.  Not showroom new, secondhand new.   We had to drive only 20 k this time and he made sure that I could get in and out and could drive it as well.  "I couldn't see in the Landrover mirrors, that was why I had the accident" he said.  He overlooked the fact that it was evening and no one could see in the mirrors you had to look behind you!


The owner of the ute was going to be back in the afternoon leaving us  a bit of time to kill, so we headed off to Wellington Point which wasn't far away.  It has a great park and on the right tide you can walk out to King Island and back again.  It is school holidays here so there were lots of kids.  But, the day was beautiful and the bay picture perfect.  


We had cofffee and were joined by a noisey minor who jumped on the plate and partook of the syrup decoration, then looked at me as if  to say "what".


Because the water is so shallow lots of people run there dogs here and the dogs love it.


Out on the jetty grandparents had the kids feeding the fish .  I didn't see any being pulled in.


We then took off to the shopping centre in Carindale, which is a nightmare at the best of times and worse on school holidays.  We finally found the bank and got a cheque for the Ute and drove back to collect it.  I then was able to go and do my grocery shopping.


One good thing I was able to put all the shopping in the back of the ute and didn't have to pull the trolly all the way home.  But now we have 2 utes and I wasn't able to do the sewing that I had planned.



Rellies Revenge

I had a neighbour once who's name was Narelle but we always called her Relli.  Both our properties backed onto an old house that had been divided into flats with a rather motley group of tenants.  Then one day the house was sold, then they came in and moved it out.  ( I'm told it had been sold to Jeff Thompson the cricketer who gave it another life out in the country.)

We waited with keen anticipation to see what would be built there.  It turned out to be apartments.  A great big building that blocked out our view down to the river.  Rell immediately planted huge mature fig trees into large drainage pipes so that she couldn't see the apartments and so they couldn't look onto her swimming pool.  She also moved a large tree fern down to this area as well.

Every year when the fern went into seed it would put out clouds of black spores over everything.  (Rell's house was all white.) It was the bane of her life and her hope was that it would be a problem for the new neighbours. Hence the name.

Fast forward to our new house and what have we got planted next to the water tank?  Another Rellies Revenge.  I have to say it is rather beautiful.

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But will it put out black spores like the other one?


We will just have to wait and see.  Even if it does, every time I see it I think of Rell. R.I.P.