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August 2016
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October 2016

September 2016

Week 9 - Placemats for Charity

The fabric in the jelly-roll is really pulled out of shape.  I will know in future to use the fabric straight away, that is if I ever buy another roll!

In one of my on-line classes the tutor went on about how good it was to use the fancy stitches on your machine to do the quilting.  So I thought I would give it a go.  What did I find?  Boring, boring, boring and time consuming.  And I don't really like the final outcome.  Another couple for that experience list.

Mat - 17

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I changed the length of one of the stitches I used on the seams to stitch the strip flat.

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Mat - 18

Lots of dense stitching on the seams.

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I think I like the back better than the front!

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One positive of all this is that I am now very confident stitching the binding and making that final bias join.  It took the full 18 mats to get there but I made it.



A little catching up

Well, I thought the Children's Class was going to be a flop.  We only had a few kids enrolled and then on the day a full class turned up on the doorstep.  Today is our second day and we are expecting a few more.  I am interested to see just how they decorate their monogram.  I put out a few kits for the helpers and they came up with different takes on the design as well.

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One other thing is the learning Italian.  As I said before, I am not good with languages but learning with Duolingo is effective, if slow.  (The slow part is my brain.)  I have just about got to the end of level 1.  Being a perfectionist, I do not want to move on until I can do each lesson and get 100%.  I'm still getting mixed up with the "they eat, we eat, I eat etc.  It's not the they, we, I, it's the eat, a different word for each subject.  Just like Latin back at school.  And I find my spelling is as bad in Italian as it is in English.  I had hoped it would improve!  But having said that, I keep having 'brain flashes' with the lyrics of Italian songs I memorised so long ago.  The meaning will suddenly flash into my mind of some obscure phrase from long ago.  I went back to some of those pieces and checked the translation on the music and although their meaning was right my translation was better.  Amazing.  I have a long way to go, but, Rome wasn't built in a day.

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The other thing that is good about this course is the flash cards (tiny cards).  We, use these when teaching little children to read and write but I have found them just as effective with adults, or me anyway.  Now after all these years I actually think that I will be able to learn other languages.  I actually feel I am going to achieve this.  It was one of those things I wanted to do and never thought I would, but kept hoping.

 The next thing is Christmas, it's coming and I need to get ready!!!






Good news.  My lost project has resurfaced at my sons home. So I have finished the section I was working on.

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Just a small amount  on the accessories for the casket this week.  Side one of the scissor fob.

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My eyes really protest at this fine count fabric.  I have to keep to short bursts of stitching so my eyes don't go out of focus.  And because I thought I had lost my project I started on the Kogin cushion cover.  I ditched the fabric that came in the kit because the dye wasn't stable, even after I soaked it in salt water.  Looking after the children gave me some time in the evenings to stitch.  Now I didn't expect that.

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A cute idea

Living on an island seems to see most people owning a boat of some description.  But what do you do with them when they have had their day?  Some people just dump them or leave them to rot on the beach.  But I found one family who have reused their's to hold a vegetable garden.  Now that's a good idea.

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Week 8 - Placemats for charity

Along with the jelly-rolI I also have the end of a bolt of fabric that I love.  It is Shadow Play by Maywood and is just the best quality, I had bought 6 bolts of this but didn't use all of this one.  But it also has been sitting there for 10 years so it needs to be used as well.  It is no good looking at it and saying how lovely it is.

Very mixed results with this weeks offerings.  This will have to be put down to experience.

Mat 15

I just used different sized circles to quilt this.  Not the most successful outcome.  (Cross that one off the list.)

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Mat 16

I love this quilting pattern.

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It doesn't suit the pieced front of the mat.

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Onto week 9!

Another post box

I am doing a lot of walking at the moment.  I had very high blood pressure after contacting a virus in hospital.  It took a while for them to realise it was a virus and not hypertension.  I am still having problems coming off the drugs they gave me and one way of coping is to walk, at least my 10,000 steps each day.  The island isn't very big so to make it a bit more interesting I vary my route.  On one particular walk I came on yet another post box.  A plain old boring post box made interesting with plastic toys.  I think all those reptiles would put me off putting the mail in if I was the post person. Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 11.19.59 am


It grew legs and has walked away!  That Assisi embroidery that I lost and then found and have now lost again! 

I know I got it ready to take away with me but when I got there I only had the pattern and the embroidery frame.  I thought I must have left it at home but when I got back it was nowhere to be found.  I will just have to keep looking. 

So then I thought I would restart my other cross stitch on the 40 count linen, the Aulejos Sewing Casket.  With a concerted effort I have now finish the front panel and the pincushion that make up the casket.

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I am tempted to make up the casket and them do the other pieces that go inside later but I think I will make all the components and then make up the casket.  If I don't I'm afraid it will join the UFO list.



Baby sitting

Looking after children full time is far more demanding than I remember, or maybe it is just that I am older?  My grandmother came and looked after my sister and myself when we were about 6 and 10 years of age.  Our mother had breast cancer and was away from home for a number of months.   I loved my grandmother, we were both rather alike.  I had always loved sewing and handcrafts but now I blossomed with that personal attention.  She was a good bit older than what I am now back then, I wonder how she managed it all?

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My little ones are only 4 and 5 years of age and I'm sure they are missing Mummy but no matter how tired I feel it is such a blessing to have this time with them.  Last week I got to stand in for Mummy and Daddy at the school assembly when Monique received her Principals Award for creative writting.  At only 5 she is writting whole books and illustrating them.  (Every time I look at her I see my grandmother's eyes looking back at me.)

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Every stage of live has it's own seasons and it is interesting to reflect on how cyclical life is. My grandmother, myself and my grand daughter all so alike but the age that in which each of us has lived makes our lives so different.

This week it is school holidays so we have trips to the movies and maybe the circus planned.  That means I won't get much sewing done.



Something in the water

I am having trouble with colours running in the wash.  Not big trouble, but trouble all the same.  I think there must be some natural chemical in our water which is pumped over from Stradbroke Island.  I know the water originates up on the downs,  filters through the aquafers and then rises through the sand near the sea.  I bought some new tea towels and washed them before they were to be used.  My husband put in an old T shirt that had been washed over and over with that wash and the tea towels now have a slightly pink tinge.

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The completed Kogin bag kit also is a problem.  Before i wet the piece for blocking the thread was very white.


Now that I have sewn it together I sew the thread has turned slightly blue.

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I never had this problem on the mainland.  The farmers and others on the Downs have been complaining about contamination of their water from mining and I wonder if this has anything to do with this? I am going to have to be careful with washing my embroidery in future.

As to the bag I am quite pleased with the finished product.  I have made the straps a bit longer so that it can be carried over the shoulder, the original was to be carried in your hand.   I also dug out some precious Japanese fabric for the lining.

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This is cotton fabric but the fibre is so long it feels like silk.  It is a light weight fabric with a lovely woven pattern and has then been printed.  I put a large pocket in the bag to hold bibs and bobs.

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