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March 2017

Up date

The power is back on and we have weathered the storm here.  Quite a few boats snapped their moorings and will have to be recovered.  No leaks in the house or damage either.  Can't say the same for the garden.  It is a mess.  Nature has got too and trimmed all those high trees.

How about this Bull shark left high and dry?  Makes you think twice about going into flood waters.

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Brisbane seemed to get hit worse than us.

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Now it is the turn of The Northern Rivers south of the border.  Be safe down there.

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I like this sign out at Ipswich.

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The end of Tropical cyclone Debbie is coming our way.  The radar images just look a mess.  Let it be said there is lots of rain headed in our direction.  It is Thursday here and I thought I would get Friday's post written in case the power goes.  We are pretty exposed out here and the winds are expected to be over the 100k mark by this afternoon.  Our new Telstra tower is as yet untested.  All the schools are closed, people sent home from work and already there are limbs falling from the trees. 

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So what do you do when this kind of thing happens?  Well I have all the emergency stores ready.  I might have to put the smaller flower pots under the house.  We cleared all the gutters but already there is a lot of water on the ground.  We have checked that all the family is safe.  So now I sew while I still have power.  Lots of reverse stitching on my Assisi Sampler.  I miss counted that border.  When the power goes off I knit. 

I bought a small kit at the Stitches and Craft from Prudence Mapstone.  It is from 'The Loom' in Bangkok and is all silk.  It takes a bit of adjustment to knit with the yarn but I have unpulled it once and seem to have got the hang of it now. 

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The Loom have a shop in Bangkok which is on my list of places to visit.  For now we just sit it out.

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War Quilts

That exhibition was so good and I got some good close ups of the stitching.  So I will do a post each week on some of the high-lights.

From a distance this quilt looks like many of the other Military Quilts.You can pick the colours of the fabric as being uniforms etc.  It is when you look into the detail that you can see how it was made.

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This quilt is beaded and the braiding that has been reused and manipulated so that it looks almost like ric-rac braid.  You can see it used as flat braid down in the left hand corner of the image but then again it might have been an early form of ric-rac.  Where the bead has pulled away you can see the fabric that has been a button hole which they cut around and then attached the bead.

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The title card that accompanied this piece gives details of how it was made.

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The central medallion has so much detail that it is difficult to appreciate just how much work has gone into it.

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The layering of the stars is interesting and they would appear to be held in place with beads.

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I just can't get a high enough resolution to be sure.  Still this is an interesting quilt.



Well, it isn't finished.  My fall put paid to that.  I can't keep my eyes focused for more than 15 minutes so I haven't done a lot of work.  Maybe it will be finished next week?  There is something about this piece, I think it just wants to keep my attention for itself.

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The mind is willing but the body....

I am going to have to recognise the fact that I am not the young fit woman I used to be.  It is a very painful admission to make but I have been painfully shown that I might have to employ someone to help in the garden.

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I have nearly got the garden to where I want it to be.  Just a couple more garden beds to lay down.  I now have bought my citrus trees and got two of them into the big pots.  It was these pots that were my undoing.  (Those pots take 100 lts of potting mix each.) I wanted to place them onto large concrete pavers so that the roots wouldn't get down into the soil.  They are really heavy and whilst moving one I tripped and fell and hit my head. I was knocked unconscious for a couple of minutes, I recovered myself, feeling stupid and kept working.  Bad idea.   I have kept moving and even got to the Stitches and Craft Fair but my mind is addled, still.  I think I must have a slight concussion.  If I took the time to go to the Doctor he would charge me to tell me to rest, so I'm just going to rest without spending the $75 fee.

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So no gardening, my vision blurrs every so often so not much stitching.  I just want to lie there and watch the light shows in my head when I move it quickly, so please excuse the lack of posts.

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The weather here is picture perfect. Very calm with a few clouds in the sky.  I fear it is the calm before the storm.  Up north cyclone Debbie is pounding the coast with 265km an hour winds.  Here people just drift on.

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That cyclone is the size of Western Europe so I think we will see some dirty weather heading our way in the next couple of days.  I have got all the washing done and out to dry.  Made sure I have access to candles and lamps.  Checked the cyclone cupboard to make sure I have food and topped up the gas bottle so we can cook on the BBQ.    Having done all that it is sure to stay away.



War Quilts - 1

Sometimes you can be lucky.  I was lucky the other day when I was reminded on Facebook that there was an exhibition called War quilts showing out at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

It is only on for a week and finishes this Saturday 25th March '17, so you will need to be quick to see it there.  It will also be on display at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in April.  I have to say that I have been to lots of Historical Quilt exhibits around the world but this one was exceptional.  And because it was out at Ipswich there were no crowds and I got to REALLY see every stitch.

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As I was on the mainland baby sitting and I had a few hours before I had to pick up the girls from school, It was into the car to brave the traffic and the rain to get there.   This is only a small gallery but they always have good exhibits and we visit with the children quite a lot.  They have a dedicated Children's Gallery for under twelves which the kids love.

I don't know where to start with these quilts.  Firstly, there is a wonderful book by Dr Annette Gero, $89 but worth every penny. 

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Photo Wayne Taylor

I can't find the book in any on-line book shop as yet so she must be selling them herself.

  I will start with a quilt I saw a number of years ago in a dark corner in the Brisbane Council Gallery in the 1990's.  Back then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it.  I knew it was very significant but there was no label on it and it was just part of a 'People of Queensland' display.  I rang the council, spoke to the attendants but couldn't get any information and it disappeared.  Now here it was again and this time all the information was there.

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I didn't have my camera with me, it is in for repair, so all the photos were taken on my iphone.  I looked for a sign about photography, but there was non and I asked the attendant who thought it would be fine to take photos.  I still felt a bit uncomfortable taking photos so didn't take as many as I would have liked.  It is the details that I wanted to see.  There are lovely images in the book but not those little details.   Like the embroidery with the applique of the children's song.  All the flowers and grass are embroidered there.  Even the hair on the pig

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And there is a snake in the tree.  The tree of knowledge?

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And look at those rabbits and that bird.

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And this is just ONE of the many wonderful quilts on display.   I am pouring over the book which is full of detail and as I digest more of the information I will post again about this exhibition.  I might even make an embroidery of part of this quilt.






As per usual I grossly under estimated the amount of work in the borders.  I thought I would be finished by now but I have only finished the inner border.

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This inner border is worked in single faggot stitch.  Now, this is normally a drawn thread stitch but if you work the stitch with out pulling it, it makes a great decorative border.  I went to get my text on drawn thread and all I found was a space on the book shelf.  I hope I haven't lent that book to someone.  So it is just a hand drawn illustration of the stitch.  This was worked over 4 threads.

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With any luck I might finish this next week.

More effort needed!

Last Sunday friend Janey invited me to an embroidery class that was being held in the Brisbane City Library.  This was an event to celebrate Harmony Day and Nowruz , (Persian New Year).  We joined the Iranian Society of Queensland for a 'hands on' introduction to coin embroidery (sekkeh doozy), traditionally used to make decorative objects.  Let me start by saying I was hopeless.  It wasn't that I didn't know what to do it was just that I couldn't get those threads to stay put on the coin.  But I am not giving up.  I will keep trying till I am an expert.

I made sure that I took some photos on my phone for future reference.  This technique is similar to the Indian 'mirror embroideries' but is more decorative.  There are a number of ways that you can attach those coins.  When it came to keeping them in place on the fabric a spot of glue was used to keep them still.

We were to make this embroidered bracelet.

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We started with the dingle dangles and these were the ones I found difficult.  The thread provided was just too slippery and had too much give in it.

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The stitches are mainly based on button hole and needle weaving.

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English is a second language for  Shabnam  and she was not a trained instructor but we all learnt so much. (Some more than others.)  There is a series of videos on their Facebook page that I intend to sit and work through.  I am starting to save all those 5 cent pieces now that I have a great use for them, other than clogging up my change purse.

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You know, we are so lucky to live in such a culturally diverse society.  We have access to so much of other cultures all of  which enriches ours.




The weather is still a problem here.  We haven't had decent rain since before last Xmas.  So wouldn't you know, it rained on the day my new book, Inspired by Islay, was delivered.  Luckily I saw it out there in the rain and rescued it before there was any damage.  Normally books are put on my doorstep not out in the letter box.  And this one wasn't delivered until late in the afternoon instead of the morning.  The post lady must by sick.

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This is more than just a book of knitting patterns that Kate has compiled, although these are in the book.  They include patterns for both men and women.  It also features  some really well written essays by other writers.  I found the essay "The Language of the Landscape" by Anna Mac Quarrie very interesting.  Both my husband and daughter have decided to learn Gaelic (I am still ploughing on with the Italian.)  They are both very good with languages but are finding this one challenging.    This essay gives an insight into why they are having difficulty.

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The other memorable essay is by Gordon Yates and has some of the best wild life images I have seen in ages.  Oh to be able to capture images like these.  Now this isn't to say that the essays I haven't mentioned are no good.  They are all very good.  It is just that these two impressed me more than the others.

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I have a complete set of all Kate's books and I treasure every one.

Now to the knitting.  No, it is still too hot.





Out with the Old - In with the New.

I don't know about you but I have a variety of containers on my desks to hold stuff.  Tins, glass jars  holders from desk sets.

The middle desk

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It wasn't until I started to photograph these that I realised how much stuff I have around the place.

The computer desk

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The cutting table.

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What I had been looking at was the end desk where I sit and embroider and do my hand drawing.  Here I have been using the plastic water containers I use when doing water colours.

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Everytime I want to paint I have to put this stuff somewhere else and I loose it.  So, I decided I needed a new container.  Something that spoke of where I live and I found it in a hand woven basket by Jackie Cresswell.

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I often run into Jackie out in the bush.  She goes into places I wouldn't go to collect her vines for weaving.  I'm too afraid I will run into a snake. 

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So now I have a new container.  I really must look at rationalizing all the others.