Previous month:
March 2017
Next month:
May 2017

April 2017

Peace Embroidery No 4 April 2017

I am really cutting it fine this month but I did get my piece finished.

I ended up unpicking the lettering and changing the stitch and the thread colour.  Last week Queenie featured ' satin stitch outline' on the Sunday Stitch School.'   This is a far better choice for the lettering.  I also added two extra springs to my original design.  Again what looks balanced on paper can translate differently into embroidery.  I think the pale colours would look entirely different if I had used a plain instead of a printed background fabric.

I painted an old embroidery hoop that had a cheap screw on it.  I'm glad I found a use for it and it didn't end up in the garbage.  So all in all I'm quite pleased with the outcome.  It certainly was a learning experience.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 4.57.23 pm

I have another two pieces that I want to do in this genre but they will have to wait.



On the needles once again.

The weather has cooled down and I am able to knit again.  You have no idea how I miss knitting. I have always worn glasses and as I get older I find that sewing at night time is just no good for my eyes.  I end up with blurred vision and headaches.  Not so with knitting.  I can do that by feel.

I have now finished the shrug I started back at the beginning of the month.  It isn't for now rather it's a Spring shrug.  I think it would have been better if I had had another ball of silk.  I would have liked the sleeves to be longer.  This often happens when you buy kits from Asia.  Asian women are a lot smaller than Western women.  Still it will be a great piece right up to about Xmas.  It took a bit of getting used to the 'lumps' in the yarn but they make a great effect.

  Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 12.43.32 pm


I have a bit of a 'quest' on at the moment trying out Australian Artisan wool yarns.  I have now started a shawl Called Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander.  (The name comes from an old Finnish lullaby.)  The pattern is a free download on Ravelry Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 7.55.28 pm
I am using a new yarn from the Australian Wool Store.   I bought the yarn from a show up at Toowoomba earlier this year and it is a hand dyed 50% merino and 50% silk and the colour is called 'faded roses'.   I can't see an equivalent on their website but there is one that is merino, silk and nylon blend for $32.  Mine cost me $40 for the hank.  There are some delicious colours available and I want them all.  But not yet.  (I still think that Bendigo Woollen Mills have the best priced wool for everyday knitting.)

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.06.13 pm

I had to make do with a couple of chairs to ball the wool because I couldn't find a spare pair of hands to help.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.06.25 pm

I am finding it quite nice to knit but the spinning isn't consistent and that annoys me.  Still I will see what it looks like when I'm finished.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 12.43.52 pm

  I also bought some yarn from Kaalund Yarns where I buy my silk thread .  They balled this one in the shop for me. That will be the project after this.  Then.......



War Quilts - 6

I hate it when they write "maker unkown" but that is the case with most of the quilts that were in this exhibition.

The central section was stunning and the use of the squares 'on point' must have been a nightmare to stitch.   (Love that butterfly in the middle.)

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.20.20 am

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.19.03 am

There is so much that is unknown about the making of this quilt but the mind can make up all kinds of senarios.  There are some wonderful ideas for flower applique.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.19.58 am

And I was interested to see the little pattern of cut diamonds here and there.  I wonder if they were part of the uniform or added later?

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.19.43 am

It makes some of the wool applique we see today look a bit basic.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.19.24 am


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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 2.12.34 pm

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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 2.11.30 pm

Update on ANZAC Day

It wasn't one of the grand ceremonies that you see in the cities.  It was just a simple service down near the beach.  There was some seating but most people just stood  under the trees through the whole service.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.18.16 pm

This year some of our younger residents decided that our ANZAC nurses needed to be honoured, so they put together a small piece in which they dressed in period costume and read from the diaries of some of those nurses who were at Anzac Cove.  I hadn't realised that there was only one hospital boat.  Those poor young women, the carnage that they saw.  They had so many wounded that they had to leave soldiers to die on the beaches.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.19.24 pm

One nurse managed to get her diaries home and have them published against all odds so that the public would know what was actually happening.

There were also readings from the letters of one of the stretcher bearers.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.19.37 pm

And then there was the story of Simpson and his donkey, starring Lollipop.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.19.54 pm

She was a very reluctant star and it took some pulling and coaxing to get her down there.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.19.05 pm

Yesterday she was washed and groomed and a poppy put behind her ear.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.18.49 pm

When it came to her big moment she was a star.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.20.12 pm

And then she stood quietly till the end of the service when the Last Post was played.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.20.48 pm

Yesterday I bought some flowers to lay in memory of my father.  Both of my little grand daughters wanted to carry them and would have liked to have been here today to put them on the memorial.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.18.35 pm

Their great grand father would have liked that.  He always felt that serving in WW2 was the most important thing he had done in his whole life.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.47.11 pm

Lest we forget.


A Disarster Averted!!

Oh dear, I am still shaking at what might have been.

I was teaching a class on Saturday at The Embroiderers' Guild and being the weekend the ferry and barge time tables change.  No barges till 8am and the first ferry is 6:45am, which is the one I had to catch.  When I lived in town and was teaching I just carried my requirements out to the car and drove to where I wanted to go.  Here I have to walk 1k to the ferry and then 900metres from the ferry to the car.  On Saturday I was talking to another resident on the ferry and up the jetty and I got held up.  Then I rushed up through the park to get to the parking area over rough ground because it was threatening to rain.  My bags were held on the trolley with a 'bungy strap' but the bottom bag must have slipped out somewhere along the way.  (In fact it dropped out behind the public toilets where I had taken a short cut.)  The strap was still tight when I put the trolley in the car and I didn't realise that I had lost a bag.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.27.10 pm

Realisation dawned when I went to put up the display of samples for the class.  No samples.  This was all my TAST work from 2010 - 2015 plus other embroidery samples I had made.  All I could do was ring my husband and send him out looking.  He had no luck.  So, I put a post up on the island Facebook page and within 5 minutes someone was posting that they had found the bag and handed it to the Post Mistress.  Then the Post Mistress was on the phone to say she had the bag and would deliver it to my home. 

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.33.09 pm

There are great advantages to living in a small community.

Class preparation

My life has been taken over by preparation for an upcoming class.  I wasn't sure that it would go ahead and suddenly there was a rush of enrollments.  This project includes 26 different colours of thread.  For a participant to have to buy that many threads would make the cost prohibitive so I have bought the thread and will divide it between those doing the class.

This little bundle was $190 then there was another $60 of thread I got from England, plus the linen fabric.  Granted I have paid retail for this.  I am going to have to be more careful with my needles as they now cost $1 each.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 4.54.31 pm

I have a great stash of threads that has been fed constantly over the years and haven't noticed how much it cost.  I look at the cost of embroidery kits and think how expensive they are but after this exercise I will look with new eyes.  Embroidery is an expensive hobby.



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.

  Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 8.25.59 am

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?

War Quilts - 5

This quilt (or table cover) is the second of two that were made by a tailor(s).

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.43.46 pm

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.42.10 pm

This is the work of a very experienced stitcher or stitchers.  No soldiers sitting around and sewing in their spare time here. Although, it is made from the same woollen fabric as those in use in the English Military at that time.

In the central image, (that was copied from a painting) you can see the face of every person and put a name to each face the images are so good.  The whole of that image is inlaid work, not applique.  This is similar to the Prussian Quilts and although no one knows how these techniques moved from Prussia to England this quilt was made at the time by a tailor with a German name surname, Zumpf ,when Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert (who was German) was on the throne.

What I was attracted to was the two outer borders which were first inlaid with fabric and then embroidered with silk thread.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.43.08 pm

The inlaid work gives the perfect shapes but laying the silk thread and then embroidered.   The satin stitch over it is perfect and would have taken a lot of skill.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.42.56 pm

All the details are so perfect on this quilt.  The horns of plenty that have been placed in each corner mirror each other to perfection.  Even to the use of a lighter green thread on some of the tips of the fronds.  The silk shading manages to give dimention to some of the flowers.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.42.35 pm

There must have been a strong tradition in the German States of this kinds of work for some time.  This level of skill and finese doesn't just appear from nowhere.  Then it is blown away with the tides of history.  The unification of the German States, industrialisation and the World Wars.  We are left to sit and wonder.