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August 2017
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October 2017

September 2017

Robyn's House

Robyn asked me not to put her photo up on my blog so you won't find her here.  (TIP:  Look on Facebook)

But I have put together some images that I took when visiting her home.  It was just the most generous gesture to open her door to the public.  Some of the highlights for me were the embroidered books that were scattered around.  A beautiful way to keep memories.

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The little kick-nacks.

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Her order of Australia displayed on a beautiful old embroidered cloth.

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The antique baby bonnets crocheted using silk thread and bullion stitch.

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The dresser with Xylonite pieces.

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The original Gumnut Baby quilt and that collection of post cards that went right around the room.

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Those jelly beans that were in dishes throughout the house.

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Glancing out the window there was a small fish pond complete with gold fish.

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Old quilts and new quilts.  All her quilts are hand pieces and hand quilted.  (The ones on the dinning room table were piled high.) And her huge collection of Xylonite pieces.

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The garden was full of quilts.

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I should have noticed these things as I came in but I did see them as I left.  The big clam shell full of floating camillias.  So old Queensland. (She has over 100 camillia trees in her garden.)

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The bush seed pod wreath on the wall.

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Her Mother's flowers.

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And that bird bath.

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Thank you Robyn.

 

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The joys of pattern making

You know I threw out all my old paper patterns and swore never to dress-make again.  Then my grand daughters twisted my arm to make them dresses.  So here I am again making patterns.  I found an old pattern I had bought online and printed it out, some thing like 50 A4 pages of the thing.  The dress is cute though.  I know the girls will like the swing of the skirt.

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People had warned me about having to stick all these pages together but it doesn't really mean anything until you have to do it yourself.

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Because the pattern is multi sized I like to trace the size I want onto paper and then keep the original aside, just in case.  Of course with all that paper I didn't line it up properly.  Not enough on one side and

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Too much on the other.

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Whilst doing this I came across a book of patterns that I bought some time ago, still in pristine condition because I had forgotten it.  I am going through the same process of tracing off the sizes and styles I want.  Just working out what pattern pieces are what is taking time.  I was going to trace all the patterns but have given that away.

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But, the quality of the drafting of the Japanese patterns is beautiful.  As a dressmaker of old I know how a pattern should be drafted and these are correct to the mm.  It is those small details that make the difference in the finished garment.  I am just a bit worried about the size.  Japanese children are quite a bit smaller than western children.  I think I might make a toile first to check.  This WAS going to be a quick job.

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WIPW

The children's class is progressing well with still another day to go.  We will see just what they will come up with for the backs of their bags.  But one really nice thing is that one of our past students has joined us to train as a tutor for the classes.  She is now at University and it is great to see another generation coming through.  (This is a warm fuzzy.)

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I am working on designing my Children's Classes for 2018.  At the moment this first design is giving me grief.  I want to use the bundle of Aida fabric that I have in stock but my drawing program only draws between the lines not on them.  I have a horrible feeling that I am going to have to draw this all by hand. 

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Grandma has been busy

Firstly she managed to catch the flu and lose her voice.  Some would say this was a blessing.  But I have "Children's Classes" starting tomorrow so it is lots of tablets to get my temperature down.  I will see how I go tomorrow.

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Then last Saturday we took to girls to see Cinderella at the theatre.  My eldest grand daughter is on the Autistic spectrum, in old terminology that is Aspurgers.  She falls into the gifted and talented range and although only 6 years old is more like a 15 or 16 years old.  One of the effects of this is that she suffers from terrible anxiety.  For weeks she has been stressing out about the colouring competition that she entered for the show.  Would she win, wouldn't she win, how terrible her work was.  She made a mistake here or there.  By the time we got to the theatre she was a mess.  She and her sister both won prizes and the day improved.

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She also has had to get braces.  Another thing that shouldn't have happened until her teens but it is better to have 6 months now than trouble later on. My daughter suffered for years with twisted teeth and got to the point she wouldn't smile at all until they were fixed.

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Then the girls put the heavies on Grandma.  Miss Bunny needed a proper quilt, she was getting cold!  (in all this heat). 

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And those 20 something Barbie Dolls needed quilts and new pillows on their beds.  Luckily there are only 2 beds and a cot.

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Then, in an aside, they told me a tail of woe.  They had no pretty dresses and Mummy can't sew.  So I am really under the pump to make some new dresses.  I have one under construction.

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And I managed to buy some Liberty prints in a sale at $18 per metre. 

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With the prices of fabric today I think it would have been cheaper just to buy them dresses.

 


Studio Visit

It is Carnival of Flowers time up at Toowoomba and this year Robyn Ginn opened her home for people to view not only her wonderful collection of quilts but her beautiful embroidery, things she has collected, her garden and her home.  Robyn has had she fair share of troubles in her life.  Ranging from breaking her back through to the recent loss of her husband and a grand child.  (She has a Pinterest page of the quilts that were lost in a fire at her daughters home and her grand son was also lost in this fire.)  She works her life into her quilts.

This quilt talks of how they were knocked off their perch but are still standing.  You can see more on her Crazy patch pinterest page.

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There was so much to see and to absorb that I am sure I missed tons of important details.  But one thing that caught my attention was that she also designs and stitches canvas work.  Each piece is totally original and the stitches chosen just blew me away.

The use of gimp ribbon for the flower stems and the variety of stitches in each bird. (click on the image for more detail.)

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So much to think about.  I will revisit some of my impressions of this viewing in a later post.  I just think I need to reflect on it for a few days.  My mind has been so taken up with what I saw here that I didn't really pay attention to everything else I viewed.   I found this visit very moving on a number of levels.   As a result my husband and I will drive up again this week and spend the day there together and this time I will focus more on the flowers.

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WIPW

The big work in progress has been finding and purchasing a town house in St. Lucia which is close to the city and the University.  My expectations regarding price were not realistic and after weeks of viewing town houses and apartments I came to the conclusion that I would have to spend more money.  Even then I kept getting beaten by other contenders to the property that I would have liked to have purchase.  But now, with a bit more money on the table, I have finally bought a town house, which my daughter will live in whilst she is completing her Phd. and I will be able to use when I need to stay in town.   Now perhaps I can get back to siitching.

To keep my mind relaxed I have been working on Kogin designs for my Xmas cards.  This design is stitched on a Lugano 28 count fabric.  The Xmas tree is DMC white stranded cotton and the rest of the design is stitched in 2 strands of silk thread.

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I have taken quite a few liberties with this design but I think it works.

 


Life is busy

I don't know why I am so busy at the moment.  Put it down to spring being in the air.  Last week I attended a musical evening at a neighbors home.  It was only a couple of hours between 4 and 6pm but I did enjoy myself.

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a group of local musicians led the singing and we all sat in the breeze way.

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Everyone one came with plates of food and wine.

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Jane's chickens got in on the act as well.

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Then the kookaburras arrived I'm not sure if it was the music or the food that had attracted them.

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They sat on the lattice behind the musicians and leaned in as thought they were listening.

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They even gave us a cackle or two.

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They were so amusing that they were rewarded with some food.

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It was delightful sitting in that space listening to the music.

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Both that of the humans and the birds.  I like this poem that Jane has on the wall in her kitchen.

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As we left I looked in the window to find that some of the children had found the pianola and it was playing out some old tune. 

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Simple pleasure are often the best ones.


I missed the 10 year celebration!

On the 25th August 2007 I wrote my first blog post.  Just where did those 10 years go?  My friends then are still my friends now and in a couple of months time I will meet up with them again in Houston at the Quilt Festival.

Wish I looked the same as this now.  My dark hair has changed colour and I have a few more wrinkles.  Pam still lives in the same place and jets around the world, Di has found love again and remarried after being a widow for a number of years and really grown her business and I have moved to Coochiemudlo Island and here I am still writing this blog.  Ten years seem to have just gone by in an instant.  Thank goodness for good friends and textiles.

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WIPW

I was just going to finish the letters this week BUT got carried away and finished the whole embroidery to avoid that cleaning.   So here is September's piece finished at the beginning of the month well in advance.

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I used 2 strands of silk thread for the letters and the sprig of leaves and one stand of the same thread do do the blanket stitch around the applique.

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The sprig  of leaves were stitched in fly stitch and the stem in checkerboard stitch and then I added a few seed beads just because I could.

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Then on my walk I saw these wild flowers that had escaped into the bush so picked a few because I loved the colour.  It must be my age I never liked purple/pink before, now I love it.

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Procrastination

I think I am procrastinating.  Any thing to put off facing cleaning out this room.  I managed to get the pencil marks out of old Bruno and after doing that realised that of the 20 or 30 red work embroideries I have completed I have given them all away, barring old Bruno.  So, he is a keeper.  A reminder of how I can become obsessed about things. 

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I didn't have the right materials on hand to make the straps so I used what I did have.  These were too light in weight so I sewed the lengths together to overcome this problem.  I rushed to make the back panel yesterday, again, anything to put off the cleaning, and today I cross hatched it with a bit of quilting.

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I used a synthetic fabric for the lining.

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I still had plenty of time to clean so I stitched another card.

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Then I got a text from my niece telling me that my grand-nephew Leon, who is turning 7 soon, liked his quilt.

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Next I will do my Spanish lesson and then I will clean.

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