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March 2019

New Embroidery Design

It isn't what I expected to find.  It comes from my course on the Book of Kells and it is a margin note left by a scribe way back when.  But I think it is amusing and as it is written in Ogham script will be easy to reproduce.

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I will try and get this stitched by next week.  At the moment I am sewing on buttons,  I had 80 buttons to sew and am down to the last 16. 

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I never want to see another button again. Having said that I do like some of these old buttons.


I have two more place-mats in progress.  I have quilted these using serpentine and scallop stitch.  That makes a set of 4, just the binding to go.

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The knitting is the other work in progress.  I am advancing it but I'm not sure how my shoulder and neck like the action.  I am limiting myself to every other  night but still find that I have pain.  Not all the time, just on and off.  I will have to keep an eye on that.  I do love to knit and listen to a book being read or music so I would like the pain to go away so that I could increase the time to every night.  But if it gets worse I might have to cut back on this activity.

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There is an upside to not being able to use my hands.  My finger nails don't break!!!

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Autumn must be on hold

I think autumn must be on hold.  It is hot and humid and I still need to run the air-conditioner at night to get any sleep.

The flowers in the garden think that Spring has come again and have bloomed in welcome.

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I wish that cool weather would start to appear.

Quilting Lessons update

Lots of exercises over the past few days.  I am still working on my 10” squares that I will use to make into boxes but they are the perfect surface to try out the patterns.  These are all stitched in straight stitch using the walking foot.  What I found interesting was that the instructions were to stitch towards the focal point and line up the points using masking tape.  It works a treat.


This next one I count as a fail.  I am still trying to work out the math on this.


I like this design.


And this one.


There are just endless ways you can draw lines.



There are many more of these and the next challenge is to scale them up for bigger projects.

My new course

As I thought it would be my new course is a wonderful source of inspiration.

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Copyright of the images is owned by Trinity College Dublin.  I don't think I would have any problem using them for personal use but would have to gain permission if I entered any of my work into a competition.

Other works that are featured seem to all come under Creative Commons, so I could use these.

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.15.40 pmAs usual it is the comments of other participants that I find one of the best sources of leads for further reading and sources of new illustrations.  This illustration, about the deadly sins, reminds me so much of the house of Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series.

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I find the the course only goes on for three weeks and my access to the material ends in April, unless I want to spend some money, about $100 for continuous access.  Lots of book marking going on at the moment.


It has been some time since I have put any work in progress up here.  All work kind of ground to a halt.  But I think that my cross stitch qualifies for this.  I keep my fingers crossed that my changes to the design will work out.  There has been a bit of unpicking but overall things are progressing.

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So much so that I think I should start about thinking of a new project.

The weather is great, but..

The weather here is great, except for the huge thunder storms that keep rolling through.  I saw one of trees outside our house hit by lightening the other night.  It burst into flame which was quickly extinguished by the heavy rain.  Really spectacular.  Yesterday I spent time during the storm with two dogs.  One kept barking at the thunder the other had to be held tight.  There is another cyclone up north, Trevor, and he is expected to cross the coast tonight.

It should be getting cooler and I should be knitting.  If I don't start soon I won't have things finished when the cold weather hits.  So with this in mind I have bought a copy of the 'Carbeth Cardigan' by Kate Davies

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Swatching starts tonight.

Quilting lessons

I am continueing on with my "Quilting with your Walking Foot" lessons.  Once again I am amazed at how much I missed first time around. 

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This weeks lessons have been about using the fancy stitches on your machine for quilting.  Now, when I think of fancy stitches it was those flowers and leaves and fancy shapes that are there but the best ones to use are those that have a single line.  The old boring ones work best.  Like Serpentine.

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And a scallop stitch.

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I would not have thought to use these stitches for quilting but they give a great texture to the fabric.  I am going to have to come back to this concept and explore just what I can do with my machine.

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Being ill has slowed my mind and body and there have been some positives, such as paying attention to detail.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and be fully recovered but it just doesn't work that way.  One thing I am working hard on is recovering my fine motor skills in my hands.  I didn't loose them completely I just lost that edge I had.  I have had to practice sewing with a needle again.  It is coming back but is no longer automatic.  Hemming the binding on the place mats is a great exercise for this.  What I used to find boring is now an exercise in using my fingers and hands.  There is an upside to everything.

New course starting Monday

I really enjoyed my Art on the IPad online course.  I learnt lots of new skills and it has opened me up to learning even more things.  With this in mind I have enrolled in a Future Learn course about the Book of Kells.  It is being presented by Trinity College in Dublin and starts on the 18th of March.

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There are lots of great images in this book that could serve as inspiration for some interesting embroidery.  I know that has been done before but I think I would like to focus on the fish.  So look out for a fishie something or other in the not too distant future.

Practice, practice but still not perfect.

I am keeping up my machine skills practice and am improving but perfection still isn't there.  So, I will just have to keep trying.  I used the practice blocks to make place-mats and keep up the machine stitching.

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The little boxes have now grown to number 10, that means I am half way there.  I am going into the Guild tomorrow so I will be on the look out for buttons to finish this lot off.

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Nothing very exciting happening here at the moment, except the extreme heat.  I am keeping to the air conditioning.