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September 2019
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November 2019

October 2019

A great cake

I tasted this cake the last time I visited my friend Angela when I was in Toowoomba.  It is delicious.  So, I decided to make it for Maberly Quilters last week when I was on supper.  The great thing about it is that it is gluten free, so all my family can eat it and it is just so good.

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The recipe can be found on the CSR website but there are a couple of modifications.  Instead of 2 oranges I used 3 seedless mandarins.  These I boiled 3 times but still found them a little bitter so added extra caster sugar until they were sweet enought.  Because I didn't want to carry a big cake all the way into town I made 4 small cakes which I cooked for about 30 minutes.

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Served with a big dollop cream it is delicious.  (I can't stop saying that word.)  But be aware it is also moorish so just one slice is enough at morning tea.  Then you can have another for afternoon tea!


I think I now have all the place-mats I need, I just have to finish sewing them.  One of the criteria I had set myself for these mats was that I wasn't to buy any fabric.  I could only use what was in the stash.  The last set saw me rummaging around and I found some old fabric that I had bought from Ikea.  It was a linen type fabric that was pre-sewn as a runner.  You just had to cut off the length you wanted and then hem the ends.

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It has meant that I have had to un-pic the edges and the fabric is a bit light but I have come up with a way to use it.  Looking through the scrap bin I found a cat fabric that I thought would be good for an applique.  So, using the design on the fabric, I drew up a cat template, which I have included as a free download.  Download Cats I printed this out onto light card so that I could use it as is and in reverse, then ironed some Visofix onto the back of the fabric and traced the design onto the paper side and cut out the shape using small scissors.

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As I have 8 mats I determined the position of the applique and marked this with pins.  (Just to make sure everyone would look the same.

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I removed the paper on the back of the shape by scoring it with a pin.  My supplies are rather old and the adhesive sometimes lifts.  Removing it this way means that I can keep it mostly in tact.

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The Ikea linen doesn't have a lot of body to it and I would normally stabilize the fabric first but this time I just machine buttonholed it straight onto the batting using a 50 weight cotton in the top thread. When I added the backing fabric I then stitched around the shape again in straight stitch.   (You could of course just buttonhole around the edge by hand but if you wanted to use needle turn you would have to include an allowance all the way around.)  Because of the lack of body in the fabric I choose a backing fabric that had a little more weight.

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I sewed in the details using a straight stitch but found that I had to add a bit of felt for the eyes as they were hard to see.  I was going to cross hatch the quilting but quite liked this look.

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Only 7 more to go and I am going to play around with different coloured threads and play things for the cat.  This one has a flower, I have fish, balls, and other cat playthings in mind.  The end of this project is in sight.  Now I'm thinking about my challenge for 2020.



I thought I had lost these

I thought I had lost all these treasures.  I had put them away safely before I became ill, I thought, never to be seen again. But they are found.

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In fact I had forgotten them all together.  Then, Mary Corbett had an article about Jenny Adin Christie's laying tool/stiletto and I got to thinking, where is mine?  I bought it a number of years ago, in fact it was 2012, I put it away safely and found it in 2019!  Jenny is a wonderful teacher and a great embroiderer.

Screen Shot 2019-10-27 at 12.55.23 pmI also found a whole selection of my silver thimbles.  I love just looking at them but there are practical and lovely to use.

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I wonder what else might turn up?

Back to reality

Looking at my schedule to complete my 50 place mats for charity I will have to do some serious work to reach this target.   I have another 10 which require the hand sewing of the borders to finish.  This will bring my total to 37. Still 13 short.

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Looking through my stash I found this panel.  God, how long has that been in the draw?

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That will make another 4 place-mats, leaving only 9 more.  Still, It is going to be a struggle to get them completed by November and there is still Xmas presents to think about.  I hate not meeting targets but I am not going to kill myself for charity.  Or maybe I will?  Watch this space.

Craft Fair - 4

Reece Scannell is a regular at the show and his hand printed fabrics are beautiful.  I just love this cat print that Jan Frazer had turned into a wall hanging.  (I am on a cat fling at the moment.)

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Here is a detail.

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Looks like they at the races!  The print is called 'Herding Cats' and the quilt is by Jan Frazer,

If Reece lived in Europe or the States he would be far more famous for his work and probably richer as well.  Do have an explore of his website.

And finally on my applique search there were these two quilts.  I found the balance in this composition peaceful.

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All that lovely needle turn and beautiful hand quilting.

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That's it for another year.  There was a lot more that I haven't even mentioned.  You will have to come and see for yourself next year!


Craft Fair - 3

I enjoyed my viewing of the quilts and this was the winner.

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Very traditional but beautiful.  It was by Catherine Butterworth and called "From the Inside out".

Another thing that struck me was the number of quilts that used the technique of using the walking foot.  (I now consider myself as having a handle on this skill.)  Because one uses registration marks etc to sew I thought the technique a bit "Micky Mouse."  But no, people are winning prizes with it.  I loved this quilt which was undertaken by a group of people from the Modern Quilt Guild and depicts the Brisbane River.

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And although I wasn't fussed on the design I loved the quilting on this one.

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(I'm not sure who it was by.)

There was a display from the AQC Challenge where the theme was 'magic'.  Lot of entries but these three were my favourites.

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So what am I doing?  Practice, practice, practice.  Practicing how to use the rulers for quilting.  I am so accustomed to being able to just do things and this time it is taking forever to gain any level of skill.

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I read somewhere that it takes 300 hours of practice to achieve mastery.  I have a long way to go.

At the same time we have been babysitting as the girls had a student free day.  I had to sit and observe the classifying of the 'talents'  of each of the toys who were taken out of the toybox and interviewed.  (The toys belonged to their father, uncle and aunt when they were kids.)

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They made up a chart after each interview detailing who was good at what, along with their age. (The spelling is a bit original but then the secretary is only 7 years old.)  Then they were each telephoned, (the old dial toy phone was used ), and every one was then given feedback on what they were good at and how they would be invited to perform in a concert.. 

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After this a a concert was planned but we discovered a pile of old Harry Potter DVD's so this has been postponed.

Back to practicing.

The Craft Fair - 2

There are always displays of various artists works scattered thought the stalls and this year one of the artists featured was Segolaine Schweitzer. 

(I have put a link to her web page which is full of images of her work.)

There is a synthesis of a number of different styles contained in her work which I found attractive and interesting. When you look into the work it is assembled on a wool background, usually repurposed wool.  There is simple stitching embellishments, reminiscent of Boro stitching and also those of a European source.

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It is at once naive yet has a lot to say, most pieces have some words embroidered on there.

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The images it creates are attractive and familiar.

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The other thing I could see in these works are the old Wagga Quilts that were on the beds in my childhood.

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They were made from manufacturers woollen suiting samples  and the one on my bed had the edges of the fabric pieces stitched in herringbone and other crazy quilt stitches.  I remember lying in bed and looking at the colours of the threads used in the stitching and wondering if I would ever be able to stitch like that.

I find it hard to find sample swatches of fabrics anymore.  They are being replaced by digital images.  Now I wish I had been a bit more frugal in my use of them.

Quiltmania are publishing a book by her which should be released soon in both French and English.

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The Craft Fair

I really shouldn't have gone, and all the walking I did put me in bed for the next 2 days, but, I did enjoy looking at the State Quilt Exhibition and all the traders stalls.  I even ran into friends.  Funny that! We all love fabric so I suppose it had to happen.  There was so much to see that I will have to spread this out over a few days.

Where to start?  Well, I walked the whole floor to see what was there before I committed to buying anything.  Bad move, because I had to walk it again to get the things I wanted to purchase.  So maybe I will start at the end, what I bought.

Fabric of course.

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Mainly Japanese because my stash is rather low.  (I'm down to only 2 draws full.)

And then I bought some rather cute Japanese fabric to make Xmas gifts with.

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I have a thing about cats at the moment and these are sooooo cute.

And as I am quilting currently I really needed these threads.  They are from the 'Spagetti' range from Wonderfil.

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Then I stopped.  I had set myself a budget of $150 and I had slightly over spent that.  So then I started collecting sales flyers.   I have discarded most of them as I have been and done most of the things they are advertising but this one is up one the wall for consideration for 2020.   If I am well enough I will go. (Jane, who is leading the tour is my supplier of Kogin threads and fabrics.)

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Can't take my own advice!

It drives me mad when I can't do something.  This quilting with rulers thing.  I looked at the classes I had purchased on line and other things on you tube, then decided just to do it.  Not perfect by a long way, but if I don't start I will never get there.  So I got the stitch length off right even if the shapes are not confident.

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So then I took myself out to see what the wildlife was up to and there on a marker pole was the most magnificent sea eagle.  (A bit of cropping went on here to get him to a good size.)

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He lifted off and the heart sings.  Just magnificent.  Makes you realise just how insignificant my other worries are.

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