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November 2020

October 2020

Feed back on the pods

A little time ago I mentioned that I was going to make some small pods.  I had a couple of tutorials that I had found on line, plus a little pod that came with some ear-rings I was given.  I was going to experiment with cardboard and plastic forms, plus, different sizes. 

After I had finished I looked back at these tutorials and realised there was an important difference.  The first (the Asian one) only used a lining with NO shape form.  The second (the Olive purse) used a shape form for both pieces.  I based my samples on the Olive purse but on reflection think the Asian example might have been better.

Using the Olive purse tutorial I prepared my pieces attaching the wadding with tacky glue, then gathered and laced the pieces in position.


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For the smaller pod I used a plastic plate to make the form.  I also tried an old Xray film but found that it was too flexable and the image changed the colour of the fabric.

The larger pod used a cardboard form and this worked quite well but I'm not sure how durable it will be.  It is great size for keeping small projects or sewing tools in.

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The smaller one I made to keep ear-rings in when I travel.

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I am not happy with the finish of these samples so dug out my old pod and had a good look at it.  Firstly, I have had this pod for at least 30 years, so, it looks a bit used, but, it is well used and still works well.

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The leaves are not as well held together as the ones I have sewn, but they do the job and have done for some time.

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When I pushed them apart I see that the joining method is different.

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And that the lining has no plastic insert.

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I now have to go back to the drawing board and refine this design.   I will make another using the plastic plate and maybe recycle a plastic juice bottle.  (This plastic is a bit thicker.)  I will not put a form in the lining but stitch it straight into position and then use the joining method used in my old pod.  It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be.


Last embroidery finished!!!!

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Well I hope it is the last one.   I might have to re-do one of the designs I have omitted if it is needed when I assemble the quilt.  But for now I will allow myself the luxury of saying, FINISHED!!

Design Decisions

As the final stitches are added to the last embroidery I just can't put off making final decisions about how I am going to make this quilt.  Some things have been decided. 

  • It is going to be a raffle quilt for the Embroiderers Guild. 
  • It should be about single bed size. 
  • It needs to appeal to people so that they will buy tickets.
  • It should be finished in time for 2021.
  • It will be stipple quilted.

With these things in mind I decided that it should incorporated hexies, in fact mostly hexies.  I laid out the hexies and then decided that each embroidery needed a border around them so they fitted the shape better.  I have decided on a 1.25" size for the hexie.

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I can't decide if that border should be a plain or printed fabric.

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I don't think that I can really decide this until I have the hexies in place.
And plain paper hexi's doesn't give me the answer to that.   So, I am going to have to cover enough that I can place them on top of the plain and printed fabric to compare them.

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Since last I made a hexi quilt, which was when my daughter was playing football and I would sit and sew on the edge of the field.  In fact I sewed so many I had enough for a queen sized quilt!

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I no longer have to cut all my own papers.  You can now buy them pre-cut.  That saves a lot of work.  I also see that some people glue them and some tack them onto the papers.   Looking at Mary Corbett's site I see she tacks hers.  I think I will stick with what I know.  OMG, she is so neat and organised!  Although she denies this.

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So my next task is to get stitching and cut the fabric ready.  I might look at how many hexies I need, I have ordered papers for 1,000.  This might not be enough, we will see.  This is a good task I can do while I home school.  Not taxing and easy to take up and put down.

Taking longer to adjust than I thought

My son and his family have now moved out of their home and into the home of their in-laws, who have moved into a caravan.  Their house is on acreage so there is plenty of room, but oh the disruptions!!  I have to drive for 2 hours to get their to pick up my grand daughter to bring her here.  I meet her mother at a midway point on the return  journey.  But still, there is a lot of driving.  4 hours return to get her and 2 hours to return her.  That is really eating into my time. Then there are the days home schooling.   Adding insult to injury someone ran into my car in the parking lot at the supermarket.  No note, no nothing just a ding in the car.  I have tried to push the panel into place but it will need to go to the panel beater.

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The car is less than a month old and I have to get to Toowoomba in a couple of weeks and then to my daughters wedding, which is out in the countryside.  I am tempted to leave it until the end of next month when I have got through everything.  But it has to be done.  I might just have to hire a car whilst it is being fixed.  More expense.

The government has increased the number you can have at a wedding from 10 to 20 so we can at least have the immediate families attending.  My daughter has not decided on what she will wear.  At first it was going to be her hiking gear!!  Then she looked in Charity Shops.  I took her shopping and we bought a couple of dresses but I don't think these are what she wants.  It is getting a bit close for something to be made.   If it comes to that it will be me making it as she is about to start University examinations.

She is very concerned with the environment, hence the recycled clothing.  And, as the reception will be in the garden of the country house she asked me to find 20 recycled champagne flutes.  Off to the Op shops and at an out of the way Salvation Army shop I found them.

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What a mismatched collection?  Some are glass, some are crystal and all of them came out of the dishwasher looking good.  Some of the crystal glasses still had their original labels on them.  They must have been very precious to someone.


A little bit of stitching, only what I can do when I am supervising lessons and homework.  This is the last block for the quilt.  I had to look up the sequence of the colours for the rainbow.  Still, I should have this finished this week.

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Now I have to make the decisions about how I will make that quilt!

The other positive thing is that I have rebound my embroidery frames with the new cotton tape I found.  What a difference.  Everything sits so much better.  I think I will go back and get enough tape to rebind every frame.  All I need now is more time to stitch.

Lots of action

The current situation with Covid 19 virus has seen lots of people moving out to the islands.  What with the home buyers grants and the cheap land on some of islands to the south of us this area has seen more activity than anywhere else in the state.  Land and houses on our island are not cheap.  You could buy something cheaper on the mainland and the logistics of building out here add to the costs.  Still, everyday the barges bring tradesmen and people over to the island.

I have seen old houses relocated here.  Not that many but some and today a brand new house came over.  I was going to catch the barge but decided on the ferry when I saw them loading this on.

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Not long after it arrived on the island.

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Two halves of the new house were delivered.  The truck turned around and was gone.  I will be interested to see where it is located and what it looks like when they join the two halves together.

Returning from sick leave

I have had another week where I was out of action.  Well mostly out of action.  I still had to supervise home schooling 3 days each week.  I have to say it is a bit of a struggle when you are not feeling well but all that has to be put aside and you just have to 'do it.'   But doing it means that I have done no housework and time for sewing is non existent.  So, next week I will only have to be on duty 1 day, but, I have to drive to pick her up the day before and then drive her back the next day.  I wish my husband was still working, he is a challenge putting in his 20c worth all the time.  (I will have to find something to keep him out of the way.)   I must say I am learning a lot with the home schooling.  The classes I like the best are Art, Reading and Library.  The one I am finding most challenging is Technology.  The rest are good but I just do them.  (Ha, ha, I am a kid again.)

I had morning tea with a friend at the end of the week and dropped into my Patchwork shop on the way home.  I didn't make a special trip.  I was just driving past.  And guess what?  They had a sale on.  I got some good linen/cotton embroidery fabric and buttons at half price.  Well worth stopping for.

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I also found some cotton tape for binding my hoops,  no more ripping up calico to do this.

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And I found an embroidery kit marked down from $22 to $2.

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When I opened it I could see that someone had started stitching and then stopped and returned it.

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But, it had a good quality hoop in the kit and $2 was such a good price.  Even if I don't stitch out the embroidery it was worth buying for the hoop.  I think I will stitch it up.  It is a good project for stitching at the Guild.  Gives me the opportunity to stitch and talk.  That sounds just lovely.


I don't have much time to stitch now that I am home schooling my grand daughter but I take my Medici sample with me to try.  Problem is that it is just like one of those puzzles where you mustn't take your pencil off the paper when you have to draw a shape.  So, little progress.

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I am also about to embark on an experiment to make  a small container, I think they are called a Thimble Pip or Clam-shell purse.  They look like this.


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I have found an Asian tutorial on how to make them and I know that Clover have a set of templates you can buy, (in the USA), these use a templastic base.  But my experience of them has been as holders for necklaces etc.   These ones seem to be made on a cardboard base.  So I am going to make one of each.  Every other tutorial I have found shows you how to draw the shape using a compass.  (I ditched mine years ago.)  I want to use my drawing program  for this.  I will let you know how I go.

Something else to keep me on my toes.

BEFORE I took on the role of home teacher I had taken on the role of the Secretary of the Coochiemudlo Artisan's Collective.  By the time all the home schooling stuff had started it was too late to back out of the position.  So, this is another hat I have to juggle for a while.  (I promised them 2 years.)  I always knew there were lots of creative people on the island I just didn't realise HOW creative or HOW many people there were.

Their show case opened in the space beside the Kerlew Cafe and was named Artisan Alley.  It opens on weekends and does a brisk trade.  Then the cafe owner offered the area upstairs as a gallery which is now fully functional. 

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This place has some really talented artists and Bryan Kearns is one of them.  Brian's area of practise is as an Abstract painter.  Originally from England where he studied at Leeds College of Art and then at the University of East Anglia.  After migrating to Australia he worked at the Queensland College of Art.  His work kind of draws you into the painting.

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If I didn't have the bottom of the cupboard full of paintings I have nowhere to hang I would be tempted to add this to my collection.  The other piece I would like to buy is this chicken.  So much personality!  ( by Artist Yvonne O'Shea)

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Life is certainly going to be interesting.  I hope I can cope.

Taking Stock

The past month has been difficult but I hope I am coming out the other side.  Home Schooling starts this week and I must say I am worried about it.  It is the 'thinking about everything that could go wrong' that is my main problem.  I'm sure that when I get into it I will be fine.  When I was teaching full time Sunday night was always sleepless as I would worry about the weeks lessons.  Come Monday morning I was into it and I never had any of the problems that I had imagined.

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Yesterday I gave my first lesson since lock down, with all Covid 19 safe practices in place.  I over-thought that as well. I prepared booklets with illustrations of how to stitch so that I wouldn't have to violate students 1.5m distancing regulations.  It was one of the most drama free lessons I have ever taught.  All just followed the instructions and there were not that many questions.  But it didn't have that level of social interaction I am used to.  Being out side of 'that circle we use' when interacting has an effect on how we connect.  I have to work out some way of replacing this with some other action.   Also, the restrictions meant that we couldn't share food.  I normally serve an afternoon tea during the break in the lesson and this acts as a wonderful way to get people talking and enjoying themselves.  Now everyone has to bring their own tea or coffee.  Not the same at all.  It just goes to show what social creatures we are and how much we take for granted.  This could go on for some time yet and how to adjust safely is going to keep us all out of our comfort zones.