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December 2020
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February 2021

January 2021

Paper Piecing

Paper piecing can be messy and a lot of people become frustrated with this method because of this fact.  But tracing or printing the pattern from your printer onto fine interfacing can overcome this problem.  What it won't over come is when some stupid person didn't check that the interfacing was without adhesive!!


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Ironing the piece on a piece of bake paper and then giving it a spray of water overcame this, thankfully.  I need to make a trip to the mainland to buy more interfacing.

There is a great video tutorial demonstrating how to paper piece on You Tube by Angela Walters   



Those old doylies

Every so often I get the urge to troll through those old embroidery publications on-line.  One I have used a number of times is "Corticelli Home Needlework" and now I find there is a complete magazine on 'Internet Archives.'  What I like about these publications is that they have high quality colour illustrations.

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Along with very good black and white drawings of the work.

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A great source of inspiration for embroidery design.

This is only a small part of a great free on-line resource that covers 100's of catagories not just embroidery.


I have started to prepare the 6" foundation quilting blocks.  Getting the paper out at the end is a pain so I am drawing up the patterns on  a light interfacing and that can stay in each piece.

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Whilst sorting out the scraps for this I found a couple of 'orphan blocks'.  Not quite square but good enough to make a couple of place-mats.  I have to finish the binding on these.

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And the knitting is coming on although I will have to sew the nose on that head again. 

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Oh well, they say practice makes perfect.

Lockdown again.

We are all in a 3 day lock down to counter the virus, shame the teenagers and those in their 20's seem to think they are exempt here on the island.  I hate having to wear a mask but I know there is a good reason for it.  I feel like a bit of a dork walking alone with the dog down the bush tracks wearing a mask.  Then when I get back on the road there are all these young ones with no masks.  I feel like dobbing them into the police.  There is a $200 fine for non mask wearing.

I am spending my time doing some more work on my Sue Stone class.  This first class in this module asked for us to use just 3 shades of the one colour, and fill 3 areas after we stitched our outline.  This is my finished piece and I have to say I learnt a lot from the class.  (I have it soaking at the moment to remove the pen marks.)

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I used three shades of green, this lady's surname is Green so that had to be the colour I used.

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The mid green was just a normal dress making thread, I needed this to do the details and then it came in handy for lots of other stitching.

My embroidery threads have been on these cards for some time and although they store well those krinkles are annoying.

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Solution, a piece of damp kitchen sponge.  Run the thread over it and it is straight.  It dries in no time so you don't have to stop stitching.

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The outline and features offered no problems but when it came to filling the three areas I had to put my thinking cap on.  I started with the hair and used the reflection of the light to inform my stitching, using couching to put a little kink in the hair and the light colour for the high-lights.  When is came to the other two areas I had to be a bit more inventive.  Normally open filling stitches are worked on an even weave fabric and you count the threads to achieve that even look.  I was not using an even weave fabric.  For the scarf I wanted to use  Star Filling stitch for the filling.  This is normally stitched in three colours so it suited my brief.

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To overcome the fact that the fabric wasn't an even weave I charted the first stitch on some graph paper and then traced it onto tissue paper and mounted it over the area I wanted to stitch then stitched through the paper.

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The only problem with using tissue paper is getting it out from under the stitches.  I use a very sharp needle and score the paper in both direction, then remove the paper with tweasers.

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It can be messy and you have to have patience but it works.  If you do a big area the mess afterwards is the problem.

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I then came back and finished the other two layers of stitching.  This achieves that regular look I was wanting.

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For the other area the figure is in front of a chain wire fence.  The light had distorted the chain pattern so I used a water soluble pen to chart my grid and then stitched.  I think I got that distortion just right.

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Now I think I will return to my knitting for a rest.

Some good, some bad.

My husband gave me a voucher for IKEA for Xmas, so, I thought I would buy some bar stools to replace the ones I have, which are more than a little worse for wear.  I looked up the stock levels on-line, yes, there were 4 in stock but I couldn't use click and collect as I was paying by voucher.  That meant organising myself to get to the mainland and pick them up.  All that went fine but when I got there, and finally found where they were stored, there was a man ahead of me who bought them all!  Bugger!!! 

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I did get my storage bins so now my wool stash is sorted, along with moth protection, and I know just what I have there.  Far too much wool.  (There are more boxes out of the picture.)

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I found all the knitting needles I was looking for at my local Vinnies Op shop.  All still in their packets and in brand new condition $5.00 the lot, so I paid them $10 knowing I would have to pay a whole lot more if I had bought them from a shop.  AND the ladies told me about another knitting shop down the track at Beenleigh.  This is about half way to the Gold Coast and when I lived in Brisbane I would have thought it too far away.  Not now.  It is closer than Brisbane to me now.  It is called "Mean Mother's Creations" and looking at their website I think it deserves a visit.  Not to buy anything, just to look.

My first knitted toy is finished. 

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I think I will call her Dorrit.  She is knitted in left over Debbie Bliss baby cashmino wool and is a bit smaller than if I had used the recommended wool.  I blocked the little dress and it made a noticeable difference to the finish.  Such fun to knit.

Knitting Wools

When I said that I had a stash of knitting wools I really didn't know how much I actually had.  I pulled most of it out and put it on the bed.

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Boy have I got some stash.  Some of it was bought from growers in N.Z.  Some when I visited Scotland.  Some in Denmark, some in South America. Some from India and some from local sales and Op. shops.

I was thinking about getting some more wool to knit my animals, NO.  I am just going to have to get in and use this lot up.

My next animal is a bear.  I went to buy a pattern and found I had already bought it, back in 2013!  Thank goodness Ravelry kept it safe for me.

Screen Shot 2021-01-05 at 5.27.08 pmI have a ball of Alpaca that I will knit the body in if it isn't enough I will just have to give him spots.

What I do need are fine knitting needles.  I went to both Spotlight and Lincraft and neither keep fine needles any more.  Looks like I will have to make a visit to Yarn Glorious Yarn.  That is very dangerous territory for me.  They are not open again until the end of the month so I might do an op shop search first and I definately need some more storage boxes.


I have managed to get back to my 'Stitch you Story' class and have finally finished Module 2.  The last exercise was hair.  I hated it.  It drove me mad, I just couldn't stitch how I wanted.  A little sprite in my mind seemed to take over and said "do it this way".  This way wasn't what I wanted at all!!

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The other things I have been working on are my Bunny, who I showed you yesterday.  I am working on her dress.

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And experimenting with a new design for an "Exploring More Stitches" class I will teach this year.  Only rough sketches to date but I think this one will work. 

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I am making a proto-type of the project bag that I want to use the embroidery on the front of.  With the price of good embroidery linen being over $100 per metre ( excuse me, I just checked and they want $204.00 per metre now,)I want to minimize the amount of linen that students would have to purchase to just the front panel.  They could use all linen if they wanted to but classes are expensive so keeping the materials at a reasonable cost is important.  The remainder could be made from recycled materials  or other fabrics from their stash.

The list for 2021

So, the list of "To Do's" is ready for the coming year.  Last year saw me take the opportunity to finish many outstanding projects.  This year, although that list has been reduced, I haven't added all the things I could have.  I know that with Home Schooling my time is going to be limited so no use setting goals that will be impossible.  I might find time to do some of them but then again I may not.  No need to set impossible expectations.  I have left lots of spaces to add extras.

(Oh dear, I forgot the charity quilt! I will have to add that.)

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The "Stitching Faces" class with Sue Stone and the book "Faces of Friendship" are linked.  Those are the faces of my quilting friends and the friendship blocks they gave me all those years ago.  It just so happens that the classes facilitate my portraits of friends.  The first section was of those friends who have died.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.25.09 amIn the next section the portraits will be more detailed.  These will be of members of the group who have moved away but whom I still count as friends.

That Graffitti Quilt requires just one more applique to the main section.  I was going to add a border but now I'm not so sure.


I am way behind on the 'Stitch Club' classes.  I'm not sure that I want to stitch all of them so I will 'cherry pick' the ones I find interesting.  I will keep my subscription for the year to these classes and then review where I am going.  Those quilting gifts for Easter are well on the way to being finished so I will keep these for my weekends when I visit Toowoomba, then again it might be better to just 'get in' and get then done.

I did decide to make my Charity donation knitted animals this year.  I have nearly finished the first one.  Just her dress to go.  These are really relaxing to work on at night listening to music or a podcast.  (I have to re-do the mouth.  I didn't have any tapestry wool.)

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But high on the list is my teaching sample for "Exploring More Stitches".  That is now drawn up and needs to be finished by the end of the month.

The Kogin stitched bags will be for Xmas gifts at the end of the year and they are my indulgence.

Now I just need fate to step in and blow it all out of the water!!!

A look back before heading forward

Well that was different, the year past that is. 

Personally there were a lot of positives, some downs, but that is life.   People keep saying "when life returns to normal", meaning the way it was.  I don't think we will return to that 'normal' we will have to negotiate a new form of normal just to go forward.

I pulled out my "To Do" list for 2020 to see just how I went.

Screen Shot 2021-01-02 at 1.11.03 pmNot too bad considering.  I had to adjust to the new conditions of COVID and when I listed the things I had done, extra to this list, I wonder where I found the time.

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There were some major life events this year past.   The marriage of my daughter,

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and the deaths of my beloved dogs Charlie and Chester,

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then the arrival of Bear.

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Also, in the last part of the year, taking on the home schooling of my grand daughter.  This is going to be my biggest challenge for the next two years until she gets to high school.

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So overall there were more positives than negatives.  No-one I know died from the virus, which is a wonderful blessing.  My Quilting friendships  have just became deeper and more meaningful.  I will still be able to attend the Embroiderers' Guild on the occasional Saturday.  I got a new car and although there were a few 'wobbles' I managed my PTSD remarkably well.  Physically things took a step backwards, but I can still function and I now have a permanent disability parking sticker for the car,  so that is a plus.  (This could have happened when I was knocked down by that car when I was 16, but it has held off until I was old.)   The only big minus' is the inability to travel, outside our state or overseas and not being able to go to concerts or plays and really that is just an inconvenience. 

Now to make some plans for this coming year!!!