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May 2021

June 2021

The borders

I am much more within my comfort zone putting a binding on a quilt.  Not nearly as confronting as using paints on fabric and it is a job that has to be done.  Even if it is a bit boring, but, it is necessary.

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I am really surprised by how many people are Ohhing and Ahhing over this quilt.  I think it's the fabric.  It is an exact replica for the Beatrix Potter illustrations in her books.  Those people who look at the quilt are remembering the pleasure they had when reading them as a child.  I know that is what first attracted me to the fabric.

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I hope the child that receives this quilt loves it as well.  I think I might buy a couple of those little books to include with the quilt so that the pleasure can be handed onto another generation.  If you follow the link  to "Those little books"  you will find all kinds of activities for children (and those who are children at heart.)  Even though I live on the other side of the world my visits to Hill Top Farm are amongst some of my most special memories.

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Beatrix Potter was a great embroiderer as well as all her other accomplishments.  All the embroidery on the bed surrounds etc were done by her. 

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You can not take photos and there were very few post cards available to buy in the National Trust shop.  Researching her embroidery would make a great project for someone and I am sure that reproductions of her work in kits would sell.  There's a business idea for someone.

The first tests

I have taken a range of fabrics that I want to use for my portrait embroideries and tested the paints and pens that I have.  I didn't know that I had so many, enough for a whole box full.


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I tried to keep the test consistent by replicating the same paints and pencil tests on each test fabric.

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I used 2 different types of linen, 2 cottons and one cotton/linen mix.  The results for each were predictable according to the fabric fibre source but just how each product performed was not.  This will be a valuable resource for future work.  Hopefully this will cut down on mistakes in the future but one can never be 100% sure.  In fact I think this is activity has been an exercise in procrastination on my part.  I just don't want to start.  I hate making mistakes but you never learn unless you take a chance.

I might put this away now and do some quilting.



We have another week until end of term so I am still restricted with my use of the computer, but, there will be a new timetable next term and perhaps I might have some more time to sew.

My donation quilt is nearly finished, just the binding to go.  I used up all the Peter Rabbit fabric I had for this one.

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I found the printed panels were not printed quite straight which meant that I had to separate each row so that the quilt would end up square but still look alright.

I had the length but not the width so had to cut and piece every bit of fabric I had for the borders to make it wide enough.

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I managed to combine 3 fabrics for the back. I just used a stipple pattern to quilt the top, the design was too busy for anything else.  Now only the binding remains to be done.

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Whilst waiting for my yarn to be delivered to finish and start my projects I have embarked on my first knitted dog.  A Puggle who's name is "Nugget".  I will be interested to see how this knits up.

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And, I have had one false start on my next portrait, I'm not sure how I will stitch this one, so I put it aside.

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Then, I got out all the fabric pens and some paint.  I had no idea that I had so much.  I will need to do some experiments first with these.

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I then sketched out a design from an old photograph that was taken with a box brownie back in the 1960's.  It isn't a good photograph, I think my sister took it and she would have been 9 or 10 years old at the time.  But it is the only one I have of my two grandmothers.  You can't see the detail very well but I remember every detail of their faces and their clothing.  It was taken in the front yard of our 1950's home and I remember the flowers in the garden, the venetians on the windows and the railing around the verandah.  That verandah was all sand stone flagstones and I had to scrub it with a sandstone and scrubbing brush.  My Mother wanted no marks on the stone and the lady that came in to help in the house wouldn't do them.  (My Mother had terminal cancer by this time and I would do anything to make her life a little easier.)

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I hope this one turns out well, there are a lot of memories attached to this photo.

Taking bets

I had to place an order for some extra wool from Scotland, so I ordered a bit more to make a beret.  At the same time my grand daughter requested a new cardigan and we decided on a Drops pattern.

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She is growing up and will be a 11 at the end of the year but I feel the teenage angst already.  She wants this cardigan but in a dark colour because she would like to be a "Goth".  (I've been through that with her aunt!)

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So at the same time I ordered wool from Scotland I placed an order with Bendigo Woollen Mills.  They have a nice wool/bamboo yarn that doesn't prickle and is soft on the skin.

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Now I have to wait for both wools. 

I have had two Emails.  One from Scotland.

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One from Australia.

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I am placing bets that the goods from the other side of the world will get here first!!

What are the odds?



To bad about the knitting.  I am just short on the amount of wool I need.  I have to wait for the rest to come from Scotland.

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And I am underway with the next portrait.  I would have liked to use some paints on this one but it needs to be the same as the others in this section.  Lots of slow stitching.

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Another day

I think that it is actually winter now.  The temperature ranges from about 6 to 22 degrees C but the sun shines and the days are beautiful. Even the weeds look good.

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I walk the dog along the beach or along the forest paths and just can't believe how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place.

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  But many  people only see the beauty and don't realise just how dangerous these beautiful waters around our islands are.  Just on the other side of Stradbroke Island  (seen in the distance) the Pacific Ocean pounds in causing currents and dangerous waters in our bay.

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Even when the jet skiers travel in groups they can come to grief.

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There are dangerous currents, sharks, and other dangers that people underestimate.  In the last few weeks two young men have lost their lives, although as yet their bodies have not been recovered.  One was a jet skier the other a paddler.  Both have disappeared without a trace.

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It pays to respect Mother Nature and not take liberties.

Some art Quilts

I had some one ask me about some quilting recently and during the time when I was researching the answer I came across OZ quilt network.

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They have some great traveling exhibitions and some of these you can look at on-line. One of these is Australia Wide Seven.  Some great inspiration here.  I think that "Blue Grass is my favourite piece.

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It is simple yet elegant and that stitching just makes it special.

Some more stitched portraits

I have been exploring the work of Nicole O'loughlan .

This piece stitched on a recycled piece of linen is what first caught me attention.

(Self portrait as work in progress, 2020, hand embroidery with found embroidery appliqued on linen, 20x20)

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She is an artist from Tasmania and I am finding her work very interesting.  These are all hand stitched and tell such an interesting story.

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She has a great web-page and blog.    Certainly someone to follow.

6th Month Review

We are at the half way point through the year.  Where did the time go? And looking at the list I made myself back in January I haven't done too much.

 I have finished a charity quilt, but I forgot to add that to the original list.

Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 3.47.48 pmI am having second thoughts about the Easter Gifts, I think the pattern is too small, these may end up in the bin.

I have made some progress on the Stitching Faces but am up to learning how to use paints and pencils on fabric and that is taking some time.

The rest of the list is all part done, nothing completed.  I know I have been ill but I'm not very happy with myself at the moment. 

When I finish the knitted shawl, which wasn't on the list, I am going back to those animals.  Julie Edwards has a new set of pattern, all dogs.

They are just so adorable I don't know where to start.

Girl dogs

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Boy dogs

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I bought my pattern from her Ravelry site and it only cost about $10 Australian for more than 10 different dogs and 4 Sweaters plus a pair of shorts.  It was a 40 page print out, a small book!!

I have completed 6 of the knitted toys out of the 12 I set myself to do, the dogs should finish off that lot.  For the rest, I just have to knuckle under and get to it.


The only thing that I have worked on all the time has been my knitting, and, I have had my loyal little companion sitting with me for every stitch.

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I have finished the lace border and am now into the boring bit of knitting the body of the shawl.  I just hope I have enough wool!  If not I will have to send to Scotland for more and that could take some time.  I finished the donation quilt and that has gone in to be quilted.  I am still not up to something as big as that to do.  There is a 4 to 6 week wait for that to be finished.  (There must be lots of ladies making quilts I think.)

I have started the drawings for the shell embroideries and was surprised at just how geometric the patterns on the shells are.  Lines, dots, dashes and triangles.

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Now I have to start thinking about how I will stitch them.  My plan was to do very small 1.5" pieces but now I'm not so sure.Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 8.19.30 am

They actually make quite a nice repeat pattern.  I might have to play around with that for a bit.