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October 2021


I have to say that stitching these letters is one of the most painful experiences I have ever had!


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I'm not sure that Quaker stitch is for me.  I had great difficulty splitting the thread,  stitching the curves on the letters just wouldn't work the way I wanted it to go and I unpicked it several times.  Maybe I am over reacting?  It doesn't look so bad now that it is finished.

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The other thing I had been stressing over is if I should spray the little bowls for my pin cushions, with a mat or a gloss finish?  There isn't all that much difference!!

  But, I think the gloss is marginally better and it has a nicer feel in the hand. (That's my little 'Bear' looking very artistic in the background.  The calendar was a gift from my friend Teena.)

Feral Flowers

I usually collect my flowers from the bush on a Sunday but this week I was on duty at our Island Art Gallery.  It is only a 4 hours shift but I was busy this time, actually selling our Artisan's Art.  (The merchandiser in me saw lots of things I think could be improved.)  After this I rushed off the island to pick up a small table I wanted for one of the balconies.  Wouldn't you know, the weather changed and I can't sit outside at the moment.

But I did take a walk with the dog and collected my 'feral flowers' from the bush.

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There are lots of this type of bush on the island that produces these red berry's.  The other flower is an iris.   In fact the berry bushes are everywhere and I can see why with the amount of seeds that they make.  Pretty little berries that look great, but I don't see the birds eating them and every bush is loaded with them.

I am having fun playing with all the new apps that I am learning about.  The little china dog was given to me by my friends mother, it is special.  Mrs Veira had come to Australia from Jamaica back in the 1970's and among her possessions was this little dog. It is stamped 'Beswick England' on the base and has a lady beetle on it's nose.  My friend married my husband's best friend and moved to Victoria Mill, (a big sugar mill) away from her mother, and, my husband and I started businesses in Cairns, where Mrs Veira lived.  She became my surrogate mother when I had my first child.  When she became ill she decided to return to Jamaica to end her days where she had been born and raised and gave me this little dog.  My friend has a matching one and I have offered to give it to her but she says no, her mother wanted me to have it.

I am getting quite a collection of these photo's now, well one a week.  I have an idea to make them into something, well actually a few 'somethings'.  A bit late for Xmas 2021 but maybe 2022?

Whilst Surfing

I am still looking for the perfect computer program to design my embroidery patterns, and although this doesn't fit the bill, the designs on this site are really cute.

It is a Swedish Company called the Folklore Company.  Most of the designs seem to be for cross stitch, but hey, cross stitch is great for treating stress.  You don't have to think, it is quick and easy, and the repetitive nature of the stitching brings your blood pressure down.

There are lots of cute quotes to stitch, which are great for presents.

Screen Shot 2021-10-09 at 11.42.50 am(all images from their web-site)

And they have a function on their site where you can customise any of the designs.

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They have a huge gallery of designs. ( On exploring the site a bit further it is all about Cross Stitch and you can design you own here.)

I see that amongst their designers are two that I have used often in the past.  Jacob from Modern Folk,

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Jacob's designs draw on Quaker designs quite a bit and I have loved stitching them.  (Oh! just found another one I might do.)

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and Karin Holmberg.

Screen Shot 2021-10-09 at 11.57.27 amHer site is in Swedish but the embroidery is great.

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There are a number of designers I haven't heard of before listed here.  I have hours of fun ahead!



Most of my work at the moment seems to be Tech related, which, although I have to learn it, I do not find easy.  In fact it stresses me out.  But I have started on the practice of my Quaker Stitch, which is also stressful.

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I am working hard on my lessons on "Art on the Ipad" and am starting to come up with some pleasing images.  Although, again, it isn't what I expected.  I want to use this to improve my embroidery designing skills but sometimes I get other results.  An example of this has been the images I have been taking for my 'Feral Flowers".  I have started to play around with some of the apps on these images.  This is one I thought of turning into an embroidery.

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But found that it made a great large print for the wall.

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Which has got me looking at  my "feral flowers" in a new light all together.  I would still like to make a set of small embroideries using these flowers  but I think there will be other ways of looking at these.

Computer Re- learning

For years I have used an embroidery drawing program that I got from Nordic Needle, but it has got so old that it no longer works on the new computers and there has never been an upgrade, but, I hung onto an old computer so that I could still use it.  Now that has died.  I also have an industrial drawing program called  Easy Draw which works on a MAC and I use this for vector drawing.  In my other life as a high school teacher I used it for Tech Drawing.  (Some kids only had Apple machines at home so this was for them.) 

I have never used this program to it's full potential and now is the time to learn.  I have been driven to it by the fact that I need a program that allows me to draw 'between the lines' for my Kogin designs, most of the other programs (except the very expensive ones) only draw 'on the line' which does not fit my need.  I am not good with Tech.  I get by and can do things I need to do, but that doesn't mean I 'understand' what I am doing.  Now I find that even my Mac program will 'automatically' try to correct my drawing by putting the line on the grid.  We are in a deadly battle here my computer and I.

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Luckily I have until 2022 to get this drawing finished.  So, it's an hour or so a day of practice.  I just have to remember not to lose my temper with it.

There is  Illustrator from Adobe.  You have to pay a monthly payment for this, $30 per month for just a few drawing, this is far too expensive.

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There is also Inkscape which is a free, open source program.

Screen Shot 2021-10-02 at 9.56.12 amI think that I need to explore just what this program can do as well. Both Inkscape and EasyDraw will also work on my Ipad, which is a great plus.

But, it is back to the battle with EasyDraw to get this Kogin design charted.

I thought computers were supposed to improve our lives?

New Book

This book's name gives it's content away, "Quilt Recipes" by Jen Kingwell. 

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The thing that is different about this book is that most of the designs are for hand quilting and piecing plus there are some great food recipes as well.  It is a book that I will use over and over I think.  Her use of colour is wonderful as is her ablility to make the old traditional blocks look modern.

You can see a short promo on You Tube, or a longer in depth Question and Answer.


As her company wholesales here is a list of her stockists in Australia.  

I know that she also sells in the USA but am not sure just where.

Jen has some good videos on You Tube with hand quilting tips.

( I do not know Jen and am not getting any commissions for this post, I just like her work.)

Stuck at home.

Oh, that second vaccination shot date is getting closer, only a couple of weeks to go.  But until then I am stuck at home, mostly.  I missed the Carnival of Flowers and the Quilt Exhibition due to these broken ribs, that is 2 years now that I haven't seen these.  I am feeling quite sorry for myself.  Luckily I have the internet and even if I can travel here at home, or, overseas I can look at some of what I am missing on my computer screen.  So here is some eye candy.  Just sit and dream of the day when we can hit the road again.


Happy Birthday Pammie.