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April 2024

How did I miss these books?

I am ill as a result of a flu innoculation. 

I knew I would be, but the risk of getting the actual flu was too high and the outcome too severe, so, I have opted for being ill voluntarily.   So, not too much sewing going on at the moment as I am lying around, but, I can read.  Then the problem was what to read?  I like "Who dunit's"  (detective fiction) but have read just about everyone, and the thrill of working out who did it doesn't really "cut it" with re-reading books.  So I went looking for old books, of the Agatha Christie vintage, and happened upon the books by Marjory Allingham. 

The "four queens" of this style of writting were Christie, Marsh, Sayers and Allingham.

Screen Shot 2024-04-28 at 10.32.50 amThe writting is very dated and I took me a number of chapters to adjust to the "older style" of writting, but once I did I was hooked. 

The books were written 100 years ago, literally, and putting myself back to that time took some adjustment in my mind.  People talked, thought and acted  differently to today and Oh these books are a window into what that time was like.  At one point the main characters are driving around London and out to the suburbs "and there are no other cars on the road".  That alone is mind boggling and the role of women is so different from today.

These books would make wonderful period dramas for TV,  I can see all the characters up there on the screen.  I wonder why no-one has thought of that? 

So I am reading the series of "Campion Mysteries" , starting with book 1, "The Crime at Black Dudley".

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Pure escapism, and it has kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the last chapter. 

As an aside, I see that Agatha Christie wrote of the author that "She stand out as a shining light" and JK Rowling felt the same,  I have to agree.


I need to get my clothes finished before the cold weather sets in.  This skirt is cut out ready to go,

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and I bought some woollen boucle for a top and

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heavy black cotton for some slacks.

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They will be finished!!!

(I hope by next week?)

I have started a new set of 6 place-mats on which I want to practice the patterns from the new books.  I photocopied 6 patterns before I put the books into the library and merrily rushed in BUT I didn't read the instructions correctly and then was left wondering why it didn't look right.  Still useable, but not right.

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So now I am drawing grids onto the fabric, a slow process but this should give a better result.

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I am using a Bohin chalk pencil which should brush off,  if not I know it will wash off.  I bought this lovely Japanese fabric at a "de-stash day" at $5 per metre.  What a steal?


(And I forgot to upload the plate cosie pattern yesterday, it is now there.)

Plate Cosies

This project has been on the go for ages.  I started it long before I became ill and I just never seemed to get anywhere with it.  But, now the "plate cosies "are finished.  There have been made to fit a full size dinner plate and I used this project to learn how to machine quilt straight line patterns.  Each one consists of a front and back piece, so 12 different patterns and lots of thread used.

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I used the same fabric for the back of each piece and three different fabrics for the front.  For the example in the picture above I used a serpentine stitch, which is a built in stitch on my machine.  There are so many 'fancy stitches' on machines these days I am going to experiment with these and see what I can come up with.

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Place mats and coasters are a good way to experiment and it is  time I replaced my old ones.  I don't like machine stitching nearly as much as hand work but it is still stitching.

There are lots of patterns for these cosies on the web but here is another one.

Download Plate Cosie

Some new books

I bought these three books for the library for my quilting group, Star Sea Quilters, and I think I need to buy my own copies.

I did a on-line course a number of years ago with Jacque Geering and have all the notes but that is not as detailed as the information you find in a book.

The books are

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I have already written about this one here.  This book could keep you going forever with ways to quilt.

Walk 2

This book builds on the first book with a lot more patterns but also good advice about how you compose your quilting and how you suit the patterns to the quilt.

I know that some people like to do the piecing of a quilt and then hand over their work to a long arm quilter, that is what I have done in the past and there will some quilts that I will do just that with in the future but having the ability to design, piece and quilt my work is very appealing.  Since I am slowing losing the use of my right arm this is something that will keep me sewing.


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The third book is written in collaboration with Katie Pedersen with lots of other ways to quilt.

Screen Shot 2024-04-19 at 3.46.04 pmIf you are like me and you find 'free motion' quilting a challenge these three books could give you access to lots of quilting skills.



I have finished the block for the new "tea cloth" for my cottage patchwork group.  It is hard to see but I have embellished the design printed on the fabric I used for the cup.  I couldn't fit my middle name in so I embroidered some Rosemary between my first and last names.  (my middle name is Rosemary.)

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I continue with my quilting.  Slow work just one large square of fabric a day.

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My friend Angela found me some fabric from France (Provence) at a sale, so after a number of years I have pulled out my breakfast cloth and am working on it again.  The fabric is the right colours but there is far more sizing in this fabric which is making applique difficult.  Still, there is enough fabric for napkins as well.

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And as I have so many mini frames I am making small embroideries to go in them.

A bit of shopping

I did an on-line course concerning "Quilting with your walking-foot" with Jacquiie Gering a few years ago and as I can no longer access it I decided to buy the book.

(It is on special at Booktopia.)

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It has got me thinking about 'angles' and how we measure them.  You can buy a quilting ruler and use this but I wanted to understand the math, which turns out to be a bit more complicated.

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  It is far more accurate if you use metric rather than imperial measurements.  (I should have guessed that!) and I made a chart for myself as well.

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I think I will just use the ruler, all the thinking is done for me!

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But, I can highly recommend this book.

I'm glad that is over.

I don't want to go back there! 

This has all been brought on because I have moved from being Gluten intolerant to being Celiac.  This is going to take major adjustment with my eating habits.  Added to this I had my gall bladder removed a couple of years ago so how my liver reacts to fats had been added to the mix.  Last week I was very ill, so ill I wanted to just die but now I have recovered and I think myself "so silly".

My other BIG problem is that I have mixed up my apple log in, now I am blocked.  That one is going to take a bit more thought.

Before I fell ill I met a friend for lunch at Sandgate.  Now, I always thought this a bit of a hole but I need to eat my words.  I am going to have to explore all the water lily covered billabongs, the wonderful turn of the century houses, which look very much like the houses I remember from New Orleans and sit and contemplate the foreshores.

Sandgate sits opposite Moreton Island, which marks the northern end of islands where I live.  This day the weather was foul but the skys were wonderful.

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I have never sat and really looked at the sands before, but this day I noticed that all "the dogs' thought it was heaven as did the birds. 

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They just loved the place.

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The Ibus (bin chickens because they are always raiding rubbish bins) were out there in force digging in the sand and the sandflats looked like Staves of music just waiting for the notes to be written.

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I was surpised at how clear the water was, you could see the foot prints of the ibus below the surface.

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And not only the birds and dogs were effected by this place.  Joggers,

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People ridding bikes, some of whom just got off the bike and sat on the sea wall,

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and other patrons of the cafe were equally effected.

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To add to this there was a wonderful old 'paperbark' tree that was flowering and full of birds just outside the cafe.

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I wonder if I can make an embroidery of its trunk?

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My friend and I intend to meet  here more often.