Books Feed

Something to explore

I came across Teresa's patchwork videos whilst looking at Facebook and found her methods very engaging in fact I almost became addicted to them.  They are all short and easy to watch.  There are actually 200 videos on the playlist!  The mind boggles.

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I followed this up because I was looking for easy, yet attractive designs to use for my donation quilts.  In fact I probably didn't need to buy the book because everything is here. But being old school and having had trouble constantly with access to the internet I decided to get the book.

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Teresa is Spanish and has a particular skill is seeing patterns.  I am going to try this first quilt in the book.  It looks fairly straight forward and the quilting is simple.  

Scan 50I just hope I can make it with the fabric from my stash, because that is what making donation quilts requires for me.  Somehow or other I have to use up all that fabric I have collected!

This book is clearly written, the photography is good and having the backup of the videos means I can watch the parts I find difficult being done on the screen.  (Over and over again.)



New Book

This is one of those "can't put it down" types of books.  I do like the way Anne Cleeves writes.  Her development of her characters takes you right into her stories.  And if you watch the TV series of Vera and like it, you will like this book.  I read it over one day and a night.  Well, being laid up means I have lots of time to read.  "The darkest evening" is a most enjoyable read.

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Here is a link to a good interview with the author.

Last treatment

I had the last treatment for the infection I have been fighting yesterday, so I celebrated by buying a new book, "Quilts from Tilda's Studio".

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I have to say I am a fan of the Tilda range of fabrics and the quilts in this book are an inspiration, along with the toys that are pictured with them.

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The toys are not in the book but you can download the patterns for free from their blog.

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If you are into dolls have a look at "Tilda's Friends".  All free patterns again.

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I do like how they incorporate traditional Scandinavian Designs into their quilts and pillows.

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There are a number of pin cushions on this page as well.

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My friend Angela also sent me some images of pin cushions by Kelly Klien.  I will be making pincushions for ever.

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Another Reference Book

Why would I possibly need another reference book?  I have quite a library already.  Well, I read Mary Corbet's review of this book and decided that on the basis of that review I really needed this book.

Willing hands really does have a great section on finishing, but there is a lot more to this book.  ( You can get a good idea of what is in the book from the gallery on Inspirations web page.)

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What hasn't been said is how many great small projects there are.  Now is the time to start stitching for Xmas and this book has some small but do-able projects.

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The problem is going to be how to STOP yourself starting some of the bigger projects.

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Living in a digital world

I had made the move to digital books some time ago but the lock down has moved me even further into this world.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my hard copy of a book and there are some that I don't like to read digitally.  But novels read better on my Ipad and I am now finding that I like some of my magazines delivered that way, but not my reference books for embroidery.  I like those as a hard copy.

I have just taken a subscription for Selvedge magazine as a digital copy.  I used to subscribe for a hard copy but they became so expensive that I cancelled my subscription and kept a look out for a copy at the Embroiderers' Guild Library.  There has been no access to the library for the past few months and who knows when it will open again, hence the digital subscription.

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This will not come till next month but I am already looking forward to it's arrival.  The other thing that being a subscriber gives me access to is the virtual world fair.

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It is so easy to press that button 'Buy'.   I am going to have to be careful and keep an eye on just what I do buy.  At the moment I have subscribed for three classes.  The Textile Artist Stitch Club for embroidery, Quilters Question time for patchwork and Art Prompts from Carla Sonheim.  This has me stretched.  Finding time to fit in other projects is almost impossible, or I should say, is impossible.  I will have to set aside three days for the Virtual World Fair and I haven't clicked that button yet, but I want to.

Problem Solved

It is so satisfying when you are able to put all the bits of a puzzle together and come out with an answer.  With one particular puzzle this has finally happened.

Friend Pam gave me some embroidery pieces that she had bought, I think in Thialand, but were they Hmong (Miao) or Chinese?  We both wondered what they were?  It looked like it might be a collar but why was it stitched onto paper and how would you get it off?

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I think I have finally found the answer to this problem.  The book I bought about Miao crafts has a section on this kind of embroidery and although this doesn't look like the traditional patterns it is the same technique.  The wrapped thread is couched into place. It is wrapped around horse hair.  (My reference says this is mass produced as well as being hand stitched.)  I now find out from Pam that you can get a Kindle version of this book from Amazon.  I have bought a copy so that I can enlarge the illustrations.

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Pam had a couple of great links on her facebook page.

This one from Google Arts and Culture.

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The other is this Chinese video.


The Chinese government class the Miao as one ethnic group. But from what I remember Mr Hutton telling me about these people, There were many different types who thought of themselves as quite separate.  He called them black, red, white and yellow Miao.  This may account for some of the different types of embroidery that we see today.  I am so glad that it is all still there.

Another book has arrived

The books are slowly being delivered that I ordered before the lock down.

This one, "Stitch, Fabric and Thread by Elizabeth Healey" is a great source book for creative stitching.

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Not one I want to read at one sitting but one to refer to when I need inspiration.  This video clip gives a great review of the book.


You also get a look at the content from  your chair.  I think that I only have one more book to arrive.

Some loose ends

Just a couple of things I didn't mention about the embroidery on my containers.  Firstly threads,  I used Danish Flower Thread that I had left over from a commission that I completed 10 years ago.  I love this thread and just couldn't throw away my ends.  They came in handy.

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Secondly my reference for drawn thread work.  My "go to" book that I have been using since the 1970's by Moyra Mc Neill, and it is still in print.  I was thinking how pleased I was that I covered it in plastic.  Inside I found a news article from 1977 about Bill and I leaving the Northern Territory.  (We were referred to as 'kids'.)

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And thirdly, I finished by last simple embroidery.

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I loved stitching this one.

And just a word about my "interesting things' table.

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This is just an old cane table that sits in the corner of the back verandah.  I went and did a check on just what was there.

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And it was interesting to note that all the birds nests, bird feathers, most rocks and shells are gone!  The girls must have a use for those things?


New Book (s)

The books I have been waiting so long for finally arrived in the mail.  I had thought they would have been hard bound but the 2 soft covered book came in a cardboard holder.

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The subject of these books reach right back to my childhood.  The Principal of my primary school, (that is kids 5 to 8 years old), was a Mrs Legard, heavens I still remember her name, and at the tender age of 5 or 6 all I wanted to be was a singer and actress.  My mother was horrified.  My father worked with actors and they were not suitable people according to her.  So, At 6 years of age I got a job at the radio station where my father worked reading the children's birthdays on the children's program on a Saturday.  After lots of arguments with my mother  about my aspriations, we had an interview with the principal, who I thought would take my mothers side but she said "I think she will make a great actress".

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This woman became someone important to me and over time I got to know her mother and father who were retired missionaries from China, Mr & Mrs Hutton.  Their mission was to the Miao, this must have been back before, or near to the turn of the 1900's.  I was fascinated by their stories of their lives in China but this took place in the 1950's and all things Chinese were taboo.  But I never lost my interest in these people and their life and customs.  Many came to the USA and Australia after the Vietnam war.  Since that time I have looked for  their works, when I went to Thailand and any exhibition that I could find.

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These books fill in all the gaps in my knowledge of their work as they look at the traditional work of artisans that is still carried on in China.  It also comes with a full set of patterns of some of the work and an explanation of what each one means.

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I don't think I would ever stitch any of this work but I can still look and appreciate it.  It also brings back memories of those two elderly people telling that little child stories of their colourful lives and the people they came to love in China.

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These books were expensive but I was lucky to get a copy as they sold out within days of being released.  They are sure worth the wait.

Waiting for books

Because all the borders are closed and there are very few airlines flying we have stepped back to the pre1960's when it comes to buying books from overseas.   The websites say 10 to 15 days, but for some books I have been waiting longer than that.  I realise now that I have been spoiled by the supply chains of quick delivery facilitated by the airlines.  The things this virus is teaching us!

But I have received a knitting pattern book from Kate Davies Design & Co.  Colour Moves by Claudia Fiocchetti.

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I would like to purchase that yarn from KDD& Co as well but the exchange rate on our dollar is so low I just can't afford that kind of expense.  But I know that I am going to have to knit gloves and hats now that the ferry and barge services have been severely reduced.  Soon those South East winds will blow and standing on the open deck of the barge will be very cold.  The ferry isn't running between 8am and 6pm so it looks as though I will need all my winter woolies in a few months time.

There are some really challenging patterns in this book, well challenging for me.  I would like to knit this colour work set.  Those colours look just like looking through water.

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And the second pair of gloves would mean I could use my fingers and keep warm at the same time.

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Now I have to find a similar type of yarn locally and that might be easier said than done.