Design Feed


I have been following Rachel's progress on her foot stool done in canvas work on her blog.  I used to do a lot of canvas work but got bored with it.  Now I think I would like to stitch a piece.  At the Embroiderers' Guild they have a huge selection of threads for this kind of work on the sale table, so I can get the thread cheap and I'm sure I must have some canvas in my stash.  Next step was what would I stitch?

I found a colouring book on-line from 1615.  It was originally written for glaziers and plasterers but I'm sure some of these patterns would work.  (These are the kind of things one finds on in the Internet Archive.)

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There is a design index at the beginning setting out all the designs as thumbnails.

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Then these are expanded to full page prints later and there are some interesting designs that could work.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 2.05.47 pmIt also has some recipes for mixing colours that come with the warning that these might be dangerous, still, it is interesting to read how it was done back then.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 1.52.14 pmI intend to have a play around with these designs and see what I can come up with.

Quilts continued

I usually find some work in the regional shows that I find inspiring.  They might just spark an idea or the might be an old design in different colours that makes me think of some other design that I might rework.  (There were so many people at this show I didn't get the names of all the exhibitors.)

I have had this block design in my sketch book for ages and this colour way has me thinking I might pull that out again.

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And the way these colours run into one another I liked.

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This started as a piece of woolen fabric.  The maker saw the opportunity to add Sashiko stitching and made it into something else.

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And out in the regions, where you do get seed sacks this was a great re-use of one.

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All these pieces were from the Toowoomba Show.

(As I was a judge at the other shows it wouldn't be ethical to comment on these but there was some beautiful work here as well.)

Quilt shows and Judging

I'm glad last week is over.  It was full on with a trip to Toowoomba to see the quilt show and then a couple of judging jobs later in the week.  But, having said that, I wouldn't change any of it, even if it wore me out.

The Toowoomba Quilting group always has a good quilt show which they exhibit at the same time as the Carnival of Flowers and the flower gardens were just spectacular.

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For some members of the group who have moved here from interstate this was their first flower and quilt shows and it was a pleasure to see their reactions.

The quilt show always has a couple of pieces from Robin Ginn, and again, her work didn't disappoint.  Friend Margaret and she recognised each other from their early days of quilting.

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 There were a lot of beautifully made quilts but only a few that were original designs.

Robin sustained a serious back injury in her 20's which has left here unable to sit at a sewing machine so all of her quilts are completely hand stitched.

This one was inspired by a piece of furnishing fabric in which she could see the eyes of birds.

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This quilt is for her grandson who was born in Japan and he suggested the Kohi fish.  (Robin has a beautiful garden with many water features.)

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Then there were the quilts of friends that I have seen coming together during my visits.

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I bought the pattern for this one but am not sure I will make it.

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to be continued.




How to get that coffee home.

It is a 10 minute walk down to the cafe to get a cup of coffee.  It the cafe is busy or if I if I want  to brings a take-away coffee home for my husband it has to be carried.  Problem is I usually have a dog in tow and I spill the coffee, with my sore wrist it is even worse.  So, I need another way to carry that coffee cup. 

I have been on-line and found this tutorial, which is really good, but, I have had to make a few modifications.


Firstly, not all commercial coffee cups are the same, the sizing varies, and, if the holder doesn't fit snuggly , mess.

I found the easiest way to get a good fitting pattern was to take a used coffee cup,

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cut the bottom out of it and lay it out.  I found my cup was actually 2 pieces.

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I then traced the shape onto the inside paper and made a pattern, perfect fit.

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Instead of the interfacing recommended I used a thin pellum, I knew this would hold the cup just that bit more firmly.

I found the above video instructions very good for the assembly BUT turning the carrier through to the right side wasn't possible because of my sore wrist.  I just changed the last step and turned a bottom hem and stitched it on the machine. (This is the prototype.)

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The carry strap also needed some adjustment.  If I put it over my shoulder the liquid splashed out.  Not a lot, but enough to wet the holder a bit and coffee stains.  I made the strap to the length that I could hold it in my hand and I solved that problem. (  If you were to make this it would be better to make it the right length for you.)

This one is just right.

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Now I have to work out how I can make something like this for my husband to carry on his push bike!


A present to myself.

I love Tilda fabrics.  So when I saw an add to an event next February I knew I had to book a ticket.  I didn't even think about who I would go with.  In fact I don't care,  I will be fine on my own.

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I know I have a lot of friends who will want to go as well so I might see them there.  I will have to start saving to buy lots of fabric.  Roll on February 2024!!

Another mailing list piece of art

I bought something from this Gallery back in 1990, (I think), and now I get Emails alerting me to work for sale.  Now that is not a bad thing.  I love eye candy and looking at this kind of thing sparks all kinds of ideas for my own work.

This piece by Rebecca Campbell got me thinking about how I could stitch all the birds I listen to and see each day.

Screen Shot 2023-09-05 at 7.57.39 am Screen Shot 2023-09-05 at 7.58.05 amOh I will be glad when I can draw again!  My mind is full of ideas. 

Some lovely eye candy at this link.


New Artist

I am on the mailing list of a small gallery in Brisbane and I get updates on all their exhibitions.   Since my retirement and "down sizing" my home I just don't have room to hang all my collection.  The pictures are stacked in the back of nearly every wardrobe for lack of space.  So, I am no longer adding to this bundle.  But, if I was, I would love the work of this artist.  I missed the opportunity to meet her because of illness, but Oh, I love her work.  Her name is Jane Guthleben  and I am pleased that most of the work in this exhibition is sold out, I was so tempted.

Even if I don't buy any of her work I just love her use of colour and find it inspirational.

Here is a link to her gallery.

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I love the way she uses different colours in her background.

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Not only have I now finished the binding on my scrap quilt.  I made this from the scraps left over from the piecing.

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I have also finished the quilt bag, made from all the left overs.  I like to make a bag for each quilt from the materials I used in that  quilt because when you pack it away at the end of winter it is easy to find in the cupboard when you need to get it out again.

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These include the blocks that I made mistakes on.

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But I am having trouble programing my old sewing machine  (30 years old) to do the label.

I now have 3 queen sized quilts to make so am on the lookout for designs for the other two.  I found some vintage looking fabric for my daughters quilt.

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I am going to use this French General fabric for my sister's quilt.

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And I have no idea what I will use for my niece.


As I now have 2 machines set up in my workroom I need another machine cover for the second one.  I love this old machine but I think I need to have it serviced again.

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This is the pattern I will use.  I have some of those butterflies on the pocket already made in my stash, I just hope the colours all match. This pattern is a cover and doubles as a mat.

Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 2.08.17 pmI am trying to not use my hand too much and keep it in it's splint but it doesn't seem to do much.  I now realise that I have been putting up with weakness and pain in this hand and wrist for all the years since I got Ross River Fever, I just blocked it out until the level of pain made itself felt more urgently.

Taking a stand .

I started this blog back in 2007, which is actually a lifetime ago.  I used this vehicle to help myself recover from PSTD after experiencing a physical attack and I fell into a form of writting that I really enjoy. ( And I did recover but it left a mark on my mind.)  It was such an adventure to open a window onto the world.  There was so much to explore and discover.

Friends then are still friends now.

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All this enabled me to return to school teaching and then retire, when I was ready, from my full time job to then dive into teaching free lance, another great adventure.  The one constant through all these years has been the my love of textiles and especially embroidery.  This was a gift from my paternal grandmother and more precious than fame and fortune.  She also taught me how to run a household, cooking on a budget and how to care for other people no matter how rich or poor you were.

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One of the things that I liked best about surfing the web was the generosity of most people.  Yes, there were some who were there to run a business at a profit but the majority of people were generous in their sharing of information and skills.  There appears to be a withdrawal of people who blogged out of a love of what they are interested in without the need to make money out of it.  This seems to me to be a 'tipping of the balance'.  Free information is now mainly used to hook you into their sales pitch. 

"you can have this free pattern IF you give me access to your email address so that I can add you to my mailing list and bombard you with my sales information."

And of course there has been a huge increase in the number of scammers out there as well, which results in one being hesitant even about those who are not out to scam you. 

For me it has the feeling of GREED about it all.

 Then I find that this approach has even found it's way into Charity shops who sell on donated goods.  This was the place that most of our least well off citizens went to buy second hand goods.  If you look you can still buy some cheap things but now they appear to be catering for those "not in need" but rather people with more disposable income.  This has been demonstrated in a number of these shops I have visited and some examples I found have been in my search for old tea pots and knitting wools.  The prices asked are at a similar price point of new cheap goods in regular stores.  Some might call it "good marketing" but to me is smacks of GREED.  

So, what am I, as an individual, going to do about it?

I will not buy goods from those outlets that are charging high prices for second hand goods.

I will look carefully at just where I donate my unwanted items, be they clothing, fabric, threads or whatever.

I will keep posting free patterns and designs on my blog under Creative Commons copyright and not charge for them.

AND I know that I am probably fighting a losing battle but feel I have to make stand for what I believe and that is there is a place in this world for generosity and caring for other people, without having to make money out of it.

Thinking about a quilt

I was speaking to my daughter about a quilt I was finishing and who I might give it to when she interjected that I hadn't made a quilt for her.  That made me stand back and consider that statement.  Why hadn't I made her a quilt? 

Well, I actually had made her a quilt when she was in Primary School.  It was a cat quilt and we sat together and drew all different expressions on each cat which I embroidered.  We added some dancing mice as well.  I remember she took it school for show and tell and it was a great success.  But, she left it in the shed out the back on the farm and the rats and mice got into it .  This was when she moved out of home.  After all the love and thought I had put into that quilt I was hurt that she thought so little of it, so I think I decided I wouldn't do that again.  Then I forgot about it. 

Now I have to think about it again.  I will make her another quilt to go in the new house she and her husband are going to build on their new cattle property.  I was silly for being so upset about that old quilt. 

So now I am thinking about designs. 

  1. Their bed is King sized, so it will have to be big. 
  2. Their property is up on the tablelands and looks down on the Condamine river.  
  3. The temperature drops below freezing in winter.
  4. The scenery and outlook is just spectacular which means that the quilt shouldn't try to outshine this. 
  5. The house will be very modern in design.

These are some photos of that area.  They have lots of creek crossings to get to their property.


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All this makes me think a traditional design would be the best choice.  I found this old quilt at the French General website.

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Somehow or other I think this or a variation on the Flying Geese block will be the one and I think I will use the colours of the surrounding bush for my colour palette and she likes the design.  Now to collect the fabrics.