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.)

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 1.54.03 pm

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

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 2.03.36 pm

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.

End of the procrastination

I couldn't stand that old clunky computer any longer and couldn't see the screen very well on the lap top so now I am in the process of setting this one up.  Yes, it is pink just like all my other Apple appliances.  I do not expect this to go smoothly so expect some complaints.  But it is pretty!!

Screen Shot 2024-06-10 at 3.30.44 pm


A change in the weather

I think the weather might be changing!  It is still raining and humid but last night I put a light cover on the bed.  Well it is nearly the end of March so I suppose it was bound to happen.

This got me thinking about changing over my wardrobe.  I had a look in some shops but I must have missed that all the prices have sky rocketed!  Time to start some dressmaking.  I don't need a lot, just 2 or 3 dresses and I have turned to one of my favourite designers for inspiration.  Gudren Sjodon.

Screen Shot 2024-03-25 at 11.33.32 am

Her style is very relaxed, which suits my lifestyle.  I no longer need business suits or fancy clothes to wear when I go out.  But I would like some of these petticoats.

Screen Shot 2024-03-25 at 11.24.53 am

Dead simple to make but finding that lace for the bottom is not going to be easy.  At one time there were fabric shops in every suburb but now I can only think of 4 or 5 in the whole of Brisbane! (Not counting Spotlight and Lincraft.)  I like the way she layers her clothes, great for our weather.

Screen Shot 2024-03-25 at 11.25.27 am

I won't find the colours but then I have a draw full of fabric dye so that is no problem.  I have a whole bolt of pain cotton fabric I just have to source this lace.

Still struggling with the computer

One step forward, two back.  That seems to be how my life goes at the moment.  But, I keep trying, not always successfully, or so it seems at the moment.  I am not receiving the comments to my email, but they do show up in the Typepad comments and there was an interesting reference to a tutorial on the "Elefantz" blog regarding another tutorial for the envelope bag from Alison.

Screen Shot 2024-03-24 at 8.07.40 am

What is the saying? "A picture is worth a thousand words."  This is a nice blog with lots of interesting articles.)

There are just so many variations on this basic design.  I have another one on the go using left over strips that I cut for the binding on my 'Chicken Quilt'.  When I started the quilting I realised that it would work well with strip quilting as well for the construction. You know I did all that practice for my walking foot quilting and now can't remember any of it!!

But this is coming along nicely.

Screen Shot 2024-03-24 at 8.36.01 am

I don't think I will decorate the seams but I need tassels.  I bet I have used all my purple threads!

Some more on those "Envelope Bags"

As I embark on the third of my envelope bags I thought I would do a bit of research about them.  I first saw them in India when I travelling but also remembered I had seen them years ago in Afganistan, (back before the wars when you could catch a bus in Rome that took you to India.  The young men who ran the bus then started Flightcentre.) And I seem to remember seeing some on display at the V&A.

I found this article in Piecework Magazine  about dowry bags.  There are some interesting stitches used and I love the tassels.

Screen Shot 2024-03-16 at 12.15.23 pm

And then there was a "Dowry Purse".

Screen Shot 2024-03-16 at 12.20.01 pm

And there are any number on the auction sites.

Screen Shot 2024-03-16 at 12.25.32 pm

All these images come from the Indian region and I could find nothing much from Western culture but perhaps the "clutch purse" is a descendant of this original design?

Then to top it off I found some examples from Japan.  (They look rather modern to me.)

Screen Shot 2024-03-16 at 1.04.27 pm

No Brain at the moment

No posts for a few days.  I am having severe problems with the drugs they want me to take and I had a near miss with a scammer.  I have put all my devices in to be cleaned and that will take a few days and I just have to wait until I get the drugs out of my body.  But, I try to stitch a little each day.

Getting into it again.

I am still not fully recovered after my "dalliance" with Breast Cancer.  Actually, I'm suprised that I have survived! The odds of that happening did not look good for some time but my body scan came back clear and I have started to pick up the pieces.  There is still a lot of 'recovering' to do but I am about to venture out again.  Up until now it has just been getting to the hospital for treatment, getting back home and into bed, sleeping and getting to treatment again.  Broken only by a bit of mindless stitching to try and kick start my brain again.  (That brain fog is real.)   My local patchwork group meets today so I am going to the meeting.  I might have to go back to bed again, but, I am going to start interacting with people again.

The mindless stitching is going to expand to a new project, inspired by a group of local women, some of who have since passed.  These women collected and catalogued all the local plants on the island.  This was made into a a collection of samples that were mounted and have been since photographed.  I will stitch a selection of these onto tote bags.

This is not an original idea.  I got my inspiration to do this from a book published by Tara books in India called "A Stitch out of Time".

(The link is to a great article about the writting of this book.  Well worth a read.)

Screen Shot 2024-01-14 at 12.22.57 pm

This stitching was done on garbage bags but I am looking for a cotton/linen fabric to make my bags.  The video below shows her stitching process on an Indian cotton.


I have started by photographing some of the plants.  I need to select something uncomplicated for my first piece.

Actually, it's good to pick up the pieces and start thinking about living again.

Goodbye 2023

My mind has become mushy due to the drugs, so I am living in a kind of haze.  But as it is the end of the year I really should review my work this year.

Screen Shot 2023-12-30 at 4.00.47 pm

  1.  Teaching - as the year progressed I found I could no longer do this at all.  It was a very hard but necessary decision to finish.           
  2.  Judging - I did limit the number of jobs I took on.
  3.  Knitting & Crochet - well my right arm stopped working so this had been limited.
  4. Time to meet with friends -  I did achieve this until my health issues took over.
  5. Concerts - only a few.  Art Gallery - I went every month until I took ill.
  6. Stitching - Tast Challenge - Joined but didn't continue.
  7.    "         - book Cover- designed but stitching not finished. But I did make another from recycled Op shop embroidery.
  8.    "         - Kogin - made the pin cushions but not the bags.
  9.    "         - Completed both the Graffitti and Friendship quilts plus two others.
  10.   "          - Make the majority of my clothes   - No
  11. Go to the Bendigo Wool Festival                 - No
  12. Visit Toowoomba friends                              - Yes
  13. Maberly Retreat                                           - No
  14. Go to the Guild twice a month                      - Yes

I am really surprised to see that I did most of what I set out to achieve.  If it hadn't been for health issues I would have done better!

So now I have to turn my mind to 2024, but I think I will leave that for a while until I am finished with all the drugs.

So goodbye 2023 and looking forward to 2024.


Advent is here

Here we are in December again at the beginning of Advent.  I have dug out my little Xmas tree and some of my old decorations.  I selected some that came from my time in Denmark and Sweden.  ( I have to admit that some are now 50 years old.)

Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 8.04.25 pm

The big tree was great when we had a big house but this little one suits our down sized home.

I have also brought out the nativity, minus one wise man who broke during out move.  The Xmas runner that was started by my friend Angela and which I finished the stitching of, and the Xmas candles, which are new.  I will light them on Xmas eve.

Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 7.57.07 pm

I have downloaded my advent calendar from Drops Designs.  I always say "Oh I must knit that" and never do.

Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 8.18.10 pmAnd I see that Arne and Carlos have similar knitted decorations at their site.  They talk about Norwegen traditions at Xmas.


And they have some very attractive Xmas cross stitch as a background to their demonstration, and, Arne is using both the English and Continental methods of knitting in his colour work.  I really miss knitting.

It is normal Xmas weather, hot, humid and lots of thunder storms.  (This is the time for the Monsoon up north.)

Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 8.43.38 pm

Sometimes they miss our island and go right around us.

Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 8.43.22 pm

Other times we get hammered.

Well that's normal at Xmas.  I just hope that I get home from my cancer treatment each day before they hit .

Another week

Some days are harder then others and over the past week my cancer treatment and I have been in disagreement.  Still there is nothing I can do about it so I try and take my mind off it all with my stitching but even that hasn't been able to help.  The weather has been wild, then we get a good day, then it goes wild again.

Screen Shot 2023-11-19 at 2.49.33 pm

I had a birthday last week and my family took me to the Strawberry Farm for lunch.

The drugs I am taking make food ... just say I'm not into food at the moment but I did enjoy this day.

Screen Shot 2023-11-19 at 3.47.28 pm

Screen Shot 2023-11-19 at 3.47.42 pm

Screen Shot 2023-11-19 at 3.47.17 pm

Also, I did get a nice bundle of 'loot' on the day including a couple of new books to read.

Screen Shot 2023-11-19 at 3.47.04 pm

My grand daughter told me not the worry because the flowers, they would open in a few days and that she was working on a name for her craft business, she is 11 years old.  She though "Crusty Crochet" might work.  I'm not sure about that.


There was a time when I was really into block printing.  I found it a great way to get my special needs students involved in textiles and in fact some of the students, especially those from the Torres Straight, were experts at making the blocks.  (Little did I know back then that this was a much practiced craft that their parents were engaged in.)

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.17.50 pm

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.18.08 pm

I also bought a bundle of blocks back from my times in India.  I still use them sometimes.

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.18.24 pm

I have been thinking about embroidering my Xmas cards and thought these blocks might make some good designs but found that most of the ones I had were too big.  So, I went looking on-line and found this old book.

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.25.21 pm

All the designs are copyright free, not too big, easy to download and trace and I think will do the job.  I don't have to use all of the design, just those parts that will make a small design.

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.34.24 pm

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.34.03 pm

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 12.33.33 pm

I will let you know how I get on.