textiles Feed

A Reality Check

As my concentration has been interrupted by "the intruder", the number of things I am working on has exploded.  I was becoming quite overwhelmed by it all. So, I sat down and made a list of the things I am working on.

That has come to 20+!!!

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I have given myself a talking to.  Packed up a good number of them and hung them in the cupboard.  Here I can see them but they are not under foot.

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I have left the skirt on the outside of the cupboard because I need to do that one.

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Then I looked at the list again and have reduced my current work to just two others.

The Cornish Coast embroidery, just a small amount each day.

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And one Charity Quilt.

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I still want to be able to walk the dog, read, see friends etc.  That husband of mine has a lot to answer for!

That shopping day

I was really looking forward to the shopping day with my Quilting Group, Star Sea Quilters, and it didn't disappoint.  Sometimes lady luck picks you out and says

"you need a break, here is a blessing to cheer you up."

That has been this quilting group.  The more I talk to the members the more I realise what a remarkable group of women I have joined up with.

Hiring a bus for the trip was inspired.  That traffic down on the Gold Coast is a nightmare and there I sat in a comfortable bus being driven to and from all the place I wanted to go to.  That was win No1.  Number two was the company of great people, so good.  Then there was the shopping.

We started at Fi Fi's.  Never been there?  It is well worth the visit.  The shop is arranged differently from other Quilting Shops.  Most organise their stock by colour, this shop is organised by designers, and she keeps the full range of those designers who are purchased.  (Natalie Bird who is a member of our group is featured here as well.)

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The only problem is making a decision about what to buy.  I bought a new pair of scissors, that fit my hand that doesn't work properly,and some fabric to use in my charity quilts for kids and teenagers and

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some to make some pillows for my grand daughter.  ( I bought a bit more than I intended but...)

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Then onto Japanashe.  They manufacture futons and when they cut the fabric there are all these off cuts.  $100 work will be enough to make a King sized quilt , maybe 2!

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They have a great range of Japanese fabrics and

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so I had to have some of those.

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And they also had Japanese Antiques.  (One of our members is still an antiques dealer so she checked everything out for us.)  I also found a lovely little tea pot for my daughter.

Then we were all dropped of in Burleigh Heads to find a place to eat, this saw us spread out in all directions.  My little group of friends from the island headed to the Surf Life Saving Club.  These clubs are located along the coast of Queensland and all are right on the beach and serve great food. This was our view whilst we ate.

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Personally I think it is a bit cold for swimming, 24 degrees C.

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Then a bit of retail therapy in the shops at Burleigh where I found a dress from my daughter.  (I hope she likes it?)   Back on the bus and then home.  It was a long day.  I caught the 7am ferry to the mainland and the 5.30pm ferry back to the island.

I now have so many projects planned for all that fabric!

Why didn't I think of that?

At one point I cleaned out my fabric cupboard and gave a great bundle of dressmaking fabrics to me daughter.  I was never going to make clothes again.  (Since then I have changed my mind.)

My daughter came to visit wearing a jacket she had made from left over woollen fabric, It gets cold up on the range.

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Then she showed me the lining.

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My son bought this fabric for me from Bali 20 odd years ago and I didn't know what to do with it, so I passed it on to my daughter.  I couldn't think what I would make with it.  It was so bright.

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I Love the result.  Not a shabby result from scrap fabric.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

A lost week

This past week has been one of seeing Doctors, filling in forms and making sure that all things are in order, as much as they can be.

My daughter and I had time together.  Somehow or other I bought her a new hat!  (I know she has wanted this for over 18 months.)  Wesley, her deaf dog, seemed to like it as well.

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I had morning tea with my quilting friends.  We have been friends for 30 years and I now live far away, but, friendships that old and special are important. (I also got to deliver all my Xmas presents that my friend Kay will distribute if I have to miss the party.) We met at Albany Creek, which is on the north side of the city and near the high school where I used to teach.  It used to be an outer suburb back then, semi rural.  Now there are shops and coffee lounges and one of the nicest Patchwork shops I have been in for some time.  It is called Butterfly Stitches and the owner stocks all the fabrics I love, so I had to buy just a few.  The store isn't cramped but spacious, with a great teaching space as well.  I have a quilt planned for my sister of which I have some of the fabric, the rest is in that shop.

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I would have liked to purchase tons but was very circumspect and only purchased a piece for the background in my "Choock Quilt" and a piece to make a bag as a Xmas gift.

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I was hoping to have the Choock Quilt all ready for stitching when I got home from hospital and although I have prepared all the fabric cutting out the shapes is difficult as my wrist is still inflammed, but I am pushing on. 

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I also have my eye on a book from Quiltmania but it cost $45.00 US which translates to about $110.00AU when landed.  I might just keep my eye on it.

Screen Shot 2023-10-29 at 1.02.01 pmMy daughter-in-law is Dutch and I would like my grand daughters to maybe make one these quilts in the future.

 I will now be absent for a week or so as I turn to do battle with the cancer BUT I expect to win!

An experiment

Twenty years ago I had a small Elna Lotus Sewing Machine which I used as a trade-in to purchase a bigger Bernina machine.  I went looking for another one and found that it would cost me $350.00 for one that needed work doing on it, second hand.

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It was a good basic machine for straight stitch and zig zag.

Fast forward to today.  I have two excellent Bernina machines, and I love them, BUT, they are so heavy and I can not carry them around.  To get the smaller one off the island I have to bring my car over on the barge and that is a $75.00 round trip.  My big machine is electronic and just can't be moved around.  My local quilt group runs workshops and does sewing for charity in our weekly meetings and the cost of getting my machine over and back is just too expensive on a weekly basis.

Then I saw an add at Spotlight for a similar small Elna, cost $150 new.  I found a friend had bought one to take to the Patchwork group.  So I thought "what can I lose?".  (Well probably my $150.00)  So now I am the owner of yet another machine.

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When I went to purchase this one I found that they were all sold out at most of the stores.  In fact all but one store had sold out, so they must be popular.  The sales lady was rather worried that it would not do the job, telling me it is really "just a toy."  But my old Elna machine was great, so, I am going to experiment with this one.  I will have to see how it performs. Watch this space.

Another useful tool

I bought this woollen pressing mat from a thrift shop and it cost me $2.00.

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When I bought it I didn't really understand how I could use it.  It was just in a pile of mats marked $2 each, no description of what it was for or how to use it.  But, I can park it on my sewing machine table and iron as I stitch, the heat doesn't effect the surface at all.  No more jumping up and down to get to the iron.  I had bought a small ironing board from IKEA but this is far better.  Then I started to see adds for them on quilting sites, ranging in price from $18 to $65 depending on size.

I bought it from a community shop called "The Nest Community"

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And they have the biggest selection of wool yarn I have ever seen in an Op shop, this is only a small part of what is available.

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The problem for me is that it is over an hour to drive to the shop but still I check in every time I'm in the area and I love my ironing mat.

An outcome of that bus trip

One of the traders at the quilt show had some small panels for sale that caught my eye.

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This is the work of an Australian designer from the 1920's, Margaret Clarke, (1901 -2001).  They were totally charming and I had never seen her work before, which isn't surprising because her output wasn't large.  She started in her teens and did these paintings for a sweets manufacturer at the age of 17, had one exhibition where the promoter stole all the money from the sales, and every piece had sold.  (Today the originals are much sort after.)  Then she married and was lost to the art world.

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When I looked at my purchase I realised that I would like to buy some more of this fabric, but the trader hadn't put their name on the packet, so I set off on-line.  I found a shop on-line and all the fabric was on sale, how lucky was I?  I wanted the panels to make quilts for my grand daughters and great grand nieces and I saw that there was an embroidery panel available as well, so I ordered that for good measure. 

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I have finished all my "Silly Stitching" and thought that these might take their place.  Now they have arrived.

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I see there are better images on the net of her paintings.

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I have no idea just how I will embroider the pieces and they may prove to be more difficult than I think they are but the panels will make great little quilts.

A lot going on where I live.

I live in the Redland's Shire of Queensland.  This was, until the last 10 to 20 years a very rural area.  There is rich red soil, perfect for growing all kinds of foods, but fruit, and in particular, strawberries, have been the favoured crops. 


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This has always been a hot spot for koala, but urban sprawl has seen the suburbs extend right out to the bay, removing habitat, farms and native animals.  The Bay Islands, where I live, is a small microcosm of what used to be, but even that is being eroded.

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At the moment they are re-directing aircraft from Brisbane out over the bay which the birds are finding hard to handle.  From September to April this is home to migratory birds, some come from Siberia.

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But on the up side, there are a lot more services than there used to be.  Our local council hosts two galleries, one in Cleveland and the other at Capalaba and at the moment both have excellent exhibitions.

Cleveland - This exhibition is from the Bendigo Art Gallery and it blew me away.

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Capalaba - Sharon is a local artist from the Russell Island.

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to be continued:


Another Book

This book was a gift from my friend Pam and what a gift, one that keeps on giving.  It isn't a new book, being first published in 2012, but, it is quite magnificent.  Just the bird on the cover gives you an inkling on what is to follow.

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The illustrations are quite lavish.  Those tassels are magnificent.

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And it covers the traditional,

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To the contemporary, as illustrated in this needle lace.

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I am just in love with every page of this book.

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At the moment I sit and read a few pages at a time with my afternoon cup of tea.  Heaven.