To grandmother’s house I go…

Here’s a not quite finished, but finished enough to show you project!

This stitchery was the first stitchery I received as part Under the Mulberry Tree Stitchery of the Month Club in 2009.   The pattern is now available in Rosalie Quinlan’s A Stitch in Time Book.

I started this, and was enthused, and then got swept up in doing other things, and came back to it after digging through my Stitchery box of goodies to prepare the photo for the Fancy Work post.

So, over the Easter break I finished off the stitching, and got enthused all over again… I love these colours, so much so, that I’ve started to stitch something else using them, with plans to do another project afterwards.

Slight mishap with the border fabric, was meant to be red/white check in outer border, but I cut it incorrectly and it didn’t fit – so found a pink with blue 30s print to match the blue with pink spot.   As you can see, still mucked up the border – too big on one side now… sigh!

The design is mean’t to be stretched over canvas like the example on my mate Jayne’s blog, but I haven’t decided if that’s what I want to do, or whether I might turn it into a wallhanging, or a big cushion.   If I do it as a wallhanging, which I think is my preferred option, will have a go at using perle cotton.

Something old….Butterfly Baskets

Woo hoo!

I finished, I finished… well, technically, not really but I have finished stitching these little beauties.

I wrote about these on my very first blog post here and said I hoped to be finished soon, ha ha!   That was September 2008 and last night I put the last stitch in the last butterfly.

This pattern is a Brandywine  Designs Pattern that I made mucho bigger as you do…

About 7 years ago, I bought several metres of a white on white fabric and this pattern.   Cut out as many 7 inch blocks as the meterage allowed for, haven’t counted them, but well over 100.   And then started the process of tracing a basket and butterfly out of a different 1930s fabric in my stash.   And then randomly put baskets and butterflies together.

Baskets and butterfly quilts and 1930s fabrics are 3 of my favourite things, so imagine how much fun it was to combine them all.

It’s been a PUPD project ever since (Pick Up Put Down) and one that worked well for the soon to be patented “Quilting Technique for those with Short Attention Spans but Slight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.

WHAT?   Not familiar with this tested under extreme conditions, guaranteed never to fail technique.

It’s simple – I threaded up a dozen or so needles with black thread and attached them to a dozen or so blocks.   Then worked one thread length, ended off, threaded up another needle and put the block aside and picked up another one.    Sounds really labourious but heah it works for me – the satisfaction of having 12 blocks finished almost at once.

Worked particularly for me while catching the tram to and from work, as I didn’t need to fiddle with scissors or threading needles.   Just stitch a block, end it off, fold it up and thread needle through it, pop it in a little bag and pick up the next block.

A variation on this theme, is having multiple technique projects on the go, with at least one – “I want to get it finished, but I find it really boring project.   A needle, a length of thread, work, end off, rethread and put aside.    Alternate between needleturn applique, buttonhole applique, embroidery, cross-stitch and handpiecing.   Haven’t managed to combine knitting or crochet into the mix but I’m sure it could be done!

Anyway’s!    Back to baskets…. did I tell you they were finished?

Next steps to trim the blocks to a standard size and then randomly put them together.   Not going to sash them, may not even put a border on – though did think about making the outer baskets face outwards….hmmmm what do you think?

Come back tomorrow… Posts on Something new, something borrowed etc. to come

Friday Flaunt…variations on a theme…

And yes, more Dresden Plates!   These are the last of the ones I’ve made up for now… not quite finished.   5 plates made, 2 appliqued down, 3 to go… and then need to add circles.

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Will have yellow centre when finished…

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This will have white with pink…

IMG_0149Will use the purple spot…

IMG_0150Pink/raspberry spot…

IMG_0151The teal spotty fabric…

I had another one of these marked up, a lovely soft mauve with a purple/mauve spot, but realised both pieces of fabric where too narrow for me to pick one for a centre circle.   Will see if I can pick up some more fabric before making it up.

Enjoying these Dresdens so much I’ve bought myself a smaller Ardco template – for 6 inch curved Dresdens.   Wanting to start to applique the 14 inch curved 1930s Dresdens I’ve been slowly putting together for awhile, and then put the smaller Dresden over the seams.

Speaking of Dresden’s check out the Dresden Plates in Quilting Group on Flickr…I heart Flickr!

Have put all of these aside for now, as I need to finish up my Stitcher’s Angel gifts… planning to sit and stitch while watching the Grand Final tomorrow.

Mystery Marathon Update plus…

This past weekend has been full of festivities to celebrate Flossie’s 70th birthday, starting off with a day at the Glenharrow Spring Stitch-in on Friday, with a lovely day had by all, that miracle of miracle’s actually included me doing some stitching instead of gum flapping for a change.  Two lovely little kits from Rosalie Quinlan and Leanne Beasley, scrumptious food and stunning show and tell, including getting to fabric fondle Rosalie’s new fabric line and see some of the projects from the about to be released book!

IMG_0093Saturday we spent having Afternoon Tea at The Windsor Hotel… which was very elegant and decadent, but also explains why I had a massive headache Sunday… way too much sugar!

Today I spent at Mum’s putting together our blocks from Helen Stubbing’s Mystery Marathon… due to a later than anticipated start (that damn headache still!) we only got the centre blocks put together and still have to add the two outer borders.   I’m going to have a go at quilting this using perle cotton, as I don’t want this to be added to the Quilt Top stage where it will remain for ever more!   Mum’s is the darker version, mine ’30s fabrics, so in hindsight not a lot of contrast, but I still like it…

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IMG_0115After dinner tonight, I sat and finished marking up the Dresden Plates for an exchange I’m doing with some girlfriends from now until May 2010, as we’re handing over kits on Sunday.   Will show photo’s of my finished plates for Friday’s Flaunt.

The following photo’s of two projects Mum has been working on for me on and off this year.   Both come from Cabbage Rose Quilts/Barbara Brandeburg books, both made from my tub of 1930’s scraps!

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Oh, she of the limited attention span…

Well, I’m back with a fully functioning camera… pity the camera operator is hopeless!   So what have I been doing?  Not a lot… have been working really long hours, on brain drain type work – exciting, but exhausting… so when I get home I’ve been flitting between projects and reading (see that other place about that!) while trying to catch up on TV programs and listening to music… so a very flighty flaunt of the last couple of weeks work…

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South Seas Lace – have been going gangbusters on this, except when I called in at Jayne‘s last week for a night of stitching, I spent so much time flapping my mouth, I didn’t realise until a couple of hours later, I’d made a fatal flaw back at the beginning and had to frog my work!   Claire is also going gangbusters, though not sure how Sandra‘s doing?

IMG_0050My working on four lots of stitchery projects at once has resulted in my finishing the stitchery for Melly and Me’s Feathered Friends, just need to put the bag together.   Slow progress on the others, will post photo’s as I finish them.

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English Paper Pieced Hexagons – sorting out craft room I found these, a bundle of precut hexagons in soft dusky pinks, greens and creams and papers, so spent a Saturday at Mum’s basting them to papers and then a Sunday in front of the TV whip-stitching these.

IMG_0047And then discussion about The Great Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange with Jayne and the girls (a block exchange for a group of friends that kicks off this month to be finished next May) prompted me to dig out these 1930s plates that I had marked up last summer, and spent most of yesterday pinning and piecing.

Below are the fabrics Mum and I have selected for this Saturday’s Mystery Marathon – my fabrics on the left, Mum’s on the right.

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And just in case you despair of ever seeing a finished quilt – photo’s of two of Flossie’s quilts. The black and white churn dash she made and quilted herself several years ago. The bright Aussie themed quilt was a Round Robin she did when I first joined QDU, it’s one of her favourites.IMG_0007

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A picture tells a thousand words… too bad, so sad!

Well, the camera has finally given up the ghost… so no progress reports here until I can replace it… will start having a look around over the weekend.

Not that there was anything much to flaunt this week anyway, lots of incremental steps on projects under way and a new start… only way to get a sense of what I’m working on is to click the links below!

Spent last night working on my South Seas Lace Cross-stitch Stitch a Long – Claire and Sandra – you’ll just have to believe me until I can post a photo!   But have completed 3 sides of the 2nd round of pattern, and started the fourth.

I’m nearly finished the stitching for the Melly and Me Feathered Friends Bag Kit that I bought at the Girl’s Day Out organised by Country Thyme, only 2 little birds and a birdhouse to finish… so hopefully will finish that today to give to Mum to put together, mine’s turquoise!

Making good progress on the Stitching Caddy kit from Rosalie Quinlan at the same weekend as well as the House wallhanging from Rosalie from Under the Mulberry Tree‘s Mystery Stitchery of the Month.   Also working on Tea for Two, month two of the same program – a gorgeous tea cosy and matching coasters from Janelle Wind…so cute (see note below re: Frou’s tip for overcoming boredom but still being productive!)

Month 3 arrived yesterday, a lovely little mug bag with matching spoon bag… haven’t looked at it in too much detail, as I’m off to Mum’s soon and will look at it then.

Am loving these little kits, gorgeous fabrics and floss colours, and having seen some sneak peaks for future months, am very excited.

The start this week?   Well, I’m a fairly competent knitter, not so competent with crochet, so in order to practice my crochet, am making some granny squares.   Bought some bright balls of wool last week with some black at Spotlight for practice… and I’m just putting together 3 random colours with black finishing.   Why do I want to practice, ’cause when I’m a bit more proficient I want to have a go at Hexagon Granny Squares – great tutorial on Attic24’s site.   Have also seen some gorgeous variations of this pattern on Ravelry, including a ’30s style afghan… 2 colours, with 3rd colour green, then set with white… would look great thrown across my ’30s cast iron bed!

And speaking of Attic24, check out her Crochet Bag pattern… thinking of using up leftovers from brother’s Dr Who scarf to have a go at one of these too!

Frou’s tip for overcoming boredom but still being productive… anyone reading this will be thinking, is she mad, she’s flitting from one thing to another… why doesn’t she just sit and concentrate on one thing until it’s finished?

Sounds good, in theory… not so great in practice for me.   What works for me is to have a couple of things on the go at once… hence working on 4 stitcheries at once, as well as doing cross-stitch and crochet.

It’s the one length of thread rule… all 4 stitcheries are in hoops with needle threaded.   I pick up one project and work one length of thread, then rethread my needle and put it aside.   Pick up next one, and do the same.   Working on all 4 at once.

Could just as easily be my working on some handpiecing, some buttonhole, some stitchery and some needleturn applique, same rule applies, one length of thread.

This works well for me, if I’m organised.   Works particularly well if there is something that needs to be progressed, but I’ve reached boredom stage with it.   By allocating it some time, in amongst something I really want to work on, I progress on both!

The exception here is the South Seas Lace Stitch-along – am devoting 1 night a week to this.   Claire and Sandra are doing Thursdays, but Thursdays rarely work for me – so I’m doing Friday nights most weeks… which is their Thursday anyway!   This seems to be working well for me, having a dedicated night to work on this project.    Might see if I can make a dedicated night to work on my Mary Wigham which is being sorely neglected.

Flossie’s Friday Flaunt…

A belated Friday flaunt from me, and mostly flaunting Flossie’s (Mum) work as I’ve done zip this week, due to a combination of working till 8.00pm each day and reading the whole Harry Potter series (7 books) over the last 10 days, in preparation for a trip to movies to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince planned for tomorrow.

First off, the ’30s quilt Flossie made for me, that lives on my bed.  Everyone of the 174 hearts blocks are a different ’30s fabric from my stash – and that was just scratching the surface!   Hand appliqued hearts on machine pieced snowball blocks, worked on over about a year – she took the blocks with her to doctor’s appointments etc.   Quilted by The Patchwork Addiction in Essendon.

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The rest of the flaunt is a selection of Flossie’s most recent bags.  As I mentioned in an earlier post Mum’s been bitten by the bag bug, and I ended up the lucky recipient, though she also makes at least one for herself too!

IMAG0652 Mum found some meterage of a synthetic prequilted fabric in her cupboard – who knows what we bought it for.  She made me this simple envelope, which is perfect for keeping my current cross-stitch project together.

The next bag came from a UK magazine, it’s called the Mum bag, there was a smaller edition called the ‘baby’ bag!   Made from red and green scraps (she knows what I like) – am currently using it to hold a knitting project (a scarf for a friend).IMAG0653

And then there is the Charm Square bag – a pattern in a McCalls Quilting magazine, designed to be made using charm packs.

A couple of years ago, I bought a mottly bundle of 5inch charms on ebay, there are hundreds of them.

Mum sorted out a pleasing selection of charms to make this for me.   I really like it, colourwise, and like it even more for it’s practicality – it holds stacks, and is deep enough that I can stand up my sandpaper board and a small rotary mat.   This is the bag that gets packed up when I’m heading off to a class or to Mum’s for a day of stitching.   Mum made her bag out of all blue charms.

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IMAG0650 And finally, I like this one so much, I have two!   These are Nellie’s Bag by Rosalie Quinlan, but instead on doing the pieced blocks we just used two fabrics one for the outside, and one for the inside.   I bought two fabrics from Quilters Bazaar at their store opening earlier in the year, and Mum made two bags.IMAG0651 They have four pockets on the inside.  The one with the strippy interior is my supply one – scissors, pins, needles, pencils etc.  So I can add something small and take off.  You can see a little of the gorgeous pink and green pincushion my friend Catherine made for everyone at our retreat this year.   The other shows a glimpse of the Blackbird Design Sampler cross-stitch – the 2nd of these I’m making (this one’s for me).   And that luscious red thread is the Threadworx thread I’m going to use for a new stitchalong, also bought from Quilters Bazaar.