Memories of Maldon…

As I mentioned in previous posts, I had my annual retreat at The Parsonage a few weeks ago.   While I wasn’t very well over the weekend, and there were a couple of other sickies amongst us… it was still a lovely time and I think we all suffered a bit of a pang as this will be our last year at The Parsonage, and next year we will need to find other accommodation.

As usual on the drive up we did a bit of a shop hop, meeting up at Gisborne to check out Quilters Bazaar and the Drapers of Mount Macedon, and then on the advice of Catsmum, we stopped off in Kyneton to visit Pick Up Stitches, a new to me, Wool and Patchwork shop, who were having a sale.

So, I ended up with a bundle of Heirloom Magic Merino yarn and over the weekend away I stitched some more Grannies, which I found easier to work on while we sat and quietly chatted or watched movies.   I’ve enjoyed these so much, I rang Pick Up Stitches last week to see if they still had the same dyelots in store, and bought some extra yarn to make a largish lap rug.

The inspiration for these grannies comes from this post at the always inspirational Lucy at Attic24, which lead to me to here and more especially to this photo and all it’s lovely green goodness.

And for some more intraweb crafty goodness – check out the Quilt Gallery on Threadbear’s site of the splendiforous show and tell at The Applique Society meeting we were lucky to attend while we were away…    I could make all of these… and it was funny how many of these I have patterns for already!

Butterflies, flutterbies…

I am part of a private Flickr group that is making tea/coffee themed blocks each month … well, I’m mean’t to be, but still trying to work out what I want to do.

But, they also have organised monthly swaps, that you can volunteer to participate in.

I showed photo’s of the pincushion swap here, and last month’s swap was butterfly themed.   I love butterfly quilts, have one on the go, and plans to do others at some stage.   So you can imagine my delight when opening my parcel from the lovely Kate in the UK to discover this bounty…

2 lovely appliqued blocks


A truly gorgeous needlebook

And a lovely mug warmer.

With most of May being a bit of a write-off quilting and stitching wise due to the dreaded lurgy and subsequent headaches/migraines, I, of course, am running behind on my project for Kate.   But here is a sneak peak of a appliqued and stitched butterfly wallhanging that I’m hoping to have on it’s way but week’s end.

The Big Reveal… Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange

I’ve posted quite a few times about the Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange… a 9 month block exchange where a group of 9 friends made Dresden Plates to the specified pattern, colour and size all to be revealed at our annual retreat at the Parsonage in Maldon end of May.

I can now reveal all of the sets of blocks made (except mine… which was left behind in Melbourne and I still haven’t received… sigh!)

Pam's Pink and Green Dresdens

Jayne's Pink/Red/Cream Dresdens

As you can see, Jayne made extra’s – and still has more to make – she wants this for her bed!

Blurry photo of Debbie's Dresden Hearts

Jenni's Autumn Dresdens

Megan's Red and White Dresdens

Jule's Peace on Earth Dresdens

Kylie's Pretty Spotty Paisley Dresdens

Catherine's Red, Green, Brown, Pink Dresdens

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.

Flossie’s Flaunt …going to the chapel

Have a lot of different things to show you over the next few days, but thought I’d start with a flaunt from Flossie (Mum).

She’s part of a group called Huff N’ Puff, held at a local Community Centre and linked to our local hospital – the Huff N’ Puff crowd is made up of seniors with breathing difficulties caused by a number of alignments and health issues. 

The monthly Huff N’ Puff gatherings is one of her favourite places to be – it’s run primarily as a social get together, that includes either lunch or morning tea, with different all day events planned through the year.

Mum always takes along some work to do, and there’s lots of comments and chatter about her work, and she’s also volunteered to make a lap quilt that the group can raffle to fundraise.

One of the facilitators is getting married next month, and Mum has helped organise the purchase of a group gift – but she decided she wanted to make something for her from her.

This is a Teddlywinks Mr and Mrs Teddy pattern that included the pattern preprinted on calico – stitched up and made into a cushion – fits a European Pillow.   I helped Mum select her fabrics when we visited Quilters Bazaar earlier in the year at their birthday sale.

Another Friday Night Sew In Scheduled

This coming Friday night, April 16,  is Bobbi and Heidi Friday Night Sew-In for April, you can sign up and find all the details here.

Not sure yet what I might work on – possibly more of the Folk Art Sampler, as it would be good to get the centre blocks finished, so I can add the sashing and start the applique on the outer border.

Though Mum is coming for the weekend, a ‘putting stuff together’ day planned for Saturday, so as I’m not to good at sticking to plans, working on whatever takes my fancy at the moment, I may change my mind!

WIP Folk Art Sampler

Fancy Work…

Fancy Work

On one of my online quilting forums there has been a recent thread about where people do their stitching, at meetings, at guild meetings or in my case, on the tram, and for this week, and possibly into the future, on the bus.

I commented about the odd looks I get often while I’m doing my work, which so far has consisted of buttonhole applique and more recently embroidery (redwork).

About a fortnight ago, I had lovely exchange on the tram.   Going in later than usual after a doctor’s appointment, so not incredibly crowded, about 20 minutes from the city a lovely little old man got on the tram, went to walk past me, looked down and exclaimed – “oh, what lovely fancy work!”

And, yes he really was a little old man, I’d guess maybe in his late 60’s, early 70’s, and probably not much taller than me – which isn’t very tall – I’m a smidge over 155cm (5ft 2).

He then sat down next to me and started to reminisce about his mother teaching him to do ‘fancy work’ as a child and how he used to stitch doilies and tablerunners and cloths while catching the train to his very first job as a copy boy for the Herald newspaper.

He used to catch the ‘Red rattler‘ train and because the trains were crowded and he’d often give his seat up for an adult he would perch himself against the door to the compartment for balance.

He then went on to tell me that his first pair of long trousers, were the pants from his Dad’s army uniform that his Mum had taken both in and up – but there wasn’t much she could do about the problem of saggy, baggy bottoms.  And one day, wedged against the doorhandle while he stitched, a big burly bloke opened the door from the outside with such force the handle got caught in the folds of his pants and he was effectively hoisted… he said the whole carriage laughed, particularly when same burly bloke lifted him bodily of the handle and checked out he was ok.

He was very pleased to see me doing my work, and amazed that I was stitching  a pincushion for a friend I haven’t met yet, (am participating in a pincushion swap via Flickr and said pincushion is winging it’s way to the USA).

We had a lovely chat, where he explained that he couldn’t do the work anymore because of his eyesight, and I’ll admit he also made my day – to know that my work had positively impacted a stranger… see crafting does break down barriers!

I like the term ‘fancy work’ – we are all fancy workers – putting a little brightness and joy in the world with every stitch we take.

So, as a thank you to him and to all of you, am having my first giveaway.  I have a Rosalie Quinlan’s Little Patchwork Village pattern and a collection of some of my favourite DMC threads to give away.

So, if you’d like to do some fancy work of your own, leave a comment here, and tell me if you do your fancy work in public and any stories you’d like to share.

If you post a link to this on your own blog, and let me know in your comment, you’ll be eligible for an extra bonus surprise prize!

Will use the random number generator to pick a winner at the end of the month.

PS. I bought this pattern over 12 months ago, bought my fabric and thread to do it, and then promptly misplaced the pattern!   There have been several futile searches through the craft room for this one, till I bit the bullet and bought another copy in February… we all know what happened next…  a few weeks later, I opened a box to work on my Red and Green Sampler blocks and at the bottom of the box – the original pattern… sigh… so while this pattern has been opened and read it definitely hasn’t been used.