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.

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Butterfly and Blossoms…

Another finish… am on a roll here!

This littly doily was a kit provided to us when we did Girl’s Day Out at Country Thyme Patchwork with Leanne, Rosalie and Melly in 2009.

It’s one of Leanne’s designs, I didn’t start it on the day, but much, much later, and was another project dug out at Easter time and had the stitchery finished in between my sniffles at the screen while watching the last two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.

Mum helped me put it together last weekend, and while we had a slight problem with catching the ric rac down, I’m happy with it… it’s going to live under one of my bedside lamps.

See, I told you I have no interest in quilting at present… am besotted with fancy work/ stitchery/ embroidery – particularly if they’re a bit on the vintagey side, using bright clear colours or crochet!

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.

Fancy Work Revisited… and a winner

Further to my previous post, Fancy Work – I used a Random Number Generator to pick the winner, which was Kay whose comment made me laugh:

I drive myself to work now – so can’t “do” stuff on the trip. I listen to recorded books though – can’t waste time!!!
But my first job at 16 was in Brisbane (55 years ago). I used to travel to work on the tram – and I used to knit. For a while I was knitting booties for my older sisters new baby and I used to get lots of “sad ” smiles and one day when I got up to give my seat to an older lady – she said “no dearie you sit – your need is greater than mine” After that I stopped knitting booties on the tram.

Kay, send me an email with your details and I’ll get your prize in the mail to you.

It was lovely to read all your comments and stories, and it seems that men are more likely to comment on fancy work being done, as since the previous experience, I’ve had two further conversations on the bus.   One with a reasonably youngish guy who was standing next to my seat, who asked what I was doing, and how good it looked.   And another older gentleman, who as he passed my seat to take the seat opposite the aisle, remarked “It’s been awhile since I’ve seen someone doing work like that!”.

As to the ‘secret squirrel’ work I was doing – you can see below the 2 pincushions I made for Sandy as part of a pincushion swap on a Flickr group I belong to.

And below that photo’s of the gorgeous pincushions and goodies she sent me – am very spoiled.   If you check out Sandy’s photostream you can see this is one talented renaissance fancy worker!

Prompted by my posing the various fancy work projects for the photo in the previous post, I can confess, I’ve now finished off the stitching on all but of these projects, and just need to do the finishing off, and will then post photo’s.

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.

Friday Night Sew-In…well, Stitch in really

Had big plans for yesterday’s Friday Night Sew in, but ended up sick with a sinus infection, that kept me curled up on the couch in front of the telly, dozing intermittently and feeling sorry for myself.

So instead of prepping Klosjes as I planned, I alternated between crocheting the Giant Granny Square and working on my It’s a Redwork Christmas blocks and making cups of tea and the resultant loo breaks.

Giant Granny Square

Giant Granny is coming along, have almost finished one full set of my colours and about to start repeating.   Am probably going to need to buy some more cream, but am hoping I’ll get 2 repeats of each colour out of each 100g ball.

Granny Square 20_03_10

I finished the It’s A Redwork Christmas block I’ve been working on while catching the tram this month, and started another.

It's a Redwork Christmas

Likely the Klosjes preparation will happen over Easter now, as next weekend is my brother’s 50th birthday celebrations, so the rest of this week will be spent finishing off his Dr Who Scarf as his gift.