"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Friday, December 26, 2008

Stitchin' Christmas gifts!

How well my friends know me, and how well they indulge me! I usually received a few 'embroidery-type' gifts for Christmas, and this year was no exception. Sharon gave me three lovely gifts - a miniature teapot (not shown here), a Cross Stitch book, and a square of linen printed with one of my favourite themes - old fashioned lady in her garden. I look after a 90 year old lady in my job, and when I showed her this, she promptly suggested which stitches I should use (and yes, I will be taking her advice!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finished ATCs.

Here are those ATCs again - the Doggie one had to be cut down a bit, but other than that there is no change. The Cup of Coffee block is now embellished and ready to go to a new owner. If you click on the picture, it will show up in more detail.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some more miniature patchwork

Well, Textile ATCs actually. I have a collection of men's ties that I've picked up at opshops over the years, thinking I would do something with the lovely and sometimes unusual fabrics they are made of. I cut a piece from two of them to include in these ATCs: This blue tie had these cute Dalmation puppies all over it, in red hearts! I'm also planning to make an FPC (Fabric post card) using these. On this ATC I've appliqued the pup to red fabric, and used blanket stitch to secure it. The side bits are dark blue ric rac over-stitched with pale blue floss. The tie I used for the ATC below has these single coffee cups as well as groups on it, and again I'm planning a FPC using the larger motif. This ATC is just a basic block so far. I will embellish the seams, and use beads to secure the lace.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another little project completed.

This Fabric postcard completes another swap project. The swap Group members were instructed to stitch something 'Green' this month, so I played around with my fabric scraps, trims, beads and sequins and came up with this. I'm posting it to the U.K. tomorrow and hopefully I'll receive my partner's 'Green' postcard by return mail soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

LeeAnn's Christmas gifts.

These are part of LeeAnn's Christmas gift to me. She also gave me a beautiful ornament, which is on my other (non stitching) blog. Three hand stitched hand towels - lovely!
A treasure from China or Japan - a bamboo and paper parasol, embroidered with flowers in silk. Below is a close up of the embroidery.
LeeAnn is one of the most thoughtful and generous people I know. She knows exactly what people are interested in, and searches in lots of places for just the right gifts for her friends. Thank you HEAPS, dear friend!!

Fabric Postcard off to England.

I stitched this fabric postcard for Jane in the U.K. as part of an exchange. *********************** This ATC arrived yesterday from Maya in India. Photo doesn't do it justice - it really sparkles with bling!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm behind with my stitching!

But I managed to finish two little Christmas cards for some blog friends. We had a Bloggers Christmas lunch here yesterday - just six of us, and I had intended to stitch a card for each of my five guests. But, time got away from me as usual and I only finished two, one of which I forgot to scan before I gave it away! (But I'm sure my friend will do that and email a pic back to me...) Here is the other one: Stitched on 18ct silver lurex Aida with two strands DMC floss. It is only tiny, but Val loved it, and couldn't believe it was actually cross stitch! I'm cursing myself for not starting these a month ago, but I do it every year - leave things to the last minute and end up not achieving my goal. I'm okay with cards and gifts - that's all done by December 1st, but embroidered cards and gifts? Where do I get the idea I'm a fast stitcher?!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Another fabric postcard arrived today.

Here is another fabric postcard. This gorgeous creation is from Mary Lou in Canada - it is in exchange for the Christmas tree one I sent to her last week (I posted a photo of it here a few days ago.) The scan does not do it justice; she has used metallic thread, stars and little boots, as well as beads, to embellish this card. I love it!!

Additions to my stash.

Here are some of the goodies my EGV friend gave me. (The aprons that she also gave me are on my Apron blog here.) This is one corner of a beautiful vintage pure linen Semco tablecloth which has only had this bit of stitching done on it. There are no instructions, but it appears that the stitcher was going to use the one colour for the whole cloth, and it would look stunning when finished. These are unworked doilies, some complete with instruction sheets. Very old Faultley designs; I am guessing from the 1940's. This gorgeous little supper cloth has been embroidered and finished. I don't know how W. could part with it - I love it! Two pieces of embroidery with an unusual provenance. W. tells me they were done by a 'model stitcher' (person who stitches projects for display purposes in magazines, shops, etc.), who only had to do half of the item to be displayed in a shop. The stitching on both of them is perfectly executed; there is no way I would try to finish off either of them - the difference would be so great that it would spoil the whole thing! These bits and pieces are some remnants from the Remnant Drawer at the EGV. I was pleased to find the tartan material, as I have been wanting to do a small cross stitch project with a Scottish theme. The illustration in the book shows it finished off with a frame of tartan material, which I didn't have until now. The sparkly bit of fabric was cut from an item of clothing that someone left for scrap purposes, and everyone has been hacking small bits off for their own purposes! I will use the little piece with violet flowers in a crazy patchwork project, as I have several bits of purple fabrics that will tone with it. ************** Finally, I stopped off at an opshop on the way home yesterday, and found this little kit for $1 - had to have! It will make a nice gift for someone.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No time to blog!

Just a quick post here to let you know that I'm still around, but haven't had time to post anything much to my blogs. I gave my friend the cross stitched cottage for her 50th birthday last week and she was delighted with it - so much so that she ran around the room showing it to everyone who was at her party! I decided to use the temporary frame I'd had it in, as I couldn't find anything that suited it better than that, and L. said she was happy with it. At the moment I'm busy stitching some Christmas cards for special friends, as well as trying to finish two fabric postcards due out this month, and one or two fabric ATCs...'a stitcher's work is never done' - to re-phrase an old saying! At the EGV today, my colleague W. said she'd been having a clean-up of her linens, and gave me a bag containing aprons, tablecloths, doilies, etc. - some worked, some not. I was delighted of course, and pleased to know this lady thinks enough of me to give her linens to me. But as she said, she knows they're going to a home where they are appreciated. When I've freshened everything up, I'll post photos. But don't hold your breath - between now and Christmas...well, I'm sure you know what it's like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Take Three on the Christmas postcard!

My first two pictures of my Christmas Tree postcard attracted some compliments from readers, for which I thank you all. But after I posted the second photo, I had another look at it and thought to myself "that is disgusting - I can't send this to anybody!" There were three things that had to be fixed: (1)the crooked edges, (2)it was floppy because I hadn't used the right stiffening fabric, and (3)it was smaller than the usual postcard size. So I decided to glue it on to a slightly larger piece of light cardboard, then sew a wide band of ribbon around the edge to cover the cardboard showing on the right side, at the same time making the edges even. Now don't you think this looks much nicer? (I know, the corners are a bit untidy, but hey, nobody's perfect!) ************************************ I asked a Blogger friend to do me a small favour this week, and she was very quick to get on to it, so my Thank You is in the form of a little stitched card. Hope you like it, J!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More fabric postcards

This gorgeous postcard arrived unexpectedly yesterday, from Jane in the U.K. I had to email her to ask if we had planned to exchange postcards because if so, I'd forgotten! She replied within hours, saying yes, we had agreed to a swap, but a few months ago, and she'd taken ages to do it anyway. So that's another one to add to my list of to-do's! But I'm having fun!
****************** I finished this sooner than I'd planned, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered putting the unfinished block on here last night. See what happens when I sit up late trying to finish something? I get the edges off line...still, I'm pleased with the rest of it, so I hope my recipient won't be too critical of the crooked edges!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday's stitching.

As I've mentioned previously, I've become involved in a number of Fabric postcard exchanges. I've completed two fabric postcards, and have three more to do. The next one due to be sent out is for Christmas, and the photo below shows where I am at today. I have some more seam embellishment to do, some stars and other bits to attach, and once that's done, the border will be machine stitched and it will be on its way to the USA. These two blocks are for a Yahoo Group exchange, the theme being "Green" for the December swap, and "Blue" for the January swap. I really like the idea of just having a colour to use for the theme; there is so much scope for everyone to play with their fabrics and bling!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another "swap" postcard has arrived.

This one is from Ilse in Kentucky, USA. It came safely through the mail, wrapped in a cellophane envelope in order to be admired by postal employees around the world, and finally by me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My second Fabric Postcard

This is my second attempt at a postcard made of embellished fabrics, for an exchange in a Yahoo Fabric Postcard Group. I found an interesting scrap of material somewhere, which looked like a brick wall, and decided it would be interesting to embellish it as part of a CQ project. My first idea was to embroider flowers at the foot of it, so I attached the ric rac at the bottom, and embroidered the stems and leaves in detached chain and stem stitches. Sharon suggested using buttons as the flower heads, hence the first one on the left, but I was concerned about how it would go through the post if too many bulky bits were on the postcard, so I ended up using sequins for the rest of the flowers. I think I could have done a better job with the stitching along the 'bricks', but by the time I got this far, I was starting to panic about getting it in the mail in time for the deadline. My exchange partner assured me she was in no hurry, but I wanted to get mine off as soon as I could.
I enjoy doing these postcards and ATCs, as it gives me the opportunity to stitch something other than cross stitch, which I've been doing for 20 years almost without a break, and I do miss the variety of classic embroidery. Now that I've finished my girlfriend's birthday gift, I feel free to mess around with my other projects and ideas!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Two Finished items.

This weekend I finished two of my projects that had a November deadline. This cross stitched Cottage is for my friend who turns 50 in two weeks time - Phew - just made it! I put it in this frame temporarily just to see how it looked, but I may get another one if I see something that would look better. And this is a fabric ATC which started out as an experiment, and ended up as a swap for the Stitchin Fingers ATC group. It will be going to the girl who sent me the ATC pictured in my previous post here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Fabric ATC and some early Xmas gifts.

This ATC arrived today from Sue in the U.K. - she is my exchange partner in one of the Stitchin Fingers Groups I'm in. We are doing a Christmas theme exchange this time, and Sue added some cute little extras to her ATC for me!
Little Xmas Fairy using a wooden clothes peg painted gold. Val and I were trying to figure out what this gorgeous envelope is made of - not quite paper and not quite fabric, but very pretty. Lovely little keyring and unusual bias binding - love that stuff!! Can't wait to use it on a new project.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fabric ATC from Israel!

Check this out!! Isn't it gorgeous? Ira in Israel sent this to me for an exchange on Stitchin Fingers. The little crocheted motif was a surprise extra, and I'm planning to use it in a future CQ block - one that I will keep for myself!

E.G.V. October Exhibition.

I mentioned a week ago that the EGV has a lovely display on this month, titled Past, Present And Future. Sharon and I visited it last Friday and I was able to snap a good amount of photos to show my blog readers. The photos and descriptions are on my Flickr account which you can find here.
But before you go there, stop and smell the roses. Ok, you can't smell them, but you can look! They are in Sharon's front garden and I had to take a photo!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Latest eBay wins.

These three items arrived last week from interstate. Two centrepieces and a sweet huckabuck hand towel.

Random photos.

This is where I am up to on my friend's 50th birthday gift. You can see where I have just started on the cat at the bottom. Hope to finish this by early November at the latest!
This little cherries design is the fourth in a set of jam jar covers I've been doing as "waiting room" projects. They have been small enough to fit in my handbag, and easy to stitch when I don't want to concentrate too hard! I've given the others away to friends, but I might keep this one for myself. It just has to have bias binding around the edge and I can use it to dress up a jar if I have someone over for scones and tea.
This will be made into an ornament to hang on a tree (or anywhere for that matter). It is for a Christmas ornie swap on Stitchin Fingers.
I received this gorgeous fabric postcard from Wendy in the U.S.A. as an exchange for the one I did (with the lady bug) for her. She sent it as is, just addressed and stamped on the back, and it arrived intact, fortunately!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Needlework Display at Box Hill, (Vic., Aust.)

Today (Friday) Sharon and I went to see the exhibition put on by the Needlework Tapestry Guild of Victoria. It was a relatively small exhibition by some standards, as they only have limited space for display, and all the work was done by the members of this Guild. But the quality of the stitching was incredible - I asked if I could take photos and they were happy for me to do so. I didn't know where to start and stop, there were so many I wanted to capture on film. I took 25 pics - too many to put on my blog, so I've put them on my Flickr album - you can see them here. Unfortunately the exhibition was only on for a week, and finishes on Saturday 18th October. I would have posted a reminder on my blog last week if I'd remembered to do so, as I know my Melbourne readers would have enjoyed it very much indeed.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Visitors to my blog from around the world!

For the first time since I installed it on my blog, I had a closer look at the Feedjit Traffic feed on the side bar. I was astonished to find that in the last hour, I've had visitors from a dozen countries! I don't get many comments on here, but I am aware that there are a lot of people out in cyberspace who read my blog to see my linens, and that's what it is here for after all. If you're in one of these countries and are still here - welcome, and thanks for stopping by! U.S.A. (Georgia, Nth Dakota, Michigan, Ohio) France Kuala Lumpur Spain The Philippines Romania Saudi Arabia Canada U.K. Taiwan Czech Republic Australia (Qld, NSW, Vic.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A great show at the Embroidery Guild of Vic.

The EVG has a wonderful display on this month, which I'm sure most of my readers would really appreciate if they got the chance to visit. I was there today in my volunteer role and spent a lot of time in the Gallery, admiring each individual piece on show. The display is titled "Past, Present and Future" and features items that have been stitched a long time ago (by EGV members' mums or grandmothers in some cases); more recently by EGV members; and by children (members' daughters). I asked the display co-ordinator if I could take photos for my blog and she doesn't have any objections, so I'm planning to go back next week and get some pics.
As usual I had a rummage around in the remnants bin and found these fabrics: I'm not sure what I'll do with this, but I love the 70's look of this fabric.
This is so pretty! I couldn't go past these roses!
This scrap of woollen fabric will go well in the Peacock block I am planning. I love this colour combination.
This is a huge piece of fabric - enough to make a tablecloth out of it! I can't believe someone meant this for the remnant bin, and I asked everyone in the building today, but nobody knew anything about it and they said "Take it, Gina. It's been left there, so it is first come, first served". I'm going to keep it complete (not cut it up) for a while, just in case someone else did want it and just hadn't picked it up. If nobody at the Guild claims it, well - there's enough to share around! This is a closeup of the above fabric. Speaking of Peacocks (well I did mention the word somewhere above) I have a new embroidered peacock in my collection. It arrived today from the USA and I'm 'over the moon' with delight!! You can see it here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stitchin Fingers fabric ATC swap arrived today.

I had just posted my Red Buttons fabric ATC off to my swap partner at our post office, and went to the post office box room to check my mail. There was a little packet from England waiting for me - Di had beaten me to it! Here is what she sent me - her gorgeous fabric ATC, and some lovely extras: two skeins of metallic embroidery floss, a beautiful piece of floral fabric and a cute Xmas themed cross stitch kit. Thank you VERY much, Di! I already know what I'll be using the metallic thread for - spider webs on my CQs - it is just what I needed!