Saturday, 22 March 2014

A Little Stitching for FNSI

Good Morning Everyone. Last night, despite my body still readjusting to WA time, I joined in with Wendy of Sugarlane Designs for this month's Friday Night Sew-In. Thanks Wendy for a great night!

I worked on my Jacobean needle case which I started last month at my embroidery group. It was my first night back in a group since 2002 and I was lucky that they had just started this workshop. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it before our next meeting next week.

Chain stitch, whipped chain stitch, stem stitch
Jacobean embroidery is also known as crewel embroidery. Worked in 2 ply wool threads, most existing examples of crewel work are from the 16th century onwards. However, the oldest example of crewel work is around 900 years old.

What we know as Jacobean style designs were based on coloured textiles brought to England by traders in the 16th & early 17th centuries. Embroiderer's embellished these textiles, often depicting the tree of life designs that included exotic birds and animals, with simple, monochromatic stitches such as chain stitch, stem stitch, back stitch and seeding.

William Morris and Edward Burnes-Jones revived interest in crewel work in the mid-19th century when they started incorporating it into their designs. If you would like to see some examples of crewel work take a look at the Embroiderer's Guild of WA's website here. (Information from 'Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques', text by Sally Saunders, designs by Anne Butcher & Debra Barrett.)

Now, to wrap up our lovely but quick visit to Adelaide. I did manage to get to Cotton Stitches although it was a bit more tricky to find than the other stores. Here's what we bought. Once again, the ladies were very helpful & friendly.


Young Miss M was fascinated with 2 lion statues at the front of our hotel, The Stamford Plaza. Here she is saying farewell.

Well, I'm off to check out what everyone else got up to for FNSI last night. Have a great weekend!

Tracy xx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Shop Hopping in Adelaide

After deciding to join Mr B on a work trip to Adelaide, Miss M & I spent much of yesterday visiting quilt stores and parks/playgrounds. We also caught up with family last night & plan to again tonight.

Fun at the airport
First we visited Hettie's Patch in Hindmarsh. What a gorgeous storefront she has. Lots of muted tones and vintage look/style fabrics, along with a huge range of notions and haberdashery. We had lots of fun investigating the various rooms of the shop and came away with all these goodies...

Fabrics, tools, threads, buttons & trinkets
The pirate tin is for a special young nephew's birthday to keep all his treasures in. We also found some of this for Nanna to use in her potholders - she's had some difficulty finding it back home.

Luckily we mentioned the other store we were planning to visit, Quiltaholics, and found out that they had moved out to the hills. Unfortunately that was a bit far for us to travel but the ladies kindly pointed us in the direction of Patchwork by Sea in Brighton.

This was another lovely shop with beautiful fabrics, books and notions, and what a beautiful location! They are moving to new premises shortly so luckily we were able to take advantage of their moving sale. Here's what we bought...

Fabric, books & more threads, buttons & tools
These guys usually attend all the major craft fairs around the country but, unfortunately for us, have decided not to this year. With so much going on (moving shop, setting up a new website, various BOM and workshops, etc.) they needed a bit of a break. They have asked us to let their Perth customers know to keep an eye out for their new website, coming soon.

We took advantage of the lovely day to play at the playground, walk out on the jetty & grab some lunch while in Brighton. A very pleasant afternoon indeed.

After Miss M's sleep today we are hoping to visit 1 more store, Cotton Stitches. We just missed their sale (sad face) but are looking forward to seeing what they have on offer.

One thing I've noticed so far is that the Adelaide stores seem to have a lot of more vintage/muted type fabric colourways, plus Kafe Fasset fabrics & Moda precuts seem to be a favourite. Not as many brights and marbled type fabrics as we find in Perth. Interesting.

Until next time, happy stitching.
Tracy xx

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Back to Christmas

I recently realised that I hadn't finished sharing my Christmas stitching with you. It's hard to believe that Christmas was nearly 3 months ago! Where does the time go?

Way back in October I started cutting out and preparing the fabric to make 2 soft toys for Miss M and her cousin, Master J, for Christmas. Another awesome design by Pauline McArthur of Funky Friends Factory, the pattern was featured in Homespun Issue 116, Volume 14, No. 1.  These were the resulting gifts and, happily, they were ready in time for Christmas.

Wilbur Wombat - for Master J

Wilhemina Wombat - for Miss M

Wilhemina Wombat

Aren't they cute? They were reasonably easy to create. The only issue really is that it's difficult to see Wilhemina's eyes because of the strong fabric pattern. They are well loved wombats!

Back to the present, and this is what I got up to last night...cutting my scrap fabric into various sizes ready to have a go at making a scrap quilt one day. Doesn't look like much for 2 hours work but I was able to watch both series of NCIS while doing it which made me very happy.

I hope you've had some stitching time & a great week.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

FNWF Follow Up

Ok, so remember I said I think I still have baby brain? Well, I've confirmed it. After deciding last night to create a light coloured churn dash on a dark background I started stitching without rearranging my pieces. So, I've ended up with a dark churn dash on a light background. I'm pretty happy with it though.

The seams are not as straight as I would have liked but I think it's pretty good for a first effort. It's the most complicated block I have tried so far.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, 7 March 2014

FNWF & A Little Catch Up

What a crazy couple of weeks this has been. So much going on that I don't know where to start, so let's start with FNWF (Friday Night With Friends). My dear hubby is in hospital tonight after a knee operation so I took the opportunity to spend time in my sewing room for the evening. I had half completed the February block of the month for the WAQA Community Quilts program (hover your mouse over the 'Activities' menu to find the pattern) and really wanted to finish it. This is where I started from tonight...

A few (scary) cuts later and I have the makings of a Disappearing Windmill Churndash Block. Depending on which way you turn the fabric squares you end up with either a light or dark Churn Dash with the pinwheel in the centre. Cool huh?

I will be stitching the block together before I go to bed tonight - think I'll make it a light one as it seems to stand out more from the background. Thanks very much to Cheryl for once again hosting this wonderful online get-together. If you would like to see what everyone else has been doing you can take a look on Cheryl's blog, Gone Stitchin'.

Other things that have been happening in the whirlwind of my life...I have cut out and fused the froggy images to go with the cute phrase I was stitching for FNSI last month (see my previous post here). Now I just have to work out how to machine applique them in monofilament thread. This will be a challenge as I have only ever done hand applique.

I also turned my sample from the exercises in the Quilter's Academy book into a cushion for my Grandmother by adding a blue border and backing. Unfortunately my measurements didn't work out quite right (I swear I still have baby brain!) so the border is not as wide as I wanted it to be. She was very happy with it though. You can see the sample on my previous post here.

Earlier this week I also made a cake for my nephew's first birthday party which we were lucky enough to have at our place, especially since my sister and her family live in Broome. He seemed to like it but my waistline is not so sure.

And last night we were very proud to attend our eldest daughter's first photo exhibition. It was part of a larger showcase of new/budding talent put on by an organisation called RAW. She did an amazing job and her photos were fantastic. Unfortunately my photo doesn't do her display justice. If you're interested you can see some close ups of her photos on the RAW website here.

So, now to finish up my block and try to get a little sleep before daughter no. 2 wakes me up in the early hours. I hope you have all had a very creative evening and look forward to seeing what you've been up to.