Monday, September 28, 2009

A flurry of finishes on the weekend.

The boys are at MIL's for the week - which means I have no excuse for putting my sewing machine away. It was too dark to stitch comfortably over the weekend, so I spent some time putting a few finishes together. Wendy's, (my friend at work) Aunty Mu has recently moved into Assisted Care Living - I asked Wendy if she thought Aunty Mu would like a comfort cushion - and finished this for her on the weekend. The sampler was a freebie from I think a french site a couple of years ago and had sat in my files for awhile. When I stitched it, I didn't think the sillhouette of the cat was clear enough, so I filled it in in burgundy thread. Of course, then I had to scatter a few burgundy mini-hearts across the alphabet. I think the fabric I found is a perfect match for the varigated thread used! Of course, now that I know how to make ruffle's - I don't think there are many proposed pillows that will be safe! The needlebook, although large, is a variation of a freebie found at Plum Street Samplers sometime back in June. One of my stitchy friends should find this in their stocking this year. More than probably with a packet of needles in it as well..........
Halloween finishes............ I just love the little pumpkin bells a-danglin' - this is a Val's Little Stuff - as is the other little finish. You can't quite see it, but it was stitched on a scrap of lurex aida - I think the only bit i've ever had to stitch on.....lots of fun and a great sparkly effect.
I've also discovered making cords - and use my stash of Anchor floss and floss from kits to make cords for ornaments and stuff. This ornament was the one that I changed the cat from smokey black/grey to ginger.

I'll have to find a branchy twig to spray paint black so I can have my 4 - count them total 4 ornaments...that i've made over the past 2 years..... and display them over the long weekend at the end of October - also works out to being the Melbourne Cup long weekend! Any excuse for a party!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Giveaway - Giveaway - Giveaway !!!!!

Not mine - but click on this link to Tapestry of Dreams - Patti is having a massive giveaway to celebrate her 3year blogaversary !! Congratulations and good luck!

Lydia is having a giveaway to celebrate 50 posts!!! Click on this link to leave a comment - but be quick - you have less than a week!

Melissa is having a sneaky hidden giveaway - sssshhhhh.... don't tell her I told you!

Of course, if you work your way to the Gumtree button on the side - that will take you to a group of Aussie Quilt and Stitchery designers who have got together to offer a massive giveaway and occasional freebies.

Good Luck on all of these....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red Bird and Orange Cat

Yesterday morning I put the last stitches into Bent Creek's 'Redbird Sampler'. This is one of a series that I really have admired for awhile - and now I have the opportunity to stitch them all. Of course I never have the fabric specified, but pick up whatever is in my box when the urge hits me. This is some sort of 32count in a soft tan colour. I'll possibly stitch the matching summer sampler on the remainder of this fabric.
Of course, Pyro was underwhelmed by this stitching finish. I'm certain that he was excited within!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Winner of Centenary Post Competition

Harry has just drawn a name from the 'Bowl of Destiny' (thanks Edgar for that description - hope you don't mind me pinching it!)

The winner of my mystery box of bits & bobs is....... TA-DAH..... !!


Please send me an email with your snail mail addy and I'll post something out to you this week!

Congratulations Fran and thank you everybody for entering!

Halloween Cushions - showing off finishes!

Good Morning!
I had finished these last night, but as Martin was out at John's Gig with the camera - had to wait until he got home - and then I couldn't upload the pic until this morning!!! I'm doing a happy dance!!!
The fabric for both these cushions I received last week in a fabric exchange. As the organiser I was able to bend the rules and ask for halloween fabrics, as they are few and far between here. I have so many little bits & bobs that need halloween fabric to finish them! The fabric for La-d-Da's 'Smell my Feet' is perfect - but I decided that one ruffled cushion in an evening was enough! I wanted to showcase the candy corn fabric on the other - so just did a quick log-cabin style border before putting the back on.
I've got a family lunch to attend today, so no more finishes this weekend - but I'm so glad that I've got these done well and truly in time for Halloween, instead of rushing at the last minute! I"ll draw a winner of my centenary blog tonight!!! I might put a pumpkin button on the 'Spook when spoken to' cushion - not sure......will give it a day or two to think about. I love sharing my work with my blog-family of stitchers - my family of boys are so less enthusiastic about it all!!!

TUSAL & How to make a Halloween or Memory Bag - and less than 24 hours to enter Centenary Competition!

Firstly - here's my TUSAL update - it's getting harder to keep those threads smooshed down past the neck. Lots of green thread there from my current aida WIP. I bought that pink picture of Bendigo Cathedral on our honeymoon 22 years ago - in Bendigo. Nothing special, but not thrown out yet!
As promised - here is the step-by-step pictures how to make a memory or in this case - a Halloween Bag.
Step 1 - Square off your stitched item, centering the design. Cut the same size in the appropriate patchwork fabric (as you can see - I didn't iron it - If you need to iron, then go ahead - it might make everything a bit easier to get square)

Step 2 - pin the two fabrics together - face together. My hint for sewing, is to put 2 pins together to show you where to stop. I can get carried away and forget to count the corners I turn...I know to stop at the 2 pins.

Step 3 - Trim, turn through and slip stitch closed.

Step 4 - count evenly from the corners - in this case I counted 6 diagonal stitches down and stitched an x, then stitched the button. I then counted another 6 stitches diagonally down and from behind, pulled the needle & thread through. I stitch a neat x and fasten the button through the entire thicknesses. I know this is out of focus slightly, but this is the moment just before I pull the needle and thread tight - which will fold the corner over neatly. Stitch each corner in the same manner - remembering to count the same number of stitches for each corner - in this case 6 then 6. A larger bag might be 6 then 12 - which makes a bigger corner fold.

Step 5 - Make a cord or use a pre-made ribbon and carefully thread it through under each corner and tie off at the end.

Step 6 - Turn it thourgh so that your stitched piece is on the inside - and you have a finished bag!

By the time I had finished this, dark clouds had come over, and of course I didn't think to turn the flash on the camera....but I think you might get the idea.

Don;t forget my centenary competition - so far there are only 8 entries - and I'm drawing it late Sunday evening - my time. - about another 20 hours!!! All for a mystery box which is growing....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Memory Bag - thank you

I am pleasantly surprised at the compliments about my Memory Bag.
I cannot take the credit for the design of the bag, as somebody on my blog list posted a picture of their finish only about 2-3 weekends ago. It was such a simple idea - I had to try it out. I only wish I knew who it was so that I could thank them for the idea.
The idea of making little tags and calling it a Memory Bag came from nowhere but compassion for Maria. It is such a simple design and idea - I am more than happy if somebody wants to take the concept and run with it.
The next bag I make, I will take progress photos in an attempt to explain, step by step, how it's made. After receiving a lot of Halloween fabric in a recent exchange (and it's all so yummy - believe me!), my next bag will be a Halloween bag - for no real reason, but that I've got a few small finishes and I've now got the right fabric to finish them properly.
So, hopefully, Saturday looks like stitching day, and as long as the batteries in my camera work, I should be able to have some 'How-To' photos on Sunday. ( I really have to go to the family lunch on sunday????)
fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September WIP - and Competition updates....

As promised, here are my current two 'flavour of the month' WIP's.
On 14count white Aida - stitched with DMC 3362 is The Country House by Ginger Gouger. I chose the green because blue doesn't suit my house colour scheme. I've had this chart for quite some time, but as I've been scrounging my stash for sale for the 'Bronny needs to buy a Sampler' fund - this one leapt out at me. The subtle shading is achieved by a combination of full x-stitch with 2 strands, full x-stitch with one strand and half x-stitch with one strand. At times there does not seem to be a definition of one or two strand x-stitch as I look at it, but then from a distance the subtle change is noticable.
The other WIP is Redbird sampler by Bent Creek - stitched on a 32 count evenweave - over 2 threads using one strand. I did a test stitch and felt that 2 strands of DMC was too bulky for my taste. I admire the look of the specialty floss as per the model, but have to stitch within a budget and use the floss I already have.

Check out this newest blog on the block - I've stumbled across it from Lizzie's Blog - A House in the Country - it looks like a very interesting group of bloggers/designers and I look forward to getting to know them and their designs better. Best wishes on your new venture! Be sure to follow up on their competitions.

Speaking of Competitions - don't forget to leave a message on my last post if you want to join in my Centenary Post celebration. My mystery gift should be a mish-mash of stitcher supplies - possibly some of my hand made buttons - patchwork fabric - stitching fabric and some DMC or other floss.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Centenary Post - Giveaway, memory bag, Gone with the wind, and more.....

Double celebration - my 100th post AND over 60 followers...!!!!

I've got to give out something special to mark this occasion. But what to give??? I don't have much - most of my charts are now listed on ebay - for the 'Bronny needs to buy a sampler fund' -

However - I will put together a MYSTERY BAG of at least 2 pieces of fabric and 6 skeins of DMC and at least one chart - Leave a comment on this post only to enter. I will draw a winner next SUNDAY night - my time (ie:
you have 8 calendar days from this post to enter.....)

I also want to show off a memory bag I made for a workmate. She is devastated following the loss of her father and I had a 'gut feeling' to make a Memory bag for her - especially after seeing on somebody else's blog a similar bag - I had to try making it myself.
I charted the words 'Special Memories' using the old-fashioned method - graph paper and pencil. I'm so pleased how it turned out - adding a rhodes heart. The tokens contain thoughts/themes. The idea is that she selects one token and has a happy thought about her father with that theme. I included such ideas as : present received, present given, food, flower, colour, pet, sibling, favourite christmas meal, favourite item of clothing, most repeated anecdote.

I watched Gone with the Wind the other night - more so a 'chick-flick' as I drooled over the sets and the glassware and the clothing. Vivien Leigh's Scarlett was a tad over the top, especially in comparision with current acting techniques, but as a whole I thoroughly enjoyed the movie

John has payed today at the final for the Youth in Blues project - although not a winner today, is already determined to enter again next year and is as I type, sitting in his room practicing a new song.. Check out his myspace page (I don't run facebook or myspace - have enough trouble keeping up with blogger!.

I would love to show you what I'm working on, but have not taken photos...I might take a few tomorrow morning and try to upload them. I've picked up Bent Creek's Redbird Sampler, I've started a monochromatic picture of a house on aida, I've still got Inspiration and Poppies going (not to mention a few others that are trying so hard not to fall into the UFO pile!)

That's all my warblings for now.....please leave a post if you want to enter my centenary post competition...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Halloween - of competitions, stitching and buttons

Once again - not mine - but never fear - I'm searching through my stash today to see what I can offer for my own 100th post giveaway!

However - Riona is offering a Halloween Giveaway to celebrate - duh! Halloween ..... AND her birthday!

I am getting more and more excited about Halloweenie stitches... I bought these on ebay this week - so excited over mere buttons - but I've plans for them - I wonder if I can post finishes this week??? hmmmm I might have a finishing flurry tomorrow afternoon..

I also bought some bat buttons - (wondering where I put the remnants from last halloween) and some creepy cat buttons, but I've no pic's of those to share until I use them on my finished stitches. I was looking for a teeny tiny spider button, but might have to fudge a stitched one.