Thursday, January 28, 2010

Teatowel Takeaway Tutorial (casserole carrybag)

Jenny of Elefantz issued a January Challenge - to make something useful from a teatowel. Of course, leaving things to the last minute - I made this last night - picking up the teatowels at 10pm. I had seen a casserole carrybag in a patchwork magazines, but that asked for cutting circles and measuring things - bah humbug!!!
First things first....I purchased a pair of teatowels from the supermarket for the princely sum of $1.67
Never mind this idea of pre-washing things first....time is of the essence! (but of course, if you feel the need...go ahead...
STEP 1:Fold each teatowel in half, making an open bag shape - right side together.Step 2:Sew down the side edge, right against the seam, leaving a gap at the top of the bag - about 4.5"
Step 3:Mark across the bottom edge of each bag corner a 3" angle and sew across this line - then trim

Step 4: Placing one bag inside the other, right sides together - pin and sew across the top edges - making one large pocket - turn it right side out through the top gap you left earlier. Step 5: Fingerpress the top fold and topstitch near the seam line
Step 6:
in a straight line (I followed the line on the tea towel), stitch about 4" down from this topstitched edge - this will become the casing for a ribbon and should meet up with the gap in the seam you left earlier (don't think I explained myself well there)
Step 7 : Tie off all the loose threads and thread a ribbon through the casing you just made - I just used what I had in my stash and threaded it through - I might have a look around for something a bit better later, but this green ribbon works well with the green on the teatowel. Step 8:Put a casserole dish in - the idea is to use a covered casserole (I just don't seem to have one handy) and tie the bag closed - Now you can take your casserole in a handy dandy cover which is washable and it will help keep warm.
I remember in the late 70's and early 80's, going along to progressive dinners and pot-luck casserole nights - this would have been good to have then.
Of course, it helps to embroider/applique any design before you stitch the whole thing closed - lesson learnt for next time. I've shown this today at work, and I've already had some enquiries about making them for others.

Oh yes...really good news is that this bag is completely washable AND reversible!!! I might go a bit more ballistic on the next one, with applique instead of cross-stitch....
I hope you've beem able to follow my tutorial....
If you feel that I've not been too clear, leave a message and I'll try to take better photos of the next casserole carrybag I make.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

AUSTRALIA DAY ! ! ! ! - and I am in Quilt Stash Heaven!

Last Saturday, heading out for a trip to the other side of the city to pick up my ebay win - a $10.50 upright vacuum cleaner - I stopped at a Garage Sale. To my wonder, I found box after box of Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazines - years and years of pristine magazines....I grabbed about 20 issues of the sister magazine 'Country Quilting' for $7 - all I had with me at the time - a bargain, considering each magazine retails between $8 and $18 each month.
I'm not a quilter - I am a cross stitcher who is tempted to the dark side to dabble with textile arts.
Of course I asked what price she would accept for the balance of the magazines - and how long before she disposed of them to the charity bin. It turned out the couple were moving on Wednesday and my last chance of the magazines would be today - the Australia Day public holiday.
So I ummed, and ahhhed for the couple of days between. Today at 10:30 I rolled around to the house where the garage sale was, armed with a mere $20 - prepared to select half of the remaining collection - Kallooo-Kallay!!!! She was so happy to have somebody take the 7 boxes of magazines - I got the lot for the $20 !!!!
I am in stash heaven. It took me over 3 hours to scan through one box of magazines before my brain got pattern overload. I have to find a good way to store all these magazines - and I'm taking notes of which magazines have which future project in them. On a rough count, I collected 275 magazines today... - so I have aquired near to 300 magazines for $27.

............................................ a cross stitcher who is one skein of floss away from turning into a patchworker.....

any sympathy?

wanna come play at my house??????

Monday, January 18, 2010

Morning Walks - TUSAL - Jeans Quilt and garden flowers

Please make a cuppa and sit down....this could be a long post.....

I have been quite diligent for the past 6 months or so - I take the dog for a walk every morning - it started as an excuse for exercise - and on the 123stitch message board, on the Aussie thread, I comment daily on the wildlife I encounter (if any) Here is a cut and paste of my last two morning walks.....
I now illustrate them with photos
Sunday Jan 17:
I've been taking a morning walk for many months now - It's all the damn dog's fault - the most consecutive exercise programme I've ever maintained - Ok, so it's not so much an exercise programme now, I can walk up the hill and talk at the same time, I don't have to stop half way up, bent over and try to breathe, my calf muscles don't complain so much - yes I probably should step up the speed or the distance. I really enjoy looking for the wildlife and breathing the fresh air and having that quality thinking time to myself - mostly consumed with 'what am I wearing to work today?' or 'what am I cooking for dinner?' This morning as I stepped out, it was cool, the ground was damp from a recent overnight shower - no so cool as to need a jacket and the air had been washed clean again. The sun was just making a glow on the horizon and it would not be long before warming the air and drying the roadway. I could hear the magpies and mudlarks and some lorikeets in the trees, one bullfrog was quietly calling for a mate amongst the weeds in the creek. As I crested the first rise and found the new footpath, I spotted 1,2 no 3 bunnies. I smiled, because even just seeing these creatures is 'wildlife' - if I'm lucky to get close enough, we watch each other as I pass and I still think they are cute. Before I know it, there is a flurry of movement and I see a mob of kangaroos, 100ft away from me, all moving to the safety of greater distance - after all, I have a dog on a lead with me. I never fail to stand watching these animals with awe, and it brings an inner peace within, knowing that I live so close to their daily routine. I know that as more houses are built, their area will receede, but for now, I am close to them. This particular mob is large, over a dozen roo's are now watching me, watching them. As I turn the corner of the path and start heading away from them, I am made aware that they do not intend to run too far away, but plan to return to that part of the field where I had surprised them. From half way up the hill, I watch, and count the mob - there are 3 slightly smaller roos - they must be this year's joeys. As I watch, and Milo watches the spot he saw a rabbit yesterday, I am treated to a small display of sparring from two large roos - standing and challenging each other - I can even hear the grunting noises. I know that roos are physically capable of jumping high, but I am still impressed at a roo clearing a fence in a standing start. Time to head home, I left the roos to their peace.
I feel spiritually refreshed this morning. I am blessed with the ability to live this lifestyle at the moment and enjoy every encounter.
Monday Jan 18:
Of course, due to the summer solstice being over, it's a lot darker than my weekend walks - and today it's raining.... Did I remember my glasses??? Of course not. I didn't expect to see any bunnies, but surely that dark lump in the middle of the paddock over's a roo? Yes, of course it is......happy now, I've seen a roo, not too clearly, but it is a roo. MY GOODNESS!! There's a whole lot of them - not 50ft away, just watching me.... another 6 roos (that I can count at least) and only one hopped away a few extra feet and stopped and watched me turn away from them at the pathway. Magic!!!!
As I walk up the rise, I can hear a group of Kookaburras laughing at my astonishment - they appear to be in a clump of trees a bit closer than normal. The roos are still where they were I think - it's still dark and drizzly and of course, not being able to see clearly without my specs. Yes...that fencepost moved! They are still watching me.

I've added comments onto the photos themselves, forgot to mention on the last photo, that the roos get as close as the white pipe sticking out of the ground on some mornings too...I'm standing on the footpath on the edge of the road. I also see bunnies around that pole too!
TUSAL - January 15 2010
(shhhh..... I didn't have the lead for my camera at home - had to wait to process my photo!)
I've emptied all my orts from last year into a crystal bowl - don't quite know what is going to happen to them yet...
Here is the first month's orts - this is all from stitching started on Jan 1st. Hmmm.. I've been stitching more than I realise - that's a lot of orts for a fortnight!!!!

Jeans Quilt
Way back in November 09 - I saw an idea for a Jeans quilt on another
blog site - inviting all to join along for a SAL - I finally managed to get all the leftover denim together and set about ripping out the seams this weekend - more photos to come as I progress through this project

Photos from my garden at 6:30 am (dawn - ugh!)
This is a gum tree - and this is the first time we've had gumblossoms about to burst through - they are really this red - glorious - I risked the dampnetude and grabbed a quick snap - more photos as the blossom explodes into a fluffy pompom!

....and without flash!

Friday, January 15, 2010

My first finishes for 2010

I promised photos - and here they are: my blackwork sampler - which only took me 18months or more to finish....stitched on something like 28count scrap of evenweave in my stash - using DMC ecru and DMC metallic. I'm going to sew some calico to either edge so that the framer has something to grip - and get it matted and properly framed - it glitters too nicely to simply make a fabric wallhanging from it. - Sorry it looks a bit crooked at the moment....It has been lying crumpled at the bottom of my 'take my stitching to work in the hope that i'll stitch at lunchtime' bag.

Oh and something from my win - I stitched up this pre-made pillow - my first Christmas finish for 2010 - it was a quick stitch - only took a couple of days from go to whoa!

I've got the chart and the leftover floss (i think DMC) if anybody is interested for the pillow - you just need to supply your own fabric and beads (star bead for the tree and 3 little red beads for the gingerbread man) You know the routine.....leave a message and I'll draw a name next weekend! I might even find something else to add to the envelope - don't know yet....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Dance from me - my prize arrived

I am somewhat of a larger girl (blush-giggle) and it would have been a sight indeed had any of you been able to see into the mailroom at my work this morning!!!
I had returned to work after the seasonal break to find that my prize from Carolyn at Just One more Stitch had arrived.....

S.E.X at work!!! O callay-calloo!! So much skipping and hopping and silent screaming.
I'm cheating somewhat and using Carolyn's original blog photo to show it off...I've already started stitching the snowman pillow...just think...Snowmen for 2010!!!!! woo hoo!!!
There are some wonderful lengths of Debbie Mumm quilting fabric, some tuck pillow ornies, 2 quilt mags (brand new for me in Aust) - the last 2 JCS ornie issues, some wonderful hand cream, a little silk gauze kit (omg 40ct silk gauze!!), a little christmas pillow kit, a large pillow snowman kit, and some sampler GAST fibres.... oh drool - such a treasure trove of stash!

Thank you Carolyn - the news that I had won your competition made my day, and the arrival of your very generous gift made for an excellent start to my year!!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First finish for 2010

Not the one I expected, I'd expected to have had the blackwork sampler finished today, but things happen and the stitching I obsessed about today was the China Doll - stitched on aida. The chart is from Jill Oxton mag 52 (back issue).
The original chart called for a lot more black thread in the umbrella, but I preferred to use the new DMC varigated dark blue in the umbrella and the sash. I used another DMC orange for the flowers in the robes and I really love the effect of the variations on it. I also changed the umbrella spokes from black to a dark tan - oh yes.. also used the orange DMC in for the flowers in the hair again instead of the black!
One down....16 more to go!!
I might finish another aida project before I start another .... let me think about that for awhile hey?