Sunday, 24 September 2017

52 Years in the Making!

I started this woollen quilt in 1965, having had no experience whatever of patchworking. I did make all my own clothes, so I had a lot of left over fabric which I carefully stored away. For whatever reason I decided to use some of the warmer types of fabric remnants to make into a quilt, without any idea of how to proceed apart from cutting triangles. As you can see, the triangles aren't accurately cut to size, so that the whole thing is decidedly oddly shaped!
I was recently persuaded to add a backing to the 'quilt' to at least make it usable as a knee rug perhaps. Today I did that, but it really was rather difficult with the odd shape of the item. Having made a fair attempt, I'll leave it at that, knowing that the Quilt Police will never get to see it to pass judgement! It's fun remembering what bits of fabric came from what garment made all those years ago.

Friday, 22 September 2017


 This is the garden at St Erth, Here which we visited in glorious sunshine today. Quite a contrast to our visit to Coombe Cottage earlier in the week. The daffodils here in the sunshine are all out and looking magnificent.
               However, these in the shade have a week or 2 to go before being all at their best and providing a wonderful sight.
                                  I've never seen a yellow violet before and it's quite charming.
Being in a frosty area the gardeners can grow the English Primrose which wouldn't grow well down lower in the Melbourne area. These at St Erth in a shady corner were doing very well.
Although not really yellow, these Gunnera shoots caught my eye. The plants had been cut down for winter and these prehistoric looking shoots were well on their way out in the spring sunshine.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Dame Nellie Melba.

It was a very cold and windy day yesterday for our visit to Coombe Cottage, the home of Dame Nellie Melba.
We did manage a walk around the garden, but the chilly wind soon sent us indoors.
As the original house that Dame Melba lived in is still used by the family, her great grandsons, the Lords Vestey, we were unable to see inside, but I thought these 'peacock' chairs on the porch and bought by Dame Nellie were fantastic!

Not far from the chairs is a huge and over a century old oak tree the branches of which spread over 25 metres. To help support such a length of branch, gardeners have spliced one branch onto another as a brace. You can see the smaller branch coming off the trunk and growing across to the left and joining onto a lower and heavier branch. Very clever!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


 Right now my garden is looking lovely in the early Spring sunshine. I'm particularly pleased with these Gazanias as I grew them all from seed, and it's taken 2 years for them to flower well.
                          The variations in colour and form are amazing as you can see.
 This one isn't quite fully out yet, but it will only take a few hours for the petals to completely unfurl.
     This one is a little smaller than most of the others, but it's double array of petals is lovely.
        This one has rounded petal tips rather than the pointed ones of the other colours.
 These 3 stitched images were done quite some time ago, but are based on the usual yellow form of the Gazania with the black central markings.
                I used many shades of yellow thread and lots of black and yellow beads.
All the small embroideries were mounted in a single frame with a black background and individual windows for each one. Unfortunately at this stage I can't locate a photo of the final presentation.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

I Only Want 7!

I had a blitz on the final printing of my little 15 x 15 cm image and managed to make 12 from which to choose the 7 that I need, 5 plus 2 artists proofs. Even so, I'm not all that sure that I have 7 without faults, but that's the nature of hand made items, there are minor faults to be expected.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Almost There.

 This is almost what the final version will be, although I don't think that I will spray the printing paper with soft silver as I have here, and I think that the butterfly is perhaps one item too many.
Here is the image with all the component stamps that I have carved and used. I think that I will have to raise the base pattern a little too, in order to leave a space for the print number, title and name.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Slow Stitching.

 A group that I belong to decided to embrace slow stitching and to use this hand stitching to make some small purses and bags for sale at the gift shop of the Embroiderers Guild up and coming exhibition titled 'Ebb & Flow'.
 I haven't done much hand stitching in decades, much preferring the speed and immediacy of machine stitching. However, to show willing I started this hand stitching on a piece of upholstery fabric left over from an old lounge suite that we no longer have. I backed the piece with 2 layers of soft muslin for support.
 Unfortunately I ran out of time to finish the hand stitching, so in order to have something to contribute, I finished the purse off with machine stitching. I used heavy perle thread in the bobbin to tie in with the hand work but working from the back, it was hard to line up the stitching with the pattern on the front.
Lined and with a small button made of wood it doesn't look too bad. At least it's finished, even if it isn't all 'slow stitching' !

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Another Idea.

   I'm finding it very difficult to fit the various elements into the proscribed 15cm x 15cm format.
Here I'm carving a small bending piece of foliage to fit into the small jug and around the little teapot.
             A little piece of the stem is missing, but I'm not worried by that at all.
  The angle of the foliage isn't right and the flowers are too big, but apart from that, it might work!