It’s been a long time!

Time has flown again  – it has become far too easy to do a quick Instagram post rather than taking the time to write a blog post.  However, here’s an update on what’s been happening.

On the stitching front I’ve been doing some garment sewing and enjoying getting back into that again.  So far this year I have made two tunics, a pair of shorts and a pair of linen pants. This is my latest effort – a dress combining a medium weight linen top with a contrast bottom of Anna Maria Horner cotton on the bottom.Processed with MOLDIV

I have even decided to improve my fitting skills and have enrolled in a one-day course in amending commercial patterns to fit your body shape.  I have short arms and a short length between neck and shoulder which always seems to cause problems with sleeves and necklines, so I hope the course will help me remedy that.

More babies keep arriving for my young work colleagues and I quickly made this baby quilt for a new baby girl who has a Portuguese heritage – what better fabric than Porto from Cotton and Steel!

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Another project was my contribution to a group quilt that our SydModSquad Group is entering into the Sydney Quilt show mid year. We all made a border for a medallion quilt and used a rainbow colour scheme. I used small floral fabric for one size and small polka dots for the other.

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I’ve also joined a new craft group which meets one night a week in a lovely store/workshop space called The Happen Store.   We are a group of 12 and diverse in terms of age and craft interests.  It’s always a fun night with cake and wine to share and lots of laughter. I’ve mainly been doing some EPP handwork for a Tessellations Quilt by Brigitte Giblin which I hope to finish by the end of the year.IMG_4853

Last but not least, a young fellow cat lover had a birthday last weekend and I whipped up a quick pair of pillowcases for her as a gift.IMG_4939

On the home front I have almost finished a bathroom upgrade which has kept me poor and stressed , but it it almost done and is a vast improvement.

IMG_4823Cosmo and Pepe keep me entertained as always, with lots of fluffy cuddles all round, although it is hard to get up and go to work when this is the view at the end of my bed :).

I hope you are having a good start to the year … til next time.

Lois

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Serendipity

I don’t know about you, but for me the internet and social media such as blogs, Pinterest and Instagram sometimes lead me down pathways to serendipitous discoveries.  I saw some embroidery that I liked in a gram by Annemieke Bears from the Netherlands on Instagram, which led me to her website where I saw a picture of a Dilly Bag  she made from from a Brigitte Giblin pattern.

Dilly bag I made a comment on the post about the embroidery and also asked about the bag pattern. Needless to say I then bought the pattern and the paper pieces.

Annemieke kindly responded and also recommended that I might like to look at another embroiderer and maker which led me to Cecile Franconie and her beautiful work. Cecile blogs in French and even if you don’t translate the text the photos of her work are are truly captivating.

imageShe uses a wide variety of fabric and then everything imaginable to embellish it – beads, thread, ribbons wool and so on.

Several weeks later I went to the annual quilt and craft fair here in Sydney and as I entered who should I see doing needlework in a beautiful display of her work was Cecile.

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Cecile’s visit had been advertised as part of the show, but I didn’t know anything about her work when I read the guide. I only put the pieces together when I saw her work at the show. Serendipity strikes again!

cecile Franconie

 

 

 

 

If you would like to see more of Cecile’s work she has a book which is published by Quiltmania.

Hope you are enjoying creating.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting organised

I’ve decided to keep on with my goal of simplifying life this year following some moderate success in 2015.  I certainly have fewer books and less clothes that I did this time last year.

My focus words for 2016 are Waste Less – whether it be time, money, food or emotional energy – all in all to be more mindful of how I live.

Part of this involves being more organised.  For those of you who have been following me for a while know that I learnt how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP) last year and have found it to be quite addictive in a meditative way.  Yesterday I bought myself a small carry case to organise my EPP tools and supplies and spent a happy hour or so last night organising them.

My tool box.image

Inside layer containing clips, thimbles, needles, business cards, pin cushion, ruler etc.

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Next layer with Crazy Cat Lady pencil case (couldn’t resist it, especially as the cats look like patchwork) for pens and glue for basting and small hexie bag for various threads.

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The bottom layer for paper pieces and template plastic.  Now I’m good to go when the mood takes me.

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These are a couple of stars I did on Saturday night. I’m waiting for some fabric to test for the background before I do any more.

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I hope you are having a stress-free start to the year.

WIP Stars update

Hope you are having a great start to the year.

I tried a rough layout of my stars quilt over the Christmas break and discovered that I already have too many stars and that some just don’t play well with others!  I originally started with a specific design design in mind which used quite large diamond templates (1.3/4″), however I changed my design idea along the way which now means that I have to make a large quilt in order to achieve the organic look that I want.

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It was difficult to get a decent photo because of the size of the layout. This is taken in the foyer of my apartment building with the layout on the floor.

I’ve now sorted the stars into colourways and have decided that I will applique them to the background fabric so that I can achieve the free flowing design that I want.

I’m now concentrating on adding a few in specific colours, such as the pink/orange ones below.  I also need a couple more blues.  I will not use about 10-15 of the stars that I have already made as they just don’t flow with the idea I have in mind. Some are really pretty but they just don’t feel right in the layout.

Now I am focusing on finding the right background fabric so that I can start to make a grid of the layout ideas. I’m currently thinking of a charcoal grey background, perhaps tone on tone, but I’m not committed as yet. Any ideas are welcome!

I had a new layout thought today which I am keen to try. More soon …

Still stitching

I have been stitching, but as most of it has been for gifts for Christmas I can’t post the photos yet.

I took some time out over the week-end and stitched some stars. I hope to have enough done by Christmas to be able to decide on a final design.

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Today is the first day of summer here and yet last week we suffered through two days of over 40’C even though it was still officially Spring. Let’s hope the talks in Paris finally agree on some action on climate.