This blog should be called "The Adventures of a Fabric Junkie!". I am passionate about fabric, threads, colours and textures. I can record my crazy quilting, sane quilting, embroidery and everything else that I consider important in my life.

Photo shows my block for the Hurricane Katrina fund-raising quilt "All That Jazz".

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Message in a Bottle crazy quilting challenge 2013

At last I have finished my entry for the Message in a Bottle Challenge organised by Thearica Burrows from Crazy Quilting Supplies. I wanted to make something that would appeal to adults as well as to children and consulted my seven year old grandson Jesse who is learning about ecology in school for advice. The end result is a concertina style book which slides into a presentation box for safe keeping.

Here is the story in Pages.....there is a thin gold dotted line sewn across all the pages that tracks the journey that the bottle undertakes from being thrown into the sea to when it is washed up on the beach.

Page One
The bottle was thrown from a sailing ship by a sailor who was afraid of the approaching storm and the rocks below the sea. I stitched the sailing ship masts and hull first before attaching each white felt sail with tiny blanket stitches and finished off with the rigging. I thought that the two birds were not "flying" birds because they had no wings, so they are seagulls floating on the waves.

Page Two
Before it reaches the surface, the bottle is taken over the top of a brightly coloured coral reef.

Page Three
As it travels the world for one hundred years, the bottle is caught up in swirling currents. I found this block challenging because part of the kit was a piece of turquoise net on which was stitched these three ribbon roundels. I unpicked the roundels from the netting and re-stitched them back again onto the circular swirling current. The kit also included a ball of beige coloured Perle cotton which I used to make the length of tatting on the sandy sea-bed.

Page Four
The bottle is eventually picked up by the waves and carried by a huge surf towards the shore. In the block, I included the netting that was the background of the roundels and also included some of the sequins which were also attached to the netting. I enjoyed creating the waves out of lots of pieces of white lace, some of which were included in the kit and hopefully I have captured the movement of the surf.

Page Five
At last the bottle is thrown up onto a beach.........a beach polluted with dead sea creatures such as the turtle trapped in rope, the duck with a rubber band around its neck, dead fish caught in a piece of wayward net, more bottles, a rubber sandal, a tin can, beaded oil slick, plastic and now, our bottle.  The message spills out, a simple S.O.S., no longer for the sailor whom we assume sailed home safely but for our own Planet Earth. 
Eventually, people arrived who understood the problems facing our environment. They cleaned up the ocean and the beaches and educated  the general public to respect our world - the water as well as the land.

Page Six
The last picture shows the results of this campaign to clean up our environment. There is a pristine clean beach with butterflies fluttering over fresh sea grasses, there are dolphins playing in the sea and clean water lapping on the shoreline, all under a bright, warm sun. Two surfers have propped their surfboards in the sand while they take a break and their boards reflect the message. The most time consuming part of this block was the surfboards as both are cross-stitched onto 27 threads-per-inch canvas. 

I can only hope that I have helped to spread the message.......let's keep our world clean from pollution!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Crackers

The Southern Cross Crazies had a Christmas Cracker swap and the crackers are now winging their way to their new owners.  This was the fabulous swap, I loved making the cracker outers and stuffing the cardboard paper towel middles with goodies almost as much as I love receiving and opening my crackers from other people!!
These are the three crackers that I made and posted to Natascha  (Victorian), Faye (Autumn) and Maureen (Cream/Blues Victorian).
The first cracker that I received was from Natascha.  It was a bright and cheerful Christmas themed cracker and contained more Christmas stuff PLUS Natascha added a baby doll in a christening gown and a gorgeous china Rocking Horse for my dolls house.
This is the cracker, baby doll and rocking horse. Note the beetle on the top of the cracker - he is gorgeous, red and gold stitching with detached gold beaded wings.  Here is a close-up of the beetle.

This was the cracker opened - it contained Christmas fabrics, lots of gold trims and beads, red trim, a button and a fabulous assortment of Christmas patchwork material including the large Father Christmas cut-out.

My second cracker was received from Maureen in Victoria.  This one was a beautiful Victorian cracker and Maureen had also thought of my miniatures by including a round doily which will be perfect for a dolls house tablecloth and some very mini braid.
Maureen included lots of cream fabric, laces and pearl trim for my cream-on-cream quilt blocks, lots of pastel trinkets and buttons and beautiful frosted flower beads.  I am a very happy little vegemite at the moment!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dolls House Size Crazy quilt

Today I finally finished the 1:12 scale crazy quilt that I have been working on for the last two or three weeks. The whole quilt measure 8 1/4 inches x 7 inches or 21cm x 17.5cm and there must be at least two hundred tiny patches, I haven't counted them all. Each one is embroidered around all sides just like in a real crazy quilt and the tiny black edging finishes it all off. The edging was one that I bought in England when we were there two years ago but it was sky blue, so taking up my husband's suggestion, I dyed it black and then slip-stitched it around the edges of the lined quilt once it was dry. I am posting this to both my crazy quilting blog and my doll's house miniature blog because it fits them both. The straight edge is the top while the curved bottom edge is designed to go down the end and sides of a four-poster bed.
I used the stitch and flip method of piecing the tiny patches by hand, using a 3 mm or 1/8 inch seam and tiny running stitches.
This is a close-up of the bottom right hand corner showing some of the decorative motifs such as a butterfly, Rose spray and fan.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Block Six. Serenity Prayer Block

This is block six for my crazy quilt.  This was a nice, peaceful block to stitch and I really enjoyed it.  However, in the flesh the Serenity Prayer motif and beaded edge are fairly straight while squashed under the scanner it shows as crooked and all over the place.  Not to worry, I know that it is straight and that is the main thing........
I am finding that all my hoard of stuff from Flights of Fancy over the years is really coming in useful now, especially the motifs with beading and sequins attached. I get heaps of pleasure digging around in my large container of bits and pieces which I collected over several years.  The littte framed image of Violets under the prayer was a Charity Shop find.  It is cross-stitched on 40 holes to the inch canvas and requires a magnifying glass to even see the beautiful stitching. Obviously someone didn't appreciate the work involved or it wouldn't have been donated to the Op Shop for me to pounce on.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Block 5. Butterfly and Owl

Here is block five finished.  I couldn't put this one down, it kept saying "put this here, add that there...." until in the end I couldn't put anything else anywhere else.  I like to cover every seam, I hate bare seams although I don't mind something trailing from one patch across a seam to another patch. Anyway as soon as this block is blogged, I am off to start block 6 which is sitting on the dining room table all ready and waiting.

The large Butterfly lace motif has been hand-dyed in mauve and lemon and then beaded with mauve beads.  The Forget-me-nots are tiny blue buttons while the tiny little Owl at the top was a cute brass charm that my husband wanted me to use on the block. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Crazy Quilt Happening

I have retired from full-time work.........yayyyy, clapping at last I can get back to my crazy quilt which I started over five years ago.  I have just finished the first four blocks with about twenty more to go.  I have put my cream-on-cream crazy quilt on the back burner for now because I need to remove all of the gold brass charms and replace them with gold thread embroidery. As the charms tarnish and go dull and dark, there is no way that I can clean them without marking the cream fabrics and laces - I don't know what I was thinking of, putting metal charms on the blocks. To see the cream-on-cream blocks check out the post for May 22nd 2011.

So I am back to the coloured one and I'm really having fun. I have no idea when I start stitching just what I am going to finish up with. It's like the blocks are telling me what they want putting on them next. Here are photos of the first four blocks which may all get sewn together into a very colourful and busy crazy quilt or they may get separated by strips of black velveteen fabric. Definitely NOT black velvet though or the house and my nose will be full of little specks of velvet pile.

Block One. Peacock is hand-dyed and sequins added to his eye and tail. I thought he went well with the Peacock Feather fabric to the right of the bird.

Block Two.  Angel block.


Block Three.  Floral Bouquet Block.  The floral embroidery in the centre was recycled from the lid of a trinket box which I did for a magazine article featuring Rajmahal Threads. The embroidery was all worked in a single thread. When the black fabric box got shabby from use, I unpicked the lid and used it on this crazy quilt block.

Block Four.  Fans Block with some gold metal fans which started life as a pair of earrings.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Maire's and Jacque's Christmas Tree Skirt Wedges finished

Here are the last of the Christmas Tree Skirt Wedges finished.  I put the last stitches in Maire's today at work. It has kept my workmates interested in the end results as they see the naked wedges and watch them slowly get covered in beads, stitching, charms and trims until they are completed and the next day I turn up with the next one.

I started with putting the sparkly red ribbon and stitched edge across the middle of the huge olive green patch in the centre of the wedge then added the olive green lace motif which I cut in half, spread across the centre of the ribbon and stitched on the heated sequinned motif. That broke up the large expanse of one colour.  At the top I have put Santa arrived under the Australian skies with the Southern Cross dominant and down the bottom I have snow flakes and swags with lots of gold and silver charms suspended form them.

Here is Jacque's Christmas tree skirt wedges.  Jacque made diamonds and triangles with curved edges. She  is going to join the diamonds which all have a blank piece at the top so she can add a crocheted doily which her grandmother made which has eight petals. Then in between the diamonds at the bottom she is going to insert the triangles which will splay out - should look great when it is done.