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".

Monday, October 17, 2005

Finished Katrina Block

I have finally finished my block for the Hurricane Katrina fundraising quilt - I hope. I can't see any spots that need a quick fix at the moment anyway. Also there is a close-up of the silk ribbon embroidered Wisteria and Magnolias with the little Humming Bird charm which I loved and was waiting for a perfect opportunity to use. I think this is the right time. I have really enjoyed working on this block, not just a good cause but a wonderful challenge. Thankyou Sharon, for the invitation to participate in the project.

Unfortunately, I have installed Firefox due to being caught out by the Spy Sheriff spyware and viruses and this stops me be able to post photos directly to my blog. I will ask my resident computer doctor to fix this problem but in the meantime, here are links to my flickr photostream.

All that Jazz block 001

Monday, September 19, 2005

More Katrina Hurricane Relief cq block notebook pages.

This page from my notebook contains simple sketches of ideas for stitching seams and patches on the block. On the left is my original idea for the dancing music and on the right are several sketches showing a Victorian hand charm scattering stars over the block below, which got changed to the hand scattering Purple, Green and gold beads to represent the colours of the Mardi Gras; a suggestion for random smocking and a seam embellishment idea.

Katrina photos 005

The second page shows my "textures" page with sequins, glitter, beads, sparkly threads - all sorts of textures and glitz which represent the carnival type atmosphere of the Mardi Gras and New Orleans Jazz Festival.
Katrina photos 004

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Block for Katrina Hurricane relief.

It is so good to be blogging again after so long away handling real-life situations. I have to thank Sharon Boggon from inaminuteago for inviting me to be a participant in the Crazy Quilt to raise money for the American Red Cross so they can help victims of hurricane Katrina. Now I'm revisiting my much neglected blog as I use it to record my progress on my block.

I couldn't wait to get cracking on the block so immediately created a little notebook so I can record my ideas and draw my various stitch combinations before I jump in with needle and thread and find out that it doesn't work! My photos show my notebook open at the "colours" page where I glued pictures cut from the internet, from clip art, magazine cuttings and pieces of fabric.
Katrina photos 002

Then I took a good hard look at the pages noting that I had quite a lot of turquoise, not much yellow, a small area of orange, a bit more hot pink etc and I tried to keep the colour combination on the block to the same proportion.
Katrina photos 001

This photo is of my first completed patch - my Jazz piece! It is simply five lines of black stem stitch with a row of musical charms dancing along them. I think the charms were meant for scrap-booking but they were perfect for my block.
Katrina photos 003

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cream on cream crazy quilt blocks.

I have been working on culling my stash in the nicest possible way. I had a large box of white, ivory, cream and antique cream coloured fabrics and another large box of antique lace pieces which have been gleaned from old garments, antique shops, eBay purchases and some that have been given to me. It seemed a shame to have them all squashed up together in a box so I am going to make a quilt for our queen size bed. My husband measured out the blocks and decided that I need to have twelve rows of eight blocks - that's ninety-six?? so far, I've completed ten! I should mention that any fabric pieces which appear to be a greyish colour or have what appear to be black threads running through them are in fact cream and threads are metallic gold. I will also do a tiny bit of gold metallic embroidery to liven up some of the blocks. At the moment, I'm not doing any embellishment or embroidery but I'm collecting cream coloured threads including two wooden reels of 1920s Pearsall's rayon embroidery thread. Here are the first four blocks using my favourite pieces of antique lace.
Cream quilt block 001
Cream quilt block 002

Cream quilt block 003
Cream quilt block

Lily's crazy quilted Monet's Garden with Lily Pond

I worked with a girl called Lily who wanted a special wallhanging based on my ATC size purses. She wanted abstract yet she also wanted it to look like a garden with a Lily pond so I pieced nine ATC size blocks and joined them together haphazardly. It is only by looking at my photos on Flickr and on this blog that I have been able to enjoy the lovely jewel colours, as in real life it looks like a jumbled mess of colour. I have just started to work some embroidered embellishments on the lily pond but I will scan it again once it is finished. Lily intends to put a large mount around the garden and then frame it.
Lily's Lily Pond

To see the large version of this photo, put this link into your search engine.

Opal and Bornite (Peacock Ore) ATCs

These are my favourite two ATCs from my gemstone collection. Bearing in mind that these are only 3 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches, there is a lot of tizzy glitz on each one. The Opal one which is my very favourite is just covered in black sparkle which once again has been killed off by the scanner, and includes six little real Opals which have been created by sandwiching a thin slice of opal between a backing and a resin "bubble", however they were perfect for my ATC. I was thinking "Mardi Gras" colours while I was working on this.
Gemstones crazy patchwork 005

To see the large size photo, enter this link into your search engine.

This ATC just MIGHT finish up with my good friend Linda from Chloe's Place if she is very, very good and grovels and begs nicely. My starting point for this ATC was the gold fan charm which adapted beautifully into the Peacock's tail. I used only Peacock colours on this ATC which represents Bornite and needless to say, I had heaps of fun, always with Linda on my mind!!
Gemstones crazy patchwork 003

Gemstone ATCs

I have been working on more ATCs based on the colours of Australian Gemstones, similar to my one featured way back on Feb 12th which represented Copper. This first one represents the gorgeous soft minty greens of Malachite. I was lucky to find a broken necklace at the local St Vinnie's op shop which was exactly the right colour and that became my starting point.
Gemstones crazy patchwork 001

The second ATC is totally glittery gold. Unfortunately, the scanner "killed" the sparkle but makes it easier to see the stitching and embellishments. I needed to bring in the black fabric and spider's web to make a contract between all the glitz!
Gemstones crazy patchwork

This is the third one based on Argyle Diamonds which come in White, Champagne, Cognac and Pink. Once again, this ATC is really sparkly and features lots of diamantes and sparkle. The two champagne coloured flower centres and the white circular "diamond" in the centre were earrings, once again from St Vincent de Paul's op shop. I paid $5 a pair for them and when I got home I noticed that they were still on their original cards and had been priced at $47.95 pair.....bonus!!
Gemstones crazy patchwork 002

This is a very gentle ATC representing Amethyst. My five year old grand-daughter brought me the plastic butterfly and two little flowers from her own bead box and suggested that I sew them in the very I did! I loved her input and interest so I might make her a little purse out of the ATC.
Gemstones crazy patchwork 004

Monday, June 06, 2005

Stephanie's purse

Stephanie is seventeen and when she ordered her purse, she stipulated that she didn't want too many beads because she doesn't like clutter. This is her purse which only had a beaded tassle instead of a fringe across the bottom (thank Heaven for those Indian/incense type shops for the linked plastic beaded necklaces)! Her favourite doo-dad was the ex-Avon lapel pin gold and purple Angel at the top right corner and her favourite piece of embroidery were the orange/yellow bullion roses.
Stefanie's purse

Amanda's 21st birthday purse

This ATC size purse was for Amanda who has just turned 21. She chose her favourite colour scheme of white, pink and pastels although she didn't see the actual purse until it was finished. I loved sewing this one and also choosing the various doo-dad with which to trim it including the Stirling silver 21st key. The beaded fringe at the bottom was made with glass beads and Swarvoski crystals.
Amanda's 21st birthday purse

Purse for Karen's niece

Karen from my workplace ordered this purse for her niece's 15th birthday. Karen particularly liked the frog on the Lily pad, the fish in the pond and the cherub shooting the stars. I cut up a linked Indian necklace for the bottom fringe and used the same beads around the edge.
Another view of the same purse

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My Garden block for Patti

Here is a photo scan of the block I did for Patti in the DYB6 swap. Patti didn't specifically ask for a garden theme block but it is one of her passions in life so we all went that way. Also the colours that Patti used for her blocks seemed to really lend themselves to flowers and bright pinks and purples.
My block for Patti

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Purse for Laurie's wife, Marion.

This is the second ATC size purse that I made. It was ordered by Laurie from work for his wife Marion. She is into gardening, so I gave her the watering can with "water" trickling out onto the pearl and diamante flower, music; so she has a music note charm on the top flap and she and Laurie have been whale-watching while on holiday so I just happened to find the gold whale button which I put on the bottom piece of fabric because it reminded me of the colour of the ocean. The beads along the bottom of this purse are Indian furnace glass in various colours.
Purse for Marion

Saturday, May 07, 2005

ATC size coin purse for Caitlin

This is one of several small purses I have been asked to make for people at work. This one is for Caitlin who is nearly eighteen. She wanted lots of "OTT Bling-Bling" so I gave her lots of clunky beads around the edge and bright coloured fabrics and beads. The purses measure just over 3 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches with a fold over flap at the top. It was Caitlin who first suggested that my ATCs would make great little coin purses so I made her one then someone else wanted one for his wife, someone else for her daughter, etc, etc.
Caitlin's purse.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

My completed CQ block for Anne

Here is my completed block for Anne in the DYB6 swap. Apart from the cat, I did a bouquet of flowers in the centre using silk ribbon, Kreinik sparkly 1/16th ribbon and glass beads and I really love the creeper down the bottom left corner sewn with variegated green stranded cotton and using Op Shop clear white flower-shaped buttons for the flowers. Anne asked for pastel colours on her cream background fabric so I've tried to stay within that range of colours so that my block will fit in with those previously worked by other people. The individual tatted flowers on the upper "garden" were sent to me by a friend in Ohio, US. They were made by the 80 yr old mother of another one of her friends for use on stationary but I thought they'd go well with crazy quilting.
Viv's block for Anne

Monday, March 28, 2005

Catherine's completed DYB6 block

Here is the completed block for Catherine's DYB6 swap. Because Catherine included lots of 3D ruched and gathered fabrics in her blocks, I've tried to make most of my additions also 3D. Catherine liked the waterlily and dragonfly charm so I've left them in the centre of the smocked "pond", then added a pink blossom tree branch livened up with a few pale pink Swarvoski crystal beads from Czech Republic and a row of ribbon flowers and stems which also have glass beads in the shape of leaves, also from Czech. I was lucky enough to have a very good friend go to Czech over Christmas and New Year on holiday and she brought me back lots of little bags of beads. I didn't know what to do with the large green lace flower so last night while watching Miss Marple solve yet another murder, I sewed the turquoise glass beads with hot pink centres into the centre of the flower. Because one line of lace to be beaded is right on the seamline, I have left that empty until Catherine has joined these odd shaped pieces into a cushion and have sewn a little worm of beads off the blocks for Catherine to sew on later. I hope you like your block, Catherine!!
DYB6  block for Catherine

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Randomly smocked patch on Catherine's DYB6 block

Catherine sent her six blocks for her DBY swap with 3 dimensional gathered, pleated and ruched patches included among the flat ones. This piece was a fairly large expanse of sheer green organza type material, gathered at both the top and the bottom. I used Anchor variegated green stranded cotton to randomly smock the gathers and added green glass beads as I did the smocking. When it was finished, it reminded me of a Lily Pond so I added the ribbon embroidered Water Lily and gold Dragonfly charm. I covered the black machine stitching line with dark green ribbon in split stitch. Isn't it funny how things look different in a photo than they do in the flesh. I think I might get rid of that "enormous" Dragonfly and replace it with a tiny little gold frog.
Random smocked block on Catherine's DYB6 block.

Flowering Cherry Trees in Anlaby Road, Hull, Yorkshire

We called our house "Anlaby" because my husband originally comes from Hull in Yorkshire, England and spent his childhood in a house just off Anlaby Road which runs from the centre of Hull to the village of Anlaby which sadly has now been swallowed up by suburbia, although it still keeps it's village characteristics. Anlaby Road has these gorgeous pink flowering Cherry trees growing on both sides of the road and down the middle of the duel carriageway. In the Spring they are a mass of blossoms but no leaves and would lend themselves perfectly to crazy quilted seams as sprays or to the centre of patches as pink trees with almost black trunks and stems but not a smidgeon of green leaves.
Flowering Cherry Trees in Anlaby Road

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blanket Stitched Flowers

This is another page from my Visual Journal where I have drawn different flowers all using Blanket or Buttonhole stitch. I've taken care to draw the direction of the stitches so that they best represent each flower or leaf. These drawings are to remind me of simple, quick and easy, floral designs to include on crazy quilt blocks, especially when they are part of a Doing Your Own Block swap. I love using simple Blanket Stitches close together to form a solid mass or else separated by tiny spaces to give a more representational view of a petal or leaf. This form of stitchery was very popular in the early 1900s even if sometimes the colours were a bit bright and off-putting. There is no need to strictly adhere to the colours of nature with crazy quilting so it's a great way to be really creative.

Blanket Stitched Flowers

Old fashioned Motifs using Bullion stitch Roses

This a new page from my Visual Journal where I have drawn various sized motifs all using Bullion stitch Roses along with other simple stitches such as Stem stitch, satin stitch and French or Colonial knots. The drawings are designed to be a reference for when I am doing crazy quilt blocks, especially for other people when I'm in a Round Robin. I've included corners, circles, long lengths designed to cover seams and individual Roses. The Roses have been highlighted with a bright pink pen. Some of these motifs were taken from sources such as original transfers, pictures of 1920s - 1940s baby clothes while others are my own ideas. The page can be printed out and glued into other VJs as a reference sheet so I hope someone else can find a use for them too.

Old fashioned Motifs using Bullion stitch Roses

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Antique Glass German Beaded Fringing.

Sometimes it pays to be cheeky!! A local antique shop had some gorgeous beaded fringing about 3 metres long decorating one of the cabinets. I always admired it but it was not for sale, however, I told the man who owned the shop that if he ever wanted to sell it, to let me know first. Last time I went in, it was gone - sold - sold to someone who came in and offered an instant price-he-couldn't-refuse. I was really disappointed as it was never a negotiable sale whenever I went in and let him know how I felt, ie. hopping mad! Suddenly the guy remembered promising me first offer and felt really bad. So bad, in fact, that he dived under his counter and GAVE me for FREE these two ancient German glass salesman's samples of beaded fringing. I'm going to try and reproduce the one with the continuous border first but will have to work out the design using graph paper. I thought they were really beautiful, although it is a pity that I can't see the actual floral pattern on the garland fringe and seeing as it didn't cost me anything, all was begrudgingly forgiven. They will look gorgeous around two bedside lamps, one of each design. My challenge for the month!!

Old German Beaded Fringing

Old German Beaded Fringing no. 2

Centre of my crazy quilted Ningaloo Reef picture.

This is the very centre of my underwater coral reef picture showing the embroidered coral surrounded by lighter sea green fabrics at the top and darker sea green fabrics at the bottom. I am trying to keep the stitchery embellishing the same colour as the fabric pieces so that the coral in the middle is the focus of attention. Lots of suitable doo-dads such as a turtle, anchor trapped in 3D seaweed, a tropical fish, seahorses and a shell. When it is finished I will frame it in a square wooden frame which is also covered in matching crazy quilted fabrics and stitchery so that it looks like the view from a glass bottomed boat.
Centre of Ningaloo Reef picture

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Beaded Fan One

This fan started off as a simple gold charm which I glued in place using Gem Bond. When it was dry, I stitched a row of purple glass Bugle beads along the edge, followed by a row of transparent gold glass seed beads and then an outer row of tiny red pearlised seed beads. I used 2mm red ribbon to cover the metal loop which I had attached to the fabric with gold thread by tying a bow, stitching it in place then twisting the tails of the bow along both sides of the fan.

Beaded Fan One

Linda's DYB6 Fan Block

Yesterday was hot, really hot, a scorcher in fact. The official temperature was 42 degrees celsius which is approximately 107 degrees farenheit but out here in the Swan Valley in Western Australia, you can always add on a couple of degrees. So, the dog and I spent the entire day in front of the air-conditioner which was a wonderful opportunity to do nothing else but sew on Linda's block. I had added the lace fan, braid around the top of the pieced fan and beads on the left hand side on Monday so yesterday I could just embroider away to my hearts content. I started at 9am and apart for meals, I finished at 9.30pm. I'm happy with it, I hope Linda is when she sees it.

Linda's DYB6 Fan Block

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Copper ATC experiment

While I have been waiting for Linda's DYB6 blocks to arrive this week I have been having a play with copper coloured threads, buttons and other doo-dads. I wanted to make one of those 3 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inch Artist Trading Cards but not for swapping, just to see how it would work out. I included some of the blue and green colours of copper tarnish as well, then buttonhole stitched the edge using a fine copper wire. It was a lot of fun to do as I didn't start out with any sort of a plan, just jumped in and started stitching and adding doo-dads. Now I am hooked and will have to make some more. These little crazy quilt versions make a great starting point for something bigger in the future.
ATC in Copper

Using Bugle beads in crazy quilting

Today I sketched a few ideas for using Bugle beads as part of seam embellishments in Crazy Quilting. I have heaps of bugle beads in a tin, all colours and sizes and I thought they'd be good to include as part of a design. I used the candle idea on my Christmas Ornaments and that worked so the others probably will too. Feel free to use these ideas yourself, I'm sure there are hundreds more ways to use these beads.
Using Bugle beads in crazy quilting

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Close-up of Ginny's Collar

ginny050604extra 008

Embroidered collar for 1950s Vogue Ginny

ginny050604extra 008
Originally uploaded by Crazydolldresser.
Ginny is only about 7 inches tall so the embroidery on this collar is really tiny. I used one strand of art silk for the Bullion roses, leaves and French knot flowers. This is the size I use for the embroidery in the middle of a crazy quilt patch whereas if I were covering a seam I would use two strands. The little dress was in cotton micro-check gingham with matching knickers and a white petticoat.

My first Christmas Ornie Swap

Crazy Patchwork 002
Originally uploaded by Crazydolldresser.
These are the first Christmas Ornies I have made using crazy quilting. They were for the Southern Cross crazies' 2004 Christmas Ornie swap and when I first made them I thought they were OK but now I'd like to get them all back and add, add, add!! I'd use a lot more colours than red, green, gold and cream if I did them again. Next year I think I will use all the brilliant and vivid oriental colours of the Three Wise Men.

Red embroidered and beaded outfit for Barbie

I made this dark red taffeta outfit to fit a Barbie doll just so I could add the embroidery and beading. The complete outfit consisted of a pencil thin skirt, a separate bodice, a full pleated overskirt which opened down the front with back-flaps on either side, a short bolero-style jacket and a tiny matching clutch purse. The bodice, overskirt and jacket all had twining stems and leaves embroidered in a combination of one strand of Rajmahal art silk thread combined with one strand of Kreinik blending filament. This is my favourite combination for embroidering the seams of crazy quilting as well. The beads were dark red pearls. I had a lot of fun with this outfit although I don't think I'd ever make another one.'>title="Photo Sharing" href="">href=" ? 4552078 76181842@N00 photos http:>red dress ensemble">

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Chloe's Place

I've been looking at "Chloesplace" and finding a lot of very interesting information there. It's a great place to visit, thanks Chloe, you are doing a wonderful job. I'll be back to visit again, that's for sure!

in a minute ago

Having just been to check out "In a Minute Ago" once again, I have discovered that it contains even more mind-boggling information on history, textiles, other arts and crafts than the last time I visited and there's a fantastic pic of Sharon celebrating her birthday. Now I know what you look like Sharon........thanks for the great baggie last year!!

Fan Stitch Combinations

Originally uploaded by Crazydolldresser.
This is another page from my Visual Journal where I have drawn original ideas for stitch combinations representing fans. This is to give me ideas for Linda's DYB6 fan block when it arrives. The three fans at the bottom of the page are from Dorothy Bond's fabulous book of stitches, however all the other ones are my own ideas.

Underwater Reef stitches

Originally uploaded by Crazydolldresser.
This is a page from my Visual diary featuring sketches of various stitch combinations which I used to represent seaweed, fish and shells. It was a starting point for my Ningaloo Reef crazy quilted picture which is yet to be finished.

Smocked nightgown and hat for Baby Born size doll.

My grand-daughter has a Zapf Baby Born doll which is really life-like in shape to a new born baby. This little nightie and hat was made from stretch knit fabric trimmed with narrow lace and embroidered with white smocking and pink bullion roses.

Smocked dress for vintage Ginny size doll.

I love dressing this 1950s Vogue Ginny Doll in tradional little dresses from that era. Ginny has a well-proportioned little girl's body shape which makes her a pleasure to sew for. Also I love hand-making her matching accessories like the hat and basket. Underneath her dress, she wears bloomers and a full skirted petticoat.

Beaded Bridal dress for Barbie size doll.

This is one of my favourite Bridal outfits I have made for a Barbie doll. The whole bodice was beaded, back and front, the headpiece was beaded and sequined, the fabric was ivory silk with a huge frilled skirt. This was my first attempt at making custom jewellery and long gloves.

The Bilby I designed for a Media Company.

This was a challenge! My nephew has a Media company and wanted to tender for an adverting job but he needed a movable animatable Bilby character who would be an environmentally friendly gardener. He needed a fat tummy and he needed to be dressed in jeans, checked shirt and corduroy jacket. He is made from wire, clay, wadding, covered in grey stretch velvet and all his joints move.

My first completed crazy quilt block.

I hope that by doing one block at a time (watching TV, as a passenger in the car although I've been known to pick up my stitching and get a few stitches in while waiting at traffic lights and under the patio), I'll eventually get this quilt finished. I love the 28cm sew-as-you-go size square and find it very relaxing. Don't know how I'll feel after I've done another 27 of them.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Visual Journal

I have been adding photos to my visual journal. I started it on January 1 in a hard covered art-paper book from the local art shop. I'm using it to record new ideas, to stick pictures and photos of inspirational content, whether it be colour, stitchery or ribbon embroidery and to sketch my own stitch ideas for crazy quilting. So far, I've included photos of each of the 5 UFOs I've finished so far this year, patterns for small tatting motifs both scanned and downloaded, photos of my blank blocks which have been sent interstate in a DYB swap (one per page so I've got room to put a photo of each block once it comes back completed), instructions and templates for healing heart blocks, actual experimental samples of embroidery, tatting, smocking, dyeing lace motifs and velvet embossing. I love my visual diary because it keeps me thinking creatively (you have to be creative to find something new EVERY day) and on top of things. I bought a book that was an inch thick with 100 pages and I'm already 1/3rd the way through it after only six weeks. In a year I'll have filled approximately 400 pages with pictures, sketches, photos, actual samples of work and notes on new ideas if I keep going at this rate.......and in ten years........???

Monday, February 07, 2005

Introducing Me

At last I have my own blog so I can record the ups and downs of my creative side. My normal side is totally sane and conservative which is how my parents always wanted me to be but my creative side? Well, that's a different thing altogether! I love crazy quilting because it encompasses all my other favourite crafts such as embroidery, smocking and patchwork. I can incorporate my love of genealogy by including photos of my family which have been printed on fabric and also I can add beads, buttons, charms and bits of wire and other 3D doo-dads.
I love antique textiles, especially lace and lace motifs and like to include them when I can into my crazy quilting and also into embroidery projects.
Fortunately, my husband is obsessed by railways - both real steam and modelling - always London and North East Railways though, so he understands my obsession with textiles and crazy quilts.