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".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Block 9 Completed

I have finished block 9 which started out with no particular theme and finished up being one of the main blocks in the quilt.  When I'd finished adding an elephant, a heart, a butterfly and a bouquet of Roses plus embroidery, the block was suffering an identity crisis but then my husband suggested that I turn the heart into a "cartouche".  A what?  "A Cartouche!" says he again.  He loves watching Antique Roadshow on TV and often in the jewellery section, Victorian watches, lockets, trinket boxes, serviette rings and cuff-links have a shape such as a heart, circle, oval etc in the gold or silver where people could get initials or names engraved.  So, I added my own initials VMG and the year 2011 in the blank section of the heart shape, in my own cartouche. I'm a bit disappointed that the heart edging has a "bulge" in it, it isn't straight. I tried to fix it but it's the way the motif was stitched originally and I can't do much about it. Suddenly though, the block felt complete, it looks happy again........I keep saying and it's true, these blocks develop a personality after awhile!!

Yesterday was actually a horrible day for doing anything, including stitching.  The temperature reached 40 degrees celsius which is 104 degrees farenheit and the humidity was revolting.  Everything felt hot and sticky until about 3.30pm when I decided that I really would have to brave the yucky weather and go shopping. The Heavens opened and heavy rain bucketed down accompanied by rolling thunder then just as suddenly, it stopped and it was still as hot and stickier than ever.  Today we were supposed to be hit by Cyclone Bianca but thankfully it has now been down-graded to just a heavy storm which hopefully will cool things down a bit. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Autumn Postcard Swap

Last year the Southern Cross Crazies on-line crazy quilting group for Australians and New Zealanders hosted a postcard swap.  I chose "Autumn" as my subject and made six, one for me to keep and five to send away to my fellow-swappers.  The background for the postcards was a sandwich of Autumn/Fall coloured threads, glitter, copper coloured foil paper, copper coloured chopped Angel Fibre and powdered glue which was ironed flat between two pieces of black organdie.  At the local Op-Shop (the Salvos), I bought a bunch of artificial autumn leaves for $4 which were really ugly, came home and pulled all the leaves off the plastic stems which netted me a sizeable bag of brown, light orange and reddish orange leaves. I then pulled all the leaves off two stems of brown and beige velvet leaves and added them to the bag along with several autumn coloured leaf skeletons. The skeletal leaves and the velvet leaves were then sewn onto the background using Blanket Stitch and the artifical leaves were heat set with powdered glue and a hot iron.  Finally trims were added which included brown leaf trim from Flights of Fancy, cording, copper wire, wooden buttons and tiny gold charms.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Block 8 "Spinning" Block completed.

I call this a spinning block because I started off with spiders for Good Luck - I finished up with two.  However, that made me think of spiders spinning and I remembered the lace motif I had of a lady sitting at her spinning wheel, spinning.  I think she was a tourist souvenir from Belgium because I saw a lot of lace motifs framed in gold frames when we were in Bruges but they were so expensive that I didn't but any, I just admired them.  When we returned to UK I went to the charity shops in Anlaby near Hull and found the lady, squashed between a piece of dark green velvet and a piece of glass in the mandatory gold frame.  Unfortunately the green dye from the velvet had bled into the lady's dress but with gentle washes in Sard and Napisan stain removers and then a diluted bleach solution, I managed to get most of it out.  There was still a slight green tinge to the back of her dress so I covered it as best I could with cream leaves and flowers. I also found the length of lace braid which looked a bit like a row of spinning wheels. This was also a good opportunity to use some of my antique mother-of-pearl buttons. Now on to block 9!!

Spiders from Block 8

The January theme for the Victorian Symbolism Challenge with crazyquiltinternational on-line group is SPIDERS.  I made two spiders, one a pearl bead spider and the other a cream Stumpwork spider. Spiders in Crazy Quilting mean Good Luck, so hopefully there is a double dose on this block.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Block Seven completed

This was a difficult block for me to do as I didn't particularly like the naked block. The only starting point I had was the remnant of linen doily with the tatted edge and motif. By taking one seam at a time the block gradually took on a life of it's own and now that it is done, I like it. My favourite element of this block is the three antique ribbon flowers on the right hand side although the lace with the beaded edging at the lower left side is a piece from my Wedding dress so I guess that is a favourite too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Block 6 Fan Block

Block 6 is called a Fan block for obvious reasons.......the lace motif at the bottom set the tone for the whole block with fan shaped stitches and other fan charms added.  The beige satin patch in the centre shone like a beacon, overshadowing everything else so I Kantha quilted it to give it more texture and less shine.  I didn't realise when I did this that February's Victorian Symbolism challenge with the on-line crazy quilt group is Fans so I'm out of sequence.  Not to worry, on to block 7.

Fan Block 6 Autocorrected

Fan Earring and Fans on the Fan Block

The fan charms on the Fan block came from an earring.  My friend Mary Lewis and I were on a joint cq charity shop crawl when we spotted these earrings.  We shared them, one each, as you do and I thought they'd be perfect for my block.  

Monday, January 03, 2011

Block 5 Cottage Garden block

I didn't realise just how pale this block was. It certainly doesn't look this pale in the flesh!! However, I made use of an antique bird motif which my husband says is on it's way to sh*t on the head of the lady busy in her garden......NOT TRUE! My antique bird would not do a thing like that. The lady is a lace motif which I bought when I was on holiday with my lovely friend Mary Lewis, I think I got her in a haberdashery shop in Milton or Ulladulla in NSW which has since closed down....shame that, it was a delightful old-fashioned habby shop. The flower beads are clear with a slight irridescent look, they are not all the pastel colours that show up in the photo. So block 5 finished, block 6 will get started in the train to work tomorrow.

Cottage Garden Block 5 Autocorrected

Today the temperature was over 100 degrees farenheit or 38 degrees celsius after day of shocking heat. It's too hot to do anything other than sit in the studio or in the familyroom, under air-conditioner and stitch. This block has taken me all of yesterday and today to do but it's finished and I can start a new block tomorrow on the train.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Right! The stars come off!!

Having seen the photos of block 4 on the blog, those stars are definitely coming off. They are horrible to the max!!

Cream Crazy Quilt Block Four finished....

New Year's Day and I've spent two wonderfully relaxing hours working on block four of my cream on cream crazy quilt. This block contains two of my favourite pieces of lace. The large motif on the right hand side was bought for me by my lovely friend Jill Taylor in an antique textiles shop in Somerset, UK and has very fine organdie leaves which are over-embroidered with veins and in the centre is a 3-dimensional rose which is just over 1 inch across. I also love the very fine netting lace at the top left hand corner with the sprays of circles on stems.

While I am not a fan of sequin stars, the centre needed "lifting" and because there were already stars woven into the brocade, I added some more. I'm not sure about them though so they may come off at some stage in the future. The Angel button was given to me on an international crazy quilt block exchange and I loved it so much, I poached it for my quilt.