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".

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lorrie's Traditional Christmas Tree Skirt Wedge

This is the same tree skirt once the embellishment has been completed
The second wedge which Lorrie sent was traditional red, green and white colours.  I have some ideas brewing for this one as well especially using the print of the word LOVE and the pine-cones as a feature.

Lorrie's Poinsettias and Purple Tree Skirt

Lorrie in Canada sent me two wedges to work on.  My favourite was this one with patches in purple, cream and Red Poinsettias with green leaves.  I can hardly wait to get started on this challenging colour combination.
And here is the finished product - lots of purple, gold, red and green with a little bit of cream to balance the colours that Lorrie used.  She wanted "Royal" and what could be more royal than three crowns at the top representing the three Kings from the Orient who visited the Christ Child, bearing gifts.  It was quite difficult keeping the red and green down to a minimum as well, my natural instinct told me to keep adding more and more but I resisted, LOL.

Christmas Tree Skirt Wedges - Juli

Juli was the first person to send me one of her Christmas Tree skirt wedges to work on for the World Wide Crazy Quilters swap.  Juli used tiny patches to piece her wedges which means lots of short seams and lots of variety in the charms, beads and trims.

 This is naked tree skirt wedge.  When I have finished, I will post a photo of the completed wedge to compare the two.  And here is the completed skirt showing the extremely busy treatments of so many tiny seams.  My favourite pieces are the Mother-of-Pearl button snowman and the colourful button trail which I made to balance up with the fabric on the other side of the wedge.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Favourite Photo from Christmas......

I took this photo of my husband and our youngest grand-daughter Juliet on Boxing Day.  He is so BIG(6ft 3ins) and she is so little (19 months old) but oh, the attitude!!  We had gone to the park and once she was out of the stroller and walking, well, that was that, there was no way that she was getting back in again. She must have walked a couple of kilometres on those little legs.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

ANOTHER UFO finished - Lenny the Lion

After all the mending, filling and grooming, Lenny still looks sad.  Some lions are never happy!!

From this angle, Lenny looks downright grumpy!
This UFO was a pain in the backside because of the sheer size of it.  My 40 yr old plumber son was driving along the road during a Council Clean-up and spotted this poor, decrepit bean-bag lion sitting on the verge waiting for the rubbish truck to come and pick him up with all the other rubbish.  Well, my old softie took one look into the lion's eyes, stopped his truck and shoved the lion in the front seat next to himself and then brought him to me to fix up...."Mum, look at him! I couldn't leave him there for the dump truck, it wouldn't have been right!!"  So, lots of patching, nearly another bag of styrofoam micro-balls and a good brush to his mane and tail and here he is, waiting for my son to come and pick him up and take him home.  DH and I spent half the day filling him up with beads and we over-did it to compensate for the sad state that he was in before, hopefully the beads will settle down and he won't look so fat.  Anyway, he has been lying on the bed in the back bedroom for about three months until today when I finally felt up for the challenge and here he is - DONE!!  The lion is about five feet tall, Leigh wants him to sit on his living room floor.  The first time my grandson Jesse came to visit after the arrival of Lenny, he came marching out to the kitchen and exclaimed "Nanna! There's a giant bear on my bed!!"  I told him it belonged to Uncle Leigh and I could tell from the expression on his six yr old face that he didn't believe me..........

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Next lot of UFOs in the Queue

These are the next lot of projects - we can't help ourselves, we just keep finding more and more things to restore and to bring back to some sort of usefulness.
Here is my collection of English 1950s dolls which all need cleaning up, re-wigging and dressing.  I'm not sure where I will display them but they are all just like the ones that my sister and I had when we were kids.  The first two which are not in the photo were found by my son on the side of the road during an annual Council Rubbish Clean-up. He saw them and thought straight away "Hey! My mum would love those!!"  Needless to say, I did love them and then bought more on eBay and in a second hand shop. Mostly they were in pieces and needed re-stringing, eye-lashes, mouths painting and totally restoring.  They are now all in one piece again and are waiting for some 1950s style clothes which I shall copy from my Mum's old "Australian Home Journal" magazines which I have in my cupboard. Sadly they are deteriorating fast as the paper is becoming brittle but the gorgeous drawings of the dresses that my sister and I wore as children are still there.

The next project appeared on the pile of next-door's rubbish during the local Council Verge Clean-up a couple of weeks ago.  We already had a cane chair, a cane rocking chair and a cane coffee table on our front porch, all bought in charity shops at different times and all painted gloss white with colourful cushions etc and this settee was exactly the same pattern in natural cane.  Eddie was taking me to work early one morning and spotted it, stopped the car and the two of us scuttled over to the rubbish pile, picked up the settee and carried it home. One leg was broken but Eddie quickly fixed that with a large screw and a bracket, I bought a cane basket for $2 at the Salvos which we unpicked and used to cover the joins at the back and will cover the feet.  It is as solid as a rock now and will look fantastic painted white like the rest of the furniture and next-doors will never know it was their old one.....I mean to say, we're not telling them it was us who scavenged on their verge!!!!

I guess I could describe my style of decorating as "re-cycled Country"??  or maybe it is just plain "my own style" but I love the look of my 1950s childhood and anything that reminds me of my Grandma's house or my parents house.

The March of the UFOs

We had a great weekend finishing off some UFOs which have been hanging around our house for weeks, months and even years.  What a terrific feeling to sew the last stitch or glue the last bit of braid or polish the last piece of wood and in the case of Pippa's baby bag, watch it walk out the door!!

Firstly, was the baby bag.  I used a pattern from a book on making baby gifts and while it looked simple and straight forward, it was the worst pattern that I have ever tried to decipher!! In the end it took about twenty hours of cutting, sewing, ironing, unpicking and hand-stitching over three weekends however when I gave it to Pippa today, she loved it so I guess the effort was worth it in the end.
While the front and back of the bag show the printed PVC with the pattern the right way up, the flap which is part of the same piece of fabric as the back is up-side-down. The change mat is rolled into a swag and strapped to the front.

The inside is lined with wadding and gingham with lots of pockets to hold all the important things that babies need.

Secondly were a pair of beaded lampshades for our bedroom.  I bought the pair of them for $8 at a charity shop about two years ago.  They had lacquered black bases and the frames were covered in grubby white fabric with a fringe of fraying knitted cord however, I loved the shape of the bases so I bought them anyway. Eddie scraped off all the black lacquer and sanded them down so I could spray paint them with Antique Cream paint. I ripped the grubby fabric and fringing off the frames but left the lining intact and then covered them with cream fabric and ivory stretch lace and cream braid.  Finally they were given their beaded fringes and now sit at either side of our bed. I love the soft, romantic Edwardian look - they'll go well with the still unfinished patchwork quilt one day.....
Finally, Eddie put the finishing touches to the 1921 Singer Treadle sewing machine that has languished in pieces in our dining room for about 12 years.  I saw it outside a second-hand shop and it reminded me so much of the one that my Nanna and my Mum had when I was a child. It was a wreck as it had been sitting on a verandah out in the weather and was badly water damaged.  Eddie totally dismantled it and treated each piece of metal, each piece of wood and even the leather strap has been treated with leather protection stuff. I love the finished product, he took all the bits of peeling veneer off the lid and saved them to cut into strips and cover the left-hand side piece on the top. He replaced the veneer on the lid with a new piece and had to re-make the curved base under the machine itself.  One bonus was that it came with the box of bits including the key and when I unlocked the drawers, they were full of 1920s haberdashery including embroidery cottons wound around magazine pages from a 1926 magazine, suspenders extensions, ancient bias binding and braids which had faded with time, artificial flowers and netting for hats and heaps of other mostly unusable bits and bobs. The machine will now take pride of place in the hallway so that it will be the first thing that people will see when they walk in our door.  Now I know why I married Eddie - it wasn't just for his good looks, LOL.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Present and Postcard swaps 2011

The Southern Cross Crazies hosted a Christmas Present swap plus a Christmas postcard swap this year.  I have been so very, very lucky with the beautiful gifts that I have received from Maxine, Alison and Florence, not to mention the gorgeous postcards from so many friends around Australia.
Here are photos of the gifts I received....
This is the needlecase which Alison made for me with the "Silent Night"  postcard she sent as well.  I love the fact that the needlecase is a very generous size, 7inches x 5 inches.

Florence made me this very special note-book with the heavily embellished back and front covers.  I am going to use it to keep a record of crazy quilting stitches.  Below it is the Christmas postcard she made with Santa and his reindeers on a sparkly, snowy background.

This is the heart decorations that Maxine made for me.  I really love the purple and turquoise colour theme and those tiny Roses in the centre are to die for.  Each one is exactly the same size and shape as all the others.  I love it.

This group of "German Christmas" postcard and machine made lacy decorations as well as the tiny animated card and the circular Father Christmas decoration came from Natascha.  Natascha and her machine are a fantastic team!!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

My Christmas Tree Skirt

The Christmas Tree skirt showing the position of the Poinsettia fabric on each one. Obviously I will alternate the single and double floral pieces when I stitch the wedges together.

Well, I finally got my Christmas Tree Skirt panels pieced and ready to mail off to the girls in the US.  Eight panels to be embellished by eight people so that every one of them should be finished when they return, all ready for me to just sew together. I love this idea as it also means that I shall be working on eight separate panels myself - all of them totally different to one another.  I was lazy cutting out my base shapes, I simply got a large piece of fabric, folded it in halves, quarters and eighths then cut a curved edge at the bottom and a small hole out of the top and voila!!  a circle!!   Then I cut the circle into eight equal wedges and covered each one with fabric. The only common denominator is a patch of cream and gold fabric placed in the same position on each wedge. The fabric had a rather spectacular design of pink Poinsettias and green leaves with a glittery sparkle so I made it my starting point for each of the wedges.  I am really looking forward to this Round Robin and the different wedges that arrive for stitching....