Friday, November 27, 2009

A decent puddle

After last week's heatwave, we have had lovely rain - 50ml (2 inches) here in the last few days. On my way down the street yesterday, I saw this huge puddle, no doubt there's a blocked drain in there somewhere.
And the rain had turned this patch of oil into a small piece of art.
Thanks to the cooler weather I have nearly finished the top of the charity quilt, and I've been experimenting with some crochet. (I get these crochet attacks from time to time, but I've learned to live with them.)
There are lots of online photos of wonderful hexagon blankets, like this one, but nearly everyone seems to use the same pattern.

I wanted something a bit different, so I came up with these. Not sure about the final colours yet, and they are rather small - I calculate I'd need 248 for a reasonably sized blanket. Is that doable, I wonder; would I ever finish them? I don't have a very good track record for finishing crochet rugs. (But I will finish that ripple rug, trulyI will, - eventually)
Baubles, you ask? There are actually two 'on the go', but not enough hours in the day...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More round things

You might have noticed that I am an admirer of round things, I thought I'd share some beauties that I stumbled across the other night.
These pictures are from an old website called Morphographic created by Michael Spall, which doesn't seem to have been updated for about five years.
None of these are real objects, they are computer graphics, but some of them are beautiful -

or unusual!
Most of the links are broken, so I can't tell you more about them, or their creators.

In the real world, it's honeysuckle time, and the honeysuckle vines which have gone feral down the side of the house are covered in blossom.
Apart from our sparse rainfall, these get no water at all, but they don't seem to care. I've been picking great bunches of the stuff, and the house smells divinely lemony.

I've been working on the charity quilt I started last week, so nothing much is happening in the Bauble department just now - although there have been mysterious experiments with acrylic paint on fabric, which may eventually lead to interesting Bauble developments - or not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's not supposed to be this hot!

Not in early November, with summer still three weeks away. But we are having a heat wave nevertheless. It was 41C (103F) on the back verandah yesterday.

Today, Goldfields Quilters had scheduled a working bee to replenish our stock of charity quilts. This year we have donated around twenty quilts to bushfire victims and others in need of the comfort that a quilt can bring.

The day began well, as people decided how to use a collection of donated blocks and fabrics.
Brenda and Chris debated how to put together a heap of half-square triangles.
(some people don't want their faces shown in photos, but Chris didn't mind at all)
Christine sewed the blocks together.
Now we can see where this is going....
Someone was well organised with pre cut strips
While Julie pondered a collection of half-finished blocks...

The day warmed up. Pressing seams was sticky work, and needles grew slippery. Our meeting room is pleasant, but we don't have an airconditioner.

By 2.30 the temperature outside had hit 40C, and commonsense prevailed. We packed up and went home.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A nod to Jane Austen

It seemed to me that a lady who owns a fitted sewing box might also have need of a dainty workbag, so I created my own version in pale eau-de-nil crepe.
The base is 5" across, just the right size for a Bauble-in-progress.
The lining of pretty Liberty lawn seems in keeping.
I took the coward's way and sewed the base on by hand, covering the join with some glitzy braid.
Note the hand worked buttonholes for the drawstring.
An embroidered posy on each side finishes it off. This was so much fun to make, I think I might make another one...
And just because she seems to fit here, rosa Reine des Violettes, with ruching far more beautiful than anything I could sew.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A basket, a box, and some memories

A long post today - one thing kind of led to another, as you'll see.
My mother didn't really enjoy sewing, though she dutifully made little dresses when my sister and I were small. But she loved to embroider.
Convent educated, she learnt the skills of fine needlework from an early age, and became adept at embroidery, crochet and knitting. She taught me to embroider too, although I don't think my work ever came up to the high standards of the nuns.
This was her workbasket (though from the style of it, possibly my grandmother's originally). I inherited it when Mum died, and brought it out today to compare with the project I've just finished.
The dear old basket is crumbling now, and the lining is perishing. But wasn't it grand?
These scraps were tucked into one of the corner pockets. I don't know where the lace originated, or the lovely button, but the embroidery came from summer pyjamas that Mum had in her trousseau. Her work is finer than anything I could do - perfect satin stitch berries in shaded cotton, and the tiniest of chain stitches for the leaves and stems. And it's worked on art silk, which was really a kind of rayon (would have been done in the 1930's, as Mum married in 1939).
The cloth under the basket is coarser, embroidered in thick, unplied silk thread. The back, of course, is almost as neat as the front. This was intended for a cushion cover, but never made up.
I've never had a workbasket, but recently I bought this sewing box. A cheap, possibly Chinese, import, it was finished in that peculiar red stain that tends to come off on your hands.
A scrub and polish fixed that, and I turned my attention to the interior, which was roughly lined with cheap, nasty cotton.
But look at it now! I lined it in an olive-y green furnishing fabric, and added pockets on the lids.
A little embroidery added a touch of class, and I even made a matching needle book.
This will be my Bauble-box, holding all the threads and equipment for decorating a Bauble.
Just to let Mum have the last word, here's a close-up of that white cloth. She was good, my Mum, wasn't she?