Pages ... if I get around to it ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Eventually" does happen ... sometimes ...

Earlier this evening, I took some photos of that bag I made ... the one I said, in the previous post, that I would take a photo of "eventually" ...

but first - here is a photo of the fabric/etc I "had" to use:

- it was a "paper bag challenge" that a group of us, who are on a quilty yahoogroup, decided to have - we all met for lunch one day (back in about Febuary) and we brought and swapped paper bags of bits (there were a few loose rules - the bag had to have a fat quarter, a couple of other biggish bits, a handful of scraps, and some beads/threads/something). The idea was to then make something with the fabric, adding stuff from our own stash if we wanted to (and we did not have to use absolutely every bit of what we got, just at least some of the big bits and some of the other stuff).

There were some really nice fabrics in the bag I got!
... so ... I grabbed a bit of black (I figured that black would make all the different colours sing together ;-) homespun from my stash and went crazy and sewed strips together and cut them up and sewed them together then added batting and backing (a bit of old shiny dark blue curtain fabric I got from a garage sale or somewhere) and I quilted it, to make this round thingy:
... yes - I did what is normally a big "no no" and quilted it around and around and around in circles ... the dizzy heights of creativity?
(or running around in circles going nowhere? lol)

Then, after resisting the temptation to abandon my original bag idea and leave it as a round quilt (it could have looked good as a wall/table quilt with prairie points or something around the edge ;-), I gathered the circle up and made it into a bag:

I used some more of the fat quarter to make the bit around the top of the bag, and the handles are made from strips cut from an old t-shirt and crocheted.

The original intended use was as a crochet bag - so I could spread all the balls of yarn and bits for whatever I was working on all over the bottom and be able to find stuff ... but it has come in handy for taking all my junk to work - there is room in there for a smallish handbag, my camera, a small box or whatever of sewing and/or some crocheting, and there is room for lunch and a drink bottle and whatever other small items I might want to throw in there ... (and it sits nicely on the floor behind the drivers seat of the Land Rover and things don't fall/slide out and roll around while I drive to work ;-)

An hour or so after I took the above photo of the finished bag, I decided to go grab the camera from where I had left it (IN the bag) ready to put the photos onto the computer ... and as I walked into the room I sprung somebody climbing in ready to make herself at home!
B$#^%& cat! LOL

Spook likes sleeping on/in whatever I leave lying on the bed.

so ... what is that other thing, behind the bag, that also looks black and dotty like the bag?
well - it is this:

I had some leftovers from the big bag, and I had not used any of the bag of beads I got with the fabric, so I decided to make a matching smaller bag (I was originally thinking of making a small purse but it kind of grew ;-) out of my leftovers and use the beads on that ... the other side is black fabric (no coloured bits) with lots of lime green quilting (same colour as on the front) ... I knew that big roll of lime green sewing thread would come in handy for something one day - LOL
It still needs some binding on the top, and some kind of handles ... and the beads will either be part of the dangly thing used to hold the bag closed, or I might sew them onto the front of the bag (have not decided yet) ... or I might decide to still do a small purse as well, and use the beads on that! (with me - anything might happen)

I just realised I had already taken a photo of the bag ... but only because the bag just happened to be in this photo that I took the other day!

yes - Diesel also likes to make himself comfortable on the bed!

Hmmm ... talking about bed that is where I should be now!

but before I go ... I have one more photo that I have already uploaded here ...

... last, but definitely not least - I got a surprise in the mail the other day - Mum made and sent me 3 ATCs! (Artists Trading Cards) ... and I think they are wonderful ;-)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A few odd things ...

I found a few recent photos of things that are not Take A Stitch Tuesday stitches ...

I have been going around and around in circles lately ... sometimes it seems like it is in more ways than this:

this item is actually finished now - but I have not taken a photo yet ... but I will ... eventually ...

This is a bag I finished recently:

and the other side ...

actually I might add a do dad to close it ... or I might not ...

I didn't peice this from bits of fabric - it was actually a bit of velvety fabric with the patches already printed on - a furnishing fabric sample I think - I only had this little bit of it in my stash ... I liked it so I used stitches to decorate the "seams" and made it into a bag, with a green polar fleece lining.

This is a crazy quilt name tag I started making a year or 2 ago - for a crazy quilt retreat that was going to be big, then got cancelled (and then sort of did happen but as an informal gathering of a few of us rather than a big full on organised retreat) I dug it out a few months ago and stuck it in my sewing box with a few threads to use on it, and finished it a few weeks ago.

hmmm ... there are also some more stitches on felt that I put in the corner of that photo ... the yellow bit is another bit of eye stitch and the white bit isn't actually a TAST stitch - it is something I was fiddling with - I saw an interesting stitch in some old needlework book they have on that Project Gutenberg website ... then had a fiddle with what I thought I remembered (when I saw it again it was actually totally different! oops? ;-)

... I might have to have another fiddle with that later ... with both versions - mine and what it was supposed to be ... LOL

Now what else can i find ...

I hang most of my washing under the pergola - that way if I hang it out one evening and leave it there until I get home from work the next day (or longer!) then I don't have to worry about it getting wet if it rains (unless we get a storm and it rains sideways - which does happen sometimes). This is what the washing line looked like one day a few weeks ago:

This is a whole pile of fabric that I undyed ... it was cheap homespun - black or dark/strong colours, and I attacked it with bleach - most of it was done with a group of us from a quilting yahoogroup (we gathered at someone's house, with fabric, beach, vinegar, ideas, etc and had a day of fun) and some I did when I got home. The pale bit in the background was a bit of daggy old white fabric that I attacked with condy's crystals (potassium permanganate) ... looks purple when you throw them on, but they leave interesting brown spots and swirls/etc ... (or from what Mum told me once - interesting holes if you leave them on there too long ;-)
er ... I probably should go get some sleep soon ... a group of us from that quilting yahoogroup are meeting for lunch tomorrow, and I don't want to sleep in and miss it! LOL

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stitching up some more loose ends ...

Ok ... as promised (numerous times :-) here are some photos of a few more of my Take A Stitch Tuesday stitches:

Week 13 was Knotted Cretan stitch - so here is some ...

(there is also a little bit of eye stitch and fly stitch because I wanted to fill up the corner with something else to make it look interesting)
hmmm ... I didn't do a lot of knotted Cretan did I? ... I will have to do some more, because I do like that one .

Week 14 was Bonnet Stitch ...

I added a bit of fly stitch in this one too ;-)

Here is some more bonnet stitch ...

I think these 2 fern fronds were actualy my first go at bonnet stitch (before the ones in the other photo) ... funny how things just seem to "fall out of the needle" sometimes ...
I decided there needed to be something else growing on the ground, so I added a row of Fleur de Whatever they are ... I might have to add some red knots (or maybe even beads?) later ... I think they would look better if they actually had flowers on them ...

Week 15 was Oyster Stitch ... so I had a play with that one on the black felt in the photo below, and week 16 was Palestrina Stitch - so I had a play with that one on the same bit of black felt, and then on the yellow bit ...

I also did some more oyster stitch on the yellow bit of felt ... 3 "oysters" kind of turned 3 of the palestrina stitches (bottom right hand side of the yellow felt) into some weird plant or something ... and I also created a round motif thingy with a circle of palestrina stitch with oysters around it.

btw - if you can't see what these stitches look like in the photos in here, the photos are (I hope) also links to the bigger original versions - so you can click on them for a closer look - and if you don't know what some of these stitches are (I didn't know a couple of these until they were posted on Sharon's blog as Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) stitches ;-) then you can go look them up either in the Take A Stitch Tuesday posts on her blog or in her stitch dictionary at ... and if you want to see what everyone else (there are rather a LOT of us doing this TAST thing) then have a look at either the list of participants that was posted among the TAST posts fairly early in the year, or look in the comments on any of the TAST posts (the idea is that we are supposed to put in a comment when we have done the stitch and blogged about it)
Now where was I up to? ... lol

Week 17 was Running Stitch ... I have done quite a lot of this one before too, but I still had to have a play with it ;-)

I wasn't sure if I liked it better before or after adding the white rows of stitching, so I decided to leave it half and half - which I think I like even better than one or the other.
Of course I also added some oyster stitch, palestrina stitch, detatched chain and knots in the middle bit.
There are also 3 other funny things on there too - Week 18 was Whipped Wheels and/or Woven Wheels ... the 3 above are whipped wheels, as are the top 2 in the photo below, and the one on the right on the black felt at the bottom of that photo ... but the 2 on the left are woven wheels.
The photo below also has Basque stitch (week 19) and some Butterfly chain (week 20) on it ... and a few other things ... LOL

The read heart is Aida cloth, so I used it to have a fiddle with doing the cross stitch on something that has an even weave (the felt does not have any weave, let alone an even one ;-)
The cross stitch kind of also grew into bonnet stitch (I also wanted to try that on an even weave).
I worked some Basque stitch around one of the wheels on the white felt, and did a row and a couple of other fiddly things on the black felt (I kind of like the white one - I could use that idea to make some nice daisy flowers I think ;-) and I did a winding row of (uneaven sized) butterfly chain on the black felt, then dug out the red heart and worked an even row of butterflies on that.
I have had a bit more of a fiddle with the butterfly chain since then, but the photos are still on the camera, so I will post those when I blog about the stitch for week 21.
(week 21 already?! where HAS the time gone?)

I have also been doing some stitching on a couple of people's crazy quilt blocks for a round robin on a crazy quilt list ... so I decided to include some photos of the first block I got to work on (now with the next person), because I have been using stitches that have also been used as TAST stitches (some of them I already know and use anyway, and a few of them I didn't know and/or had not experimented with but I like them and will use them now I have fiddled with them for this TAST challenge thingy ;-)

One of the seams just had to have a row of Fleur de Whatever along it ...

I also put on some feather stitch with knots, and couched on some fuzzy crochet yarn (which I actualy had to crochet into chain before I couched it on because it was fuzzy bits with plain bits in between and didn't look interesting sewn on like that). There is also a flower thingy I made from lazy daisy stitch with a sequin in the middle - it was one odd iridescant sequin that turned up in amongs a whole packet of purple ones that I was given the other week - so I think maybe it was meant to be found and used on this block.

Here is a row of cretan stitch on top of another row of cretan stitch on a seam ... an interesting effect I think.

Here is what is next to that row of cretan stitch ...

blanket stitch, feather stitch with knots ... and a spider with a web - I like spiders ... I hope the owner of this block does too! (I have read/heard that it was traditional to always include a spider on a crazy quilt, for good luck - a lot of crazy quilts/etc do have spiders and/or webs on them)

It's probably a good think I don't have any more photos of the last TAST stitch or 2 ... this post is long enough already!

Couch Potato?

This is another post that I started writing, and then left it sitting as draft because I had not yet taken the photos for it ...
(I stopped writing it when I realised I still needed to take a photo, so I am writing the second half, the bit I am writing today, in yellow to match this bit ... "baby poo yellow" I call it ... think "mustard" is the name most people would use ;-)

All this sitting and stitching I am doing, for the TAST challenge thingy, lately - I think I probably do spend too long on the couch (which, btw, I call a LOUNGE ... because that is what we call it here in Australia).

The TAST stitch for week 12 is ... couching ... which isn't named after a couch/lounge/settee/whatever else you call it, even though it does involve LAYING a thread over the work and sewing it down.

I probably do spend too much time sitting on the lounge and stitching (or crocheting/etc) ... but that is not really what I came in here to post about - so ... back to the real subject - I also couch threads/etc quite a lot too.

... in fact - on Monday [some Monday about 6 weeks ago] I was sitting at a friend's place doing this:

That coloured stuff is some fancy yarn my friend had given me on another visit - she crochets and gives me her "endy bits" to use in my weird creations.
This particular bit was actually one strand of some odd yarn that had a strand of fuzzy stuff and this one both twisted around each other, and the strand I used was actually made from 2 strands - a strand of plain black twisted around the coloured bit - so I pulled the black bit to bunch up the coloured stuff to make a coloured chenille like wormy looking thing and couched it down onto the black felt hexagon that I had found lying around in my sewing stuff.

Then, the next day when I looked to see what that week's TAST stitch was - I discovered that the stitch for week 12 was couching! LOL
so - I added some more couching around the edge -
the yellow yarn is sewn on with black thread where it overlaps and on the outside loops, and yellow thread on the inside ones. I added the dotted yellow line and the 2 red knots because once I did the yellow around the edge the heart in the middle was off centre ... oops ...

Then I had another play with couching (even though I already use it a lot ;-) and ended up with this:

The red and the yellow thread are those ones I think I mentioned before - that came from an Asian grocery shop! ... the yellow is similar to pearle 8 crochet thread (but a cheapy version) so I needed to twist 3 strands together to make it thick enough for what I wanted to do here, and the red is a bit thicker - it already was three strands wound together but I pulled one out and used it as 2 ... the white bits were how the thread came - that was part of what caught my interest enough for me to buy it (after seeing how this, and the few other things I have used it for, turned out - methinks I might have to buy some more next time I am there ;-)

anyway ... I think I will put the photos for week 13, etc in a different post - I am sure you are sick of reading this in "baby poo yellow" ...

btw - if you think that is weird what about this - my teenage daughter has made some merangues (cooking in the oven right now) ... and she asked if she could put some food colouring in them ... guess what colour she used? - BLACK ... LOL
... merangues are made from egg WHITES, so you can guess what colour the mixture ended up ... black + white = a rather stange looking grey! (although it is going a fair bit darker as they cook)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I work in the science area of a high school, and this was one of the things that came in the box of various supplies that I ordered - as the label on the upside down packet under the other one says - these are some packets of universal indicator paper (used to dip in stuff to test the pH)

Methinks that English is NOT the first, or for that matter not even the 31st, language of the person who wrote this label:

... and the really scary part is ... I think I probably sort of understand what it was supposed to mean ... LOL

hmmm ... if this stuff only keeps for 3 years, maybe I should chuck out the dusty old rolls of the same stuff that I found in a back cupboard not long after I started working there ... I have been there longer than 3 years and they were old and dusty then (which is why I have been buying new packets for the teachers/students to use ;-)

Anyway ... I have a bag to finish making (I want to take it for "show and tell" at the sewing day I am going to tomorrow - a group of us from a quilting yahoogroup are meeting to do a little bit of sewing/etc and probably a lot of chatting/etc ;-)

... I also have a few other things I want to do as well ... so I had better leave the B$%%^& computer alone and go DO some of it ...

Humming a few bars while you wait?

I wanted to actually post the stuff I started writing and then saved for ages before finishing and posting it on Wednesday night ... so I decided that the other bits of barred chain can have their own post ... although they might end up sharing it with whatever else i decide to stick in here with them ... LOL

btw - the barred chain on that photo (see previous post) is the orange circle thingy in the middle ... and the cross stitch is in yellow, in a line down the left hand side (I meant to mention that in the post, but I kind of forgot ... oops)

So ... where was I?

I took a pile of photos of the stuff I have been stitching, including a better one of the rest of the barred chain, during my lunch break at work yesterday ...

Here ...

... is some more barred chain.

and Here ...

are some results of my playing with up and down blanket/buttonhole stitch (with a bit of fly stitch and some knots etc)

Here ...

... is some of that interesting variation that Elizabeth came up with (see ) ... I just came up with a weird name for it while fiddling around with the photos ... "Fleur de Whatever" - because to me they kind of look like Fleur de Lys ...
I did the red bullion stitches on the top to make them look like those "red hot poker" plants or something ... the 2 round things on that bit of felt were already there - it is the same bit that has the fly stitch fly on it ... but I added a knot in the middle of one, and created a weird square motif with red knots etc on it too.

Here are some more -

... there is even another little variation of FLY stitch in there (well - it was meant to look like a bird!)
I also did one of those Fleur de whatsits with 5 "prongs", that also stick out the bottom a bit - so it kind of looks like a bundle of wheat or something ... looking at those knots (one each side of it) has now got me thinking too - a row of those, with the knots (or beads) between them, could look quite good along a seam of a crazy quilt ... (so would a row of the flowers - in fact I just did a row of those on someone's block for a round robin I am in ... I will have to ask the people in it if they mind me putting photos of their blocks up here on my blog ... at the moment we are all putting the photos on a members only page for the crazy quilting yahoogroup that the round robin was organised on)

I must have originally intended to put all these stitches (the ones I am just writing about in here) in with the stuff in my previous post - because for the next weeks stitch (week 12, which was near the end of March!) I have already written something about it and saved it as a draft ... but now that the photos are on the computer and I have fiddled with them, I can add some more photos to that one and post it shortly (maybe tomorrow ... because now it is time I went to bed ... if I stay up too much later it will be time to get UP again!)

btw - don't forget - the photos are clickable links to bigger versions (provided things work like they usually do in here) so if you want a closer look, just click on a picture and it should take you to a bigger version.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crossing one (or 2) more off my list ...

Er ... this blog post has been saved as a draft since sometime in March! ... hmmm - maybe I am just a wee bit behind with posting stuff to my blog! LOL
(The bits written in this colour are what I had saved, the green bits are what I am adding now ... and before you ask about the blue bits ... they are links, and they were already saved in this post too)

so ... what was I crossing off my list back in March?

- some more ...
... TAST stitches that I have done and not yet blogged about.

Week 9 was "Cross stitch"

... it can be used for more than just driving yourself bats doing those zillions of little "x"s all over bits of aida and then framing them and hanging them on the wall
(gee how can you tell - I am not really into doing that kind of cross stitch ;-)

I don't think I have done this sort of cross stitch either, so I had a bit of a play ...

I also added some to another bit of felt I have been decorating with TAST stitches ... that is in the next photo, along with some of what I did for the next week ...

Week 10 was "Barred chain and/or alternating barred chain"

[surely I did more of that - methinks I need to put some photos on the computer]

Yes I had done more ... I think I took some photos

< feel free to talk amongst yourselves (all 1 or 2 of you who ever read this blog) while Andrea goes and looks around in her photos >

ah ... that is why I saved this photo for later ... I found a photo of the other bit of barred chain ... and it is also blurred chain - LOL

... and that is a reminder to myself that I really should take photos of this stuff in decent light, rather than at night with the flash (which tends to result in a lot of blurry and/or washed out photos).

I guess I should go do that now ... but I might post this first - that way, if anyone is actually reading this blog - then there will at least be a little bit of something new (well ... newly published rather than newly stitched ;-)

btw - yes - I have been keeping up with doing the weekly TAST stitches (just not with photographing them and blogging about it) ... I have even done some of this week's stitch, the one that was posted yesterday!