Friday, December 29, 2006


i have the dreaded sinusitis :( thanks to w bringing home the creche cold.... i woke up at 3 am on christmas morning with a sore throat and things have gone downhill from there. i have some gigantic and hopefully potent antibiotics which should start to weave their magic soon but until then i have a head full of wet cement and it feels like someone is standing on my face

and i missed my first blogoversary (december 19)- caught up in cmas panic i completely forgot about it....

on a brighter note there has been some creativity chez seahorse -

first the fox (or fock as w calls him) he was designed to be a hobby fox (like a hobby horse, head on a stick that you ride) but having seen what w can do brandishing a stick i have decided the mr fock would lead a quieter life if he were a hand puppet so i will make him a body rather than impale him on a piece of dowel. the old head on a stick is a bit too reminiscent of good old fashioned punishments like hanging drawing and quartering and having your head put on a stick and displayed on london bridge.....

and here is the 2006 gnessing box - (designed and constructed by A and decorated by A, E and W)

part of our family tradition of celebrating the season of christmas rather than just the day. due to ill health the cmas calendar has fallen by the wayside but the gnessing box has been a great success. it's full of small small tings like chocolate frogs, stretchy lizards, bubble mix and bouncy balls. the only problem is that the concept of 'one man one vote' is completely foreign to a 2 year old who sees it as a cornucopia...

and a photo will be taken tomorrow of A's quilt which i finished tonight. it's by no means a show quilt - basic stitch in the ditch quilting and a few dodges here and there but it's done and keeping A warm tonight.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

onward and upward

well after a slight pause - that slightly bereft hiatus when you have finished something that has consumed your mind and energy for months - things are moving again.

this weekend i have made:

2 knitted owl cloths the green one is made of rowan cotton glace (i found a bag of assorted rowan cotton yarns at savers for $6!!!) and the cream one is of jo sharp soho summer cotton - leftover from my zoe cardigan last year.

a notebook holder (possibly a cmas present for someone) inspired by the lovely one i saw over at jorth

and look who arrived on friday -

mr olifant jellibat. created by angelica at jellibat

Monday, December 11, 2006

i did it!

5 journal quilts finished - hurrah!

Textile Seahorse - Journal Quilt #1 January 2006

Silk fabrics and threads, glass beads. Made to reflect the early days of my blog which has kept me honest and prompted me to finish at least some of my work.

Bleached Seahorse - Journal Quilt #2 July 2006

Discharged dyed with Ajax using a homemade stencil. Handquilted and beaded. Making these small quilts has made me realised how much I really enjoy hand stitching.

Winter into Spring Journal Quilt #3 August 2006

Vintage kimono fabric, using Ricky Tims’ convergence technique. Machine quilted to mimic rain. Hand beaded.

This quilt reflects the days towards the end of winter when the early flowers are mixed with dark days of rain.

Experimental Felt #2 - Journal Quilt #4 September 2006

Cotton, wool suiting, wool and silk tops, beads, silk, wool and cotton embroidery thread, silk cocoons. Layered, machine quilted over Solvy then machine washed and dried.

New York Beauty Journal Quilt #5 November 2006

Made to celebrate my mastering foundation piecing. The red and gold block stands for courage and strength and perseverance. The dark block stands for the times in my life when i have been kneecapped by the melancholy, paralysis of will and bleakness of depression.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

new toy

i bought this box yesterday from tombo - a great japanese shop in high street northcote - they have great (and cheap) kimono too.

it's from mongolia and is the perfect size to house my renaissance embroidery wool

and my gorgeous ribbons from laura foster nicholson

on the journal quilt front - 5 sleeves are now sewn :) the trim is done on the new york beauty (tentatively renamed cobalt beauty) and stitching is progressing on the kantha seahorse - well done me :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


i'm starting to get that panicky running out of time feeling - with its usual companion of paralysis and aversion to the task at hand ie finishing those journal quilts....

on the other hand i have made this (see stephanie's pattern here) E and I each made one yesterday - e's isn't quite finished but we had fun making them and they will have ribbon loops so we can hang them on the cmas tree.

i have also done some shibori felting (instructions at jussi's blog here) the felting worked really well but something terribly wrong happened with the colours - i've never liked salmon and then the blue wouldn't take and it was all a disaster :( its currently bathing in napisan. i used a 2 meter long alpaca blanketing offcut and borrowed A's marbles and rubber band collection....

popped it in the washing machine

then the microwave with some food colouring and vinegar solution

a day or two on the line drying, being inspected, overdyeing etc

i've also done most of a sock ( no photo yet sorry)

and nothing to the journal quilts...... although i did get as far as turning on the sewing machine before i realised i really had to update my blog.

here here are some gratuitous photos of my insides

- quite beautiful don't you think? and full of art quilt potential. i think they look like something from deep space - especially the first one - quite venusian. the lower one is of my ovaries - described by an ultrasound technician once as "quite beautiful"

on the other hand my brain is still full of og from the anaesthetic and my tummy is soooooooore. i wasn't expecting it to hurt this much and definitely expected to feel sprightly by now

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

i am the moon

hmmm i think i like my birthday one better. this one seems to imply that i'm a bit nutso. which is entirely plausible, just not comfortable.

it's now 15 hours since i had solid food :(

and it looks like greg might have to leave the wiggles :(

clearly things are going to hell in a handbasket

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


here is journal quilt #5 almost done :)

i did the free motion quilting last weekend and am slowly doing the hand quilting with gold thread.

i started free motion quilting with the gold thread but it kept breaking and it suits the theme of the quilt (see earlier post) to have the gold thread radiating out from the red and gold block in little irregular handstitches. the black quilting is jagged and domineering and relentless (just like depression) but the little handstitches are persistent and they prevail despite their fragile appearance.

i need to remind myself of this as tomorrow i am having more surgery for my endometriosis. unpleasant but necessary - it's a bit like cutting back ivy - you can never get rid of it but have to hack it back regularly. today is the extremely unpleasant "bowel prep", nasty augean internal cleanout - routine i know but i really really hate it, much more than the surgery :)
so i equipped myself with the new down under quilts, vogue knitting and red nail polish.

i lay in a lovely bubble bath with my favourite crabtree and evelyn lily of the valley wafting around, reading vogue knitting and drinking ginger beer (today is liquid diet only) then shaved my legs and painted my toes so as far as i'm concerned i'm ready to go to hospital and come out a new woman with no pain!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


journal quilt #1 'textile seahorse' is almost done! at susan's excellent suggestion i extended the embroidered seaweed, added some beading and quilted around the seahorse in fine gold thread so it would be fairly unobtrusive.

my problem now is that the back looks awful :( i didn't think the process through and did the embroidery and beading after i had assembled the layers and done a fair bit of quilting (there are free machined 'waves' in the panel to the right of the seahorse and under the organza). so do i tidy it up as best i can or do i add another back ??? i still have to decide that it is in fact finished, machine around the edges, add a label and a hanging sleeve.

journal #2 'winter into spring' is 90% done, has had beads added, machine edging is 60% done (until the unthinkable happened and i ran out of black thread) and a label and hanging sleeve

journal #3 bleached seahorse is sandwiched and is being handquilted

journal #4 will be one of my felted pieces and needs minimal work

journal #5 will be the new york beauty piece i started last weekend and it needs the most work.

but i feel much better than i did on friday and should squeak it in by December 15th - nothing like a deadline.

and here is a better photo of the armadillo fabric

and the results of the fruit dyeing experiment - a bit paler than i had hoped

Saturday, November 18, 2006

january journal quilt almost finished!

wow a journal quilt almost done - i started this one back in january and lost direction. i knew i wanted it to be a seahorse and a reflection on starting this blog - the tucked silk squares and embroidered seahorse were done fairly quickly and then consigned to the 'wtf do i do now pile'.....

i was stressing about the lack of finished journal quilts (see below) so decided to just finish the first one and see how i went. every component is some sort of silk so it was all a bit slippery there for a while but with lots of pins and a firm attitude we made it through.

it's a bit hard to see but there is a row of glass beads across the top of the seahorse panel and his eye is a chip of amber surrounded by tiny gold stitches. i didn't have a needle fine enough to pass through the amber chip so went to the bead shop and bought a beading needle that looks more like a whisker than a needle but it did the job, much to my relief as i wanted the eye stitched on not glued. i'm still not sure whether or not to put some green beads in the bottom panel. any ideas?

and here is an experiment:
-i was trying to work out a way of stitching the labels for the journal quilts as my janome has a lettering function but now i think that's way too hard and i will just write the labels. i handpainted the fabric back in january ( i think) and decided to play with my seahorse stamp - not sure what i'll do with it yet but i like it.

and here are the makings of a future quilt 'guillermo armadillo'. the squares are from a scrap bag i bought at threadbear in castlemaine last sunday and the armadillo fabric and embroidery were from susan.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


in the absence of new photos here are some recent finds at savers (99c a pair)

and a pair of clover bamboo circulars also for 99c :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


i had a fabulous time with susan and some fellow scquilters on sunday - fortunately i don't seem to have disgraced myself even though i arrived shamefully late. i took the usual route from melbourne to castlemaine but (despite a visit to the wonderful threadbear quilting shop - for good luck and to support the local economy) then things went decidedly pear-shaped and i took a few side trips towards daylesford, maldon and newstead (these are all in different directions for non_Victorians) so having investigated all points of the compass i finally dived won the right dirt road and found quilting nirvana... susan, luz, barbara and marie were all welcoming and friendly and not at all axe-murdery :)

yesterday was wall to wall work which is really busy at the moment with pre-election briefings but today i managed to go out at lunchtime and found myself inexplicably at buttonmania, the amazing button shop in the nicholas building in swanston street. then i was mysteriously drawn into kimono house which is on the same floor....

photos soon - when kidlets are in bed

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November journal quilt

i am participating in the AusNZartquilters' challenge to make 5 A4 sized journal quilts over this year. they will be exhibited as part of the Australian Quilt Convention in February 2007.

I have been so unmethodical about this challenge - other people post regularly about what they have made for a particular month but i seem to do mine in fits and starts. and they are more about techniques than things happening in my life. and they all seem to end up either postcard sized or bigger than A4....... and i'm not good at portrait orientation.... no wonder i'm having trouble :)

the deadline is 15 December to have them completed and posted - which is a bit eeky seeing i haven't got one quilt that's completely finished.

seeing i have conquered my fear of foundation piecing this month i thought i would use a couple of new york beauty blocks for my november qult. i made the blocks tonight and will applique them onto the background which i think might be thai silk. i made very rough tucks across the fabric and sewed up and down in opposite directions to get more texture. the blocks are pinned at approximately A4 "points"

the red and gold block is made from some chinese brocade i bought in a tiny shop in little bourke st and boy does it fray. this block stands for courage and strength and perseverance.

the dark block is made from one tone on tone black fabric (much darker than this picture would suggest) and stands for the times in my life when i have been kneecapped by depression - it stands for melancholy, paralysis of will and bleakness. i plan to quilt it in some way that will reflect the interconnectedness of these states and that you are never in just one corner but moving between one state and the next.

and here's a picture of me looking quizzical about the whole thing - one of the few pictures of me that i like

Friday, November 10, 2006

fruit dyeing

i know this looks like wound dressings but it's actually stage 1 of my next experiment with fruit dyeing - i got some good results last year dyeing raw silk with blood oranges but forgot to take photos :(

we had some oranges in the fruit bowl and some elderly strawberries in the fridge so in they went. add some damp flannel and mush around the plastic container and see what happens. i also added some salt a bit later. and a spin in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

more photos tomorrow to see what has 'taken' - of course if it happened to your best white cotton shirt you would never get the stains out.....

Monday, November 06, 2006

molto eek!

the camera has decided to retire gracefully from the field so no progress photos i'm afraid :( luckily i had taken these and uploaded before the crise du camera.

here is the first dragon tooth border piece (and a close up).

i bought these fabrics from logan's patchwork at one of the craft fairs last year. i fell in love with the glorious bruised colours- had no idea what i would do with them but i think they were made for points.

5/11 foundation piecing score:
  • 2 dragon tooth border pieces
  • 4 8 inch arcs
  • 1 completed new york beauty block

Sunday, October 29, 2006

my first new york beauty block

here it is in all its wobbly glory - but finished which is the main thing.

black homespun and kaffe fassett charm squares.

off to make more..........

Saturday, October 28, 2006


i am SO proud of myself! after many attempts and much agony of mind, i have finally been able to do foundation piecing!!

i am not good at spatial relations and the back to front, upside downness of foundation piecing has been too much for the seahorsean brain to comprehend.

but i recently bought the fabulous radiant new york beauties by valori wells and she explains foundation piecing in a way that i can understand. and this is the result:
here is the other "working' side - you sew along the solid lines with the fabric underneath, then flip it over, finger press and add the next piece. once you nut it out the process is easy and makes perfect points.

the next stage (attaching the upper and lower arcs) will be done tomorrow.