Tuesday, June 30, 2009


i thought about this theme from a number of different perspectives - it is literally three pieces connected with thread, it is three layers connected with stitching, it had 14 copper plumbing connectors and reflects the deep connection i feel with the pleiades constellation - impossible to see if you look at it directly, best seen with your peripheral vision or a telescope. there is something magical about it being there, yet not there.

this piece took shape through many processes - i started by stitching strips of cut up vintage linens and doilies onto white cotton foundation.

i dyed the top with instant indigo dye, then layered it over a cut up felted jumper from the op shop and cut up japanese cotton curtains that had faded in the wash.

then followed machine stitched spirals for each star and puddle quilting in between.

i used fusible thread on three of the seven spirals and then ironed fusible foil over them (rather unsuccessfully i'm afraid)

then came hours of handstitching around the spiral with copper wire and copper metallic embroidery thread.

i stitched 2 copper plumbing connectors from the hardware shop in the middle of each star.
and then came the scary bit - because the piece was larger than the rules allowed i thought i would get around this and add to the connections theme by cutting it up and then stitching it loosely back together. but after all the hours invested in making the piece it was really hard to plunge in and cut it up. i was most afraid of all that hand stitching coming undone so i borrowed from knitting and steeked it - that is i sewed two "tram lines" of machine stitching thus securing the hand stitching and cut between the tram lines.

finally i used three strands of embroidery thread to hem stitch the triptych pieces back together although that too is not what it seems - there are gaps in the middle. it is connected yet separate

Sunday, June 28, 2009

connections finished!

this quilt has been an epic - i lost track of how many hours it has taken but it is done and i am in that dazed, needle sore fingered state where you can't quite believe that it's over.....

and, after much prevaricating, i leapt off the cliff and steeked the quilt....
and then sewed it back together
you can see the whole shebang on tuesday and don't forget to leave a comment if you want to go inot the great hexagon draw

Sunday, June 21, 2009

hexagon giveaway, anyone??

in the spirit of having missed blogaverseries and milestones such as 100, 150 or 200 posts i am having a random giveaway.

while scouting the excellent brunswick savers i found this bag of hexagons - 41 pieced flowers and countless single hexagons, some already basted and others ready to go. each hexagon measures 3 and a half inches so 3 inches finished.

if anyone would like to give 800 grams of hexagonality a new home just leave a comment by 30 June and the winner will be drawn by the usual democratic and transparent means

Saturday, June 20, 2009

getting closer

i did 2 and a half hours of quilting on the challenge quilt this afternoon - so the background quilting is done :)

tune out now if you don't think inanimate objects can have a mind of their own......
this is shaping up to be the bolshiest piece i have made - it has very firm ideas on how it wants to evolve and actively discourages me from any other ideas i might have. for example i couldn't work out how to fill in the gaps between the stars (which are quilted as spirals) and started to do some hand stitching with fine copper wire . the quilt had other ideas - first i couldn't find a thimble, then i couldn't thread the needle. kept dropping the thimble when i did find it and got half way round a spiral when the thread broke. the wire that is fine and flexible and i have successfully stitched with it before) just snapped mid stitch.
i took the hint and asked the quilt what it wanted - and then it came to me. it wanted puddling. what i call puddle quilting anyway which is a kind of horizontal looping i suppose - not zig zags but a series of irregular controlled jerks across the quilt. the quilt was so happy that it docilely let me thread up the machine with black rayon and for the first time ever it all worked smoothly - the rayon did not snap once. this has never happened to me before - i've always abandoned the rayon and gone back to the usual polyester thread and i can only put it down to the good karma garnered by listening to the quilt.

so there is some hand stitching to go, applying the copper rings to the star centres and then - and then - will i be brave enough to carry out the boldest part of my plan??? if it doesn't work the whole piece will be irretrievably ruined

stay tuned

Monday, June 15, 2009

too tired to blog much

but stuff has been happening including making the great leap forward with the connections quilt, much op shopping, biscuiteering and eucalyptus dyeing

more words and pictures to follow

Sunday, June 07, 2009

non sequitur

the word 'rasher' dates from 1592 but the shorter oxford claims not to know its origin - an etymological shrugging of the shoulders...

this i know because i cooked pancakes with eggs, bacon and what w calls 'makle sywup' for breakfast and as i cooked we mused on the word rasher. so now the shorter oxford is on the kitchen table for easy reference and has been consulted throughout the day.

just thought i would share that

Friday, June 05, 2009

connections progress

well my connections quilt is slowly evolving - this will be a technically simpler piece than the last few, and a bit quieter in mood.

in the meantime i thought i might show you how i work through ideas.

i make very basic sketches in my notebook and write down ideas for colours, materials and techniques - sometimes having to pull over to the side of the road or leap out of bed to catch the idea before it falls off the edge of my mind.
for this piece i had thought of labyrinths and spirals
but opted for the pleiades as inspiration
add indigo and copper....

(cross-posted here)

Thursday, June 04, 2009


has been spent lying here, sleeping and reading this

and taking these

at intervals. (and i feel as blurry as the photo)


seems like bloglines has a similar virus - there is a hopeful message saying bloglines will be back soon.....

am being nagged by young w to write 4. so here goes 44444444444 (at least he said thank you)

pizza for dinner i think and an early night. alex is still as pale as a victorian heroine and em is reclining on the sofa with a headache and a cat on her lap

in closing w wishes me to tell the world that he is 4. consider yourself told.

Monday, June 01, 2009


am very excited as i won melanie's blog giveaway - a luscious woolly scarf with some very special charms :)

just the thing to cheer the first week of winter - it certainly cheered me up this afternoon as i wrestled with a particularly curly brief.

thanks mel - will post lucky winner photos later in the week