Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The 40 D'oiley

Phew! Breathing a sigh of relief that the 40th birthday d'oiley is finished.

I think I can safely say that my penchant for very fine crochet has come and gone. I think I will save it for the edging on fine linen tablecloths now - and I have already made two of those.

I am tempted to pin the d'oiley out and paint on spray starch to "block" it, but I am posting it to the U.K. and I don't think my gf will even notice if it's a little crinkly.

Besides, I like the way it feels soft.

Ecru and white in size 20 crochet cotton.

It's getting close to Christmas. Before then I would like to make a Christmas stocking, bind two quilts, and make some oven mitts - something I would do in one week when I wasn't a Mum! ;)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Observations and ramblings

There are a lot of things a busy Mum of young children misses out on in terms of time for herself and her hobbies.
Yes, it's been difficult to get the sewing machine out. I thought about it tonight at about 5pm.

"Ooh", I thought, "I could get the sewing machine out after the children are in bed, set it up outside (only space possible at the moment), and crack on with the Santa stocking for the youngest member of the family"....

Um... no. When 7:55pm came, I decided by the time I cleared and cleaned a space to sew and cut and spray and baste, there would be 45 minutes to sew and then it would be time to pack up, and that would be a late night! Woah there Nelly!

So how do people do it? And are they doing it?

I know my blog posts have suffered, but after having a look in the last week, I see that a whole lot of blogs I used to follow and read avidly, now show their last posts as 1 year ago, 2 years ago. Surely not everyone in the world had a baby in the last year.

Then I thought about it again. Blogging is largely a thing where we write, read and post while sitting at a computer desk (really, I would never type this many words on the phone). People don't have to sit at a computer desk anymore to see if they have an email (Yes!! Woohoo! Somebody wrote to me!), now they can use the internet on their phone if they want to (dang it, the phone bill is due). We are not sitting down to blog or read as we used to do. We are looking at our phones in the doctors waiting room, on the bus, eating our lunch at work or over a coffee. And we are not looking to see if anyone sent us an email.

What are we doing? It seems the new trends are: Pinning links on pinterest; Show and telling on Instagram; and raving about the latest fabric releases on Twitter. None of which have snagged me. However, facebook has fan groups (fabric designers, fabric ranges, shops, styles of quilts), and message groups, and show and tell pages, and I do get to see some inspiring works on there.

When I think about it, this really is my quilting journal, which I choose to share,  because I have been inspired by sooo many others' quilts and quilting journies, that I wanted to pay it forward and inspire others too. It is also a way of easily keeping a record of when a project was started and finished. What an easy way to archive the quilts I have made in my life by printing out a year at a time into a hard book.

There are quilts I made and gave away, and never kept a photo of, after promises by the recipients of a lovely pic with the baby when it was born. I have no idea how many quilts I made, let alone what they looked like. I was always whipping up a baby quilt and giving it away. Another reason for writing my blog - to keep a record for my ancestors and for recipients of quilts I have made. You can always find me online. Especially as I became interested in antique quilts, and if there was no label on the quilt, we didn't know its story. Always label your quilts.

Lastly, hellooo and a big wave to my quilting girlfriends all over who can keep up with my sewing, here on this blog, even if we don't keep up on the phone very often. Big Love to you all. xoxoxoxo

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Almost a year's work

It was last December I started planning a special 40th birthday gift for my Soul Twin who lives in the U.K.

We were going to be on the road for about 6 weeks, and as a passenger I would be able to take something small to work on.

Having decided applique would be too much to organise before we left, and stitchery wouldn't be special enough, I took a few 1970s vintage patterns and some crochet cotton along for the ride.

The first piece I started ended up being too difficult to follow as a pattern, and I would have to do hours and hours of crochet before finding that I might have made an error.


I really needed to have the gift posted yesterday, but as you can see I am still working on it.

In the last few days I made 50 of these little flowers in white, to contrast with the main part, and started to attach them to the d'oiley.

I found these lovely, lovely needles at my local quilt shop.

The packaging is lovely - it looks like fimo flowers, and it's useful. The needles cannot be accessed from the jar by my 15 month old toddler who is FINDing everything!

These particular ones are for hand quilting with perle thread, so the eye of the needle was perfect for hand stitching the little flowers onto the d'oiley and weaving in the thread ends (ohhh! the ends! Will they end?)

Best get back to the actual stitching, the d'oiley needs to head off on Monday.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Kerri's red and gold bra

What a spectacular night we had at the dance concert!

I am so grateful for my Circle of Women. It was such a blessing to be pampered (Kerri did my hair), and pamper others (I did some make up). A truly joyous night of women working together and facing their nervous fears... remembering dance steps... costume pieces and accessories...

And I won a big prize in the raffle! A pack of hair products!

Here is the only bra I had not taken a photo of before  - Kerri models it here.

This bra was not padded, which meant I had to allow for stretch when beading, and had to stitch the sequins and beads on vertically. It is much easier to stitch onto a slightly padded bra.

At first the base of the bra was also sequined, but the beads were digging into her skin. I removed the sequins and replaced them with some rows of beaded fringing. Ta-da! Happy Kerri!

It is the close friendships shared with my Circle of Women that are a true blessing, as a result of belly dancing, and I find myself truly grateful for their role in my life. Thank you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Black and Red Tassels belly dance bra

And I just managed to squeeze in another piece for a dance costume for the concert!

Finished at the last minute, I had been looking for the right tassels, and I am glad I waited.

They turned out a treat. Two rows of tassels, with black sequins stitched over where they were attached.  These give a lovely swishing feeling, and allow some of the lovely bra to show through the fringe.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yellow Tabla belly dance bra

I have just realised it's starting to get close to our dance concert night this month, and I am looking at the costume lists, mentally assessing what to wear for each dance.

Thank goodness I only need to have costumes for 5 dances. Some of the women are in about 15 dances. That is a LOT of costume changing!

Still, I needed to make a yellow bra for the Table dance. The costume must be yellow and black, so I wanted to keep the bra looking fresh, as I have a black lace bolero and layers of black and yellow skirts to wear together.

The result is a very subdued bra in soft yellow, with a beaded fringe (I think it's supposed to be for upholstery, but nobody would know). The sequins are stitched on symmetrically.

Reminder to self next time adding fringeing: stretch out the base of the bra while stitching it on.

 Ouch. it's a little bit tight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Purple hip scarf bra

There is another fast way to create a belly dance bra, without all the beading and sequins. Simply stitch an inexpensive hip scarf to a bra. This $8 scarf is hand stitched around the top then is allowed to hang over the bra, and finally ties closed over the clasps at the back.

I really like wearing this bra, and it falls beautifully - my bust even jingles while I move... but the bra underneath is so lovely, and it's hidden. Sometime, I will buy another bra, remove the hip scarf off here and stitch it onto a plain inexpensive one.

This bra is so lovely underneath, it deserves to have some sequins on it, just to show it's loveliness. (Have you shown your bra lately? Hee hee.) I am feeling inspired to stitch on some purple, green and yellow pansies.