Saturday, 26 February 2011

Christmas progress

The inspiration for my February project comes from Marina at Maisie and the Boys who was my secret Santa in a 2010 Christmas exchange. One of the gifts she made and gave to me was a gorgeous little scissor keeper or sewing case, and I liked it so much I decided to make some to give too. I put together a couple of these in one night, and tucked some sewing goodies in. They look cute and and are really handy - just what I need in my gift stash. Thanks Marina.

FYI - This pattern is in Patchwork & Stitching magazine Vol 7 No 5

Friday, 25 February 2011

Christchurch Earthquake and Week 8 Journal - X

Speech by Prime Minister John Key after the Christchurch earthquake 23 February, 2011

New Zealand Flag at Half Mast at KiwiWise

'New Zealanders have woken to a tragedy unfolding in the great city of Christchurch.
The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region at ten to one yesterday has wreaked death and destruction on a dreadful scale.
There is no reason that can make sense of this event.
No words that can spare our pain.
We are witnessing the havoc caused by a violent and ruthless act of nature.
Many people have lost their lives. Families have lost their cherished loved ones. Mates have lost their mates.
These deaths are the greatest loss.
They remind us that buildings are just buildings, roads just roads, but our people are irreplaceable.

Today all New Zealanders grieve for you Christchurch.
To all those who woke up in Christchurch today feeling lucky to be alive, we know that you too are shocked, unnerved and grieving.
We know that your loss is sharpened by fear.
Our minds go to the mothers and fathers comforting children struck by anxiety and disbelief.
They go to the elderly, infirm and isolated who experienced this event alone and who remain blunted by shock.
And they go to each and every Cantabrian who has stoically endured six months of aftershocks, only to be hit by the biggest shock of all.

On behalf of New Zealand let me say to all of you: We feel your pain, as only a small nation can, for none of us feel removed from this event....'
...New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.
Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.
I promise we will meet this test...
...We pay tribute to the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, medical professionals and each and every person who is contributing to this effort.
You are heroes amongst us...
...We will rise to these challenges.
We will rebuild this city resolutely, and with the conviction that this is what it is to be a Cantabrian, what it is to be a New Zealander.
We are a country of pioneers. Whether we came by waka, sailboat, or aeroplane, we came with the conviction that we could build a new life in this country.
That great pioneering spirit will come to the fore in Christchurch over the coming months and years.
Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though your city will never look the same again, you will rebuild your city, you will rebuild your lives, you will overcome...

Not a huge amount of meaning went into this weeks journal when I was organised and made it last Sunday. Now though it will always be a reminder of the week of the crippling Christchurch Earthquake.

I made this after working on a couple of blocks for a group project at 15 Minutes Play. I liked them and thought I could see a journal in them. I hand stitched - I wont call it quilting cos it's more like tacking really ;o) but I love the effect.

Thanks to Kiwiwise for the flag image.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Week 7 journal - leaves

This week I wanted to make something acheivable rather than challenging. I flicked through some Quilting Arts magazines and found a picture of a cushion by Linda and Laura Kemshell whichI was sure I could adapt to the journal format.

I used some hand dyed fabric from the workshop I went to last year, stitched the leaves and then painted them. Once they were dry I stippled the background. I always love stitching leaves.

This week I've been working on some gifts for Christmas throughout the year, and a couple of stitchery projects. I'll share these soon. I'm enjoying spending more time on my quilting and sewing this year than I have in the recent past.

While doing some blog hopping I found this great film thanks to Jill at Life and Times of Jill

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Week 6 journal - absent friends

This is the first week that I've struggled to pull off my journal quilt. I think it's because I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to make from the outset other than to use the photo, and everything I did seemed to be wrong. I had all these loose ideas about family and the fact that this is a picture of my grandfather with his adoptive parents. I wanted to contrast their serious expressions was cute words about love but what I was doing with it wasn't coming together. I had painted the background, over painted it, covered it with organza to hide the paint, but the organza was too shiny so I stitched on some fabric strips and they were too bright. Nothing was working.

I had lunch mid-week with two lovely local bloggers - Carole and Lynette - and they gave me some great advice, which included "keep going" and "keep adding". So I persevered with it, rethought a couple ideas, added gesso (lovely gesso, covers a multitude of sins). A hunt through my paper treasures box produced the image of the lady in the hat and it reminded me of a photo I have, which is supposedly my grandad's birth mother. I already had the pieces of champagne bottle foil stitched on so the Robert Burns poem "Toasting Absent Friends" tied it altogether nicely.

I'm certainly happy with the way the emotional loose ends are tied up, and am more happy with it visually than I was with the mid-week version, but I'd really like constuctive feedback on it because it was such a challenging process.

A Toast to Absent Friends

"to absent friends
to those we have met
to those we have yet to meet
to those who have left us for a while
and to those who have left us forever

let us lift our glasses
and drink a toast
that they may abide in our hearts forever

to absent friends"

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Week 5 journal - creams

This looks modest but I'm really pleased with it. I've never managed to successfully make a piece in creams before, colour always sneaks up on me and overwhelms it.

Originally I was planning to use this as a background for some handstitched flowers, but because I like the creaminess I'm leaving it as it is. The free motion zig-zag is a new to me and it's quick and easy, and really effective. This would be a great technique for backgrounds for lots of different things.

Around here

My sewing at the moment seems to be focused on a couple of quilt-a-long projects I've joined. For a while now I've wanted to use u...