Tuesday 27 March 2012

Thread Storage

I decided to organise my hand sewing threads because I had too many little boxes of this and that and I wanted everything in the one place.

 I already had 2 plastic containers for my 6 strand embroidery floss that I use all the time. I really love them because they are big and I can see my thread clearly. I bought them from the Craftainers stand at the Melbourne Craft and Quilting Show one year (aka Jeff’s shed) I have looked for them since and they haven’t been there again.

Here is a picture of one of the containers.

So I went on line to buy some more. I ended up buying not only some more plastic containers but a little shelf system to store them all. I also bought a bigger container that I have stored at the top of the storage container.

So, I have 2 containers holding my 6 strand embroidery floss and 1 container holding all of the thicker threads.

Another one contains my wool threads.

I am lucky to have the entire range of the 100wt YLI silk thread and so I have stored them in a container.

In the last container I am going to store all my silk ribbon.

In the big container up the top, I have stored all my braids.

I am very happy with my new system and it makes everything so handy and easy to find.

I was also happy with the service from Craftainers. The package arrived within two days of placing the order.

I have to get back to my sewing!

Bye for now,

Wednesday 21 March 2012

CQJP 2012 March

I am managing to keep up to date with my Crazy Quilt Journal Blocks (CQJP 2012).

My theme is Christmas and this month I used a blue background as my base. I really like the blue and don’t know why I don’t use that colour more often. It was always my favourite colour when I was growing up.

This month, I decided to needle turn appliqué a couple of Christmas crackers in the middle of the block.

Here is the finished 6" block.

The block looks a little bare on the right edge but I am leaving a place for a charm. I don’t put the charms on my crazy quilts until after they are quilted.

The little red stitches on the cretan stitch on the top right is Sorbello stitch.

I had better get started on my April block. Actually, hasn’t the year just started, why are we suddenly talking about April!

Bye for now,


Wednesday 14 March 2012

Van Gogh

This month the Waverley Art Quilters have been studying Vincent Van Gogh.

Vincent Van Gogh was born in The Netherlands in 1853 and died in France from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1890. He was only 37 years old but had suffered mental illness for years.

Vincent only took up painting in the last 10-15 years of his life and he worked tirelessly with self-imposed training to make up for his late start. He produced many paintings but always felt a failure because he only managed to sell one in his lifetime.

Van Gogh is known as a Post-Impressionist painter. He started using a brighter palette after discovering the Impressionist style and used an impasto technique to create thick layers of paint.

Many of his paintings are worked in complementary colours because he found that they produced brilliant effects together without using any middle tones.

The Impressionists were trying to paint what they saw. Van Gogh was trying to paint what he felt when he saw it.

Van Gogh became obsessed with painting a night sky. Two of his well-known paintings are Starry Night 1888 and The Starry Night 1889.

Starry Night 1888

The Starry Night 1889

In January 2010 I drove to Canberra with my family to see the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. It was the Post-Impressionist paintings from the Musée D’orsay Museum in France.

It was a wonderful exhibition but the painting that stood out for me the most was Starry Night by Van Gogh. They seemed to have a particularly good light on it and the painting glowed.

I decided to make an A3 art quilt using Starry Night as my inspiration and rather than trying to faithfully re-create it, I would try and concentrate on using the complementary colours of blue and yellow and try to create the reflections in the water.

I wasn’t happy with the end result. It looked like a poor imitation of the original painting with none of the vibrancy.

I felt that I had to redeem myself. So I got out a copy of the other painting The Starry Night and just drew the sky part of it onto blue fabric with a white pencil.

Using blue and yellow embroidery thread I covered the lines with stitches. The stitches used were:

Stem stitch

Chain Stitch,

Blanket stitch

Running stitch

Colonial knots

Back stitch and

 Satin stitch

I am so much happier with this result; it is more artistic and brighter.

Next month we are using an Image as Inspiration and we are all using the same image. The photo is a tree branch with a beautiful red leaved creeper growing on it.

Bye for now,


Wednesday 7 March 2012


When I finish a quilt I always make sure that I put a label on the back no matter how small and insignificant the quilt is.

When I first started quilting I never bothered much. It seemed like too much trouble and I was always eager to get on with the next quilt. This was a problem when I had my quilt exhibition at the Victorian Quilters Showcase last year. The organisers wanted me to show some of my earlier quilts including my very first quilt. I had to go to a lot of trouble working out the year I made the quilts and because I used patterns in the early days I had to find out who the designer was and I also had to measure the quilts.

This would have been so much easier if only I had taken the trouble to put a label on the back.

Now I write my labels in Word and then print them on Inject fabric sheets. The fabric is specially treated so that the label or photo is waterproof and fade proof.

The fabric has a high thread count so the print is very clear but this means that it can be hard on the fingers to hand sew. I always put a fabric border around the outside to make the hand sewing easy.

On my little Art Quilts for the Waverley Art Quilters I usually just write my name and the date that I made it. I make another label which tells all about the subject that we studied as well.

On my other quilts I always write the quilt title, my name, address and phone number and the size of the quilt and the year I finished it.

If I give a quilt to someone I include the washing instructions and when I did the label for our raffle quilt I included the names of all the people that helped on the quilt.

I often wait until I have a few labels to do and print them all at once so I don’t waste the printer fabric. Then I have them ready to take with me when I have a sewing day at a friend’s place because it is easy sewing and you don’t need to worry if the light is good enough etc.

So when you finish a quilt don't forget the label!

Bye for now,