Saturday, 26 April 2014

Misery Loves Company But Not If You Don't Let It

The 'Company' this week was having to come to the conclusion that after six weeks of veterinary treatment for our beloved cat Louis, things were going backwards and having to make the heart breaking decision to remove the affected limb. Louis damaged his right hock in a road accident and satisfactory recovery without future pain was looking decreasingly likely.
After two days, yes two days of sleeping, sleeping, sleeping we had him up and about yesterday and unbelievably nimble for having just gone through something so major. Of course cats don't walk upright and do not have the human mind set and so balancing even with three legs and emotional trauma are more easily surmountable.
Understandably he does look a little gruesome at the moment with loads of fur growing back to accomplish but he is moving more freely than he has done in weeks and with no obvious pain. The vet has assured us that they do go on to live completely normal and active lives and with cats being a small animal it is that much easier.
So Louis is on the road to recover and 'Misery' he is not!
Looking at his contented face you would never know anything was different....

The 'Misery' on the other hand came in the form of an anonymous loser who deigned it amusing to leave vile and miserable comments on my blog. Clearly this random person has no interest what so ever in quilting or needlework and is just sitting in their cave all alone attempting to pass their miserable psyche onto others. Fortunately the 'delete' button is interchangeable with 'misery' and I have the power to wipe such vitriolic garbage from my corner of the blogosphere. Please do me a favour whomever you are and don't visit my blog.
I do love getting comments from fellow bloggers whether they be encouraging or helpful but vile spam leaves me somewhat bemused. If you are not interested in something then why not just move on and get a life somewhere else as clearly you are in need of one!!!
This person should seriously consider taking up quilting or needlework as a hobby and as with all like minded people who love this hobby, gain yourself a better disposition.

Now, onto more pleasing and interesting crafty things that have been going on at my place this week....

I am inching my way along the couched gold road on my Mirror with Doors. It's quite therapeutic quietly sitting and highlighting the flower outlines with gold. The gold is definitely making the flowers 'POP'.

Three and a half down, six and a half to go

Ooh La La!

Ann Lawle is coming alive. I am more than halfway down the horizontal grid. I cannot believe now that I was ever intimidated by this process, it's so doable.
It's coming alive right before my very eyes

Two little dickie birds on a cutwork grid
Lest We Forget 
It was ANZAC day here in New Zealand yesterday, the 25th April is an austere celebration that Australians and New Zealanders commemorate together. This year it marked 99 years since the start of WW1 and the landing of the ANZAC's at Gallipoli, Turkey. Nearly 3,000 New Zealanders lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign.
New Zealand sent 100,000 troops to the war effort, only 50,000 returned. The population of New Zealand was only 1,000,000 at the time....5% never returned home.
The ANZAC commemoration remembers those who have fallen and who have given their lives in service to our countries.
It is impossible to stop tears from welling when you think of the magnitude of the lives lost and what they could have become.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

Friday, 18 April 2014

Borders and Grids

It's Good Friday today, wet & the first day of the end of first term school holidays. Two weeks to go! We had a horrid storm yesterday with winds gusting from a direction that comes right into our property. Thank goodness it has calmed somewhat today.

Bearing in mind that the school hols were looming, finishing the border on the Mountmellick was foremost in the daytime schedule this week. Circles, circles and more circles...all 48 of them to be appliqued to the background. Now they are not perfect, I wanted the perfect circles template to arrive but it wasn't going to as it is on backorder so I forged ahead anyway with doing circles for the first time and so they are not perfectly symmetrical but then I am one of those people who are into quirky, handmade and natural shabby and imperfect pieces and so I can live with that. Anyway, when you look at the piece as a whole you don't notice and apart from a quilting expert I am the only one who will notice and I am not entering a competition anytime soon. I had fun with this piece and apart from a slight easement needed on the longer border pieces it all fitted as per the measurements given by Di.....WOO HOO...I was a little nervous about this as some blogs and the facebook groups I follow  had mentioned having issues with the measurements.
48 not so perfect circles all in rows
48 not so perfect circles on diamonds pieced with triangles and made into a shabby border

What a site to behold! Up to date and awaiting part III
Now my daytime stitching is to be directed towards couching the Gilt 1 1/2 twist around the Elizabethan style flowers on the mirror with doors. My thread supplies arrived and I made a teeny tiny start yesterday, late yesterday so I didn't get very far but it is underway.

So Sparkly

I have also been beavering away every night on my Ann Lawle sampler. It took simply ages to extract all those vertical and horizontal threads for the cutwork grid.

The Grid

Now I have started to 'strengthen' the vertical threads with Whip Stitch. Once that is done then the horizontal strengthening and the pattern. This is the absolute first time I have done anything like this and when you look at the project as a whole it can be quite terrifying but if you step back and just have the confidence and work through the steps you find that It is not so impossible after all.

Finally this week my Lone Elm Lane Shaker Box and the first part of the Shepherd's Bush series for 2014 'The Fold' arrived. I want to start this sampler which is designed to fit into the lid of the box. There will be several more parts over the year which will be needlework  accessories that fit into the box. It took ages to start as there were fabric and other delays but it is cool now it has arrived. One has to have a lot of faith and patience in the needlework world as threads/fabric can take quite some time to be produced due to the fact that a lot of materials are made by small artisans.

Last weekend the weather was beautiful so we decided to take the girls for a trip over to Waiheke Island for lunch. The ferry trip takes under an hour from Auckland City. We found a neat little restaurant which brews it's own beer. We sat outside in a couple of lounge chairs at a table made of beer crates and the girls sat in a seat that was made out of an old wooden dinghy and bean idea! Food was unusual and also enjoyable.
Dinghy Seat
Happy Easter

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Production Line & Blogger's Annoying Foibles

I discovered this week, thanks to a fellow blogger who kindly let me know, that I was showing as a 'no reply' blogger. Didn't know I was as don't ever remember setting/or not setting that one. Anyway, a google search on how to fix show's that it is a very obscure and not straightforward way that this setting is made. A convoluted process has enabled a fix, I think! But why, oh why, can it not just be a clearly defined tick box in settings that is easily located!!!!!!
So if I have made any comments on your blog and then came up as no reply please be reassured that I do like your reply's and hopefully all is working as it should in my blogger world now.
The Mountmellick production line has been in full force this week. The border around the central medallion is certainly a complex little beastie. Getting all the pieces ready to go has been quite some task.

Firstly, I traced and cut out all the circles, all 48 of them, onto the applique paper. I am using Lynette Anderson's water soluble paper so I don't have to remove them. I ordered some Perfect Circles to assist with this process but they are out of stock at my supplier until the end of the month and I cannot put this project on hold that long, not while my momentum is in forward motion.
I used her pre cut water soluble 1/2" hexies and traced the squares for the corner flowers. Then I cut squillions of triangles for the piecing. Just love all these beautiful fabrics we are getting to work with.

Cutting out all the 48 fabric circles
Gathering all the 48 circles and basting the  4 squares and 16 hexies

Joining the hexie flowers and basting to the corner blocks.
Next task will be to hand applique the hexies to the corner blocks and the circles to the background squares. I should get that done this week before easter and end of term 1 school holidays kick in next Friday. Fingers crossed!
I finished the Fruit of the Vine Needleroll and have placed this project aside while I prepare my first Scarlet Letter sampler. I have been reading the Our Scarlet Letter Years blog for the past year but it was too full to join. Then this year a spot freed up but I have still not contributed and I want to. It took me a while to decide which project I would choose for my first one. Well I have settled on Ann Lawle as  have been really wanting to try my hand at the cut work. Let the adventure begin.
Needleroll's stitching is all done

Love those grapes
The border and outline for the cutwork is complete. Along the top and bottom is four sided stitch and all sides are satin stitched. Had to be super duper  careful about counting this so out came the magnifier's for that job.
The came the scary part....cutting the threads. I made a tiny start but was too tired last night to carry on with this intimidating job. The horizontal threads are done first in groups of two out and two left.
This is what Ann will look like when she is finished. I am working on the birds at the top. They are upside down on the original but I think I will flip them around.
Happy stitching until next week!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Because You're Gorgeous

Hello stitching friends out there in the blogosphere and thank you so much to the lovely ladies who have left some really nice comments on my  blog. I really do appreciate your encouragement not to mention taking my own sneak peek at your own blogs to see what crafty activities you have been undertaking....such fun but one has to be careful as the time sure drifts away when you keep following links...
My achievements this week have been 'fruitful', pun intended...
You will be proud of me Ellen, I have not put the Fruit of the Vine away into the stash since returning from my lovely time spent with you and the other ladies in Hawkes Bay. I have been beavering away on the needle roll and really quite enjoying all the specialty stitches that are totally new to me. It is going quite quickly this bit but then it helps that it is only a couple of inches across. Good practice though before tackling the sampler. I think I might do all the small pieces first before that.

Those little birdies are so sweet.... tweet tweet
I had a finish, well the stitching is finished anyway. I still have to 'finish finish' the Needleworker's Pocketbook.

I am thinking at the moment that I might have to set aside some time in the next short while to have a 'finishathon' as now the Floral Glove, May Your Hands AND the Needleworker's Pocketbook are all awaiting construction. No Excuses!
I didn't make any progress this week on the Mirror apart from moving it from the floor onto my trestle/supporting frame setup. This is a marvellous ensemble available from Margaret Lee
I was going to outline the flowers in the 2% gold Elizabethan twist but looking at it against the drawn lines and bearing in mind that the flowers will be filled with chunky silk pearl purls where some linen will be visible, I think it is too fine to give good coverage over the pen line. Tricia used  1 1/2 gilt twist and I have ordered some from Hedgehog Handworks so I am going to wait for that to arrive and compare but I suspect the diameter is slightly larger. Not to mind, plenty of other things to continue on with.
Speaking of continuing on, I have been doing so with the Mountmellick and she is looking GORGEOUS. I just love, love, love, the design of this quilt, all the fabrics used in this quilt and the mystery of this quilt. I did all the broderie perse and doesn't that vase full of flowers look divine. I also spent yesterday attached the first border and mitering all the corners and it has come out looking very grand with that fabulous striped border fabric. If you cannot tell already...I am in love....

Have a happy stitching weekend wherever you are....


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