I arrived home from work today to find a yummy looking big parcel on the kitchen bench. I bought a lot of mixed fibres on eBay from Teresa Simons of Mountain Shadow Ranch. The photos just don’t do these beautiful soft fibres justice, especially the Mystery Batt. My mystery batt which Teresa had called “Wizard’s Magic” contains several different black and grey fibres (no two of her mystery batts are the same mixture) intertwined with vivid sparkly hot pink, turquoise, purple and gold Angellina fibres. I also bought a bag of Dragon Waste which come in the most gorgeous colours and also a bag of “Forest Green” Angellina Fibres. I am really thrilled with my booty and can hardly wait to start making fabric now. I remember buying wool tops before but these are from Cotswold sheep and are soooooooo soft!
When I did the silk paper making workshop with Judith Pinnell and Nancy Bellesteros several years ago, I remember laying the fibres one way (north – south), then a second layer over the top of the first at right angles (so east – west) and finally a third layer in the same direction as the first. Then we manipulated the fibres with the textile medium. It made a lovely fabric about the thickness of lightweight felt.
I have FINALLY finished my thirteenth block – the one for myself. I have used all the colours that were in all of the other blocks, pink, green, aqua, mauve, yellow and cream. I worked my class piece of Melanie Roses on the block and also stitched the variegated green tatted circle which I completed on the plane so it is truly an Easter Gathering block. I can start sewing the squares together now as I think I am only waiting on three blocks to come and I know they are going to go well with the ones I have at the moment and can form the bottom row of the wall hanging quilt. Actually I have some other blocks from a previous DYB swap, I might include them as well…..after all, thirteen is a bit difficult to fit evenly into a quilt….
I had the most wonderful morning shopping in our local Good Samaritans Op-Shop today. I scanned the best bits because I can’t believe the fabulous haul. There are two purses, one covered in yellowy/gold sequins and beads and the other one “hand-beaded” in tiny dull gold beads. Eddie is about to “un-hand-bead” them both and at the moment is unpicking abother one which was covered in red beads and coral coloured sequins. Believe it or not, he finds unpicking and sorting beads and sequins off bags, purses and clothing very relaxing and doesn’t mind how much I give him to do. There is also a cream waistcoat in the photo with rows and rows of different rayon laces, a pearl collar for unpicking and the very best item would have to be a dull fawny-yellow silk skirt with appliqued machine-embroidered leaves around the bottom. The leaves are attached with stitches about one inch long so real quick and easy to unpick. The leaf veins are yellowy-gold glass beads. That would have cost me $3.50 but because it was 50% off everything in the clothing lines today, I got it for $1.75. Unfortunately, it had been part of a two piece suit and the top was apparently better than the skirt. Although the lady looked high and low for it, it was no-where to be seen and in the end she came to the conclusion that it had “walked” out under a jacket or jumper – what a shame!! Anyway, I am drooling over my spoils in any case….double click on the photo for a larger than life image.
I have finally finished the last two Easter Gathering blocks. The pastel Apricotty one is for Andrea and the blue and yellow one is for Margaret. Now the only one left to do is my own…..mostly pastel colours. At last I can put away all the threads, laces, beads etc which I have been carting around since I took the first blank blocks to England to sew while I was there. Five months later I can put everything back where it came from………hooray!! Anyway, here are the two blocks, I hope the girls are happy with them. Unfortunately the scanner has created a shadow at the top of Margaret’s padded silk print which is not there in the flesh.
This is the third time I have tried to publish these two blocks which belong to Norma (top) and Brenda (bottom) who both live in the US. Norma’s block is mostly green and cream in keeping with the colours in the skirt of the little Snowflake fairy in the centre picture. I found working on this block was very relaxing probably because of the lovely gentle quiet colours. Norma hasn’t seen this block in the flesh yet so I hope she likes it when she sees it.
Brenda’s block on the bottom is a lot brighter than I usually do but that was what she requested, ie. Bright colours. This was a fun block and I finally found just the right place to attach the gold Easter Bonnet charm which I received in a swap last year. I dyed the butterfly ages ago and thought it was a bit bright until I realised that it was a perfect balance to the fabric in the bottom corner. I tizzied him up a bit with coral coloured beads on his lower wings. It was great meeting Brenda in the flesh after she had made the long journey from Texas to Australia for the Easter gathering.
At the Easter Gathering we all took turns at being (a) the teacher and (b) a student. Consequently all of us learnt new skills and techniques which we hadn’t known before. Julia taught us how to do “Melanie Roses” using 4ml silk ribbon. This is a block which I am working on for myself and these are my first attempt at Melanie Roses. I am really glad that Julia chose to teach these as apart from being very easy to do, they look totally true-to-life.
These two blocks are very similar in colour even though the only common fabric is the rose pink satin. The one at the top was for Sandie who very kindly hosted the Easter Gathering. Sandie loves pink so although the picture in the centre was of a darling little Angel walking a pet lamb (Sandie’s an animal lover) and mostly greens and creams, there was enough pink in there for me to add pink fabrics and threads. I was really happy with the way the colours combined to create a sort of harmoneous feeling.
The bottom one was for Julia who is primarily a “Victorian” person and loves sludgy colours. She does the most gorgeous crazy quilting using colours on a black background – something I have yet to muster up the courage to try. Her picture was a Victorian style Angel with palm leaves which set the tone of the block. I remember telling Julia that I was working on a block with an Angel in a cream dress with a rose pink shawl around her shoulders and asking her to guess who it was for. “Well, it can’t be for me – it must be Sandie’s!!” she answered………which put me off a bit so it got put to the back of the list while I thought about it. In the end, I was happy with it and I think she was too.