“Goodnight” crazy quilted postcard

This is one of my favourite vintage postcards, entitled “Goodnight” and features a darling little boy holding a candle. First of all, I used only antique and vintage broderie anglaise lace pieces to stitch into a crazy design around the cotton print in the centre, so I finished up with a lot of different shades of off-white and cream and several totally different floral designs. The print came out a funny sort of blue-green colour so I decided to stick to just three colours when it came to the embellishing – cream, a very pale apricot and an equally pale sludgy blue-green like the photo. My biggest problem was keeping the colours pale, my natural tendency was to go brighter……..however, I think the pale colours suit the little boy going to bed and the old cotton laces. Here is the finished postcard……

This is the original postcard once the cotton laces had been sewn into a crazy design ready for embellishing with beads, sequins, an antique cream silk thread, one strand of Rajmahal Art Silk thread in a pale apricot, two sludgy shades of DMC stranded cotton and a skein of Minnamurra stranded cotton which had been dyed in exactly the right shades of blue/green and apricot.

Before embellishing



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I’m back on WordPress.

I haven’t been able to post a blog on WordPress for over a week now but I just checked out the WordPress “Help” page and found this suggestion…………type wp-admin after the https://anlabyhouse.wordpress.com/wp-admin and hey presto! problem fixed for now anyway…….

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UnderWater Postcard

I have been working on my second postcard this week, this time it had an underwater theme. I started with a backing of silk paper which I made about a month ago, using various shades of coral pink, watermelon pink, apricot and pale peach. I laid a sheet of hand-dyed tissue-tex which I bought from The Thread Studio over the top which because it was so fine, allowed the pinky tones to show through.

Underwater postcard

Some of the threads I used were unpicked from their original form, such as the sparkly green/purple yarn which I unpicked from it’s companion yarn of matching chunky wool and the variegated “sea-weed” at the bottom right of the photo. This was originally some chunky 1/8th inch wide knitted rayon tubing but once it was undone, it formed a really curly frizzy yarn which was perfect for couching down in a wriggly sort of sea-weed looking plant. Other than that, I used hand-dyed ribbon floss, re-cycled sequins from an old hand-bag, glitter threads and clear plastic “bubble” beads.

The last photo shows the silk paper which formed the backing for the stitchery. The tissue-tex which comes in white or black looks like tissue paper however it is very strong and can be sewn through quite heavily by hand and machine without tearing.

Close-up of postcard

Silk paper backing for postcard


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Gumblossom Postcard

I had a play-day in the afternoon after Mary had returned to her sister and niece for the rest of her holiday. I got out all the interesting materials which I had bought from The Thread Studio plus lots of other bits and pieces and started to make a postcard – the hardest part was getting my brain back into thinking creatively.

I started with some fabric paper which I had made earlier using some brightly coloured yarn from which I had unravelled black and gold yarns from the ball. I had ironed the “paper” which melted some of the fibres – oops!! however Mary had suggested that I use the mistake in the postcard. Well it looked a bit like a twig so that set the theme. I glued three skeleton leaves in place which I had already sprayed with copper paint then covered the whole lot in black net. After I had machine stitched around the leaves and twigs in a copper coloured machine thread and also sewn the main vein of each leaf, I cut away the net from the leaves only, exposing the fine veins. For the gumnuts, I glued on some metal foil scraps which were also gold/copper tones and I used a variegated blue/pink/silver machine thread to sew horizontal lines over the black net background. This livened up the postcard but it was still too “in my face bright” so after I had satin-stitched around the edge of the postcard with copper metallic machine thread, I sprayed the whole lot very lightly with the copper paint. That was much better. Before the gumblossoms were hand-sewn with roughly satin stitched edges then a fringe of copper crinkled Angelina fibres was sewn around each flower and bud, I coloured the area around each bud with a copper Shiva paint stick. I trimmed the Angelina fibres down to size then ironed only the middle of each flower to melt and secure the fringes but I left the edges un-ironed so they are still separate and fluffy. It still needed something so I sewed that multi-coloured dragon-fly in place as he had all the colours of the original background wool in his wings. Well, it was a learning experience, if nothing else!!

These are the materials which I used to make the post-card. Timtex, Spray paint, Shiva paint stick, Angelina fibres, wool, PVA glue, metal scraps, metallic thread and sprayed leaf skeletons.

This is a photo of the finished post-card. Maybe I sprayed too much copper paint over the bright colours of the background material – but it was an experiment in “what would happen if……” so in that respect it was successful.


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Mary’s Holiday with us

It wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was so good to have my friend from New South Wales, Mary Lewis come and stay for a few days. We had a great time together, just as we did last year when I spent two weeks with her. We managed to shop till we dropped at five charity shops, two quilting shops and Spotlight………funny how every shop seemed to have something that we just had to buy! Another time, we went up the hills east of Perth to Kalamunda and Gooseberry Hill and we visited the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in the Swan Valley. Perhaps the best time though was when I took her to visit Ian and Dale Rollerson of “The Thread Studio” where Ian wisely left us alone with empty baskets – I mean to say, the longer we browsed, the more we bought!! I have to admit to being into the three figures by the time I had to pay for my lot!! But what fun!! Even better fun when it came time to play with our spoils!

We also went for a drink at The Rose and Crown hotel which is the oldest hotel in Western Australia still in existence and which was built by convict labour in 1841. The original cellars which include a very deep well and also a bricked in tunnel which used to run down to the Swan River (where boats used to bring the goods and barrels from Perth before the roads were built) have now been opened as the “Cellar Bar”. It feels as if you have been transported back in time down there!!

The Hills were alive with the sound of………..no, not music, birds. Hundreds of bird sounds from the trees in the National Park at Gooseberry Hill. You can just see the buildings of the Perth CBD in the distance.

This photo is of Mary and me, down in the cellars of the Rose and Crown Hotel in Guildford.

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Trip aboard Spirit of the West Restaurant Train

We had a wonderful Sunday recently when Eddie and I plus several of our friends went on a trip aboard the “Spirit of the West” Restaurant train from East Perth station all the way through the Avon Valley to Toodyay. Five star dining in five star restored original carriages complete with five star service. It was a fantastic experience which we will definitely repeat. It was lovely to be able to sit back and relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Avon Valley in the company of friends while being waited on constantly. Here is one view from the window of the carriage. The second photo is a view inside one of the restored railway carriages which date from the turn of the last century. They are so opulent and just sitting in one makes you feel special!! That’s Eddie on the left, with Mike, Pam, Wally, Julie and Phil.
View of Avon Valley

Inside the

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Sewing Weekend Over….

My grand-daughter Taylia came for the long weekend for serious sewing time. We picked her up on Friday evening and her parents picked her up late this afternoon so she has been here for three whole days. On Saturday, she made a West Coast Eagles bag for her Dad because he is a West Coast Eagles fan (Australian Football League) and so is she.

The second day, Sunday, she made a beautiful black bag for her Mummy with a black sequined flower on the flap and a long handle. I hope Mummy appreciates the effort and concentration that went into that bag!

Finally, on Monday, she wanted to make herself a blanket. I found a piece of pink blanketting and then she decided that we should scatter love-hearts all over it………we comprimised and she agreed that they’d be better all around the edge. She chose all the fabrics and we used Vlisofix to stick them onto the blanket. Pat Winter in USA had sent Tay a surprise parcel of crazy quilting braids, laces, charms and other bits and pieces so she decided to use some of them to decorate her hearts. We did half each and we finished the blanket about 3.30pm, about an hour before Mum and Dad and little brother Jesse were due to arrive. She had a great time and this weekend learnt zig-zag stitching, fancy stitching (she did a row of love hearts on some scrap material), stitching backwards on the machine, hand-stitching the embellishments on the hearts and sewing on buttons, flowers and bows, plus changing the thread on top of the machine and replacing¬† the bobbin underneath.

Here’s the fabulous blanket with all the various shaped embellished love-hearts. I’m absolutely “cream crackered” as Eddie’s Uncle Ted used to say……..early to bed tonight!!

Tay's blanket

Tay and Mummy's bag

Taylia with WCE bag


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