Sunday, January 29, 2012

Roseville album block finished and more houses.

This week I finished my 5th Roseville Album block

and eight more little houses to add to the collection.

During the week I found an article in our local daily newspaper (The Age) about a cape made from spider web silk. I found the topic absolutely fascinating! The cape is currently on display and the V and A in London. To see some photos of the cape go here.  (this isn't the original article I saw. I search the net for something without pictures of spiders....just the cape!!!) More cape photos here (and no spiders!!!)
Each thread in the cape is made up of 96 strands of spider silk and yet the cape weighs only 1.5 kilograms. (about 3.3 lbs)  It took eight years to create the cape and a shawl. The golden hue of the thread is its natural colour.
There is also a story and a link to a video here of the spider silk shawl (warning ...spiders in video)

The cape itself almost glows and the hand embroidery that covers the whole surface is very intricate. The amount of time, effort and dedication to create this piece is astounding! It is extraordinary!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Variety is the Spice of Life!!

So far this year I have managed to do quite a bit of sewing on a few quite different projects.

First hand piecing....

Seven more little houses to add to my collection. I have decided to not stress about trying to keep up with making one a day. I will make as many as I can and keep enjoying the process.

Some machine piecing....

Four more blocks for my Civil War quilt. Only 3 more to finish now!!!

I have decided I will put a log cabin border around each block to get them all an even size. (Some of mine didn't quite make it to 8 1/2 " !) I am still deciding how I will join all the blocks, but I am thinking about making 2 or 3 smaller quilts instead of one huge quilt.

Hand applique....

Here is the start of my next Roseville Album block. Still lots of stitching to do on this one. Looking forward to doing some reverse applique with the vase and the large flowers.

I haven't forgotten about Friends of Baltimore!! More on it in my next post.  (click on the link and scroll down to a photo of Sue Garman's completed  quilt in her November 6th post)

Some preparation for a new quilt...

Yesterday I cut out the background and sashing and prepared some stems for Trailing Vines. Can't wait to start stitching on this one!!
When I went searching for the fabric for this quilt I fell in love with a couple of the fabrics and bought "the rest" in the shop. Consequently, I don't have quite the amount specified in the instructions, so my quilt will end up being slightly smaller. 

A little dress making...

I had a wedding to go to last Saturday and nothing fitted in my wardrobe. I went shopping but couldn't find anything suitable, so (on Thursday) my DD suggested....why don't you make something!!!! There was a race around fabric shops on Thursday afternoon with the rest of the day (and half the night!!) taken up making a toile. I spent all day Friday (and half the night again!!) sewing the dress. Saturday morning found me stitching the hem and sewing a few beads on the lace.

Next time I won't leave it so late to make something! Lol

Even more hand applique.....

...this time on a wedding dress. My DD made the wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses for a very good friend of hers. I helped by hand appliqueing the lace around the hem of the wedding dress. The lace motifs were cut from the original fabric and rearranged on the organza of the skirt. A band of satin was sewn to the hem.
There were 24 motifs around the hem and each one took about an hour to stitch (I am slow!!!). I looooove hand sewing, so I stitched on the wedding dress while my DD made the bridesmaid dresses on her machine. Plus, I got to spend time with my DD! :)
The bride looked stunning on her wedding day!

The Australian Open is on here in Melbourne at the moment. I am looking forward to a few hours in front of the TV with plenty of stitching to keep me occupied.

Friday, January 6, 2012

More houses and some catching up

I have managed to keep up with making a little house every day of the far. Here are my next 4 houses.

Rouenneries House.

Westminster House. (Kaffe and Brandon fabrics, mostly)

I don't have many of these fabrics with small prints so this house was a bit of am experiment. I want to make a few  houses with just one or 2 pieces of bright fabrics included.

Another mostly red house.

The last one just had to have some green!

Each of the house blocks is hand pieced.

My sewing machine also got used this week.

I finally caught up with my Bloggers Block of the Month block. These blocks were designed by Pat Sloan.
Below are my 2 blocks.

Pat had a great, simple way of piecing those 16 patch sections.

Here are all 4 blocks in each fabric combination.

I also finished 3 more Civil War Quilt Blocks.

Only 7 more blocks to go now.

Thankfully, the weather here has cooled off significantly. :)

What have you been sewing this week?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012, A year of building houses.

Happy New Year!!!

I have begun making my little houses. First a red and white one:

Since today is the second day of the year, here is my second house.

Charlevoix House.

These little houses finish at 3 inches, so take hardly any fabric to make. Like Jeanneke,  I am hand stitching mine. If you would like to join in there is a house button on my sidebar that will take you to the Building Houses From Scraps blog. All the instructions are there. These little houses are very addictive!!
I may not make all 366 houses, but it will be fun!

On the subject of building houses we got some good news last week. After 8 months my DD and DSIL finally got approval for their planning permit for their new home from their local council. There are a couple more hoops for them to jump through, but they should be able to start building in 2 or 3 weeks. :)

I did a little more sewing today and made a simple cover for my new ereader.

I had plans to make something far more complicated, but my brain refused to function in today's heat. It was well over 40 C (about 104 F) here today and it is still about 36 C (97 F) at 8:15 pm. We have had a cool start to summer, so this sudden heat has been difficult.

This year I am looking forward to continuing with the several projects I have already started and perhaps beginning something new. (After I have finished something, of course!! Lol)

I hope 2012 is a happy, prosperous and, most importantly, healthy year for everyone.