Thursday, January 20, 2011

2009 Paddington Bear quilt

I found this cute Paddington Bear fabric and made it into a easily machine-patched small cot quilt of about 1m square at the end of 2009.

In 2010 I gave it to my newborn nephew Bain for use as a pram blanket or kick mat etc. Gotta love Paddington Bear!

I don't have a walking foot yet for my sewing machine (it is on order) so hopefully that will help me get rid of the bunching that happens when I quilt with the machine (I get another lady to quilt anything I do that's bigger than this).

I used a pattern from Spotlight and have got a xmas fabric quilt that I made in tandem, but will quilt that once I get the walking foot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2003 Advent Calendar

This felt wall-hanging is from a magazine too.  It is about a metre long, made of felt and was machine and hand-stitched.  At the start of December the little pockets are filled with a xmas chocolate treat.

In 2004 when Kieran was three we heard him trot down the stairs one morning, but didn't think much of it until he came into our room to say good morning and we could smell the chocolate on his breath...he'd been down and eaten about six days worth of the treats!  All the wrappers were on the floor!

2001 and 2003 Christmas Stockings

Kieran's stocking was made from a kitset that I was given by a workmate of Brian's when I was on sent to Dunedin Hospital at 25 weeks pregnant and put on bedrest due to a complication.  Kieran was safely delivered (by emergency Caesarean) at 28 weeks in June, so I managed to have his stocking made well and truly by December.

It is all hand-stitched, on felt and is about 50cm long.

Two or three years later, in our new house in Edendale, I decided that Brian and I should have stockings as well and I adapted the designs from a magazine.  They are about 30cm long and also made of hand-stitched felt, with attached buttons and some use of metallic threads with the applique.

2009 Christmas Angel wallhanging

Mao was a Japanese exchange student who lived with my brother and sister-in-law for most of 2009. She left just a few days before Christmas and I wanted to make a little something for her to take away with her.  This angel applique was in one of my magazines and I created my own border design. The completed hanging was about 40cm square and it was machine stitched with hand embroidered applique.

2010 Xmas Stocking

My nephew, Bain Turnbull, was born in February so one of my projects was to create his Christmas stocking, which I did in time for his September christening in Gore.

I based the reindeer on the one I used for an advent calendar a few years ago and chose to make the stocking out of felt as then it would 'match' the one I made for his older brother in 2006, which features a Santa face (but at the moment I can't find the photo of it!)

The stocking is about 30cm long and is all hand stitched.  It is really only decorative as is not robust enough to be loaded up with gifts that are bulky or heavy.

2010 Peace Angel wall-hanging

The school where I work had an end of year Christmas lunch and each of the 16 staff members drew out the name of another staff-member for whom we would be their Secret Santa and provide a present for them up to the value of $10 or so.
I drew the name of our wonderful office manager, Broni, and decided that I wanted to give her something hand-made.  I found this needlework design in one of my many magazines (can't remember which one though) and set to it right away.  I gave it a simple border of starry Christmas-coloured fabric and attached it to the hanger. Broni was thrilled.

Giraffe Series - 1/20

Dec 2010
Giraffe 1/20

Found this gorgeous toy pattern in 'Kits and Things' (my favourite quilting store, Invercargill) late last year. It is a Melly and Me design called 'Mrs Perkins' by Rosalie Quinlan. Completed size is about 47cm tall.

Have decided that I think I could handle making about 20 of these before I decide I've had my fill of them as they are so easy to do! I don't plan to do them all this year mind you! But over the next wee while...they take a good day to sew, cut, stuff, piece together and trim.

Anyway, the first one I made was for my cousin Kaylee's newest baby, Claudia. It is all machine and hand stitched. I think it is so cool that I now also have the pieces for the next three giraffes all stuffed and sitting in a basket waiting for me to get the buttons and then I can put them together and finish them off.

Claudia McNally, age 2 months
My cousin tells me she has had to put the giraffe up very high, not because Claudia is still too small for it, but because all the little girls who visit are very keen to get their hands on it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The 90's - needlework

Here are a few of my cross-stitches or tapestries from that decade - the ones that I've taken digital photos of.  I have many others but need to get their photos transferred to digital, so I will add more as I get them.
1993 - for my Swedish friend Anna

1993 - Granny chose this and asked me to do this one for her to give as a gift to my cousin Jan

1994 - for my mum Lorena (yes, all these pictures came from a cat pattern book that I'd bought)

1994 - for my friend Rachael

1997 - for my mum, from a kitset that she'd started and asked me to finish

1998 - for myself, from a kitset "Portrait of Elegance"

a tapestry - completed in 1999?

1998 - a kitset cross-stitch by either Bessie Pease Gutsman or Maud Tousey Fangel
1997 - Kitty Cats - adapted from a magazine pattern

1999 - a kitset

2000 - wedding present for my husband Brian

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The 1980s - the addiction begins

My adored late Granny introduced me to cross-stitch and tapestry when I was about 12. She was always knitting, crocheting or doing tapestries. Granny had knitted the clothes for my favourite dolls and had made jerseys and hats for my brother and I to wear in support of the local rugby club – Mataura.  I still have, and used for my own baby, the lacey wool shawl she crocheted for me when I was born.
As a young girl I had often tried to make clothes for my dolls and Granny had shown me how to knit, though scarves are about all I can manage neatly, and attempted to show me how to crochet, but it was needlework that really caught my fancy and became an addiction.
I have always been a person who is quite happy to keep my own company and as a shy child/teenager I found needlework to be hobby that I could easily carry out quietly at home.
I love the rhythm of pulling the coloured thread through the canvas and eventually seeing sections of picture come into being.  Tapestries are great because no counting is necessary, though they can be tricky to hold due to their size, but I love the variety that is available with cross-stitch.
In the past 3 decades I have mostly done cross-stitches because it is often cheaper to get started (a pre-printed tapestry canvas can be quite expensive to buy). I still have my first cross-stitch, completed from a kit-set under the guidance of my granny while I stayed with her one holidays, aged about 12.  I haven't yet taken a photo of it as I want to turn it into a wall-hanging or cushion - it is of the letter J and I was so proud of it.
My first full tapestry was the girl and kitten pictured here.  It still has pride of place in my house.
My first tapestry, bought as a birthday present when I was 13 (1985)

A Xmas gift for my mum (my family were all involved in the Mataura Kilties Pipe Band), I think in 1989.  The canvas had sat in the hall cupboard for about three years so I secretly worked on it in my bedroom or at my Granny's. Dad got it framed for me to present to Mum on Xmas Day.

Unfortunately, when I was younger cameras were all film-based and that too was expensive to process.  No-one had ever thought to take photos as a record of the items that I created and gave away or stitched ‘on comission', so I only have photos of the things that I have kept or gave to people close to me.
For instance, in the late 80's I cross-stitched some bird miniatures for a friend of my grandmother who had taken a liking to the kitset but did not have the ability to stitch it herself due to a head injury.  So I, who was thirsty to stitch but couldn't afford to go mad with buying patterns etc, was only too keen to put my fingers to work! However, I have no photo of those birds (I think there were three), and I think I also did another picture for her but can't remember just what it was of.
I also often helped my Granny out with a couple of the last tapestries she did – as she entered her late 70s she found her eyes were not up to being able to complete needlework, so I would help her by stitching the areas where she couldn’t tell the colours apart.