25% Fluent

That is what my Italian classes say that I am but I'm not sure about that.  I have turned the translator off on the Italian embroidery blogs I follow and I can make out about 25% of the script, so perhaps they are right.

One blog that I follow is "Il Piacere del ricamo", The pleasure of embroidery, written by Silvana Fontinelli.   I now know what 'Salve Ragazze' means.  (Hello Girls)  On her post No 640 she has a lovely little project that I am about to start stitching.

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It is stitched in No 8 DMC perle cotton, so should stitch up very quickly.  All the patterns are there on the blog along with very clear photos of how to stitch the piece.  Silvana also does beautiful drawn thread work and if you are not learning Italian you can just translate it into English.  This might make a nice Xmas decoration? (Oh the Italian says it's a Xmas decoration)



This week has been about getting the Children's Class completed.  The pressure was really on to get those samples stitched.  Today I delivered the samples, posters and 35 kits to the Guild so everything is ready for the January class and I can get back to stitching some of the other samples for my up coming classes. Putting those kits together has drained me a bit.  It is very hot here and I couldn't put the fan on, (because of all those loose sheets of paper that went into the kits) and got very overheated. Although I have kept drinking water I think I am dehydrated. 

So, I have returned to an old piece that isn't very taxing, the Assisi Sampler.  I am up to the voided design which is outlined in a alternate running stitch and then the background is worked in a Long Armed Cross Stitch.

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I have used this stitch before but my brain is a little addled at the moment so I looked it up in my stitch dictionary.  But do you think I could work it out?  It said "work the stitch from Right to Left and then return from Left to Right".  I did this and it looked terrible.  Then I realised that it should have said "return from Left to Right on the row below"

Just to give you an idea of how far I have progressed with this piece here is a photo of the complete progress to date.

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I started it in 2005. oh dear!

That time of year

It is the last week of school and we are into the school concert season.

Grand daughter Jasmine, who is 4 years old had one of the lead roles in the school play so that was not to be missed.  The little ones all stood tall and sang the National Anthem to opening the proceedings and they knew all the words off by heart.

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Then they performed the Gruffalo and Jasmine played the role of the mouse.

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She can recite all the Gruffalo books and was very convincing as the mouse.  It was a big crowd so the microphone was needed.

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The little boy who recited the dialogue was also very good and he never made one mistake.  So serious and so cute.

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All the other children made up the chorus and they were beautiful.  (The flower in the middle of the stage thought that if she covered her eyes no-one would see her.)

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After the performance we had the graduation.  Most of these kids go into Prep next year.  Jasmine won't turn 5 until the end of May next year, so she is one of the younger ones, but she is reading and writing already so I don't think she will have any problems.

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After this we all went to Mc Donald's to celebrate and there was one tired over excited little girl at the end of the day.  The staff at the Day Care Centre put in so much work with these children, they are very well prepared to go onto big school.  So now I will have two girls at school.



Heating up

It is hot here 38 degrees centigrade.  I have been working flat out stitching samples for the next Children's Class.  I had the idea for this class back in April but could never get it all together.  Now, with a dead-line looming, the samples are finished. 

It is a "Two in One" project.  The cover can be used as a needle case or a key case.  Each of the little pouches have a lining of wadding and a cotton fabric.  For 'Polly the Pig' I used some glitter fabric that was so pretty I extended it a little to make a trim.  I used a natural coloured fabric for the cover because they will be handled a lot and pale colours will show the dirt.  (they are washable.)

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Depending on how quickly the students complete the embroidery, they can have no trim, like the birds, or a row of stitching around the hem and also a small embroidery on the back.  For those really quick sewers, they can make their own cord.

There are seven different designs to choose from, although I have only stitched out three.  (I got a bit carried away with the drawing.)  The purpose of this class is to teach how you can fill in a shape using stitches other than satin stitch.  I tested these on the grand children and the pig won hands down.

The patchwork challenge

Something happened to all my photos for this post.  I'm blaming the gremlins or maybe it was that giant thunderstorm that came through? Try again!

The Xmas party was last night so I can now talk about what I did for our groups Xmas challenge.

The challenge was that you had to make a cushion 16"x16".  It had to be pieced and quilted.  There was to be no embroidery or applique.  The colours stipulated were, black, white and a touch of colour.  I decided on a modern quilt design.  In fact it is the old fence rail pattern in a variety of black and white prints with some patterned black fabric.  I used a black batik that had a blue design.

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I just used line quilting using a variety of thicknesses of threads in varying shades of blue.

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I had chosen another colour to trim the cushion in but after quilting the piece I found that the stitching changed the colour  so I used the same batik on the back.

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The mitred corners on the edging drove me up the wall but it doesn't look too bad.  That edging does make the cushion bigger but the cushion without the edging meets the specifications.

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And when we put all the cushions together, all 20 odd, it was surprising to see that everyone was different.  It is great to have such creative friends.

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