Language difficulties

It is so difficult to view a Japanese site using Google and I have to use Google so that I can have them BADLY translated.  I came across a reference to a Kogin stitching competition that was held this month (I think).  From what I can gather it will be in the Amuse Museum in Toyoko.  All that aside, there was a reference to the work of a "Mr Kamata Hikariten" and some illustrations of his work.  Lots of curves.

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And the other images show some fantastic work.

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It is so frustrating just getting glimpses of this work and not being about to find out more.  I suppose that's how the other 80% of net users who do not speak English feel as well.


I have already shown the Kogin work I have been doing but wait, there is more!

I have finished testing my new pattern for a packet of pocket tissues and now have the first 5 pieces cut out ready to sew.  Only 15 more to go.  These will be gifts for my quilting buddies.

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I started work on my peace embroidery for February.  It is small but I expect it to take most of the month to stitch.

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And, I got back to my Assissi Sampler and did a little work and a lot of unpicking because I can't count.

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I did 6 experimental eco dyes on the cotton silk scarf.  ( I have taken one of each type of scarf and cut them up to experiment on.)

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Then to top it off I got my sewing room in order again.  Everything clean. Dusted, polished and washed. 

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That was some progress this week.


The month of experiments

This month is turning into 'The Month of Experiments'.  I have lots of ideas that I want to test out. 

I haven't used any of the Hishi Sashi patterns in my work for a while and in another piece I am designing I thought the smallest, 11 count patterns, would work well.  The only draw back is that there are a limited number of designs in this count.   Because they are small it takes time to cover the fabric.  It has taken a day to finish this small swatch. 

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Then I had to deal with the limited number of designs. Queenie sent me a comment about my last post on swatching that got me thinking.  Maybe it would be alright if I 'adjusted' some of the designs I had to expand the range of designs available.  So I did.  Oh the guilt I felt!  Just shows how 'brainwashed' I am about following rules and regulations.  All those years as a school teacher had an effect.


Where I live

A month before Xmas I planted out some pots with the aim of having flowers to display when I had everyone staying.  They grew nice and green but no flowers.  I also planted some herbs which looked as though they had turned up their toes.  I quite despaired of them.  Then I had to clean the path so I moved them onto the back downstairs patio and put them on top of up turned pots.  Guess what.


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I might have to thin out this pot.

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  I am going to re name these herbs Lazarus.

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My gardening skills are very hit or miss.


Straight lines & Curves

I have thought of a new design for my next Kogin project but I am finding it difficult to realise it.  The problem is that Kogin embroidery is all about straight lines.  All the designs are mainly based on a diamond pattern.  There are some patterns that are used as borders and again these have straight edges.  My pattern is about curves.

I have drawn out a template of the curve and then tried drawing this using my computer program.  It looked fine but experience has taught me that what might look fine on the screen might not translate to the fabric.  So I have been 'swatching' and I can see that the bottom edge of that curve needs some tweeking.  I may have to look at stitching through a thread.

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The other problem to be solved is that the design has to go across a seam.  I have drawn this so that when the seam is sewn the missing parts of the design on the left of the pattern will be stitched in.  This part of the pattern will appear on the far right of the printed design.

One of my goals for this year is to get the first draft of my book on Kogin Embroidery completed.  I have this project on track.  But the more I think about it I am understanding that my experience of this typed of embroidery is very coloured by my Western Culture.  My Embroidery looks like the traditional technique but the experience of stitching it is totally different.  Trying to use curves where there are usually straight lines just highlights this.





Not quite what I thought it would be

I am experimenting with dying and embroidering some scarves and have ordered a variety of these from China.   They are very cheap.  These five only cost $6 AU and that included the postage.  But I did order white and got black.

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A now I find they are mainly synthetic not a natural fibre.  Oh well you get what you pay for.

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Another package has arrived and these were a little more expensive at  5 for $15AU.  They come in a big range of colours, most of which don't suit my purpose but they are correctly labeled being cotton and linen fibre content. 

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They are light and quite large.  These look a lot more promising.

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I am still waiting on the silk/cotton ones, we will see.


It seems a long time ago that I last posted about my work in progress but it was only two weeks ago! 

Then I said that I was experimenting with some new Xmas decoration and two weeks later  I have stitched out 4 designs.

I decided to use perle 8 thread.  I wanted a look of 'embossing' so I made my tension just a little tighter. 

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Now that I have stitched out these designs I now have to decide just how I am going to make them up.

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These were all stitched during the time that the children were here.  Lots of miss counting and unpicking.

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There are still another 8 patterns to be stitched but Xmas is 12 months away!


Peace Embroidery No 1 January 2017

One of the tasks on my list for 2017 was a "Peace Embroidery" for each month of the year. Personal Peace is what this months saying concerns.  It comes from George Fox, one of the founders of the Quaker Movement and was written during the 1600's.  But the sentiments are true today.

"Carry around some quiet inside thee."

Having a quiet spirit is an enviable attribute.  In our world today, with it's many distractions it is sometimes hard to find.  In my classroom I had positive affirmations posted on the walls to encourage a positive learning environment.  I think the same approach, of having quotes that catch our attention and remind us of things that are important,  is applicable in our daily lives.

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I have to say I rushed this piece.  It was the noisiest embroidery I have every stitched  It was insistent that I keep stitching and get it finished.  It wasn't happy with the colours I had choosen and I found myself stitching with different colours altogether.  I told it that it would just have to put up with the frame I put it in as it was all I had to hand and I can see it has moved slightly..

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With all that pressure I made mistakes so the chart is slightly different from the finished embroidery. (Only at the corners of the border)  It is stitched on 32 count even weave linen and I used 2 strands of DMC embroidery cotton and a 26 Tapestry needle.  I'm not quite sure how many hours are in the stitching as I did so much 'reverse' stitching but I think it wouldn't take more than a day or so.  A quick easy project.

Download Peace 1






Thank goodness for the aircon!

It is very hot and humid here.  The humidity is so thick it makes me feel sick on the stomach.  Thank goodness for the air- conditioning. 

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My husband soldiers on but the dogs have all moved into my sewing room with me!

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I have been stitching away every spare minute I get but I don't seem to make much progress.  I am bevering away at teaching samples but I keep getting all these other ideas that keep saying "stitch me, stitch me."  Then there are the pieces that I have half finished but am not pleased with. I can't just nick out to the shops to get some more fabric, that requires a full days planning for the travel but I have in my mind what I want.  I know the shop to go to but will I be able to park the car?

But looking at the pieces again I think that the 'busy' fabrics I used are the problem.

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The ones that I used Toiles in don't look too bad.

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Where is that quic-unpick?

Happy New Year

2017 has slipped onto the stage.  I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or if I wish it would just go away.

In the Chinese Zodiac it is the year of the Rooster and this is how some there see it.

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Ummm.  That rooster looks somewhat familiar strutting around.  Just hope he doesn't get out of control.

Let's be positive, have a Happy New Year.