One of the world’s top 25!



No, not a pop song at the top of the charts!
We are on one of the world’s top 25 Railway Journeys! 

We are at the moment travelling home from a fabulous three-week holiday in tropical north Queensland.  We’re doing something we’ve never done before - sitting in comfort in a spacious cabin on the Sunlander train. It’s a wonderful way of travelling 3200 kms.  We are just loving the relaxing journey, looking at beautiful scenery and stunning sunsets, enjoying fine dining and being treated like royalty.  The maitre d’ just came and asked us what time we would like our bed prepared! Our car accompanied us on the train so we have been able to travel around freely visiting all sorts of wonderful world heritage areas, rainforests, national parks and conservation areas.







We've seen some absolutely stunning birds:

 Bee-eaters


 Sunbird

The closest I made it to stitching during our holiday was to read the craft magazines I brought with me!  Four of the magazines featured my designs so I will show you them later when I’m back home. As you know, I just love designing and stitching, but it’s been quite relaxing to be doing something different.  I haven’t even dreamt up one new design the whole holiday! Of course, I couldn’t be happy without doing something with my hands, so there’s been quite a bit of progress on my crochet rippleblanket.  It’s been an ideal project for the train journey, that is when I’m not staring out the window, admiring the brilliant sunset, the rippling streams we cross, the lakes we skim by, or talking with my family by e-mail!

Have a great week!

Val

Free Pattern Thoughts in Thread - Block 7


Just a quick hello today while I have some internet access.  The new block in the free pattern Thoughts in Thread is now available.  Beautiful thoughts, rather than ugly, is the focus this month.


I've always been fascinated by topiary, but I've never had a try at it.  This is as close as I'll get I think:


I hope you like this block.  It and all the other blocks in the programme are available for free download from this page on my website.  

Happy stitching ... and I hope to be back talking to you in a couple of weeks.

Val

A new magazine


I'm excited that one of my designs is coming out in a magazine where I haven't had anything published before - Australian Patchwork and Quilting, Vol 21, No 8.  The project uses some gorgeous Japanese fabric featuring beautiful fans.  I just love the opulence and richness of oriental fabric ... and fans, well, I have quite a collection. So to find a combination of two of my loves in one material, meant that I just could NOT leave this fabric in the shop! I knew I wanted to use black to showcase the design, but it took me for ever to find just the right tone-on-tone fabric, but find it I did and a cushion and bed runner soon came together.

I used the Broderie Perse method for the fans.  They were just too amazing not to use them to the full:



Flying Geese embellish the edges:


I called this "Elegancia" as I had the word 'elegant' in mind when I was designing this and I was very happy with the way it turned out.  Here it is in the magazine:


We had two of our grandsons with us this last week for the school holidays, so there was only a small amount of stitching done.  As it was a "between projects" week, I wanted to do something that would whip up quickly so I decorated some hand towels.  I was in a lace and frills mood, so .... :




They will make pretty "thank you" gifts to have on hand.

We will be out of internet range for some time over the next couple of weeks, but I hope to upload the next block in the free Block of the Month "Thoughts in Thread" quilt in time on the third week of the month as usual. Don't forget to share your photos on Flicker of any blocks you have made.  We'd all love to see them.

Meanwhile, happy stitching.
Val

What's in a Name?


One of the lovely consequences of designing your own project, is that you have the privilege of giving it a name! I find that during the whole process of thinking up the design, sketching, writing notes, stitching and constructing, ideas for the name will be floating around in my head.

Sometimes the name is almost the first thing that happens.  Last night when I was in bed, I had an idea pop into my head and what to call it arrived the next second - the design already has a name and I haven't even put pencil to paper yet!  Other times, I might be half way through putting the project together before I am happy with a name.  Occasionally, there will be a name change mid-stream and the computer files will all have to be renamed!  Then there are the less frequent times, when I will have totally completed the project and it still remains nameless.  It's then, when I have to write up the pattern, that I really have to sit down and actually work on a name.  Thankfully, the lovely magazine editors who publish my work, usually keep the name I have chosen.

Last week, one of my favourite designs in 2012 was published in Australian Country Craft and Decorating Vol 23 No 7 - the Daisy-Jane sewing set.



 It has a lot of guipure daisies as embellishment so I wanted the name to reflect that, but beyond that, I wanted to name this design after one of our lovely grand-daughters, whose middle name is Daisy-Jane.

There's a square box for all the sewing bits and bobs:


a needle book:


and my favourite, the pincushion:


Here it is in the magazine with all their pretty styling:


I've just sent off four projects to magazines.  Two of them had a name before anything much else was done, one had a name-change during the process and then I had to actually work on the name for the fourth design. This year I've used some foreign words for the titles. I don't think that it's much use having a foreign name if the general public doesn't know what the word means in English!  So there was some research done, (thanks to Google Translate), searching for foreign words where we use the same base word in English.  The basic idea I hope is readily recognised, and then the foreign word will usually have a pretty little twist to it or I sort of add my own little bit. For example, later in the year, you will see my Floriana Quilt and my Elegancia Bed Runner. Do you like these names? 

The last few nights I have been quilting my beautiful Kona Bay panel:


It's been hiding in the cupboard for a couple of years and it was just the right project to tackle in between designs.  Originally, I started doing lots of embroidery on it, but ended up pulling the whole lot out.  It is so beautiful in its own right, that I decided it really doesn't need anything except simple quilting and a couple of beads. I'm now looking at all the walls in my house to decide where to put it when it's finished - as I definitely plan to complete it, now that I'm tackling it again!

Have a great week.

Regards
Val