Saturday, December 26, 2009

Satin Stitch

I love satin stitch! To make the bears' noses I cut out and vliesofix a nose shape, iron it in place and satin stitch over the entire nose. It gives a lovely look. And ironing usually evens up the stitching!
Satin stitch is also good for small applique pieces that are a feature, such as the cross on the lych gate in my pattern "Green Farm Village".
Another helpful hint (I hope!) - if you are daunted by small applique pieces, simply adjust your stitch size to suit the piece. The smaller the piece, the smaller the stitches. If you look at the photo of the teddy above, you will also see that the stitch size varies around the face, getting smaller over the snout and around the ear.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Seen in Mount Evelyn

Hey kids! Look who I saw!! Every year, Santa finds the time to visit on the back of the local fire truck - giving all the children (and grown-ups who like lollies) a few sweets, and probably checking to see who's been naughty or nice, and possibly checking for manners as well!
Wonder who's looking after Rudolph?
Q. What nationality is Father Christmas?
A. North Polish (of course!)
(Oh alright - I can hear the groans from here!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to make Applique Easier

Easy steps to help with applique when combined with embroidery.
1. With a pencil, trace the pattern pieces onto the paper side of the vliesofix (fusible webbing).
2. Roughly cut out the pieces, about 1/4" outside the drawn line.
3. Place these vliesofix pattern pieces rough side down (glue side), onto the back of your chosen fabrics.
4. Using a hot, dry iron, fuse the vliesofix to the back of the material.
5. Carefully cut out each piece.
6. Place an applique mat, or a piece of bakers paper, over the diagram. You will be able to see the design through the mat. Arrange the pieces on this and when you are happy with the arrangement, iron the pieces directly onto the applique mat. If there are several small, tricky pieces, try touching them with the tip of the iron so that other pieces can be slotted under or around them without the whole design descending into an untidy heap! You will also be able to work out which pieces can be ironed onto the mat first, before adding other parts. For instance, for the teddy below, I would iron his right foot and right arm (left side facing him) down first as these are tucked under his body and overalls.
7. When cool, peel off the mat.
8. At this stage, I like to trace any details onto the design. For instance, the bear's eyes and mouth, and any creases in their clothes, etc. Place the teddy (or whatever) on the pattern diagram, place over a light box and use a fine tipped brown Zig Millennium marker (acid free and permanent, it will not stain or bleed into your fabric).
9. Place the pattern diagram sheet on your ironing board, the applique background fabric over this, and then position the applique on top. If the background fabric is a pale colour, you should be able to see the drawing through it, to assist with placement. Iron in place.
10. To trace the embroidery designs around the applique, place the pattern diagram on a light box, and the applique over this, then trace the designs.11. Iron a piece of embroidery stabilizer on the back, and begin your hand stitching! Preferably in front of the telly with a good movie, or with a group of stitching friends!
Hope this helps!
Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just a few photos

The "Leaning Tower of Post". Saw it this morning - it must be a sign! This is where we intend to build the workroom - the garden is giving us a "hurry up" message!
David fixed it. Well ...... he pulled it out and put it in the woodshed. Can't wait to see what happens next. Will the garden start to fall apart?
Anyway, he'd rather play with the parrots!
Every Christmas I hang baubles from the little bit of lattice over the little bit of garden in the little bit of corner near the little bit of lounge.
Our Christmas tree can just be seen through the window.
A very dear (dear as in close, not expensive ..... although she does have expensive taste in wine and jewellery .....) friend who shall remain nameless (no need to give her too much exposure - it goes to her head) gave me these beautiful lillies.
Thank you D.N.F. (Dear Nameless Friend)!
Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Festive Greetings

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!! I hope you don't suffer from too much Christmas cheer!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Bit Extra Award

I was excited to be the recipient of a very special customer service award, presented on Wednesday evening by the young people from The Youth Enterprise Shed. The Mount Evelyn traders were all invited to Morrison Cafe for drinks and "nibblies", and awards were given out to local businesses who "gave a bit more" from the perspective of the youth in the area. It was a beautiful evening and we all enjoyed sitting and nattering on the deck, with a wine or three, overlooking the township and Dandenong ranges beyond. Below is the cafe, on the right.
My congratulations and thanks go to Tim and his fantastic team - for the organisation and atmosphere created to make a lovely evening. It has spurred me on to attend the Traders' Association meetings!
I would like to show you photos of the old railway station - it has been converted into the library and Morrison Cafe. The Warburton Trail, which follows the old railway line, is an extremely popular path for walkers, bikes and horses, and extends from Lilydale to Warburton.
This is the original station.
Above is the cafe and library - converted from the old station buildings.
I think it's a pity that the old steam trains are not running any more - what a fantastic trail it would be if the trains could run side-by-side with the pathway!
I remember back in the sixties watching the last train go through. We sat on the bank of one of the cuttings and waving like mad to all the passengers. Of course, I was VERY young then!!!!
The above photo is looking along the trail, where the trains ran. You can see the Mount Evelyn Community Link building (an information centre). The cafe and library are on the right behind the trees. This is the way I walk to the bank, post office, etc when I have "Teddly" things to do.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quilt Aid 2010

As promised! Over the holiday break I am being creative with a gorgeous bundle of Robyn Pandolph "Beach House" fabrics. They are for my block for the new Quilt Aid on-line Block of the Month, to be released next year.
If you loved this year's Bluebird of Hope quilt, just wait and see what's in store - "Faith, Hope and Love - The Greatest Gift".
Here is the selection of DMC threads supplied - beautiful!
I have a few ideas already, and I'm breaking with the Teddlywinks tradition - not a teddy in sight!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Early Morning Wake Up Call

Six o'clock this morning - woke up to the roar of gas burners - yes - hot air balloons over the house! We get quite a few when the weather conditions are right - there are spectacular views over the Yarra Valley, and they usually go to one of the wineries for breakfast after the flight.
Took this photo, went inside to jump back into bed for a while (after years of getting up really, really early, my body clock feels that seven o'clock is a respectable "get-up" time!, and David announced "There's more!" So - out of bed, grab camera, go outside, more photos!
I was telling you about the cockatoos in my last blog - here is the mess the cockies have left - when the plums start to rot and ferment it smells like a brewery under the tree!
Here are some of them having a fine feast!The little fellow with the branch in his beak thought he was so lucky, until some of the others wanted a bit and began to chase him!
Next time I will tell you all about the new Quilt Aid charity quilt - I have some gorgeous fabrics to show!