Fun in my fabric world....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learning not to doubt myself.


Doubting myself, I don't do it as much as I used to, but I still have that ability to question myself even when I know what I am doing is right, or at least right for me. I think we all do it, at least some times, and it has the potential to cripple a creative moment. Yikes! I tend to be responsible for making lots of decisions , both at home and work, so generally I don't let it phase me, but if life is hectic and I am feeling pressured, the Queen of Procrastination can sweep in and take over my little kingdom leading to hours wasted second guessing myself! Are you feeling it?
A few months ago I began a journey to create something different, something to reflect who I was in 2014...be she good, bad or just plain lacking in taste!  It started with a fuschia pink and natural linen check, and an idea to "take an element" of something that inspires me, and then create from there. In a workshop with Margaret Sampson-George I began to relax and just enjoy what I am doing, to believe in myself and to USE THAT STASH!
Slowly it is progressing, and it is fun. I am learning things about colour, placement, and that I do like a dash of happy loud. A couple of days off sick has given me a chance to add some more elements, but sadly I am back from the brink and will be able to head back to work tomorrow.
And to leave you with a "you have to love him" moment...here is my beloved cat sitting on the ornamental only cushions...what could I do, but leave him there...and smile!

Hope the dreaded Queen hasn't visited you lately!
Cardygirl xx


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mid winter musings!

It is a chilly and bleak day here, no motivation to head outside, it is much nicer to stay where it is warm. No makeup, hair not looking too glam, one of those outfits that encourage you to hibernate, as what would people think of orange leggings?
As much as I plan to blog, I keep getting distracted by anything really....chores to do, TV, phone calls, another round on my TAW challenge top. Good excuses really, but I miss putting the chronicle of my sewing life out there, even if it is just to remind me that there is more to life than work. I see some people are blogging less, and even closing their blogs, but I do like that I can reflect back on this little journal of mine.
So, what has been happening here?
I think I will start with today, then work backwards. I am sitting in front of the fire with my furry companion, prepping some flowers to appliqué. He just likes the soft expanse (sadly true) of said lap and does not care if I turn him into a sunflower....that is why I love him!
The past two weeks have been fairly well devoted to my Trip Around the World challenge top. I am participating in this challenge led by Brigitte Giblin, and I am enjoying the hand piecing of lots of two inch squares. I think mine will end up lap sized as I have so many projects I would like to do, and if I decide to go KS I will never do anything else before I am committed!
Mine is "exuberant" as my friend, Debbie, says. She is very diplomatic at times! Whilst Jean admonished me, not really, about my errant stitching, I found I was getting bored going around....and around....and around again....so I was testing out upcoming rows. It does look a little odd, but it kept me motivated!
Last week, I travelled with friends to the Sydney Quilt Show. Now located at Glebe Island, it was easy to get to and park. The only down side was the lack of anything around it, as we usually have drinks and a bite to eat afterwards. 
Each year my friend Kate flies back from Singapore to help Kathy on the MO stand. It is always wonderful to catch up with these friends.
This year was very social and it was hard to catch up with everyone, which was disappointing. Next year might have to involve a sleepover?
There was Julia from Perth, Chooky, Lea, Raelee, Susan, Julie, Kylie, Sue-Anne, Jean, Janette, Cathie, Debbie, Tiff, Julie, Vicky, Cath, Liesl, Carolyn, Megan, Kathy, Linda...the list could go on and on...but I was pleased to see all these lovely ladies....wish it could happen more often! No doubt there are names I have missed, sorry, but it was a great day!
I also saw the quilts, and admired both the skill of their makers and the courage they have to exhibit. I am not an exhibitor, but I admire those who do. I feel uncomfortable putting a part of me out there to be examined and criticised....I probably just need to get over that?
I went to Kathy Doughty's talk on "Adding Layers", as usual Kathy takes me a bit further on my sewing journey, gently changing perspective and making me think. I adore this view of how Kathy sees her husband.
Liesl exhibited my favourite quilt of the show...a fusion of designs by Sue Cody, and just stunning in its freshness....love it!
There were so many beauties, but we all know the rules about sharing images, so but I will show you a snippet of this beauty by the clever Rachel Daisy of bluemountaindaisy.blogspot.com! Gotta love a clam!
Some purchases were made, bits of fabric, some scissors, a cross stitch and a pattern, but I thought I would leave you with a pic of this kantha beauty that I loved!
And it is loved too!

Cardygirl xxx

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy as a multi-coloured clam!

It was so much fun reading about your personal colour phobias....there are lots of us not to keen on purple, brown and yellow, with a few not being partial to blue and green.
It is funny how we each see colours a bit differently, and what I love, someone else will detest! I love the way that we can sometimes see a quilt and recognise it's maker. I used to be a red girl, and thought that I hated pink...but when I was sorting my fabrics I found I was a bit short of reds but had oodles, and I mean OODLES of pink...how can that be?


As I have said, my DD and her beau have requested a quilt...blues, greys, neutrals. She didn't say it, but I know she was wanting a non-manic quilt....she thinks I am a bit fabric-loud! Have you ever?


I ask you, is this TOO loud?
But, devoted mother that I am, I have risen to the challenge as handed to me. A queen sized clamshell quilt is now underway.


Gulp! There were a few tentative starts as I worked out what technique would suit me the best...6" clams are a non standard size, and assembly without papers was a little hit and miss. I like nice curves. So I am now tacking onto freezer paper and it seems to be giving a nice finish.


Not unexpectedly, I am being a bit cheeky and using some quirky pieces to add some fun. Not wanting trouble after all the hand stitching, I have been seeking approval, and found it! They are happy, which makes me happy. Pink flamingoes make me VERY happy!
Looking back, my colour style has evolved over the years...and continues to evolve. There are lots of bright clear colours here at present, but I am enjoying working with DD's gentler (mostly) palette. Where are you heading with your current colours?

Cardygirl xx



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Sunday, June 22, 2014

A stitch here, a stitch there...

A stitch here, a stitch there, slowly some progress is made on my current projects.
Last weekend I was fortunate to spend some time with friends including the always clever Marg and delightful Jean.


Some progress has been made on my vase of flowers, elements are still changing, but I am finding a place I am happy with. It really is a great leap of faith to create this way. No pattern, just a starting point and the ability to find the confidence to make my own choices and make something that is a reflection of me at this time in my life.


It would be lovely if someone could look at this quilt ( see, I am actually planning a finish at some stage!) and "see" me.....hopefully they will not think I needed medicating at this time!


My recent foray into the world of clamshells has resulted in my DD requesting a queen sized clamshell quilt...eek! At present I am going to do a bit of a prototype block, make sure my technique is right before I attempt the Giant Clam!


She has requested blues, greys, whites. I have never been a big blue fan, so I am looking forward to stretching my boundaries with this. There are going to be a lot of six inch clams....here are some, there will end up being every shade imaginable!


What colour do you find you avoid?
Cardygirl xx


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Saturday, June 7, 2014

By special request!

For the last few days I have been hearing from my DH..."Put on a post".
Well, never wanting to disappoint him, here I go.
Last weekend I headed off with some stitching friends to beautiful Camyr Allyn in the Hunter Valley for a weekend of chatting and stitching. 
This weekend was long planned, and sadly clashed with Chookyblue's Shedversary...but I was in the Chookshed in spirit.
My companions included Janette, Trish, Olga, Cathie, Cristie, Di, Chris and Debbie. We did have a lovely time...our weekend was hosted by Janet in her beautiful old home...our meals are cooked and all we have to do is enjoy ourselves...tough, but we managed! Janette has posted some pics, I was a bit naughty and didn't take many pics...oops!
A challenge was set last year with teeny tiny hexies...and MOST participated. It is great to see what everyone came up with! 
Cristie made us all a little framed hexie flower...mine is the sweet green one!
And Cathie stunned us all with this mini quilt...her hubby even made it a little stand. Clever pair!
 Some time was spent with my TAW project...hand stitching is easiest at present.
I plugged away on my projects from the MSG workshop I attended earlier in the year. Some progress has been made...I am enjoying my slow progress.
I even made a "jelly" snake! Well, it looks like one!
And I just had to share my PJ pants...perfect for a sewing retreat!
After that, it turned into birthday week in Cardy-land.
Our sweet DD celebrated first, with a crocheted rug from her dear Nan...and I was a bit fearful that she had thoughts of pilfering one of my clamshell cushions!
And then today DH has his special day...
not with us today, but a belated celebration will soon occur!
Cardygirl xx


Monday, May 26, 2014

Like a goldfish in a bowl...

The final few stitches have been sewn and now I have two new cushions for the sofa. There are a few sewing buddies that, mistakenly, believed I had gone into the clamshell cushion business and are expecting theirs to be soon under construction, BUT, they are very wrong! Done and dusted, with beautiful concealed zips, I am now looking for something new to do....in other words, I am ALL clammed out! Here they will stay!


There are a few infant projects wanting my attention, most notable is my MSG project. But like any goldfish in a bowl, I have been distracted and forgotten what I was doing (also cue in those evil temptresses, Jean & Lizzie) and have embarked on the Trip Around the a World quilt along inspired by the clever Brigitte Giblin...have a look for it on FB.


My effort so far was beautifully described by a friend as "exuberant". I was thinking loud, even boisterous, so I did appreciate her lovely twist to my colourful interpretation of this traditional pattern. Try as I might, my volume switch is stuck on loud...I think it is reflective of my present pace of life. Oh well, it is nice to know that what I am stitching is a true reflection of me!


Yes, it is actually good ( yes, positive self talk- a sign of my mania!) as the TAW quilt along has given me a no fuss hand stitching project that I can keep in my bag when I am out on the road with work...who knows when a girl will get a quiet moment for a stitch? Don't you love justifying your addictions? I am sure there are worse things I could do. I always feel happier knowing my security stitching is nestled in my handbag.
Do you carry security stitching....just in case?
Cardygirl xx

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Paper+fabric=fun!

The sad thing about not blogging regularly is that you really struggle to get back to it. What to say?
Well I think we mostly love to hear about what we are all stitching, so here goes!
I am still plugging away on my second clamshell cushion cover...


It is almost ready to start quilting, and I am loving it!


I quilted the first with black perle cotton and loved that, I think I may do that for the second...or should I play with some yellow, orange or turquoise...or a little of each?


I was a little concerned that they might be a little "loud" , but I am hopeful that on my pale grey leather sofa they will add a nice "pop" to the room. Once I assemble them I think they might look better!


BUT, I think, at least for the moment, they will just be for "show"...do you do that?
Hand work, particularly EPP, seems to be the easiest thing to do at present... I am loving snipping pieces from my stash, and then watching them come to life along side fabrics I would never have putting together at one time.


Loving the happy scrappiness! And my new GIANT teacup!
Cardygirl xx


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Saturday, May 3, 2014

It is all about the journey apparently.

The last week has been good in my sewing world. I have actually been creative, and I have really enjoyed it!
Clamshells have been an easy and fun project, using lots from my stash....and not even a dent in it. Sewing machine time is still not happening, which is fine, but I am powering on with some relaxing hand work. New cushions would look fabulous on my lounge, so scrappy clamshells were my thought. I got a bit excited today, the clamshells are complete and so I thought, some quick machine quilting and I will have one cushion done...great!


But then I had a talk with my sewing conscience who said, "don't rush it, it is about the enjoyment of the journey, not a rush to the finish", or something like that! Okay, I know some perle hand quilting would look better, so that is what I will do....black or multi colours?


My big hexie bag is complete...it is made from 2" hexies, so will be able to carry as much sewing as I might aspire to do,


And I have been playing with some 1/2" hexies too. The most annoying part of this is that one rosette seems to have now disappeared, I am probably walking around looking for it, and all the time it is most likely stuck on my butt! No, hang on...not there!


Bitterly cold here today, by our standards at least, nice to stay inside in the warmth!
Hope you are somewhere cosy!
Cardygirl xx


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My blog....a contemplation.

My blog has been quiet lately. I haven't had a lot to say or show, I have struggled to find my blogging mojo. And I have noticed that this is not peculiar to me, a lot of my fellow bloggers are quiet, not having a lot to say. Why is that?
Well, I can only give my personal version. Once more, my work position is about to change...back to full time, but a position that will stretch my brain, give me more clinical time (which I love) and provide a challenge. It seems to leave little time for sewing, and blogging. Who really wants to hear that someone is busy, after all, we all are with our own lives!
So, to address my own lack of creative time, I have decided that organisation is the key! Hand sewing time is easiest, so if I can get prepped on the weekend, then I should have time to stitch in the evenings...good plan???


At our recent MSG workshop, those clever girls from south of the border (Melbourne!), had lovely hexie bags. Well, I did have a touch of hexie envy, so I decided to make my own. Many years ago I had created one for my mum from a pattern purchased in Mittagong, designer unknown. So I set about making it bucket sized so I could carry all the things I imagine I might sew, but may not actually do!


It is nearly done...just need to add some drawstrings. A bit of fiddling in making the lining fit, but I am happy with it.there are a few versions of it about.


Then I set about making a clamshell cushion to brighten up my lounge. Watch this space!


One nice part of this past week was giving a quilt to dear friends....lovely to see it in a happy home! There are so many quilts in my home, I have decided to gift some to those I love. It felt good. What do we all do with the mountain of quilts we make?


My blog will stay active, it is a good personal journal, how do you find time to do all your busy life entails?


Hope you had a Happy Easter...love from Molly and me!
Cardygirl xxx


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