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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: embroidered Gallifreyan baby quilt (15 images) on: November 22, 2014 06:31:21 AM

Had to laugh at your self-shaming...heck, we all do things like that (I use pencil on embroidery and other "no-nos" Grin)...you did what you had to do to make this beautiful and cherished gift for a friend...

love your process story, and the finished quilt...I hope the baby will get to use it someday, maybe as a young adult? ha

I self-shame constantly. I need to be reminded that my friends can't even begin to do this sort of thing, and hence they just think it's awesome.
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / embroidered Gallifreyan baby quilt (15 images) on: November 21, 2014 08:09:03 AM
G'day- long time no post, but I've had my time taken up with this.

Aieee... this took months to do, but the idea was in my head and there was no ignoring it. It had to be made, and fortunately a Doctor Who friend of mine was due to give birth. Perfect!!

I knew I wanted to embroider the Doctor's name in Gallifreyan, but that's all I had idea wise-to start with. Then I thought of a patchwork background (not my forte!) that might look nice. So... a day wandering around a craft show and I came up with the idea of something to represent the Doctor's wooden crib + TARDIS blue + the bending of time and space as one travels through it.

So I cut strips of fabric and sewed them together in blocks of eight, cut it diagonally, ripped the strips apart into pairs, mixed and matched, resewed everything into blocks of six, cut it diagonally again, ripped it apart again, mix and matched the cut ends... on and on - blocks of four, blocks of 10, blocks of 12. All to get all different sorts of angles  to sort of show time and space shattering.

This is after I realised that I needed more, and was so unmotivated at the thought of another fortnight spent ripping stitches apart and sewing more fabric together. I hung it up for a week, and stared at it balefully.

And here, refreshed and renewed, I finally got the base to the size I needed.

From little things, big things grow.

I used a lot of brick couching because it was a quick and easy way of making thick lines, and let me cut loose and use this awesome thick sparkly thread. I went nuts buying threads for this. All different sorts of threads with different feels and different weights...

At the beginning I'd been really worried about the chalk rubbing off, so I only traced a little bit at a time, but as I got further and further into it, it got harder and harder to match what I needed to trace next to what I'd already done.

Eventually.... I committed a cardinal sin I'm quite ashamed to admit to. I gave in and traced the whole design with a ballpoint pen. I'm so ashamed, but there was no way this was going to be finished if I had to stop and retrace every night.

Slowly, slowly. I tried to do a circle or two every evening.

Couching. Such a valuable tool. The thick brown lines were couched using a wide/open chain stitch with sashiko thread. The big circle it's touching is metallic embroidery floss that I'd twisted into rope and couched.

I also used a lot of split stitch, back stitch, stem stitch and chain stitch.

I wouldn't recommend embroidering onto a patchwork. Pushing the needle through some of those seams was a herculean task at times.

My other guilty secret is that the back of this is an out and out mess. Truly terrible. I can't remember my reasoning, though it was quite sound at the time, but I chose to not finish off the threads neatly. I just left them hanging. God, it was a good reason, but I can't remember what it was now!

Inching ever closer to the end. By this point I'd gotten over my general grumpiness at my inability to trace a circle perfectly.

So close. So close. Baby's due date was getting closer and closer....

I missed the due date, but FINALLY got it all embroidered. From start to finish, this project took me... oooh, I want to say three or four months?

Everything else I kept as simple as I could. Bamboo batting, simple purple backing with the edges folded over to make the binding. Mailed it off to my friend, and she loved it! Baby is not allowed to be on it at all. Except for the photo she took of young Stormageddon lying on the quilt, staring in bewilderment at the shiny Gallifreyan script.

3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Re: Eureka Flag baby quilt on: April 21, 2014 06:36:18 AM
I think it is marvellous - both the flag-quilt and the meaning and history behind it.

Thank you Smiley I'm giving it to my mate tomorrow and I hope he likes it. Fingers crossed.
4  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Eureka Flag baby quilt on: April 19, 2014 11:12:54 AM
It's been a long long time since I shared anything I've made on Craftster, but I really am proud of this one.

This is a size recreation of the Eureka Flag, which is to be a gift for my mate who's expecting his first baby in the next few weeks.

A bit of background, maybe? The Eureka flag was flown in Ballarat in 1854 or thereabouts when a group of gold miners staged a rebellion against the mining licences, taxes and government of the day. It was quick, dirty and deadly and many of the names and people involved have been honoured throughout Victoria. Here's what Mark Twain had to say when he visited the Goldfields:
By and by there was a result, and I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history. It was a revolution small in size; but great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression....It is another instance of a victory won by a lost battle. It adds an honorable page to history; the people know it and are proud of it. They keep green the memory of the men who fell at the Eureka stockade, and Peter Lalor has his monument.

 The flag has gone on to be a symbol of the working Left, of the unions and of the struggle for rights and democracy. My mate, the expectant father-to-be is a member of Labor Left, a firm unionist AND he lives in Ballarat. I could not think of anything more perfect.

It is, however the first time I've used a number of skills I've only previously possessed in theory. Practice will make perfect, I'm sure, but for a first time practical attempt at patchwork, machine appliqu, quilting, bias-binding creation, hand quilting and binding... yeah, I think I've done fine.

So, this is one of the stars. The math involved in working out the template almost made my brain burst (!) After stitching the eight points together I then ironed that sticky stuff onto it, so I could attach it to the body of the quilt without fear of it moving around when I started sewing. You can also see that my 50-year-old sewing machine is really not too fond of satin stitch, but I've learned to live with that imperfection.

This here is the binding I created and stitched into place. This, I think looks lovely. I'm really pleased I took the time needed to do all this.

And finally - the quilting. I don't have a quilting machine for fancy stuff and the thought of adding geometric lines to an already very geometric quilt was kind of off-putting to me. So, after a little research I discovered the Eureka oath - "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

Perfect!! I decided to stitch that into the quilt. Many a long evening was spent with my needle and thread getting it all done, but hey - there it is!!

Sooooo.... what do you all think?
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Pet Lovers Swap 3 - Gallery on: November 24, 2012 07:53:25 PM
just one quicky photo - I haven't had a chance to take photos of everything else yet.

Someone's looking quite spiffy in his new bowtie

6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Pet Lovers Swap 3 - Gallery on: November 13, 2012 02:58:49 AM
Heh heh... something shaped like a skate. Not hard to spot a derby girl...
7  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Pet Lovers Swap Rd 3 CLOSED - SENDOUT 11/13 (extended due to hurricane) on: November 13, 2012 02:56:29 AM
I've sent! Yay yay!!

I wanted to spend my last night making up something for my partner's cat, but I did a number on my shoulder at training... no crafting for me for at least a fortnight... So I packed up what I had made, and sent it off. I'm glad I got the most of it done beforehand.

Ouch. I hurt.
8  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Pet Lovers Swap Rd 3 CLOSED - SENDOUT 11/12 (extended due to hurricane) on: November 06, 2012 04:33:08 AM
Should be sending out on the 11th, no problem (and thanks for the extension. Though I'm without storm, I've been doing tons of overtime last week...)

Ha! Stupid month/day convention. I keep reading it as the 11th of December. Trust me, I'm aiming for November.
9  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Pet Lovers Swap Rd 3 CLOSED - SENDOUT 11/05 on: October 28, 2012 06:37:32 AM
My craft juices have started flowing, heeeyah!!!!
10  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Pet Lovers Swap Rd 3 CLOSED - SENDOUT 11/05 on: October 21, 2012 08:24:43 AM
Stuff has started to be made! YES!
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