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I admit to collecting just one or two (or a few) miniature jointed teddies.  All of my bears are small….not more than four to five inches tall at most and are hand made by a range of bear artists from around the country.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady from rural South Australia who made bears… her bears were original and all made by hand.  Each one was different, she didn’t use commercially available patterns and they were few and far between.  I have coveted one of her bears for some time, but I had not had the opportunity to purchase one.

Just a few weeks ago, we were chatting and she asked me for a mailing address….no reasons given and I didn’t ask.  I had almost forgotten the conversation when she popped me a message on line saying there was a surprise in the mail for me.

Imagine my delight when I opened the parcel and found this darling little bear!  I had been feeling pretty lousy and this was just the most wonderful gift. 

Even more special was her note telling me that this was likely the last miniature bear she would be making as she was hanging up her shears!

Thank you, Kerryn. She will be treasured.

 

All the last minute things that you find you have to do in the lead up to a show and someone chucks a curve ball at you!  Thanks to the help of my lovely friend Mary Jane, I have managed to get everything in order and will be leaving at the crack of dawn for the wilds of central west NSW.

However , my dear little cat deserves no thanks at all… in the midst of all this packing she thinks its a great lark to bring in her latest catch – a young rat – and let it loose in the lounge room!  Luckily both the cat and the rat were successfully ejected into the back garden.  I’m not going to imagine what took place…. Cats – they are such helpful creatures!

This is a of sample new project from Ella and Skysie I have just completed – it will be available as a special gift to customers at the CraftAlive shows this year but I thought I would post it here to celebrate friendship – thanks again, MJ.  You’re a star!

May the hinges of friendship never grow rusty!

 

After an all too brief sojourn at home base, catching up on some stitching, packing, washing and tending to the business of the MATH is his absence, it was back on the road to Adelaide and the Craft show with Andrew from Scrapmatts.com.

Scrapmatts Stand at Adeliade Craft and Quilt Show

Scrapmatts Stand at Adeliade Craft and Quilt Show

It was terrific to meet all the Scrapmatts customers and to introduce this product to a whole group of new people…

Andrew and Sofie had been working hard to produce some new items for Christmas which proved very popular as we sold out of the new Christmas trees in only a couple of days.  These are now back in stock for those of you who missed out and can be ordered through the Scrapmatts website!

Stock and samples#1

New Christmas Microchips and Samples

I particularly enjoyed being able to meet Judy Butcher – a blogland friend.  Judy and I both belong to a number of different online quilting and textile related groups, so this was the perfect opportunity to finally meet.

Judy was spending her time demonstrating hand quilting techniques on the SA Quilters’ Guild stand in the exhibition area.  We got a few moments here and there to chat and for me to admire the applique quilt Judy was working on… hopefully Judy will post pictures soon!

Judy has a couple of blogs you can check out and if you are interested in what sort of results you can get from computerised quilting programmes, then you must stop by Judy’s Virtual Quilter blog.

After the show, I was faced with a very hot drive back home….I didn’t envy the Adelaide folks their  record burst of hot weather for November.  At least this time I wasn’t dodging feral goats on the road!

 

As the Man About The House was leaving for four weeks in the UK the day after the show finished in Broken Hill, I decided to give it a shot at driving right through back to Melbourne in the faint hope I might get back to at least say goodbye!

I packed the car with most of the stuff I had been living with in the cottage, made sure everything was clean and tidy and had an early night in anticipation of being able to get away before dawn.

It was a great drive down from Broken Hill to Wentworth….dodging those b*/#$@y goats….damn it if those things aren’t THE most stupid creatures!!!!

As I got closer to Wentworth, strangely familiar silhouettes graced the tops of the rises.  This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the release of the Citroen TA – famous for the introduction of front wheel drive in standard production cars. I have one of these fabulous cars tucked under the carport and have been a fan (and owner) since my teens.

Running repairs on Effie after she had crossed the Nullabor in '93

Running repairs on Effie after she had crossed the Nullabor in '93

It was a delightful to see 14 of them as they passed head north to their next overnight stop in Broken Hill.  Seeing these cars  has prompted me to go search out all those photos of mine and scan them so I can put together an online record of my Citroen adventures over the years.

I made it back to Melbourne in time to find the MATH not yet packed and fighting with the computer….oh dear!  Suffice to say, he made it the airport in one piece and I did get to say goodbye.

Over the past month there has been a flurry of activity on the Fabric Postcard front – I have dispatched a round of cards to friends taking part in the “Stitch Me A Rainbow” swap and I have also sent off my first “Birthday Swap” for a Stitchin’ Fingers  exchange.

In the mail I have received these cards from Rainbow swappers:

Al things Purple from Penny

All things Purple from Penny

Under the Blue Sea from Kay

Under the Blue Sea from Kay

Both of the above cards were made in a “how to class” – the base fabric was made using strips sewn onto a 13″ lightweight interfacing square and flipped…. then they were covered with a selection of knitting yarns and threads.

A layer of black bridal tulle was pinned over and free form quilting/embroidery using variagated threads then stitched. A layer of heavy weight iron on interfacing was applied to the back of the piece before the stitching was started.  The piece was then cut into six postcard sized and further embellished.  This was the first time either of the girls had made cards and I think both Penny and Kay are hooked!

This picture is the card sent to Peggy in the US –  the technique is similar but instead of capturing  the threads under tulle, I stitched each one in place – sometimes using a decorative stitch and/or sewing thread.  Some yarns were stitched in place while the piece was still 13″ square and others were added once the piece was cut down into individual cards.  Decorative embroidery stitches were added to each card individually.

Traces of Teal sent to Peggy

Traces of Teal sent to Peggy

The first card I was to make for the Birthday Swap needed to be into the post quickly as Allyson’s birthday was September 6 – however she is in South Africa and apparently there is a postal strike (at the time we were notified it had been running for two weeks)

Happy Birthday Allyson!

Happy Birthday Allyson!

This card was made using die cut felt pieces I found at OfficeWorks, believe it or not! Each felt layer has been machine stitched in place after the purple ribbon stem had been stitched down. The quilting is a very fine stipple using a Guterman Sulky variagated thread and the centre button hand stitched in place.  Plain Guterman Purple Sulky thread was used for the satin stitched edging.

In class, we plan to explore some Crazy Patchwork techniques over the next few weeks so our next postcard exchange will feature Crazy Patchwork.  It is planned that this exchange will take place by the end of October if there are any takers to join us for this swap.

This overlocker has now been sold….thank you for your interest!!

A friend of mine contacted me recently and asked for some help in selling her overlocker – its virtually brand new, sitting on the shelf and making her feel guilty for not using it!

It needs a new home.

Are you interested in acquiring a barely used, airjet feed BabyLock overlocker worth $2195 new for just $1500? It comes in it’s original box with all accessories and instructional DVDs.

Specifications:

Babylock Imagine BLE1AT

        BabyLock Imagine BLE1AT

BabyLock Imagine BLE1AT

Instant Jet-Air Threading™

Automatic Thread Delivery System

Full-featured differential feed:
2 to 1 Ratio-gathering
3 to 4 Ratio – stretching
4/3/2 Thread serging

Rolled hemming with 3 threads
Flatlock stitching with 2 or 3 threads
Dial adjustable stitch width: 1.5 – 7.5mm
Dial adjustable stitch length: 0 – 4mm
Dial adjustable built-in rolled hem: 0- 2mm
Heavy-duty cutting system
Side thread cutter
1500 stitches per minute

Built-in needle threader
Electronic foot control
Snap on, multi-purpose presser foot
Built-in accessory storage
Built-in light
Built-in ribbon/tape guide

Ruffling Foot BLE-RF

This overlocker has now been sold…..thank you for your interest!

A rapid “touch base” phone call with Jimmie from Fiddlesticks Papercrafts reveals he and Barbie are safe – that it was “close, but we are alright”.

Given the proximity of their home to the Kilmore fire fronts, this is a great relief.

For those of you who know Pamela Gurney from Dancing Needle Designs, I can report that she and her family is, at this stage, safe.

I was able to talk to her at some length last night and she has been overwhelmed with messages and calls from friends and customers from all over the country.

Your thoughts and concern are greatly appreciated.

If you have not had reply from her, please understand that resources like phone links are under enormous pressure and much of the local infrastructure like mobile phone repeater towers have been lost.

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