Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reticella Piece Finished

I have finally finished my first piece of Reticella. I am rather proud of it. It has been something that I have wanted to do for a while and now can tick of my list. Will there be more? Definately! I have already bought some more fabric, now I just have to start designing. I have to be careful about the design though as I do want some fabric left. Now I just have to think what to do with this piece.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mother Nature at Work

Sydney, as has most of Australia, has been in the grip of drought over the last few years. This year has been a little different & we are starting to see more rain. This morning while I was on my walk it started raining again, just lightly, but the sun was also out. I knew there just had to be a rainbow somewhere, and it was when I turned around that I saw this beauty. It stretched the whole way across the sky & stayed visible for about 15 minutes, long enought to get this pic. Looking carefully in the top right hand corner, there is a second rainbow but it is nowhere near as bright as the first. Rainbows have been scarce over the last few years because of the drought, but we have seen a few this year. Maybe the pot of gold at the end will be the water in our dams & the flowers on our plants.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tissue Box Cover

At long last I have finally finished my tissue box cover. This was started way back in 2005 & put on hold while I did my course last year. This piece has been on my want to do list for a few years. I was going back through my inspiration folder just yesterday looking for inspiration for my next major piece when I came across my original notes & sketches for this one. It took a lot of planning, plotting, thinking & counting, but I think it was worth the effort. I am rather proud of it.

My Great Aunt's Tatting

On one of the on-line groups that I belong to, there has been some discussion about old table linen. I mentioned that I had a tatted doiley that my Great Aunt had done & I promised a pic, so here it is. My mother had this piece in her collection for many years before she gave it to me. I have had it in my possession now for nearly 30 years so it was made quite some time ago. Considering my dear old Aunt would be well over the century mark in age if she were still alive, I consider this piece very colourful for her generation. I am not sure if she planned the colour in the piece, or if it was just made from scraps of left-over thread, but I personally find it very inspiring.
I have my Great Aunt to thank (I think) for my interest in lace. Little packages used to arrive in the mail for my Mum, & inside would be little pieces of tatting. As a young teenager they had me intrigued & I asked my Mum to teach how to tat. When she said "no", I had to ask "why not?" & the answer promptly came back that she did not know how to tat herself. So I was given a "how to tat" book, a tatting shuttle & some thread to figure it out for myself. I sort of did but knew I was doing something wrong. It was about 6 years later I finally learned properly. Although I have now mastered the tatting knots, I very rarely tat. It is extremey slow & I think I would much rater have a needle in my hand. Maybe one day I might learn how to needle-tat.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Exhibition Pieces

Just over a week ago our local stitching group held an exhibition. We only hold it once every 5 years which gives us time to produce enough work to put on a great display. For anyone who ventured into the hall there was certainly a feast for the eyes. Everything from Hardanger, Pulled work, Drawn work, Ukranian witework, Needlelace, Tatting, Canvas work, Wool embroidery, Smocking, Goldwork, Patchwork quilts & much much more.
There are over 40 members of our little group who meet twice a month and produce some beautiful work.
Below are the pieces that I had on display.

This is one of the first pieces of Drawn thread that I ever did. It now hangs proudly on my dining room wall.
This is a piece of Myreschka that we did in a class. It is a form of Russion Drawn Thread & is worked totally different to the pink piece above.

This is a surface stiched piece of ticking that I turned into a workbag. It was an exercize that my friend R & I worked out for our YTFG group when we were running it. We wanted the children to practice their stitches. Their bags were a bit smaller than this.

This is atissue box cover that was also made in a class. The class was to explore chain stitch, but I managed to squeeze a few more stitches in for effect.

This beautiful lady is a pin cushion. I first saw her in a magazine & just had to make one. So the search began for my china half doll. I needed her first as that would tell me what her skirt would be. Not sure that I will ever use her as a pin cushion, she is too much a lady to stich pins in.

This is a piece of Casalguidi. Another piece worked in a class that I really enjoyed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

English patchwork

A few weeks back I joined another on-line group. This one is a quilting group & they are very social off list as well. I found out a little of-shoot of this group meet local to me so I have been along twice to join them for afternoon tea, lots of chat and some stitching.

This piece of English Patchwork is what what I started the last time I went. I need to start another project like I need a hole in my head, but who can resist? Now I am thinking " What am I going to do with this? Any ideas?

First Reticella Piece

I have been playing with a few pieces of stitching lately, one of which is this piece of Reticella. I have always gone weak at the knees when I have seen pictures of this type of work in books. The technique is very old & dates back to the 1400's.

This has been worked by withdrawing threads from a piece of linen, then filling the resulting holes with needlelace. I think there are some books out there that describe Reticella as purely needlelace, but the earliest forms were made this way. I can understand why it quickly evolved into all needlelace, as to buy this type of fabric is $80/m, only to throw most of it in the bin as we create the holes. Funny isn't it, but the journey of learning & creating is worth every $ I have spent.

Should be finished soon, then to decide what to do with it. Mmmmmm more food for thought.

Crochet Collar

How beautiful is this? It is a hand crochet collar that I have been given as an early birthday present. It just has to be seen to be believed!

I have done some digging & found out that it has been made by a lady named Nancy, now deceased, probably dates back to the 1940's and has been made using sewing machine weight thread. I have seen lots of crochet work in my time, I even have drawers full of doileys that have been made by both grandmothers & my mother & myself, but I have never seen anything as fine as this. I am awe as to the creativity, patience & eyesight of the maker. I personally think the piece belongs in a museum somewhere, but while I walk this earth it will stay in my possesion. I have plans to have it framed to hang on my wall so that it can be admired by everyone.

I know it is Irish Crochet, something that I have not done, but now want to do with a vengence.

Do you all think I wll be all the envy of my textile friends? I think so, & I cannot wait to do show & tell at my next lace meeting.