Sunday, August 20, 2017

Happiness is a finished quilt

Happiness is indeed a finished quilt. Finally......the last stitch of my of my quilt-as-you-go, scrappy hexagon quilt has been stitched; so excited!! I know, I know, it doesn't take much to excite this gal.

I started this quilt two years ago. You have probably seen one too many posts of me waxing lyrical about this pretty; sorry about that. I prattled on about this pretty here and here, where Esmeralda and her sweet, sweet family took up residence in our Forget-me-nots and then the Hydrangeas, in their cute as cute, little teapot. 

Remember the tale.....Doris fashioned some hexagons and donated them to the cause. Alas, they up-sticks a little while later and I haven't seen or heard of them since; more's the pity, as Doris' help with the stitching of the hexies was invaluable. =) That magical tale just got curioser and curioser!

But back to my scrappy hexie. I started stitching this pretty during a very dark period in both my husband's and my life. My husband had just been diagnosed with cancer and we didn't really know what walking down that difficult, scary and shadowy path would entail. I found the slow, hand stitching of my hexie during my husband's weeks and weeks of horrible radiation therapy, undergoing major surgery and a long convalescence, helped to calm my soul and to some degree muffle my troubled spirit. Indeed the stitching of this pretty in some ways, helped prevent me from falling down that slippery slope of uncertainty and fear. The slow stitching of this pretty gave my fingers and mind something to focus on during those very long days and nights.

I know I have said it before, but I really love hand stitching. I love the slowness of it. I love the exactness of it, and, as you have probably cottoned onto by now, I love stitching QAYG hexie quilts. If I live to be 100 I will never, never tire of looking at or fashioning a hexie quilt.

Why I love scrappy quilts so much is the random abundance of fabrics. I love the pastiche of fabrics, the mishmosh nature of these quilts, so to speak. I love the fact that I can use any fabric from my stash, even little leftovers from projects dating back over 30 years. I love the fact that I don't have to be too fussy with the placement of each hexagon. In this hexie pretty there are remnants of fabric that I acquired many, many moons ago, and alas, are no more.

Aah....all those lovely fabrics sitting ever so prettily in my armoire. Such a pretty sight. What say you??

The front.

The back.

This QAYG hexie quilt is a queen bed size with the quilt draping generously over the sides and the bottom of the bed. There are 550 hexagons (which involved cutting out 1,100 individual hexagons) which were individually machine stitched around the frame of each one and then hand stitched together with  tiny stitches on the back. I stitched strips of fabric, covering every seam on the back, which in essence really gives me two quilts. This of course meant a lot of  work, but I always think the covering of the back seams gives the quilt added beauty and charm.

So, another finished quilt to grace the bed in the boudoir. This pretty hexie is not one for the colour-phobe! Indeed it glows with bright and happy chromaticity and each individual hexagon sings with gorgeous pattern and vibrancy. 

The sides of my hexie pretty.

The bottom of my hexie pretty.

Sometimes early in the mornings; on those now-and-then lazy, sunny mornings I laze in bed with my morning cuppa (in a teacup with a pretty hexagon pattern, of course.......who would've thought) and sit and gaze at the multifarious fabrics. They look pretty playing ever so nicely with each other. Each one of them truly do sing in unison, combining in the most delightful of songs. Actually, I am here on this bright and sunny Sunday morning with my quilt wrapped around me typing this post. This quilt really does bring a smile to my dial. I cannot but be joyful at the sight of it. Love, love, love this quilt! Love, love, love the bright, happy and colourful essence of it.

For now I will put my hexie templates away for a little while,  but I have no doubt, given my penchant for a hexie quilt or two, they will make another appearance sometime down my yellow brick road of stitching. This hexie pretty has travelled with me on many trips in our jalopy, whilst meandering around the countryside, over hill and dale. Indeed, so many times I have been buried under this pretty, slowly stitching many a stitch while enjoying the surrounding vistas which enveloped me.

Yes indeedy, each happy, smidgen of fabric, each individual hexagon and the slow hand stitching really did get me through some very dark days. The stitching of this quilt has nourished my soul, throughout many, many an hour during the last couple of years. So many memories are wrapped around this quilt. So many stitches were stitched whilst walking down that path towards my husband's wellness. So many prayers whispered to my Heavenly Father, and loving thoughts are stitched into this quilt.

So.......another finished quilt to add to that pile of scrappy happiness in my bedside cupboard. Can one ever have too many scrappy quilts?? This gal thinks most definitely not!

What can I say, except to say that happiness is a finished quilt; especially if that quilt oozes oodles and oodles of scrappy loveliness. Until the next time.......

Friday, July 21, 2017

A bag for a friend.......and a bag for me

My friend, Anne's (you lovely stitching friend) daughter, Trudy (who is also my friend) will celebrate her birthday in a couple of days, so I decided to fashion her a  Kim Sharman design, one-of-a-kind bag that she can sling over her shoulder when out and about town. Now.....what can I whip up?? What pretties can I unearth to create a one-of-a-kind, divine little bag that will set the streets a-buzzing??

I dived headlong into my many suitcases brimming over with ribbons, laces, buttons, doilies et cetera, et cetera, pulling out what I thought might work. Trudy loves the colour red so I decided upon a little number with oodles of red popping up here and there, oh and some black; after all red and black are best of friends.

I unearthed a remnant of charcoal grey, nubby-type fabric and a piece of grey leather which would be perfect for the bottom.

With my fabrics and a little bit of this and a whole lot of that gathered together, I began playing.

The main attraction is a needlepoint of red poppies I acquired a little while ago. Whenever I spot a needlepoint, either in a frame or as a remnant in an op shop, I always take it home with me as they can be refashioned in oh-so-many ways.

I thought a french wired ribbon cinched here and there around the needlepoint would be an excellent idea. Of course if there is a cinched ribbon, there has to be a pretty bow.

I ruched a red satin ribbon shaping a flower as I stitched and with the addition of a cute-as-cute button, I think it looks perfect. Doesn't 'she' look ravishing nestled among the ruffles of the satin ribbon. With the addition of some black, guipure lace leaves and a grey and black brooch, plus a doily, I stitched merrily away.

I found this pretty red and white vintage ribbon trim from my favourite vintage shop here in Tassie?? The teeny little flowers and the square pattern are in a red flock fabric. It really is very pretty.

The back is simple with just the vintage trim making an appearance. The lining is a cotton, red and white, floral print from my stash.

NOW.....let's chat about the cross-over-the-body bag I stitched  recently for me, myself and I. I was in need of a bag with brown tonings to team with a pair of boots. Never being a gal where one bag fits all occasions, I like to have matching bags and shoes for different outfits. My matching bag/shoe predilection harks back to the days when as a slip of a girl I worked as a general management secretary in a large insurance company, meeting and greeting and rubbing shoulders with the wheeler dealers who exist in the higher echelon of the business world. Though, if I am truthful, my shoe and bag fettish and love for fashion started well before those heady days.

Just a few books pertaining to the subject of fashion that I have acquired and have been gifted over the years. As I have already intimated, I have always been a gal who has been interested in fashion. What can I say?? I am but a shallow gal. ;)

Just a little aside, the book with the brilliant title "Women I Have Undressed" is a memoir of the Australian costumer designer, Orry-Kelly who went to Hollywood in the 1930's and designed the wardrobes of all the biggest stars, from Bette Davis to Marilyn Monroe. He won three Oscars for his costume design. It is a fascinating read as I both love movies from the Golden Years of Hollywood, the stars and those exquisite sets and costume design. Orry-Kelly's take on Hollywood in those days is a delightful read.

These days of course, living in this far rural outpost, I can count on one hand the pretty shoes or boots that sit in the wardrobe. These days my oft-worn pair of footwear seems to be a floral-covered pair of gumboots. No, no.....not standard black issue gumboots for me. My gumboots, though so faded that one can hardly distinguish the bright pink flowers anymore, are mandatory around these parts. Walking around the paddocks and garden, one never quite knows what one's clod hoppers will step in.

BUT.......I digress yet sorry! One of these days I will stick to the topic at hand! Without further ado, my little brown bag that I conjured up late one night. Again I used ruched ribbons (of course), a doily, fringing, brooches, a lovely floral upholstery fabric, and leathers and suedes. happy with my little bag. It teams perfectly with my brown boots  and remember that op shop jacket I tarted up a few moons ago???? My little bag kinda looks spiffy with that, too.

Designing and stitching bags is always fun for me. I am so thankful that I need only step into my sunny, sewing room and unearth pretty fabric, trims and bits and bobs in the designing and stitching of my bags, or anything else for that matter. I am so very thankful I have been hoarding collecting a little bit of this and a whole lot of that for years and years. I truly have a seriously, amazing stash of pretties which would cost a small fortune if I were to purchase all the pretties today. I don't think I have purchased a bag from a store for a very, very long time; years in fact. With just a little imagination and an 'Aladdin's cave' of gorgeous pretties, one can whip up anything....well almost.

So happy with Trudy's pretty, red and black bag and so happy with my brown and black number. Fingers crossed Trudy is equally enamored with her pretty. This coming week it's back to a li'l hexie stitching for me.......the light down the QAYG hexie tunnel is shining a little brighter.

It's almost the weekend down here at the bottom of the world. Wishing all you lovelies a fabulous weekend. Until the  next time....................