29 October 2012

Revealed: my first crochet rug

I'm so pleased to be able to show you my first completed crochet project - 
a rug for my lap. Learning to crochet has been a long-held ambition of mine
(you can read the story here).

It's a simple striped wool rug, made with trebles.

I trebled two rows each of a selection of pretty colours, just randomly combined.

Not every loop is perfect, but I'm happy. 
It makes me smile and keeps me warm - that makes it a success!

27 October 2012

Thistle flower emerging

I love thistle flowers. Last week, I carefully photographed this flower head. 
Can't get too close to this prickly plant.

Today, the flower petals are emerging. The promise of prettiness.


24 October 2012

Hello Babbla

I went to IKEA and Babbla came home with me. It was love at first sight.

15 October 2012

Bloomsbury Gardens

Making me smile today: Bloomsbury Gardens fabric by Liberty of London. 

Purchased from Kate Quilts and now in my sewing room.

09 October 2012

Reflections on: size

The challenge was to make a quilt that measured 50 inches square. Sounds straightforward, right? No such luck – my quilt had other ideas. It simply did not want to be that size and fought me all the way. The quilt won.

It has always been difficult for me to make a quilt to a specific size, mainly because I don’t plan the design. I usually have a vague idea of what I want to do and how I will start but after that… well anything could happen. Often I run out of a particular fabric or don’t like the way it looks so take it all out. Or I cut pieces the wrong size and have to ad-lib to make them fit. Other times, the quilt top just screams at me to stop at a certain stage.

That’s what happened in this instance. The quilt needed to be 50 inches so it would be part of a cohesive display of other 50-inch quilts. That made perfect sense to me. I imagined them all hanging in a row, attracting viewers’ eyes. It would look odd to have one stand out just because the maker (that would be me) couldn’t follow the rules.
Of course, that is the essence of my problem. I’ve never been very good at following rules. I always want to tweak here and there or change interpretations. Considering how many pattern instructions I’ve written over the years, you’d think I’d know how to respect a directive. There is no evidence of this in my sewing room,  though.

So I started off ok, cutting strips and stitching them together. As I arranged them on the wall, I liked what I saw. I cut and stitched some more and rearranged things to make them fit. Lovely. After a while I thought I should measure the top to see how close I was to 50 inches.

It was only 30 inches!
I kept plugging away, thinking it would be easy to finish the top that day. I cut and sewed busily and finally had everything arranged on the wall to make a quilt the required size.

I hated it.

Rather than take action, I closed the door on my sewing room and tried to forget about it. I left it to ‘mature’ on the wall, but I still didn’t think it worked. I started on another potential 50-inch quilt instead.

It was a couple of weeks later that I accepted I had to let the quilt be what it wanted to be. I rearranged pieces to form a 25-inch quilt instead. My design worked on that scale just as I imagined it would. I took a deep breath, cut pieces for the batting and backing and started to stitch the layers.

This quilt told me the size it wanted to be and all I had to do was to listen.

03 October 2012

New Facebook page

Woo hoo! Now Creative Dabbling has its own Facebook page. I've set it up so we can inspire each other, share links to crafty ideas and textile shows and just have some fun! 

Why don't you pop over there and 'like' it? Go on, it will be fun!

01 October 2012

My tribe

Most of us yearn to belong - to a group, to a community.
We crave the sense that together we are stronger than we are as individuals - 
that the whole can achieve what its components cannot.

We long to find our tribe, that place where we are accepted and cherished.

This is my tribe - the Sydney Swans.

To some, it may be only a football team. For those of you who don't like sport,
 or don't like this particular sport, you may struggle to understand my feelings. 
It takes a while, but if you opt into the culture, you will be richly rewarded.

First, a brief history lesson. This club has its roots in Melbourne. Formerly the South Melbourne Football Club, it was ailing and was moved to Sydney in 1982. 
It floundered in its new home for years but, regardless, many of us in Sydney adopted it as our own. I've been a supporter for all of those past 30 years.

This club cherishes its supporters. We are embraced as family. We suffer the lows - the number of losing games I've seen! Too many to count. We glow in the wins. We love the players in our teams as if they are our sons, brothers, grandsons.
 Their pain is our pain, their triumph is our triumph.

As we sit in the stands, we scream our support and groan our disappointment. 
We cheer and we cry. We wear the colours and make noise. There's not much certainty in professional sport but we have utter faith that the Sydney Swans players will not give up, no matter how hopeless the situation may seem.
They have opted in and it shows every time they play.

The Sydney Swans is my tribe. I am part of it and it is part of me. 

Now I'm counting the days until our first game next season...