Tag Archives: phat quarter

Spring is definitely unsprung

For the last Phat Quarter swap, the theme was Spring! While appropriate for the nothern-hemispherians, I stitched my piece as autumn turned bitterly into winter. It is cold. So, so cold.

Nonetheless, I mustered up my springiest spirit and stitched this:

Because to me, and just about everybody I know, spring means allergies. Hmm, perhaps this whole ‘winter’ thing isn’t so bad after all…

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Craftiness


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The theme for the latest Phat Quarter swap was “It’s not the end of the world”. My piece has landed safely in America, so without further ado, I present my take on the theme:

The text is, of course, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the border is from an early 20th century DMC pattern book. Going by my limited understanding of German, the space in the centre was originally designed for a memorial – however, I think the timeless words of Douglas Adams are much more important to remember!

I received an awesome piece myself, from jojobooster – a very cool twitter-feed take on the theme:

It was a most impressive parcel to receive in the mail!

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In other news, I am aware that I’ve been neglecting this blog over the past few months; I plead the turmoil of moving house and consecutive illnesses which have knocked me flat. I have a massive backlog of stuff I need to post, which I’ll hopefully be plowing through over the next month or so. Stay tuned for some black (books) humour, crazy awesome yarnbombing, super cute amigurumi, random book art, and even more Christmas craft!

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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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Embroidered musings on the evils of vegemite

I have a confession to make. As an Australian, I am a failure and a lie. The reason? I do not understand Vegemite. It is not excellent, it is not amazing. It is a black pit of terror and doom which should never come into contact with my breakfast. To foist it on unsuspecting tourists as a cultural delicacy has always seemed to me to be the worst kind of cruelty. Vegemite tastes terrible.

Having thus outed myself to the scorn and derision of my fellow countrymen, I shall continue:

When faced with the recent Phat Quarter food-themed swap, I was totally stumped for ideas, so I asked my partner what foods she favored. In amongst the list of foods I received, she mentioned that she was particularly glad to be getting a piece from Australia. Accordingly, I decided to stitch something particularly Australian. (Or should that be UnAustralian?)

This piece was inspired by the Amanda Palmer song Vegemite (The Black Death). It’s a beautiful love song, in which the protagonist declaims that she will “refuse to touch or kiss you for a week if you insist on putting that foul death paste in your mouth”. I empathise.

Originally, I designed this piece to be cross-stitched. However, I soon realised that if this piece was done in  cross-stitch, I would be able to hear the deadline whooshing past before I even changed colours. Instead I used the pattern I’d charted to create templates for felt shapes – much more sensible for large blocks of colour!

If anyone would like to make their own anti-vegemite statement, I’ve uploaded the cross-stitch chart to my free patterns page. If you too feel that cross-stitching it would be excessive, just cut along the colour border lines to create handy templates.


Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Craftiness


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A mailbox full of awesome – part two

As I was assembling my last post, I suddenly realised that I had received a whole bunch of awesome swap pieces that I hadn’t blogged yet. (Pretty much the only piece I had posted was this shiatsu chart by feminizzle.)

I therefore present part two of this swap showcase, starting with the Phat Quarter Comic Swap, back in March 2010. I embroidered xkcd for shaebay, and received this piece from taff1973:

It’s a beautifully rendered piece of cyanide and happiness, and it was hanging in my office pretty much the whole time I had an office.

Back in October 2010, the swap theme was “Oh! The Horror!”, resulting in a gallery of awesome embroidered horror mash-ups. I made bad zombie puns for AKAwhiteknuckles, and received this from The Relaxolotl:

At the very beginning of the swap, she asked me how I felt about obscure Shakespeare plays. My response: Hells Yes! And thus I received this pun-based stitchery, inspired by Shakespeare’s Two Noble Kinsmen. But that’s not the cool bit. This is the cool bit:

Switch off the lights, and the punchline is revealed: glow-in-the-dark, skeletal Chernobyl Kinsmen. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Craftiness


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A mailbox full of awesome – part one

Blogging has been slow lately, because all the things I’ve made recently are under gift-embargoes – you’ll see them eventually, but not quite yet…

In the meantime, I thought I’d show off some of the things that other people have made for me. I’ve been participating in Phat Quarter swaps for quite a while now, and they’ve inspired me to make a whole lot of cool stuff. I’ve also received some really awesome stitchery – and not only is the embroidery fabulous, but it’s so much fun getting parcels in the mailbox :)

The swaps happen every month which has five Fridays, and the most recent one was a book-themed swap. I made a Hogwarts letter for Lisa’s Tea Time and I received this from the blue pixie:

I was so excited when this blackwork Death of Rats arrived! I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and this guy is one of my favourite characters. The blackwork shading is just amazing – I’m especially impressed because blackwork has always eluded me. I always love it when I receive something I could never have made myself!

Another recent mailbox arrival was a package containing these pieces from the Phat Quarter music swap, stitched by Frau Shizzle:

We had both pretty much resigned ourselves to their absence; three months after mailing, they still hadn’t managed to make their way from Germany to Australia. And then suddenly, about a week ago, the parcel arrived, and it was AWESOME – I’d already seen the pics, but the reality was so much better! The gramophone is beautiful, with really detailed and intricate stitchery. And The Dresden Dolls are one of my favourite bands, so the embroidered lyrics are just perfect. I’m so glad that they made it here, despite the tribulations of rain-damaged mailing addresses, bumbling postal services and examinations by Customs.

Later this week: A mailbox full of awesome – part two!


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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Craftiness


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Welcome to Hogwarts

I am so excited to share the piece I made for this month’s Phat Quarter Swap! The theme was books, and my swap partner is a huge Harry Potter fan, so making this piece was a bit of a no brainer. I’ve always liked a challenge!

The text is pulled directly from the first Harry Potter book – it’s a Hogwarts Acceptance letter, customised for my swap partner. It’s stitched on 22 count fabric, which I stretched across an embroidery frame to get the right tension.

The letterhead is cross-stitched in metallic copper thread; the font is from an antique alphabet sampler. Dumbledore’s credentials are stitched in a gold silk thread, and the rest of the letter is just a green DMC. The bulk of the text is freehanded – I just decided on the slope of the letters, then ‘wrote’ until I hit the edge of the page. The fact that it turned out exactly A4 is more a matter of luck than of planning! Finally, the piece is mounted on an A4 sheet of stiffened, off-white felt – I just pressed the egdes into a hem, and glues it onto the reverse of the felt.

I am super pleased with the result – and my swap partner is too!


Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Craftiness


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My latest swap piece (for the Phat Quarter Music Swap) has reached its destination, so now I can finally show it off!

At the start of the swap, I asked my partner what music she liked, hoping that inspiration would strike. It didn’t. I looked at her well-thought-out list and my brain went: “yep, yep, musical taste, yep, right…now what?”

I decided that instead of stitching lyrics from a song I didn’t know, or something equally painful, I would go for music as a whole. And since I have a soft spot for gramophones, that’s the idea I went with.

I grabbed an image and twiddled it about until I had something resembling a pattern. Then, I messed about with cake plates and lamps until I had something resembling a lightbox. Then, I got to work.

However, once I’d stitched the horn of the gramophone, I was stuck. I looked at the very intricate, and yet very boring gramophone stand, and I thought “I have to do better than that”.

At this point, it all got a bit ‘meta’. It took me a long while to hit on the right idea; once I worked it out, I felt very foolish for not immediately realising what was needed:

An Ipod Gramophone.


Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Craftiness


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