Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

03 October 2011

Memory Lane Monday -Crazy Patchwork -The beginning

Somewhere in cyberspace is the blog I first wrote up for today....wouldn't you think  blogger would be kinder to me on my birthday today of all days. (I am 74...lets hope the years hasten slowly from now on)  Oh well here we go  again....

As I have been getting older I tend to reminisce more about the "good old days", and times past.  I was thinking about my stitching journey and where it began, and so have posted photos of 'the beginning'.

When I was a young girl all girls learned basic embroidery or 'fancywork' as it was called, at primary school. Our teacher was a  Miss Suttee. (dont ask why I remember her)  

In those days girls prepared their "Glory Boxes/Troussou" when they were teenagers in preparation for their future marriage.  Emboidered doileys and duchess sets were popular, and we purchased the sets which were   stamped designs on linen.  

Not long ago I passed on to my daughter some I had embroidered way back then,   that my mother had kept and used for years.  The linen must have been of very high quality  because these worked duchess sets and doileys in good condition, are now prized by embroiderers and textile artists to  for use  in new creations.

In 1992 I discovered embroidery again, when I saw a crazy patchwork bear in a Craft Supply shop in Gympie owned by Debbie Mercer who is now the resident tutor at All Threads Embroidery in Brisbane. I signed up for a workshop and have not stopped since. Which only proves it is never to late to learn.

Prior to the workshop, I thought I could work out this "crazy patchwork stuff" so proceeded to cut up pieces of fabric into shapes and tried putting them together like a dont have to laugh I did  that mtself when I discovered the correct way.   It turned out ok in the end though.
It wasn't easy getting all those bits to fit in
This was the cushion from that first workshop in 1992

Another cushion I made

The crazy bug had really bitten me by this time, and i began making pieces to fit into jewellery box tops.

Cq bags were next on the agenda.
This became a clutch purse.

Then came the bears....
These are just a selection...a lot of work I have produced happened before the era of digital cameras.   I am definitely going to have to get a scanner to update these records.


  1. oh hooray! I finally found you again. You left a comment on my blog a few days ago and I couldn't track you back. Hi, glad to see you and I'll put you on my blog feeder so I don't miss anything from now on!

  2. Shirley, what absolutely gorgeous pieces of crazy patchwork. It's an art form I thoroughly enjoy myself, and really appreciate the time and effort it takes. And, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the piece that I am so proud own. I have not 'placed' it as yet, but as I'm really into journal covers, I have a feeling it will take pride of place on a cover some time in the future.

    I hope today brings you many joys, and I wish you health and happiness for a long time to come. It is my pleasure to call you a friend. My life is richer as a result of our friendship.

    Thank you and have a great day.

  3. Happy Happy Birthday!!!
    Hoping your Special Day was just that--as special as can be.
    Enjoying the trip down memory lane.
    Big Birthday Hugs!

  4. Wow! I love ALL the crazy patchwork you did! Those pillows...those little bags.....and that bear!
    I have not done this, yet, but am glad I read what you thought you were supposed to do and really were NOT supposed to do......because that is the way I thought it was done. So I have learned something new today.......on your birthday!

  5. Your crazy patchwork is inspirational. I am proud to say I am the owner of one of your beautiful pieces of work in drawstring bag. It hangs from my sewing table in the lounge room. Gosh, I remember when you used to sit up til all hours of the night stitching these creations!!

  6. I hope you had a wonderful birthday Shirley and you have certainly shown us some lovely work. I once spent some time with Debbie Mercer at a Stitching retreat at Alexandra Headland about 10 years ago and was very impressed by her embroidered pictures - a very talented and nice lady - and I was interested to hear what has become of her. Happy stitching.

  7. What beautiful things you have made. I love all of the colors, textures, flower and butterfly embellishments. The bear is adorable! I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  8. Thank you for becoming a follower of my blog. I followed you here and am so glad I did. I love the crazy quilt idea and am always enthralled with the beauty of each creation. You have created some lovely pieces and your teddy bear is exquisite.

    I look forward to going through your blog for inspiration and learning more from and about you.

    Happy 74th birthday.


  9. belated happy birthday to you from me:)
    interesting to see your progression. your work is getting better and better by the day!