Thursday, 27 December 2012

And Relax

I hope you have all had a great Christmas with friends and family.  I know we have here including far too much to eat.  My poor joints are really playing up and I'm looking forward to a detox and going back into the gym in the new year.  

I said there were a couple of bits to show after Christmas, so here they are.  

A pair of large cushions made with tartan and Harris tweed for Elsa and Mike as they had a fair bit of fun in Scotland this year!! 

A tweed clutch wallet with red deer, again in the Scottish theme.

The laid scraps from a few posts ago ended up looking like this as a sketchbook cover.

And open.  Good colour match above, bad below.

Also, I ended up with 6 inch squares under the scrim.  It lent itself to making a grid for me so I will have something to stitch too.

Here are a couple of boxes with some of the other fabrics I will be using on the surface.  Pieces of couture fabrics, mostly silks and chiffons on the left and re purposed and over dyed silk on the right.

I had a lovely gift arrive from Benta at Slikstitches.  It's very useful and quite well used already!! Thank you Benta.

And these three were so good on Christmas day, as was Tully too but she seems to have been rather elusive in the photographs.

Oh no, there she is being a hoover under the table.  She did a very good job too.  

Next stop, next year!!


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas

As we are going to be busy over the next few days John and I would like to wish you all a very 

Merry Christmas 
and a 
happy, healthy and creative 
New Year!! 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Stitch as a Therapy?

I have signed up to do the Traveller Blanket workshop with Dijanne Cevaal.  Yes I know I need another thing to do like a hole in the head but there was something about this one that just needed me to join. 

I started on a good footing when I sourced and ordered some bump and dommet to act as the wadding.  I wasn't sure which weight to go for so I ordered 2 metres of each. Two ROLLS arrived with almost 10 metres on each. I think they may have thought that the roll ends were just worth sending as there wouldn't be enough to line curtains.  I'm a happy bunny anyway as I was only charged for what I ordered.  

I have thought of a theme for the little stitched parts, butterfly wing patterns.  I was going to go all complicated and dye some more scrim but I found this old piece in exactly the right size at exactly the right time so I guess it was telling me it wanted to play.

Last night I had a look around for something to back it with. I found a pile of very badly dyed linen that was part of my first ever dying session. The linen is very loosely woven and so is easy to stitch through.  The whole point of this blanket is 'therapeutically easy'! I cut them up and tacked them onto the dommet. I'm sure you'll agree they are rather ugly but I'm hoping the amount of stitching and many colours will help change them. And anyway, it's the back!  Lol The green is not really lime, more like sludge, it's the spotlight shining on it.

On the front I laid the dyed scrim to see how bright it is against the white.

This is a pile of more dyed scrim and loose weaves I am going to lay under the main piece to give the colour depth.

Just a bit of playing needed now until I'm happy.

And as a little inspiration of how stitch has been used I had this book arrive this week.  It's not a 'to do' book but one for the coffee table and quite lovely to look through.

I hope the madness of the week before Christmas is not too mind blowing for you!! 


Sunday, 2 December 2012

The First West Country Quilt Show

The show was from 29th November to 1st December 2012.  Unbelievably it was only three months from the start up to the actual show!  Perhaps a little soon but I guess they all have to start somewhere.

I saw the advert in the last edition of Workbox magazine and thought why not.  So I entered the appliqué quilt 'Sunset' I made for my City & Guilds.

'Sunset' 20" x 33"
 As you can see it won first in the Small Wall Hanging section and then went on to win Overall Runner-up!  Really over the moon.

I wasn't called to say I had a first but I did see a small photo of it on Facebook where it had ribbons.  I couldn't make out what the ribbons were though so it was a lovely surprise when we arrived yesterday to pick it up.  Even lovelier was when the lady who was taking them down asked if I had picked up my goodie bag!!

How nice is this little lot!

I have a terrible throat and have lost my voice several times and I'm struggling to find things to take for it but what a lovely way to start December!!! So glad I made the effort now.


Friday, 30 November 2012

More Texture

I enjoyed my class with Alison Board last month so much I carried on playing for ages!  

I have experimented with mountboard, papers, lutrador, Khadi, scrim, calico to name but a few.

Some have been burnt away, others re layered and, like the little book covers I showed, some can be stitched through.

The way all the texture hold the paints is fabulous.

This is moulding paste through stencils.

Skeleton leaves. yarns, fabrics, foil and texture paste.

Today I seem to have woken up not feeling on the bright side of things, yet again!  John has had a very nasty bout of this cold which is going around that will not leave him and it appears we may now have to share.  I'm a little worried about taking the usual cold flu remedies as I took one dose last night and my stomach has been hurting rather badly since. I do not want another ulcer before Christmas so I will be avoiding taking more.

Sometimes being a quilt maker has it's advantages even more than the usual.  I'm going to find one to wrap up in whilst I have a bit more of a play with some textures!

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Tinker Here...

I laid this up the other day.  Lots of scraps, sari silks and organza pieces.

It was predominantly green and I couldn't find the balance.  Mind you green is not one of my favourite colours it seems so perhaps that was the problem.  Then yesterday Linda blogged THIS post on her page and it twigged that the green needed a play mate.  I know, I've almost changed it to purple but... there will be an overlay on it so that will change it again.  I tried it with a green organza, but it was too heavy, and then with the only chiffon's I have left.  The white killed all the colour totally and the black was too gloomy so I've had to order some more colours.  About time I did anyway.  Now to wait for them to arrive and see which suits the best.  More of that another time then. 

I've had the Spellbound book for a couple of years now and this week I actually made a bauble from it!  I liked the simplicity of this one.  I have some ideas to expand on it and will do a couple more.  (Picassa doesn't like portrait photos so you will have to accept that this is not defying gravity really.) 

And I'm just writing this blog post whilst waiting for these to dry.  A little bit of moulding paste through a stencil onto watercolour paper.

I will be colouring them up later and no doubt staining my nails a lovely few shades of yuck! 

A couple of other bits for Christmas have been done so I will try and remember to show them in the New Year.  I hope all your crafty creations are coming along well too!! 


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Moving Swiftly On

OK so that's November almost done too.  Someone has definitely speeded up this year too fast.  Could we have a slower year next year?

I've felt a little disjointed of late, not sure why.  Trying to settle to something has been weird and so half the time I've just done nothing instead!  Not very proactive.

I decided I had better do something for the Christmas effort this year.  I have some lovely pieces of glass, not too many colours but I did find a nice green and red.  After cutting and foiling I tried remembering the soldering knack.  Hmm, passable I suppose.  I will string these up in a window perhaps with some beads too.

At the begining of the month I went to a bodices workshop to make the bodice below.  Of course it being red is a pig to photograph but you can see the shape.  It was to make a 'mini' bodice which actually turned out to be a full size one but only for a size 8/10 body.  

I decided to leave a part of the lining seam open so I can see the layering at a later date.  The white is the domette, canvas and boning. A lovely workshop to do. 

When I went to the Westpoint show in September with Elsa I saw a really lovely crochet throw kit.  I so wish I had gone back to buy it (Elsa remind your Mother not to be so daft next time will you).  I had hoped I would see it again at Ally Pally but I wasn't really well enough to do to much in depth searching. The other day how ever Su at Living on The Edge blogged about a beautiful throw she had knitted.  The colours and texture were WOW!  Again I thought about it, a dangerous occupation obviously, and eventually kicked myself into buying a kit or two too.  The wools arrived yesterday.

That photo was taken last night, it was so grey outside anyway.  Again the reds have come out wrong and show better in the photo below.  Much more earthy.  I loved the reds, plumbs and greens and John liked the blues so I couldn't make up my mind.  I'm lucky I could whittle it down to those colours, they were all so gorgeous!  I mean look at all these here!! 

Anyway, they have all been on the swift and I have started knitting.  A lovely easy pattern and good for TV work.

And finally these three are convinced there is something under this step.  I'm not quite sure what it could be as the floors are solid concrete under the oak and tiles.  Perhaps something has fallen into the old cavity wall just there and the noise is carrying (yes we do have mice, we live in the country).  It's still keeping them amused several days later.  

I hope this terrible weather is not disrupting you all too much!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hebe Has Clothes! Finally.

I actually finished Hebe last night.  I just had an urge.

Well she has been sitting on my desk in just her stockings and big boots for quite some time! 

At least she should be a little more comfortable and she can now join the others.

 I love doing all the fiddly bits like earrings and hair ornaments.

She needed a seat as her legs wont quite hold her up for very long and, as she is a little steampunk, I made a skull for her to sit on. Of course that had to have extras too.

I have also quilted the Christmas table topper quilt.

I has metallic threads just to lift it a little.  I made the quilting quite dense as it's for putting things on.

The holly leaves were a pain.  My fault really as I forgot to heat set them before I washed it.  Yes I had to paint them again and I have had it over a hot radiator for a few nights to set them this time.

And finally this quilt was the reason for my studio being covered in micro fleece fluff a few weeks back!! 

I made it from some lovely brushed cottons and the fleece on the other side in the raggy method, hence the gazillion cuts and resulting mess.
It was for Chris' birthday which was last week so I can now show it to you.

Have a great week!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

More Play Time

I had a little more of a play with some textured surfaces last week as I will need a few pieces for the next class.  I liked these two parts very much and so made a little note book.  The ribbon I used for the binding was a bit stretchy though, even though the colour was a great match, so I will take that into consideration next time.

Yesterday, just before the heavens opened for the day, we had this rainbow land on the hill opposite.  It was very big and bright, probably one of the best I've seen in ages.

And the tree branches in the above photo belong to this huge old fellow that sits in one of our front lawns.

It's funny how small it looks in a photo!  If John (6' 3") was stood under it the hedge behind it would be over his head. It's one of two fully grown Ash trees we have and we have been very much saddened and alarmed by the news this week of yet another tree problem that could possibly devastate them.  We have a Horse Chestnut on the other front lawn that is showing the first signs of bleeding canker so to loose two fabulous specimens would be soul destroying.  We are watching them closely with advice from our tree surgeon!!!  (This one it TPO'ed).

I hope, wherever you are, the weather is good to you this weekend.