Friday, 30 January 2009
I have been doing dragons for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenges. Challenge #29 for January 2009- Working in a series (if desired) with concepts of Analogous colors and Rhythm/Movement or Tension/Energy
As you can see the analogous colours are centred on green - yellow green - and even blue-green threads. The tension is created with the baby in the basket in front of the dragon. Will the baby be harmed? Or is the baby under the protection of the "monster"?
I used examples of stitching on "dragon coats" for the quilting patterns .
I had thought I would give the Journal quilts a miss this year. They aren't doing them through the Quilt Art list in the same way any more. But, the Contemporary Quilt Group are doing them again. The first year they followed the A4 size, like the original Quilt Art ones, but last year they did 12x12. I showed you the ones I did. This year, the size is 6x 12 either landscape or portrait orientation. I like the idea of the smaller size. I also like the idea of challenging myself to work within a different shape. It is still rectangular like the first ones, but much narrower.
What I decided was that if I was going to do the Fast Friday challenges and try to keep them small so I could actually get them done. I thought I would keep to the idea of samples. Well, that is also the focus of the journal idea, so why not combine the two? So, I guess I am signing up for the Contemporary journals again this year...just combined with the other.
I missed challenge 28, due to the upheaval over Christmas, but I have an idea. So, I will see how I get on with it.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
I made another little scented sachet. The first one had lavender and this one has rose essential oil in it. I may make one of these more suited for a man. I don't know if a man would want one in the drawer with his smalls or not! I have some cedarwood oil, but it is a bit over powering compared to the others...like driving your nose into the floor of the woodshed. I may go look for something else.
Simon thought the ideas for workshops for the months ahead were great. His boss was quite excited about the idea of the workshops at these libraries as none of the other libraries are doing Adult Crafts. So, now to crack on with sampes for the other workshops.
The little "Thinking of You" tags workshops I mentioned the other day will be the 10th Feb. from 2-4pm at Birch Hill and the 11th from 2-4pm at Great Hollands. The Sachets Workshops will be in March. 18th March from 2-4pm at Great Hollands and 19th March from 10-12am at Birch Hill.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Today I went to a training session about digital cameras. Although I can work mine pretty well, I thought I might discover a few things. However, it was mainly about using the college cameras and how to get the photos from it onto your memory stick using the computers at college. So it was useful. I know what to do if I forget my own camera sometime and want to record student work.
I find mine easier to use. But I also had the opportunity to have a go with Adobe Photoshop. I have Paint Shop Pro. I know I don't do all I could with it. the version of Adobe Photoshop they have at least seems quite user friendly. The drop down menus have visuals on the buttons, etc. So, it is useful to know a little about the programme. You need to "embed" ICT into lessons nowadays, so I can have a little session with learners about manipulating photos. I hope to show them how to print on photo sheets, so if we have a little session with the computer, I will at least be able to get them to the explore part of getting into Photoshop.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
I like snowdrops. They don't grow where I come from. I like the fact that the name is similar to our surname. I love a flower that you have to nearly stand on your head to discover the interesting bits! Who is meant to enjoy them? Insects and other crawly things are all hiding away from the cold.
But I also like the fact that there are flowers brave enough to start in January! I have a late flowering fuchsia nearby that only just died off a few weeks ago and now we have snowdrops. I begin to think I can cope with the rest of winter when the snowdrops tell me Spring is coming.
I love Spring in England. It lasts forever.
Monday, 26 January 2009
I made them as part of one of my Preparing Working Designs (PWD) for City and Guilds. At the times the PWDs were topics rather than design principles...(although the design principles were meant to be part of what you learned). This particular topic was Folklore. Which I was sooo excited to turn into a study on dragons. I shall have to take a photo of the book for you sometime.
I recently dug these pieces out of the book so I can use them for samples for the Exploring Decorative Techniques course.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
We had a great afternoon. The ladies all expressed interest in meeting together a different times throughout the year. We had ladies from other areas, too. Some who are just over the border from Berkshire and Oxfordshire and some who were in the area visiting relatives. I was surprised to learn that few CQ groups are doing this in their areas. We hope they get the bug when they hear what we've been up to!
It was great to have a closer look at some of the journal quilts and other things people have been experimenting with. And loads of ideas were put forward for suggestions of activities, outings and topics we would like to learn about. Some have already put their name forward to help with things like secretarial tasks. That will be a big help.
One thing I was pleased about was that the talent within the group was recognised and that instead of getting speakers in, the group would like to learn from one another. And another thing was that they all want to meet for a longer period of time! So, back to the booking form!
The next meeting will be the 16th May. I am looking forward to it already.
Friday, 23 January 2009
Photo of the day with Anne.
Thursday, 22 January 2009
I painted little wooden shapes, stuck them together, made little "stitch" marks with a fine sharpie and wrote the various words...also with a sharpie. These have ribbons on to use as gift tags, but there will also be the option of putting a magnet on the back.
I stuck these together with a glue gun, but since we have to watch cords and hot things at the library, I will actually use tacky glue or something instead for the workshop. This is one of the reasons the workshops have followed more of a craft theme than a sewing one for now. Perhaps once we start having regular workshops we can hold something seperate where the space and Health and Safety aren't such an issue.
Once again I let the hands do the work while I listened to an audio book. This one is a Dorothy Sayers Mystery.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
The Ofsted inspectors are there this week. One good reason not to regret my courses for the Autumn term didn't run! They, in their wisdom, have chosen to inspect our Visual and Performing Arts department, although it had good comments last time. So, my boss has tons of work. However, she is confident the department is great, so is not worried. They have invited the inspectors to come to our teaching training class, though. Why? Because a large percentage of the class are new teachers in our department! It will be weird if they come, but I hope they do come to see that the department is forward looking and trying to make available the type of courses the public wants.
What is interesting is that all the teachers (we have 3 this time) are teachers with backgrounds in theory type subjects rather than activity/skills based subjects. They have noted that, but it will be interesting to see how they manage to "adapt their teaching style to that of the learner" as we are often told to do. No wonder with so many Kinaesthetic and Visual Learners, we sit there with glazed looks when they are waxing eloquent about the theory side of things.
Monday, 19 January 2009
2008 Journal Quilts – British Contemporary Quilt Group
January – A few years ago, we had our holiday on Kintyre in Scotland. By the middle of the week I was going spare with not having any sorts of fabric shops or anything touristy. Finally, I went into The charity shop and found 3 old cream wool blankets. Every now and again, I hack a bit off and dye it with Kool-Aid. I had tons of the Kool-aid sent to me. the kids here don't like to drink it,but it works well on wool and silk.
Before this year, I made much smaller pieces somewhat like this, but hand stitched the bits on top of each other and embellished with buttons (also here and here) or beads. This time I worked with colours I don’t usually use, and instead of hand stitches, used the machine. Because the top is so thick, I used firm interfacing for wadding When you do the stitching, it helps the wool from getting caught in the feed dog area. It is thick enough to do this even when the feed dogs are down.
The actual composition was developed upside down to this, and it felt like a playground. But when it got stitched, I found it wanted to be this way. Looks a bit like buildings. I have done themes in past journals, but haven’t decided yet. Most likely will use the wool, as it is already there in several “flavours”!
Sunday, 18 January 2009
I was showing the completed journals to someone the other day, and couldn't remember which way up I had decided they would be! I am glad I have this visual record. I need to work on getting some labels made before Contemporary Quilt Group begins organising them to show somewhere!
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Here is a bit more detail, with the flash. I think I will probably do a bit more on it still. I left off working on it before, when my other machine died. After having done the last few journals quilts, I realised I am now better at the FME, so it would be fun to do again. Besides, it was a tutor meeting this morning and by the time I was home it was another one of those days where I couldn't really get into something else.
I have more of the fabric, and of course I am "saving" it, now that I realise how special it is, and I may not be able to find more.However, with the piece I already started, I am going to make a cover for my diary.
Not that my diary needs a cover. I like it small and silvery as it is. But, it is my college diary and can serve as a badge of "What I Can Do". Since I never seem to have clothing for me to represent that, a diary cover will do.
And ever the prosaic type, it will help me trial an idea for a diary/journal cover pattern which I may teach elsewhere, like the library. The library ones will not be so posh, as I can't take sewing machines, etc. But if the pattern works, then we can make them from something that doesn't require cords trailing across the library floor or irons for littlies to burn themselves on. I think I may market the library version as a book cover to protect your book when you go on holiday.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Monday, 12 January 2009
Sunday, 11 January 2009
I thought I may as well show you some more of the 2008 Journal quilts. Above is August.
This composition just developed. So many little scraps of the wool which didn’t want to be thrown away! Some I used to experiment with on my friends embellisher and the experiment became the pot. However, the sewing of it became a bit hurdle. The whole idea with these journals was to make something that wouldn’t take ages. I finally settled on Free Motion Embroidery which served to tack the small bits on. This is the September Journal Quilt. The simple plan this time was to cut holes along parts of the blanket lines and weave stripes of the wool through. The quilting of the background is more selective this time. I choose lines to echo the blanket lines, but left some places plain.
Here is another photo from Maine. I stayed one night with my niece Jess, her husband Charlie, and their little boy, Owen. Here is a stained glass window in a random small bedroom tacked onto the back of the house behind the kitchen! I think it had been rescued from another part of the house, but why it wasn't in a more prominent place, who knows. There weren't any other features like this in the house, as far as I could tell.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Back to photos from my journeying: In Maine there was a tremendous amount of snow compared to what we get here. On the first morning, I looked out and saw 3 wild turkeys in Kathy's backgarden!
This photo gives an idea of the snow. When I came here, I thought I would miss that look. However, one can do without it if it means you can actually go through the winter somewhat comfortably. One wonders if it is possible to have a stylish chic way of dressing when you have to spend long periods in the cold?
When I got to Mom and Dad's, there were about 20 Wild Turkeys happily munching on the bits under the bird feeder!
They seem to walk and behave in a similar way to peacocks. Here is a close up. I don't remember wild turkeys when I lived there...deer, bear, porcupine, beaver, the odd moose, yes. My dad said they have re-introduced them in the past 5 or so years and they have done quite well. From what I can tell, they almost seem a nuisance.
Friday, 9 January 2009
Front left - Me, the oldest. Front right - Kathy, sister no 2. Back right - Debbie, sister no. 3. Back left - Linda, sister no.4. There were also 2 boys between Deb and Lin. Tom, who lives with my parents, and Dan, who died tragically 10 years ago. Lin came to Houston this year when Midnight Dance by Moonlight was there.
I want to thank Kathy for stepping in to be with Deb (And, too, for all those long nights in hospital ) and for helping the family work out what needed doing when Deb became ill. And now to Lin who came all the way from Alaska and is carrying on to help Deb's husband who was already poorly with his heart and isn't doing so great at present.
Sometimes it is good to live in another country and sometimes it isn't.
And for another couple random photos from my time in America!
1.Why is Sponge Bob in the freezer?
2.Why is one of 2 cups left in the cupboard a taxidermy advert?
First night I was there I stayed in Kathy's house on my own. It is interesting to discover things in other peoples houses and then find out why, later. 1. Sponge Bob has a freezer bit inside of him and can be used to keep bumps and bruises from swelling. 2. All the dishes had been used by a student lodger who left them all on the side when he left at end of term and Kathy was already in Portland looking after Deb. The taxidermy cup was past find by one of Kathy's boys. It was on the very top shelf because she doesn't like using it either!!
And yes, I did up all the dishes before Kathy came the next day. The least she needed was to face that!
Thursday, 8 January 2009
By the way, I like to use varigated threads. I wait til Thread Studio from Australia are at one of the shows, and buy the various types they have. I like the blends of colours. If you choose a blend with a colour that matches your background closely, it makes an even more interesting pattern.
Okay, most people are done with Christmas photos, but as I had such a strange Christmas, even though it is well into the New Year, I have a few odd things to show you. When I was in Maine, the prices for lobsters was VERY low. I think around $3 or $4 a pound! Well, chicken is more than that! (At least here!) So, my dad thought we would have lobster for Christmas. However, so did everyone else in Maine! So, we finally got some to have on the Saturday following Christmas. M-m-m. Haven't had lobster for years. And it will probably be several more years before that happens again!
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Debbie also liked to sew and do crafty things. Here is an example of a bit of her wit. It was a post it on another sister's fridge, so I took a photo. Maybe i will do it in textiles just for the memory.
These are the lovely flowers my husband bought to welcome me home.