Monday, 13 December 2010

Going to See Family

My dad is doing better but is still in ICU. SO I am off to see him.

and my wonderful sister who has been looking after everyone.

Perhaps some times like this?

Back in a weekish.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Mince Pie anyone?

Yesterday, we were glad the weather had warmed a bit. Some of us from the church advertised our Candlelight Christmas Carol Service coming up by setting up a table near the local shops and offering mince pies, biscuits and non-alcoholic mulled wine.

It was quite fun, my husband had rigged up a battery and CD player to play carols and was using the remainder of a helium canister (from a youth club event) to blow up some balloons.

Here is a quick photo when PCSO Hilary stopped by to say hello.
There was a lot of interest, so perhaps we will have plenty stopping by to sing carols with us on Sunday.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Heat Tools

Wednesday at the Machine Embroidery class -

A bit of stitching

and then a bit of zapping with a heat gun
and look!

And then to top it off...
a bit of judicious mark making going on (drawing with a soldering iron)

Much fun was had by all.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

pattern drafting

On Monday, the ladies who are doing the first year of the level 2 City and Guilds Fashion (7112) were very excited to get onto the drafting at last. Here they are drafting skirts.
The language of drafting is a bit of a shock to start with, but once you see how it goes, and when you start to recognise you are drawing a skirt pattern as you follow the measurements, it isn't too hard. Just a LOT of concentration needed!

Sunday, 5 December 2010


So the snow came. I had to cancel my hospital appointment because I didn't want to drive to Slough in the weather/traffic conditions. So, it will be January before I find out more about having fibromyalgia.

Then middle of the night phone calls about my dad who'd had surgery early in the week which went dreadfully wrong. At this stage - Sunday - we have been through alot including his having to be put in hypothermic state and airlifted to another hospital, having more surgery and so on. They have now raised his temp and are waiting to see how he is when he is ready to wake up on his own.

So, decisions with teaching and other responsibilities about going to America to see him. and I don't want to go on my own. My husband has some things going on he really can't leave. So, my son is coming. As he won't really be finished at uni til the 18th, we decided to hang in there this week and go  on the 13th. We both will only miss a few sessions that way. I guess we will stay a week.

So, having noticed that since the snow has gone, here is a photo of resilience for you.

The snow had completely covered these winter flowering pansies and they looked like they had been frozen. But today, now that the snow is gone, I was amazed to discover they not only survived, but bloomed!

resilience and hope

Friday, 3 December 2010

Stitch on paper and metal

So in the Machine Embroidery Class, we did get to stitch on paper and metal before the snow came. (Then a lot of turmoil with a family situation meant I didn't get to the computer)

So here are a few of the photos.

Some painted paper trimmings I had were popular.

And pages from the old Brazilian dictionary I mentioned.

interesting results on the back because paper doesn't play like fabric when it comes to tensions.

some stitch on metal

Some combined things, including stitch on mylar(space blanket) which one of the Thames Valley Offcuts sewing group ladies gave me.

I hope to get a few more photos this week of anything else they have tried.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Green skirt

Lately things have been a bit fraught with a few things where I work. You don't actually realise how it zaps your energy until it starts to be resolved and suddenly you can think again.
Yesterday I actually managed to get several things sorted.

One was the Blue Agate piece which got caught in the rain when I did a demo session outside in April.
Here it is before the rain.
It was laying near the TuDo Bem piece, and the red from the book cover piece ran onto the Blue Agate! So, I tried rinsing it out, which did help, but melted away some of the paper. It was too discouraging to fix then, but since I want to show things where I have stitched on paper, it was time.
To Do Bem piece with part of a torn Brazilian dictionary cover.

Besides some of the edge of the painted portion melting away, the silk below it was tinged pink, which really didn't work. I didn't get a photo before I started.
So, I painted white pearl fabric paint over that and repainted the edge. I am quite happy I have been able to restore it!
Here is the "fixed" section.

Ages ago I cut out and started making up a green skirt. If the weather is not too cold, I'd like to wear it to a Christmas lunch on Saturday. It only needed a faced waistband and hemming up! It isn't exciting, but it will do with a blouse that has red and green.

Hoping the snow doesn't cancel the stitching on metal and paper, tonight!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Machine Embroidery

Sorry for the fits and starts posting lately. Teaching is taking up more time than I thought this year. And in-between, it is hard to do more than garner strength for the next session!

Anyway, here are a few photos of some improvisation going on in the Machine Embroidery course. It is exciting to see how they are taking the techniques and doing things with them on their own.

Here is a happy rescue. One of the other students tried the texture on the cooling rack with a black velvet the week before. However, you need to dampen the fabric so it clings into the grid a bit better...and well...the black velvet bled. While she and I were rescuing the cover of the table top ironing board which I think belongs the the quilt class (yikes!) Delia spied the interfacing and saw the potential (before I could snap it up!). So, the other student said she could have it, as she was going to throw it away.
And look how Delia has worked into it!

Also, Heather has made a wonderfully bright sampler of bobbinwork.

And last week she started couching strips of fabric down onto her broomsticked the end of the class, she had started to add green stems for a lovely abstract bouquet. Can't wait to see the final version!

Some other fun stuff going on.

So, we shall see what happens tomorrow when we stitch on paper and metal!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Frosted Rose

I participate in a photo prompt by Christie in Alaska. This time it was yellow, so I got a few photos of the first yellow rose from my birthday plant. (I love yellow roses.) It came so late, that it won't actually get any further because we have a hard frost now. Some places have snow.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

bookmaking - my versions

Here are some photos of some of the steps for the books I made on Saturday...well I finished some covers this week.




finished books!

I really enjoyed this.
I think I will make some more...

shh - for Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Photos from Margaret Cooter's bookmaking workshop at the Thames Valley CQ group on Saturday.
getting on with it






Sunday, 21 November 2010


Yesterday was the Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt group meeting.
One of the great bits about a wonderful day was a workshop Margaret Cooter did about making books.

I will show you more as I have time, but for now...look!

All the books Margaret and others brought to show that they had made or had been given as gifts. We all seem to love them!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Fiery Dragon story

I finally got a chance to think of the story for the fiery dragon.
Here is a detail shot and then the story.

Out of the Crimson sky the Fiery Dragon comes, twisting and turning and shooting flame. Many fear him and yet in him beats the heart of a Protector.

While the Fiery Dragon is often the first type of dragon which comes to mind, and the knowledge shared about him has become legend; in reality, the truth is well hidden. Many through the ages have reported the fierce nature of the fiery dragon, but these are many whose intentions were perhaps less than honourable.

The fiery dragon, when set to protect a place of significance or a treasure beyond value, fulfills his role with great furosity. Those who approach for the wrong reasons should expect the resulting flames and fierceness!

I would suggest that the tale would be far different if told by those who have met these dragons out of pure motive, by those who are in need of sustinance or by those who seek protection themselves. Indeed the report of these noble hearted few show the Fiery Dragon to be an ally of considerable worth.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Fabric Manipulation

Yesterday's post was a glimpse of what we did last night for the Machine Embroidery course. We are developing surfaces to stitch into.

I didn't get many photos of what I call shrink texturing. The idea is from the Threads Magazine. Here is the start of one from a student who had been away last week.

But quite a few were working into a 'broomsticked' piece of fabric. Last week we twisted a piece of damp cloth very tightly till it turned right back on itself and then left it to dry for the week.
We unfurled it and set the pleats by fusing it to interfacing.
Then they worked into the surface.

We also had a go with a bubble texture technique.
I had tried it before, mainly on shiny fabrics (a pain to do and really should be left to dry before fusing) and on cotton. I had found a mention where someone used velvet, so a few tried that. Very effective.

Take a cooling rack, damp fabric and poke it into the holes of the grid.
Hold onto it and check the bubbles are as you like on the other side.
Then set them in place with fusible interfacing. (you could use fusible web.)
Yesterday's post was done with an awesome velvet print that was in the scrap bag. I almost wish I had discovered it first to take home! However, it made the most gorgeous bubble texture. and really, if it hadn't had the awesome print, it wouldn't have looked as stunning at the end.

Here is a photo of the bubble texture with cotton. Above it is Maria's work from last week with fine fabrics and water soluble film.

Some of the more advanced students are using the techniques to develop their own piece of work. Delia is making a "tile" for each technique. The fabric here didn't shrink as much as she wanted, but she has worked into it and is still turning it into something interesting.

Kate is trying different things to reproduce the look of wind carved bricks on Lindesfarne.

What a fun class. I love it that they are all willing to 'have a go'.