Monday, 31 May 2010

Bits and Pieces

More samples have been made and blocks have been sandwiched. Tomorrow the quilting and perhaps the application of the heat gun!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Not lost!

Well, I haven't got lost. Just very busy. Last week I was scheduled to teach 5 times. This included a session with the children this morning where we used "homemade" instruments and worked out how to play them with rhythm. We also made up our own song!

This afternoon many of us from the church went for a picnic and a walk...and a water balloon game!
I have also been doing this.

Bits and Pieces
fusing, chopping, layering, fusing, chopping, layering, etc. I have the layout about the way I want. Now to do some interesting things to it. The sample in the middle is one idea.
I really needed to stop and focus on getting at least one of my upcoming deadlines past start! I have spent Many hours on this but for me it is "easier" than patchwork. :-)

On Friday, I started a weekly private Free Machine Embroidery session with some ladies who came to my house. It was great to teach something a bit more spontaneous than C+G! I was pleased with the progress they made, too. After getting tensions right on their machines, they were drawing trees and little dancing men! We moved onto drawing patterns onto fabric with blocks of I did here.

Next week we move on to "Colouring in" and bobbin work. I must remember to get photos next time!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Great Gift Tags

Lovely little gift tags made today at the Crafts @the Library workshop at the Birch Hill Library.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Inspiration Monday

Machinery Crofton Pumping Station
Love the pattern and repetition

Sunday, 23 May 2010

jacket and skirt

Whilst coming up with a solution to the dilemma of the FOQ piece, I have:
cut and sewn the lining for the white jacket - still needs to be inserted
topstitched most of the jacket seams - which makes it look smarter
sewn the main seams of the green skirt

I will probably do some sort of pocket, so inserting the jacket lining is still on hold and so the hems are as well.

I did come up with a plan for the FOQ piece, but the weekend has been full, so I decided not to try to start it yet. I should get it going in the next couple days, even though I am doing several workshops this week.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

overdye results

So, I am not impressed with the results of my overdye attempt. especially the splotches of purple, which seems to be the only change. :-(

and the black paperlike fabric I want to use to over lay the piece to create the night scene is not quite big enough. :-(

and the place where I bought it has not got any more, nor are they carrying the product after they sell what they have. I have bought more of the types they did have for my stash, which was not part of the plan. :-(

And, I have spent all day filling in forms for my entry and EquilARTeral's entry for Reading Arts Week. (I hate forms). I also spent all day yesterday sorting plans for the Contemporary Coffee Morning I am to organise for FOQ. I do like to organise, I don't the process of writing out plans in such a way so as someone else can work out what I have in mind. (Perhaps, as is being currently discussed on the QA list, I need a manager...or at least a secretary. But you have to have some sort of income to pay one.) :-p

SO, I am doing diversionary things like cutting out the lining for the white jacket. :-) 
and playing mahjong titons on the computer. :-}

which means I have still not started the FOQ piece. :-O

But tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

overdye results

Results of some of the overdyeing. The piece on the left was actually the green piece. the purple bits had actually been light grey...I used it for the Merdragon, but it was really to faint to use for much. the piece on the right is the scarlet piece. It is still not something I like, but maybe instead of trying more overdyeing, I will save it for the workshop I am taking at FOQ in August. Rayna Gillman suggests you can bring fabrics you are trying to redeem in some way, and we will be doing various surface design treatments to them.

As you can see, the fabrics don't have the spectacular results as the ones on the other blog I linked to. There are quite a few possible reasons for this, not the least of which is that I should really follow the directions at least once before I start adapting! LOL

The blue piece has been stuck back into the remants of dye that was left in the jar. I think I put too much fabric in. I think because it was in the centre of the scrunched fabric, there wasn't much happening to it.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


(Sorry for just words, Blogger doesn't want my photos today. I will try to edit this post tomorrow to put them in.) With photos!

I want to get started on one of my entries for the Festival Of Quilts this summer. I am needing a background that will work to create a night scene, and it needs to be a bit bigger than most of what I have on hand.

I had a look at the fabrics that resulted from the snowdyeing. One blue piece might work, but there are large light spaces on it. So, as I had to do a bit of running around today, I decided to overdye that piece.

I have been reading about something called parfait dyeing, which is basically a variation of low water immersion dyeing. Fabrics and dyes are alternately placed in a jar. In the versions I have seen, lighter dyes are at the bottom and darker at the top. The dyes at the top seep through and touch portions of the lower fabrics. It is pretty amazing.

So, I thought that might work for this fabric. However, as it is already blue, I really only want to add darker portions. So, I have layered with blue, black and purple dye. (left from another project) To fill the jar and get the tight crumples which will give the best patterning, I also added the green piece and the scarlet piece. They both need a bit of dimension to them to make them a bit more exciting.

So, here is the dye, green fabric, black dye, blue fabric,rest of blue dye and black dye, scarlet fabric, purple and black dye.
Looking forward to see what will happen tomorrow!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Inspiration Monday

There are alot of rhododendrons along the paths in our neighbourhood. I was out and about a couple days last week and saw that they are starting to come into bloom.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Featured Blog

This Featured Blog is a bit different in that it was only set up for a year. However, Jane Dunnewold's blog, Daily Visuals has inspired several others (including some I have featured) to take daily photos for inspiration.

As Jane says, "On November 10, 2008, I committed to a year-long photo-journaling practice. As an artist, I believe it is valuable to spend time every day looking at the world around me. To this end, I committed to posting a daily photograph and a few thoughts when applicable - on color, design, spirit and making. While this is primarily a witness to processes that help me go deeper into my own art-making, it is also a practice worth sharing."

So, while you have a few spare moments over the Easter break, go and see the sorts of things Jane has found to be of visual interest. Some of the photos were so popular, Jane is offering prints of them on her website. The website, Art Cloth Studios, also has quite a few other items of interest, so it is worth going over to have a look at. The tutorials about art cloth are very helpful.

As you may know, Jane wrote the surface design book, Complex Cloth. She also collaborated with Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan here in the UK, from Committed to Cloth, to produce Finding your own Visual Language and Paper and Metal Leaf Lamination.

Jane has a new book coming soon called Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric . You can find out a bit more about the books here.

And for my own bit of visual interest today?
A fascinating pattern on the staircase at the British Museum. I think it is patterning in the marble.

Friday, 14 May 2010


I found a linen dress on sale from £20 to £6 today. I can't find anything wrong with it. It is supposed to be my size, but for someone with weightlifter shoulders I think! So, I will take it apart and recut it using my own pattern. It will only need changing in the shoulder area, so the pin tucks and ruffles will remain as they are. It is a bit too short for my liking, so I think I will change it to a blouse.

I am not sure about how the sleeves will adapt, but I may be able to do something with the excess at the bottom of the dress if I can't get the original ones to work after the alteration.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Comment verification

I am sorry to say I have had to enable comment verification because of some spammer taking over with comments written with oriental characters. Because I have the comments come to my email, I am aware which ones were affected and have been able to delete the comment.

I enabled comment moderation for over 14 days, but if the spammer continues with current posts, then I will have to put that on for all new posts, too.

 Sorry to have to put you through extra hoops. Sometimes I find that comment verification doesn't work the first time you try. Do continue to leave appropriate comments, though, I do appreciate them. If it doesn't work first time just try again. Sometimes it takes me 3 goes on some blogs.

And to leave with good news. The college asked for a photo of Ancient and Wise Dragon to put on the leaflet for the Reading Arts week!

Back to marking student samples.
drafting samples
colour samples

skirt design ideas

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

white linen jacket

Since I got the overlocker to work, the potential of making garments quickly is finally there. Yes, I can make garments that take time and care, but that means I don't actually have many, because of all the other things I am doing.

So, since I got the green skirt and trouser cut out, I was going to stitch it up on the overlocker. And then, since it had white thread, I decided to go ahead and cut out white rough spun linen for a summer jacket that I had hope to cut out some time ago. I used the jacket pattern I already had from the jacket I made for City and Guilds. So, the cutting went quickly today. and so did the sewing up. while I was waiting for dinner to cook.
And here it is ready for several finishing off details. I had thought to have it unlined, but when I tried it on over a short sleeve top, I realised the rough linen was a bit too scratchy. I have some habotai silk I might cut for a lining. I may put in some pockets as well. Maybe next week though, as I need to get back to some of the other responsibilities I am doing.

I will change the overlocker thread and work on the green skirt and trouser. After all this time of having ideas for smart clothes and even fabric for them, it is really great to get some made! Then I can get rid of some of the things I have worn too long.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

green skirt and trouser

I have still been busy with paperwork for college. But today I took time out to cut out a skirt and a pair of trousers from green fabric I have been hanging onto for sometime. I even had time to put the zip in!

 I have a linen jacket I made that has some green in. However, I don't wear it much since I don't have anything to wear it with. Although the colour will be the same, I don't think it will be a problem to have a skirt AND a pair of trousers of the same colours.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

blue linen skirt

Amongst all the paperwork, I got the lining inserted and have started finishing off the waist. There is no waistband. It has a facing as well as a lining, because I am also putting petersham at the waist to keep it firm. I should have the waist and hem completed tomorrow.
I was also able to get my overlocker to do what I have wanted for ages. I have only been using 3- threads, because everytime I tried to use the 4 thread option, it broke. The tensions had begun to play up, as well, so I took the time to sort that. I figured it wouldn't matter to try to put the other needle back in and try again. AND, voila, it worked.

So, something isn't working tonight and I will have to upload this tomorrow.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

blue linen skirt

I had a few moments this evening to cut out a lining for the blue linen skirt. I wasn't sure if I wanted one til I started sewing it. The weave is just a bit too loose for the skirt to retain its shape well.

Linings not only help to give substance to lightweight skirts or to keep the light from shining though. One of the best reasons is to take the strain when sitting, so the fabric doesn't stretch out of shape. This sort of thing happens especially at the is often referred to "seating". In trousers it happens at the knee.

Because this skirt is A-line with a bit of flare, I chose to use a basic sort of lining. The weight of a crepe de chin would mean the lining would make the skirt hang awkwardly. This lining has enough stiffness to support the weave of the fabric. Rather than attaching the lining in such a way to hang seperately, as I did with the red skirt, I may enclose the bottom into the hem, so it moves as one with the skirt fabric.

I hope to sew up the seams tomorrow, and possibly begin to attach it to the skirt, but it will depend on how many more pattern drafting folders I get marked.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Great Gift Tags

Samples for May Crafts @the Library

Somewhat easy, but we'll probably do a bit of stitching on it as well.
Just enough time to make the samples for the blurbs whilst doing marking.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Inspiration Monday

but on Tuesday...working on marking student projects So, here is a photo from out an about the other day.
I love the green pink combination. I have a green pink umbrella, and Epic Quest of the Last Dragoness ended up with that colour combination.
But also, in seeing the photo, I noticed the interesting root next to it. I think it could be quite the beginning of all sorts of ideas!

Monday, 3 May 2010


Today I finished 2 of the skirts.
The batik skirt will be a nice one for summer.

The red one will be a good one for dressing smart.

I am quite chuffed with the design I made with Free Machine Embroidery. It is based on one of my doodles from last year.
detail on front
back detail
Tomorrow I must get onto marking students' drafting folders, so the grey-blue linen skirt will have to wait.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Yesterday I got the zips for the other 2 skirts in. Boring in progress photo at present, as I haven't finished off the waists yet. I put a lining in the red skirt, but didn't take time for the pressing and so on. I should be able to get to that tomorrow. (If I can, I like to use zips slightly longer than needed...then you don't have to try to sew round the zip pull.)

I had the option of using a basic skirt lining fabric, but this cherry red poly crepe de chin was in the lining box and I decided it feels much more luxurious! I love the weight of it too. I hate it when the basic type lining just does the slidey thing. I do like the ambience/bamberg type of linings, but I don't have any, and as you guess, I usually work with what I have if I can, rather than going out and buying something on purpose. I think I will like the feel of this round my legs when I walk! (grin) I will probably have to attach it to the skirt at the side seams with more than one set of french tacks, though. You don't want to attach it firmly, as you don't want it to pull the skirt in odd ways, but I am not sure if the drape of it might make it catch round my legs, too much.

Anyway, I will keep you posted when I first wear it and let you know if it was a good choice. I like to have linings of interest. Either in colour, print or luxury feel. It is like a secret! LOL

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Featured Blog

1 May was the reveal day for the latest challenge on the TWELVE BY TWELVE Blog. As the ladies description says on the blog..."We are twelve quilt artists who have embarked on an art challenge together. Every two months or so, we each make a small quilted art piece -- 12 by 12 inches -- on a designated theme. We use this blog to share our process, progress, and results. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow."
The members of the group are:
Deborah Boschert, Gerrie Congdon, Helen Conway, Kirsten Duncan, Terry Grant, Diane Perin Hock, Francoise Jamart, Kristin La Flamme, Karen Rips, Brenda Gael Smith, Terri Stegmiller, and Nikki Wheeler

The group has had great success with the first series of 12" x 12" square quilts made to a different theme each month. In fact, the quilts are now travelling...currently on display in Australia...and the stories of the group and the quilts are going into a book.

The current series is called Colourplay; and the quilts revealed today were to colours connected with volcanoes, set by a member in Hawaii before the recent incident with the volcano in Iceland.

On the blog, you can find links to the members website where they show more of what was involved in the design process for their individual pieces of work. If you have questions for or about the group, use this contact email

I have found it to be very helpful to work in a series alongside other artists, as you know from the examples I have shown you from the EquilARTeral group. I am sure the ladies of the TWELVE BY TWELVE group never thought it would become a world recognised group. Perhaps our group has great things ahead as well.
EquilARTeral at our recent exhibit