Thursday, 30 September 2010

Machine Embroidery Taster Sessions

The last 2 Wednesdays I have taught a Free Machine Embroidery Session at the New Directions Caversham centre. I forgot to take photos last week, but managed to do so this week.

We started off getting familiar with the machine working with the feed dogs down. (unfortunately the machines with darning feet are in for a service, so I had the scary experience of worrying about a class full of people working on machines with a bare needle!)

I started them at normal tensions just so they could get an idea and to be able to compare the feel of the top tension loosened.
I suggested doing loops and writing your name. Marianne soon moved on to drawing little houses! Even when she moved on to the other exercises she decided she likes the simple sketching feel of drawing onto calico.

It reminds me of the work of Cathy Cullis. There is the simplicity of line in a primitive sort of way. Marianne is talking of whole streets of houses! Sounds good!

Once the students became confident with the patterns they were doing on the calico, they moved onto enhancing printed fabric with stitch. Making patterns in and around the printed motifs.

This shows Tansy's practicing and then moving onto the printed fabric.
Here is a close up of the pattern Sally is drawing inside the ginko leaf.

If you are interested, there are still a few places left on the 15 week course which starts next Wednesday, 6/10/10. just contact New Directions - details on the sidebar at the right.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Colour wheel

One of the ways you can get a better idea of colour is to actually sort things into their places on the colour wheel. If you use something related to the craft you are working in, it also begins to connect with what else you know and you can begin to see how to use colour in your work.

Last year the students sorted accessories into place. This year I suggested they bring threads or notions.

The result?
We were basically doing a 12 step colour wheel, so we put white black and multi-colour in the centre. If we were taking it further, we would have a ring round the inside and outside and do tints and shades.

and further to last week's search over Bracknell for springs? Well, I went to Aldi get some cheese for my pack lunch for college tonight. This is nearly across the road, right?
See what I found?
This is what I thought I would find in Halford!

Oh well, now I can do even more 3D with that type of stand.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

SAQA fund raiser

Sometime back I told you about a piece in my Communications series that I had made for the SAQA auction. The auction started last week and my piece was in the first stage. Each day the amount went down and I was beginning to think no one would want it.

However, today I got word that the lady who runs Misty Fuse had purchased it! I was very excited because she had been very generous to me when I was at Houston. She gave me several packets of the Misty Fuse for my work when she heard about how I was using it.

I wasn't sure she bought it just because she liked it or also because she remembered me. Well with thousands of people, how would she remember me? Anyway, I emailed her and sent the photo above. There was a photo on the SAQA website, but it was taken on white background. It looks different on black, so I thought she might like to see the difference while she was waiting to receive the piece.

She wrote back to say she had seen the piece early in the week and loved it but hadn't been able to get back on to the site til now and how glad she was that it was still there!! and she HAD remembered me!!

I also told her that it was made of sheer layers and Misty Fuse, so she was even more glad!

So, the next thing is...when will I sell something for money 'I' can keep? LOL

Monday, 27 September 2010

Inspiration Monday

a bit of what has been lacking lately, but it has brought the Autumn chill with it.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

favourite flower

If someone would ask me what my favourite flower was, I would probably say sunflower.
But then whenever I see Cyclamens, I remember how much I really like them.

At present, the cyclamens in our front garden are blooming bravely. I love that they come at the end of summer when the garden is getting a bit sad. I am not an "I love Autumn" person, so I need that bit of fighting off the browns that our cyclamens do. (There are also Spring versions.)

What really appeals to me about them is the way they start off twisted and pointed and then from one moment to the next they are sprung back on themselves. It really is that quick! I tried to catch the change one time and between looking one moment and then small minutes later it had changed!

Another reason I love them is because it is the first flower my husband gave me when we were courting!

And then when it is January, of course, it is snowdrops that become my favourite because I know Spring will soon be coming. Perhaps I have seasonal favourites?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

new look!

I finally got brave enough to try a new look for my blog. I was getting rather cramped feeling with the old one. I think it is fresher. and I was also able to work out how to have more room for the actual blog post.

No photos today...just the New Look. Let me know what you think.

I met up with a sewing group today at my friend Gabrielle's. We used to meet up pretty often, but somehow got out of the habit. We all met through a yahoo sewing group and someone said it had been 10 years!

Anyway, at the meeting today, we decided we'd like to get together even more regularly just to bring sewing machines and sew. Not having learned to say no...I am doing the legwork to book the hall once a month that our Contemporary Quilt group meets in! Well, it isn't that hard as I am already on the community centre books. I am actually looking forward to it as I need a bit of motivation to actually sew clothes!

yes, I hear you say..."in what life?"

Friday, 24 September 2010

Triangle experiments

The 3D triangle experiment came to a bit of a halt while I worked out how to keep the triangles upright. I had the bright idea of using springs - in sort of a mini toast rack effect - to work as "feet". However, I needed time to go find out where I could get any. Today I had to go into town to get some interfacing at the market, so I had a look in Halfords...a bit useless, but at least the clueless lad did suggest the hardware/ironmongers.

I should have thought of that. There is a good ironmongers in the parade of shops at Great Hollands. They have Everything. from rotary cutters to any sort of tool or gadget you might need. So, I stopped there on the way home. Sure enough, several bags of a random variety of springs for lawn furniture and you name it. So, I rummaged through and found some I thought would work. She was only going to charge 50p. well I gave her £1 instead. after having looked in town, I know it would have been at least a pound had I been able to find any!

And here it is! These are just stuck in, but they do what I want them to do. I will make sure they are evenly spaced and stitch them on.

From here I can go ahead and do the suspension bridge cords to join them, now that I know they will stand up. I can also go ahead and do some embellishment...although I am growing fond of them just as they are. Maybe a chance for me to do simple for a change?

Thursday, 23 September 2010

a bit of simple sewing

A Certain Lad is off on adventures this weekend with the paratroop division.
"Do you have any white fabric like a sheet?" which, after a length of time and effort turned into this.

He will write our surname across the white bit, and then it will be easier for the people doing the shouting out to know who they need to shout out to. Or as I said in a reverse psychology sort of a way...they will know who it is that needs help.

This was about all I was capable of today as all the activity of the past couple weeks caught up to me. Even though the rooms were "ready" to teach in, the new machines and returned serviced machines and new dressmaker dummies still in boxes have had to be moved here and there. At last this morning, my body said, "It is enough." I was a bit afraid I had flu, but I think I mainly just needed to go back to bed. So, I did.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

museum handling collection

A few more items from the museum handling collection we borrowed for inspiration for the project the Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt group is doing in conjunction with the Slough Museum.

One of the boxes held a number of children's games. This was a 6 sided jigsaw puzzle.
one view
another view
a number puzzle
and one of the most popular... a sort of mind puzzle which I presume could be used for chess or draughts if you ever got it done!

more working...
and at the end of the day...still working!
I don't know if it ever got done!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mystery item, etc

What intrigues me about historical artefacts is the questions that come to mind.
I showed you the samplers of C A Pengilley the other day.

Here are a few different sorts of samplers. Very fine work. I should show them to my students when they moan about doing samples!!
It looks like M Pengilley - 10
C Pengilley - 12
C Pengilley - 13

1. Was M Pengilley the younger sister?
2. Why did C Pengilley do 2 samplers nearly the same one year after the other?
3. Look at the samplers from when C Pengilley was 8 and 11. They have the date. So, what year was C Pengilley 13?
4. Did she do any more after this? or go off to school somewhere or go into service or begin a trousseau? Did she die?
5. back to question it possible she made 2 similar because she made one as an example of her work if she was hoping to go into service or get some sort of sewing job?
6. Did C Pengilley really like sewing and this is why she had more pieces? or that her family somehow also had M Pengilley's passed to them, too? or did she only make one because she died?

Possibly no answers to these questions, but combined with what you learn about Victorian times and the end of the 1800's, you start to put a little picture in your head about what might have been. If not actually true for C Pengilley, it could have been the senario for another young lady in those days.

Any thoughts or questions spring to your mind?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Inspiration Monday

gardener with a sense of humour

a closer look

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mystery item, etc

And so... it was a buttonhook!

You know what these are.

Tomorrow a bit more of the young Miss Pengilley's work.

If anyone is near Philadelphia, My piece Tudor Rose is part of the Stretching Art Exhibition at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVII (PNQE). The theme for the challenge this year was Famous Pairs. If you can't get to the show, you can see it at the new website created for the group.
Stretching Art More work will be added soon, but if you click on current exhibit, you can go to the Tudor Rose link to see it.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Mystery item

Yesterday's item Julia in NZ guessed...a goffering tong! how did you know?
I googled the term to be sure I had the understanding of it. This page actually has the polishing iron on it as well.

and so curling irons weren't such a 20th century invention after all!

here is another item, which is probably a bit easier to recognise as many books, set in Victorian times, speak of them.
Answers tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we have got the room sorted at college and I am getting going with preparations for the courses I am teaching.
Welcome...come on in.
Step up to the mirror and take a look at the wonderful garment you have designed or display it on one of the models.
Cross to the ironing board and press your fabric.
Plenty of natural light from the windows and lots of room to set up your machine and get on with your work!
We do have machines, but they are in the cupboard.We could have set them up, but 'twould be a temptation to prying eyes. We hadn't the heart to have to draw the curtains on our wonderful work just yet.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Mystery item

The answer to yesterday's mystery item...Rhonda started getting there with stretching and Kate got it right. A glove stretcher!

How about this one then...
If you know, leave a comment.

a clue One of the ladies said they had to use these when she started nursing for a particular decoration on their nursing hats.

All of these items were part of one box in the handling collection from the Slough Museum.

As you might remember, the Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt group will be doing an exhibition next summer. We are making work in response to the artefacts belonging to the museum and also about things which interest us about Slough itself...even present day Slough.

If you are interested to see what some of the members are thinking about or working on, you can check out the blog... Whatever floats your boat. There is also a little slide show of photos taken in the Museum and around Slough.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Mystery item

Yesterday's mystery item...a glossing iron for polishing linen and cotton to give it a high sheen.

and today...
What do you think this is?

Leave a comment if you know. Answers tomorrow!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Mystery item

An Iron, yes, but with a curved base.
It is from the Victorian period.
Any thoughts?

Answer in tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Grandma - 90!

A couple photos from the weekend with my Mother-in-Law who was 90.
Most of the brother-in-law's boys weren't there.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Inspiration Monday

boots for a Victorian Doll

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Slough Museum Project

We launched our project with the Slough Museum yesterday. They allowed us to borrow boxes from their handling collection.

Here are some photos of the TVCQ group looking, sketching, discussing, and doing the puzzle from the children's games box!

I will show some of the photos of the artefacts later.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Talking fashion

If you wonder where I have been...
painting the room the fashion department is moving into at college...
and preparing for the September meeting of the Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt Group.
Also besides being the co-ordinator of the TVCQ group and all that was involved with that, I did a talk about my wearable art and show garments.
I will show you a few more photos of the day later.

Tomorrow we are off to York for the 90th birthday celebration of my special Mother-in-law.
I will get back to the regular schedule next week.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Triangle experiments

The other day I did a bit more to the fabrics with the larger prints on them.

Today I cut triangles. I thought to use something stiff like pelmet vilene, but I only had scraps. Then I started looking around and thought about some scraps of wool I had felted to see what would happen. but being brown and not having very much, I doubt I will ever use it. It was a bit floppy, so I discovered some fusible interfacing I got for craft uses. I fused some to the front and back, and it became even more stable than the pelmet vilene. I cut triangles from it and some more from the vilene, which I might do a bit more with.

Then I fused one side with black Misty Fuse, and the other with white.

I selected areas of the fabrics I thought would look best on each triangle and fused the white fabrics to the white side

and black to black.

Now I will zigzag over the edge and work out how to display it. I think each will be embellished in some way, too.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Inspiration Monday

Dalia delight
I love these speckles
and the shape
but am amazed by these!
All different types on one plant!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sketchbook project

You may have noticed in the sidebar that I am participating in the Sketchbook Project. The Sketchbooks will go on tour and all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

I have been getting a start. I chose the theme "It must be..." and of course, mine is "It must be... Dragons". I think this is a great idea! I think I want to use the chance to show off the dragons along side their stories.

So, here is a glimpse at the first 2 page spreads. It is a bit of a rambling introduction about how the dragons and their stories develop which has got interrupted by a dragon who got bit on the nose by a fire wasp and I had to go off and get some balm before I could get on with the rest.

I will be having a printed photo of the different dragons alongside the story that goes with them. along the way, there will be a bit of doodling and some drivel about writing about it.

There is a barcode on the back and when they go out to be read, they will take note and inform me of when someone reads it! I also opted onto the Digital online version of the sketchbooks, so at some point, someone will upload photos of the pages! Cool!

I might do a better photo of the spread and put them up here. I might even get brave and look at Blogger's option for more pages and give them their own page! But not tonight.