Wednesday, 31 July 2013


getting the photos up to link to quickly before bed.

Blue skirt - finished. This started out life as fabric I bought at Bombay Fabrics in Bradford ages ago. Some kind of blend I think. The selvedge says Perfect Fabrics! I tried to make a bog coat long jacket from it and failed utterly! So part of it was made into one of the skirts for girls in Ethiopia. The rest was made into this!



Detail of the walking slit at the back.

The unlined tartan skirt - finished. This fabric is cotton/linen blend. I got it in a sale of fabric at the National Needlework Archive.

No time for wearing it photos, but it is the same pattern as the blue.

Detail of the walking slit at the back...and pattern matching!

The other one will have to be finished another day.

Fabric Stash contest

Tonight is the deadline for the Fabric Stash contest. At the time of this writing over 975 yards have been sewn by a little over 80 members of Pattern Review. There are 786 items! Although that includes 150 little favour bags by one lady, and some other group items.
It may take you ages, but you can see all the work if you go to the Contest Gallery . Perhaps it will inspire you?

After clearing up from the Festival of Quilts entries, I came across these skirts I had started around January or February.

Why did I stop with only the waistband to be stitched down? They are already hemmed even! Oh, yeah, these were for Spring and we didn't have one! Or at least it was so delayed that I kept wearing the winter skirts and started on my textile art deadlines.

I have been quite busy with managing the contest and making the artwork. Plus then going up to Yorkshire the last few days. However, during July there has been a UFO contest as well. So, whilst the fabric stash contest is in the finishing stages and I am trying to keep up with the last entries, I am seeing if I can get these done. I have the waistbands stitched down and now need hook and eye closures.

There is also this skirt which is lined.

As well as the waistband, it needs the lining stitched down around the zip. And the hem on both the lining and the skirt. For now this will be a narrow hem on the lining. and possible the skirt, too, but I might get it hand hemmed you never know.

And if I do, I will get them all into the UFO contest. or at least the first 2. Not to win, but just because!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Birthday Presents

Last Thursday - the hurry last-minuting day for sending the FOQ quilts - was also my birthday!

Here are some of the presents.

a William Morris notepad - lovely - might help with the increasing inability to remember stuff.

Elizabeth Barton's design book - cool - already learning things from it - going straight to value after the issues with the Cloud Puppy blending into his background a bit too much.

Carla Sonheim's drawing book - fun! I already do a bit of fun finding creatures in shapes like she does, but I think I might actually be able to learn about how to use watercolours without fear by doing some things in here...being imaginary animals, no one can tell you they don't look like that!

and a gadget. My Thoughtful Man likes gadgets, so I most often receive one. Some I don't quite know what to do with, but somehow he thinks I need it! Not always quite on my wavelength about creating things. But this is a Thoughtful one.

It is a digital microscope! You can plug it into your computer and see on the screen what it is you have under the lens. He said, 'I thought you could use it to look at things and get ideas from them.'

Yes! What a clever idea. What a Thoughtful idea!

I can't wait to have a go!
We are on our way back from visiting family in Yorkshire today.

I already know what I am going to look at...and maybe this, and that...
no lack of ideas round here!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Postcard 19

Just a bit of working into the markings on this fabric using Staedtler Triplus fineliner markers.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 22-28 July

2013 - Week 30 Daily Beads

The constant this week is the blue seed bead.

I decided to do loops for the remaining July beads. Then when all of the beads for July are there, it will add a slight bit of calm to all the spiky ones!

First one is a wee tiny one as a nod to a wee small Prince born on Monday.
Of course they are all fairly tiny, but not so easy to tell with the close up. You can sort of work it out by how you can see the weave of the fabric.








Saturday, 27 July 2013

Rickety Shake

A bit stress, but I got this done and in the post and it arrived Friday as it was meant to. The other two went by courier which we had booked to collect. but this one wasn't done at that point. Then I realised I still had time for the PO, so it was alright.

other than the very many things I would have done better if I weren't rushing. I don't seem to be able to learn that lesson. Problems included miscalculating the amount of binding. I have made a double binding with a bit of brown on the edge because there wasn't enough brown for the binding. I didn't realise that piece, although longer - wasn't enough either! So, with about the only bit of scrap left, I made a single binding and cobbled it together.

I am pretty sure this is getting a new binding when I get it back! Must buy more of the dark brown though. I prefer the narrow dark edge that I have normally been doing with these.

And yes, I would do more quilting - especially with this wadding/batting. But I only had time to go around the features.

Anyway, enough waffle. Here is Rickety Shake! 150cm high x 50cm wide

It will be in the Contemporary section at the Festival of Quilts.
I think I want to develop this idea a bit further. Some things I discovered while in the process of this design.

In the process of doing these long thin ones and the Cloud Puppy, I have discovered my optimum size for managing in the machine with all my muscle problems is 100cm by 50 cm.

not 150cm high x 50cm wide like this and Visible Horizon and not 70cm high x 100cm wide.

50 is wide enough and 100 is wide enough. anymore, and I am really struggling.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Postcard 18

The 2 main fabrics looked like they would be fun together, and then I found the purple strip for a triadic colour scheme.

Then I found the whimsy animals in the coral fabric and the trees in the lime green. But then they didn't seem to relate. So a few bunnies came to live at the bottom of the tree.

I have written -" A bit of whimsy" at the back.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cloud Puppy Finished!

Okay, he is hanging by skirt hooks. But I don't have time to get a photo with a proper background at the moment. but he is done.
And actually the colours are spot on. I hope he catches a lot of eyes at the Festival of Quilts.

Can you imagine him playing around in the dawn on some outerworld?
And I am already working on the last piece. Not as complicated!

Booking the courier for Thursday as they need to arrive by Friday. Yes cutting it way too close.
I never seem to factor in time for those frozen into indecision moments that make things take longer.

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Cloud Puppy has his binding!

He just needs a hanging sleeve. Photos tomorrow.

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son! May all be in very good health.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 15-21 July

2013 - Week 29 Daily Beads

The constant this week is the straight blue bugle bead. I used them up near the end of the week, so there are a few twisted blue bugles in no.201 and no.202 has none of the straight ones.








The longer size of the bugles give a bit more of a spidery feel to the finished beads!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Cloud puppy blocking

I got most of the Cloud Puppy stitched on yesterday. Then last night the thread kept breaking. So I left it to today and it worked fine. Must have been too hot.

I don't normally block quilts, but I decided to have a go with this one because the bottom had intense stitching and the top didn't.

I was able to get them both about the same size doing this. Then I trimmed it up. We have people around tomorrow, but I might get the binding done in the evening.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cloud Puppy - progress

The sky part of the background was a whole lot easier. so that is done.

and the moon/ball thing is attached and edged with an uneven satin stitch I selected from the programmed stitches on my machine.

The colour of this photo is much more bluey purple than it actually is. The real colour is a reddish purple.

The Cloud Puppy has been attached and I will edge stitch him tomorrow.
I think I might actually manage to get this sorted in plenty of time.

Thinking about the binding...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Checking in - Cloud Puppy

The lower portion of the Cloud Puppy (ground, but it isn't really) has been quilted. I have never had such a difficult fabric to stitch. I thought it was the needle and all sorts, but on sections near the top fabric it was like butter when the pattern went onto the top.

Background fabrics photo from last week.
The difficult fabric is the bottom one.

I have even put baking parchment over the machine arm and the extension table. With the fabric being difficult to sew, it was doubly difficult to move the quilt around. More friction due to the heat? Anyway, that helped with the free motion part anyway.

I had been wondering why the thread was shredding. When I compared the needle to a fresh one, because I couldn't believe it could be dull, I discovered the tip was worn right down. I usually go a lot longer than that. But in one day I have already gone through 2 needles! Perhaps it was because it was a quilting needle? usually I use embroidery needles but only have 90/14 of those and metallic needles. But this fabric was like punching holes with that size! So, I used a 75/11 Quilting needle from a mixed pack I got with this machine.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll do the top part. I am looking forward to it after this fabric. The fabric itself feels nice. a bit smooth on the top, but not glazed. Glad it is done! but the actual quilting is not exactly my best standard with all that.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Postcard 17

I really like the things Carla Sonheim does with the imaginary animals she finds in the anomalies in pavement cracks or peeling paint. Kind of like finding shapes in the clouds. I do that sort of thing myself, but don't always take it anywhere.

But I had this bit of fabric I made when teaching to demo colour schemes with dye. As I looked at it, I found this sad poodle-ish creature who has had a bad hair day!

I hope it will make my family member have a bit of a chuckle!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Cloud Puppy stitching

I got the stitching done on the actual puppy and on his ball... Or it might be a moon? Anyway, I discovered there was a dragon in it.
So I teased him out a bit.

Tomorrow I shall work on getting the wispy bits attached in the background.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 8-14 July

2013 - Week 28 Daily Beads
The common factor this week apart from the fabric is the light blue clear bead which is just a bit larger than most beads I use.








Saturday, 13 July 2013

Cloud puppy ready to stitch

As I said the other day, I am back ready to work to get the Cloud Puppy finished.

A couple steps in the process...
and further changes...

After many design ideas and auditioning of ideas, here is the final layout before stitch.

Now to stitch the Cloud Puppy himself first.

This post is linked to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, 12 July 2013


Just thought I would let you know that I do not like forms.

This has been a form day.

I am so very grateful I have a daily beading project for a few moments without forms.

In the meanwhile, please if you come to the Festival of Quilts do come to see the Metaphors of Aging SAQA exhibition. Tell me what you think of it! I am quite likely to be there or have just been there.

Back to the endless emailing which the forms have preceded.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

cutting areas

A new friend came round yesterday asking for advice about cutting mats. I have a large one on my cutting table, and then smaller ones in different places.

Because she was coming, I decided I had better do a bit of clearing round and about. Also I needed a bigger clear spot because I am back to working on the Cloud Puppy again.

So, I sorted things on the smaller table, and then realised I could put my A2 size cutting mat on there to show her. I was going to let her borrow it, so I though she might like to have a go.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I reassured her about the one she bought and this one stayed. I started working on the Cloud Puppy and realise the position of this smaller mat was just right!
You may notice the Cloud Puppy's background has changed.

Normally the large one is covered by the piece I am working on and auditioning things for composition and placement. If I need to cut something, I have to shift things to get a little area of the big one to cut on. But with this one here, I can carry on with the auditioning bit but also actually have a place to cut on!

now, what to do with the pile at the other end of the big table. It has scraps from what I have been working on. and so I know just where to look if I need just a bit more of something.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

a bit more to a blouse

I got this dress on sale at Sainsbury for £3 a few years ago. I knew the top part would fit even if it was too short and the hips wouldn't fit into it because it was straight and I am not!

So, I chopped it off at high hip level and hemmed it and have been wearing it.

However, all the time I wished it were a bit longer to cover the tum better in jeans. Then I saw a refashion on Refashion Co-op(but didn't write it down) where someone did something similar. they took a few strips from the bottom section and joined them. And rather than ruffle it, they pleated it at intervals and added it to give a bit more length.

I came across the bottom section the other day, so this was in the 'as soon as I get to it' pile. I have been right out straight with some of my textile art deadlines. Today I got a reminder from Refashion Co-op that I hadn't posted this month! so, needing a break from the other anyway, I picked up the bits and got on with it.

Just took a couple hours - including having some lunch in why did I wait? Much better!!!

Detail of the added pleat section - pleats are about 15cm apart.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Postcard 16

I couldn't bring myself to throw this bit of fabric away, though it seemed too small to use. But I am glad I kept it. Checking out scraps, I realised I could develop the markings into this scene.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ramshackle House 3 - quilting

This one is going to be entered into the Miniatures category. So, it called for extra quilting because it is meant to look as if it could pass as a large quilt. (in a photo with no size declared I guess?)

Anyway, a detail of the quilting on the back. The pattern on the front actually works to loose the quilting. I am glad because I want the simple line drawing look to be the focus.
Tomorrow should be finishing up - trimming, binding and sleeve.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 1-7 July

2013 - Week 27 Daily Beads

For July I decided to do red, blue and white...for the arrival of a British Royal baby and because my son is in America for the summer.
The bead combination for this week was centred around the blue bugle beads which are a bit smaller than most. So each fabric bead used the blue bugle bead.








The fabric used to make up the bead looks like this when laid flat and cut into a triangle to roll for the bead strip.