Friday, 31 October 2014

what is on the machine today

Currently in progress - a desert made of rusty fabric.

I got a bright idea for stitching this.
However, after quilting a little bit, the fabric started to be caught down into the feed dogs (which were disengaged.)

2 things you need to know...
First - remember I said that using the craft felt for wadding gave me the weight/feel I wanted for small pieces so I didn't have to do intense quilting. and remember that I said using craft felt for wadding was a bit difficult to stitch because it went punch, punch?

Second - quite a while ago I made a skirt from rust fabrics because I won the Student Category (when they had one) at Festival of Quilts for my design work...and then I had to make it up in full for the next year. In the process of stitching that rusted fabric, I discovered something.

...the difficult thing about rusted fabric is that it is a little difficult to sew because of the metal in the fibres. Places that show more rust markings are not necessarily the hardest bits to stitch. It could be the places where it looks like it has no markings. The fact that it is hard also causes the needle to push in and sometimes not quite go through.

So, here I am stitching rusted muslin (British muslin is a loose weave, but not as loose as cheesecloth) which has a cream coloured craft felt under it.
Ah Yes, I did think there could be a problem. And it was a good thing I was in solution mode and not soldier through mode.

Just then I remembered the single hole stitch plate which I came across the other day whilst looking for something. I did know it was there, but hadn't thought about using it - ever - since it came with the machine. But suddenly things clicked and I thought. " This might work."

And it did! So now it is quilted, but you have to wait to see what is happening in this desert.

And I have remembered stories of other single hole plate users breaking needles because they forgot the single hole plate was on there and started using a zigzag or something.
Hopefully this will help.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Bead project advice please

The other day, my friend Gabrielle loaned me her bead loom.

I have got to the point that I am thinking of doing some 'yardage' with beads. I wanted to have a go with a bead loom before I go and buy one. I just want to see how I get on. So, Gabrielle said she had one I could borrow.

The bead items I have been making will be unique embellishments for wearable art. I am thinking that sometimes I might want trim for gowns as well. So, when I was at the knitting and stitching show, I asked questions and picked up instructions for a few types of braid from the Braid Society. And also some how to leaflets about basic beading stitches from the Bead Guild. Some of the things I do with beads 'might' be proper stitches with names, but I wouldn't know as I don't know the terminology. And there just might be things I am doing which could be done in an easier manner.

So, I am thinking of trying a different braid or beaded trim or something each month next year. I haven't decided the plan.

Actually, I could use some advice or comments on this one. I still aim to do a daily project. I have some little bits of fabric I have been playing with for the 'every other month fabric bead item'. So, I am set there. I also have a list of possible unusual items to bead onto for the in-between months.

However, I still have this yardage idea. The advice I could use is the organisation side of things. I will do much better at it if I set a certain amount/length to be achieved each day or week.

1-Would it be best to do so much per day? Otherwise, I can see myself frantically catching up on the Saturday.

2-Should I do a certain amount one day a week. like Weave on Wednesday (well, it won't be all weaving, but it works for a name). Is 4 times a month enough to learn a particular technique?

3-If it is per day - how much is a reasonable amount? 1 inch? 5inches? so many centimetres?

4-If it is one day a week - how much time in that day? 1 or 2 hours? (some of the beaded rings were taking about 1/2 hour. The fabric beads are more like 10-15 minutes.)
3 or 4 hours--basically setting that day apart for the bead thing and fitting other projects into any remaining time.
or aim for a certain larger amount of inches? Keeping in mind the 'unbeading' which will be done while I get to grips with the technique.

5- Any other ideas?

I suppose it might be like the idea of knitting something for someone. I don't knit...those of you who do, do you have a plan about how much you hope to achieve in one sitting or one day/week? I crochet, but not on purpose. ! By that I mean, I just crochet while we watch telly a few hours on Sunday and perhaps a sewing or baking show in the week. Or when we visit my MIL. Then when I run out of that yarn, I stop. (I mainly do a large Granny Square. It is the one thing I do that I don't have to have a plan or a specific mindless activity.) And then I make something else with another cop or ball of yarn.

Anyway, leave me a comment or send me an email if you have any advice or opinions about this idea of beading trim or yardage. I am coming up to my 1600th blog post. This is number 1594. (I passed 6 years earlier this month.)
I will keep track of the advice comments and there might be some reward. (I haven't worked out the plan for advice comments yet. It has only just come to mind.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

in the development stage

I have had these bangles - bought 50 in a little case - for some time. I opened a few up and used them for hinges on a design board when I did my City and Guilds.

The idea for the rest was to use them to make some sort of decoration. I tried stitching through water soluble film to make a snowflake inside. The points attached to the bangle. I tried several and managed one that I wasn't too ashamed of.

Fast forward to last year. I thought about beading onto the bangle in a similar way to the O rings I recently did. You can see the results here. It was just a bit too time consuming to do one a day, especially in December.

So, this week I am back to trying something with them. I started with one on Sunday evening and then worked with it further yesterday. I am pretty happy with the result. I decided to work on them a bit at a time and they will be possible Christmas presents. sneak peeks because some recipients read this blog! I am not sure how many I can manage. But we will see. I have enough to make about 10 for now and then 2 lots of 30 for the possible future when I eventually find a more time effective use for them. (Well, they could be bangles, but that would be too easy!)

Actually, I like the design made by the lines in the photo! Perhaps a future thermofax design?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 19-25 October

2014 - Week 43 Daily Beads








The little pot I keep these in is glowing from the pink-orange hue coming from it!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

And the last one for now

I just got photos of this last blouse today. It is a paisley print in turquoise. I have used some other colourways for some of the Ramshackle houses, but this turquoise wanted to be a blouse.

When I was sewing up these blouses, I found I really didn't have many white buttons. I had some shirt buttons that were white on the back, which I thought to use for this blouse, but there weren't any buttons which worked for the coral print with white contrast. So, I used the white at the back buttons for it...with the white showing.

Instead, I put some translucent buttons on this blouse. They were fine really, but I wanted the bit of white for interest. So, when I bought the bags of buttons at the Knitting and Stitching show, one reason for picking up the white ones was to use the small ones for this. When I opened the bag, though, I realised it wasn't some patterned and some white, but all were patterned.

So, as I had bought 2 packs, I decided there were plenty for whatever I might do with them and that I could use some of these upside down as well. The above shows a few upside down.
Here is a photo in the midst of the change over to white. I just like the bright spark they give. You can see them in the photo of the blouse being worn.

Can you tell what my favourite colour is after this recent bout of garment sewing? I had to buy more Gutterman 736 after this!

While I was taking more photos, I took a photo of the red spot fabric in front of the light. I wanted to show you what I meant the other day about the spots being acid etched or something.

Spotted fabrics - thinner at the spots. the other two colours were also that way.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

and more blouses

These three sleeveless blouses are made up the same. When I was making them, I mentioned that they will replace 3 Ready-to-Wear blouses that have been favourites and have become a bit worn and faded. I found the spotted fabric last September at Remnant House in Harrogate.
The spots are interesting as they are actually thinner than the surrounding they have been etched with some solution.

I did consider cap sleeves, but when I bought the fabric I was thinking of a sleeveless blouse. Perhaps if the fabric was wider there might have been enough.
I think if I make more sleeveless blouses, I will adjust the front armscye a bit for more bra coverage security. Not too bad really, but I will probably wear a black bra with these instead of white which tends to draw more attention if it is showing.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

On to the blouses

This blouse I love! I have had the fabric for a Very Long time. Okay, not as long as the blue batik print. I just went to look for photos I took at the exhibition where I bought the fabric. It was March 2009! It has a pink and greyish blue coral print.

I really liked what I did with the recent stripe blouse with white contrast collar, cuffs and button stand. So I thought I would do it with this fabric as well. It gives a crisp look to a fabric that might over whelm.

I didn't have enough for long sleeves, but I was focussing on warm weather blouses anyway. So, I made up an interestingly shaped cuff for the short sleeves. Can you see that it has an angled edge like the collar? Both ends of the cuff are pointed the same. I stitched 2 matching buttons on either side of the cuff ends rather than overlapping them. It makes them stand out. Okay, a bit of a lump when worn under a cardy, but if someone wants to know about it, I can take said cardy off and show off the cuff design!

I really like it! (Oh, yeah. I said that.) I wore it on Sunday since the October temps have been a bit warmer than they usually are. I usually tuck blouses in with a skirt, but left it out for the photo to show the length.
It has quite a bit of ease, like yesterday's dress, but as a blouse that works. It will make it a bit cooler to wear in the summer with jeans and blouses nicely at the waist when worn with a skirt.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

and then another dress

This was a princess line dress using the pattern I drafted for this dress some time ago. I made it up for the Fabric Stash contest, but ran out of energy to do the buttons/buttonholes. It was complete soon after though.

I wanted something with a similar fun look. I thought I would improve things, so cut it with a bit more ease. However, it feels a bit too big! (Looking for a 3 bears dress?) But being princess line rather than a sheath dress, there are options for taking it in a bit more at the seam lines...which is where I had cut it larger in the first place.

The other thing I am not happy about is the length. (are we picky or what?!) I will have to see what it is like when I am sitting in it. The dress I linked to above is just a wee bit too short when I sit, so I lengthened this one. But I also added a little more flare to this one as well, so I think that might take care of the problem of riding up when I sit.

Still it is a fun dress, and after I take a couple inches off, it will probably become a favourite as well.

Monday, 20 October 2014

And finally garment photos

The huge bruise from the blood test nearly 3 weeks ago has just about disappeared, so I have managed to get some photos.

This is the blue batik print that I was able to complete to add to the numbers for the Fabric Stash contest.

It is slightly too snug, so I am going to let out the darts a bit. But the camera picks up more wrinkles than you actually see when you look in the mirror.
I think it was hanging up on my slip.
I do love the look and feel of it on, though!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 12-18 October

2014 - Week 42 Daily Beads








Saturday, 18 October 2014

October Journal quilt finished

And it is still October!
This is a continuation of the Around Britain theme of pieces which will eventually go to my son.

Brick Tudor - Developed from a photo I took of one of the buildings in the Windsor Castle environs.

As mentioned the other day, there was a bit of careful cutting and fusing. The windows were drawn on the brick coloured fabric using a grey Triplus Fineliner and a white Gelly Roll pen by Sakura.

The brick sets were machine stitched using an olive thread. I didn't stitch the actual bricks in the sets as I thought it would make it too busy. I did mark the set lines first with pencil to keep the angle right. I appreciated the work done by the builders to use the brick sets en point. It makes a fascinating contrast to the half-timbering.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

October journal quilt

Delicate cutting and careful fusing...
and now to the machine.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

working on October journal

head down and getting things done...

inspiration - this photo I took a few years ago in the environs of Windsor Castle

Also getting the TVCT newsletter out in plenty of time for a change!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

September Journal Quilt

Yesterday I was able to get back to the letter journal quilt I started the other day.

I am calling it S is for Snowdrop. The snowdrop is special to us because it is similar to our surname. I had a snowdrop brooch my MIL gave me one time but I haven't seen it for ages. I have a feeling it came off of my coat one time several years ago.

I was quite surprised at how easy it was to thread paint the flower on the metallic. But possibly it didn't shred because I had fused the silver fabric to another fabric. The difficult thing was that the slight puckering doesn't press out well. Of course the camera picks shows them up a lot more than is visible when you look at it in person.

I used felt again for the wadding. I do like the weight and feel of it, but this acrylic craft felt is a bit hard on needles because it sort of goes 'punch, punch'.

It is not so easy to see, but I stitched white translucent beads onto the middle portion of the S using a light green thread. It helps to bring the colours of the flower over to the Blue letter.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Harvest 2014

Yesterday was our Harvest celebration. I have the pleasure of arranging all the beautiful fruit, veg and breads on the front table.
I think it is wonderful how all the different shades and colours come together and make a glorious display.

Another angle.

The Thoughtful Man got me a new bread machine just over a week ago because mine was struggling. And I could never guess if the bread would work this time or not because it needed more water than the recipe called for.

The new machine is brilliant and has a variety of levels for different types of flour. So, instead of buying breads for the table this year, I made them! Oat Bread, Spelt Bread, 8 Grain Bread, Rye Bread, and French Bread Sticks. They were lovely with the meal afterwards and must have been popular because I shared them out for people to take home. And today have had to make another loaf so the men in my house have something for their lunches.

So, I used the 8 Grain Flour to make the 5 Seed Bread recipe. With a backdrop of the Pumpkins from The Thoughtful Man's allotment. I used some of them in the display.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 5-11 October

2014 - Week 41 Daily Beads





New pumpkin colour beads from the K+S show. Replaces one I wasn't too sure about because it was a bit too much on the pink side of peach. This contrasts a lot better. anyway I have never seen pumpkin colour beads before.




Saturday, 11 October 2014

ALAW - Burnt Letters

Second ALAW set for 2014 e-h
Catching up the Burnt Letters

And the Burnt Letters up close...

I trace the letters onto the fabric using my lightbox. If I did this again, I wouldn't cut all the squares of fabric first because sometimes it gets pretty hot when you are burning a section near the edge. Or perhaps if I centred the letter, there would be less problem, but I am considering doing something in the open spaces.

You have to also take into account that the just burnt section of fabric will be HOT. So when you reposition where you are holding it you have to be careful not to touch the section you just did. It cools fast, but you don't want to touch it straight away.

Friday, 10 October 2014

K+S 2014

On Wednesday I went to the Knitting and Stitching show with my friend. It was a Very Long Day. But worth it. I made some really good connections. And because not everyone had realised the show was to be 5 days this year...Wed-Sun rather than meant you could actually get into some of the stands which are usually packed. I got right into Art Van Go and looked everything. I actually had a full loyalty voucher, so that was good. Also bead stands which are so difficult to get into properly without a lot of "excuse me's", had plenty of room by the time I got to the vendors.

This was just one of my discoveries because there was room to look. Buttons!
Now I don't have to make do for the stripe dress. When I get to it, I can use the large white and large blue buttons for some other things I have in mind.

The galleries were amazing as usual. I got a few photos where you were allowed but some I forgot to take note of the group.

These two from Prism caught my eye.
Celia Stanley

Tansy Blaik-Kelly

And these I can't seem to recall the group or the name of the artist. If you know it, can you let me know and I will add it here?

I loved the draping and the sheen of the silk in this piece. (I think it was silk!)

And the graphics of this one.

Sorry to be so vague about these. By that time I was in quite a lot of pain...and then yesterday had a migraine. So, even in looking through the catalogues, I have lost those memories in a gap someplace in my brain!