Friday, 28 February 2014

And so it is Done!

Sorry about going incommunicado over here. I was working furiously on this (including the day I was trying to work through a bit of too much pain). Also, I am managing the New To Me Pattern Company Contest over on Pattern Review. So that is taking some time. However, I didn't want to post step by step development photos because someone I know is the Juror. I don't know if she reads this blog, but I didn't want her to be influenced for or against by seeing things here.

So, I will still just give another peek for now, and then when I hear about it later in March, I will show the whole thing.

That is what I showed you the other day, now part of the work. Guesses?

And although I feel like doing something random because I got it in before the deadline (okay. a few hours before the deadline) I might actually make a sleeve and put it on! Then I won't be doing it last minute if it is accepted or if I am sending it off to the Festival of Quilts.

Another reason why this is rather exciting. It means I have managed to keep up with my goals for this month!

Monday, 24 February 2014

sneak peak at what I am working on

Part of work I am making with the hope of entering for a SAQA exhibition. Deadline is this week.

But back-up plan? for Festival of Quilts.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 16-22 Feb

2014 - Week 8 Daily Beads

wee beaded fabric packets continued








Are we bored of yellow yet? hmmm.
I think the problem is that the differences are so subtle. So for future contrast colours, perhaps I will change shades and tints of the base fabric as well.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ivy Fence with Ball

The Fence and Ball Piece I worked on the other week has been posted on the Unfini-sheds site.

Scroll down and you will see it - the 8th one down. You can see some of the other work that has been donated. There are a few more works which can be seen if you go to the button on the header which says From Abroad.

They are also going to be raising money at the Festival of Quilts with the Tombola. They are collecting items made with a heart theme. Check it out if you are interested in helping.

CQ Banner Letters - L

This is the final letter I am sending off to be used in one of the new Contemporary Quilt Banners. These all are made in different ways because they will be samples of the wide variety of techniques Contemporary Quilters use.

I had thought to only send 3 letters and get back to the current project I am meant to be focussing on. However, when I realised that with just one more letter - an L, I would have the word 'Only'. I decided why not?

So, I had some white and black spotty fabric. They were bought with the idea of seeing how they would look using the technique I used for the Ramshackle houses. So, I thought okay, here is a chance to try it out on a small scale and see how it looks.

This is an L.

Slightly fiddley, but interesting.

and whilst doing it, I realised the technique would work for something else I am thinking about. So, I am glad I made the extra letter.

I stitched the letter to the black fabric using the blind hem stitch pattern on my machine. I often use that for stitching down applique, but usually at a smaller size. This time I wanted to give a little bit of a scallop look to the edge which sort of echoes the curves in the design.

I have enjoyed the exercise of making these letters. Maybe an idea for a weekly project in the future? You could do upper and lower case letters and it would take you through the year.

Like I need another project!

Friday, 21 February 2014

CQ Banner Letters - Y

Another letter I am sending off with the possibility of it being used in one of the new Contemporary Quilt banners.

This is Y.

I found a sample from when I was showing how to enhance printed fabrics with free machine embroidery. The spaces I had filled almost looked like a T, so I filled in a few more of the spaces.

But when I cut it out, I realised it looked more like a Y. So I trimmed it up to be a Y and stitched it onto the black using another programmed machine stitch. I don't recall using this one before. I quite like it because it gives a fine looping pattern which helps to blend an edge into the background.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

CQ Banner Letters - O

Another letter for the CQ Banner. They are making more than one, so they need a variety to mix around showing different techniques.

This is O.

Made from a stitch on metal sample which I had doodled in a class. (The centre part) It sort of lent itself to be turned into an O. I stitched it onto felt with a free motion doodle. This way the rough back will have a buffer so it won't harm any other part of the banner.
The metal was from a drinks tin that had been heat annealed with a blow torch to get the caramel colour.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

CQ banner letters - N

The Contemporary Quilt group has decided to make new banners. So a call has gone out for letters within certain parameters and on Black fabric which will then all be cut out and stitched onto the banner black fabric. They want them to be all different sorts of techniques.

So, I dug around in samples I had made from teaching and decided what letter they could be turned into. I will show them through the next few days.

This is N.
Using fused paper - numbers from the phonebook which had walnut ink colours sprayed on them. Stitched down with a machine buttonhole stitch.

TVCT - a bit of extra publicity

Not sure how many of you click on the links of the Featured Blogs in the side bar?

Anyway, Lyric Kinard has been doing a series of blog posts about the different types of venues where you can show your work. I made a comment on her post about showing work in museums mentioning the experience the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles group had when we were involved with the Slough Museum in making work inspired by the artefacts in the museum.

Two views of my piece 'Destricted'
which was in the 'Whatever Floats' exhibition at Slough Museum in 2011.

So, Lyric asked if she could do a blog post about it. If you haven't seen it, go and have a look. Lyric is a well-known American Quilt artist, teacher and author.

Somehow you can follow this link to the blog, but the link in the side bar will only go to the website. When you get there, you have to click blog to see the new posts. It is worth scrolling down to see what else she has said about showing work.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Postcards 35

Another postcard for my family member.

Another dog shaped scrap. So this is a 'Woof' from Holly to Patch, her dog.

Monday, 17 February 2014

refashioned t-shirts

I haven't had a chance to refashion much lately because of some of the other things I have been doing. I got a reminder from Re-fashion Co-Op. So it was time for jumping into a project and not second guessing myself like I usually do...and end up putting it off. or hanging round my studio waiting for me to get the confidence.

A Certain Young Man left a bag full of clothes he didn't want, but couldn't bear to throw out himself. Some of the things were mostly okay, but with the odd tear or stain.

These 2 looked like they would make a comfy skirt for just throwing on in the summer to wear round the house. or even to the shop and not be embarrassed.

So I cut them out using my gored flared skirt. I used the T-shirt hems for the skirt hems. I also cut the pattern adding extra on the sides because I wanted it a bit more flowing.

Then when I pinned the bits together, I adjusted the pinning to lay nicely so the seam didn't pucker or bag.

I tried it on and took in the different seams at the top a bit more because the t-shirt jersey is stretchy and my pattern is for woven. I could have cut it smaller to start with. But I didn't know how much stretch I would be dealing with.

Once I got it fitting nicely at the waist to hip area, but leaving room to get it on and off, I stitched it to a wide elastic. I had already cut the elastic to a length that was comfortable but would hold the skirt in place.

When I was working with it, I forgot there was a stain on the inside hem area of the piece I had cut for the back panel. You couldn't see it from the outside of the skirt, but I didn't want it to inadvertently show. So, I just added a bit of the contrast shirt in a similar way to some of what I have seen in ready to wear - often on sleeve hems.

and voila.



and it is comfy!

I doubt it will be worn with a pink top but that's what I had on under all my keeping warm layers.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 9-15 Feb

2014 - Week 7 Daily Beads

more of the wee beaded fabric packets








This link will take you to the photo showing actual size.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

'Ivy Fence with Ball' - and Unfini-shed

A while back I did a series of black and white journal quilts which travelled with the Grosvenor shows last year.

When I started trying to make them, I made this 'not black and white' Ivy fence piece.
'Not black and white' because it was too pale and I overdid the 'colour it in a bit'. You can read about it here.

So, fast forward to this year. I was contacted by the Co-ordinator for Region 2 (of the Quilt Guild). They are running the fundraiser for the Guild at the Festival of Quilts this year. People are making heart shaped things to be won at the tombola.
Someone had a great idea of asking well-known UK quilters to donate an A4 piece with unfinished edges which will be matted and sold for £25 to raise even more money. They are calling them Unfini-sheds - because they hope to raise shed loads of money with them! Would I be willing to participate?

Why yes! (especially if suddenly I am a well-known UK quilter!). So, what to make? It doesn't need to be there til end of July, but I thought if I slotted it in now, I wouldn't be fretting about it when I am making all the other stuff I have in my head.

And so, I came across the 'not black and white' piece. Which from here on out will be called Ivy Fence *_____ _____* Blanks will be filled in a minute.

Even though this became a Work in Progress all that time ago, I had actually taken a few more steps for an idea. I took a couple of Pepper's old balls and took a photo of them in a spot that this piece sort of represented in my head.

I settled on the photo with the blue ball. (fill in the blanks above).

So, I found a bit of fabric which had the start of the shade and light amongst the mottled marks.
I fussy cut the ball from the fabric. and after sometime of working into it with coloured pencils, I was very chuffed to find I had managed to make a ball that looks like a ball!

So I fused it to felt and then stitched the felt to the background invisibly. I stitched down the shadow, but I didn't feel like it wanted the edge of the ball stitched down. I like the way it stands out from the background. I got confirmation from my friend who is often my consultant. She thought it would be fine, too.

And then decided the background wanted even more colouring in. So a couple more hours working into it with coloured pencils and Triplus Fineliner felt tip markers.

So, in theory we are meant to send it unfinished. but I thought I needed to tame the threads round the edge. So I made one pass with a satin stitch. and a bit more colouring in.
Actually, when you think of the 'not-stitched-down-round-the-edge' ball.... If who ever purchases it really thinks it wants stitching down, then they can as part of 'finishing' it!
'Ivy Fence with Ball'

Another detail in the instructions had said to send something that would be recognised as yours. Well, I am not sure whether this is 'recognisable' or not. But I am happy with anyone thinking it is mine.

You can see more of the Unfini-sheds on their website.
I hope to get it in the post today.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Sketchbook Project

I got word that my sketchbook will be part of the whole 2014 tour to Canada and America not just the Northeast of America.

You can see when and where the sketchbooks are going here.

You can see what my sketchbook for 2014 looks like if you scroll down through these images.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

February Journal Quilt - Welsh Ruins

I posted about the initial work on this scene the other day. As you can see it works well for a rainy day in just about any ruins in the UK!

After the blocking was done, I trimmed things a bit and added wadding and a backing. I discovered that in order to quilt it and not ruin the look of the embroidery, I had to work into the stitching with similar thread. So, a bit more free machine embroidery works as the quilting.

For the line which needs to go from one side to another, I hand stitched a line along at the bottom, slightly extending the 'ground'. And so we have the February Journal quilt complete...

before the end of Feb!

After all that time not being happy with this, I am glad I have reclaimed it. I really like it. I shall tell a Certain Young Man that I have first refusal if he doesn't want it.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

January Journal Quilt - Brit Rail

So, the January - just caught up - Journal Quilt is a simple one. I used the symbol for British Rail, but added phrases* along the arrows with silver pen. Basically I fused the red fabric, traced the arrows and cut them out, then mounted it onto white fabric.

In order to have a line going from one side to another, I extended the symbolised 'tracks' with silver. Then when I quilted it, I used silver thread over the tracks.

I decided that echo quilting would add the sense of movement.

I still have the counter-change red arrow symbol I cut out. So, it may show up somewhere. When I was researching, I saw that some of the signs are white with red.

Phrases/Slogans written are:
"We're getting there." "Let the train take the strain." 'Leaves on the line.' and 'The train standing at platform 2...'

You can't see the words till you catch a glint of the silver and then go close to look.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

blocking and reworking

I came across this piece of machine embroidery I did some time ago. It was nearly the 8x8in size for the CQ Journal Quilts this year.
Damp stretching/blocking the embroidery

Originally I had been disappointed that the paper soluble I used to guide the embroidery didn't dissolve in the places where the stitching was thick. The linen was tea dyed before the stitching, so I used a damp spent tea bag to darken the paper bits. But then the whole piece became much more dark than I liked. And so I had to work into it more. But it was still more of a very rainy day in a ruin.

So, it sat in a drawer.

When I saw it this time, all that trial was no longer filtering my vision, and I thought if I give it a bit of a hand wash, it might lighten it a bit. It did!

Furthermore, the theme I am using this year is to make pieces to continue the set of 6 I had in the CQ Celebrating Diversity entry. I gave those to a Certain Young man at Christmas to remind him of Britain while is out in the world. If I add 12 more, then he will have a good collection which he can arrange as he likes.

So, the idea of a rainy day in an abbey ruin will be a good reminder of the places just like this we have visited while on holiday over the years.

There will be a little space round the edges, so it will be a bit more like a painting or sketch. The only thing is to work out a way to have a line going from one edge to the other. Any direction and shape of line. I have an idea.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 1-8 Feb

2014 - Week 6 Daily Beads

I mentioned last week that I was going to put the bead for 1 Feb up this week rather than post it on its own with the summing up of January.

I showed you the trialling and design development of these. Here is a photo with the seam gauge so you can get an idea of the size.

To be honest, this is a bit small! But I thought 1 inch squares of fabric would be good and had already cut them from this fabric...and I only had just a little more of the fabric anyway. So, I stuck with it.

However, here is the plan for fabric beads this year. (The rest I will cut as 1 1/2 inch squares as I do want them somewhat small.) The little fabric packets will be on alternate months like last year. So, I am going to work with complementary colours - various tints and shades of beads onto the fabric colour for the month. The fabric colour will probably be the same tint/shade through the month.

Later in the month I will show you how they are made...basically the 1 inch square piece of fabric folded up into a packet that hides all the raw edges. And besides the beading on the edge, there are 3 small 'stacks' with sequins on either side of the little packet.

So, without further ado.









The constant beads are the opaque yellow and the dark pink size 15 seed bead which tops the stack. They are done in sets, the bead for the day counterchanged with the opaque yellow on the edge, but in the same order in the stack.

This close you can see that the other bead does change every other day. But from a distance they actually pretty much look the same. This is a good trick for keeping interest in your work. When these little beaded fabric packets are used for embellishing something else, they will all go together, but they will have more interest because they aren't all exactly the same.

I used this same idea with the embellishment on the coat for 'Midnight Dance by Moonlight'. On the skirt, each moonbeam looks similar, but up close they are made up of a different set of beads for each moonbeam.

Detail showing two of the beaded moonbeam patterns on the lower part of the coat.
Some of the other beaded parts of the coat and gown can be seen here.