Monday, 30 March 2015

Cedar of Lebanon - 3

On Saturday at the Offcuts meeting I finished the stitching on the Cedar of Lebanon. Now it needs to have the soluble stabiliser washed out.
I am pretty happy with this!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

And the bead keeps going on...22-26 March

Week 13 March 2015

Just part of this week. The rest will be shown with the photos of all of March on the 31st.






Friday, 27 March 2015

Henley Art Trail - Heat and the Flames

Right - things are starting to settle.

Today I sent the info for my Heat and the Flame gown/ensemble to Lady Sew and Sew for the Henley Art Trail. When I saw them at Festival of Quilts, I promised them I would enter it this year.

What I also realised is that I never did get good photos when I finished it last year. The ones in the Fashion Sans Frontieres show were very blurry.

So, here they are. I took some with flash and some without and have decided to show both. Different details highlighted with either setting.

Without Flash front

Without Flash back

With Flash front

With Flash back

Interesting to visit it again all this time later. Things you wish you had time to do then no longer matter!

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

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

normal service will resume shortly

Some life and health things going on.

-eyes need updating- requiring a trip to town and a follow-up trip, which I can't do today because I hurt too much from yesterday.

-Finally a letter from the hospital about pain clinic and a letter for GP to try a medicine. Go to Dr surgery to make appointment...oh he has left. GRRRR. Let's see, that is 4 since I was diagnosed. and Dr surgery has no appointments unless I try to beat the queue for the emergency ones. (one dr on holiday, one off sick, all others booked up.)

-emails from family is in hospital...'hurt' his hip last week when he was getting the wood in. took 30min to get from the wood shed to house using shovel as a walking stick. Still getting up and down to clean out ashes, etc. borrowed a wheel chair, etc. Oh diagnosis? Broken and dislocated hip. eek which came first? and which developed over the week of soldiering on?

So, today he is in surgery for hip replacement. Still waiting for some message from family.

So, needless to say, I am not doing too well on the 'getting things accomplished' part of life right now. Will post something when I get something to show!

Dad came through surgery well. Apparently they did a partial hip replacement which he seems to have come through fine as of Wednesday evening.
He had broken off part of the pelvic bone!

What can you do? Somehow you want to say that there are no awards for that type of ‘hero’.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Cedar of Lebanon - 2

Now I am 'colouring in' the branches.

Some stitches at angles from the horizontal stitching. These will be covered with stitch, but will help hold the other stitches in place.

one main branch done

I am quite happy with how this looks! I will do the whole thing and then see if it needs any touching up.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

And the bead keeps going on...15-21 March

Week 12 March 2015








Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cedar of Lebanon - 1

The bad head is gone today! Phew.

Time for a new tree. I haven't decided backgrounds yet. Wait till I have a few and see what they look like.

Starting a Cedar of Lebanon.
The kind we mostly see here in the UK are big and sprawling old trees. But if they grow in a stand of trees, they grow straight and tall.
Which is why they were much sought after in trade with the country of Lebanon in the times of the Ancients. They were used for building houses, palaces, ships and are especially mentioned as being collected by King David of Israel to be used by his son Solomon when he became King to build the Temple in Jerusalem.
We have a book written by a forester about trees mentioned in the Bible and/or which grow in the Middle East. I am enjoying it for the forestry part (I never thought about a forester's viewpoint of ancient manuscripts!) as much as for the images of trees and what they have been used for.

So, here is the quick outline based on the trees in the photo.
It reminds me a bit of the Sequoias and Redwood Trees in the way the branches grow. We have a few Wellingtonia trees around here that look similar.

And here I have done the work on the trunk. Some areas are 'coloured in' outside the line into the branches part.
I will draw the branches over top those sections. It gives some depth. but is mainly functional so that when the water soluble fabric is dissolved, the tree doesn't come apart at the joining of the different sections.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Happy Dance Day!

I have just had wonderful news today. My work submitted for the 6th European Quilt Triennial has been accepted!

I am pretty amazed!

The exhibition starts in September at Textilsammlung Max Berk (Textile Museum in Heidelberg, Germany), then goes to Switzerland and will be at Festival of Quilts in 2016.

I have to keep the reveal till the exhibition, but it is a further development of my Ramshackle Series.

You may recall this experiment with this busy fabric.
And the adventure with obtaining Euros!

I am pretty exited. I have had a very bad head all day, so it has helped me to stay fairly well grounded though.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Beaded Bangle - 14

Another beaded bangle for presents for family.
So I won't be rushing around for gifts to take! I have started another, as well.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Recently I received an invitation to show my Bernina Fashion ensembles again. I will tell you more later because it was really an invitation to enter them. So, I won't know if they want them till a later date.

Anyway, the other day Kathy Loomis did a bit of a rant on filling out entry forms. Tonight I feel like joining her! Phew!

It is a good thing I saved just about everything about the gowns from the initial designs to the documents with descriptions and everything. It has taken me hours and hours to enter the 2. This includes resizing photos and many other nitty gritty things.
How would it be for those who had taken part for years? You can submit up to 9 ensembles. They must need days! Oh yeah, but it is online, so you have to be able to have all those details to hand for every single one.

So, while I have the photos to hand, you may as well see one from each. I will show you more if they are accepted.

The Epic Quest of the Last Dragoness - 2007

Midnight Dance by Moonlight - 2008

Sunday, 15 March 2015

And the bead keeps going on...8-14 March

Week 11 March 2015








Friday, 13 March 2015

JQ 2015 - Cypress 5 and some fitting

Other things going on lately. Also, I am not sure about the backgrounds for these trees.

Here is the thinking...
-I want to work on this free machining on water soluble, looking at a different tree for each one.
-I don't really want to get bogged down trying to create the 'perfect' background. For instance, the type of terrain in which you would find such a tree.
-I may consider putting them all together at the end.

So, with those thoughts in mind, here are some possibilities.

The same background for each or 2 backgrounds but alternating for each.

And here are 2 fabrics I am looking at.

The tree is just laid on the fabric folded up to approximate size.

I am leaning toward the plaid because not all of the trees will be of colours that would go with the stripe as well as this tree does.

So, while I have been considering this, I have been altering A Certain Young Man's shirts. He does weight training and so now has to buy shirts in a larger size...which of course are designed for the larger man to have a beer belly or a few spare tyres including the lower back. Whereas A Certain Young Man has a six pack, but a slim lower back. I guess you'd think swimmer's shoulders and torso. So there are wadges of fabric to tuck in, especially in the back.
Of course each shirt was designed different, so they needed different solutions. I think I have managed to do them to suit his high standards. But no photos. He wasn't too keen on the idea of back darts. (sometimes called fisheye or double-ended darts) But I showed him how the fabric would hang from his shoulders and that if you took it all in at the side (about 7cm on each side!), it pulls it all out of shape. So, we went with that on one of them...actually 7cm was far too much to take out, especially on a stripe fabric. So, I had to actually make 2 of those darts on each side at the back. I divided the amount between them.
The reason they had to be fisheye/double-ended darts is that, unlike your swimmer type, he also has built up gluteal muscles. So, he needed a good amount of the width of the shirt below the tucked in area.
So, he is off to some event in London for uni tomorrow and Sunday, and I should get some feedback after that.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

JQ 2015 - Cypress 4

Here is the Cypress trimmed...

and here it is with the soluble dissolved. The stray threads need trimming. It is laying on a scrap of old towel which I used to blot the water from it.

The barely noticeable difference is that the trunk is ever-so-slightly wider. (Which is okay in an artistic way. If I were being more of a forestry expert, I would trim the trunk to be narrower.)

So, the laid down threads with the loose zigzags over it worked in a similar way to what you do when you stitch seams on knits with a zigzag means that the fabric can still be stretched when it needs to be. In this case, the zigzags have allowed the first layer of threads to relax rather than stay tightly together.

This may seem like tedious over thinking. But it helps me to write it down because then I think about what happened. And so, I can reproduce it again in the future if needed. Or if I do something where I don't want this result, I can think about how I would do it differently.

Looking back at the last photo, the faded patterns from the old towel are interesting in that they give a hint of a landscape. I had been wondering how to approach the actual quilt part; but this gives me ideas!
Another thing I like is that the tree has retained a bit of texture from being rolled and squished in the towel. I didn't block it, just left it to dry that way because I forgot the blocking part when I went off to do something else. Somehow it gives a more lifelike effect. So, I think I will keep it that way rather than pressing it flat.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

JQ 2015 - Cypress 3

I finally got back to the Cypress.
I needed to do the trunk. After I attached a bit more of the water soluble fabric so I could hold it in the hoop, I started stitching with 2 threads on top, initially going up and down. There was a rust coloured cotton thread in the bottom.

I was a bit confused when at first the threads looked like they were being couched down. This is a technique which you can intentionally do by playing with the tensions, but this was not intended.

As far as I could tell, the tensions were fine. Ahh but look...

Only one of the threads was going through the first thread guide - which does aid the tension. So, I decided to carry on with a layer of threads and build up the texture of the threads in stages.

After the threads were 'couched down'. I put that free thread back into the thread guide. One thing I was concerned about for this trunk was that it might fall apart when the soluble fabric was dissolved. So on one edge, I tried a subtle amount of zigging back and forth...still free machining on the straight stitch setting.

I thought it worked and didn't upset the look of a properly grown trunk. So I carried on. I was able to go over some of the grey areas of the thread so it didn't look striped. I was using another thread from Thread Studio, but it only has a number, not a name on it.
I 'scribbled' a bit overlapping the place where the trunk met the top part. I didn't want to have the two separate after all the effort of keeping them together.
And here is the completed trunk.

The next step is trimming and dissolving the soluble fabric.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Funny Sunny House

I showed you the start of this piece the other day.
Today I was able to get on with the stitching and finishing off.

Title of Work: 'Funny Sunny House'
Statement: Part of my Ramshackled Houses series. This piece explores how the colour of fabrics affect the mood: Bright and Cheerful.

As I said, the full size is 6inx8in. They will be matted, so the actual visual area is in the centre.
The next step is to print off the details and get it posted.

Well, I hope it does well at the Conference auction. At the very least, someone can hang it in their loo!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

And the bead keeps going on...1-7 March

Week 10 March 2015

Back to the beaded booklets. Blue this time.
I decided that rather than putting black beads in patterns on the pages (Which added more to the time of making than you'd think), just to have a sequin topped with a bead.