Monday, 31 August 2015

desk changes

A Certain Young Man has been making changes in his bedroom and in the guest bedroom, which is now more like his office.

And so, because I benefit from the changes, The Thoughtful Man has been busy changing my computer corner, whilst I got on with the next project.

The old desk hadn't much space that you could actually sit into.

But now I can sit straight - not twisted. When I get my bits and pieces back in place, they won't be encroaching on my working area.
There are shelves underneath as well, so some things I can put under there.

So, maybe less back problems? Who knows!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

And the bead keeps going on...23-29 August

Week 35 - Aug 2015








Saturday, 29 August 2015

Stitch on It 1-7

I mentioned at the end of July that I have decided to take part in Take a Stitch Tuesday from Sharon Boggon's blog. I am still working on my Slow Cloth, but I wanted to take up the challenge to do something more with a stich if you are already good with embroidery.

At the beginning of the year, I put a list of things I would like to try to do this year. Stitching on paper was one of them. I have had a bright yellow and a bright blue handmade set of papers in a container looking at me for some time, so I chopped them up into 3in squares. The first attempt showed me I needed to back it with something, so I also chopped up a bit of old curtain lining. Besides being support, it also helps with the knots or ending and finishing threads.

So, I said I was doing Sharon's TAST. But she had already started. So, I am showing the caught up pieces, too. The colours may not always alternate. This is because I couldn't work out why running stitch and chain stitch weren't first, so I have been doing those, too, this month. and then I discovered they come later. ;-) Which is useful because I can have a bit of time in this coming month for focusing on some of the other things I need to do.

As you can tell, I am not posting every Tuesday, but once a month. Not sure yet if doing it on the last Saturday is going to be the default. But we will see.

So, without further ado.

Stitch on It

Fly Stitch

Buttonhole Stitch

Feather Stitch

Cretan Stitch

Herringbone Stitch

Chevron Stitch

Detached Chain Stitch

Because this is a bit of an experiment about what I can do with free stitching on paper, not everything comes out like a show piece! But that is what sampling is about.

Friday, 28 August 2015

What dogs do...

...or at least this one.

Does this help her very little brain?

Or not?

Holly sure doesn't like fussed, though when she is trying to sleep.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Chopping and Changing

Before I get tucked into this next project, I have taken a few days to sort out changes with some of my summer things.

This blouse fits, but with the horizontal pleats, it is far too snug on my arm. The pleats didn't actually show much because they lined up so well with the plaid.
So, I unpicked the top pleat and cut it off just below the folds. I was concerned it would still be a bit snug, so I had a good think.
chopped off bit to the left - mini godet on the sleeve above right.

I made a little godet just at the centre of the hem on the outside of the arm using a section of one of the chopped off bits. So, still a little detail, but easier to move my arms!

Another problem:
This dress never seemed to be the right thing for the current weather. Too hot in summer with the long sleeves and too cool in the spring because it is rayon/linen mix and very light weight. I never ended up choosing it, or if I did, I regretted it!

So, I chopped off the sleeves. Already better.

As I thought, I can fit my cap sleeve pattern on the length!

And so here we are.

The difference in the way the grain lies is not a problem because it is cap sleeve anyway, so is only required to cover the top of the arm.

So, guess what else is getting that treatment?
I have never actually worn this yet!

Other things I have been sorting include taking shaping darts out of some of my summer blouses.

Including recutting sleeves for this. As for the other blouse, the decorative bit has meant the sleeves are now too snug.
But instead of doing changes like the blouse sleeves above, I have leftover fabric, so I can recut a cap sleeve.
I do hate that I have gained weight with this health thing, but I may as well do something to get some clothes I am not ashamed to wear again!

Who knows, maybe next year I will have to do this all again because I am back to the original weight for when I made it? But at least when it comes summer again, I won't have to try to find clothes to fit.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Running man

One (among many things this spring and summer!) of the delays on this piece was that I was not quite happy with the selection of browns I had to choose from. I wanted to cut a silhouette of a running Abebe Bikila to place on the larger green piece. I thought brown would help to reference the "1st African Gold Medal winner" part of things.

Lighter brown/tan would be more like the natural skin of an Ethiopian.* And was almost but not quite the colour of the lion. But it was too pale and insignificant against the bright colours of the rest of the piece. Very dark brown was not good either. So, the option was a slightly reddish brown. I hadn't much of it, but I thought I could manage to cut the figure from it.

When I was at the Festival of Quilts, I saw that Doughty's had a wide range of solid colours for good prices. It wasn't just about green - which I also was looking for - or brown, but which green or brown! And then a reddish brown kept catching my eye.

Wow. just right.
Okay, not very obviously reddish here.
But, it is more of a darker shade of the brown of the lion. And, more crucially, if you look close in the pattern of the background, you can see it is just the right colour of brown as in the background.

The selection of browns.
Two dark browns, the tan brown, the first reddish brown and then on the right, the just right brown!

So, the running man was duly cut from fused fabric using my freezer paper template.

And here is the finished top.

Now this will go on hold to finish the sandwich and quilting later in the autumn. (Because the Stretching Art Exhibition will be at a different show in the spring.)

I am thinking that when it is done with the exhibition, I might give it to my friend who works in Ethiopia. She can hang it in the school to urge on future Ethiopian long distance runners! Which is one of the reasons why this particular event in 1960 stood out for me. Already, one of the blind girls at the children's village has been scouted for a runner in the Ethiopian Paralympics and Ethiopian Athletics have begun training her!

Basically, I could finish this piece now, but I need to get on with the next project that has been pushed back. In theory, it should go quickly because it is a technique I use a lot, but you never know till you get started.

Unfortunately, I can't show it for a quite a long time yet. If it works and fits the plan, it may be in a book!

*Did you know there is a creation fable in some parts of Ethiopia to explain their skin colour? Or so I read in a National Geographic Magazine some time ago. It is said that when God made people, the first batch came out not done enough, so He threw them to the North. The second batch was done too much and He threw them to the South. The third batch was just right and they became Ethiopians!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

getting the angles right

I mentioned how difficult it was to align things because the print fabric in the background was printed on fabric which was not taut or was pulled out of alignment. This was also causing difficulty in placement of the pieces.

I was looking for a poster-like feel to the layout. But because of the width of my table, I had to do everything sideways. I wanted to be sure the angles of the pieces were similar...usually I just eyeball it. But it was so difficult to be sure with all those conditions.

So, I got a few of the rulers and things out that I bought when I first dipped my toe into pattern drafting. I have never used them since as they were not what was needed!

I decided the large piece would be my starting point. I am not sure how mathematical people work these things out, but I used the protractor and the set square in a 'magical' configuration, and then went with that for the rest!

I think it is 80/100 degrees, but who knows?

After everything was more or less sorted, I pinned them down. For overstitching the raw edge, I chose to use a pattern on my machine which I felt worked with the pattern in the background fabric.

And so to the running man tomorrow.

Monday, 24 August 2015

back to the Ethiopian

Before I went to Festival of Quilts, I got the piece about Abebe Bikila to the layout stage. As you may know Abebe Bikila was the first African to win an Olympic gold. He ran the marathon barefoot, due to lack of proper footwear, and still won.
Here is a part of the layout. The Ethiopian flag is the one used at the time of the Olympics in 1960.
The biggest problem was that the printed panels were printed awkwardly, so distance from edges fluctuated widely!

I need to process a few more photos to show some of the steps for putting the piece together. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

And the bead keeps going on...16-22 August

Week 34 - Aug 2015








Saturday, 22 August 2015

More at FoQ

I have been busy sorting and refreshing thoughts and ideas for a new start in the Autumn. So, I am very weary, but won't have so much clutter to work round.
In the meanwhile, you get more of my items of interest from FOQ. I didn't get much look at the competition quilts...I meant to do so on the Sunday, but then that was busy with other things.

But many others have shown their highlights of the Festival of Quilts, so I am pretty much focusing on the Quilts Creations section because I do like to see what is there. In the past I have entered work in that category, but the past few years when I did gowns for the show, I just didn't have time for another wearable art along with the textile art I have been doing.

These two garments in particular were the ones that I thought were amazing.

The Czarina by Kathy Knapp.

Once Upon a Time by Karen Frost. This was hard to get photos of because all the little princesses there with their mum's and grandma's were examining the detail!

I took a photo of Karen's explanation about her inspiration and how she incorporated items into the work.
You should be able to enlarge that image to read it better. Enlarge the sleeve detail image below and see if you can spot the pumpkin and the mice!

Wow! Wouldn't you like to meet the Princess and Czarina who would wear these?
I should have mentioned that this work was awarded 'Highly Commended'. Quite right, too!