Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ramshackle Tower finish!

So today I got on with the finishing of the Ramshackle Tower.

I quilted the sky by using a twin needle to draw 'night breezes' across the sky.

I had found, as with the crayons, that I didn't have enough of the right kind of brown to be the binding. I even auditioned a different colourway of the print I used for the tower. I had a dark brown print. But it seemed to take away the focus on the tower.
And then when I was getting design advice from my friend Pat, we decided the back of the print would work.

So, this afternoon I was carefully cutting and sewing binding. and then had started stitching it on. I like to try to get the leading edge to line up with something happening at the bottom centre of a piece if I can. Then when I get round to the finish, it makes a nice join that kind of blends with the path or whatever it might be.
So, I carefully lined it up and sewed to the corner. (I thought I had photos of this part.) just as I was about to make the mitred corner...I realised the print was on the outside.

So, back to the unpicker and resewing the joining seams on the binding.
double binding first pass sewn.
When this is turned to the backside, the join will be directly under the right side of the path.

and the rest was pretty easy. Until...

I set up a photo shoot in a different location - over the door - because this is much longer than most of my pieces and I needed a clear sight for the length of it. Hoping no one would come in. I got to the point where I was sorting the photo to get ready to submit it and I spotted a problem.

Do you see? I never did get that trunk on the tree!

So, I deleted the photos, put a trunk on - fused and stitched, coloured it in with the raw umber and got back to photographs. This time set up on my tall mirrored wardrobe so I didn't have to worry about 2 men and a dog coming to see if I was doing anything about dinner!

And the result you see at the top of this post.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ramshackle Tower quilting

Today I have been quilting the tower. I still need to do the dark sky.

I really like how the horizontal quilting has given texture and 'reality' to the structure.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Still Life - in the news

Some time back I told you about the Still Life pieces that are to be part of Golden Key Senior Center in Maine in America.

This article was posted in the Lincoln News last week.
Photo: Kathy McIntyre

Here is a photo of the founders of the centre and me when I presented the quilts.
photo: Linda Campbell

And a reminder of the pieces.
Still Life: Feel the Beat and Still Life: Moving On

Sunday, 27 September 2015

And the bead keeps going on...20-26 Sept

Week 39 - September 2015








Saturday, 26 September 2015

Something on Saturday

Today I am off to do a talk to the North Downs Lace group.

I will be showing my gowns and talking about them. But I thought that lace people like to do fiddly things, so they might be interested in my bead project.

However, some are so small, they might get lost. So, I have been threading them by months to keep them together.
All the little packages of beaded bits.

and some which have been strung. Some of them look good as 'necklaces'!

I am not a making beaded necklaces person, but who knows, this might help me get to the point where I can begin to use them.

Friday, 25 September 2015

More on the Ramshackle Tower

So, I was thinking, that since the tower is now in darkness, that the ground should be a bit darker. So, why not try the crayon trick that worked for the bigger piece?

Do you realise that it is Very hard to find a Very Dark brown crayon? Or at least the ones I can find are all a bit red. Except raw umber.
So I tried it out. not too bad, though on this piece it seems a bit green.

And I carried on and did the big bush and the tree. and wished I hadn't because it is too much like colouring in. I can make this work. But this has answered the question about using colours.
The windows are cut in the extra arms.

Now I am trying to find the right brown which is not reddish and which will make a go-between for the dark brown background and the raw umber colouring! and of which I have enough for binding. and not ordering any online in case money is spent on 'not quite right'.

I may do a test to see what happens when I take the iron to the coloured in bits.(with paper over it to soak up the wax) Just in case I can knock back the greenish brown.

Re-engineering something you already did is not the 'funnest' thing in the world.

But I am on pause til next week because I am giving a talk to a group tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ramshackle redo progress

I mentioned the other day that I am redoing a Ramshackled piece.

I have added a few more arms. Up and down pinning and checking placement.

Now I need to add windows to the arms. and a trunk for the floating tree!

Margaret Cooter made a suggestion the other day about the windows. I didn't want to start implying the actual people living inside. I am trying to have the houses in the Ramshackle series be the ones with the character. But I did realise the windows were a bit too big and open.

So, I have added shade-like bits at the tops of the windows, which I think fills the need that was lacking. The additions are all still held in place by pins, so when you have a look, keep that in mind.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Beaded Bangle - 15

It has been a while since I did a beaded bangle. I was gearing up to take some as presents to America, but then this happened.

All the beads I was using for one of the bangles dumped out in the lounge - some caught on this book with a furry cover. So, even though I collected them, it took a while to want to work on them!
And then when I was starting to think about finishing that one, my brother became ill and died. So, no time.

And fast forward to now. The other day I read somewhere that it was 100 days til the big C. (Too early to talk about it!) So I thought this was a good time to fit in finishing this one.

And here is no. 15 finished.
I have also sorted out the beads to do the next one which will be pinkish.

Monday, 21 September 2015 sequins

So this month the daily bead has been using orange sequins for the little bits in the centre of the 'booklet pages'. I didn't have a great deal of these but I thought I had enough for the month.

Oh, but only enough for 4 more days.

So, what to do?
I didn't think any of the options in my sequins case would work. Either too red or too big or too something else.
So, I looked at sequins online. Well. not too expensive. One place online said around £1 for a pack of 250 or so. But I don't normally use orange - at all. So, just for 6 x 12 sequins...not worth it. Especially as they need you to buy at least £5 worth of goods. Okay, I can easily buy £5 worth of sequins! But at the moment, I do not need to start building up my sequin collection! I might buy a pack of orange sequins at some future date at a show if I see them.

New thought, what about punching holes in an orange bag?

Orange bag with holes

holes punched

oh...just a bit too big.

so stack them on a needle to trim them.

but when separated, they still were just a bit too 'not right'. (Besides having jagged edges!)
So, a bit more digging. probably a gold one is nearer.
I have settled on the lighter gold ones to the left. The photo seems to show the ones to the right look closer, but in real life, the others are closer and not as thick.

So, if I have done my sums right, I will combine the light gold sequins and the rest of the orange ones. I think I can do one orange one on every 'page spread'.

Watch this space for next Sunday to see if it worked.

But I haven't thrown away the punched holes. You never know...
and the mind races furiously into the future with ideas for using holes punched from plastic bags! I will get a sharper punch though!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

And the bead keeps going on...13-19 Sept

Week 38 - September 2015








Saturday, 19 September 2015

Something on Saturday - 95 years!

I mentioned the other day that we went to York last week. It was my Mother-in-Law's 95th birthday.

A bit more frail than she would like, but still keeping up with the banter that happens when the Snowdens are together.

The carers at the home love her...she can give as good as she gets. They went to a great deal of effort to get Scottish serviettes, a thistle in with the roses and other things to commemorate the great day. They set it all up in a little room for us to use on our own.

What a lovely day with a special person. Happy Birthday Mum!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Redoing a Ramshackle piece

A while ago I tried out an idea from my sketchbook for a ramshackle tower.

I was not very happy with it, compounded by the fact I hadn't enough of the brown fabric layer to do a dark binding like I normally do. and only just enough to cobble together enough of the print fabric to make a binding with a flat piping of the brown.
And then all that kerfuffle meant I ran out of time for any major quilting, so I just went round all the edges of things.

So, the piece went off to a competition, and of course didn't rate too highly there. So, it has been 'in the naughty corner' hanging behind something that did work and something that I am part done with but is still in the 'thinking about it before I commit fully' stage.

And now a call for entry has come up called Structures. The size they want is the exact size this is!

In the meantime, I came across the in-progress photos I took at the time and realised this stage was a good one.
I haven't done a night time version of a Ramshackled!

So, the past several days I have been unpicking.

and unpicking and so on.
I am glad I didn't have more quilting to unpick. My eyes have gone a bit fuzzy trying to see the small machine stitches!

I finally have it back to that point and am looking at it while I consider whether it wants a few more arms or something.
I will have to work out the chimneys and the wind/clouds, too. But if it is going to be night time maybe crayons will come into it for darkening the front garden and tree a bit.

Watch this space.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Ramshackle Villages: a few details

Here are a few of the work in progress photos for Ramshackle Villages - currently at the Textilsammlung Max Berk/Kurpfälzisches Museum in Heidelberg from 13 September 2015 to 10 January 2016.

Complete work
After the Exhibition at the Textilsammlung Max Berk/Kurpfälzisches Museum, the work from the exhibition will be at the Kreismuseum Zons (24 January to 28 March 2016), in the Textile Museum St. Gallen / Switzerland (13 April to 26 June 2016) and at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham/UK (11 to 14 August 2016). It is possible that they may take the exhibition to other venues.

cutting out houses

keeping the houses safely in order

waterhouses cutting started

more water

and a detail after all the stitching on the whole piece

some of the issue with the busy print meant that my normal lines were too thin

especially for the houses further up the hill - they just blended in
I cut the lines bigger which helped. But still was not happy and I was days from sending in the entry form.
Then my friend Jane Glennie visited for something and suggested a wash of dilute acrylic paint. okay...I have seen that done, but never having done that, I really didn't want to try it out here! But as we chatted, I thought. Crayons...white crayon!

So, I did a little test with grey and white and decided on white.
Then I got to work on covering the hillside with white crayon, working into it to get good coverage.
Then I stepped back and saw...a snow covered hillside.
Oh. Not quite what I wanted, but I will reserve that thought for a future snow covered hillside.
detail of a sample piece I had to send with the entry form
I took a bit of cloth and scrubbed back the white. This was much better. The hillside is hillside. The sky is sky. and the houses on the skyline are fading into the distance. Phew.
You can see another glimpse of the different in the close-up photos of the waterhouses above.

The issue was that working into the fabric with the white crayon, it was impossible to keep it from going onto the black. I did use the iron on the binding to melt the wax away, but that would be too big to work for the small lines. I decided to use my soldering iron to press into the lines
and so got the crisp black again. I had kept the actual houses the original colour.

Then I took the piece to show to a few friends. I rolled it up loosely.

When I brought it home I had another moment of panic! oh no! The white crayon is brushing off onto the backing (which is black).
This will never do, because it might rub off onto other people's work! Eventually I dallied long enough about this problem that I had no chance to get spray fixative like you would use for pastels. But I remembered that hairspray can be a substitute. After trialling it on a scrap, I went ahead and gave the piece a good dose of hairspray. And, after drying, covered it well when I was rolling it up to send....

and there we are! Ramshackle Villages