Sunday, 29 November 2015

And the bead keeps going on...22-28 Nov

Week 48 - November 2015








Saturday, 28 November 2015

cutting out

I got a bit stuck on the refugee piece because I knew I needed to use freezer paper to cut the shapes out. I was not going to be able to just trace round the shape, as I usually do, because of the loose weave of the muslin.

I took the figures I had traced onto freezer paper to the Offcuts sewing meeting today. And whilst chatting got those cut out. Then ironed onto the fabric and had just a few more cuts to finish when we had to tidy up.

So, here are the backs of the shapes. You can see a little scrap from the trimmings which shows what the silhouettes of the people will actually look like - cut from rust dyed cream muslin. I have the black muslin at the back so the changes in colour of the background will not show through.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Ladder stitch

Bit by bit I have been adding to the Ladder Stitch bead project.
Yes, the photo is small! I had to stand back to get it all in.

I haven't actually been time keeping, but I did want to see what it was like to do 'yardage' on something. So far, this is nearly 55cm or 22 1/2in. At this point, I am not sure if I want to stop at 1metre (39in) or take it further. I guess I should try to see how much trim I would need for something like the front edge of a garment from neck to hem. Or how far round a straight garment like the recent Lilac and Lace coat.

The pattern I looked at suggested doing an edge along either side - similar to what I do on some of my other things. So, I may do that. I somehow had purchased 3 tubes (over time) of the squarish beads, even though I am not particularly a purple person, so excellent choice for a trial.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

More Structures

More of the pieces from the Structures exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery at the weekend.

Elizabethan Structures - Joanna O'Neill
I loved this! The lighting wasn't the best to see the detail, but I really liked the illustration aspect of showing the underpinnings' or structure of what made up an Elizabethan gown...even to a bit of labelling.
As Joanna said on her statement, it uses aspects of different garments from the Elizabethan period, so may not be exactly what was worn in one particular moment.

Keeping with the garment theme:
Goddess of Fire - Mark Tilley
Mark transferred some of the same ideas for garments into his own familiar territory. Rolling and firing clay instead of rolling and felting fleece. Colour through firing instead of dyeing. and then securing each fragment with 'embroidery'...joining with copper wire.


another intriguing piece was this sculptural work.
Pool-Sue Hotchkis
Sue always manages to do an amazing blend of quilting, embroidery and sometimes even felting. This work doesn't fail in Sue's attempt to give a glimpse into the structural world found in a rock pool.

And finally, one of the most amazing, in my mind.
Under Construction - Betty Ball
This work consisted of 3 quilts, one behind another. The white and grey bars in front, the orange and yellow bars in the middle and the purple and green bars at the very back.

Each one had a certain part of the structure - the whole of each piece included the 'holes' between the individually finished bars.

Together, the pieces made the structure truly 3D.
Any distortion comes from my own photography.

I also took a photo of the hanging system for future reference!

So, there were several other works either at the Old Fire Station venue or at Lady Sew and Sew's venue. But my photos aren't good enough to do them justice.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Structures exhibition

On Monday, I went with my friend Mavis and her friend Sam to Henley, to the Old Fire Station Gallery to see the Contemporary Quilt Structures exhibition.

You might remember, my Ramshackle Tower piece was in this exhibition.
Apparently this inspired a lot of imagination about who lived inside!
It was very good. Lots of different ideas which came from the same theme...sort of what you expect from Contemporary Quilters now!

Here are a few of the rest of them to give the idea of the diversity.
Cathedral Window - Dorothy Dean

City at Night - Mike Wallace

England is Proud - Liz Smithbone

Glittering Domes - Ros Crouch

Star Ferry-Hong Kong - Gretchen Fitchett

Ruins4 - Lean Higgens

Silver Circles - Pauline Barnes
and a detail

Skipness Castle Wall - Marjoury McKinven

Perspective II - Ann Lowe
I wanted to twitch the bit at the top! It must have got moved. (And somehow, I wanted to turn the piece upside down and see what it was like.)

Thinking Outside the Box - Khurshid Bamboat

There were plenty more...some I didn't get good photos of. Some in positions which were difficult to photograph well.

I will show a few unusual ones tomorrow. But this last one for today was intriguing. Quite small, but the shapes pulled me over to see. I have not heard of this monument, but I intend to find out more.
Zaloggo - Margaret Macdonald
Very Poignant.

Monday, 23 November 2015


Saturday was the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles meeting. We had Karen Parry from John James needles come to speak. Not boring at all. She was very interesting.

And then we got to shop needles now that we knew more about them.

Very popular!
The company that owns John James needles has been going for centuries! and supplies needles for a large variety of companies and uses. from mattress needles 20in long to size 15 'beading needles' used in the medical industry for things like open heart surgery (with a couple extra refined steps of course).
We were given an envelope with info, a pack of needles and an unusual one!
Not sure if each pack held the same or not. But I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with a weaving needle! I might even use it for weaving!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

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

Week 47 - November 2015








Saturday, 21 November 2015

Something on Saturday

On Thursday my microwave started making explosion sounds near the light.

On Friday the Thoughtful Man came home with this!
Much bigger and more gadgety...of course.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wax paper

Thanks for the comments about the Kamlaika inspired stitch project.

Celia asked about the wax paper. It is like you get on a roll from Reynolds. I am not sure where you get it here.

I brought mine back from America years and years ago to use for projects with kids. We used to sandwich leaves between and press. Lovely to hang in the window or for a craft about Autumn. But I never did many projects with it. So, I am looking forward to using it here.

(It is also wonderful to use to wax a back garden play slide so you go down faster!)

Jeannne asked if I was making a parka or a piece inspired by it. I don't intend to recreate a kamlaika. I want to focus on the importance of the seams. So sewing pleats and seams in a length of it. I am thinking long and puddled on the floor sort of thing.


Today I have also been tracing the refugees for placing on the other piece that got stalled from a few weeks ago.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Worn Threads

I have finally found some time to begin sampling for the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles exhibition Worn Threads. The items are due in January, but this Saturday we are having a session where we are showing ideas and thinking about aspects we might develop. So, as the Co-Ordinator, I wanted to have something out of my head into a sample.

The idea is to take a garment as inspiration for a new piece. This could be one worn by you or sentimental to you, but it does not have to be. So, I thought this was time for something I have had in my head for a long time.

Over 10 years ago we went to visit my sister in Alaska. I never got to see the photos I took, because my SD card got full and my husband downloaded them to his computer...where they have been ever since! But at last this week I got him to transfer them for me.

Which was a bit sad in some ways. My son warned me that the camera I had then was not as good quality, so the photos might be pretty rubbish.
Most are okay, but the ones I took in low light of museums or behind glass at the airport are not very good.

I was Very Impressed by the 'gut parkas' made by the indigenous people. Your original waterproof jacket. Kamleika is a seal gut parka and the word comes from the Chukchi people. The Unangan name for the gut parka/rain coat is chagtalisax. Alutiiq word is kanaglluk.
One of the airport photos is tolerable. So, I hope it will do.

I did a bit more research about them - one of my favourite parts of making work is the research - and got more of an idea of how they were made.
I liked the translucency and had thought to use something like silk organza - following on from some of my other transparent type work. But I thought the fabric was not really related in any way.
I thought maybe lutrador/spun woven material. But when I was rummaging in my storage of spun woven types, I found a piece of wax paper I had tried using for something else.
Ah Ha!
Besides the fact that I really already have a project in mind for the spun woven fabrics at some point, the wax paper is more translucent and has the added benefit of being waterproof already!

So, I have been making some sample seams. In my research, I found some ideas on how they were actually stitched.

Here are some of the threads I am trying out; including bleached and unbleached fine linen, hemp, and twine.
I will probably do some more explaining when I begin the making. I don't intend to do a reconstruction, just work with the wax paper and concentrate on seams made in a similar way to the ones on the waterproof parkas.

Not sure at this point if I will add any kind of decoration. Still thinking.