Saturday, January 15, 2011

Textile fun - printing, knitting and sewing.

I've been printing again. The grey painted fabric was left over from the last session. This time I had made my own little stamps out of cardboard and the expanded polystyrene packaging from a pizza. I went to a meeting of the NWCQ (North West Contemporary Quilt) group yesterday and we were all making printing blocks. Good fun!

This next little stamp has been made out of miracle sponge. I was lucky enough to have been given a small piece to play with since I hadn't seen it before. It starts out looking rather like cardboard, but when it is soaked with water, it becomes a sponge. The fact it is so compressed makes it easy to cut into shape. I used scissors.

I just loved the way the sponge didn't react the same way each time I printed with it. Some images didn't print as clearly as others. Possibly my faulty technique, but I love the result.

I need to add some more printing to this piece when it has dried.

The last piece was just playing around using up the last of the Setacolor Opaque dye I had been using.

I printed using the foam brushes I had been using to spread the dye out on my printing tray. (It used to be the base from something edible I bought years ago.)

A few days ago, I finally got around to finishing off my bag. As you can see from the link, it had been in the UFO pile for almost three years! It just needed sides, handles and pockets. I need to clear more of my UFOs this year.

Continuing with the theme of completing UFOs, I finished knitting Mariah.

I slightly modified the way the neck joins on to the hood, making the hood come close in round my neck.

I also continued the cabling all round the edge of the hood. Next, I am planning to line the jacket with this fabric.

To keep the jacket cosy even with the chill winds we get round here, I shall be quilting the fabric before cutting out the pieces. Luckily I thought to make a pattern for the lining before sewing the jacket together. I bought myself a nice sturdy open-ended zip to complete the jacket.

I also managed to complete the December page for the Traveling Pages project - "The Goddess Within." This one is winging it's way off to Australia. Happily, it is going to someone not directly affected by the dreadful floods afflicting the east coast at present.

I started another pair of socks. These might be for my husband, but I have a horrible feeling they might be a little tight since the cables draw the legs in quite close - more to do with my tension when knitting cables, rather than the design. The pattern came with the sock knitting booklet attached to the September 2010 issue of Knitting Magazine. It is a pattern by Martin Storey.

I had some fun putting this together too. This is based on the delightful weighted pincushion design by Elizabeth of "Oh Fransson". I made the original design some time ago, but gave it to my elder daughter, since she rather liked it. This time I have made the same bag, but made the pocketed area rather bigger. It is joined to a double layer of white heavyweight (pelmet weight) vilene sewn to the top. This is then held in position by standing the sewing machine on top of the vilene. It seems to work quite well. As you can see I have used some of my collection of selvedges to make the bag. I added a couple of silly cat buttons too, just for fun. Elizabeth's excellent instructions make this a very quick item to sew.

Last, but not least. Here are the photos I promised of mum's finished quilt. It is called "Square Dance". There are two reasons for this. Firstly, my mum teaches English Country Dance. Hence the footprints.

Secondly, I was messing around with a square block made up of squares.

This is the back. This is fleece, and yes there are two colours. I didn't have a big enough piece when I had finished messing around with the quilt top. However I did have some large remnants of cream coloured fleece which I was able to piece to the darker light brown backing.

Mum is delighted with her quilt and uses it every day to cover her favourite chair.


Toni said...

Wow! So many great projects. I swear I learn something new every time I visit your blog!

Mandy said...

Thanks Toni, you are too kind. I learn such a lot about living in the USA when I read your blog. Thanks for reading my Blog.

Elizabeth said...

Holy Cow, Mandy! You are amazingly talented. I learned so much reading this post. Like, I hadn't heard of the magic sponge before either. Sounds really cool! Thanks so much for stopping by Things Bright today. :)

Oh, and I hear you on the UFOs! It must be a common creative problem. One of my goals is to plow through a lot this winter and accomplish something rather than moaning that it's cold and there's not a lot to do! :)

Mandy said...

Thanks so much for your kind comment, Elizabeth.
I really enjoyed visiting your own Blog. So bright and cheery to read as well as informative.
The winter is the perfect time to get those UFOs shifting out of the way. However, that will then leave me more room to make more things........
(Chuckling away to myself as I write this last bit.)