Friday, September 27, 2013

Catching up with sewing projects.

The past few weeks have been very busy. First, I had to remove the old cover on my small printing board. It had just got to the end of it's useful life and I was due to go and help out with the crafts at a birthday party last weekend. I had offered to teach anyone who wished ti have a go, to print on fabric.
My old cover for the small printing board.
It was quite interesting. I only ended up with a couple of people actually wanting to have a go, but quite a number coming along to look and see what I was doing. I had taken all my fabric paints, printing blocks, thermofax screens and a lot of fabric. One man was really taken with the idea of printing that he spent some time with me and was delighted to take away a carefully decorated piece of fabric. Sadly, I just did not take any photographs, I just didn't have enough hands. You may be surprised to hear that this was a friend's 50th birthday party, and it all took place in her garden. The nice thing is that she had a go too and gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers.

September challenge for the Sky's the limit group - "Change".
Last week was filled with completing challenges ready for deadlines which were looming. The first to be completed was the chameleon on my Sky's the limit piece. I still am not fully convinced by this piece, mostly because I made a mistake with the stomach area and had to add a piece of fabric to cover a piece which was really far too dark. I feel this needs much more work than I can do at present. What do you think? I call it "Change, alter, adapt". It is calligraphy using up my old fabric dye pens which were drying out over a dyed piece of fabric made some time ago. Over this is a piece of scrim which has then had a bobbin work drawing stitched in place. The whole piece has then been quilted onto a wadding base.

For Wednesday, I had to complete my last piece for the Chinese Whispers challenge. This has been going on since last September, but I haven't been able to post about it before now.

The original photo - underneath the Tay Road Bridge, Dundee, Scotland.

It all started with a photograph. I took this during the Quilters' Guild AGM and Conference held in Dundee, Scotland in May 2012. It is a view looking through the pillars of the bridge. I was very lucky with the light conditions on the morning I took this photo. It had been extremely foggy earlier on.

My piece based on the Tay Road Bridge.

I must admit that I wasn't very happy with my own piece, feeling it is just too simplistic. However, at the time I just didn't have the time to make a more complex piece. I feel it would be wrong of me now to replace this piece with something else since my next challenge now that I have had all the pieces back from everyone else taking part in the challenge is to make a book with all the pieces I have. Hmmmm.

Chris' piece - designed from my textile piece.
I passed my textile piece on to Chris. We had been instructed to pass everything on to the next person hidden in an envelope to hide it from everyone else taking part in the challenge. We would only be allowed to see all the pieces at the end of the challenge.

Chris' note attached to her piece reads, "I found this quite difficult to know what to follow on with at first. However, two things came to mind - a ploughed field and a wooden door, or floor. Decided to use the pattern I had for a foundation pieced house and make the door of wooden slats!"

My main difficulty was that Chris' house was landscape in orientation and not portrait. However, that adds a rather interesting challenge in itself.

Mary's piece - designed from Chris' piece.

The next piece came from Mary who made this enchanting quirky castle. She had only seen Chris' foundation pieced house, so her block is also landscape in orientation. She wrote, "The log cabin reminded me of a house and an English Man's House is his castle so I did a quirky fairytale castle in applique."

Bernice's piece, designed from Mary's piece.
Seeing only Mary's design, Bernice completed this piece. She wrote, "The castle that Mary passed to me caused me to think of knights of old. Then when wondering how I cold depict my thoughts, I came up with the idea of making it a fun picture just suing simple applique techniques."

Brenda's piece designed from Bernice's piece.
Brenda wrote, "After seeing the crusader with such an aggressive stance it conjured up ideas of what or who he had rousted. So we had to have a knight fleeing on a horse to gain the safety of his castle."

Rosemary's piece designed from Brenda's piece.
 The last piece to be completed was Rosemary's. She had organised the challenge for us all and kept us to time as well. Not easy since we met every other month to exchange pieces. Each time we each had a piece for someone else's Chinese Whisper. In my next post I really must put together the photos of the pieces I made for each of the others involved in this project.

Going back to Rosemary's piece for me, she wrote "The picture is of a castle in Guimaraes, Portugal. We went there on th last day of our holiday. The figure is D. Alfonso Henriques. He won the battle of Sao Mamede which paved the way for the foundation of Portugal. The castle was built to defend the monastery and Christian Community from the attacks by the Moors and Normands, so I decided to use my holiday memories as a basis fo the Chinese Whisper piece. It is hand stitching on appliqued background with the knight on a separate piece of the applique fabric stitched in place by matching the background stitching."

As you can see each piece is a superb item in it's own right, all very different and now my challenge is to make a book which will retain the quality of each of the pieces I have been given and yet will make a book which works as a whole piece in it's own right. Not easy!

Thursday brought a very different day. I met up with other members of NWCQ and we had a wonderful day of learning different techniques of dyeing.

Freshly dyed fabric waiting for me to get around to washing it all.

Our teacher for the day was a good friend, Sandra Wyman who is an expert dyer and great fun to be with. I was extremely saddened to hear that she too had lost a very dear furry friend very recently. She wrote a very moving post about the loss of her dear cat. Do go and read it.

Now all that is left for this month is for me to complete my Journal Quilt for September - it has been started and just needs to have the stitching completed before it is ready for posting. Then I must get on and wash all the fabrics which I had such fun dyeing yesterday. Thanks Sandra.


Sandra Wyman said...

Thanks for the comments Mandy - I'm really looking forward to seeing how the fabrics turn out!
I think your alteration of the chameleon fits the theme of change-alter-adapt perfectly, and I love the Chonese whispers chain.

Mandy said...

Thanks Sandra. I shall be posting the Chinese Whisper pages I made later today. I found the whole experience great fun since each piece was created "blind" with only the previous person's version to work from. I'd love to do this again.
Ooh yes, I can hardly wait until the fabrics get washed out. It will have to wait until tomorrow because my washing line is filled with washing today...... I do hate housework!

Toni said...

What fun! I love all the blocks--so clever and interesting to see the progression of ideas.

Mandy said...

Thanks so much Toni. I found it a fascinating challenge to be part of. I shall be posting my own block for other people in a later blog post.