Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A new workroom and some batik.

Work in progress - door installed, radiator to be moved.

Work in progress, showing my mirror fronted storage.

The window as it was.

An almost tidy workspace.

Yes, I can extend into the garden!
My workroom is now usable again. I just need curtains, but that can wait. You can see one of my storage units in the bottom of this collection of photos. These look like a series of boxes, but act as my bookshelves too. They are also on lockable castors, so can be moved around easily giving me extra worktop space!

Last week I was able to go to a batik workshop and made the following three pieces - all have only one colour this time, but I intend to overprint these at some stage. Two were made using soya wax and the first was using paraffin wax. I just wanted to see what the difference was.

Batik using paraffin wax.

Batik using soya wax.

Batik using soya wax and stretched across a frame.
I must admit that I preferred using the paraffin wax since I found it easier to use in the tjanting. The soya wax seems to be easier to iron out of the fabric. Each piece is waiting to be given a first wash before ironing again to remove more of the wax. I'll report back on how I get on.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Making a book and looking forward to changes.

MCAL in progress.
Over the past month I have been working steadily on my crochet piece. So far it is 30 inches long and almost 20 inches at the widest point. I am just about half way to completion, I think. This will make a useful shawl/wrap for chilly evenings around the house. It should also look quite nice on the back of one of the chairs. It started off as a Mystery Crochet-a-long, hence the "MCAL" in the photo caption. I will never gain any prizes for my crochet technique, but I am quite pleased with this and it is a really enjoyable alternative to knitting and is giving my achy elbow a much-needed rest.

I'm also busy with a textile book at present, but apart from letting you know it is being prepared for a show and tell display to take place in October, I really can't divulge more. Photos of the book will come after that meeting in mid October.

Apart from this, I have to start planning a move in my workroom. In a few days time I will be having a new door fitted and it will mean tidying my room and making space for workmen.................. eeeeeek! No matter, the resulting door will be well worth all the effort of sorting out my muddle of a room. But, if you are reading this, do wish me luck. My main concern for the moment is finding somewhere safe for my sewing machines to keep them away from the dust which is bound to invade my space. I can always wash my fabric collection. Special fabrics are already in boxes with fitted lids. I shall not bore you with more, but photos will be taken of the work in progress and also once it is all finished.

I nearly forgot. There has been a lot of sewing going on too. I managed to get the next four of my journal quilts uploaded in time, so I can now continue the project until the end of the year. Such a relief since I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the stitching finished in time. The first of these you may have already seen.

May - a journey to Prague was the inspiration here. 

 The purple wristband is my identification tag from the Prague Patchwork Meeting in Prague which took place in April. The background is a print, on silk, of one of the tourist maps form our trip.

June - a continuation of the map sequence.

July - another of the sequence of maps.

August - walking with Ella. 

This piece shows my dog, Ella, wearing her doggie back pack on one of our walks. It holds her water bottles, treats and bowl in one pannier while the other holds a flask of coffee for me. The Blue Bridge carries a dual carriageway over the River Weaver. The paths beneath the bridge are a favourite with the local dogwalkers, joggers and cyclists. The river is busy too with a wealth of wildlife, wildflowers and trees along this length. It is a haunt for the local fishermen and women, canoeists, as well as the boaters who travel through.

The 12 journal quilts - work in progress.

This photograph shows a mockup of how most of the year's journal quilts will look. I need to start work on the September journal quilt, before completing the remaining two map sections. I am undecided about the last JQ. It will probably show some of the local trains. The background to September will show the river and boats. The main issue is, do I start work on September before sorting out my workroom, or do I wait until the dust has literally settled and my room is clean once more. Can anyone advise me?