Monday, October 13, 2014

A workshop with Gillian Travis

My first piece.
This weekend has been a really special one for me. On Sunday, I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with Gillian Travis. I really admire Gillian's work, since she is a prolific quilter and an excellent teacher.The previous day, she had been giving a talk to the Quilters' Guild Region 13 Regional Day held in Frodsham. She gave a really interesting talk and showed us a very wide range of her work, whilst talking about her travels. The afternoon speaker was Val Jackson who showed her amazing work.

On the Sunday, Gillian showed us several techniques to build up a background fabric. She showed us how to make a wash using acrylic paints, and then using stencils and blocks to build up a texture. Then adding a thermofax print. Some people reading this will feel that this all sounds rather familiar. I must say that, although I have often used these techniques before, I learnt a huge amount from Gillian. I had never used acrylic paints before, preferring to use fabric paints. However, I have now changed my mind and will be using acrylics in future.

The second piece
I used some of my own stencils, learning the best way to apply the paint. I was so pleased with the results and will be investing in a couple of stencil brushes and also some little sponge dabbers that we were able to try.
My second and third pieces still need a lot of work, but I had such a lot of fun putting them together. The original fabric was an off-white stiff calico (muslin). 

My last, just started piece
Today has been spent trying to catch up with my emails, so there has not been any time to spare for playing around with textiles in my workroom and I still haven't managed to put all the workshop stuff away. Never mind, there is always tomorrow. I did manage to get a fair bit of planning done taking Ella for a long walk. I always seem to be able to get thing settled down in my head when I am off on a long walk...........

Hendred Hat by Elly Doyle
I did manage to get a cosy hat finished on Sunday evening, just in time for a rather chilly walk with Ella this morning. It really kept my ears cosy, just what I'd wanted. This hat can be found here and is also in the Scrumptious Collection Volume One from Fyberspates.

I still had some of the cosy yarn left over, but didn't want to make the mittens that match the hat since I never wear mittens. So, I decided to make a cowl or a scarf. In the end, I decided to try to design my own very simple scarf. So here it is:

The basic idea from my notebook.
I was going to use a cable design from one of my stitch library books. This one is excellent with lovely colour photos and clear diagrams.

The original photo of the cable design.
It is lovely working with books like this one. I know I haven't got very far yet, as you can see from the photo below this. However, I feel fairly confident that my scarf will turn out all right. Any problems with it will all be of my own making rather than the cable instructions from the book.

 Tomorrow is the day when I get to show my latest textile book to the Embroiderer's Guild meeting in Alsager. I shall have to let you know about how that goes another time.

Monday, October 06, 2014

A felting workshop and completed workroom.

View from workroom window
This morning the sky outside my window was rather threatening. Now that I am finally writing this entry to my blog, the sky has cleared and We have sunshine and blue skies! A crazy day. I managed to take Ella out for her walk this morning between the heavy showers. She wasn't impressed when I had to dry her paws.
Lampshade workshop
On Saturday I went along to a lovely feltmaking workshop. We were making lampshades using British wool. The colours are muted, but so lovely. The workshop was with the delightful Ellie Langley. I had a lot of fun learning how to construct my lampshade and learnt so much about making felt.
My lampshade
My own was made from two shades of Shetland wool. I look forward to being able to find a lampstand so that I can use it.

Japanese instructions
One project I plan to complete in the next few days is this one - a little purse/bag. The instructions are in Japanese, but I also managed to find the instructions for a similar bag in an English magazine. The kit comes from and the magazine article was found in issue 36 of Mollie Makes. I was lucky enough to find this copy in amidst a selection being given away by a friend in one of the textile groups I go to. I couldn't resist the little black cats in the fabric.

Little bag bits and pieces
Over the past few days I have been working on my textile book. This will be ready to be shown at an Embroiderer's Guild meeting in a few days time, so I won't show it just yet. These  are the fabrics I am using for the cover.

Book cover under construction
Her you can see the samples I made when I was trying to work out how to put it all together. The stitched samples are made from pieces of dyecatcher sewn together using button thread.

Sample books and cover
Lastly, one of my shelving units filled with books. My ambition is to get the pile just seen to he right hand side of the unit finished and put away. The pile has some mending, another incomplete textile book and my journal quilts, as well as some unfinished pieces. Hopefully it will not take too long.

New shelving in use
Ah well, back to the book. I hope to get the cover completed and attached today........