Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sewing and more stitching

November Journal Quilt - the last piece of the map.

December Journal Quilt - a repeat of the boot to finish off.

The last couple of weeks have seen me busily sewing. I have completed my Journal Quilts for this year and now you can finally see all twelve of the little quilts shown together as intended. The theme, as I have mentioned before was "Journeys", which I took from another group which has used this a their theme for the year - NWCQ. The Journal Quilts were a challenge from Contemporary Quilt - each little quilt is 8 inches square. The map pieces all show the area where I take my dog Ella for her walks each morning, which also explains the walking boots being part of the design. Ella loves going for rides in the car too, and sometimes we take her further afield for a walk, hence the car. The aeroplane celebrates a trip to Prague taking an exhibition of quilts across for the Patchwork meeting. This took place in April.
The materials used have been: silk sheets printed with photographs and designs of my own based on car tyres and the tread of the walking boots; dye catchers which have been accidentally dyed when used in my washing machine - I have quite a collection; my own printed and painted fabrics; sheer fabrics and the wristband I wore during the Prague exhibition; finally, free machine quilting, and some hand stitching. Some details have also been drawn onto the quilts using permanent marker and coloured pencils.

All twelve Journal Quilts shown together.

I also made a couple of little bags for friends. These were made from my stash of Liberty lawn fabrics and have a spring clip fastening. 

Small presents for friends.

The little bag linings.
I also got the December challenge for the Sky's the Limit group finished on time. For me, this year, it has been quite an achievement to get this posted and finished on time. I do intend to be less last minute in 2015. Wish me luck in this resolve.........

The December challenge for Sky's the Limit, was "Painted Face". So many different ideas went whizzing round my head, so that, in the end, I borrowed my younger daughters beautiful masquerade masks. I just love them.

The Scaramouche mask.

My own version was rather simplified using silk and satin scraps on a black linen background. The gold fabric has been bondawebbed in place since it was far too fragile to stitch in place. The rest of the fabric has been satin stitched. The background has been free machine quilted imitating the swirly patterns of the masks. Yes, I was very good and returned the masks quickly to their owner.

Skys the Limit December Challenge - Painted Face.

Monday, December 08, 2014

No knitting, but some sewing

It has been rather chilly outside today - with really wintry showers. The colours have been beautiful. These pictures were taken from just outside my kitchen.

The following photo shows the promised one of my newest jumper - the pattern is Tire Tracks. It is wonderfully cosy. I knitted a blue one for my husband a few weeks back. 

Tyre Tracks - my second jumper
There has been some sewing, but nothing has been finished and isn't quite in a state fit to photograph. Never mind, I shall show the photos next time. I have almost finished the November Journal Quilt which shows the final section of the map. The last piece, for December is almost ready to start. Sadly, the only other thing I have accomplished today is pinning the hems of my new curtains.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sewing and knitting

September JQ - Ella
It has been quite a busy week. I managed to nearly get up to date with my journal quilts, finishing two of them. The third one, November is languishing on my workbench this evening since I have been so busy getting other things done today. I have promised myself that I shall get it stitched tomorrow. It is another section of the same map that I have been putting together over the past few months.
October JQ - another section of the map
It might seem daft to stitch a map in sections like this, but the intention is to get all twelve of the journal quilts put together in some way. I haven't quite decided how this will be achieved yet, but they will need to be held carefully together so that all the bits of the map link up. It shows the areas where I go walking with Ella.
Speaking of Ella, the September Journal Quilts was achieved by printing an outline drawing of Ella onto silk. The outline was taken from a photo which I took some time ago. The colouring in was done after the silk had been printed and left to dry. I used some colouring pencils, trying to keep as close as possible to the colours of the original photo. It would have been so much simpler to have merely used a photograph printed onto silk. I just wanted a different, matt, texture. The background was first painted and then stencilled before the image of Ella was appliqu├ęd using bondaweb.

Sky's the Limit quilt for November - Hand Out / Handout
The last quilt completed this week was this one for the monthly Sky's the Limit group. The theme this time was "Hand out". For this I used a piece of fabric which I dyed some months ago and was not happy with. It had been lying in my "fabric to be used for printing" pile for some time and was perfect for this. I have written phrases in the style of a dictionary, putting together some of the meanings of "Handout" and "Hand out". Hence the title. The hand is an outline printed onto silk which has had the words "Handout" written repeatedly over it in permanent marker. This has been bondawebbed in place onto the background. The whole has then been free machine quilted with a hand design in variegated thread. This was simply achieved by drawing around both my hands, scanning this image into my computer, reducing it in size. This was then printed out and the resulting print used to trace the design repeatedly onto a thin tissue. I then stitched through this joining the hand images so that the whole was stitched continuously. Good fun!
Oh yes, I finished my jumper too. I've worn it as well. Very cosy and comfortable. I forgot to take a photo, so that will have to wait until another time.