Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quilting, more quilting and a little knitting.

Newly completed round necked jumper
It is quite a shock to realise that, even though the last couple of weeks have been too busy for me even to attempt a post here, there is little textile-related to show for it.
I have finished the jumper I showed last time and it is every bit as cosy as I could have hoped. Just what I needed in my wardrobe. Unusually for me I haven't immediately started anything else.

Pauline's quilt before binding

Instead, I have been working on this. You may have seen the photo in the last post. As you can see there has been a lot of free machine quilting done since the last photo was taken. I marked the centre block out in a grid before starting the design - a mix of five flowers surrounded by leaves. Each of the triangles of the flying geese border contains a small flower and two leaves. I hasten to add that the marking out was done in soap rather than chalk. I find it washes out rather better than chalk especially on dark fabrics like this.

Completed quilt.
I was rather pleased with the way the binding turned out. For the first time I used a bias binding strip. Unusually, I have quite a lot of black fabric in my stash due to a rash fabric purchase in Ikea some time back. As a result the binding lay beautifully and I got the mitred corners just as I hoped. How rare is that? I also machined the binding in place rather than hand stitching the back. This was mainly due to the fact that this will be owned by a young child. It all work so well. I must try this type of binding again, ensuring I have enough fabric to get it done properly.

Next week, next Tuesday in fact, I am giving a talk at a local textile group. Their blog can been seen here. I'm getting a little nervous.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knitting and sewing, but no crochet.

Grey wool skirt
It has been rather busy here.  In the past week I have finished two fully lined skirts using two vintage patterns in my collection. Both date from the 1980s.

Tweed pencil skirt
I was in need of some warmer skirts for the cooler weather. I also completed a v-neck jumper which I am wearing as I write this. Nice and cosy.

Simple 4ply v-neck jumper - stocking stitch

Simple double knitting round neck jumper
I then promptly started another jumper. This one is double knitting and so will knit up rather quicker than the previous jumper.

It was a rather strange day on Friday since I was asked to help out in completing a quilt. It had all been pieced and had been layered, but not quilted. I took the layers apart and washed the top and bottom before adding a further strip of black fabric all round the back layer. This had been a little too small for me to successfully quilt the whole thing. As you can see, I have pinned everything back together and am basting the layers before starting to quilt. Since the centre is a rather large area of red patterned fabric, I am toying with the idea of quilting flowers all over it rather than a simple grid. It would be rather more interesting to work on.

The quilt I have been asked to complete.
Pinning this all together made my remember a UFO which has been sitting around for rather a long time. It started out as a mystery quilt challenge from The Quilters' Guild here in the UK. I really can't remember how many years ago that was, but it was some time back. I had pieced a back for it, but couldn't successfully find any way of quilting it. I've since removed the back, and will use that for a cushion cover, with the extra fabric used as binding for this quilt.

I'm now backing it with a dragonfly patterned fleece fabric, so it should be a really cosy lap quilt once completed.

UFO being pinned to the fleece backing
I haven't though about how to quilt this, but will probably just follow the geometric pattern lines since it is really quite fussy.

Did I mention that Friday was a rather strange day? The much loved Peter Rabbit arrived, needing some serious TLC - ears and legs, and an arm needing to be sewn back and strengthened. I had offered to do this some time ago when asked by a neighbour. Since her grand daughter is currently staying and had helped deliver the rabbit to my door, he got mended very quickly and has now been returned.

A mended Peter Rabbit

Monday, October 05, 2015

A busy few weeks

Papers completed
The past few weeks since I last posted here have been extremely busy. The "Doghouse" is now ready for the next stage - the roof is complete and it now just needs the benching and flooring inside. This will have to wait for another spell of really good weather.

Last time you may have seen the photos of preparations for making papers for a book. I have completed a number of these pages now and just need to cut them to a suitable size. I'm looking forward to using them. Each of the dyed papers are backed onto brown paper using bondaweb. This workshop will not take place until November so I am rather ahead of myself with this. Yes, it does make a change......

I've been to a couple of workshops. The first of these was with Lesley King and we made prefelts. I have since spent the best part of a further couple of days making prefelts. I still have such a lot to learn about feltmaking.

Alice Fox workshop samples
The second workshop was with Alice Fox and here we made a variety of samples using stitch in an experimental way with found objects. I took along a range of slivers of wood recovered form the making of the Doghouse as well as nails which hadn't formed properly and other bits and pieces. This was a really interesting workshop and I bought Alice's book which she very kindly signed for me.

printing in progress
I also spent a couple of days printing - using my thermofaxes, gelliplate and also my wooden and lino print blocks. A lot of fun was had doing this and I have quite a few newly printed pieces ready to use.
Freshly printed fabrics drying