Monday, August 22, 2016

Printing, quilting and completing bits and pieces.

block, stencil, thermofax and gelliplate prints
I had a lot of fun with the MEG group on Friday when I organised a print workshop for them. We played with my gelliplate, stencils, home made blocks and wooden blocks, my thermofax screens too. I took in all three of my print boards and a couple of easels to make an extra table. 
The photo above shows the collection of prints I managed to achieve during the day. It will be interesting to see the collection of prints made by the rest of the group. It was a really friendly session with not a lot of chat, since everyone was concentrating on whatever they were working on. Thanks everyone.

House 1 - now finished.

Butterfly block now complete.
As you can see, I have been finishing things off over the past few days. The first of the house blocks is now quilted and bound. I think I just need to add a bugle bead for the door handle.
The butterfly block doesn't quite feel finished. I think it needs some more stitching, but will have to wait until I decide exactly what is required. A few butterflies would be nice.

knitted waistcoat under way.
I also got started with the knitted waistcoat. I do love the way the pattern grows under my fingers. Yes, that is a small pocket. I shall be adding the edging at a later stage. It seems to have been missed out of the pattern, but is shown quite clearly in the photograph. It shouldn't be a problem to recreate.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Stitching , knitting and plans

My silk/cotton blouse found in a charity shop
 This lovely blouse was a lucky find earlier this year in a charity shop. I haven't worn it yet since I need to remake the sleeves. They are double layered and hang badly. My plan is to take the sleeves apart and to turn the inside layer into a cuff for the bottom of what should be a full elbow length sleeve. It shouldn't take long to achieve, but there seem to be rather a lot of other things that need to be finished first....... Gardening and cleaning my car currently head the list.

The back detail
This next item is one of those that I really need to get finished before too long. It is a set of pieces to make a butterfly block. A challenge from one of the groups I belong to - Alsager Creative Stitchers. It was a project that was the theme of their July meeting. Since I couldn't attend, I was given the block to finish at home.

On Saturday I went along to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. Such fun to meet up with friends again. There are some people I only seem to meet at the Festival. It is always a fascinating experience visiting the show, seeing so many amazing quilts, meeting friends, making new friends. So much to see and do. So many ideas beginning to develop.

This was most of my haul. There is some fabric which I cannot show here since it will become part of the NWCQ challenge which I am leading. I'll explain all about that another time since it should be a lot of fun. 
I've only shown one of my bundles of fabric from Empress Mills. I bought two. These are invaluable for my dyeing and printing. They are made up of a beautiful, tight woven cotton which is a joy to sew into. You can see some of the pieces drying on my washing line. My two bundles, when washed occupied all but half of one side. That last bit was used by a gorgeous piece of jersey found on a really interesting stand at the show. I bought the pattern there too. 
The Steam a Seam was free, as was a reel of cotton from Mettler. Being pink, it might not see any use for a while, but is bound to come in useful.The beautiful little zipped bag was won on the Tombola. It was made by Helen Butcher and will be used to house my new collection of quilt clips. You can see them peeping out at the top of the photo. I have one set of red and another of blue. I bought some more of the cotton sheets for my inkjet printer. I ran out recently, just when I really needed some more.....
Apart from some items for printing and dyeing, and thread too, there is a set of "Do it yourself markers" which I am looking forward to playing with. Apparently I should be able to use these to soak up colour, using them like a marker pen. I do like new toys.....

I managed to finish my cardigan, adding the buttons this afternoon. Why did I finish this on a really hot day so that I really don't fancy trying it on? I started this particular cardigan some months ago, abandoning it at one stage when I needed to get on with other projects. It is a pattern by Martin Storey for Jaeger, printed back in 2004. The design is called Lucille.

Ah well. I treated myself to some really nice yarn today whilst I was in the Wool Shop. It is a dangerous place to visit, especially when buying buttons armed with a collection of patterns. This is a soft Acrylic/ Bamboo mix. The pattern is from a Jaeger pattern book which is over ten years old. I've always loved this waistcoat pattern, so it will be nice to start this later.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A house in a day, quilting and other things

Completed cotbed quilt
It has been rather busy here since I last wrote anything to the blog. My apologies for that. I have been busily quilting the cotbed quilt and also completing the cushion to go with it. These are for a very special baby who came to visit last weekend. She went home with the quilt and also the cushion. Her mum and dad were, I am very pleased to say,delighted with them.

Completed quilt with the cushion
The quilt size is designed to fit a cotbed rather than a cot since that is what the baby will be using when she is a little older. At just four weeks old at the time of writing this, her mum is more likely to use the cushion for the moment.
View of the quilting on the reverse of the cotbed quilt
I never know whether I overdo the free machine embroidery. However, since I enjoy stitching it it is probably okay........ what do you think?

Completed cardigan
This cardigan also got finished during the weekend. I had left the crochet edging until the very last minute since I wasn't that confident about doing it. I had to grab the cardigan back, briefly, to get a photo of it whilst the baby was being changed. The mum really liked it. Can't say that the baby was too impressed. Free design by Martin Storey called "Elly".

Closeup showing the crochet edge
I've also started putting together some pages for a book I need to complete for an exhibition in October. I'd better get this done before I get involved in anything else.

The pieces started as a Chinese Whispers challenge. Such fun. The idea is that each person taking part finds a photograph. This photo is not to be shared with anyone taking part. This is my photo. It was taken during a visit to Hong Kong back in 1998. The dragon carving was one of a pair of temple lantern holders.
Original photograph
I next made a textile piece, A5 size (8.25" x 5.75") based on this photograph. This was then passed to the next person in the group, Anita.

Chinese dragon - my design
Anita then completed her own interpretation of my piece, returning my design back to me.

Japanese lettering and fireworks - Anita
Her piece then went on to Meryl, who made her own interpretation of Anita's piece. Part of the challenge was that we were not allowed to show anyone any of the pieces during the course of the challenge. We couldn't chat about it either, to anyone taking part.

Chinese acrobats - Meryl
Meryl's piece was then passed to Glenice, whilst Anita's interpretation of my piece was passed back to me.
More acrobats - Glenice
Glenice passed her completed piece to Minnie while Meryl's version was handed on to me.

Circus acts - Minnie
Minnie was the last person in our group. She completed her version and then handed both Glenice's version and her version back to me at the final exchange meeting. We then all showed our little collections to everyone, disclosing the original photos at the same time.
Although I have only written about my own theme, I should explain that everyone was collecting work for their own themes. 
Here are the pieces I made for each of the other members of the group. In all, we had three groups working at the same time. We should have fifteen books to show at the exhibition. 

"Music" - made for Minnie
Accidentally dyed fabric with silk scraps appliqued in place. Free machine embroidery and couching. The white threads show the outer edges of the A5 shape.

"Garden" - made for Glenice
 The background fabric was printed onto cotton sheet using my computer. It was a scan of a piece of paper which had been painted with acrylics. Free machine embroidery and quilting over silk scraps appliqued to the surface. The faint white stitches delineate the A5 edges.
"Fairground" - made for Meryl
 My own printed fabric with thermofax and stencils over a piece of cloth originally used to mop up spills of dye. Free machine embroidery of the figures.
"Celebration" - made for Anita
The background is a piece of silk which I had dyed. Silk and satin pieces appliqued over free machine embroidery. The strings are couched in place.

Lastly, the "Build a house in a day" challenge which Pinfold members took part in earlier this week. Needless to say the basic house was completed during the session, but the stitching took rather longer. I still haven't quite finished it.

 I still need to stitch the tree and tree trunk. The idea came from this bag which I found in the latest edition of "Love Sewing". Still not sure whether this will turn into a cushion or a wall hanging.