Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More sewing, knitting and planning

Offcuts from the workshop packs
I'm still working on getting as many packs as I can prepared ready for the workshop in November. Yes, I am rather ahead of myself, but it takes rather a time to get all the fabric packs set up. There is a lot of ironing on bondaweb, cutting fabrics and so on. The collection above is my growing pile of scraps. All the bits that are just that little bit too small. All useful since they have been bondawebbed. Hence the growing collection of made fabrics where I am collecting the scraps together to make useable and useful pieces which could make something.
Green-yellow fabrics
Yellow - blue fabrics
The resulting fabrics are a little too stiff to use for much. project bags and bookcovers have been made before. Perhaps some cushion covers.  All of the three made so far need to be stitched to reinforce the surface. I think I will probably add some fusible wadding to add some texture when stitched.
Green - blue fabrics
 I must admit I really enjoy the stitching bit, although it does take rather a time to complete. Speaking of stitching. I finally completed the sketchbook cover which I mentioned last time. I chose a piece of fabric which I had painted, bonded to fusible wadding and then stitched,
Completed sketchbook cover
Almost completed Colibri jumper

 The Colibri jumper is now almost finished. I just have a few ends to sew in. Next, I shall need to find a young friend to wear it. One of the things to be completed after finishing a test knit is to complete a questionnaire to give the designer some feedback about the design and any errors before the design is finally published. It has been a really interesting process.
Almost complete Lanesplitter
 I've also been getting on with this skirt. It has languished in my project bag for a few weeks. I have never made a knitted skirt before, so it has been quite interesting making this one. The design is a free one from Knitty which you can find here.

The fabric pieces below belong to a challenge which I need to get on with. I still haven't decided what to make yet.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Not much sewing going on, but plenty of knitting.

The sketchbook with possible fabric cover materials.
For one of the textile groups I go to there is a sketchbook challenge. My book has been hanging around for some weeks now. The fabrics beneath may become the cover.
The front page 
Some dyed kitchen paper has been stuck onto the front page ready for a caption. This can wait until I really understand what I will be using this sketchbook for. The challenge is going to be an interesting one since I don't normally work from a sketchbook. I sometimes draw things out first, but then it is usually only elements rather than the whole design.

The first stage of our challenge is to start the sketchbook before our next meeting. Then we will learn from Debbie, one of the members, who will be leading us through this topic. After the front page I have used some of the more interesting pieces of Orizomegami, placing a large sheet under some holes cut in a page.

"Portholes" showing part of the following page.
The portholes page was inspired by a comment made in a Blog I read last week, I just loved the idea of cutting holes in one of the pages to show part of a design on the following page. It might be something worth pursuing in fabric at some stage. So far my sketchbook seems to be a collection of ideas which might be used at some time.

Pear blossom
The garden seems to be very busy at the moment with a lot of blossom on all the fruit trees. It will be interesting to see whether any of this turns into fruit later in the year.

Apple blossom
Sadly, the local weather forecast seems to be predicting frost. Ah well, I can enjoy the blossom while ti lasts.

Plum tree 
The little garden building down at the bottom corner still hasn't got it's windows. Perhaps this will happen at some stage this year.

Test knitting under way
The knitting has continued during the week with the first sleeve to be started later this evening. It has knit on circular needles. The stitches for the sleeve are currently waiting on the same circular needle. The jumper has been knitted from the top down. I'll let you know when the pattern will be available. I really love the design around the shoulders. This size is age two years, so is only small. Quite an enjoyable knit.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Its been a while - trying something new

Workshop packs - showing the booklet
This last fortnight has seen me developing a workshop pack for the paper and fabric weaving samples I have been working on. It has taken far longer than I thought it would in terms of the time spent thinking about how to do this. Putting the packs together is also a little time consuming, but has been an interesting process. I'd not had to consider how much such a pack would cost before, so had to spend rather more time than I thought in working out what exactly was going to be added to the pack. It is important to cost everything carefully since it would be rather silly to give lots of materials, paper and fabric, away. It could cost rather a lot to replace everything, especially if the workshop does happen and I need to repeat it.

Materials enclosed in the pack are bondawebbed fabric; pieces of plain calico (muslin); paper; all cut to various sizes. There are a couple of pieces of fabric which have been bonded to another fabric making it double sided. There is also a booklet which I have designed and printed myself. Yes, more costs to consider. I just hope I have managed to include everything.

I now need to get my family involved in testing the packs and my instructions to see if they do make sense and if this is a doable workshop. The one thing that bothers me is that it might all be too complicated. Do let me know what you think. I do have alternative ideas for the workshop, but this is my favourite for the moment. I also need to discuss a pack and some samples with one of the group who have invited me to give a talk and workshop. I need to know whether this type of workshop will work for them.

Don't worry, I have been playing around with something more creative. I can't say I was too impressed with the results, but I can see myself trying this again with fabric dyes and fabric. They might just make for interesting backgrounds.

Samples of Orizomegami
The samples are various papers which have been folded and then Indian Ink has been applied to the edges using a paintbrush. I forget where I found this idea, but you can see some of the work made by experts here. Do look the word up for yourself, there are some very interesting photos to be found as well as instruction. Mine are extremely basic and nothing to be proud of. I'm glad I had a quick try though and will have another go. Personally speaking, I am far more interested in the effects which might be achievable with fabric than I am with paper.

Quilted cushion - 5" square challenge
Here are photos of the 5" square fabric challenge cushion which I told you about last time. I used all the 5"squares in making the blocks for the top and also the piping for the edge of the cushion cover.

Cushion showing piping
 The remainder of the fabrics used all came from stash. The buttons were also in my button collection. I'd bought them some time ago with no project in mind - always a big mistake I make time and again. I have some gorgeous buttons which I just can't part with, but have no plans for....... at the moment.
The buttons fastening the back of the cushion
I finished my last knitting project some time ago and was feeling withdrawal symptoms. I didn't have another project planned, so took up the offer of a Test Knitting project.

Yarn waiting to be used
 These lovely yarns are going to be used for my project. It is a jumper knitted from the top down with a gorgeous hummingbird pattern around the shoulders. The size is age two years. I just couldn't resist.
The first stage of this top down jumper
The colours used are a light greeny-blue shade with the panel in french navy onto cream. I'll probably have to wait to show you the design when it is finished. However, the deadline for the tests is quite soon, so hopefully once all the test knitters have finished, the design will be available for sale.