Monday, June 26, 2017

Getting busy with my sewing machine and other things

My worktable - such a mess!
It was a surprisingly busy week last week despite some really high temperatures. It all ended with my table looking like this. A real mess. I spent some time getting it tidy again before being able to start anything else.
Pinfold crazy patchwork challenge
As you can see there has been some progress with the crazy patchwork, There is still quite a lot to do. I have collected a number of things which could be added - buttons, beads, lace and a broken zip included. Quite how much of this will be included remains to be seen.

What a mistake!
 I've been doing quite a lot of free machine embroidery. This first one was started after the green piece. I had decided to try and do a kind of all over pattern which wasn't related to the pattern made by the fabric pieces. Without thinking too much about it, I got out the stitch and tear and drew a grid pattern which I could use to develop the pattern I wanted to use. I should have torn off the stitch and tear after sewing the grid........ Instead, I got going on the stitching. Big mistake. I only realised just what I had done when I tried to remove the paper around the first few squares. It took a ridiculously long time, a pair of tweezers and very sore fingers. As a result I removed the paper from around the squares I hadn't yet stitched.
The same piece with the paper removed after stitching 
As you can see if you look closely, there is still plenty of bits of paper waiting to be removed. The following photo is of the first piece I had worked on. For this one I just free machined using the large squares and then infilling the rest. Lots of fun using a variegated thread. You might remember seeing these pieces a few weeks ago when I was making fabric from scraps used in making the packs for my talk coming up in November.
The green one will eventually be made up into a cushion cover. The smaller blue one will turn into a zipped project bag. There are two further pieces which need to be stitched. I have plans for what they might turn into, just haven't got started with them yet.
The green free machine embroidered piece
I still haven't finished work on the two tops which I showed last time. Perhaps next time?

Progress with the knitting
I did get some knitting done, but progress has been slow, probably due to the hot weather earlier this week. At least that is my excuse. I really do need to get on with this one since it needs to be finished by the 7th July.....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Being busy - where does the time go?

Back of the Bronze Oxide shawl

Front of the shawl
 Well, it has been another busy week. I finished the first of my current test knits -the shawl. It is really heavy and should be very cosy for the winter.

I also managed to finish putting together the packs for my talk and workshop later in the year. It may be months early, but at least I won't be getting everything put together at the last minute...... unless there are going to be many more than fifty coming along. I did make sixty, so I'm hoping that will be more than enough. You can see my preparations for this workshop and the packs here.

Starting the colourwork
yarn colours for new test knit
This is going to be an interesting knit. Another jumper for my grand daughter. This one has a design of wolves around the neckline. Called "Wolf in sheeps clothing", it is the first time I have worked with more than one colour at a time using the fairisle technique. There are lots of markers in place helping me to keep track of the design repeats. Not enough completed to be able to show you the design yet, I'm just hoping that the colours I have chosen will do this beautiful design justice. It has been designed by the same person who designed Colibri, which you can see here.

Crazy patchwork challenge
At Pinfold last week we were looking at crazy patchwork. I have barely started decorating mine as you can see. I'm hoping to fit a lot more embroidery in before you see this again. Buttons and things too.
Overlocker ready for action
 My overlocker is out again ready to help me finish the tops I am rebuilding. You can see the fabric for the two tops here. The front and back are now stitched together at the shoulders, waiting for me to get on with adding the cap sleeves and sorting out the binding for around the neck. Hopefully it will be ready to wear very soon now. I really could do with some more summery tops before the summer vanishes again......
Front view

Back view

Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting back to the sewing

Discharge printed fabric
Same piece overprinted

After finishing the last post I continued with more block printing. Great fun.
The discharged piece didn't come out very well. I have now disposed of the paste I was using since I think it really must have been too old. I shall try again one day. I overprinted the piece.

My worktable has now been cleared ready for sewing once more. I made the mistake of putting all the projects I intend working on over the top..... Needless to say the worktop is cluttered as you can see in the first photo.

From the left - a bag I need to sew together. It is the Stowe Bag from Grainline Studio. A project bag, this is a trial run for a gift. This will be made out of denim and sits on top of a collection of bits and pieces which need quilting.

The next pile along is a collection of my printed fabrics. I intend making small book covers out of these. There is a wide variety of fabrics in the mix here.

To the right of the printed fabric is a woolen skirt which is just waiting for some elastic to go around the waist. It is far too warm to wear this now, so it will be put away for the cold weather at the end of the year.

The next pile along is a bag pattern which came free with a magazine recently. I intend using this pattern with some of the fabric which I need to quilt first. Does this all begin to make some kind of sense?

The next pile along is the MEG colour challenge which still hasn't been started. I am still toying with one or two ideas, but haven't decided which to go for.

Above the bag pattern is a small pile of jersey fabric which is the first project I intend to complete. These are the two tops I mentioned last time. I just need to get my overlocker threaded with a more appropriate colour. It is currently holding red thread. Definitely not the right colour.

The last pile is this collection - The fabric is for the blouse. There are buttons to match. I really fancy making the waistcoat and trousers too. I haven't yet found the right fabric for the trousers. I've also got ideas on giving the waistcoat some sleeves and turning it into a jacket.

Oh yes, then there are the knitting projects. I won't bore you with those. There are currently just three.

Did I tell you I really would like to get some feltmaking done? I think that will just have to wait until some of these projects have been cleared off my table. Unless there is some more nice weather and I can start working outside.................... 

Perhaps that isn't such a good idea. I might not get any of these projects finished.

Enough prevaricating. I'd better get on with rethreading the overlocker. 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Printing and knitting

My own blocks

My own blocks

Wooden print blocks

Wooden block prints
 Here are some of the pieces I have been printing over the past couple of days. I have also been experimenting with discharge printing, but photos will have to wait until after I have ironed and washed the pieces since I have no idea whether it will have worked. I did try the discharge paste with a piece of black fabric a few days ago, but nothing happened. Apparently this does happen with some fabrics even when they are cotton. I think it depends on the dye originally used. It probably doesn't help that I have had this paste for some little while...... For this second experiment I have used a piece of my own procian dyed fabric as well as a piece of painted fabric.

I really enjoy messing around with my collection of print blocks. I plan to have a further session this week using my gelliplate and screens. I'd like to have a go at using a resist. A friend showed some work she had done at a workshop using a resist. It has prompted me to have a go myself. I'd like to get some more printing done before I tidy up my workroom ready to get some sewing done.

Printboards ready for more printing.
My printboards are getting to look more interesting with all the work I have done over the past couple of days.

Experimental piece
 As you can see, my experimental piece of knitting is coming along nicely. I think this will probably end up being a cushion cover. Just four more of the small squares to knit and then knit onto the bigger section. I still have to decide what to do about a border.

Test knitting - Bronze Oxide
The shawl is coming along quite well. I am looking forward to seeing what the whole thing will look like. I did finish the little knitted skirt. It looks rather sweet. I added some little wooden flower buttons from my button collection. Yes, I have a large collection of buttons along with the fabric stash and the thread..........