Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Autumn and houses

Small scale stitching for now, trying to get in to the swing of two different sets of school timetables.

This is a journal for Richmond and Kew Quilters challenge, a mini-quilt for each season. Not surprisingly, this is autumn: leftover pieces of border from the current big quilt; the word, autumn, FMQd on; holographic thread fireworks; trapunto, embroidered felt pumpkins; freeform impressions of stags in the distance. I'm not sure if this has enough contrast over all, but it's OK.

Also some more stitched house obsession. This time in red and mounted on a natural linen frame.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

If I don't like log cabin , why did I decide to do this?

I am taking part in the BQL challenge on Yahoo - a 12 x 12 inch mini-quilt for each month of the year. This month it is a log cabin challenge. I think I suspected this one wasn't going to go well when I couldn't open the passworded ( is this a verb?) instructions on e:mail. The moderator kindly sent me another version and then the issues started:

  • it is log cabin and this isn't one of my favourite techniques
  • I decided to make this with some of my precious, ie "get this right as you only have one chance" silk kimono fabric
  • I also thought it would be fun to use some faces from a Michael Miller fabric that I have had for some time
  • I thought it would be interesting to try an off-centre log cabin, with thick and thin blocks
  • I am not a quilter who plans ahead - serendipity and " why don't I add.....?" are more my style. this was NOT the project for me.
  • I did try to draw out my blocks but realised I would need two different layouts to do what I wanted. I have never done this before, but in between the gnashing of teeth, I did learn some functions on our photocopier that I wasn't aware of.
  • After this failure, I remembered that, somewhere,I had some printed vilene, that would give lovely accurate logs - but this was a 1cm grid and not a quarter inch grid
  • some calculations later, I got to an approximation of a 3.5 inch block, but now having stitched the blocks, I realise that my calculations for the seam allowance are completely wrong
  • while stitching the blocks, I realised that the faces would all have to appear in the same direction to have the impact I wanted - another layout had to be chosen
  • ran out of the right colour of thread on a Sunday afternoon
  • the silks turned out to have different finishes on each side, which show up on some lights but not in others - the way I have placed these is of course deliberate to give variation to the surface texture!
  • I continually sewed the logs together in the wrong order - silk doesn't respond well to a seam ripper
  • the silk strips held together so effectively in my cut piles that one of the blocks has two strips sewn in on top of each other - again, a deliberate variation in surface texture
  • after all this, the quilting was never going to be perfect, so I thought I might as well make it prominent, so used a variegated orange thread to draw speech bubbles
Still someone once said that lots of mistakes, made in a consistent manner, are not mistakes, they are design elements. So, it is here now, full of design elements, but strangely likeable. I'm going to call this " Careless Whispers on Facebook" for reasons that are not appropriate to discuss here.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

OMG - one of my quilts is in a real book

Some time ago I answered one of those E:mails that come in to your inbox , that you look at and think - no, they wouldn't want one of mine. Well, this time, they did want one of mine.

One of my quilts ( based on a combination of some of Lynne Edwards blocks, some house blocks, my own pieced tree border and some sashing) is therefore now in the book opposite. It appears next to the title page ( the bed isn't mine - that was the stylist's). This is very exciting and it is the second time some of my quilting has been published. This one was chosen as I had hand quilted the blocks, which seems ironic as now I very rarely hand quilt.

On a quick glance through, the book looks like a good introduction to many quilting techniques, modern and traditional.<

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Lovely workshop with Sally Kelly

Lovely workshop last night with Sally Kelly who often has projects in "Stitch" published by the Embroiderer's Guild. She gave us all a calico square stamped with fabric paint and a selection of threads. Using couching, seeding and any other stitch we fancied, we stitched using the stamped patterns as a basis for the design. Very interesting to see how each person used the stamped image, and lovely to do.
I photographed this on a blue paper napkin and it goes very well on there - if I had tried to find a match I would have been there for hours! Serendipity is often the best project planner.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Charity shopping - Out of Africa

Charity shopping at the weekend and what a find. A skirt made from 3 Leopards fabric in brown and blue. The panels are about 36 inches long. I've added a photo of the inside as this is always printed with the 3 Leopards logo. This fabric has a really distinctive smell as it is printed using wax ( I think). Similar fabrics can be obtained from Maggie Relph at The African Fabric Shop.
A peaceful evening spent watching Marley and Me ( far too sentimental and eliminating most of the good bits of the book) and taking it apart resulted in these panels - I now need to plan what to do with them.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Curves and Christmas - already!

These are my first attempts at freeform curved piecing. Sewing these was easier than I anticipated, although I did have to unpick and resew a few valleys. Also the strips moved a bit when I was cutting them, so I held them down with various tins from the cupboard. The family were a bit puzzled at seeing tuna, beans, sweetcorn and canned tomatoes on the sewing board. These strips are the outer borders for a WIP quilt.

Although saying that I haven't been sewing much I have done yet more of these redwork stars which are a favourite pattern I bought in California about 8 years ago. They are a handy project to stuff in a bag and don't attract too much sand when done on the beach.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Autumn pronking

Very busy few weeks so not much sewing happening.

First conkers are down , younger son is back to school so autumn is here. In the spirit of pronking your home, the conkers are in a Ruskin blue bowl from Dartington pottery. I love this pottery and don't use it enough, but the conkers look wonderful against this blue.