Sunday, 27 August 2017

BLOG 360

BLOG 360
In haste as usual, I decided that the box lid was a priority this week as we will be attending the wedding next week! For the top section of the box, I cut a piece of paper to the size of the decorated panel I required and, after placing this onto the fabric, I added ¼” all round to the size (this would eventually be my cutting line). I used a water erasable pen and added some extra vertical lines to make sure that my decorative sewing lines were running parallel. I placed the marked fabric onto low loft wadding.
                 Added margin
                Vertical lines
 And this is where my little fabric book of stitches comes into its own. All I need to do is turn its pages and choose suitable stitches for the task. I used a variety of stitches and threads in the green/gold range to decorate in lines. I also subtly included their names, the place and the date.
                Book of stitches
                 Walking foot
              In progress
              Completed box
Another task I needed to do this week was to replace the cushions on the kitchen chairs. I managed to find an ideal patchwork furnishing fabric at the Festival of Quilts. And why did I have to replace the existing cushion covers? Because Pussy Willow insisted on destructively clawing the original cushions before she settled down to sleep on one or other of them at night. I have doused these new cushions with a lavender spray in the hope that the smell will deter her from using them. I have also provided her with alternative accommodation which she seems to love. Sorted!
            Cushion cover
                Alternative accommodation
This past week has been especially hard as I have also been suffering from severe toothache in one of my back molars. This tooth was full to over-flowing with amalgam and was probably well past its sell-by date. I had tolerated the discomfort for 2 weeks hoping it would settle down but it became really bad last Sunday. I saw a dentist on Monday who gave me anti-biotics and a 2 week wait for an extraction! I tolerated 3 more days of pain before going back and having it extracted. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to be free of that intense and constant pain; I have never known pain like it! The tooth came out cleanly and easily and the dentist commented that the jaw had already given up on the tooth! I have lost several pounds (silver lining?!) and many hours of sleep!
Since feeling slightly better, I am now playing with ideas for my alternative Welsh quilt. I store my sheer fabrics in rolled bundles in a plastic box. Tidy, yes, but rather restricting for creativity as it is a bore to have to unpin, unroll, cut, reroll and re-pin! So I have cut large chunks of most of them and placed them in a plastic bag for ease of access. I did the same with the synthetics.
                Tidy storage
            Workable chunks
I am only playing with creative ideas at the moment, trying out individual portions of the quilt to see where this leads me. Susan Lenz has influenced my method and I have a Margaret Beale soldering iron and book. I may work in individual portions, or work the individual squares and long borders, or attempt the whole quilt in one piece. It is very early days with this project.
              Corner square (fused)
                 Border motif (sewn and soldered)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

BLOG 359

BLOG 359
If I am ever at a loose end when I sit in front of my sewing machine, I continue to make my fabric labels whilst I think of what project I want to tackle next. And yes, there will always be some project or other that I want to try, so this thinking time is invaluable to me. It helps me to sort out my priorities. Some things I need to do, like making another memorabilia box for a wedding in a couple of weeks’ time. Some things I want to do, like making a Welsh quilt but not as it would have been done traditionally. Here’s this week’s progress.
            Sunbonnet Sue
             Hand embroidery on felt
               Love spoon
            Faux chenille
             Machine embroidery
            Cut-out voiles
          Display of labels
As I have said before, I don’t know what I am going to do with said labels or whether they will even see the light of day but they are satisfying some creative need in me so that is all that matters. Some are technique based, others decorative and some relate to my history; it’s whatever I fancy doing at the time.
As far as the wedding memorabilia box is concerned, I asked the couple if there was a colour theme to their wedding and they said Norwich football club colours, canary yellow and bright green! The fabrics I have chosen are somewhat muted in comparison but they echo the chosen theme. I need to get a wriggle on with it too!
            Box kit and fabric
Here is ¼ of the Welsh quilt design in progress. It needs a lot more work before I start and I also need to decide how I am going to tackle it. A soldering iron will figure heavily I think!
                Welsh quilt design


Sunday, 13 August 2017

BLOG 358

BLOG 358
This week I have been at the Festival of Quilts for a couple of days, and what a jolly time I had with my friends from the group. This is one of the biggest quilt shows in Europe and it is truly an international event; quilts and quilters come from all over the world. I spent £1 on the first day on a packet of needles but, on the second day, the purse opened and my money haemorrhaged out of it! Our group called The Line Dancers made a quilt called ‘The Arabesque’ seen as no1 below. This quilt, made using a fabric dyed by Heidi Stoll-Webber, was a very different undertaking for us. There was a dearth of rosettes hanging from it but we loved making it. Below is a feast of visual images from the show for you to enjoy and they show the fantastic scope of textile manipulation in whatever form. Enjoy! (The show champion is amongst them, I wonder if you can pick it out!)
Click on images to enlarge
             01 The Arabesque
            05 Detail

09 Detail