Sunday, 9 December 2018

BLOG 423

Blog 423
I have been concentrating on Xmas cards and presents this week, as one does at this time of the year. As I always like to make small individual things for my close friends, I thought I’d better get a wriggle on! I started with a decorative panel in the style of Kathleen Laurel Sage (check out her work and her patterns!). I have designed and made a couple of these before and cut them up for various reasons. Here is a remnant of a learning sample.

I designed a panel 3” x 9” and transferred it onto a layer of dissolving medium using a permanent marker.

             Design and transfer
Then I started to cover it with layers of sheer where I roughly wanted to see a colour change, before finally covering it with another layer of dissolving medium.


               Another layer of dissolving medium
I used a sturdy metallic thread and free-motion stitching to follow the lines, to accentuate the design and to hold the layers together. I used a hoop for better control.

            Stitched panel


           Soldered panel

My granddaughter asked if she could do some sewing (oh so proud!) so I started her off on a Christmas project. She was having a sleep-over and was so keen to carry on the next morning that she sat in her dressing gown to continue. Catch ‘em young is what I say!
          Ella sewing



Sunday, 2 December 2018

BLOG 422

Blog 422
I have had another bitty week, making a little progress in a lot of different directions. With it being December now, my concentration has become focused on Christmas and all the delightful upheaval that that entails. I have started to add iron-on bias binding to cover the fabric raw edges on the Xmas candle project.

            Bias binding
A granddaughter needed two costumes for her school play. One was for the ‘ghost of Xmas past’ and a black cloak (Hallowe’en) did the trick for that. An ethereal costume for the ‘ghost of Xmas present’ was more of a challenge but it was easily solved with a charity shop top and an added piece of gossamer fabric which catches the light when it moves. It will fit the bill, and very cheaply too!

          Ghost costume
I have prepared two wet felted backgrounds for a couple of pictures. I am going to put a colourful house on each one with foliage and sewn detail too. These are in their early stages yet and more layers will be added until I am satisfied that they work.

             Wet felted backgrounds


I prepared more fabric with fusible so I could start to construct a wall to go with the flower pots. This experiment is in its early stages as well and needs much more attention to detail.


          Wall building
The water-dissolvable medium has been soaked off the thread bowl and this has been stretched over a ceramic bowl to dry.

             Thread bowl
My friend Gwenda celebrated her 70th (Sod it) Birthday and for a treat we took her for afternoon tea to Bodysgallen Hall near Llandudno. We had the library, a grand private room, to ourselves with an open fire and this scrumptious platter of goodies. Little was left at the end of our time there.  It was a real calorie-laden treat for us all.  
            Bodysgallen Hall

And here is our Wine Advent Calendar!! It is our Xmas gift from our granddaughters and it has to be said that our daughter (who purchased it) knows us so well. It will be a very happy December IF we can keep up with it!!

         Wine Advent Calendar






Sunday, 25 November 2018

BLOG 421

Blog 421
It has been a week of bits and pieces. I was at Suzette’s at the start of the week to sew with my friends. First I started to prepare a sample for the project I am doing with our village craft group. It is a stained glass candle wall hanging which I taught my regular classes many, many years ago. It isn’t my design and, as it is such an old project, I can’t remember the design source. I had to draft a working pattern from my own sample. The picture below shows all the pattern shapes sewn on a background layer by machine ready for the iron-on bias binding. The binding has just arrived in time for this week’s class and it will define the separate areas dramatically and bring the picture to life.
              Appliqued background
I found another project unfinished in the bottom of a box, a free-machine scribble of threads on a dissolving medium. This had been started as the foundation of a thread dish and I felt it was worth continuing.  Here is a sequence of pictures to show the progress. I am now at the stage where I need to refine the design and soak it in hot water and mould it round a suitably shaped dish to dry.

           Central circle


                 Defining the edge

              Overlaid detail

                Close up

             Decorative detail
Another thing I played with this week (I did say it was a bitty week!) was a project to answer the question ‘can I make a piece of work to look like a water colour painting?! First I printed off a very loosely painted bird and I overlaid it with a layer that still allowed me to see the design. I started to free-cut sheers and position them over the background vaguely in line with the original pattern.  

               Water colour

           Background layer

         More progress
And so it continues. I am not sure yet whether I have answered my question but I am intrigued enough to continue playing with this idea.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

BLOG 420

Blog 420

And so the creating begins. My method, which I am re-visiting after many years, relies on haphazardness and irregularity so it suits me fine! To start I drew a rough shape to represent a flower pot and marked where the lightest area was going to be. And then I started to ‘colour’ in this shape with ready bonded rectangles, all cut with a pinked rotary blade. I started with darker shades and worked towards the light area.

            Rough shape

           Colouring in
Separately, I worked leaf shapes on some of the release paper from the Bondaweb (baking parchment works well also) and positioned these at the top of the container.

I decided to increase the range of fabrics at my disposal. This involved adding fusible to the WS of the chosen fabrics and I do this by over-lapping them on a long strip of Bondaweb and ironing them well. The fusible needed to be stuck thoroughly and a good test of that is to look at the release paper to see if has changed to a darker grey. Any light parts indicate that the fusible hasn’t stuck and more ironing is needed.  

            Preparing fabric

           Not stuck


The (release paper) backing paper can be carefully removed in one sheet and it is very useful for building up shapes/designs on or as a layer on top of the project to protect the iron. When the fused fabrics are tugged apart, the over-lapped (and therefore unfused areas) are clearly visible and these can be removed easily. The fabrics need to be cut with a pinked rotary cutter blade into random lines and then rectangles.

              Removing the backing paper

         Bonded fabric

              Visible fusible

            Remove excess fabrics

             Pinked shapes

Once the palette is established, the fun begins. A simple flower can be fused onto the release paper, with a light centre and shaped petals. This can be carefully removed and dropped into place within the design. By slightly over-lapping the elements of the design, the whole project becomes very stable and can be handled as a whole chunk of fabric and placed on the design wall. I wanted to see what this one looked like in relation to the first flower pot I made.


            Flower petals

            Creating foliage

           In progress


Sunday, 11 November 2018

BLOG 419

Blog 419
I have created some more labels this week. They are great to do, small and not so perfectly formed (!) but very satisfying if they come right. And if they don’t, they are small enough to discard without any angst! My collection continues to grow and I am even contemplating making a customised box or two to store them in!
            Luggage labels

            Applique (Silk flower on a painted background)

          Floral applique

            Dimensional applique (Free motion butterfly on a painted silk background)
       Finished label

            Colour blocks (layers of sheers sewn with a continuous stitch)

            Stained glass (Traced from a Dover publication and coloured in with stitch)

            Sheers and stitch (Sheers were cut out with a soldering iron and placed on a textured background)

            Soldered buttons (Buttons cut with a soldering iron and sewn onto calico with painted Bondaweb circles)

             Cross stitch (An insert in a birthday card from my dear friend Gretta)

                                    My Act of Remembrance 1918-2018 (This has been made to coincide with the end of the First World War a hundred years ago). We will remember them, with gratitude.