Sunday, 14 October 2018

BLOG 415

Blog 415
I have been sewing at Suzette’s again and I love going because, apart from the excellent company, I am surrounded by such inspiring work. I have learned so much from the others who have years of embroidery knowledge and experience behind them. Here are their works in progress.
             Peggy’s butterflies


            Pat’s waterfowl

               Suzette’s composition
Being surrounded by embroidery didn’t stop me from felting this week though! I have an order for several pictures with felted houses; these will be Christmas gifts so I needed to get on with them. Once the bags of colours were beside me I was raring to go and I started to mash fibres on my embellishing machine. Instead of trying to make individual squares to a certain size, I decided to try to make one large piece of felt this time and to cut it down into smaller squares. And we are talking small this time. These squares are 2”!! (Note to self: don’t cut the squares to the required size until the houses have been felted. The felting process distorts the square!)

            Felting wools

               Needle felting

              Background squares

               Basic houses

            Stitch detail

            Second set
A third set of 9 is made up of larger 3” squares. This is a work in progress and hopefully I will be able to show them framed next time.

             Third set

             Stitch detail
The weather is altering now as we settle into a colourful autumn and the cats certainly know where to find comfort and warmth. Here they are in their usual places beside the log fire doing their barely-synchronised grooming!

This week I managed to find a rainbow for my finger. I just love it!

             Rainbow finger





Sunday, 7 October 2018

BLOG 414

Blog 414

 It’s been a bit of the ‘same old, same old’ this week for me as I have been trying to get the ‘Shades of Liberty’ quilt top out of the way. Over the past few weeks I have been constructing a two-row strip whenever I felt like it and it is surprising how they have built up. It has to be said that I get bored with repetition so I felt the sooner this was out of the way the better. When sewing two individual strips together, I always sewed the seams from dark to light and butted the seams so that the bottom one went down and the top one went up. They were pressed carefully and the whole thing went together without problems, because all the seams butted up together throughout the quilt.

              Shades of Liberty 

            Pressed seams


             Joining rows 

I was left with a limited palette of medium and light squares and would have had to buy more fabrics if I went on to make a large bed quilt. I am always tempted to do this but need to remind myself that all the beds have quilts on them already so a throw would be a better idea.

         Limited palette


            Bed quilt layout

I now have one or two gaps to fill in and then I will call it a day on the size and put it to one side to finish for Gresford next year.

 My daughter lives in the village of Pantymwyn just outside Mold in Flintshire and they have entered the village scarecrow competition. And just for fun this week, I thought I would show you some of the imaginative entries.


           Old age pensioner 

           Harry Potter

             Duvet day 

           Mary Poppins

             Black and white cat 



        Digger driver
The last one was done by my daughter, husband and their children and it won them a third prize! Well done Team Anderson!

               King Arthur and Merlin 





Sunday, 30 September 2018

BLOG 413

Blog 413
I store all our group quilts in a bedroom loft space so they always come back to me at some stage or other throughout the year.  I have just taken charge of our latest group quilt called ‘Mere Men’ so I have been able to photo graph each panel and I am sharing them with you this week.

This year we chose a man from all the significant eras of our island history and stood him in front of a quilt of his time to record his comments. The size and shape of the man was consistent throughout the panels, as were the lines of patchwork squares along the bottom. It was actually designed to hang in a long horizontal row but the dimensions of the entries was altered for this year’s FOQ and we had to hang it 3 by 3 by 3 instead. Each group member was given scope to research their era and design a costume and a quilt for that time. Here they are in chronological order.
         Jennifer’s Cave man
“I’ve been out all day chasing mammoth. What’s for dinner?”

         Jackie’s Egyptian
“I met this Giza who told me that the pyramids were tumbling blocks”

         Liz’s Greek
“YEIA … told you beards were in”

        Barbara’s Roman
“I came, I saw, I admired”

             Janice’s Viking
“She’s been trading - I should have seen it in the runes”

           Dilys’s Norman
“I see we won BOTH the battle and the quilt show in Hastings”

           Panel detail
           Jenny’s Elizabethan

“Is it the design for our garden or our second-best bed cover?”
            Sue’s Industrialist
“O dear, this letter means there’s trouble at t’mill”

            Marion’s Modern man
“Cool man, the first interactive gaming quilt”

There is no doubt we have great fun doing these group quilts although there is always a lot of pressure to do our individual piece well and on time. This year has been exceptional technique-wise with so much detail for all to enjoy. We meet next Friday for the first time to discuss any ideas for next year and who knows where they will take us! Love it love it love it!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

BLOG 412

Blog 412
 I have been sewing at Suzette’s this week so I used it as a golden opportunity to catch up on my textile luggage labels. When I first thought of this long term project, the idea was to make a label a week: I felt the small size was do-able!  How wrong was I?! To work in small scale is quite difficult and intense and often requires more time and effort than working full scale. So the idea got shelved and I stopped doing them for a while.

Then it occurred to me that I might be approaching this project from the wrong angle. I was going through a collection of half-finished projects I had in storage: experimental pieces, trial techniques and the like. They were never good enough to use for anything or even worth completing, but they were a vital part of my textile journey. So rather than make a specific label in a specific way, I decided to make labels from these existing pieces. I completed 16 in the time I was at Suzette’s! Result! Here they are with information about the techniques used. (NB they still need the final edging of a larger, closer zig zag in variegated thread to complete them)

             1 Free motion stitching on a prepared synthetic background with soldering iron mark making


            2 Painted background with infill surface stitching done on the WS


            3 Painted Lutrador with machine and free motion stitches

         4 Stitch on sheer fabrics with soldering

            5 Fused Angelina fibre surface placed on a floral rubbing with fabric crayons

          6 Stitched sampler on a dyed background


          7 Fabric swatch given to me by an American folk singer/quilter touring the UK
            8 Stitch and texture on felt surface

          9 Sample section taken from a piece created at an experimental textile workshop
           10 Metallic threads and sheers on wadding

          11Thread detail on cut-out sheers inspired by pebble pavements

           12 Stylised tree in free motion stitch
           13 Sample section cut out from a larger ‘thread painted’ picture
           14 Felt wool background over-laid with a layer of cut-out sheer
         15 Selection of yarns under stitch
             16 Traditional stained glass panel drawn and coloured in thread