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.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

BLOG 418

Blog 418
I have been busy over the last two or three weeks, mainly clearing the decks (and fabrics!). For what reason I am not quite sure yet but I need (not want but need) to be creative! I coined the expression ‘I feel a quilt coming on’ when I first started teaching over 30 years ago and that creative impulse is as strong as ever in me, even after all this time. It’s good for my fabric and my skill levels to just shove quilts under the sewing machine, but working like that won’t feed my restless creative beast. So 7 Linus quilt tops later and with a lot of empty baskets in my fabric store, I feel I have avoided the design wall for too long. So let’s see what happens … if anything happens … well it has always happened before … what if it doesn’t happen again? … AAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!!!
          2 Linus quilt tops

            2 more Linus quilt tops

There were many Liberty squares left over from the shaded quilt top that I made so I decided to use these with a neutral fabric to make the simplest of patchwork tops.
             Liberty squares


            Number 5

Number 6 was made from the left over half-square triangles paired up with a black fabric and Number 7 used up the rest of the 5 ½” squares that I cut to prepare the half-square triangles.
           Number 6

          Number 7

            Quilt tops

These quilt tops will now be put out of sight and therefore out of mind so that I don’t feel pressurised into quilting them imminently. That said, they will be given to the ‘Sharer of the Grandchildren’ who is the Linus rep for N Wales and I will chat to her as to when she needs them most.

Looking at my fabric stash now I see lots of empty baskets. I am not hyper-ventilating about this …. Yet … Because there are masses of Batiks and Bali’s to keep me happy J J J!

           Fabric stash

           Empty baskets

          Batiks and Bali’s
And here are the framed felted pictures that I finished a couple of weeks ago.

          Houses 1
         Houses 2

            Houses 3