Monday, 29 April 2013

Quilting Practice

What a busy weekend, Lots of gardening and making the most of the sun, between typical April showers. The tubs are just coming into bloom but the camellia is at least a month behind as it is not yet showing any inclination to bloom. What a strange year this has been so far. These pots were a gift from my mother and they have been out all winter. Spring may be late but we are enjoying them never the less. 

 I managed to get into the studio today and finish some applique samples and practice some quilting patterns. I have decided that it is high time to build a pattern resource, so have started sketching continuous designs and then quilting them. 


A few of todays quilt samples. I went a bit wild on the doodle with heart sample and started to embellish them. 

Happy stitching


Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Doodle Day

I decided to explore my sewing machines programmed stitches and colour combinations. 
I was pleased with this sample which has a flow and the use of the cross stitch type stitch added contrast.

Straight and zigzag free motion embroidery in a warm colour scheme gave grids and texture to this sample. When free motion stitching I use a hoop but the stitches will still produce some fabric distortion. I only use straight and zig-zag stitches as the programmed stitches require the feed teeth to guide the patterns. In free motion stitching I am creating the patterns and moving the fabric. 

This sample is only using straight stitches. I thought I would create a fire effect as they were fire colours. Stitching in one direction produces even more distortion of the fabric even when held in a hoop.

Although free motion stitching can be used to create depth and texture in this last sample I have just doodled. 

Remember when sewing keep your shoulders and arms relaxed, and take regular breaks.
Ensure you have good lighting and that the machine is at the correct height.

Happy Stitching


Monday, 22 April 2013

UFO finished

At the beginning of this month I shared with you one of my UFO's (unfinished objects)
I had taken a box of rubber washers and wrapped them. The project theme was exploring bubbles and foam.

Now I can show you the finished bowl. It may not be practical but it is certainly more decorative than a box of rubber washers.

Happy Stitching


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Distracted by the Sun

I know I should have been doing housework but I became slightly distracted by the sight of the sun yesterday. With the possibility of a BBQ soon I thought some new place mats would be nice.
As I am already in Log Cabin / Courthouse Steps mode I worked a sample to check the sizing.

I used some seaside theme squares - which were meant for another project but have now been diverted.
Delving into my stash of fabric I went with a sea and sand colours to match the pictures. Now all I  need to do is to decide how to bind it and make another 15 before next Saturday.

Happy stitching


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Silk Paper Table Lamp

When is a quilt not a quilt? 

Over the last couple of days I have been busy working in my studio and the question of the division of textile arts into different categories again came to mind.

This is my Silk Paper Table Lamp.

Is is made from two layers of sheer fabrics - organza and chiffon - and the surface layer of silk paper. It has three layers and so can be classified as a quilt.

I have stitched (quilted or free motion embroidered depending on your stance) through all three layers.

What ever it is, I enjoy it, both lit when there is a warm glow and unlit for the lovely colours of the silk paper.


Happy Stitching


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Log Cabin Fever

Today I have been writing information sheets on Log Cabin blocks for the City & Guild Course

Although it is a traditional block, there are hundreds of variations which can be achieved.
I have been exploring changes in proportion and scale as well as the centre shape. Most of my efforts today have been in the design of the blocks and I have been working with graph paper and coloured pencils. A bit time consuming but I don't have a design programme for the computer - (yet)

The scanner has been overworked and by using the drawing toolbar in 'Word' I have managed to produce designs for quilts and borders. 

Tomorrow will be into the studio to create some more samples for my students.

Happy stitching 


Monday, 15 April 2013

Braids with Gina Ferrari

A wonderful workshop on Saturday led by  Gina Ferrari produced some wonderful machine embroidered braids. Even though it was a hive of activity - we had to be asked not to sew for at 20 minutes for a quiet lunch - it was a relaxed day. 

some of my braids

Gina showed us her wonderful machine embroidered braids which she had made into bracelets and bags. It is such a flexible technique that lots of other things could be made, and I'm sure over the next few months we will see the products of the members imaginations. I was a little too enthusiastic and may have over-blinged my piece. I very rarely use sequins.

the finished or not so finished item

Yesterday I was so enthused that after the busy day yesterday flying Falcons, Owls and Eagles and then a walk along a short section of the Viking Way to Greetham I still went into my studio to make some more braids. 

My Husband and an Eagle Owl 
My braid project is still a UFO but it will be developed over the next few months into something wonderful - I hope as the idea is still in my head and needs planning out. A bit of experimenting with aluminium mesh may be called for.

More examples of the day can be seen at Gina's blog Fan my Flame and Pam's Blog the crafty mugwump

Happy Stitching


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Falconry Day

Today we are going with friends on a Falconry experience. I have never been close to hawks but we do see the occasional Red Kite gliding over our garden. 
It reminded me of the Falconry furniture I made when I did my City & Guilds way back in the early '90's.  Always one for a challenge as I had never worked in leather or made a glove before (how hard can it be!!!) Well I soon learned how difficult and tricky glove making is. I couldn't even think of making one with a hard leather so chose to make it from chamois. The colours were taken from a photo of a Kestrel.

The feathers were made by free machining over net, cutting out and applying onto the  leather. 
The cuff of the glove was influenced by wonderful Elizabethan embroidered gloves.
Threads were trapped between the leather and a layer of chiffon and free motion stitched in place.

As this is a new blog it will be a combination of some early work as well as new, hope you enjoy seeing my work.

Happy Stitching


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Stumpwork Box - Kathleen Laurel Sage workshop

Kathleen Laurel Sage  is a very talented textile artist and among her skills is wonderful Stumpwork.  A couple of years ago we were delighted when she visited the Peterborough Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild  to share her techniques.

She showed us how to make blackberries from seed beads and redcurrants  from wrapping larger beads.

This is developed from her design which I worked on silk and made into a small trinket box

Happy Stitching


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Chain Stitch Sampler

For the Hand Embroidery City & Guilds course I have been working on stitch samples.
I posted an earlier one -  the Isolated Stitch Sampler

This is a sampler for what I call a stitch family - The Chain Stitch Sampler
Again I used stranded cotton and perle threads on a cotton background.

Stitches used from top left corner to bottom right

Detached chain stitch ( daisy stitch)
Heavy chain stitch
Chequered chain stitch
Twisted chain stitch
Whipped chain stitch
Back stitched chain stitch
Chain stitch

Happy Stitching 


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Embossing and the MDF Man

I have spent this morning creating textured surfaces using an embossing tool (and dreaming of my friends card making machine)  for the City & Guilds courses.

It reminded me that the MDF Man gave me his recipe for homemade embossing paste when I saw him at the Hobbycrafts show in March.

I have not tried it myself yet but he gave me permission to share it on my blog

There are two versions.

1. Equal parts of PVA glue, Acrylic Paint (black in this example) and corn flour.

2. One part PVA Glue,  one part Acrylic paint ( black), Two parts Brown decorators cork.

MDF Man uses black acrylic as he spray paints his demo models black first.

Using a spatula and a stencil he applies the paste, and cleans the stencil straight away.

Leave to dry and brush with treasure gold.

I haven't tried it yet.... but watch this space.

Happy Stitching


Monday, 8 April 2013

All Stitched Up

What do you do with a box of rubber washers?

Stitch them of course.

I started this project thinking of bubbles and foam and this is  the project so far. 

I haven't simply wrapped them I have used buttonhole (or blanket)  stitch  like the  first stage of making dorset buttons

I had been thinking about making a bowl - What do you think they should become?

Happy stitching


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Paperclay Texture Book

This morning I am looking at textures for the City & Guilds courses.
I am busy looking round the house for more things to make wax rubbing's of, but have taken a moment to share my paper clay book with you. I was introduced to Paperclay by Pam - thank you. 

Using Creative Paperclay I found lots of texture around my home to make this texture book
There are placemats, the bottom of baskets, shells, old toys anything with an interesting surface which could be transferred to the paper clay.

Paper clay is an air drying modelling clay.
By rolling small pieces out and pressing it into the textured surface I could make "textured images"
When dry the paper clay can be painted and stitched. Although I found that if I wanted to stitch them it was better to make holes using a blunt needle whilst it was soft.

Here are some of the pages from the book

Just found this link for UK visitors Art from the Heart

Happy Stitching


Friday, 5 April 2013

SIX and Friends - Orientation Exhibition

I am a little late with the blog today as I took the opportunity to visit The Bramble Patch in Northamptonshire. I was eager to see the "Orientation" exhibition by SIX and Friends before it finishes tomorrow.

I have to say that I was not disappointed. The work was stunning and of a calibre I just dream of  and aspire to. I am not posting  photos of the work on display but the links will take you to their blogs

I have been following Annabel Rainbow's Blog for a while, but to see her finished quilts was wonderful. 
The depth of feeling in Shall I be Mother? is exquisite. The link takes you to the story behind the quilt.  

Both Laura and Linda Kemshall were showing work with an Oriental theme, and I am always pushed to think about my designing when viewing their wonderful work.

It made me get out my old sketchbooks and have a look at the work I did with a Japanese theme. 

Here are a few pages

I can see me revisiting these in the not so distant future

Happy Stitching


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Crazy for Patchwork

Over the last year or so I have discovered  a love of  Crazy Patchwork, making panels and personalising hessian bags for my friends.

I am currently working on one for my mother.

Current panel
Gallery of crazy patchwork bags. 

I had asked my friends for fabric for my stash for my birthday, I told them that they had to choose fabric they liked. Little did they know they would be getting a bag based on their choice. The bags are lined with some of their fabric, (but I still have enough for a friendship quilt)

Hope you enjoy the gallery
Happy stitching