Monday, 15 December 2014

Studio Weekend

This weekend some of my students came to my home studio to have a bit of a messy time. Graded dyeing, silk painting and batik were among some of the techniques we explored.

My husband had bought me a wax pot for my birthday and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out

Lots of wonderful experimenting going on

Transfer paints with a stitched resist. I love the mottled background.

Bleach effects on hand dyed fabric and velvet.

Silk painting and salt effects

Folded and pegged fabric it looks like a tiled floor. I am very pleased with this one.

Tray dyeing before rinsing out.  The colours will be paler when it is dried.

Stacks of dyed fabric to take home.

Jenny's silk painting


And Jan's

I am looking forward to our next lesson to see how the dyed fabric has turned out.


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Kathleen Laurel Sage Workshop and more

It has been wonderful to be on the other side of the fence and be a student for a couple of days. I have had the most fantastic time with Kathleen Laurel Sage making a fairy doll

She is a great teacher and I had a lovely time doing something quite different to quilting. I have not stitched and burnt organzas for several years or done so much embellishment so had great fun letting go.

This little fairy will be finding her way into someones stocking this year.
Making some Christmas gifts this year has made me think that this is the way to go and next year most of my gifts will be made (I will have to start in January I think as I want to make a few quillows)

Luckily I now have my new studio and no excuses for lack of productivity.
This weekend I am having my first students to have a dyeing, using resists and discharge pastes weekend. Should be messy and fun.

I have also been involved in a lovely group project making a lap quilt for a very special friend. We each made a block of blues and greens with a pop of orange.  You can see more of this on Pams Blog


Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming and it is time for the Christmas make with my friends. This was the first time they had been in my new studio and I was excited to see what they all made of it.

We made Christmas decorations from polystyrene balls and wide ribbon.

These are the samples I made

Sue had a great time making matching decorations

And these are all of the decorations we made in the evening. 
It was a very productive time.


Carefully score the  polystyrene balls into 8 segments using a craft knife and a cutting mat. 
Cut a piece of ribbon slightly longer than the distance from the top to the bottom 
From the centre of the ball, gently push the edge of the ribbon into one of the cuts using a butter knife.
Repeat on the other side of the ribbon 

Trim the excess away at the top and the bottom and push the ribbon into the polystyrene ball.

Take another length of ribbon and repeat to cover the next segment. Repeat this until the ball is covered.

Add cord along the segments and a hanging loop to finish 

Happy crafting

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sloe Going

I finally feel as if I am starting to get sorted in my studio. I have ordered new tables which should be arriving this week and then I can post photos of a neat and tidy ( but not for long knowing me ) studio.

I have been taking a bit of time away from sorting - how did I get so much stuff? to start experimenting.

This is an experiment to distort an image. I have made it slightly more difficult for myself by using diamonds. 

I have also been working on a small block inspired by a friends photograph.

I need to add some more stitching but am pleased with how it is starting to look, although scale seems to have gone out of the window.

 I have also found some time to go sloe hunting and make some sloe gin.

This large jar will be decanted into smaller bottles for Christmas gifts. I now need to start thinking of jams and chutneys.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Catch Up

These last couple of months have been quite difficult. Not having my studio space was more unsettling than I thought it would be so I am in no hurry to repeat the experience. The builder is back again today to finish up - hooray!! I have already stared moving back in but feel there is still a way to go until I am settled in and working properly. However a couple of days out can take the mind off the chaos at home

A trip to Chilford and a spot of wine tasting was just the thing last Friday and the lunch was good too. 

Quickly followed by a trip to London to see how the poppies in the moat display is growing, again with a lovely lunch ( and dinner! ) with good friends. We even managed to find - quite by accident  - the restaurant where my son works. I have to say that I did embarrass him and pop in. Luckily it was his break and he joined me for a coffee and a catch up. The busy life of a chef.

Anyway I am taking advantage of not being able to unpack boxes to browse the internet for quilt festivals and shows for 2015. It is time to be more focused in my work and will give myself some deadlines for next year. 

Yesterday was an exciting day with some of my City & Guilds students coming to the end of their courses, and they rose to the challenge I set them. It was a mini sewing bee as they only had a couple of hours to design and make a small patchwork item. Carol and Jennifer have given me permission to share their finished items

Carol's cushion cover using English paper pieced hexagons and echo quilting.

Jennifer's Christmas themed place mat using courthouse steps construction. 

I'm sure you will agree that they have both done a great job on the level 1 Patchwork & Quilting course. 

Happy sewing

Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's Coming Along

The building work on my studio is coming along and although it has only been two weeks I am feeling the lack of work space. I am starting to get a bit ragged round the edges and can't wait to move everything back in.

To pass the time I have taken some photos of the build in its various phases.

This is the garage before we started

The first day the builder knocked down the partition wall between the garage and my old studio space,

 started to make the frames for the internal walls and put the floor down.

The garge door was removed and the bricklayers created the new wall

More internal walls and insulation reaedy for the electricians first fix

The loft ladder has been relocated and the new ceiling is in place

 It was wonderful to see the plaster board going in 

And the new windows

The plasterer has been and now the insulation in the attic space is bing installed.
Lots of thick celotex boards should keep the studio warm

Hopefully it will be finished next week and then I can get on with decorating and moving back in.
With all the boxes round the house and the huge container on the front garden it won't be a moment too soon. 


Friday, 29 August 2014

Packing and a Day Trip

Well it has been a busy time trying to pack my studio up into a container

As my husband said it is like the tardis but in reverse. But with a lot of careful stacking we have managed, and there is even room for the golf clubs ( one day we may start playing again )

During the "Big Clearout" we also had to clear the attic which gave me the chance to check my wedding dress. Wow that was a blast from the past and there is no way I'll get into it again. But it is in perfect condition so I will top up the mothballs and put back in storage.

I also managed a day catching up with my son in London. We went to see the Poppies in the Moat at the Tower of London

 Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red   

It is a fantastic public art installation with over 800,000 ceramic poppies. The poppies are available to buy ( see the link above ) and I'm looking forward to having one in my garden when the exhibition finishes.

From the Tower we wandered along the  north bank and ended up on the strand where I was taken for lunch 

And then onto Piccadilly to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy for the Arts.

I have to say that this years was ( in my opinion ) the best I have seen. There was something for everyone - nearly - as textiles are still absent. With Grayson Perry's tapestry's being included last year I had hoped for more. Although I suppose with most of the paintings being done on canvas you could argue that textiles have always been represented. 

And finally back to textiles
I found these cushions during the packing. Rather than storing them away, they have found new home in my conservatory.