Friday, 27 July 2012

Phew! What a week

Last week I commented on a coming heat wave, thinking I was probably putting the scuppers on it, but it certainly arrived.  Although I longed for some sun, it has been very warm here so plenty of excuses to sit in the shade and do something undemanding, physically undemanding that is.

Last Friday I registered for the next Module in my City and Guilds Creative Quiltmaking course - and my heart sank a little when I saw it was nearly wholly devoted to patchwork, which is not really my 'thing'.  However not one to be put off by a challenge I used a couple of templates to create these little pieces of mosaic patchwork using the traditional English paper piecing (See how I can throw in all this jargon now).

Although quite fiddly I enjoyed sewing these and rather liked the tiny hexagons, there was an even smaller template, but I think this is small enough for me.
As I have to produce a small patchwork mosaic I had to choose a colour scheme.  I must say that the Keshalls' course gives their students a wonderful free choice of subject matter, so I chose a photomontage that I had made from one of my orchid photographs as my starting point and gathered together some fabric swatches.  I even had another dyeing session as I was a bit short of greens.

I used Koh-i-noor intense watercolours and Inktense pencils for the colour

It was then time to choose what shape and size of patches to use.

I went for the triangles, and as you can see I have made a start on them.  I sat in the garden stitching some of them one afternoon.  It doesn't take long to accumulate a little stash.

When I got bored I started stitching them together - my stitches are about as even as I can get them at about 1mm apart.

I am aiming to make a sample about A4 size - I don't think I would want to tackle anything larger with this size patch.  I can also feel the unaccustomed exercise in my fingers and wrists. You have to grip them quite hard to get the needle though the layers. I am hoping to watch some of the Olympic opening ceremony this evening which will be an ideal time to create some more triangles, unless it is so good I can't take my eyes of the screen.*

I thought I would also take this opportunity to share a couple of  A4 sketchbook pages done in the garden this week.

The shield bug was very obliging and landed on my page.

I'm off to the Isle of Wight for a few days next week to visit my dad,  leaving Marvin the cat to look after Mr T (or is it the other way round?). I have also booked my ticket for the Festival of Quilts on Thursday 16th of August.  Will any of you be there?  I'm especially looking forward to seeing some of the Kemshalls' work - I have never been before.
Well that's me done for the week, and I guess I have managed to achieve quite a bit - but it has been much too hot for gardening or housework!
I hope you have a great weekend and I will see you soon - and it is August next week, new calendar page needed.

*Footnote: I stayed up to watch Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony and I didn't take my eyes off the screen, it was that good, so no more triangles, yet.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

What have you been doing?

I can't believe it is over a week since I last posted here. I'm not sure what I've been doing but I have managed a bit of stitching to share with you. I have now finished Module 4 of the Creative Quilt making course I am doing with Design Matters - half way through!

Here are a few things I have had to do.  One skill I have to practice is piecing curved shapes.  These samples are not too bad and if I quilted them, hopefully the wrinkles would be less noticeable.  However it is not a very inspiring thing to practice - it uses up lots of fabric and I just end up with a heap of wrinkly squares.

Another quilting skill I have had to learn is creation Prairie points all you quilters will know what they are - but they were new to me.

The next activity was using tabs as part of a design and below I chose to make mine in the shape of ridge tiles.  I used painted pelmet vilene and one of my dyed fabrics, the blue, with one I bought at a textile show.

The final activity I had to do was use couching and appliqué in a piece.  I took ages to decide what to do and wanted to use the methods to try something more significant. So I used this photograph as inspiration

 I used some of my dyed fabric and used free machine embroidery to lay down the basic shapes.
I then used couching of different threads and fabrics and a variety of stitches to represent the grain in the wood.  The whole piece is about 6x8 inches.

I have also been practicing my free machine stitching. These are on a calico/batting sandwich, the cut-outs are stitched pelmet vilene, cut out and then painted.

I hope to be enrolling for the next module in the next few days so I'm sure to be doing some more stitching, if I can cope in the coming heat wave of course! 
I've had a lot of lovely communications with fellow bloggers recently and I just wanted to add what a super lot you all are.  Keep on posting,

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Progress Report

You may recall my attempt to translate this drawing into a textile piece - progress so far
First I taped a piece of tea dyed cotton onto a piece of board and traced/drew the planter on with a fine tipped permanent marker pen and added some shading with Inktense pencils.
Then I spattered it with fabric paint to simulate the lichens growing on the planter.

I layered it up with some wadding and added free machine stitching.

Here are a couple of close ups.
By closely stitching the path the planter area is still puffy and stands out.

I am going to add some hand stitching to add to the crustiness of the lichen growth and experiment with making leaves to frame it with.
I've got a 20x20cm stretched canvas so I am going to attempt to mount it on that.
Meanwhile, back to the drawing board.
Keep dry,

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

June to July

A very quick post to add this month's calendar pages. A bit busy for the rest of the week.

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my previous post.