Sunday, 19 November 2017

The beads are still going on...12-18 November

week 46 - 2017








Saturday, 18 November 2017

Something on Saturday

cow 44

This is one of my cow aprons with an accompanying oven mitt stuck in the pocket.
The oven mitt is quite big, so it doesn't get used so often. Too likely to get a thumb or something in the food you are taking from the oven.

Friday, 17 November 2017


Instead of pouring out the pickled red cabbage juice when the jar was finished, I kept it.
Then when i was getting tired of the vinegar smell in my room....hmmm.
I put in some scraps of silk habotai that had some marking from an indigo dip.
I nuked it for 2min.
Drained it and voila! fuchsia and purple

Then I put it in the washer on a rinse cycle. To be honest, almost everything I try for an experiment comes out that colour. So I didn't really need more! But it was silk, so I could work with that.
Result:the reddish part of the purple washed out leaving a light periwinkle blue! Yes, I like this.
In true life, you hardly see the indigo markings and the silk has a lovely sheen. But the camera picks up the darker greenish blue of the indigo.

I have saved the rest for more experimenting.
my understanding of the science: Natural dyes are mostly fugitive, meaning they will fade. If you use a mordant, it is more likely to last longer. Because the pickled cabbage juice had vinegar, the vinegar works well on the silk and it will (should) retain colour.

I like experiments that come out better than you thought it could.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

CQ Suitcase Collection: My Favourite Author

This coming Saturday at the TVCT meeting, we will be viewing the current CQ Suitcase collection. The theme is My Favourite Author. You may remember my piece inspired by Escher.

The Suitcase arrived yesterday, and today I have been discovering what is there. There is a print out with the image of each quilt and the artist statement, so I don't have to handle the quilts. But there are white gloves should I need to.
Pretty amazing that with 64 pieces, there are only 13 Artists for whom there is more than one work! For me, that shows the wide range of knowledge the CQ members have for artists. Many of these artists I have never heard of, or only vaguely remember hearing of.

Fascinating, but makes running an activity about curating or being a juror that much harder! So, I am glad I left several days so I can ponder. I think I have to do research.

It would seem a good question would be to ask something like, "Do you think the work is 'inspired by' or is 'derivative'.
ooooo Dangerous discussion if the Contemporary Quilt artist in question might be at the meeting! 😱 (in spite of the popularity of this type of emoji, there was no one who chose Edvard Munch)

Sorry, sidetracked! But if I ask them to compare a work from this collection with the Artist inspiration, I will need to have images of the inspiring artist's work. Yes, some might recognise names like Picasso or van Gogh and their work, but like me, some might not have heard of the artist in question.

Anyway! making a start. Somehow an idea will present itself. Maybe we will just do a quiz?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

keeping with the bead theme

As some of you know, I have been doing the daily bead project for nearly 5 years...Just a few more weeks to go!
I do still like to do the daily practice. and I do still like to do beads. But I  have enough little beaded bits for now. 😉 It will be 60 by the end of the year!

So, I have been thinking about something else. This is one of the thoughts I am having.
I have just enough of this fabric to do every other square and so fill it for the year. Part of this is inspired by Jeanne Williamson's current Dates in a Life project. I just really like the idea of working in the squares. and when a scrap of the square fabric was on my table, it came to my mind to use it.
In the photo, I just chose beads and sequins to try a random pattern for covering the fabric, rather than the same thing every day which, though sparkly, would produce a boring flat look. This idea will mean the variation will add interest.

That is the idea. The jury is out on whether that is what I will choose!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

more trim

So, having finished the Spiral Staircase sample, I am trying out the Dutch Spiral. (These instructions have been from the Bead Guild here in the UK.)

I have had a bag of the blue bugle beads for some time, but no purpose has come up...til now. Also I have these pink beads which I really never select for anything because they are PINK, very pink. But in combination, I think they work.
It goes faster than the Spiral Staircase and because it is only 2 types of beads, I can have a little tray set up to work in my lap when we watch telly.
(We like cooking shows and so on, but record them and watch them later in the evening - like 9pm or so.)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Samples or Trims

Earlier in the year I was making bead trims or samples.
I started this bead rope, or whatever you want to call it, in April. But things got busy and sitting beading was really messing with my back.
But now that the back is doing better with physio and exercises, I have picked it up again.
And now the spiral staircase is finished!
Well finished as in achieving the goal. Each one of these is a little over 1 meter or 40 in long.

No, I don't know what I am going to do with them. But the idea is to make them to have for possible using as trim. A gown or what, it will be discovered just at the right time!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The beads are still going on...5-11 November

week 45 - 2017








Saturday, 11 November 2017

Something on Saturday

cow 43

This cow has been living on the top of the wardrobe in my studio. Time for her to get a bit more exposure.
The milk bottle and cow bell are obvious not part of the set of cow blocks and cow. But I generally keep them together.
I think my mom sent these bits to me.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Required, returned and not required

No, not saying rejected. Just not chosen!

So, first...
Ramshackle Castles has been returned from its outing to FOQ and Bristol

The response has come in for the 3 secret pieces I was working on.

Two of them have been chosen to be part of the exhibition that is in conjunction with the upcoming book OURstory by Suzanne Jones. Quilted Art that is about the marginalised and stories of human rights.
I can't show those 2 yet. They are short listed for going into the book, but it will be down to the publishers which ones are selected for the book.

I can show the one that wasn't required.
Captured Butterflies
African ladies in their colourful dress remind me of a flight of butterflies
joyfully dancing and celebrating.
Imagine a place 2x the size of California, where over 2000 women and girls are taken
and are still being taken.
Imagine the colour going out of that place.
One by one like bright butterflies captured.
Imagine the families; fathers and mothers, husbands and children whose loved one has been captured. Imagine their grief.
 Imagine the sleepless nights wondering what they are going through.
Imagine the captured one was your loved one.

Why don't we know about this? Where are the protests? Where are the media discussions?

And no, not "just one of those things that happens in Africa."!

“Although the Chibok girls were the most high-profile casualties,
UNICEF estimates over 2,000 girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2011.”
Source: UNICEF; Open Doors UK

Curiously, it is the one I like the best. I am still very confident about it and so will be looking for other opportunities to show it.

And probably will send a better photo. My son has given me his camera to use and it is sooo much better. I think I will keep the other one in my handbag for out and about sorts of photos.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Sewing Large - Finish

I had left the hand stitching in the area of the needle til after it was on, because I didn't want to fuse the appliqué over any surface thread. The thread being cotton crochet thread.

When I hung the nearly finished piece up to see the overall effect, I realised there was a section in the middle part where the hand stitching left a large pucker.

So, I took out one line of stitching and added some on a few different lines of that area. It still puckers some in this image, but I thought it might press out. And it did.

I did a bit of stitching on lines in a few other places to make it look like an overall fabric pattern design. (ish).

So, I got on with the trimming to size and the binding.

And here we are:
26inH x 18inW
Sewing Large

Very good feeling to finish this. It isn't due til February! HA. 😎
But I want to get on with another big project due before that. And this means it won't be hanging over my head throughout the holidays.

I just have to remember to post it off with sufficient time that I don't have to fret about it arriving on time!😰

Monday, 6 November 2017

Sewing Large

So, to replicate the needle -

traced onto adhesive web. I used the Bondaweb (I think it is called Wonder Under in America.) because it has a transfer paper. I know you are meant to be able to do this with Misty Fuse, but when I fuse it to baking parchment, it changes the thickness of the web when the little web strands melt together.

So, I trace the needle and its lines - the places where highlights or shadows are defined - onto the fusible web with transfer paper still attached. Then I fuse it onto a mottled fabric...I have a hand dyed piece that is grey and brown shades and tones. It is fused into an area that has a general colour look as  what I am going for.

Then I cut out around the outer line. Because the back side is where the fusible is, I use something somewhat sharp, (like my quick-unpick/seam ripper) and run it over the traced lines. It gives a slightly raised effect on the right side of the fabric. Using that as a guide, I use pigment ink felt tip for the shadows and white gel pen for the highlights. I just keep using the guide and trying to copy the image. The lower part of the needle on the right.
Oh and later, I did realise I was meant to mirror the image. It didn't line up properly with the top part. Oh. Being small and not too different from side to side, I was able to colour in some white and lighten some black.

When that was done, I placed the enlarged image on the quilt where I wanted the needle to go. I didn't want the space between to mess with the way the needle would look altogether.
I still wanted it to look like it was pushed into and out of the fabric.

Next, I fused it in place and spent more time drawing into the appliqué to make it realistic.
I used a pencil to draw the shadows onto the fabric of the quilt. Initially I had included the shadow on fabric part of my image in the appliqué, but I remembered that the realistic look of the first one I did had the shadow drawn onto the work. It made it, then, the colour of a shadow on the white as if it were a large needle pushed through the fabric. Not the colour of the shadow on the image, which was not very true after all the enlarging of the photo.

I didn't want to trust the fusing alone to keep the needle on there through packing and unpacking of exhibition touring. But I didn't want to alter the look by any machine stitching. So, I used black quilting thread and did a hand-pick stitch. (which is a bit like a tiny back stitch.) and the small stitches don't show unless your nose it right on top!

Next, A bit of adjusting of the hand stitching and pressing before trimming and binding.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The beads are still going on...29 October - 4 November

week 44 - 2017




All of the January beads

And starting with purple on grey with the last colour of the year (next month purple on brown)





Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sewing Large

The 'new' quilt...
well I left you in limbo. I  have been working on it!

  I have been trying to do this 'pacing' thing that the physio and pain management team talk about. You think you are doing it, and then you find actually, you are trying to keep going regardless...again. The physio is helping alot! But now it is down to me to do the homework.
So, when I start realising I am beginning to twist around to stop my back hurting so much, I realise,  'Oh. My back is hurting.'  This may seem obvious. But when you have been trying to ignore pain for years because you have been told rub something like Deep Heat on it - or - there is nothing they can do about it - or - it is part of fibromyalgia...well.  You have to relearn to listen to the messages about the pain.
All that to say, I have been trying to stop and do something like reading and in a different chair. And when I start reading. I am gripped. Not much getting back on the computer!

So, enough moaning. 😐


One change I made on the patches for the Sewing Large piece was to pink the edges.
It is not only neater, but actually gives a bit more interest to the whole than a straight edge. This was a little surprise. I like it!

Next step: the needle
Back when I made the first in this series, I took photos of different needles. Then I enlarged them bigger and bigger.
This is a print out of the enlarged needle I am going to try to reproduce for this work. (print out laying on the quilt).

More next week.

Something on Saturday

cow 42

There is a clip on the back of this cow, meant to hold recipe cards. I think I tried that once, but it over balances. and now days I don't use recipe cards.

This cow lives with the one from last week. But though it is in the same conditions, it seems to have suffered the elements more. No, there is not any water on the window sill. But it has a lot of rust.

I probably should toss it. But they have been companions for sometime! This one is much smaller than the other one.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The beads are still going on...22-28 October

Week 43 - 2017