Sunday, 25 January 2015

And the bead keeps going on...18-24 January

Week 3 January 2015

This week a size contrast
little tiny beads - size 15 and big huge beads - sizes 6 and 8







Saturday, 24 January 2015

Something on Saturday

So here is a funny story.
A Certain Young Man had an orange tree brought back with him from uni a few years ago. When he went to live in America for a while, I was tasked with looking after it. (Bring it back to life!)
So, I started feeding it and watering it and it grew and grew.
Then it got a flower and grew a tangerine size orange...which was eaten by A Certain Young Man when he was back visiting last January.

Fast forward. A Certain Young Man returned to live here in August. Around that time there were more flowers. A cluster of them were on the bottom branch. 4 of them set, and the others fell off.
As these grew, they were not really orange shape. But they kept growing past the size of the previous orange. While green, they looked like limes. (sorry, no photo.)
Then they turned yellow. Okay, so let's wait for them to turn orange...and perhaps they will start getting spherical? It looks pretty lemon-like.

So, I took a photo at that point because I thought I would get photos of the stages. Only there weren't any more stages. So, I gave it more water, more food. Put a shiny foil covered board under them to hold them up and help them get more light.

Then the other day I came in and 2 were gone. A swift search showed them under and behind a chair.

I put them in the kitchen with some apples to help them get ripe. and suggested a Certain Young Man should try one. Because if they fell off, they must be ripe.

Certain Young Man comes into my studio. Do I want to try this?

WooHoo! That is sharp! That is a lemon! (Well, it was trying to tell us it was a lemon all this time!)
one of the lemons
So, we had an investigation and came to the conclusion that there was a bit of a bump above the lemon branch in the main stem of the tree. And so we actually have a lemon/orange tree! Or orange grafted onto lemon tree.

Friday, 23 January 2015

More flowers in January

Several Polyanthus flowers bravely showing their faces.

I love England...Spring gives hints beginning at Christmas! We even have tulip leaves up about 5 inches! So, now that it is cold this week, they will just bide their time. But they still give hope of better warmer days.

Where I grew up, you didn't even see them til about Easter if you were lucky or if it was late.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Blooming in January

Last week I discovered the heather was in bloom! I haven't checked to see if it is liking this cold snap.

And in the front garden...
I love cyclamen. It was the first flower my husband gave me.

I think they are amazing how they are at first all twisted and pointing down right up to when they are ready to open. and then within a matter of minutes the petals fling back and reveal the 'centre' at the bottom.

Here is a borrowed time lapse video.

Isn't it amazing!!

The leaves are a wonderful heart shape.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wednesday Wonders

Near the beginning of the year, I spotted an interesting dress on the weather lady on Sunday evening. Eventually I had to pause the TV and get the camera.

I'm thinking black fabric discharged in some way...


Dolman Sleeve

design carries round hip to back

design carries over shoulder to back

Do they look like birds to you?
Or are they just random and I am using my overactive imagination?

I never did hear what the weather was going to be!

Apologies to the weather lady, I didn't catch your name...just your dress and a few of your theatrical weather faces.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

CQ 2014 Journal Quilts

Today three of my journal quilts for 2014 went off in the post.

May - Rugby Run

July - British Cycling

and December - Goal!

They will join the work of other Contemporary Quilt artist to be exhibited in several places around the UK.

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts show, Event City, Manchester 5-7 February

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts show, SECC, Glasgow 5-8 March

Sewing for Pleasure, Fashion Embroidery and Stitch, NEC, Birmingham 19-22 March

Creative Stitches, Fashion and Embroidery, ExCel Centre, London 26-28 March

British Quilt and Stitch Village, Uttoxeter Racecourse, Staffordshire 24th-26th April

Their new owner, my son, has kindly allowed them to be on loan. I did mention they are worth more if they have been exhibited.

Earlier in the year January, March, and April journal quilts were on exhibit at the Spring Quilt Festival, Exeter. At this link, you can see all of the quilts together in order.

Monday, 19 January 2015

CQ-Kazakhstan Project - 10 finished!

And here we are! Bound edge and finished.
The Collared Dragon

And finally much more like the actual colour!

I haven't developed a story, other than when I went to think of a title. The collar seemed important to it. A subtitle is The Royal Pet. But I haven't added that to the work to send off. Especially if it is to travel, they will have to translate! Collared Dragon is sufficient for now.

So, to get the accurate colour, I turned off the light so that the only light was through the patio windows. (Patio windows are the only source of outside light in my studio. So, that is why the overhead lights are daylight tubes.) Then I took a photo with the flash. Problem is, I can't remember if it was on intelligent auto or normal photo. But it is an option to try again the next time!

The dragon is 'winging' its way to the collection point for CQ and then will go with the rest of the British pieces out to Prague and on to the rest of the journey.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

And the bead keeps going on...11-17 January 2015

Week 2 January 2015

no.17 is coming done! Slight delay.








Saturday, 17 January 2015

CQ-Kazakhstan Project - 9

Here is the dragon needing a binding.

Please do remember or use your imagination that the background is black! But even in real life, with the colours I used it does read as a very black green. So it is a good thing one of the options for backing was dark green. I haven't enough of that black to make the binding, so I will be using a matt black which may help with reading the colour correctly.

One more thing...I still had one more fabric I hadn't used. The purple devore velvet. So, yes, I used a small bit for the eye, but still. So anyway, I got the bright idea to make a velvet collar. Which works very well.
The dragon had an outing at the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles group today, so has had much admiration already.

Now for the funny part. I re-read the instructions before trimming to the 50cm square. ..... says use 4 or 5 of the fabrics which were sent to you.
Well, I suppose if I had remembered that, I would have been less successful at 'making it work'.

I have learned that it will also be making a tour beyond the exhibition at the Prague Patchwork Meeting in the Czech Republic. "After PPM the quilts will be taken over by Bernina representative for a tour : Germany, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Russia....."

Friday, 16 January 2015

CQ-Kazakhstan Project - 8

I am nearly ready to reveal this work. But today I am talking about solving issues.

First of all, I must say it wasn't just a matter of stitching the dragon to the background. It kept stopping like it was stuck on something and often breaking the thread.
I...used a different thread
...changed the position of the thread reel
...changed the needle
...changed to a single hole needle plate(thinking the backing fabric was catching)
...changed to an open toe darning foot (from the normal darning/free machine embroidery foot)
...eventually I realised that because of the chopping and fusing to make the fabric for the dragon and then applying it to 3 layers, that some sections were just a little too high for the foot to have good clearance. SO, I used the tool that is meant to make moving the machine easier and soldiered on (being glad it wouldn't be judged for the stitching).

Furthermore...I learned these things.

1 - when you stitch an appliqué dragon onto a background. Be sure you have taken all the pins out. This is the back.
I used a long pair of tweezers to manipulate the pin through a gap I made in the stitching.

2 - if you get poked with the pin, check to see if you have drawn blood.
I used dish soap on a damp cloth to get the most of it out. (I may write a dragon story and stitch it to the back!)