Friday, 22 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 5 "Ramshackle Hillage"

The Name for the new piece is "Ramshackle Hillage". No, that isn't a typo.
I wanted to have it say something about this village that is spread over the hills.
So, 'Hillage'. Why not.

It took me about 18 photos on random settings to come up with one that worked. The camera often will focus on a particular house - recognising it as a face? - and leave others unfocussed. In particular this time it didn't really like the house over to the right side. So, I tricked it by turning it sideways to do the photo! HA!

Anyway, it is off in the post. And I have made sure it went International Signed and Tracked this time. So, someone will have to take note that it has arrived. (Although to be fair, it is going to be collected by a different person.)

As for thoughts besides the making up which I have talked about the past few days. This fabric with the suns might work better for a larger piece because the scale of the motifs with the houses would be a better balance. Still, this has managed to work in the end because of the high contrast of the back fabric with the front fabric. I think that for me, if I can get the pattern to be secondary - seeing the houses first - then it has worked. But I like the mood the fabric pattern gives to the piece. I wanted a cheerfulness without being very obvious.

What do you think?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 4

So, with the hard to puncture back fabric - polyester crepe de chine...and the easily shredable front fabric...and add to that the cotton wadding and the cotton backing... I had issues with the quilting.
A thin needle (the size I had for microfiber) meant I was shredding the thread when it was trying to go through all that and at a free machine quilting (slow) speed.
A thicker embroidery needle meant I was shredding the front fabric in the narrow places.
-and altogether the tensions were all over!

SO, I dug out these needles. Titanium coated topstitch needles.

At some point I was convinced by the vendor - who 'Does Know Their Stuff' - that these were best for everything. However, the price made me 'save' them. They have worked in this situation of random fabric types and thicknesses. I might have preferred a slightly smaller size, but at that time they only did 90/14. Recently I heard they now have 80/12. Good to know.
No, I am not going to use them for everything. But when I need them, I have them.

And the stitched result.
No obvious tragedies!

And now I am doing the binding. NOT in polyester crepe de chine, I hasten to add! Yikes!
I hadn't a full 12 x 12 in square of blue cotton, but I had some strips of blue cotton. Not precisely the colour of the polyester crepe de chine, but since the sun fabric hasn't just the one colour of blue, it will work fine.
And then to the post.
I have decided on a name...reveal tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New Ramshackle -3

Other fabric problems...
The top fabric was one I picked up at the Festival of Quilts when I was trying to decide on a replacement for the fabric I used in the very first pieces. (I could no longer obtain any of it.)
However, though it feels firm, I think it is mostly the fabric finish. In reality, it is a pretty loose weave compared to most of the fabrics I have been using.

So, that means a bit of difficulty with the cutting out, especially on the little houses.
This one lost the side of the door because there were not enough threads between the door and the other cut.

So, digging through some of the scraps, I came up with replacement ideas. (The middle one is the one that came away.)

And voila! Good as new.

So, I decided to avoid cutting windows on the thinnest houses.

But they didn't fit in with the rest. The windows help with the 'character'. The eyes, if you will.

So, I tried out some markers on scraps and then drew in windows!
Sorry for the blur, But really, that is drawn, not cut!

It worked well enough to go to some of the other windows and give them a bit more definition where the loose weave had distorted with the cutting.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 2

So, this was the back fabric I thought I would use. It went very well with the centre of the sun circles.
However, the sun circles were too strong to use this for a back fabric. Not enough contrast to see the lines of the houses.

Here is the fabric I am using now.

Compare the difference from yesterday.

Yes, I would have chosen that colour to start with if I had it in cotton. However, this is a polyester crepe de chine - or microfibre. It will probably cause problems with the sewing, but it is the right colour.

Monday, 18 May 2015

New Ramshackle -1

I started a new Ramshackle for the SAQA Benefit Auction. I might just get it there if I can post it before the end of the week.
At this point the jury is out for a name. I drew the design a couple months ago at the Offcuts meeting, but then other things got in the way. I am also not convinced on the fabric choice. So, something might be done about that.

But I am pacing. I re-read the papers and realised it is doing standing for just long enough before you get to too much. Then sitting for just long enough before you get to too much. Then (for me at this point) sitting in a different chair position or walking round the kitchen doing things for the few minutes it take to make a cup of tea, etc. I am still working out how long is long enough. But the theory (proven theory) is that when you aren't pushing on to the over-do point, then you will eventually increase the amount you can do.

So, we will see. Especially as this time it is still a bit of 'having done way too much the past few weeks' (months?), there is need for some recouping time/energy, too.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...10-16 May

Week 20 May 2015

When you have a full week - full of other life things - these daily beaded projects keep me from feeling unproductive. There are drawbacks from being an overachiever!

May started out being pink, but I decided it was purple and pink because I haven't got enough purple beads to do a whole month. (Well, in keeping with each one being different.)








Sunday, 10 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...1-9 May

Week 19 May 2015










Thursday, 7 May 2015

Several things

We went to Yorkshire at the beginning of the week. And then I have been down with a bad throat. Still, here are a few items of interest for you.

My Sister-in-law wearing a scarf I made her.
One of the lovely bits of fabric someone brought to an Offcuts meeting. It was a piece from the end of a bolt, so needed a bit of thought on how to do away with some of the faults. I had to cut about 1 inch from one side and 3 inches from the other side. So, I sewed it like a tube along the faults and then trimmed the seam and turned it right side out.

This was a big birthday, so we went for a meal.
I caught them reading menus or discussing their latest phones! The siblings at the end and my mother-in-law in the red. She was really brave! First time she has come out for a meal with us after moving to the home. She will be 95 in September.

Today I went to collect The Heat and the Flame from Lady Sew and Sew in Henley. It was there for the Henley Art Trail. I had forgotten my camera when I set it up. So, I grabbed some quick ones. The Thoughtful Man had taken the day off to chop back the ivy, but he was willing to do the driving...and carrying Mademoiselle.

And then whilst I was away, there was an email about the 6th European Triennial hosted by the Textile Collection Max Berk in Heidelberg.
Although I am still unable to show the work on my blog, they have actually posted my piece along with other 'big names'! So, you can get a glimpse on the site. Museum webpage. If you scroll down, you can read the text in English.

The list of accepted artists is on the pdf which opens when you click the first long link. Or direct to the pdf. Several SAQA members and some who are CQ members.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Juniper Tree - 3

Here is the Juniper Tree with the stitching finished and the water soluble washed out.

I decided to let it dry with lumps and bumps...and wow! I am quite impressed with the way that makes it realistic!

After a bit of using the photo for reference, I went with making the colours work. There is A LOT of thread in this!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...26-30 April

Week 18 April 2015






And a few extra for April.

extra 1
 wrong pattern!

and to finish off 5 silver colour
extra 2

extra 3

extra 4

All of April's beads

...the beginning of May's beads will be added to the beads for week 19(next week)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Tree of Life - 4

And here is the Tree of Life after it is dry.
This looks rather blurry, but it is the line shadow!

The tree came out slightly wider than the background. But as most of the others will reach over the top or bottom, I will allow this to reach over the sides.
And now that I am not 'officially' doing the journal quilts, I don't have to worry about suiting rules. Hey, that's a positive!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Juniper Tree - 2

Working the darker areas first.
The little clump shapes really didn't happen in practice.

In order to give my self a break or in pain management speak, pace things...
I have opted out of the Journal Quilt project with CQ. I just couldn't get all this done, take the gown to Henley, and so on. So, I will carry on with the trees without the pressure side of it. Journal Quilts as I usually use them; a theme and something to learn over the year.
This will be a big help when things like my dad's 80th birthday and Festival of Quilts and all the new big and wonderful possibilities that are opening up seem to come one right after the other.

And just so you and I know that I really do hope to begin the pacing things bit...I have taken 2 possible deadline things off of the 'This is what I would like to aim for' wardrobe door. I feel positively giddy!

Ha. Till I did all the washing today and washed the sheets and re-made the bed and actually finished the Juniper and so on. Still, lets not knock this. I am pacing the photos! Then I won't feel pressured to sew longer than I can cope with just in order to do blog posts.

So, bear with me on the one bit at a time thing while I finish catching up on myself somewhat.

Or go to Henley over the Bank Holiday and see the Heat and the Flame in person during Henley Art Trail. It is at Lady Sew and Sew.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Tree of Life - 3

Here is the Tree of Life fresh from washing out the soluble fabric. It worked!

A bit of fiddling with some of the flower ends, but the structure has held together. Since there is still some of the solution (from the soluble fabric getting wet) left in the threads with this method, it will help it to retain enough stiffness to work with it when it is dry.

There are a few places where threads need trimming, but I am pretty happy with this.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Juniper Tree - 1

While delaying the washing out part of the Tree of Life. I started on a Juniper Tree.
These were also grown in the Lebanon.

There are Biblical references in the book by the Prophet Isaiah about how Sennacherib, King of Assyria, boasted of cutting the great forests down... the tallest cedars and the choicest junipers. But also that he would have his downfall and the forests would gloat (over him) now that no one came to cut them down. The distant forests would be quiet, birdsong and not battle cry heard, safe for a time from the axes.

Trying several threads to get the silvery bark effect.