Friday, 29 March 2013

Quilt ready for backing

All the main embroidering is done, now for the backing, more layers of embroidery and the buttons. The weather is staying cold, so might just be done by the end of the Easter Holiday long weekend.

Still not put all my Easter decorations out, somehow it just doesn't feel right when it is only just above freezing outside even at mid-day. Won't prevent me having some chocolate though. Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Progress Report

 Outside in it grim, but this means I feel no guilt about sitting on the sofa with a warm piece of hand sewing. Working is progressing on my quilt based on Swedish Bronze Age rock carvings and yesterday I added strips of fabric to represent the weathering and faults in the rock- blanket/scarf edge offcuts from the gorgeous weavings of Wallace and Sewell, available from  the very tasty Ray Stitch emporium. I have made a very rough sketch of how I want this to turn out, but I'm not drawing on the fabric before sewing, I am using the needle and thread as I would paint and brush, building up layers of colour and tone, gradually drawing the design out from the fabric. In the icy gloom of the morning I laid the quilt out to see how it might work with the buttons I shall be adding for emphasis- lovely buttons from the splendid Textile Garden. Loads more embroidering and quilting to do before I reach the button and backing stage, but pleased with how it is developing so far. I'm off back to the sofa now for some more stitching!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Starting to sew

 I really enjoy a blank piece of fabric, waiting for me to put lines on it with a needle and thread. A deep breath, then start to sew. Working with softer colours and tones first on all the pieces of backing fabric, these will be sewn together, then the brighter stronger colours will be added. 

A bit scary working from blank fabric, developing layers of embroidery as I go along, but exciting too- drawing with a needle.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Here we go...

...on quilt number one. Bit of a departure for me, the basic quilt will be pieced with large and different sized/shaped pieces of Japanese woven fabrics with lovely textures. Each piece will be embroidered individually, with wadding on the back. Then I will piece them together, add another layer of wadding and applique/embroider/embellish it to bring it all together...I have planned it quite carefully in my head, but I suspect the actual making will be a bit of a roller coaster ride, which is good as I don't like just following a plan, I like to improvise. The design is based on the Bronze Age rock carvings I saw last Summer in Sweden- they really made a huge impression on me.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Weather forecast

Is not good for this week. Wondering when it will be pleasant enough to get out into the garden! In the meantime, another print . Today, I hear the siren call of sewing. Lots of planning and pondering has been happening, now I need to knuckle down and start making. Four quilts in the pipeline, most of them rather, well, different...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Some completed things...

...plenty of incomplete projects, but two finished this morning.

1ft square linocut and  the first two jelly roll items, a cosy and a jacket for my 2 cup cafetiere. 

 The cosy also makes a very fetching hat.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

On a Jelly Roll

 I find myself using two and a half inch strips often in my patterns and recently bought myself some Jelly Rolls to experiment with and see what could be designed using them. I have a wall hanging/knee quilt that is at the sketch stage, for which I shall break into my precious Tula Pink stash, but thought it better to start with something smaller. I know is March, really way too early for the festive season to enter my thoughts, but one of my jelly rolls is a funky Moda Christmas fabric design called "Joy". There is a howling NE wind  buffeting the house and it is snowing outside, so what the hell, let's go for it. I decided to see just how many items a jelly roll- and some backing fabric- could make. I've designed a matching tea pot/coffee pot cozy, a jacket for a cafetiere and a table runner, these will do for starters, once all those are made, I can see how much I have left over for more projects. I intend to have a set of matching makes that use up all of a jelly roll and compliment my Christmas designs from last year.
 So, bring on that snow!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Hellebore print

Busy, busy, busy.

Spring? What Spring?

 Here we are nearly half way through March and I've hardly been out in the garden. Sitting here snug inside on yet another grey and chilly morning listening to the birds outside. They SOUND like Spring. It has sounded like Spring out there for a few days now, but after two days of weather that felt like Spring had arrived, we are back into Winter. My very first daffodils have opened at long last, a short variety, but this year even shorter than normal. The snowdrops are lasting in the cold, still looking good after two months of cheerful brightness, the Hellebores likewise. Buds are thinking about opening out there and I am willing them to wait a bit as we are forecast freezing nights and snowy days next slow gloomy Springs like this one you realise how much day length and the sun getting higher in the sky triggers growth. Plants are growing, despite the cold, because, even though it is grey, there is more light and longer light. Just wish those pesky clouds wouldn't get in the way quite as much as they have been. So much to do in the garden and so little motivation to be out there doing it! Easter isn't so far away and  as yet I've not felt like putting out my Spring decorations, it just hasn't seemed  that it has started properly- if I close my eyes the bird song tells me it is Spring, but that day when you wake up, feel the air and just KNOW the season has moved on has yet to happen. Perhaps I should get all  my decorations out to encourage it to arrive.

 In the meantime, being indoors means lots of time to make prints. I'm loving  lino cuts- working from sketches, drawing with the cutters and adapting and changing things as I go along- a bit scary, but real fun. I had dabbled with printing years ago, but got frustrated with it and gave up, got a new lease of life with it now, so my indoor washing line is full again...

Saturday, 9 March 2013


Cutting another print- about a quarter of the way through and testing how it is going.
And a smaller print in the first test stages.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cake! And music.

This weekend I had an excuse for cake baking...a party to put our Juke Box through its paces. 

Had to have some cake to go with it.

  The children of guests were mesmerised by the Juke Box, never having seen anything like it before. They were pretty keen on the cake too!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Learning something new 

 Today I was at the National Portrait Gallery and came across this wonderfully swashbuckling self-portrait by an artist called Isaac Fuller. Glorious piece of bravura painting. Naturally I wondered why I had not come across this splendidly theatrical fellow with an eye for a damn fine hat before. Reading the label it all became clear. Mr Fuller liked to drink. Mr Fuller liked to produce o.t.t. theatrical and rather fleshy works, not really appropriate for commissions from the church. Mr Fuller, it would seem, was his own worst enemy...I love being surprised by such larger than life characters from the sidelines of art history.