Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Didn't We Have a Lovely Time...

...the day we went to Quilts UK at Malvern. 
Yes we did! especially as this year I was 'taxied' there and back by Lisa. We set off early in order to have a cup of coffee accompanied by a bacon roll at our usual 'watering hole'. On arrival we worked to our usual pattern, she shopped and I 'oggled' quilts with a little shopping thrown in. This year I was not disappointed, I took so many pictures it's taken me several hours to get them out of my phone, labeled up and in a folder. I thought I would share a few of them with you here.
As I took so many shots I'll show you a few and label them with the title and the name of the maker.
First up is the Best in Show, not really my cup of tea, but it was very clever.

Latin For Quilters by Moira Neal. Cambridgeshire
Hand painted, Applique, Hand made lace, Recycled, rusted & printed fabric and embellishments.
The next 3 quilts absolutely blew me away, with superbly accurate intricate piecing and stitching.
All Things Bright and Beautiful by Evelyn Walton. Gloucestershire. 
Machine pieced Hand appliqued Baltimore style. 

Enchanted Stars, Happy Days by Andrea Ashwell. Wiltshire
Batiks free motioned quilted with some ruler work.

Mauerblumchen - (Wallflower) by Claudia Scheja. Germany
Machine Pieced Carpenters Star and Machine applique flowers. 

This one made me smile. To give you an idea of the humour I have added a close up of one block
A Quilters Tail by Shakesmeer. 
Made to commemorate Shakespeare's 400th anniversary 

The last one is my '15 minutes of fame', after 30 years of patchwork & quilting finally I have a piece hung at Quilts UK.

Westbury Park Quilters Banner. Made by many hands and inspired by the wonderful city of Bristol 
Begun when I was a member of this group, we were given a list of famous landmarks or things relevant to the city and left to use our own techniques to achieve our chosen block. This is what I chose.

I used an image from the Bristol Blue website which I printed off and traced to get the shape of the jug, ditto for the lettering. Jug and central lettering applied using bond-a-web then machine appliqued in place before hand quilting the outline, the rest of the lettering was hand embroidered.
I did a little shopping, buying a couple of small Boutis/Trapunto kits from Sylvia Critcher along with some quilting Wool and 1/4" masking tape, a couple of Redwork kits from designed by Sadie Yeomans  plus a small bundle of fabrics from Farne Designs a fabric supplier who dye all their own fabrics which come in the most amazing range of colours. There were a few bits and pieces too small to list here. To round off the day we finished with tea and cake - why?-  because you have too! 
We arrived home tired and not a little sad with the knowledge that this will be our last show together as she returns to the USA 10 weeks from tomorrow :-((


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Textile Books - the next steps

Hello Again All,
As promised I am back to tell you more of my textile book project. This is what I have done so far, I'll show you the pictures and then tell you my thoughts about each step.
I started by cutting out some calico pages and tacked a 1/4" hem around the raw edges, the design area inside the stitched lines is 6" x 4". I keep these in a zip lock bag in the box so that as I finish a page I have more ready to use. They are 'double pages' and I am working a different technique on each half. However once they are added to the book they will not end up next to each other. 

One of my favorite stitches is Chain Stitch and is the first stitch I learned as a child while being taught embroidery by my Granddad. 
I thought I would simply 'go for it' and stitch randomly but, discovered I can't stitch a straight line without some sort of 'guidelines' and didn't like what I had done. I thought it looked a bit messy however, I decided to leave it in, learn from the experiment and be more organised on future pages. I used 6 strand in various thickness's some variegated silk thread and some cotton perle No 8 from the 'spaghetti box'.

On the next page I traced some designs and worked Back Stitch and variations. I am much happier with this way of working, You can see Back Stitch (top Left, bottom right corners and centre.) Whipped back st, (forming the frame) and Pekinese st in the other 2 corners using various thickness's of 6 strand thread plus 6 strand and some Perle for the Pekinese stitch. I have lots of blank areas which I may decide to fill in later or not as the mood takes.

I am working randomly so next I decided on some Kantha after finding a nice little design of the Peace Dove and here it is, for this I have used another piece of calico on the back and one lenght of 6 strand throughout, the branch is worked in backstitch.

The other side of this page is 'Crazy' Patchwork, worked separately and appliqued on. I used assorted cottons, ribbon and in the bottom left corner is a little piece of sequined sparkly fabric (from a child's 'disco dress found in a charity shop) all hand embroidered with 6 strand cottons and various types of stitches. Looking at the picture here I spotted that I have not sewn in the technique so I will go back to it and add that in on one of the plain areas.

I am now working on my 3rd set of pages, this time I planned to put in a small Hexagon design but then realized once added I would have problems using my embroidery hoop so I drew the area where it would be added later (See Below) and decided on some Counted Cross Stitch which so far looks like this. I have tacked on a piece of waste canvas to make it easier to sew and as a reminder of my good friend Lisa I started with a Jo Verso design of Uncle Sam. Sadly Jo was killed in a tragic accident but I still have all her books from the time when I was doing cross-stitch commissions. 
Again I used 6 strand cotton from the 'spaghetti' box. The darker line in the centre is a piece of variegated silky ribbon which I have couched across the top with cross stitch, down the right side I used some Krenik sparkly thread in half cross stitch, I am still deciding what to do next - probably I'll look in my main embroidery books to find some cross stitch variations or use some different threads to fill the spaces. 

The last page I'll show you is the one prepared for the Hexagons, which will be appliqued on. The design area is drawn on with a Frixion pen so it will disappear when I press the fabric. I may decide to 'fill' the plain areas with some stitching after. .

As each page is finished I them in a zip lock bag to keep them safe and ready for the next part of the process. So that's it so far I hope I have explained it in a way you can understand. I must say that I am really enjoying the process so far. The small piece of Aida you can see in the bottom left corner is a piece of stitching done by Big Granddaughter when she was learning to sew, I may add it in on a later page, possibly with a piece of Small Granddaughters work (if she ever sits still long enough to do some :-)

Time to go Folks!