Monday, July 31, 2006

Insane Patchwork

When I joined the StitchingPost yahoo group a few weeks ago various people were mentioning 'sane patchwork / quilting' in their messages. I decided the opposite of that must be insane p& q. Don't feel too sorry for me, my brain works slowly sometimes. Anyway, maybe I'll try some insane patchwork one day (maybe I already do it!) and meanwhile put up a few pics of some Victorian style crazy p.

Japanese style bag, with a drawstring top, with cp blocks and plain.

Lap quilt / throw,16 cp blocks with black velvet border and corner blocks. Its backed with a woven wool shawl and feels cosy round the knees on a draughty winter's day. The colours look a bit odd, strange. Details follow. I had no fabric suitable to bind the edges, so stitched over strips of unsuitable fabric and think I got away with it, maybe. At any rate the stitching distracts a bit.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Small Technological Victory

Had great traumas yesterday trying to post a tutorial on melting plastic wallets (see earlier posting) on the Stitching Post blog. The saga is explained there in a comment. But today it was done successfully, though not because of any expertise on my part. I did check to see if my cookies were enabled, all on my own. I'm proud of that. (If that wasn't computer-speak whatever would it mean?). Also I managed to move the pics around, because they had uploaded in the wrong order. For my next trick . . . I may need a beautiful assistant.

So here's some more embroidery to help calm everything down.

This year the UK Embroiderers' Guild, NW Region has been having a series of three exhibitions, Embroidery in Trust in 3 National Trust properties in the region. I belong to the Macclesfield branch and the house we focussed on was Little Moreton Hall, a wonderful black and white half timbered house. Our work had to be based on things seen at the house. Many people picked on some aspect of the timbering patterns. Included here are 2 more pieces using the quatrefoil shape with different techniques. The one above is shadow quilting with black net over white silk and a black fabric with a bit of a sheen, plus cords I twisted, and some beads. Some of us went to the costume museum in Manchester to look at Elizabethan artefacts, to help us with ideas. One item there is a 'book cushion', about 8" square. Mine is a bit bigger. Funny thing is, I do rest a book I am reading on a cushion often, to get it at a better height for my varifocals!

Here's a lap quilt, with printed shapes on calico, quilted round with stem stitch and the thicker perlé, which looks like a cord. The shapes in the corners are '3D', free stitched over, beeds in the centres. I want to add some more beads to other parts.

This is just under A4 size, made from metallic chocolate wrappers, machine stitching, and a painted nappy liner zapped with a heat gun. Mounted on black felt on an artist's stretch canvas. The yellow bit is a corner of a cushion, next to my piece in the exhibition!

The idea came from a class in workshop on the web.

Roses on the Patio

Earlier in the month I was buying roses. Its not the best time to do that but I like to try, and some years I've still found nice ones. This time I couldn't make up my mind, so I bought these two.

The reason for it is that my Mum died 10 years ago this month and she loved roses. Its a way of remembering her. We moved to our present home 11 years ago, along with Mum, and she brought several rose bushes with her. They are still surviving, and blooming.

These two bushes came home from the garden centre a mass of buds. I took the pics on 25th, and today I was dead-heading them. There's been so much sun, and its been so hot they haven't lasted long. But they have been lovely, with the bonus of a gentle scent.

The way the petals spiral round in the centre flower is amazing, so precise, so beautiful.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It doesn't have to be crazy patchwork . . .

You don't have to try out the 100 details in crazy patchwork! It still looks interesting on straightforward strips! Well, I would say that, wouldn't I. This is an A4 size bit of strip piecing. The pic below shows a detail with 4 of Sharon B's seam treatments,and the top pic has 2 more, towards the bottom. If you can find a way to zoom in onto the line of buttonhole stitch at the top edge of the dark strip, you will see something interesting I discovered when whipping the stitch. With one thread coiled in a slant round the top edge of the stitch I thought it was starting to look like a cord. I repeated the whipping with 2 more threads, taking care about placing them, and it does look just like a piece of twisted cord

I've solved my latest technology challenge, getting text between photos instead of having all of them piled up at the top of the entry. May not be the right way, but it has worked this time. I uploaded all the pics first, then placed the cursor where I wanted it to do the text. But, oh, didn't it take an age for the pics to upload! I left it and went off to get the tea in the end. I have broadband too. Well, it is a hot day, again.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cheating, and the Caldon Canal

Take a look down the first posts and you will see that I have cheated, and changed something. Today's technology challenge was to create a link, you know, where words are highlighted, you click on them and a web page comes up? Well, I've sussed it today, and put some into the older posts.

I am feeling a bit pleased with myself.

The photo [2nd one] is our 38' narrowboat, on the Macclesfield canal 2 weeks ago, we'd just been having lunch in a shady spot. My husband has gone off in it today, taking 10 Chinese students from Manchester for a trip. I wanted the photo to come in between the first pargraph and this one. - my next tech challenge I think.

Not made it yet, the top pic I hoped would come in here. Need to phone a friend, obviously, or email.

The boat did get through the tunnel, though we had to take nearly everything off the roof - flowers, chimney,- and duck down as we drove through! It's right at the end of the Caldon canal, at a place called Froghall, which is famous among canal boaters, because of this very low tunnel which only very low-built boats can get through, but is unheard of by anyone else! Beyond the tunnel, in the 19th century, limestone was brought down from the hills on tramways, loaded onto barges and transported along the Caldon to the main line of the Trent and Mersey canal, along which it could head for London, or Manchester. Some of the stone was burned in limekilns at Froghall and shipped in powder form. Today it is all completely quiet and peaceful, with ducks, grey wagtails, swallows, bees, and the occasional boat.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Bag that Sold, and What You Really Need to Do With Plastic Wallets

I mentioned on the Stitching Post list a bag I'd made from pieced strips, with embroidery covering the strips, that subsequently sold at an exhibition. Here are the 2 sides of it,above and below.

Plastic wallets, the sort you normally slip A4 sheets of paper into, can be used for more exciting things. This one was slit open, had fabric scraps and threads offcuts sandwiched in it, was stitched all over (free machine stitching), painted and zapped with a heatgun. A bit more zapping would have made it lacier but I chickened out.
Then I folded several sheets of A4 paper in half, folded the plastic in half. slipped them inside each other and stitched them together down the fold. Added a machine wrapped cord and - the plastic wallet has become a book cover.
The next step in my technological travels is that, as you see, i have discovered how to put photos in the blog.

Getting There

This is a bit of a learning curve. I'd rather be stitching!

I've been puzzling how to get a second entry onto my blog. There seemed to be nothing to click that would open the way. But I knew there must be something out there somewhere. So I set myself a target - to find the way in. I looked at the links on StitchingPost and saw several with the same address, Aha, I thought, here's a clue. So I put my blog name into one of the blog addresses and hit enter. And got my blog. It then occured to me to try clicking the icon in the extreme top left corner. Aha, here's the homepage. Right, where to go next? Try help. Yes, there it is, how to do a new entry. So here it is.
Does anyone else out there feel like a 5 year old? Only my 5 year old grandchildren could do it all quicker, i've no doubt. Never mind, its good to be made to feel humble sometimes, even when you are old enough to get a free buspass.

So back to stitching - I'm trying out Palestina stitch, one of the 100 details. Had to look it up in my stitches book rather than Sharon's online dictionary [as our computer gave up in the heatwave the UK has at the moment] which didn't show how to get the long 'tail' on the stitch. I was chuffed to work it out myself - easier than the technology mentioned above!

Next task - to get a picture posted. Watch this space.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Here We Go

Why I've taken up the invitation via the StitchingPost yahoo group to start a blog I'm not quite sure. Because its there? I can't even manage to contribute to the normal list exchange so keeping a sort of diary / journal here is going to be a bit of a challenge!
But I am going to try.
I like looking at other people's blogs, and find the format of text and pictures an easy thing to handle, from the reader's viewpoint anyhow. It remains to be seen how it will work from the other end . The format seems much more accessible than the group lists with their different sections - photos, files etc. Do you think blogs take some activity away from the group lists, that they are a kind of rival medium?
So hello anyone who reads this. When I've found out how to do it I'll put some pics up and think of something more to write about.