Monday, October 22, 2007

Pinks and greens . . .

Each time a new baby arrives in our family I make him/her (mostly her) a small quilt for lying on the floor under the baby gym. The latest one, Leila, arrived in July but I forgot all about the quilt. We're visiting them soon so hurriedly this one was put together. it has bunnies and things in sleepsuits in the centre squares. And in the search for interesting colour combinations which I sometimes indulge in, this grabbed my attention - green peppers and sort of pinky-red onions being stir-fried.

Bowl making

At the last meeting of a local group of contemporary quilters we made bowls using a sort of iron on vilene type stuff called, I think, fast and fuse. (Does that sound right?) It involves cutting squares of fabric and f&f, ironing the fabric on, cutting slits, like darts, and stitching the edges together. The corners of the square can then be trimmed to a more interesting shape as desired. Have seen these 'vessels' on another blog recently but cannot remember whose! I'm very sorry. There are books about them. How vague can one get? Let's move on quickly to another post.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tagged! Help!

Linda has tagged me, bless her heart!!!
Actually, Linda, I have been tagged before, several months ago and am not sure if I can think of 7 new things to say about myself! Here goes, some readers might find what follows disturbing/boring/amusing/scary/stimulating/interesting/informative/deadly . . . . (Can't find pix for all of them)
1. One of my grandfathers was a bigamist
2. I love Tesco - well, for the first half hour in the store anyway.
3. Every time I go to a beach or shoreline I pick up shells and pebbles, and when we moved I brought several icecream tubs full of them with me! I have now made a vow to myself only to pick up very small ones, not bigger than 1/2". (The Quilters' Guild badge gives a guide to size!)

4. We've always grown our own tomatoes and they are so much nicer than shop bought ones I don't bother to eat them the rest of the year. This year because of moving house we couldn't grow any, but in the garden here we found a very late stray. Its been in the greenhouse and now we have taken it indoors! Its a good healthy plant and has some flowers, but it will be extraordinary if any tomatoes do grow.
5. One of my favourite arty activities is printing (aka stamping, when did we start calling it that? is there any difference?), and I just did these papers with one real beech leaf and a block made from a polysomething meat tray:6. Usually I work in colours, strong and bright ones, but just to show I'm capable of doing pale - two crazy cushions in whites and creams which we need now we have a terra cotta coloured sofa. (That's 2 facts in one, the pales and the sofa! Buy one get one free, see Tesco above.)7. And last but not least, I am a woman of simple pleasures (see Tesco again) and for ages now I have wanted a humble spider plant. Found this on a sales table at church recently, so now I am happy. (OOps, more stones.)Apologies, but I don't think I can cope with tagging anyone else, am not sure who to ask. Well, I have done half the task.

Nostalgic journey . . .

. . . to the local woods . . .

. . . where the cricket club lurks and the scout and guide camps are held. This clearing has over the years seen my husband doing clever things with sticks, string, matches etc with 'health and safety' an alien concept, and in their turn some of our daughters boiling potatoes on a wood fire and finding their way around the woods gaining various badges. I was never a guide myself, but DH got a huge amount from scouting and the girls some unusual experiences as brownies and guides. We went primarily to look for some autumn colour, but there's hardly any here yet. The best I could do are these pix, some bracken, a fallen oak twig and part of a beech tree:

Monday, October 15, 2007

School work . . .

. . . by eldest grandaughter (12). The pink one is a lovely bit of tie-dyeing done at her junior school last term, and the other she's working on at her new secondary school. She had some help from grandma to do the background fabric. We damped it, wrapped it round a cylinder, pushed it down the cylinder to scrunch it up and then painted it with silk paints. This method gives you the nice wavy pattern. The fish are all her own idea and execution though I showed her how to apply the smaller pieces using cross stitch. It is going to be a cushion, like the first one. When I started secondary school we had to sew cookery aprons from white poplin that the needle would hardly go through, with straps a mile long, all to be hemmed by hand. Why didn't it put me off stitching for life?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autumn sewing . . . .

Well I have been doing some sewing, not just touring the countryside and chasing squirrels. I've joined the Poole group of West Country Embroiderers and this week we did Redwork. It is all stem, chain or back stitch in stranded cotton, and I chose to use an old damask tablecloth. The tutor brought pictures of the 12 days of Christmas, and instructions for making a string of the little blocks to hang across a mantelpiece or such. I think I'll probably make a small quilt with them as we don't have a mantelpiece. The red/white check is for edging and backing. 4 blocks to go. Watch this space.
Because of the pattern woven into the fabric I did a sample before the meeting to see if the stitching would work on it ok. Then I couldn't resist finishing it off with seeding and kantha-type quilting. Sometimes a stitch gets a bit swallowed by threads in the weave but overall it is fine, and the fabric has a nice substantial feel to it as well as being really white. As for the beads, well, something had to go in the centre.
And there's been time for a quick shop too, Fabricland in Poole, with a friend. How could anyone resist this batik, ony £2.99 metre?

Hanging by your toenails - literally . . .

Cheeky little beggar . . . . we put the fat balls out for the bluetits, not for you! This creature is very cute but a real pain. Judging by the holes it keeps digging in our lawn we think it is trying to emigrate to Australia.

The New Forest

Typical sight on the smaller roads through the forest - the wild ponies going where they want. We hunted round, but there were no sweet chestnuts big enough to roast. But it's a nice textury picture.
Quite a bit of the forest considts of quite open areas, with heathland and smaller trees. On this trip we didn't get in among the big old trees. This was the view with our picnic lunch.

And even in October a few flowers splashing colour around . . .

The trip was a visit to an embroidery exhibition ( heavily disguised as a day out in the New Forest) of the embroidery group Diversity, held in Lyndhurst. Their work was based on explorations, photos and sketches in the Forest and certainly conveyed the quality of their source very well indeed.