Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New stitching challenges . . .

Linda left a comment on my last TAST posting asking whatever would I do in 2008, with TAST finished. Well, here's the answer - Sharon B's new challenge. I've found with TAST over the year that the amount of stitching I've been able to do has varied a lot. Sometimes I've had a lot of ideas to try out on a stitch, sometimes none at all beyond simply doing the basic stitch. When other tasks have had priority and something has to be squeezed it has often been TAST, but iIhave tred to catch up when I could. There is quite a satisfying feeling to having stuck with it, however imperfectly at times. Musn't speak too soon, there are some more weeks to go! Here's thorn stitch and knotted cable chain - which is a bit like oyster stitch, isn't it, with an extended bit?
A second challenge is being run by Infinity, the Quilters' Guild Contemporary Quilt group local manifestation in Poole. This year members have been making A4 size journal quilts by the process described in my last post. We have one more of those - 'South America, animals, Picasso' are the three categories. Well, what would YOU do? The new challenge is to do a 12" by 12" quilt every 2 months, to a theme lucky dipped from words suggested by members. We've picked the first - 'beachcombing'. So, if I haven't got anything much to think about over Chrstmas all that can fill the gap!

So we have to have a nice beach photo. This is Dunnet Bay, on the northernmost mainland coast of Scotland.

And ok its a bit early for Christmas, but I've made one seasonally appropriate postcard.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fishy journal quilt . . .

. . . made for a contemporary quilt group that meets locally once a month. We go through a complicated ritual of dice throwing to arrive at 3 criteria for the next JQ. This one was fish, orange and India. The second of these would be more obvious if the colours in the pic had been truer, and for the third you need to know that the fishes eyes and the square sequins came from India! The background was coloured using transfer paints, having had my interest in them rekindled by Carol Dowsett's recent mini-workshop at a QG day (see a recent post).
This was the previous month's effort - silk (all silk fabrics used), log cabin and Kandinsky. Not sure which way up it should go . . .
I'm still doing the JQ's for the national CQ group challenge and have now finished november . . .

. . . and september.
October is nearly finished and I can't find the design layout I drew for december, grrr!
September and october are both inspired by a tidying up and sorting spree I've been on and involve using bits that have spoken to me as they have been unearthed. November is partly that - a computer design I filed quite a while ago, plus the surprising colours of a tree currently displaying at the end of our garden.

TAST latest

There are only 3 more weeks to go with this challenge. The year has gone quickly! This is mainly pekinese stitch (week 45) and a small chunk of chain braid stitch (46). Didn't like the latter much, it kept falling over, as Sharon did warn us it might, and I tied it down with small stitches. 47, thorn stitch needs more examples to be done but a start has been made. I still have quite a bit of space left on this strip, (rolled up on top of the chair), so I may revisit some of the stitches that I didn't do much with and see if further inspiration is forthcoming.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What a pessimist . . .

. . . it was just a momentary blip.
I've been making postcards again, trying out faux chenille, where the top fabric doesn't look like such a good choice as it is staying a bit flat. Or maybe the lines are too wide. The strips seem to be my default mode! Then I fancied doing something in black and white, and stitched writing interests me too at the moment. The second one uses up some scraps from, believe it or not, my C&G part 2 quilt, where I coloured a lot of fabric with oilbars (Markal / Shiva paintsticks). That was about 10 years ago. How's that for hoarding?
Then there is yet another palm tree. They are all over the place here where we live, and the one in next door's garden fascinates me. The black/yellow one is a nice bit of batik, a black strip and a yellow ribbon, hand fly stitch with colours reversed, very simple.

At the Quilters' Guild day where I won the embellisher we had 3 workshops, one of which was Carol Dowsett doing a postcard using cut-out leaf shapes and fabric transfer paints. Same technique as in the taster for the new QuiltWOW, beginning soon, quilters' version of the embroiderery Workshop on the Web. I got it finished eventually, when I ran out of space for seed stitches.
Finally, the one postcard I've made so far on the embellisher, plus some beads.

Problems . . .

. . . with downloading pix to the blog. Frustrating when I'm trying to get going again after a bit of a gap with a nasty throat infection. At least something from our trip to Dundee has been recorded, but it looks like a wait before I can do any more.

Introducing Angelina . . .

. . . no, not the fibres, the rabbit, who lives in a run in the garden of daughter and family's house in Dundee. She likes dandelions.And some nice art work from the eldest grandchild - pink tulips.And some flowers still surviving in November - global warming? But the valley of the Tay is sheltered compared to most of Scotland.

Bridges over rivers - Rail and road bridges over the Tay, and over the Forth, and we were on the train this time. Dundee station has some interesting patterns in the roofwork - maybe a quilt sometime.

Fireworks in the garden on November 5th which didn't look like a ghost at the time!

Graffitti - was someone trying to brighten up Abertay University and the almost unrelieved greyness of the city?
Someone has planted a small patch of meadow flowers - poppies, cornflowers, oxeye daisies, at the foot of the multi-story carpark across the road.
High rises with views of the North Sea beyond Broughty Ferry with its castle on the promontory.

And we did get to the beach - on a windy day

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Birmingham daisy

Now we have a new computer we've been able to load Picasa, and I've had a go at manipulating some photos. This is a daisy-type flower with a shot of traffic cones on the M6/M5 intersection in Birmingham, believe it or not!
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A straight day out . . .

. . . with no exhibitions or fabric shops in sight. On the last day of half term we had a family outing to the Blue Pool, near Wareham in Dorset. The colour comes from the type of clay forming its bed. There's a walk through pleasant woodland around the pool, and coffee and gift shops but it is all very natural and not at all touristy. DH and daughter stride off along the leafy path and I am looking for nice views and the obligatory colour and texture shots!

Autumn is here at last with spider webs and colour!
Bit of drama.

Tree roots -
Evidence of typical Dorset pines.

More postcards . . .

. . . and although default mode for me seems to be those strip ones I did do a trawl on the internet to find some other ideas. So - framed pictures, woven strips and ribbons, woven frayed strips of sheers, and one where a motif in one of the fabrics is enlarged and stitched.
An important element in making all my cards is the colour grouping, linking colours across the card e.g. orange and blues top left above, or using a close group e.g. pinky bluey, then extending to a true red and orange (top right above).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

TAST update, well sort of

Just to show I am not dropping old familiar friends for the sake of the latest innovation, here are my recent TAST efforts: This is 2 weeks behind, but I have my sampler here as I type and am working on last week's stitch as I wait for the next page to come up etc. This week's one is to follow swiftly, hopefully over lunch, which will be soon - 12.28 GMT. I like the double chain stitch and the satin stitch variant, and drizzle stitch is lovely, but am not sure I've got the other one right. I can follow the instructions for the first stitch ok but can't see how you move on to the next one. Its something to do with where the line goes. But it looks quite pretty even if it is wrong!

October windfall

On the last Saturday in October I went to my first Quilters' Guild Day back here in Poole and bought a strip of raffle tickets . . . and won . . . . . this!!!!!I hadn't even realised it was a raffle prize! People were talking about winning 'the embellisher' but I thought it was some special competition and didn't take any notice. Then the number that came up was mine! I don't always even buy raffle tickets, and had only bought some that day because a nice little girl who had come with her mum for the day came round at lunchtime asking if people had got their tickets yet! Perhaps I should share it with her mum!
Anyway, eventually I stopped feeling stunned long enough to start playing with it and looking for examples of work on the internet. Any links to interesting embellisher work pix from readers of this blog will be gratefully received and could be emailed using the link on my profile page.
One postcard, and a Christmas star - they need some hand stitching and beads, but I've posted them in their plain state to show the needlepunched work. The card has coils of knitting yarns and both have scraps of synthetic organzas pushed into felt. The star is double-sided, 2 worked stars sandwiched together. The back of the postcard shows how the fibres get pushed through the foundation stuff.