Thursday, January 31, 2008

dorset feather stitch postcard

I used to think there must be some sort of special kind of feather stitch that was done in Dorset. But no, it is the arrangements and patterns that are the characteristic Dorset thing. Buttonhole, chain, stem, wheatear, single and double feather stitches were all used, with some variations, in these typical pine cone and squiggle shapes, in a variety of borders and groupings. It was started by Olivia Pass, in the Dorset Women's Institute. I found references to this work on two other blogs, here and here.

We were doing this work at the West Hampshire and Dorset Embroiderers' Guild meeting last week. The idea was to make a sort of case / bag to contain sewing bits and pieces but as I am unlikely to be tidy enough to put my kit away in it I thought I'd make a postcard instead.

Typically I am working on a wild version, which will also be a postcard eventually:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Untidy garden and stitching

Bit of a gap since the last post, but there has been some success this year in posting more frequently!
Still in the garden, ours is not a tidy one but the excuse is a concern for wildlife. Quite a few fallen apples were left lying and blackbirds and squirrels have been enjoying them. Mysterious things are beginning to grow - possibly weeds, we are just letting it all happen this season as we don't know what is there. A nice informal leaf mulch gives the baby plants some shelter, and some texture in the background to set off the yellow polyanthus.
And here's a piece of informal, untidy stitching to go with it, which looks better in the photo than in reality. It needs more stitching, then i might try cutting it up for postcards.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Spring is lurking . .

. . . in the rhubarb patch, and in among last summer's grass,
and beneath some shrubs in a corner of the garden.
Interesting, all the different greens. This one's an optimist, I hope it won't come out too early and meet a late frost.There's been so much rain, my chicken is starting to get rusty!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kantha sample

I should have done this in the TIF colours, shouldn't I, it nearly is apart from the pink! Silly woman!
I started trying out the various forms of kantha stitching - outlined motifs filled with running stitch either random or echoing the outline, pattern darned motifs and fillings, and background quilting. It built itself up into this composite.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

West Country Embroiderers

Because I had trouble getting to Embroiderers' Guild meetings, and because the WCE has a branch (the Poole one) that meets just up the road, I joined that and have been to 3 meetings now. This week they let me take photos of the day's work to post here. We did 2 different things, which kept us busy. First, a type of crazy patchwork where you start with a block about A4 size then cut it up and re-stitch, then after lunch some shadow appliqué. Beverley Wood, a member of the By Design textile group, was the tutor, and she's let me post pix of the samples she brought for us to see:
I find it really hard to cut things up! My effort needs more stitching, some beads etc. Bits of it look quite good viewed through a window, so I shall have to brace myself and take the scissors to it once more!

Illuminated letter. .

I found the example from the Celtic-style font I talked about a few posts back. Other letters do use the same motifs, but there are also some different ones. I printed it in outline form to save ink! Also gives the chance to colour in.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kantha, and NEW BLOG link

I've been getting interested in kantha-type stitching again. It is always there in the background, but brought to the surface recently because I gave a stitching friend a small hand in setting up her own blog, 'I'd rather be in India'. Have a look here. She is off to India next week and is going to try and post a visual diary of her trip. Great photo on already of a camel's back end. If you have your doubts about that there's some interesting textile stuff on its back!

Here's yet another postcard, using one type of kantha motif stitching, outlining and filling with lines roughly echoing the outline. Or the filling can be more random. I did whip the running stitch outline to give a bit more definition - not authentic, I think!

Which way up?

Postcards again, well, one actually, but which is the right way up? Both ways seem to have something going for them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Spring at Tesco

I love tulips, and these were half price at Tesco on Tuesday this week. There you go, 2 pix for the price of one (!!!) Sorry.

celtic doodling

I find Celtic knotwork etc fascinating and have taught myself to draw it using various methods several times over recent years. Then i forget how to do it and have to start all over again! A good website for anyone interested, with tutorials and a nice straightforward method can be found here. The trick is then to find a reasonable way of translating it all to fabric and stitch without having to be more accurate and painstaking than I can cope with.
Here are a few loosely Celtic freehand doodles anyway from a sketchbook:

The font with celtic knotwork additions I mentioned in the last post can be found here

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Celtic inspirations

Trying to pursue what was a sort of new year resolve to blog more frequently I find I'm a bit short of photos. Looking back at my collection I found this Celtic design on a gravestone in the ruined part of the cathedral at Dunkeld, Perthshire. As if I didn't have enough projects mulling around in my brain, I have been doodling Celtic knotwork again lately. I have this great book by Val Campbell Harding, a great embroiderer who died last year, and Maggie Grey, Celtic Inspirations for Embroiderers. Also found a font recently that I downloaded to my pc which does capital letters with Celtic additions, but can't get it to work here. Will take some photos and post them with details of the font next time.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Smile . . .

. . . even in these dark mornings, with our cuppa-tea-in-bed-tray. It gets activated usually about 6.30am.A bit more colourful crockery on a shelf in the kitchen. I used to have a lovely blue and yellow kitchen but in our new home the worktops and wall tiles are a sort of orangy brown and all the cupboards and walls are white. Funny, where stitching is concerned I'm quite good with colour but in the house I'm a bit of a flop, succeeding perhaps half the time. I've got to the place now where I would really like to do a room up the way I choose to have it instead of the mixture of how it was when we came and our own bits and pieces that don't match! Patience, patience. Maybe in the Spring . . .

Monday, January 07, 2008

Take it Further . . .

. . . Sharon B's new challenge, has begun and the first one is not easy! There's a concept to explore to do with admiration for something or someone, and/or a colour scheme to follow. Chase the link for details. Someone supplied the DMC thread numbers corresponding to the chosen colours and here they are. There are definite discrepancies somewhere in the colours, whether in the monitor screen, camera, or whatever. The second from top is grey in reality, looks blueish here and greenish in Sharon's original source pic (on my pc anyway!). The bottom one is really more purply, here it just looks blue, and the original source pic is a duller blue. The lilacish one is pinker in the flesh than here, and in the pic below is a bluer alternative I bought that looked more like the original pic as I saw it, but in my pic here is not quite pink enough! Confused? You bet!

. . .

QuiltWoW . . .

. . . is the new offshoot of Workshop on the Web that is specially for quilters. Last time I mentioned these in a blog post the links didn't work, so I hope they do here (QW), and here (WoW) This rather cute bag is one of the workshops in the first issue, taught by Edwina Mackinnon. It was quick and straightforward to make, and I've not seen one quite like it before. Might try it again, with larger squares, and decorate it a bit more. I was too impatient to see how it worked to do more than machine quilt the seam lines with an auto feather stitch!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It may be cold now . . .

. . . but spring is on the way. Spotted in a hedge opposite our house.

Last CQ journal quilt . . .

. . . for December. Another challenge completed this year, monthly journal quilts for the Contemporary Quilt Group section of the Quilters' Guild (UK). On the lovely clear nights we've had in December more stars were visible than I've seen in a while. Perhaps not literally as many as in the quilt, it's the impression that counts! And after the starry night comes a frosty early morning, the view from the front of our house, pity about the wires :
And I know many bloggers like cats, so why not just put this one in, since I have the photo of him - introducing Clyde, furry friend of daughter number three.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

How about lunch at the seaside, a barbecue in fact? First, cross the entrance to Poole Harbour on the chain link ferry . . .
walk along the beach a little way . . . and find the neighbours who have set up disposable barbecues on some flat stones provided by the council for the purpose, and invited family, members of their church and other friends to lunch - just bring your own sausages! Funny it's usually the men who spring into action (that's my husband's hand in the centre).
Fancy being at the beach for lunch on new year's day - courtesy of global warming perhaps? It was a great outing. On the way home, via Poole Quay, we found a mini-rally of pint-size steam engines.

Last TAST of all . . .

. . . the raised chain bar and Spanish feather stitch. I put some normal feather stitch in among the spanish variety for contrast. I like the raised bar very much. Using the same thread for the foundation and the chains gives it a nice sculptural quality (top left) and contrasting threads can be fun, very textural possibilities there.
Have gone back to some earlier stitches to try out some couching and use up a bit more of my strip. The couched bits are offcuts from some Christmas knitting, scarves for daughter and grandchildren. Then couldn't resist a pic of some of the knitting yarn stash - a few more scarves to go there! Best wishes for a good and happy new year to anyone who reads this blog. Thank you to those of you who have said you enjoy looking at it. Apologies if I don't acknowledge your comments as promptly as I should. A bit of a resolution for this year is to try and blog more regularly. But thinking about it on its own is not going to make it happen. I guess that is what goes wrong with most resolutions. Some practical step needs to be implemented! So I'll think about that.