Thursday, December 02, 2010

Yes I did paint it . . .

 . . . and here it is, and I think, much better. . . .. . . or does it still look like butterflies?
But this is what the little plants were based on, marigold seedlings in pots. 
The idea in the jq was plants coming up in rows in fields. We tried out a technique at Infinity, our local CQ group, using fused appliqué, including cutting straight strips on the bias and making them curve as you iron them down. It came from a book I can't remember but will post title and link when I can find it out. Pix below of the piece worked on, which I finished and can hang, wow.

 (Should have cropped it and tidied it up) And I now realise I've not taken a photo of the square top left, which has the best curved strips , aargh.  Never mind, here are some others.

 Beaded edges, as in a video on the Kemshalls' Design Matters TV, link in previous post.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Journal Quilts

 I didn't join in with the official Contemporary Quilt Group journal quilts challenge this year, just wanted a break from it.  The local CQ group i go to, Infinity, encourages the jq thing by picking a theme every 2 months for us to work to.  Last year i used the themes and did 2 quilts for each.  this time I wasn't going to do even those, but, ideas started arriving, so i did something for all 6 themes in the end.  Guess which is which.  No prizes.  Emotions, birds, jewellery, pockets, doors, plants.  They are 7" x 10"

I wanted to try out the narrow strippy lines, with something shiny, and used lamé, which is a pig to stitch, especially such narrow bits:

Woven strips with some sides left open to insert something:
Pieced, quilted and painted.  Acknowledgements to Margaret Ramsay for her articles in Workshop on the Web:

Bondawebbed straight strips, curved as you press them down. We had marigolds growing in pots and the early shoots looked rather like this.  Though DH said the plants look like butterflies, so i am thinking of painting them, a la Linda Kemshall and will put another pic up if i do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

new books

The need to produce a requirements list for a workshop I've just been booked for with West Country Embroiderers next year sent me back to the book making. I've not done any for a while so it was good to have a reason for doing it again. The idea is to make one nice book in the day, so i had to make one or two, .. or three .. or even four... We'll do the stitching the spine over tapes variety and I've devised an easier and quicker cover using painted paper and a trickier and longer stitched fabric version.

These have signatures with coloured outer pages and i didn't want to cover them up so I've done them this way, with alots of lines across so the threads are a feature. The top one uses stitched pieces i had about the place, and the bottom row is a pamphlet style, with the cover a quilted and painted piece, another sample/UFO.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Lake District Weekend

The Big White House, Greengill, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, where DH and i have just spent a great weekend with church friends from where we used to live.
 The view from our window . . . (something about the colours and the arrangement appeals to me)
 . . .but not the only view around!  Off on a scenic drive . . .
 . . . in among the fells . . .
 (amazing colours)
 . . . . and lakes . . .
 . . . Crummock Water . . .
 . . . and Buttermere . . .
 . . . and up to the Honister Pass . . .
  . . .and down again . . .
 Aerial view of Derwent Water near Keswick.
 And we couldn't stay away from the beach, up the coast from Maryport . . .
 . . . with views over the sea, no, not to Skye, but across the Solway Firth to Dumfries and Galloway.

The last of the black tomatoes!

Last ones  picked, plant cleared away.  There were 10 altogether, all big like beefsteak tomatoes.  They do look a bit offputting, being sort of dingy rather than bright rich red but they taste delicious.  So next year, two plants perhaps.  I hope they will have them at our local nursery again!

Friday, October 08, 2010


On the Contemporary Quilt Group's yahoo list recently there was quite a bit of posting about couching threads down, with ideas and advice given about different stitches, machine feet, and methods.  I had a go, producing this sampler.  On my fairly humble Pfaff I don't have to much choice, and find that the piping foot, which has several channels underneath it, big enough for a thread about the size of double knitting yarn to pass  through, is the best for stitching down a single thread at a time.  I can use zigzag, triple zigzag, and another stitch which does several running stitches on one side then zigzags across once then back to the running stitches.  Only one thread can be used as none of my stitches will spread across enough.
I like doing the rows close together, and find that I just love the feel of the whole piece.
The ladder-like yarns at either side  of the work are stitched with the normal foot and a feather stitch, which just catches the side threads in and gives a nice fancy line up the centre.
Another foot I have, which has a bit sticking out forward on one side and a bar across on the other, with 2 notches beneath it, can be used with a thread in each notch, and if I am lucky, one in between them (but no notch), and a wide stitch, like the mesh-like one, or the wide W shape made up of small stitches.  It is hard to control though, not sure what it is really for.
There are gaps of course where I have not steered straight, but I'm in the process of filling them in with fat stem stitch and knots.  With the gadgets I have I shall have to stick to straight or curved lines, and dream about the couching foot with a special thread feed which will take your thread anywhere you choose, and which I can't afford!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Time for some more sewing - Japanese bag, from Kumiko Sudi's book Omiyage.  Various views, 36 strips had to be sewn together, gathered at the base, and lining and casings added. 
This is one bought as a kit at the Festival of Quilts, from a stand called the Gourmet Quilter - everything packaged in appetising looking ways!  This isn't the actual kit, I just used it as a pattern for my own fabrics.  It has proved very popular and 2 granddaughters have now made one each and their mum has made about 3 or 4 by now!  I've done a second one without the little tag things.

And I can't resist posting this, a fuchsia with giant flowers!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Flowery fancies.

Abbotsbury main street, from my post on the door at the West Coutnry Embroiderers Dorset Groups Exhibition, in August.  Bit wet at the start of the day,but it cheered up around midday and a sunny afternoon brought in a few more tourists in the street and visitors to the hall.
Various groups did communal pieces.  Ours in the Poole group was making the centres of the flowers.  Committee members cut out the petals and assembled the flower bed.  No two centres are alike. It's amazing how these things turn out!

The butterflies had been made at a workshop several months ago.
My effort is in the bottom left corner.  I filled the circle with a dense chainstitch spiral in various odds and ends of colours.
At Witchampton, another small Dorset village, there was a flower festival a week ago in the church, on the theme of Creation.

These are such a gorgeous rich colour.
And children made this banner.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Black tomato . . .

. . . grown this year for the first time. haven't tasted it yet. It weighs 9 1/2 ounces! Red underneath, black on top, light variations in the photos. There are a few more on the plant, still normal tomato size and very green yet, but this baby is enormous! Move over Jamie Oliver (which is where I first saw them).
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