Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bags and books for Christmas . . .

 . . . perhaps I shouldn't be putting pics out in public till after they've been given! 
I found a pattern at the Festival of Quilts for these bags, made with strips, but went for the single fabric for these presents as it is a lot quicker and I started making them a bit late.  They are a sort of box substitute - put your bits and pieces for a particular job into one and carry it off with you to do it.

 Here's my original effort, on the right, using strips from my leftovers collection.  There is scope for a lot more interest with the strips, but the single fabrics I've used all come from Africa - the top two from Uganda and the others from Togo in West Africa -  and for me that gives them a special interst all their own.
And then books, of course.  These are made from pill packets, slit down one narrow side, all the flaps stuck down, and the whole covered with coloured paper, on both sides.  It could be collaged, but I'm not much good at that so tend to use a large enough piece of paper I've painted and printed myself. 
 Pages for the signatures have to be cut to fit, which can be a bit tricky when one's mathematical skills are weak, and a tendency to do things back to front is active, but once I start I get into the swing ok.  I've been trying out different styles of long stitches and arrangement of holes or slits.  Weaving across plain long stitches is fun, as is the linking across the stitches, by sliding the needle under the previous stitch as you come by on the next signature.
Some packets aren't very big, as the hand shows.  It's a mixture of pills, asthma inhalers, throat lozenges and, oh yes, the packets Tesco sardines are sold in!  Well, omega 7 is good for you.
The print block used for the one in the hand was made by incising the pattern with a biro onto stuff like the polystyrene backing pizzas sit on.  It's worth saving!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Using up odds and ends . . .

. . . trying to reduce my stash of stuff, but failing.  There always seems to be even more left at the end.  Reminds me of the story in the Bible of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes and having 12 baskets left over afterwards. I wonder what they did with them?
These small bags - 3 - 4 inches - are woven using odd bits of knitting yarn and other threads of various kinds.  I just can't throw even small bits away but have to try and find something to do with them.  More postings to come, after Christmas probably.  So watch this space as they say.

 The weather has turned colder at last and husband Derek has been sawing and chopping wood for our wood burning stove.  There are some interesting patterns inside the trunk that look like some artist has been drawing on them.  We think silver birch, but are not sure we've remembered richt.


And red sky at morning . . . . beautiful, but what is the weather going to be like today?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fungi . . .

Does anyone know what these are?  

Fly agaric

Found along the paths by the trees on Upton Heath.

Circles . . ..

Made after a workshop for our church stitching group.  Many thanks to Amy Langford for showing us how to do it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Made for Infinity . . .

. . . a contemporary quilting group I belong to, a project making use of a list of ideas/topics :  dwellings, household objects, photo transfer, lutrador, thread painting, alphabets.  Some of them got a bit mixed up in mine.  Anyway, finished at last, so am posting the pics.
The pages are 6" square, double sided, (though the back is just what came through from the front, but it was given a bit of thought!)

 They are joined by stitching a bit of painted kebab stick onto two pages.  It helps them stand up.  Some pages are quite limp but the ones with photo transfer and lutrador are stiffer.
 Mix of hand stitching and machine.
 Photo transfer of tulips from last spring, and a leaf held down on painted lutrador square by organza.
 Free machine drawn flower and newspaper photo transferred with lutrador Tamil letter stuck on.
 I made the first page into a cover by adding a spine. A pocket on the back holds a piece of card to stiffen it.
 This and the next pair - just the stitching from the front showing on the painted fabric.
 The back stitching looks good on these two I think.
 Some more letters, in a font called 'Africa'.  The words, from Ugandan languages,  mean 'joy' and 'life' (Lugbara) and 'hope' (Luganda).
 A leaf from our grapevine on lutrador and painted bondaweb with echo stitching and plastic fruit bag stuff over.  And next to it the cover is folded round .

 The book folded up.  The cover goes round the back! Couldn't get my head round the direction, it is like getting left and right swapped!
 The front, but it is going backwards.
The sticks are more visible here.

At the moment I am seized by a driving urge to get things finished off, and the last few weeks have seen several pieces of work sorted.

Now I need to be seized by an urge to keep this poor old blog up to date.  Oh dear.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stitched letters and Spring flowers . . .

The letters - the Contemporary Quilt group has asked members to produce versions of all the letters in the group name, in order to create a new banner, any ones and as many as we want.  So I decided on A, made a stencil and painted inside it, then smudged around the cut-out A, then did a cartoon-type one

. . .
 (bit fuzzy this second pic, I hadn't discovered all the settings on the camera until a granddaughter who is excellent at photography showed me when she took the crocus pics following)

 Becca's photos, a lovely spot of colour in the garden.
 Crocuses marching on . . .
 . . . and welcoming the sun.
 The white edging line attracts me here - a stitching idea coming up.  Such a simple thing but striking.
 Ok, more bread, I seem a bit stuck on it at the moment, filling up the freezer.
 We have some window boxes with anemones and tête á tête daffodils.  The former have been slowly budding and flowering for weeks now, through all the storms.  It's a real cheering thing, looking out of the windows at the rain and trees bending in the wind, and these lovely colours and shapes.

 Meanwhile the sea not too far from us is a bit scary . . .