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?