Saturday, 28 March 2015

Burning back

Some time ago I saw Margaret Beal layering synthetic fabrics and using a soldering iron to burn the layers back to create patterns.  Kathleen Laurel Sage layers sheer fabrics, stitches a design onto the layers and burns back some layers to create colour variation.  Just recently I've seen Susan Lenz use a combination of both techniques to create her own version of stain glass windows.  I've taken courses with both Margaret Beal and Kathleen Laurel Sage in the past and the technique fascinates me.

This is the piece I made in Kathleen's class with a close up of one of the flowers, that's beading in the centre but I think it looks like a button.  I've always planned to make a larger piece, perhaps using four of the above pieces to create a window hanging for my small landing window.  But so far its just a 'maybe'.

I don't have any of the pieces I made with Margaret, they were largely button's and odd shape pieces and have now all been used on other articles.  But this is a good way of making bits and pieces to add to your creations so I will be restocking sometime soon.

I thought I'd try Susan Lenz's combination idea to create a "burning back" piece which I think will end up on the front of a book cover.  This is my February journal page. Not sure whether I would layer on felt I rather like the more delicate look of the fabric only piece.

I started off using Margaret's layering on an acrylic felt background method, then free motioned a design over it, some edges were straighter than others.  Then I burned back some of the layers and finally sewed the whole piece onto a bit of glitzy fabric to show off the holes and pull all the colours together.  The acrylic felt made a very sturdy fabric, much easier to manipulate than the flimsier fabric of Kathleen's.  It would make good book covers and boxes where you need a bit of added strength.

What with Lesley still being in hospital I have had very little time to do much of anything.  She is slowly improving, still dehydrated though and they are still continuing to give her fluids intravenously   Her blood count isn't back to normal either but she is looking and sounding a lot better.

Now I'm going to make some small triangular purses to put mini eggs in for Easter.  So far I've made two.

I made one of these to put my Ipod headphones in. I also want to make a few cable wraps as I seem to have so many power cables etc for my various readers, cameras, phone etc.

This is one I made earlier.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Catch Up

You know those days, busy all day but with very little to show for it:  well I seem to have had a few weeks like that.   I have done some sewing but not a lot.  First my Bernina B710 developed a fault, it wouldn't switch on.  Apparently it needed updating and I'm waiting at the moment for it to be returned.  In the meantime my old trusty but very weighty Bernina 1630 finally got the better of me. Loading it into and out of the car, carrying it, setting it up in workshops left me breathless and with an aching back.

To cut a long story I finally agreed to take a pre-owned (owned for one week by an elderly lady who couldn't manage the complexity of the machine) Janome TXL 607.  The lady had bought the quilting package of table, walking foot and extra feet so these came with it.  It arrived last Thursday and I love it.  It's light, well half the weight of the 1630, and comes with all the functionality I wanted plus many more stitches than I anticipated.  I haven't been able to do as much sewing with it  as I was due to leave for Kent the following morning and had company at the time of its arrival.  But one bonus is that it fits on a small table I have so I can use it and watch tv at the same time, yehhhh

I have been promising to visit my friend Judy for some time and on Friday morning I set of to stay with her for a long weekend.  I only got lost once trying find the right platform at St Pancras.

The weather wasn't too good in Kent, it was much better at home in the North East, but we did our best to get out and about.  The village of Wye where Judy lives is lovely with a lot of medieval buildings,misshapen and high pitched roofs.  The walls also have lots of quartz in them, similar to those I've seen in Lincolnshire and Norfolk.

 This is the oldest part of the College, I just love the doorway.

The local church had long bench covers detailing aspects of the village.  I've only shown three parts of one as I took so many it became boring.

Sunday we went into Canterbury I wanted to see the tomb of Thomas Beckett but once again I was unable to do so.  Last time there was an international synod taking place and the cathedral was closed. This time it was a different function but with the same result.  

After dinner with Judy's  family we arrived back to find on my mobile two messages for me to ring my brother and nephew urgently.  My sister had been taken into hospital seriously ill.  She had apparently taken ill on Friday morning downstairs in her kitchen where she was so exhausted she fell asleep on the floor.  She can't remember so we don't know if she fell and landed on the floor or whether she lay down.  She struggled upstairs where she thought she would take a bath. Having got into the bath she couldn't get out and spent the rest of the time lying in an empty bath until her son found her on Sunday evening.  They blue lighted her to hospital where she got the treatment she needed for dehydration, confusion and hypothermia.  I spent a very worrying Sunday evening and journey home the next day. I went straight to the hospital to find her sitting up in bed, tired but happy to see me.  She will be in hospital for several days yet and I am hopeful that the help that has been offered before she will now accept.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Keith's Jeans

So far I haven't been able to face clearing out Keith's clothes and may not do so for a long time.  But I have been recycling some of his stuff.  This time I turned a pair of his jeans into a bag for Julie and another smaller bag for myself (not yet photographed).  I'd been promising to make her one to take to work that would hold her lunch (and sometimes breakfast) as well as odds and ends.

I've had the handles, feet and clasp for Julie's bag some time as well as the material for the pockets and lining.  So they are recycled as well.  All I needed was the jeans to make the bag from, Keith came to the rescue again.  Apart from the outside pockets, on both sides, there are two more denim pockets inside to hold water or juice bottles.

Julie likes it and apparently so do a couple of her workmates so that should please Keith that his trousers are admired by ladies......

My Kindle has gone haywire.  Don't know why or how.  It was working one moment the next it wouldn't stay on despite the battery being fully charged.  I decided to restart it and return it to factory settings (not that I'd touched those) and lost all my books.  Still it now starts and stays on but I have to re-register it so until I do that I can't re-download the books I bought from Amazon.  So guess what my next job is.  I really miss my Kindle I've had it for approximately four years and its been very, very very well used.  I get through around 3 books a week - mainly reading in bed.  I've had to revert to listening to books on my Ipod.  Problem with that is my eyes don't get tired so instead of putting the book down and going to sleep, I keep on listening to it until the early hours of the morning.  Either that or I drop off to sleep still listening and miss several chapters which means I have to backtrack, not always and easy thing to do.

Went to the cinema this week to see Shakespeare's "Loves Labour Lost" which was being broadcast by the RSC directly from Stratford upon Avon.  It was a completely different experience from watching a film, much more akin to actually going to the theatre.  I loved it and me and my friend Gill are off on the 4th March to see the companion play to this "Loves Labour Won" or as its better known "Much Ado about Nothing".

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Spot the Difference

Spot the difference it wasn't until I had uploaded the photo of my French cafe scene that I realised I'd missed a couple of elements off.  Can you find them?

One of the things I had promised myself this year was to make a monthly journal page.  Well it started out as a journal page:

but ended up as:

A pot to stand next to my computer.  At the moment its holding the various cables I use when I want to connect my Kindle, Ipod, Ipad, phone etc to my computer.  Well at least its tidied themup.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

French Cafe Scene

Our EG group have been asked to create 5"X 7" postcards depicting France which are to be exhibited there sometime towards the end of the year.  Taking advantage of a 'no dog, day I set off to create something.
I found an image I liked from one of our photos.  This one was taken en route to a holiday in Spain. Going through France we stopped in a small town for coffee and too this photo. I've just noticed that  I've forgotten to embroider cafe on the card and create a menu to go on the wall!!  Must do that as soon as I've finished this post.

I resized the photo to 5 x 7 inches and turned it into a black and white image.  Then traced the main lines.  From that I created pieces and ironed them onto a cream background.  Once that was done I outlined everything in black and tried to create ironwork.  I quite deliberately didn't try to be neat with the outlining, I wanted it to have a hand drawn appearance.  Leaves were cut by hand and bonded onto the background and the bike and table are clip art images printed onto shrink plastic and glued on. I may make another one using much more traditional embroidery later.

Buster is appreciative on his travel rug when used in my sewing room but still isn't too keen to lie on it on laminated floors.

One more thing that has been finished is THE wall hanging, yehhhh.  Marc and Alix were very pleased with it and took it home with them last night.  They had come up to have a meal out with Sy and Julie as it's Sy's birthday tomorrow (2nd).  Naturally I forgot to take a photo but Alix has promised to send me one when its in its pride of place on their wall.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

More recycling

Recycling just 'happened' I was really looking for something to do and found several wip and decided to finish at least one of them.  Several metres of scrap fabric later I got fed up with feeding small bits of fabric into my machine.  Then I took Buster to see my sister who has laminated floors.  Now Buster and laminated floors just don't go together.  He hates the fact that his feet just seem to slip around on them and they are hard on is old arthritic bones.  I thought this is going to be a major problem as Buster just doesn't like being left on his own since we lost Keith, he howls all the time I am out (unless I feed him treats before I go - not good for his weight!!).  I can go out for a couple of hours without him creating havoc but anything longer and he gets very distressed.  He also doesn't like sitting on the floor of my sewing room as it is covered by a thin carpet, again a strain on his old bones.  So last night as a pair of thick quilted over trousers fell out of the wardrobe for the umpteenth time a light bulb went off.  Why not turn these quilted trousers (very very large pair) into a travelling mat for Buster.  Then I saw Keith's old cardigan with a fleece lining, hmm he wouldn't mind if I cut that up too.  So armed with scissors I set too and took the garments to pieces.

Buster now has a lovely cosy travelling mat to lay on when we go to visit friends/family etc and for use in my sewing room.  He loves it.... no more howling, no more shouting at him to shut up and no more downtrodden looks from him when he encounters laminated floors to lie on.

 Buster likes the fluffy side up
but is okay with the quilted side too.

It rolls up quite small and I shall make a bag to carry it in when we go visiting.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

New family addition

Welcome to my new great niece Catherine Ann born this morning at 10:30am. She's going to be a heart breaker, like her mother and sister, her brother isn't too shabby either.