Monday, 26 October 2009

Faded Rose Flower Page/Challenge

This month's challenge from the StitchedTextiledesign group was to do something on the theme of 'faded roses' and I needed to make two pages for the MixedMediaatc group. I thought I might be able to combine both challenge and swap. Some time ago we visited Wharlton Hall in Northumerland to see their gardens. The visit followed the high winds and heavy rain storms and naturally their gardens were destroyed. The roses which had been magnificent were very much the worse for wear, faded and at the time I took this photo of one of the better ones.

As you can see they were still beautiful if a bit ragged round the edges.
I also took this photo of one of the wrought iron gates on the estate, I liked the curls. I thought I'd have a go at using the gates as a displacement map and see if I could use the results.

I liked it but wasn't sure whether the person who would receive my flower page would appreciate what I was trying to do. As an experiment I used solorize and was surprised to see the colour change. Again I liked it but wasn't sure whether anyone else would so back to the drawing board for the pages but I've printed these two versions out onto tshirt transfer paper for use later.

I had been reading Sandra Hart & Gudny Campbell's quilt book "Piecing with Pixels" and was interested in the effect they had got using the 'cookie cutters' in Photoshop Elements. Now Idon't have elements but do have CS3 which I admit I haven't used all that much as I'm much more familiar with Paintshop Pro. If you use Photoshop CS3 they don't call it 'cookie cutters' its in the Shapes menu. It took me a couple of tries before I got the hang of using the cookies to make quilt tiles (and since I've discovered how to put pictures in the cookies rather than plain colour).
I used one of the cutters and matched the colour to a pink in the photo and placed it on top of the photo of the rose. I made a border of several of these quilt tiles and placed a larger tile in the centre. I printed it out onto fabric ready for the next step.
My final piece for the faded rose challenge was to quilt it.

I faded the rose tiles a bit and added a sequins and beads to the centre point of the tiles. This completes the first of two flower pages. I've decided to use the rose/gate displacement pieces for the second one and will blog later about it when its complete.

Friday, 16 October 2009

I should have known better

I should have rechecked the pattern when I suspected it was taking me longer to finish a row than it had when I started. By the time I reached the armholes I had 65 extra stitches on my needles, the pattern had an error. It was quite obvious when I checked it, one row increased the stitches in the pattern but didn't decrease them to keep the same loop count.

I've now bought a new pattern and this is the yarn I'm knitting it in. Talking of knitting when I had my great clear out to make room for my new acquisition I found this.
Anyone remember the KTel Knitter? More importantly has anyone used one? I didn't have any instructions for the needles? (there were two of them) so I googled it. It appears to be something of a white elephant and I couldn't fine anyone that liked it. I've given the other needle to a friend (will she remain one I ask myself) and we've challenged each other to do something with it. Watch this space.

The postman has been busy again. This is my 'at the castle gate' house from Deborah. I really love the faded photo of the nuns (think they are nuns) with the view through the ruined castle wall. My house for Mariel has gone missing, I put it somewhere safe when my sewing cubbyhole was being revamped and I can't find it now. Guess I'll have to restart it.

October's swap theme for the private group is 'goldwork'. My scanner has decided not to play with me so I've had to photograph the cards and the colours are a bit off. This is Christine's and she's used a variety of synthetic background fabrics with sequine waste, sequines, couched threads and mesh all held down with embroidery.

Jennifer's is a fun card. She's created a pocket and gold coins some are stitched onto the velvet background and others are held with threads and fall into the pocket.
Mine are half made and should be in the post before the end of next week.

I made this diary cover for my partner in the advent swap but just as I was about to wrap it up I noticed a tiny nick in the fabric on the back. Never mind I have a nice diary cover now.

Some time ago a friend gave me a piece of shrink fabric that when steam heated bubbles and gives a textured surface. I finally got round to making a small bag with it. I had bought the dual feed patchwork foot for the 830 and wanted to try it out and thought this was an ideal opportunity. I layered the shrink fabric, wadding and the top fabric and quilted a diagonal mesh with lines approximately one inch apart. The dual feed foot worked a treat and there was no drag, especially as I thought the shrink fabric might slide. When I'd done all the quilting I heated the shrink fabric from the back using a hot steam iron and making sure I didn't actually touch the shrink fabric. I was really pleased with the puffy quilting when it was finished. I've added handles and a lining but it needs something dangle or flowery, that's the next step.
I'm meeting my friend for lunch on Tuesday and hope to give her the bag for her daughter who raises funds for charity.
I'm going to the Crafts for Christmas fair in Newcastle tomorrow and hope to meet up with friends there. Now I'm off to start my new sweater pattern.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Well its arrived and its a monster

My new Bernina 830 that is. I realised when I bought it that it would not go into my Horn cabinet and I was a bit upset about that but my 1630 is quite happy in it. Space in my sewing cubbyhole was a problem. We measured, remeasured and there was no doubt at all - it just would not fit in. I wasn't expecting to take delivery at the end of October so there was plenty of time for Keith to revamp my workspace. Then David Drummond rang and asked me if I would like it earlier as the lady before me on the list was going to Australia for three months and wanted her delivery when she got back. Naturally we panicked and the house started to look like a car boot sale as we hurriedly put boxes of stuff in every conceivable space. Everything came out and Keith set off to B&Q for wood. We ran out of time when it arrived on Friday!!! Undetered my gallant dh brought in the patio table, put a new top on it and made sure everything was level for the prince of the workshop.
Shelves went up
An extra bench went in so I could use my laptop, printer was stored on a shelf above me as was the inevitable box of paper, photographic paper and printable fabric storages.

My Horn cabinet came in handy as an extra workbench.
I love the machine, it takes some getting used to as it threads slightly differently and my hand automatically goes to the back of the machine to lift up the presser foot. But I am getting used to it now. I particularly like the fact that you can set the presser foot to rise slightly (hover) with the needle down. Useful when you are doing applique. I feel that unlike the 730 my love/hate relationship with the 830 will bebetter, at least I do hope so.
I've been making articles for the Advent Swap but I can't show those in case my partner reads this blog.
There's been quite a bit of talk about the new "Talking Threads" series on channel 171 so I've set the series link to record all the episodes. I've also subscribed to the 365 Days of Quilting in an effort to improve my fmq. If you haven't seen or heard about these two blogs have a look at them.