Thursday, 28 April 2011

One that got away

How many times have you set off the washing machine and halfway through the final rinse you come across an 'escapee', usually a sock.  Well I've found an escapee from the EG postcard project so before I leave for foreign parts I'd better pop it up to show:

 Here is Jenny's 'Giraffe and Acacia tree at sunset'.  She has used a piece of her hand-dyed fabri,c added silhouettes and them embellished with machine embroidery.  I have one more card yet to come in but it won't be ready before we go away so it will have to wait until a later date.

We're all packed, the cases are by the front door, the carry-ons are also packed and I've dug out a large tote to carry all my bits and pieces for the journey.  Sorted out some sewing to occupy my hands while we travel, filled up my ipod with books I haven't yet read, and a paperback just in case and packed sandwiches in case we get peckish.  We leave in a few hours (04:05am) so I'm going to have a shower and try and get a couple of hours sleep.

The news tonight wasn't too promising with a bomb going off in a cafe in Marakesh, one of our stops in Morocco.  Never mind I'm not going to worry about it.  Speak when we get back around mid May with, hopefully, lots of things to show you.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Two more days and we're off to foreign parts

At first light, well actually before first light!!, we're off to Spain and Morocco and won't be back until around the 20th May when I hope to have lots of piccies to show you.  In the meantime I've been trying hard to get all my commitments finished and in the post.  This is what I've been up to inbetween trying to organise the packing of clothes etc for three weeks away. 

 Not made the teddy that stays at home but the Easter Basket is for Wendy part of the Quilting Gallery swap, you can see all the other baskets here on their Flickr site.

 Next are my little art dolls for Pauline and Debs who swapped with me on Surface Design group.  I made the felt previously and cut out a rough heart shape with a head, buttonholed/blanket stitched them together and embroidered them.  The faces and feet are ArtGlitz charms.

 Now for two cards from Dayle in Australia with home I did an ingredient swap.  Not sure which one I like the most and was surprised at the amount of bits an pieces I sent her she'd managed to incorporate.
One thing left to do before we go and that's to work out how to make an insulated cover for my insulin pens to keep them cool while travelling.   I may get another posting in before we leave but if not I'll see you all mid May.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

EG Olympic Postcard Project

Not sure how many Embroidery Guilds in the UK are doing the Olympic Postcard project but ours is and these are the cards produced by our members.  Each guild was given a 'participating country' which was chosen by picking a name out of a hat system.   Darlington EG was paired with Uganda and I got the dubious honour of co-ordinating the project for our guild.   My first thoughs on being told we'd got Uganda was Idi Amin, Aids, brutality to women, gorillas.  Not very inspiring but further research showed me a beautiful country with rain forests, abundant birds, beasts and flora.  The one stipulation of the project was that the flag of 'your chosen' country must be the first postcard on the strip.  Each strip is between 9 and 15 cards long.   Each card is 6" x 4", laced onto archival board, backed and signed and dated.   These are the cards made by our members, Marigold Kelly, Linda Doughty, Joan Bainbridge, Pat Camburn, Carole Wilson and myself. 

I'm sure you'll agree they are all very different and "didn't they do well".

Sunday, 17 April 2011

My new sewing table

Keith has been busy in my sewing room again after I saw this on youtube.

I've been complaining for some time now, well ever since my 830 wouldn't fit in my Horn cabinet, that I missed the flat sewing surface.  Buying another cabinet capable of taking the larger, heavier machines was out of the question.  So after we watched this video we made a quick trip to B&Q and Wilks for the materials and this is the result.

Table as seen from the back, notice we have left enough room for ventilation.  Also we couldn't get the wider insulation into the car so had to settle for smaller blocks taped together with gaffer tape.
 On the front there is a removable piece so I can change the bobbins easily.  Previously I had to remove the table each time I wanted to change bobbin thread because I  couldn't see what I was doing with it on. Now changing bobbin thread is easier as lifting out the front piece leaves it easy for me to see everything.
This is the piece that fits in front of the machine.   I have about 7.5" of space between the front of the table and the needle.   I am still sitting at the same height as before.  Begin vertically challenged Keith chopped off a bit of the table legs so I was sewing at a comfortable height.  But the new 'infill' gives me a wider sewing surface and allows me to rest my arms on the table to quilt, much less strain on the old neck and arms.

We had to use four insulation boards in all, two on the bottom and two on the top. Drawing round the machine for the base boards and round the machine arm for the top boards.  The insulation foam is easy to cut with a serated knife but you have to remember when you draw out the pattern which way is the top!!  We nearly cut the arm piece with the curve going the wrong way!!  It's very sturdy but light and can easily be removed and propped up somewhere else when I want to use the embroidery unit.

I covered the whole table with heavy duty plastic that I'd bought some time back to make bags etc.  I cut a hole where the needle and feed dogs went and was surprised to find the plastic stayed in place and acted a bit like my Supreme Slider making it easy to free machine.  I'm very pleased with the outcome, it may not look pretty but it works.

Friday, 15 April 2011

April and May Journal Pages

More tangled journal pages, April's is a fantasy bug (Tanglebug) using Acrylic Inks for the colouring in bits. The background fmq is supposed to represent the blossom the 'Tanglebug' is getting nectar from.  You may have to use your imagination!! May is more straight forward tangle, 'Bloomin Tangle 2'.  This time I doodled on the fabric and used the fabric to applique petals and fmq'd the background in wandering leaves.

Last weekend we went to the Threadbangers' (local Quilt Group of which I'm not a member) first quilt show.  This was being held in a local village hall and when we got there there were Morris Dancers on the Green.     It was a lovely show, small but the quilts were varied and well made.  There were a couple of traders and plenty of small sewing related items for sale.  They made over £2000 for the Help for Heros charity.  Well done Threadbangers.  One item which I loved was a quilted Wendy house made by the group. .  Here are some photos. 

Morris Dancers outside of the Inn

Village Hall where the Quilt show was held.

Quilted Wendy House.

I've been meaning to show you these monoliths for some time now and keep forgetting.  Every time we go to Boroughbridge for 'woody things' for Keith we pass them.

They are called the 'Devil's Arrows' and are prehistoric but the reason why three should be stood in a row (one on one side of the road the other two in a field on the other side of the road) is anybodys guess.

These are the second and third monoliths, time and tide have taken their toll on the height of these two.  The second one in this photo is not very clear, its beside the large tree.

Two weeks to go and we're off on holiday.  This is our Ruby Wedding anniversary treat, it should have been last year but it got postponed due to Marc and Alix's wedding.  We are heading for Marrakesh in Morroco by way of France and Spain stopping off at points along the way.  On the way back we will be calling at Madrid as I've always wanted to see the Alhambra.  Hope to get some good photos to share.

Off now to finish my last two swaps before my hols and tackle the dust bunnies.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

March JP - Primeval Tangle

 I wanted to continue with the Zentangle theme for my March JP but this time on a black background.  The
fern-type leaves were my 'strings' which I drew freehand then drew the patterning inside of each leaf.  Next step was to outline the pattern and the leaves.  I dithered a bit about whether or not I should pattern each section within the leaves but in the end decided to try out some new paints.  Keith had bought some Jo Sonja pearlescent paints for wood and I'd seen these paints advertised as suitable for fabric so 'borrowed' them from him.  He might not get them back....  I think the paint is a bit thick and I should have watered it down a bit but wasn't sure whether it would bleed if I did.   Still its done now.

Next couple of photos are close-ups of parts of the journal page.

I have deliberately not join many swaps this year as I want to do other things but one I did join was an 'Ingredient Swap' with the Surface Design group.  I received a package of bits and pieces from Dayle in Australia from which to make a card and post it back to her.  This is the ingredients and the card I've made from them.

Sunday gone (3rd April) was Mothering Sunday here in the UK and my eldest son Marc wanted to take me out for lunch.  He was again though in the Lake District having taken part in a triathlon on the Saturday and wanted us to go to Keswick.  Well I love the ride over the moors to the Lake District so we agreed.

 On the way over we saw this strange cloud with a rainbow centre.  The rainbow was much brighter than the photo as I had to take it through the car windscreen which as you all know have UV shields built in them.  As you can see from the photo below the sky was blue, just this one dark cloud with a rainbow.

 Marc and Alix had booked lunch for us at the Horse & Farrier Inn, built in 1688 and retaining many of its old features.  If  anyone is in the area, the Inn is actually at Threkeld, they do a lovely meal at a reasonable price.   At the end of the meal all the ladies were presented with a small bunch of daffodils which was a lovely touch.
Me and Marc outside the Inn just before leaving for home.

I'm off now to make a start on my April JP which I hope to show you soon.  At the moment I don't have any idea of what I'm going to do.