Sunday, 29 January 2012

First JP of 2012

I wasn't 100% certain I would join in this years challenge as its based on colour.  Colour isn't a problem just wasn't sure I wanted to make my pages from primaries.  However if you include all shades, tones, hues etc then it gives you quite a wide pallet.  So for my first 'Red' JP I give you:

Red One (aka Galliard - a Tudor Dance)

The actual JP is much richer and darker than shown here.

My intension for the first four red JP's was solely to create a set of JPs that had a gradient from dark, rich colouring to pale pink.  I also intended that each JP would have some sort of surface decoration. Then I had another thought, the red fabrics, from cotton, silk and velvet that I was using plus the gold secondary colour reminded me for some obscure reason of Henry VIII.  In particular his love of the Galliard a rather energetic courtly dance and so Red One (aka Galliard) was born.  I hope to continue the 'dance theme' for the rest of the reds. 

Here's a close up.
As you can see from this photo the background is woven and zigzaged onto a base.  Hope to show February's soon, I know I'm supposed to do one a month but I just got carried away.  DH says I should be carried away!!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Housey Housey

I saw these houses on Retro-Mama's blog and couldn't resist making one or two, its become an addiction.

Then I made a 'house' cover for the BQL monthly challenge to keep the dust out of Keith's mini printer.

He takes this with him to family celebrations and prints out photos so that people can have a copy straight away.  As a thank you he made me these:

A threadstand for the larger cops and a cute little bobbin boat to hold the large 830 bobbins.  These won't fit into any of the bobbin stands I have.  The eagle eye amongst you will notice that the bar has 4 thread feeds but the stand only room for two cops.  That's because I found my old 730 stand and wanted to use the top but keep Keith's beautifully turned base.  It works fine whether I put the cop on the stand or beside it.

I've almost finished my January CQJP -' Red One'  and will post a photo in my next blog.  In the meantime I'm off to make another house.

Friday, 20 January 2012

I've been FARTing!!

No I'm not being rude I've been on a Fabric Acquisiton Road Trip.   I needed some new reds in my stash, I may a Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy (SABLE) but still not enough reds in it for the CQ Red Journal Pages.  This is the result:

Well, okay there are a couple of non-reds in there but what has a girl got to do when faced with so much choice.

Now for a confession - on Monday in a fit of pique I traded in my Bernina 830 for a Bernina 580.  I know, I must be bonkers and all Monday night I tossed and turned and confirmed my suspicion that I was bonkers.   As soon as the shop opened on Tuesday I rang and said I've changed my mind I'm keeping my 830.  Unfortunately as I was talking the 580 arrived on my doorstep, all the way across country from Cardiff to the NE in record time.   Well, I fell in love with it, so what's more is there to say.  I've a very empty bank balance but a beautiful new baby to take to workshops.  This is my 1630 replacement, which although alovely machine is way too heavy for me to cart around.

And here she is:

 The first photo doesn't show the embroidery unit which came with it.
 I like the accessory kit, just right for taking to workshops, not so good I feel for storage while sewing (if that makes sense).
Best thing though is the feet from my 830 fit, apart fromt he BSR (naturally) as the 580 has the new version.  I was told that in theory they will work but in practise there have been problems.  The BSR is an option, not included.

And I tried all the functionality out on my set of 'Lace' postcards for the BQLPC January swap.

I made all the lace butterflies on the 580, which I must say is quieter to run than the 830 and all but the Jumbo hoop fit both machines.  Didn't actually need another embroidery unit but when I ordered it (along with the BSR) I thought I would no longer have the 830.  Since bringing baby into the house my 'beastie' has behaved impectably.   I'm going to do some sewing on her this afternoon just so she doesn't get jealous.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Phew finished 2011 Journal Pages

Done it.  It's not at all what I started out to do.  My first inclinations were to created a journal page using buttons and buttonholes as the main focus of the piece.  After three false starts I threw them all in the bin and no I didn't take photos they just looked like sewing class samples.  However I came across the piece of sateen that I'd taken to Summer School and lost all the screen printing on it because it wasn't cotton.  I also found some sheets of paper I'd transfer painted - Idea!!!  I loved the fabric I'd created, it reminded me of that time in Winter when the tips of plants are just coming through.  Well the JP has nothing to do with that.....   I cut off some of the yellow from the piece and created flowers using my Accuquilt and appliqued them onto the blue part that was left over.  I had great problems fmqing - the threads kept breaking, the needles kept breaking and I ended up shouting at my machine.  I left it and went back the next day, all was calm and collected and sewed out beautifully.

As I'm sure I've said before I have an aversion to buttons, however, there are a few that I can handle with care.  Some of these are the ones my dh makes.  I painted them with an overlay of green, purple, blue, wiped it all off then painted interference paint to give some shine.  Enough, here's the finished result.

Don't know why Blogger has turned the photo sideways, again!! It is the right way up in my albumn but you get the picture.

It's done the same with this one which shows the buttons a bit better.  Colours are about right.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

December Journal Page

I've spent a busy few days just trying to catch up.  I'm determined to get both 2011 and 2012 JP's done before the month is out and then I'll be back on line.  It's frightening how quickly you can get behind without meaning to.  

On the December JP I've been trying out the shadow/trapunto quilting.  By this I mean I wanted the central image to be raised and shown against a different translucent background.  It's the 'add buttons' feature of this challenge that is giving me problems.  I don't like the feel of buttons, odd I know but it stems from those rubbery ones on liberty bodices I was forced to wear as a child, ughhhh.  They still make me shudder.  Anyway here it is.

I call it "Button Tree" after I heard there was an American wood called Buttonwood.  I first drew out a 'treeish' shape and used this as a template.  I placed felt on top of a cotton backing, drew round the template then sewed on the drawn line.  Next I cut it back layered a sheer organza over the top and sewed it to the background.  With wadding behind I then echo quilted round the piece.   As I said I don't like buttons but made some embroidered and some Dorset ones to finish off the piece.   Keith has made me some wooden ones for the January's JP which is on its way to being completed.

Work in Progress

In between these two JP's I've made a weighted pincushion to take to workshops etc with me.  I never know what to do with waste threads etc and although I always pick up as many as I can I feel sorry for the cleaners who have to come in an clear up the mess some people leave.

I've also joined the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge - see sidebar - but so far have only done the first one, herringbone stitch on a very small project.  I intend to be a bit more adventurous with this stitch but just wanted to make sure I'd done something.  It's a covered tape measure which is very easy to do.  I  picked up one quite cheaply in the market, drew round the diameter and cut it out with seam allowance twice.  I cut out a strip of felt to go round the outside of the tape, embroidered both top and bottom and buttonholed the two pieces together.  Buttonhole stitch is the second TAST stitch but I wasn't going to use this as the TAST piece.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

I'm a bad bad blogger

It's almost a week into the new year and I haven't posted a thing.  Just don't know where the time goes these days.   I've actually found it very difficult to get down to doing any work at all after all the festivites.  Hope you all had a good New Year and this year will be one of creativity, productivity and enjoyment.

I've got to admit that I'm behind on my journal page challenge for the Contemporary Quilters.  However I've now finished Novembers and am making a start on December's tomorrow.  That just leaves January's to complete.   Next years challenge reverts to A4 but has a colour theme.  The first four months are red, the next four yellow and the final four blue.   I'll find this a real challenge but am looking forward to it.

Here's November's
I love Angie Lewin's work and bought her "Plants and Places" book last year.  I have not done justice to her drawings.  I didn't want to copy her work but to be inspired by it.  My plants look nothing like hers but Angie's work is the source.   The background fabric is a piece I made in Summer School last year then brought home and dumped it.  I came across it by accident and decided to try discharging colour using a nappy liner stencil, again made at Summer School.  I used Finish dishwasher gel as the discharge medium and it worked very well indeed.  I shall certainly use it again.

I've used a photo of a thistle I took last Autumn, the background is a close up of the thistle 'petals' can you call them petals? I'm not sure what they are called but they give a lovely texture.  I want to print this onto fabric and fmq it.  However I've forgotten how I split the photo into four parts, poster printing I think but when I tried to do it tonight this is what I ended up with.
Not a lot of good, one is chopped off and the others are too small.  I changed the print size but they remained the same size.  So its back to the drawing board, I won't let it beat me.

Keith also has been having a play, he made me a 'boat' to hold bobbins or thread to take to workshops with me.

Cute isn't it.

Tomorrow I'm not sure whether we'll have a cooked meal.  My cooker is beginning to heat the kitchen rather than the oven so tomorrow I'm having a smart new bright red one installed.  However, they won't give me an exact time for the fitting just sometime between 8am and 4pm.   Guess we'll have to eat sandwiches.