Tuesday, January 28, 2014

English Paper Piecing

Oh my, I have never done this before!! This is one of the assignments for the Kemshall Quilting and Patchwork class..well, it's my version of it at least.  And since I've never done this kind of work before it's going to be interesting how this all comes out in the end!!!  I'm not a hand stitcher but I do love the motion of the thread going in and out of the fabric.  So far these are just fiddle-y little bits of (mostly) hand-dyed fabric stitched over paper (hence the name, to be sure).  Blood has been shed!!!  And sweat, but no tears.  So far so good!!
I've taken an inspiration picture, analyzed the colours, painted them onto a grid (hidden underneath the little fabric patches, sorry) and then tried to match them with my fabrics.  Now I have to stitch them together.  Teeny tiny stitches.  Fortunately my optometrist has called to say I am due for an appointment.  So that's why I can't see!!!
More to follow!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Another little beaded piece

This is a little piece that I have done (it's finished now and properly edged).  This was done for the Kemshall course and I've varied a bit from the course requirements.  Here I've used thickened procion MX dye and, as instructed, have flicked it from a toothbrush, through a stencil that I had made earlier.  I didn't think I would like the technique but in the end I think it's ok.  I'm afraid it's a bit too out-of-control for me.  But perhaps it just feels that way because it's winter and I had to do the flicking in the house, in my guest room/studio.  It's the 'guest room' part of the activity that had me a bit stressed but in the end I think it was all right: I placed the fabric inside a box and flicked the dye onto the fabric and managed to keep most (all??? I hope) of the dyes inside the box.  I've used cotton sateen and it was a dream to stitch through and didn't show any stitch marks, so unlike the other cottons I've been using. I might have to switch!

But now I've stalled a wee bit in my textile endeavours while I tend to some of my resolutions.....to empty out some of the clutter that I have all around.  I'm a great collector of books, but I seem to have collected way past my shelves' ability to contain, so I am culling.  Oh my goodness, it's hard to weed out  my books, but I'm determined to make some space, if only to get some of these piles of newer books under control.  So I have four boxes ready to go out the door but still don't seem to have made much of a dent in the piles lying around.  I shall persevere.....

And, of course, I'll be back....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


My first post of the new year!!

As well, this is my first attempt at beading and at using french knots.  An interesting exercise.  I'm not crazy about the beading but it's probably because I have tried to make do with the beads I have at hand.  They are quite expensive (well, not bad really, but try and get out of the bead shop without spending $100 or more....and such a tiny little bag as well!!!) and to be really effective, I suspect they should be bought with a project in mind as opposed to being out of one's mind with all the choices and just grabbing willy-nilly.  The french knots were fun to do.  Really, I can see how one might use both embellishments but I'm not really one for embellishments of this sort,... well, not yet, anyway.  I don't want to be closing any doors here!
I'm still not sure how I feel about this fabric. It has a high thread count and so dyes up beautifully but as you can see, it shows all the needle marks!!!  It'll be wonderful for piecing, however, and so I shall carry on with it.  I have dyed up a couple more batches this morning, my first of the new year.  I am messing about with value and I think I have dyed a couple of quite pastel pieces.  I'll show you as soon as I've washed them out, that's always the magic part!  I think they'll be a little easier to use in stitched samples, the colours being a little less intense.

This is the little drawing that inspired the above pieces.  I'm enjoying experimenting with different pencils and trying to get the tonal values that I see in the photograph.

And finally, my first ever photo that I've produced, messing about in Photoshop Elements and using textures. It's also my first lot of pics taken with my new lens, a prime lens, for portrait work.  I don't actually do portraits, but flower heads, well, that's sort of a portrait, isn't it???  I know it's not great and in fact, it  needs a bit of cropping off the bottom, but I was excited to get it this far!!!  And in terms of portraits, you can just see my little St Francis statue in the background....I really don't do people shots, but perhaps this will qualify!!

So that's it, a series of firsts, and it's only January 1 today!!!  (Mind you, I guess everything I do today will be a first, if I want to get really picky!  But some of these are firsts ever, so I think they work!)

And so, as I think of all my dear friends, old and new, loved and lost, may the blessings of the season be yours throughout the year.  And happy creating!

I'll be back....