Thursday, 29 December 2016

The next step

in the project. Working out the words. This was a full pack of pencils when I started designing the lettering. You will see that after a lot of rubbing out and redrawing there was quite a reduction in pencil. 

Which resulted in this arrangement. Please note that the red lines were already on the bit of flip chart paper I was recycling to make the pattern. and should be ignored.

Sleeping dragon? This is where the dragons went...

Now the trick is to get the writing onto the material around the dragon already traced on. I have made a start and it is not going well. The original transfer of the dragon must have had some slippage as it does not fit exactly to the pattern.  I am going to see what it looks like once I have wiggled and jiggled and slipped it about to get the letters in. If it looks ok then on with the project.  If not, well that pen is washable you know and I will just have to prove it all over again and try tracing the design out in one go dragon and quote at the same time....

Monday, 26 December 2016

A small start much delayed.

You may, or may not and if not try this link (link to older post) recall a design I put on a hairbrush.  A sleeping version of Monument Dragon.  Well I wanted to use the same image to make a cover for a small duvet.

I enlarged the design using an overhead projector and copied it out using washable marker onto some white fabric.  It then got popped into a bag with the bits for the Tree Quilt Project and both were left for some time while I worked on getting Rainbow Cat and the leaf quilt finished for the show.

I then decided the Tree Quilt bits needed a refresh and popped the contents of the bag into the washing machine.  As I lifted out the bits and hung them up I came across a large piece of white material.  I wonder what I was planning on doing with this I thought, it is too small to be backing for this quilt....Oh! it was my dragon, well proof positive that the washable pen was in fact washable.

Just as well I had kept the enlarged design as I had to draw the whole thing out again.

  You can just about see it here.  The start is further delayed as a result of the Dragon Batik bag.

I liked the result of the quilted writing on that bag so much and this design has so much white space on it that the idea of adding some words just won't go away.

The words that I kept turning to is a section of prose from a Terry Pratchett book,Guards!Guards! I keep trying to find something shorter or simpler but that section appeals to me so very much, it yearns to be used.

So I have taped some extra paper around the edge of my enlargement of the dragon and need to work on a style for the words and of course getting the spacing right to fit it all in.

Then transfer to  the fabric and make a start, hopefully in the not too distant future, on colouring it in with permanent fabric markers.  Wish me luck, I feel I am going to need it, there are a lot more words to fit in this time.

(here is the link to the design with words the-next-step)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tree quilt

Some time ago I made a blue-and-brown-and-cream-quilt, when posting about that quilt I mentioned my problem with counting and that I had made a panel more than I needed, in fact I made two too many.

I originally gave them and the left over squares to that quilts recipient as she was interested in quilting herself.  However, a move meant she parted with her sewing machine and so she gave me the pieces back.

They became a sew a bit and see what happens project if I had a bit of extra time when working on another project.  On occasion I played around with the layout at the quilting group and would be asked who was it for.  The reply, I don't know yet.

I have a collage of various quilts as my "wall" image on Facebook, the blue and brown and cream quilt is amongst them.  A lady from Church asked me if I had any quilts I was willing to sell and mentioned she liked that quilt.  Of course I no longer had that one and told her so.  She offered to buy the materials to make a quilt and pay for my time, something big enough for lying on the couch and snuggling in.

I told her I would think about it, which was sort of true.  I already had in mind that I would make her a quilt but had not thought quite what to do. I was waiting for her recent move to be over and a hint of her new decor.  This preference for a previous quilts colours, given a top was part constructed was a light bulb moment.

Blue and Brown and Cream quilt

I added just one more set around the central design then a wide boarder of dark blue and I was all set to quilt.  As the pattern had not started out with the recipient in mind I wanted the quilting to be a more personal reflection of her.

A mother,foster mother, grandmother  and foster grandmother she has spent her life working with children and  strengthening the family.

 So a hand quilted tree in the middle with the word family machine quilted under it. This is it from the back as it does not take a good picture from the front. 

Stick people

Stick people
Four hand quilted leaves in the corners to represent her four children then little stick people machine quilted on the edges, male and female again representative both in figure and style of the children in her life.(I did not have the energy to do one for each grand or great grand child and after all that number is quite likely to increase, it is up to twenty seven already!)


For those of you familiar with my religious affiliation the three little apliques of Sun, Moon and Star (using pieces from the quilt material) alongside side tree and family will be a symbolism you are familiar with.  My friend certainly was, as I gave her the quilt she exclaimed with delight "oh you did it, you made a quilt, it is exactly what I wanted" and  again offered to pay me for it.


I smiled, hugged her told her not to be daft that it was thanks for years of friendship and that her obvious appreciation and open joy in it was the best of payments.

And I meant it!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Rainbow Cat renamed

This pattern marks a first for me, well a couple of firsts really.  It is the first time I have seen a pattern shared on a facebook page, thought I like that, I know who I could make that for and immediately looked for the pattern found it and bought it.

It is also the first pattern I have bought as a download ( I have had some free patterns online) and the first time I have used Etsy.  At least using Etsy I could be sure I was buying from the designer.

To save on printing ink I only printed out the pattern and not the accompanying picture.  That made stitching it interesting as working from left to right in the bold bright colours the composition of the final image was not clear for the longest time.

as I worked I came across an article with another person starting on the same pattern mentioning their plan on when to do the white, which resulted in an earlier post on that issue.  But as I had not yet gifted the item the pictures were cryptic.

Those that saw me working on it thought it was a tropical fish or a parrot, not even the first eye made the guesses match the image.

Cat's eye
 The second eye was not much help

Cat's eye

The turning point was the nose, the two eyes and nose whilst not the whole pattern still captures the power of the cats gaze.

Cats gaze
The last sections of black were odd to do under that gaze

Almost done.

Finished I entered it unframed in the local show, I did not share a picture at the time as still it had not been gifted. It came second.  Oddly it took me a month from start to finish to stitch this.  It then took me three months to find just the right frame. 

Here it is finally framed and ready to go to the recipients intended from the first moment I saw it... my brother and sister-in-law. 

Rainbow Cat        
As they unwrapped it they said "oh a psychedelic cat" and thus as it passed from my hands it was renamed. They love cats, love the colours and style of the 60's and 70's , they loved their psychedelic cat and at that moment of unwrapping jointly knew just where in their home it would hang.  Now that is the kind of result we all long for, instant acceptance and absorption into the recipient's life. 

I would pop a link on the the home of the pattern but I am not finding it so easily the second time round, I think in addition to the cat, there is a lion a dog and other rainbow creatures, I like the cat best, but then perhaps I am a little biased.     

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Let it Snow..?

last year the small quilting group I facilitate was given a Christmas themed panel.  Thinking the fairest way for the group to use it was to cut it up into its various parts so we could all have some and make cushions I made kits.

I rolled them up tied them with a ribbon and we drew them out at random. That stopped me cherry picking the one I liked best. (it had a thin strip with birds on, which I thought would quilt well)

Whilst I did not get my favorite,I was quite pleased with the one I did get, one of the simpler piercings with  one central square and four snowflakes. 

I was not the first to finish, one was made up on the night, the second some months later and I finished mine a few weeks ago but was waiting for December to post it.

Let it Snow
I quilted around the houses and trees etc, my BFF and quilting group member (who had finished hers as a patchwork without quilting) liked the effect so much she is planning on unpicking the cushion so she can quilt it and then remake the cushion.

This is an envelop style finish at the back, as taught to me by my BFF (and she keeps having to teach it to me as for some reason it won'y stay put in my head).

Monday, 12 December 2016

On the twelth day of December

and the Advent hop arrives at my blog.

So what to share, something small that feeds into the traditional themes of Christmas without the original story and with a slight nod to my having the twelfth.

Pear Tree
Yup a pear tree without the Partridge, but then the 1st day of Christmas is still some days off so it can be forgiven for not being in place just yet.

I also like this little silhouette, a pattern my BFF introduced me to (although she stitched hers in pink, well she thinks it is purple but I say pink) I used sparkly Aida and a dark blue thread.  

Sparkling nativity
There is something about the simplicity that calls to me.

Jo also asked that the hop participants included something about a favorite or special decoration in the post.

In some ways that is tricky as I have shared some of those decorations in earlier posts in Christmas bloggs gone by.

There is  The elf and it's mini me. 

The Christmas Card inspired embroideries

The The Advent Calendar which at first was a project upon which it was traditional to work each year and now is in use with scripture readings sharing space in the little pockets with chocolate treats.

Various other bits and bobs pepper my blog here and there, but some family traditions we have lost. Making our own Ginger Wine (and looking like bubble, bubble toil and trouble doing it) as Castle Wines who made the essence stopped making it!  The extra sized, feed four adults and two children, cornbeef pie for Christmas eve, that diminished in size as we lost grandparents and the children grew.  Multiple Christmas cakes for the same reason.

New ones added, like watching a Muppets Christmas carol which I positively love especially if it is on TV Christmas Eve. The perfect accompaniment for decorating the tree. 

Even more recently the Advent Blog Hop has joined my Christmas traditions and I hope the same will be true of those reading this.

So don't forget to pop back to Jo at serendipitous stitching tomorrow and open another door.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday stitching and a decision

here is this Sundays progress.

you may notice there is quite a bit of blue, that is because I have made a decision to sew not just in the Sunday time slot but also during and Christmas films (if there is nothing else I should be doing) and see if I get done before Christmas.

Although that will mean stitching on days other than a Sunday I only intend to update on Sundays, or when finished.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sunday Stitching delayed

well not the stitching which started on a Sunday as normal with a little bit of blue and more yellow. It went quite well I thought.

The week has just been so busy I kept forgetting to post. 

There is a lot left to do and only one stitching Sunday before Christmas (I have a talk Sunday after next so no stitching) and I am trying to decide if I should work on this outside the specified time to get it finished

There is still quite a bit to go..hmmm thinking about it