Thursday 26 April 2012

A Book of Tags & Playing catchup

As we are now almost at the end of the 4th month of Tag Tuesday I'm building up quite a little bundle of tags and although they look lovely in this little wire and organza box, I'm thinking they are soon about to outgrow it !
I have thought about hanging them on a string above my workshop windows, then I thought I might like to mount them onto a large canvas and hang them in a more prominent position.
Then Barb Cady sent me a link to her blog to show me how she was displaying her lovely tags from the challenge, she was using a spiral sketchbook, I thought it was a lovely idea, the spiral bound book has a bit more give for those tags with raised areas, so I think I'm going to do the same, I remember that I picked up a little spiral sketchbook in a charity shop around Christmas time and haven't used it yet, I knew it would come in handy one day.
This week I'm playing catchup, I missed this tag out,
for the theme Snow sports and games (week 2)
I had another idea at the time and didn't have the image I needed to do it,
My workshop tidy up produced a bag of cards I had forgotten about and and I found the perfect little scene of children playing in the snow and sledging with a stone bridge in the background.
I cut this out and added it as a raised layer
 onto a scene of snow capped trees from another Christmas card

Its a really glittery tag I love Christmas cards like this and it's nice to be able to use elements from two to make a keepsake scene. 
I added two different lengths of yarn for the tie
and some more sparkly white yarn hanging down

A simple little arrangement compared to some of my other tags
but its a nice partner for number 1. 'Snow'
 Once I have a few of the tags into the my little book I'll post some pictures.
thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Ode to Purple

This weeks theme on Tag Tuesday is 'Purple'
If you know me you will know that it is a favourite of mine
 and I'm drawn to it a lot in my work.
I love purple and I enjoyed sifting through my stash of
 purple fabrics, ribbons, buttons & beads to make this little sparkly tag
I used Two layers of purple cotton velvet a piece of distressed satin edged organza ribbon
 This created some interesting areas to add beads and embroidery. 
I made a cord for the tie from the Caron variegated embroidery thread

Tag: Card base, cotton velvet
Embellishments: Organza ribbon, shell heart button,
glass seed beads, crystals, pearls, french knots and bullion knots.
Tie: Embroidery thread twisted cord.

Monday 23 April 2012

Flower Power & Birthdays

Talking of flowers, my sister Theresa is having a hippy party to celebrate her 60th birthday next week, everyone is getting organised with hippy clothes, gathering accessories etc. among other things,  I have been working on a little top for Charlotte. Not one I made myself, in fact it was a sale purchase from the supermarket, the cute embroidery on the front sold it to me for £3

 I bought it over a year ago and she didn't really get a lot of wear out of it because it got too short length wise before she outgrew it, it occurred to me last week that the top actually still fits her, except it's too short. so I cut the bottom from another t-shirt from the quilt/rug pile and came up with this.

I didn't get a picture of the pink top on its own before I added the green bit but I'm sure it's easy to see what it looked like before I added the green bit.
I just stitched this by hand, tshirt fabric is great for this kind of thing as it doesn't fray.

I did one line of running stitch in 3 strands of pale blue embroidery thread along the very bottom of the pink top, then another with pink in a wavy line further up to join the pieces together, then another in green using french knots.

in the back I just did a straight line across and added a little heart applique,
 to match the one I did on the front with a blanket stitch in pink around the edge.
The one on the front is covering a transfer image that was already there, I thought the batik fabric would give it a more 'hippy' look.

Still needing something else to blend the two fabrics together

 I thought I might add a flower, and give the steam a seem another go,
 it worked a much better on the cotton tshirt fabric but I'm still not convinced I need two paper backings on a bonding product, anyway backing papers removed,

I placed it on top and ironed.

I then machine stitched round the edge a couple of times

with fuchsia pink embroidery thread

and added a little bead detail to the heart on the front, with hex glass beads
they have a very sparkly iridescent coating on them

I'm quite pleased with how it looks now

It's my older daughter, Aprils 20th birthday today :)
So that means its cake time

Victoria sandwich filled with lemon curd & lemon mousse
topped with lemon butter icing, more lemon curd and
sprinkled with lemon rind.

~ Happy Birthday April ~

Saturday 21 April 2012

Opening up the past

The 'challenge' this month has literally been to actually 'open' my sketchbook

First I opened a little A6 sketchbook from the past when I was at college all those years ago in the Borders when I made the 'Flower Quilt' The annotation beside the little watercolour flowers mentions applique as a proposed idea, I was reminded also that the six watercolour panels that I made were actually the second idea, the first being a single panel which I did make. I wasn't happy with it, mainly because I chose peach for the background fabric. I used a dip-dye method, I enjoyed the process but the end result didn't seem a good fit for the quilt so I didn't use it. I'm sure I must have this, probably in my portfolio with all the paintings and drawings, I will have to look it out.

 I remember now that worked on the six smaller panels during the summer break.

I have been working on the pieced border that I removed from the quilt
 separating all the squares, unpicking and removing all the stray threads.

I opened my sketchbook and again did some sketching then watercolour painting
 inspired again by the fabrics.

I'm thinking that it might be nice to make more panels for the back of the quilt using the same process I did back then after all I do have a lovely new set of the same watercolour dyes I used, actually this quilt was the reason I bought them the first time round.

Looks like my mend and reduce job is turning into another project.

Friday 20 April 2012

Rag Rug and Quilt, a little progress

Update on the rag rug
its getting bigger and a little easier to keep flat as I stitch the coil together

I took this picture Feb 29 and only started working on it again recently
it has progressed a little bit more . . . .

Of course the rug only grows as a result of the blocks being cut out from the little items
 of Charlotte's baby clothes . . . .

I kept the front of these whole and added fabric from other parts to square them off
I also did this little pink dress below this way, just to keep the frills :)

The block on the right is made from a tiny all in one vest topped with a favourite bib
 which I re-fashioned into a fish shape and appliqued on.
This is block number 10.
 A very quick windmill pieced block made from a set of two little tops one with little stars on, the other plain with a flower on the front which I cut out and appliqued onto the middle.

It's time I got more blocks done I think . . . . !

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Boxoftrix by Hand ~ Shop

I would like to invite you all to have a little peek into my new blogshop.

A little place to buy the things I make, (should you need to treat yourself or buy a gift)
a place to show my work and I'm enjoying listing everything in the one place.
I put a link on my side bar a few days ago and have been gradually getting all the things in there.

It's simply called
Boxoftrix by Hand

It would be nice if you could pop over and have a peek and let me know what you think, good or bad, come back and leave a comment here, I have disabled the comments on the shop posts as it will purely be used to show the things I have for sale,
I just want to keep things simple.
 The contact email address for the shop is the same as for here
Thanks for stopping by

Yvonne x

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Spring Flowers

For the 'Spring Flowers' theme this week on
I did a little textile piece

'Daffodil and Snowdrops'

I started with a needle felted background on denim and machine stitched some
Oliver Twist short length yarns on top and couched on some dark green chenille.

Next I added little daffodil head from this great tutorial over at crafty Staci except
 I made it a quarter of the size.
 I used printed yellow fabric for the petals, satin edged rayon ribbon for the flower centre,

 pearly seed beads for snowdrop petals, I hand stitched their dark stalks
 and added some tiny seed beads into the ground area.
I then hand stitched the whole piece onto some layered fabric and organza and frayed the edges,

backed it with card and added a selection of hand dyed yarns and a white ribbon for the tie.

Tag: Card Backing, Fabric & crystal organza, denim & needle felted wool
Embellishment:  Yarns, Fabric flower and beads.
Tie: Ribbon & yarns

~Why join us over on the Tag Tuesday blog to see lots more creative tags ~

I'm quite excited about spring :) the sign of things to come, looking forward to the warmer weather and spending more time out in the garden, already there is more sun shining into my little studio each day filling it with light and warmth.
I was delighted when my husband Kevin told me last week
that he was making me little window boxes for my little studio

He asked me what kind of flowers I would like to have planted in them.
I decided as they are such tiny cute little boxes that it would have to be violas, pansies.

The boxes are finished and fixed under the windows awaiting their little occupants who are,
 at the moment in the propagator growing :)

Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday 14 April 2012

Painted quilt update

More pictures of the painted quilt
I applied the Markal oil paintstiks

 blue, green,

pearly white, gold and red

I decided on a pale aqua mix for the binding

 and added some of these little white sequins with french knots using some Caron Wildflowers
 thread along the middle line between the two colourways.

Then Charlotte had a little go at them when I wasn't looking the next morning,

she pulled all of the larger sequins leaving little pulled french knots.

 there was nothing for it, I had to cut them all off ... my lovely Caron thread :(

 I stitched them on again but had a rethink and used the thicker
Anchor pearl cotton that I had used on the binding on the corners


 in variegated blues it highlighted the oil sticks nicely

on the pink it adds a nice contrast
As it is now
Not sure what the next step is,
 I want to work more knots into the binding and on the quilted blue sections for now.
I feel as if I'm 'skirting around the edges' so to speak

 I want to put something in the larger pink section
just not sure what.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

My first quilt ~ makover

This is my first quilt.
I am only now getting around to photographing it.
(digital makes things like this so much easier now)

It was completed in 1996

(my initials back then)
 Although I had already started 2 other hand pieced quilts
 ( blogged  here)  but these were both far away from being finished quilts.
This quilt was a college project and was inspired by a sample book from the Fabric Guild, picked up for a couple of pounds from a fabric and curtain store near the college I attended in Hawick .
The sample fabric pieces were large squares each of which I cut into four smaller squares and used in the quilt around the edge, in total there are 14 of these large blocks of 4.

The six centre blocks are my own fabric designs inspired by the sample book.
I used batik method and watercolour dyes to paint each flower panel.
The whole quilt measures 67 x 81 inches.
Big enough to top a double size bed.

I used a simple tied method for a quick quilt using my own handmade buttons, always meaning at some point to quilt it, but that would have to be by hand
as its too big and heavy to attempt  with my machine.
It has seen a lot of occasional use and is in need of some repair

and a good clean.
The problem is its too big and heavy for my own washing machine.
There is quite a heavy blanket inside, great for warmth but not for keeping clean.
I have almost taken it to the cleaners a few times, but not keen to do this for a few reasons.
I decided to start on the repair work yesterday.
I'm now having ideas of changing the size of the quilt to make it slightly smaller,
 removing a line of blocks, perhaps adding them to the back of the quilt,
which at the moment is plain old green sheet.
I'm thinking something this size might be better.
This is just folded over to give an idea of how it would look, showing just one line of squares surrounding the centre blocks.
This would reduce it to a more manageable 45 x 60 inches, perhaps I could add a 4 inch border
the removed patches could go on the back around the edge or in the middle.
I'm also thinking I might replace the blanket for a fleece one to make it lighter and machine washable.
I might also try quilting it.

 I made a start by removing the buttons and the green backing.

 bit of a messy job !
 I just love all the colours in the fabrics

Now that have these strips of squares all washed and ironed,
I'm thinking I might cut them into smaller pieces and make a more interesting back to the quilt.
I still have some of the plain coloured pieces of fabric that came out of the sample book, I will have to have a look them out, I might be able to combine them in some way.

I'll have to think about it a bit more,
any suggestions /pattern ideas are most welcome.


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