Tuesday 29 May 2012

Regatta, Bunting & Flags

I had so many ideas for this weeks Tag Tuesday 'Bunting & Flags' theme
 but was so busy this week that
I only really turned my mind to my tag this morning with just about an hour to spare!
In my little box of tags, cut from greetings cards I found the perfect background to set the scene.
paper bunting from the little off cuts of paper
and a couple of iris flowers which I made from a little miniature kit,
these were inspired from the lovely flowers I was given on Saturday for my birthday
The finished tag made me think of a sunny summer regatta!

It's been such a busy couple of weeks I have had very little time to spend being creative,
If it wasn't for Tag Tuesday and my extra challenge to have them made by and posted on each Tuesday then I would probably not have taken any time out to be creative in the past three weeks! mind you after having a lovely 5 days to be as creative as I wanted whenever I wanted and being able to get a huge part of my flower quilt remake done I can hardly complain.
The week before last was a week of re-thinking, changing, removing and replacing.
My niece moved house on the Sunday and Monday, I helped there, which spurred me into re-thinking the girls room. April has moved back home again for a while and has squeezed in to share with Charlotte.
Too much furniture not enough good storage, so I put the bedroom furniture up for sale on the Thursday, by Saturday it was sold collected on Sunday and a trip out followed to buy a better replacement.
Of course when you got no storage, you cant put it off for a few days, the beds were piled high with stuff! and we spend the Sunday afternoon and well into the evening building and fitting the new wardrobes
At last its all filled and the girls have a little bit more space to dress, play, make-up and sleep.
 I think they are happy in their new space now :)

Sunday 27 May 2012

A blast from the past!

I'm in my element today, its so sunny, warm and it was my birthday yesterday :) we had a lovely day in the garden, some of my family decided to make the journey and share it with me here in Fife , we had a BBQ and that was lovely thank you to you all for that x
I always have mixed feelings on my birthday as I always shared it with my Dad, I was born on his birthday...I miss him lots.

The reason I'm in my element today is this.....
got it for £2 at the car boot sale this morning and it plays like a dream! I have dragged all my old vinyl out of the cupboard.....there is nothing to beat it.....shine on you crazy diamond! ......and yeah I know you can get it on CD but it's not the same lol

I'm so glad I didn't get rid of it all:)

Hope you are all enjoying this sunny interlude in the UK, back to the garden, my records and wine

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Lost and Found

On a recent studio clear out I came across a bag of display folders which contained all the design work for each project in my City & Guilds Embroidery course, these were not lost but being stored but I found another folder I had forgotten about, full of decorated paper samples, from experimenting with all sorts of mediums.
I was delighted and used three different samples to make the tag for this weeks Tag Tuesday theme
The base layer is some waxed cartridge paper which has then been painted with watercolours
the dark waves were cut from paper painted with watercolours and salt added,
it has a lovely crystal effect
the third paper I used was thin tissue strips,
again painted with watercolour wash and iridescent medium

The embellishments are beach treasure!
Sea glass and pottery from our local 'Aberdour Black Sands beach'
Large shell was found on 'Mudeford beach' by my little girl Charlotte
on her recent trip down South with Daddy
The four tiny shells I found on a little beach near a campsite 'Dunbar'
The largest stone bottom left is actually pumice which I found on the beach in 'Crete'
and the blue and white pebble I found in 'Lulworth Cove'
I added a little bit of blue/green shot crystal organza for sparkle
and edged the card with green metallic ink.
Tie: Teal organza ribbon.

I was overcome with emotion when I came across a piece of embroidery I though I had lost about 8yrs, a little piece I did over 25yrs ago!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Buttterflies in the garden

My lovely studio sits in the corner of our garden and from there I enjoy a beautiful view of all that is growing there but I can't take any credit for the work that goes on there or the delicious produce that we enjoy from it. My husband is the gardener, with our little girl taking a keen interest on the side.
 This week's theme over at 'Tag Tuesday' is 'Gardening' so I asked him for something I could use,
a packet of seeds perhaps as a starting point.
After a potter about in the shed he came back with 
A tag!
from the lovely Japonica shrub which is in the planter that sits by my studio door
so not much to do to this one really.
I added two paper butterflies and some little fibre scraps
I brushed the edge with a Markal iridescent red paintstik
and glued on some seed beads.

 (Apparently, Japonica is a genus of butterfly in the family Lycaenidae)
Tag: Plant tag
Embellishments: Organza, yarn, paper & beads.
Tie: Satin ribbon.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Stitching, quilting, thinking

This picture is a bit blurry, I took it with my left hand,
 even after ironing each panel to fix the fabric crayon I'm getting blue fingers :)

there is something quite satisfying about hand quilting,
my stitch line is a long way from being perfect

 but that's what I like about it, and why I chose to do this, it's not something I had planned to do with this quilt re~make, it was more a subconscious decision that was made somewhere in the process...

the more I stitch the more stitching I want to do on it, leaving my mark in the fabric.
 I'm not going to rush it to get it finished

 but I will keep at it, when time allows, till it's complete. 

Looking forward to Kevin and my little girl coming home today, they left Southampton at 3am this morning to do the long drive home and should be arriving home any minute! :)
What a lovely sunny day it is here in Fife.

Friday 11 May 2012

Day 4 ~ Flower Quilt ~ Hand quilting

Last night, saw me spend too much time removing threads from the original panel
 I cut a new backing from the pale green sheet which was the original back of the larger quilt, much more agreeable than brown!

Finally I began quilting the new work to the fleece throw.

Two of the four squares in the bottom corner
 and the blue flower panel now completed
I got to bed way too late last night and feeling a bit tired this morning :(
Today I'm hoping to get a lot more quilting done my aim is to have both sides ready to sandwich together by the time 'C' and daddy return on Saturday. 
Not sure if I'll manage it!
I'm missing them :( but by all accounts they are having a lovely time, spending time with family going to the beach at Mudeford and visiting Winchester Cathedral
Today they are off to spend the day further along the lovely Jurassic coast at Dorset
with a trip to Sea World

and visit to 'Durdle Door' which I know  'C' is looking forward to.
It features in one of her favourite films 'Nanny  McPhee'
 it's such a beautiful place I wish I was going with them today :(
This picture was taken in 2007 when we were there,  I have a lovely one of 'K' and I sitting on the beach but he doesn't like me posting pictures of him so this one will have to do.

Right better get on with my quilt!

Thursday 10 May 2012

All patched up

Not a straight line in sight!
I'm not one for measurements really

 no doubt all you quilters will be cringing at my method .... if it looks right it will do!

I want to get the positioning of the flowers just right ;)

 actually here's a picture of some tools just so you know I do use them occasionally

 all lined up and straight

I enjoyed the process of it all

 and look!

 some lovely hand dyed fabric strips for other projects ;)

All sewn now :)

I'm going to hand quilt this onto the fleece blanket before I add the other side to it.

talking of which it's looking a bit dull

I'm thinking perhaps this horrible brown backing behind the wadding isn't helping!
I don't know what possessed me to use it.....perhaps because I was given it and wouldn't use it for anything else!
Anyway it's in the bin now and I'm sitting here picking out hundreds of threads.
The stitching has come away on a couple of the seams so I'll repair them tomorrow.

 I knew there was a reason I wouldn't have time to do all that batik thing!


Playing around with the layout .....

from top left,  Pink, blue, orange, teal

blue, pink, orange, teal

teal, pink, orange, blue

teal, orange, pink, blue

Which one would you opt for ?

Day 3 ~ more to show

Duh! Moment
I cant believe I have gotten this far with the panels and pondered over the whole heat setting process only to read in the instructions for the watercolour dyes that you have to wash them out right away and that once dry they are indeed permanent . . .lol
(me! the person who is always telling folk off for not reading instructions!)
Oh never mind I'm still having fun!

after dinner last night I decided to continue with the painting and managed to get the backgrounds on all four of them done.

 You can see the running and overlapping layers and attempted cover ups mainly in the two blue themed flower pieces but I like them.

I think the peach and yellow/green backgrounds turned out pretty well.
there are some lines from where they have been hung over the airer overnight I didnt want to hang them out on the line last night as the forcast wasn't good I woke up to horrible rain this morning so made the right decision there!

The little flower sample and 3 others...just to use up the leftover paint,
 it's always nice to have hand dyed fabric on hand for little projects.
I decided not to use batik wax on them in the end, the process involves ironing forever to get the wax out and I didn't want to spend too much time doing this. I'm aiming to have this quilt finished or at least at the binding stage by Saturday.
All ironed (to fix the crayon) and ready to go ......

it's time to sew !

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Four painted panels

I don't have a frame large enough so have had to do each panel in 2 sections

 Panel No2 the paint has seeped quit a bit

 Panel No3 didn't run quite as much

Panel No4 did a little on the left side

That's enough painting for one day I think,
tomorrow I shall hopefully get all the backgrounds painted in.


Day 2 ~ going in with the paint!

I have been trying to find more information about the Jovi Softywax fabric crayons but there doesn't seem to be a lot out there in way of tutorials, or techniques.
I have been using fabric transfer crayons for years but the Jovi ones are different the colours are truer, not vibrant like the transfer ones, they are nice to work with, soft and high in pigment, I just want to know a little more about them but I will just have to experiment.
So today I'm going in with the paint!
Although I have a batik pot set up and ready to go I'm still looking for quicker easier ways to do these panels, rather than covering them with wax. So I started with a little test piece, it occurred to me as I was sketching this up with the pencils and the crayons that both the crayons and the watercolour dyes require a heat fix
so I painted the little sample, you can see the wet spreading but not so much of the colour

so happy with that I started on the first panel, I figured I could control the paint a bit better on a larger scale and dry the edges as I go along to prevent further seepage
I could then heat fix the areas I want to keep and wash the rest away before doing the background.

I tried this theory out with my little sample and my clover mini iron
I used another piece of fabric to protect my little ironing board, you can see some of the dye from the crayon did transfer.
but what I didn't think about was the heat from the hair dryer, which fixed the areas that had run !

I had already used it on the top areas of the panel so I will just have to wait and see how it goes

 I continued on with the painting
 did the whole panel with as much control as possible without using the hairdryer
 I shall let it dry now, naturally
on the washing line, before deciding how to proceed,
 I'll probably wax around the edges next to get the background painted.

A break for lunch and I'll begin the next panel, I'm not too fussed really if there are runs and its not perfect, that's watercolour! I'm not aiming for perfection, just some nice colourful panels, I'm just happy see how they work out


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