Monday, 25 June 2007

Back to the Honey

I finally had a bit of time over the weekend to get back to Like Honey from the Rock. I know I'd make heaps more progress if I just focused on one thing, but that isn't how it works around here! I stitched a lot of the lighter purple foreground, which is bringing the whole thing more towards purple, as I planned. I'm very happy with how it's going, though I have considerably widened the range of thread colours I own, in the course of making it!

I also did some drawing this morning. I wanted to experiment with drawing directly onto the computer. I really like how this turned out.

Of course I should have been doing something else. Sigh.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Beautiful postcards

These postcards arrived today from Carol today. Aren't they absolutely gorgeous? She is so clever. If you haven't been to see her work, I really urge you to have a look. She makes such beautiful things and she is so generous with her skills.

Looking at these works, made on the other side of the planet by someone I've never met in person, I can't help but think how lucky we are to have this medium to communicate about our work. I've "met" so many wonderful warm talented people, who are so generous with their skills and talents. It just blows me away.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Some other things I do

I know it's unusual for me not to have blogged after the weekend. Usually I've had some time to play in the workroom, and have something to share here. But while I was happily busy as usual, it was mostly on things that aren't ready to be shown here. I made some progress on a jacket I'm making but a half-finished jacket is not very exciting! I'll show it here when I finish it. I also made some progress on a challenge quilt, but it's to be kept secret until the Great Unveiling in July, so I can't show you that either!

Some things I can show you:
This delicious knitting wool arrived on Monday. I've already started knitting up the dark turquoise into a jumper (sweater) for myself!

Last year, the week before Mother's Day, the shopping centre I take my MIL to each week gave me a free scarf. It's almost a wrap, as it's quite long and 28in wide and it's blue, which is nice. But it's very plain, so I've always intended to add some embellishment. It really needs a wide band of embellishment, since the scarf is on such a large scale. The fabric is quite loosely woven, so it will need to be machine stitched with lots of stabilising. This week, now the weather has turned cool, it came to the top of the pile. This is my pencil sketch of what I plan to do.

The design will form a band 8in wide across each end of the scarf. I envisage stitching the background and leaving some parts, such as the petals of the central motif, in the fabric colour. The planned colour scheme is maroon, pink and green on the blue, with maybe a touch of silver, but this may change! I'll show you how it looks once I've stitched it!

Monday, 11 June 2007

On to the next thing

I still have a little housekeeping to do but I'm ready to start another project. The Design Bytes Down Under challenge for this month is Urban Environment. I had great plans to take my camera for a walk, as I haven't done that for a while, but time is passing and I will lose part of the last week of the month to the Craft and Quilt Fair at Darling Harbour. So I decided to work from existing photos. My initial notes for this theme focused on boundaries, borders, where things meet other things in the urban landscape. I found these great photos we took in Rome, of the ancient city walls. I love the massiveness of them, but also that, as in many modern cities, these walls are now in the middle of the city, as the boundaries have changed and the value of such defences has vanished.

I want to make a piece based on these images, with overlapping and partly transparent shapes. Well, that's my plan....

Sunday, 10 June 2007

And Rites of Passage is completed too

I added a more traditional binding on this one, which made the archway more into a window than a doorway. In the end, I didn't stitch over the binding. I called it A Samoan Perspective. I'm very pleased with how this one has turned out. Just have to post it off on Tuesday, after the holiday, and I can turn my mind to other things.

Attending to Details

I've been rather quiet lately, but mostly because I've been attending to details on works I've already done the fun part on. I always find the finishing off really tedious!

I finished off two postcards, with two more to come. Instead of satin stitching them I thought I'd try a really neat binding that I saw on one of Erica's swapped ATCs. I forget who made that ATC so I can't credit her more directly, but I think it may have been Ellie Neil. Like most things, it was a little trickier than it seemed but I really like the effect. It's done like a traditional quilt binding, but the back edge is left raw, so it isn't as bulky as a traditional binding.

I cut 3/4in strips for my bindings, but that mostly because I had text on the back of the cards that I didn't want to obscure. I think 1in might be better. I cut mine along the straight grain of the fabric but I soon realised that bias strips would be way better, because they don't fray!
You stitch the binding onto the front of the postcards, right sides together, mitring the corners. I used an 1/8in seam, as I wanted the edge to be barely there.
Then you turn the binding to the back, and glue the raw edge in place. I used PVA but you could use something more temporary. This is the rock upon which I founder, because glue and I are not good friends. Glue always seems to want to escape my tender ministrations in all directions, even using an applicator and being really, really careful. But if you don't have my love-hate relationship with glue, you won't have any problems here.
Once the back is bonded into place, you free motion stitch over the binding. I used a zigzag motion on one postcard, like the ATC, and a pattern of little circles on the other. You could also use a programmed stitch on your machine.

This is the back of the Heartland postcard:

and a close up of the binding at the front and back:

This is the stitching on the Byzantium postcard:

I had thought I might finish Rites of Passage this way too, but I don't trust myself with the gluepot! It's having a more traditional binding. I may stitch over the binding, just haven't decided yet. But no glue!

Monday, 4 June 2007

I think I've finished...

I think I've finished the stitching on the Rites of Passage piece. I just have to finish it for presentation now. Tomorrow's task.. Here's how it looks.

And, Carol, I printed out backs for four postcards today. I like my postcards to have proper postcard backs. But clearly I have a gremlin in my workroom, causing trouble! I've done postcard backs before, no trouble, but would this do what I wanted it to do today? It would give me two the same per page but when it was offered two different ones on the same page, it decided they needed resizing down by a third. Grr. I am so used to finding I have done something silly myself but finally I realised it was the software having a bad day, and worked out another way to do it. So I have my backs printed, and just need a little time to attach them.

Friday, 1 June 2007

First Quilt

Road to Broken Hill 41in x 52in (est) 1996
Caity challenged us on Southern Cross Quilters to show a photo of our first quilts. This was the first quilt I ever made, and it was because of a challenge from Erica to her workmates at the library. Several of us did a mystery quilt from Lady's Circle Patchwork magazine, which turned out to be this Road to Oklahoma block. When I finished mine, I donated it to a youth charity called The Shack that I was supporting at the time. I called it Road to Broken Hill, because I arranged the colours so they moved from green (the coastal areas) through to pinky-brown, the characteristic soil colour of the desert country where I grew up. We made over $1000 for The Shack, so I felt very pleased with myself!

Byzantium Postcard finished

I left it too late last night to post this, but I did finish the postcard. I added some gold paint, in the deeper parts of the relief, where gold paint might have survived the centuries. I still need to back and stitch the edges, to make it into a formal postcard, but that's just presentation stuff. As always orange is hard to photograph. It's not quite this dark so the gold doesn't show up in quite as much contrast.