Saturday, 17 March 2012

Still here!

Some blogs I have come across seemed to have just suddenly stopped at some point in time, but no, I am still here :-)

Work has been busy, last weekend was taken up with heaps of fun at Jeannette DeNicholis Meyer's workshop in Whangarei - have a look on the Kerikeri Guild Blog for some more on this - and things have slowed down a bit on the quilting front. Sadly (in my opinion) autumn has arrived, so I have just bottled some pears, and the quinces are simmering as we speak. I have enough preserves already, and since oldest DS was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes one year ago today, our consumption of them has decreased a lot. However, I can't stand it to see the fruit go to waste and then buy tinned fruit from say China in the supermarket instead, so I will continue to make good use of what the orchard has to offer!

Jeanette's workshop was very interesting. I like making a mess, and I didn't mind at all cutting up my painted silk pieces. At the same time I bought some white cotton sheeting off Miss Lottie, some of it was used as drop cloth and looks quite interesting now,  and I intend to try my hand at dying as well as screen print some in the holidays. Working with the silk was interesting and challenging - it was amazing how the colours changed when you changed the order in which you placed fabrics on top of each other! Today my lovely mum gave me her Silk Organza so I will try my hand at this again some time - I have plenty left over from the workshop but I want to have another at some of the techniques we used to use for painting silk scarfs back in the 80s (remember the wet colours running into each other, or what marks rocksalt left on it?). Can anyone tell me if this works on Silk Organza (feels stiffer than what I remember the scarfs were)? The two challenges I find are that silk is slippery (...) and I am worried about washing it. Any advice? I also want to see if I can transfer this technique to cotton muslin if I starched it to the point that it would lay flat?! Anyone has tried that before?

Design decisions...
Finished work - it turned out all deep and meaningful in the end, the patterned background provided a grid to free motion stitch my childhood "Das ist das Haus vom Nikolaus" pattern - a house you draw in one continuous line. I continued from there on like a pathway which led to more houses - some small, some big, some wonky, some straight. The path rarely moved in a straight line, symbolising the pathways we take in our life, some times zig zag, sometimes going around in circles but no matter always on a journey. Over the top I raw edge appliqued yellow stepping stones leading who knows where?
Detail of the stitching
In the meantime, I am still slowly feathering my way through the QD9 - up to block 6 of 16 at the moment (if I want this to become my finish for March I better hurry up!). I also need to find a donation for school fundraising - Suz is finishing a lovely quilt top for it this year, she had made awesome placemats last year, so I am looking at placemats this year. Gathering up the various ideas I have read about and played with lately, I am planning to make it 'whole cloth', reversible, with a curly feather with 3 branches and tight stippling in the background. I hope this works on cotton batting - I felt that was the easiest to wash (well, at least in my house they need regular washing!).

Fossil Ferns + Moda - will it work?!?!
Another little idea I am toying with is a combination of the technique used to make my boys' faces, painted silk, small scale and the birds Wendy over at Sugarlane Quilts had photographed recently. I used a photo of one of the boys' 15 (!) budgies, sketched it on cotton organdy, layered 3 pieces of painted silk on top. From the back I stitched the lines through the layers and using my snips I carefully cut the top layer away where I wanted to show the middle layer, and both layers where I wanted to show the bottom layer. When I get a 'round-to-it', I will find a suitable background fabric (or paint one) and applique the body on, with paint / thread as beak, legs and the twig it sits on, a bead for the eyes. Postcard size. Now imagine actually posting such postcards (in an envelope) and make it a postcard swap?!

Be careful with those snips, I cut through the green on the left there! Mystifuse should fix it ;-)
Happy sewing!

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