Friday, 28 September 2012

Going nowhere fast!

After a lot of weather like this recently...

The sun came out today and my hens got to sunbathe with their new pal collared dove.

I have been fiddling in my sketchbook trying to move on with my girl quilt. I need a design, a repeat design, like tiles or wallpaper to go behind her in the quilt. I liked this shape, below, so I have been working on it in various ways.   

Above, I made a cardboard stencil, which can be used in the traditional way, sponging paint through it, or as I have done.... taking a rubbing from it. I placed it beneath the sketchbook page and rubbed over it with a few different coloured crayons. I applied heavier pressure in some areas. I then washed a bit of water colour paint over part of it. Paper shapes have been added to it and two of the shapes have been completely cut out to reveal the page below.

I was trying to make the page as visually interesting as possible. But it's not what I want for the quilt.
More pages...

Above, paper from magazines, a map, a paper bag and an old school maths book. Shapes cut out and glued down.

Above, brown paper stencil placed over a map. I love the text in the images above and would like to use this  idea in a future quilt.  But its still not right for this quilt.

 While I was writing this blog the computer went funny, temporarily crashed or something. Hopefully nothing to do with my inept computer skills. Anyway, while I was waiting for it to sort itself out I came up with a design that I really love.

The design is inspired by a tile I saw on pinterest.
If you find me in pinterest you will see the tile under my inspiration board.  
I drew the initial design freehand then traced and flipped it to create the pattern above.
So I am a bit happier now. I have something to work on and explore. But I am getting the urge to do some patchwork in the next few days. My daughter wants a quilt for her bed and I bought an Amy Butler jelly roll at The Festival of Quilts which I can't wait to use.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

sketchbooks,crayons, paints and radiator covers.

This morning the sewing machine was evicted, I mean relocated to the landing, as I need to push on with my girl quilt. I should name it now because girl quilt sounds rubbish. I will have a good look at her and see what name she suits.

I think she's a little bit severe and 'hard' looking at the mo. I need to soften her up a bit and un pout her lips. She's too unhappy and I want her to be happy. 

This is a pretty bad photo. My excuse is that there is a strong light source coming from one side and the top corner remains dark even with the flash on. And I know I should source large sheets of paper instead of piecing 8 sheets of A2 paper together. Anyhow, I have worked out the general layout of the quilt and the placement of the figure. The quilt will be 56 by 44 inches.The figure is behind a circle and behind her again is another circle. I might break the edge of the larger circle somewhere. Within the circles I want a repeat design, decorative, like a screen or tiles, or wallpaper effect. So that is what I have been working on this morning.

We have a radiator cover in the hall with a fretwork panel on it. I took a rubbing on brown paper, which I love working with, using ordinary crayons. I then added more colour and detail with pencils pens and paint. I love the ribbed effect you get with brown paper. I am not sure how this lined effect could be translated onto fabric. Perhaps just with lines of stitch quilted on and paint rolled on? Or corrugated cardboard painted and printed onto cotton? Or taking a rubbing of the corrugated cardboard onto fabric using fabric crayons? I will have to investigate. I also love acrylic paint on brown paper, especially pale colours and white.

Above -- Patterns drawn, then traced and repeated. Used pencils, paints and crayons. In the second image I have placed corrugated cardboard under the sketchbook page and rubbed over with crayon. 

I looked at other fretwork designs  (see above) on the internet and on Pinterest . I am seriously addicted to Pinterest at the moment. so much inspirational images and ideas for quilts and textile art. And tutorials for patchwork.  I also find myself oohing and aahing at cute puppies,  pugs dressed up as Darth Vader, baby ducks, baby birds and cats and kittens galore..And I'm not that into cats. Have a look, you will see what I mean. I do waste too much time on it. But not this morning because I have been good, and productive, working away in my sketchbook.    

I had a look on line for some tile/ wallpaper ideas too and and printed off the image above, which I then traced, altering it in the centre. I quite like the scrolls and curves in this.
So leading on from that I will possibly put some sort of scroll work on a largish scale in the bottom left corner of the quilt. This will be intertwined with flowers, leaves and tendrils. And it will probably be these that break the curve of the larger circle in one or more places. Something similar to this.  

I can see it all in my head. I just have to work out how to get there and do it.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Alison's Bag

Firstly, chickens are great. I love my hens, for lots of reasons. They make a pleasant contented sound, they give me eggs everyday, they poo a lot which is fantastic for the compost bin and ultimately the garden and allotment. They look in at me through the back door and make me smile so much.They also follow me around the garden which is great when you're feeling a bit unloved. I have three, Jean Lucy and Honey. I recommend them highly.

I made my Alison Bag yesterday, for my good friend in work, - to put her lunch in, as she always admires mine. I bought these lovely fabrics at The Festival of Quilts in August, and in Quilters Quest in Belfast. They are all  by Makower UK.

I chose to use all nine fabrics but for this project you could use fewer, two even and alternate the stripes. 

You will need nine pieces 2 inches by 20 inches.

Sew these 9 together to give one piece 14 by 20.
Iron the seams to one side at the back. 
Cut in half to give two pieces 14 by 10.
Add a 11/4 inch by 14 inch piece of fabric to the top of each piece.

The bag is box shaped so you need to add a piece of fabric 5 inches by 14 as the base.

Place on a piece of wadding that is an inch bigger all around and quilt as you wish. I went for straight lines as you can see below.

In my own bag I quilted it with a flower design. Echoing the flowers in the fabric.

Trim the excess wadding, fold the fabric in half and match up the corners. Then sew a quarter inch seam down both side.

To box the corners fold the bottom corners as shown below and mark a 2 inch line. This will be the sewing line and the excess ear bit will be cut off. 

To make the lining cut a piece of fabric 25 by 14. Fold in half, sew up both sides, again with a quarter inch seam and box the corners in the same way as the outer bag.

For each handle you need a piece of fabric 3 inches by 20 inches , and a piece of wadding 11/4 by 20.
I chose two different fabrics for each handle.

Iron a quarter inch seam the length of the fabric, then wrap the wadding so the turned under edge folds over last. Pin and sew close to the turned edge. Sew two other seams down the edge of the handle a quarter inch from edge. As below.

Pin each handle to each side of the bag, centring them about 41/2 inches apart. Sew in place with a 1/8th (or slightly bigger) inch seam. 

Putting it all together!

Turn the main bag inside out tucking the handles to the inside. Then place the lining inside the bag, right sides together as above.Sew a quarter inch seam around the top edge.

This is what it will look like. All the loveliness in the inside.

Unpick a small amount of the lining seam, probably about 4 inches. Then pull the bag through this gap.Sew the gap up again. 

I do this by machine because you're not really going to see it. If you are a Fuss Pot do this by hand and the stitching will be more discreet.
Now all you need to do is sew a seam around the top edge to keep the lining nicely tucked down into the bag. 

There you go. Isn't it a very simple little lunch bag?
You could keep your hand sewing in it. Or your knitting. 
You could use your machine's decorative stitches to quilt it, or edge the top.
If you didn't box the corners of the bag it would make a good Book Bag.
Scale the dimensions up or down.
Lots of possibilities.   

And do think about giving a few battery chickens a happy retirement.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Three things at once

I took the dogs to the beach yesterday. The tide was far out and there were lots of  noisy but tuneful sea birds at the waters edge.  They leave lovely marks on the wet sand.

So some time in the future I am going to do a series of bird quilts/ hangings.  is worth a look. So I have that in my head. My problem is,  I want to do a bit of this and a bit of that. I am aware that it is better to work in a series, develop a style, and not jump from one subject to the next. That's
the theory. So I have been working on Girl Quilt No. 2. 

this is18in by 26in approx

 The idea came from an image in Vogue magazine which I glued into my sketchbook and added tissue paper,  
 and embellished a bit to try and get a sense of a possible design. 
 I then drew the girl to the scale I want her on the quilt  - pencil on cartridge paper.   
This drawing was then placed under the white cotton and the general outline traced onto the fabric. Then using the original image as a guide I began the painting. I have used So Soft, Tulip and Cameo fabric paints. 

This is the colour scheme for the quilt. I have an idea of the design in my head. I can see it. I just need to draw it out to scale and decide what techniques to use. It will be similar in style and technique to Julia. She started in my sketchbook as this  --

  Oh yes, and the third thing in my head is a lunch bag I have to make for a friend in work. But that's for another day..