Saturday 27 October 2012

Friday 26 October 2012

Birds and blackberries

Very nearly finished my madly bright and colourful Drunkards Path quilt. I just have to hand sew the binding to the back and do a bit more free machining in some of the squares.
I can't wait to finish it.

Tomorrow should see it off.

The colours are so bright and saturated, unlike the colours outside at the moment.
I think autumn is the most inspiring season of the year. Crisp days, strong sunlight and the colours of the trees and hedgerows.

Today I walked my dogs up the lane in front of our house.

The two forms on the lane are a cat and a pheasant.
Thankfully the cat didn't stick around, although the pheasant made a quick escape too when it saw me approaching.

So I got in the mood for a bit of bird spotting. 

and blackberry eating.

Thursday 18 October 2012

A joyful, colourful experiment.

Ok, so I know I should be concentrating on my girl quilt, but I have had the urge this week to try and finish my Drunkards Path quilt. All the small circles have been hand stitched in place.

I added a strippy border made from 2 ins strips of the fabrics I used.

I quilted straight lines, as you can kind of see above, but then had the urge to do some free machine quilting within each square.

It's quite nice free quilting within a boundary. In this case a 5 inch square.
I am not sure how this will all look in the end. Straight lines and free machine quilting.
A joyful, colourful experiment!

Oh dear, I have to visit a quilt shop to buy some fabric for the binding! 
Will keep you posted. 

Thursday 11 October 2012

everything but the girl!

I really need to get going with the girl quilt. I don't really know what I do all week but I seem to be going at a  snails pace. I read other quilter's blogs and wonder 'How on earth?' Well I do know what I do all week-- work, keep the house in some kind of order and do things to keep myself happy and healthy. So I shouldn't complain. Anyway if I was to produce a quilt every couple of weeks what would I do with them all? 

On Saturday morning I was at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild meeting
Ester Kiely was the guest speaker. She gave us a very interesting talk based on her work to date and the various community arts projects she has participated in.

Some images of her stitched pieces and sketchbook work. Really stunning.
Visit Ester's blog at  

So today I have been trying to 'age' or soften the print I made last week

I have been experimenting on this print using transfer dyes. Transfer dyes are painted onto paper first then transferred onto fabric with the heat from an iron. They are widely available on line if you google them. I love working with them because there is a certain amount of unpredictability in the end result. You get great effects if you scrunch up your paper first and then paint on the dye. The dye sits in the creases and when you iron on to the fabric the creases wonderful marks.

The transfer dyed paper has to be 100% dry before ironing onto the fabric. They are made for use on synthetic fabrics (work amazingly well on Evalon). However colourcraft do a solution called Transfix which enables the use of transfer dyes on natural fabrics.

I painted the dye onto a paper doily placed on a piece of paper. Both the doily and the page can then be transferred onto fabric  
So then I started having great fun with doilies!!!!

Using Markal paintstiks The third image is a piece of flat white cotton. It actually looks like there is a doily sitting on it! What a wonderfully wonderful result. 
Wonder how I could use this on the quilt?
My last experiment was using a Sharpie pen (permanent marker)
Straight onto white cotton.
I think I have an idea of where I am going now. I am going to use a combination of the transfer dyes, Markal and the doilies to get the aged look I want.
I might have a go on an off white cotton to soften it all rather than the bright white.
The girl is going to have white on her and so she will come forward more against a softer background.
The snails pace will continue in a good way. No stress involved. 

Saturday 6 October 2012

The Merville Girls

Introducing the Merville Girls..........

This is Pamela and her wonderful quilt. 

Gail has made a bag.....

...complete with dolly.

Doreen modelling an apron she has made as a gift. 

Ethna's embroidery in progress.

This is a detail of a quilt that Ella has made using curtain and upholstery samples.

Doreen doing an impromptu teaching session.

Rosie with her scrap quilt in progress.

And finally, Pamela again with another of her wonderful creations.
There are a few more members who will appear in the next episode of..
'The Merville Girls'   

We meet on Thursday night for a light hearted sew along, where we chat eat and sew basically.     

Thursday 4 October 2012

Lucky Jean

Jean the hen on the right with the comb over got attacked by a cat today. Lucy the middle one, who's not showing her best angle,  made a complete scene clucking for all she was worth. I went to see what the matter was and poor Jean was being carried across the garden, her neck in the cats mouth!!! With the cat chased away I had a look at her and luckily there wasn't a mark. She just looked a bit traumatised.  Honey was obliviously laying an egg at the time. Good for old Lucy Lou. The photo was taken an hour later and everyone including me is fine now. Nerves restored to normal.

I thought I would post a few images of the work I have been doing on the design for the girl quilt.

freezer paper
ironed onto cotton
Markal Paintstiks and fabric paint

silk paint added

I really like the design but the colours are too loud. I think i will combine the blues and turquoises with antique golds and grey bieges. I will have to do another sample I think.