Sunday, 27 April 2008

Slightly philosophical

Slightly philosophical - a bit of an unusual title for me - but hopefully all will become clear (don't worry there are some photos later on LOL).
We discussed at our last class how we'd like to develop things for next year. Bren says she isn't looking to run an advanced class as such and wondered what out thoughts were. I do really enjoy the classes and in particular the group we have is great - very generous with comments and ideas and great fun to spend time with. However the commitment, both cost and time, is significant and it does limit other classes I can attend. Don't think I'm having a moan about the classes - I'm not - I've learnt loads and I've really enjoyed meeting the group, I've made some great friends.
One idea I had would be to run a quarterly meeting at a local village hall (near to the Bramble Patch so we can go for a bit of retail therapy) where we could meet for the day and socialise, perhaps later on have a talk by a local artist, set group challenges, put work together as a group to show at exhibitions, discuss new techniques and critique each others work. I spoke with a member of our village quilting group (who attends Linda's class at Bramble Patch) and she was very interested.
What do you think?
How do you interact with others to get support and ideas?

This leads me onto the slightly philosophical bit now... One of the blogs I look at regularly is Lisa Call's. She produces some great work - but also makes me think about where I'm going and why I'm doing it. One of her posts really made me stop and think about working towards goals - not just textile ones - but in general. It's to the point - ...'if I sit around it's unlikely my goals will be met'. Yes - it's stating the obvious - but just thing about what you do in a day, over a week - how is that getting you towards your goals? Please do have a look and let me know what you think. Oh philosophy over now.

Well yesterday we had yet another day of sewing in the village hall - I think we're averaging one a month - it's great. Unfortunately a couple of our members couldn't attend - one was rescuing her kitchen after having a new one fitted and the other was either just back, or on her way back from New York (tough I know). We had a great day - and below are photos of what I got up to.

A foundation pieced star - from Quilter Corner Club.
I added the brighter bits to this top and used a decorative stitch to make sure they stayed there - I think my Bondaweb was a little tired.
And I put my very pink quilt back together.
So today I've got all of those boring household jobs to do - you know ironing, washing, tidying up and cleaning. But I'm hoping to crack on with them so I can sit and sew and watch a film this afternoon.
Hope you all had a good weekend too.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Fun time dyeing

Well we had a great day at Bramble Patch dyeing and screen printing fabric. I've photographed the ones I did.

First is one of the pieces I dyed last moth - I screen printed over it a number of times with a mix of turquoise and gold paint - using a Thermofax stock screen.

This piece I screen printed with scarlet and a transparent yellow.

This one was screen printed with a crackle style screen - using cobalt blue and gold.

And finally used two screens on this one - and both red and yellow paints.

Here are my in progress photos of the large piece of calico I prepared for tray dyeing - here it is soaking away.

And here's a section of it rinsed, dried and ironed. I must say I'm rather pleased. It only sat in the tray of dye for just 4 hours.
We also had a baby shower as one of our class members had a baby girl - she came along with her husband and mother. They all looked very happy - and baby was very cute and well behaved.
I've actually started in my note book too. I watercoloured a load of pages and I'm just writing notes in it - but it looks very nice - much better than plain pages. I'll take some photos soon and let you see.
Hope you've all had a good weekend.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A mid week post

Yep - it's Wednesday and here I am posting...

As you saw on my last blog I was getting a piece of calico ready for my dyeing class - so I thought I'd show you what it looks like now I've pulled all the threads together.
Here's the back:

And here's the front:

I'm really looking forward to seeing how it dyes.
I also wanted to say what a great quilting meeting we had on Monday - it was an unplanned show and tell plus a chat about our marks at Trentham. One of our members has done a fantastic job of machine quilting our quilt to raffle at our festival. Our chosen charity this year is LOROS. It does look really great. He also had a large quilt it had taken him 7 months to hand quilt - it really looks fantastic. We had a glass of bubbly to celebrate one of our members getting second place in the bed quilt category. And our newest member had finished the small quilt she was working on. So all in all a celebratory evening.
I've also taken the brave step of using my sketchbook and using watercolour paints - a first for me. I promise to show you the results when I have a few more pages.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Getting ready to dye

For a change I'm getting ready for my next class at Bramble Patch - instead of my usual rush of just stuffing things in the car in the morning.
I don't think this photo is great but hopefully you can make out the circle I've drawn and then stitched on the calico.

I'm then going to pull the threads to manipulate the fabric and then we'll see how it tray dyes.

The aim is to use the fabric on the back of this quilt - here's a sneaky peak....

Yes it's very pink...

And I just had to include this photo of Flo - who was very cute and wrapped herself up in her quilt. That's a paw poking out of the front and her bum sticking out of the back.

I've also been thinking of ways to try to crack on with sketchbooks. I know it;'s not unusual to have a bit of a inferiority complex - especially when you look at some. But I'm determined to get over it. One thing I've realised is that I don't have a clue how to use a number of very basic artists materials - such as watercolour paints and I have no idea about mixing colours. So that's what I think I need to start with. The book I bought from Trentham by Gwen Diehn suggests you concentrate on one type of material and master it rather than using lots of different materials and really not mastering any. So tomorrow I'm going to give it a go. Wish me luck...

Oh I almost forgot that the latest Quilting Arts magazine arrived this week - it's great.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Spring time?

Well - it's meant to be Spring, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was winter again. The weather has been very strange over the last week or so. Snow, bright sunshine, hailstorms, sleet and rain - we've had it all. So our trip to Trentham for the 'Quilts in the Garden show' started off with a snow covered landscape - very pretty. With strong sun it very soon cleared to a bright cold day. By 4 in the afternoon it was snowing again. We had it all weather wise.

I really enjoyed the show - and a member of our group enjoyed a little more than the rest of us as this year she was placed 2nd in the bed quilt competition. I was lucky as my quilt was shown so you see the back. Did any of you go to the show? What did you think? I do have some photos of the show and I'll sort these out for later in the week.

Bobby Britnell was there - she has some great sketchbooks - I walked away with sketchbook envy. She does workshops and I'm sorely tempted to go on one. As you can see from my purchased below I did buy somethings... not too much this time; a couple of Pink Pig little sketchbooks, needles, buttons and some Khadi papers. The book I bought is 'The decorated Journal' by Gwen Diehn. I really need to get over this sketchbook anxiety - I think I'm going to concentrate on this and see if I can really do it. I promise to share this new experience with you as I go.