Saturday, 21 February 2009

Spring

Spring has arrived. The snow has gone and everything in the garden is starting to grow. It's a beautiful sunny day.
I haven't really done much craft stuff this week - but I have been looking through a really good book. It's An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory.
For those of us with sketch book phobia (like me) it's very reassuring as it's provides a wide variety of styles by a wide range of people from across the world. If you get the chance to get a copy - please do - it's a great book.
This weekend I hope to be able to complete my fourth block for the Easter Exhibition - something I can cross of my to do list.
Hope you all have a good weekend.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Here's a few more things I've been working on. Here are another two 10" blocks for the exhibition at Bramble Patch at Easter.
Both blocks are made from my hand dyed calico. The top one, as if you need it explaining, is 3 leaves that have been heat and bonded onto the fabric, stitched around the edge with the veins being machine stitched - all using YLI variegated thread.
I added a row of buttons - as I just like the buttons...
This one as a bit more involved. I made it in two separate pieces - the top being half square triangles from yet more of the hand dyed calico. The bottom part is made from potassium permanganate dyed (you guessed it) calico and I layered it up and used my short chenille blade on it. I've then added french knots to represent the starlings in the sky and beads and button to represent the stones in the ploughed field.

And here is my February BQL challenge.
Sorting out my list last weekend has really helped me to make progress with my sewing.
SNOW UPDATE - at last it's going -but it's taking ages as it's still been rather cold. I really hope it goes this weekend as we've ended up with lots of pavements and roads with large patches of ice - very dangerous for a girl like me who finds staying upright a challenge at the best of times.
Hope you all have a good weekend. I'm off to meet a friend for a coffee after a bit of retail therapy now.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Sewing and snow....

Yes - I've managed to do more sewing today - what a great way to spend your time. This 10" square is a combination of blocks from the book 200 quilt blocks to mix & match by Davina Thomas.
Top left: Flying Geese variation
Top right: Geese around the corner
Bottom left: Birds in the air
Bottom right: Sashed geese.
I've used some of the calico I dyed a while ago. Calculating the sizes was a bit of a challenge - but with the aid of the trusty Scrap Quilt Sensation by Katherine Guerrier I didn't have too many problems.
This one is part of a series that I'll be exhibiting at the Bramble Patch from 4 - 18 April and the artists (yes I'm afraid that includes me) will be there, talking about our work (yes it does sound very grand) on Saturday 4th April. I really hope some of you may be able to come along. I'll let you know nearer the time what time we'll be there.
The series will make much more sense in context. Honest.
Some of you may of heard it snowed a bit here this week. Here are some photos I took on Monday this week - and the snow is still here and the weather forecasts suggests it may get down to -10 tonight and there may be more snow on the way.
Flo wasn't too impressed when it started to snow. She tried to catch it, chase it and then when it landed on her she ran around in circles and then ran inside. She's calmed down a bit now. Well as much as she ever will.
My secret to cracking on with my sewing is that I focused and made a list of the projects I have and the dates when they need to be completed by. The pieces for The Bramble Patch exhibition has the earliest deadline - so that's what I've cracked on with.
I was also re-reading part of How to Simplify your life by Tiki Kustenmacher (one of my many self help books LOL). One of the ideas he (I think Tiki is a man) comes up with for unleashing your enthusiasm is to get in the 'flow'. This is when you are totally absorbed in what you're doing - just like most of us when we're sewing. The idea of flow was originally discussed by Csikszentmihalyi and when you read about it - it makes perfect sense. So Kustenmacher discusses this and suggests to experience happiness you should:
  • Be totally engaged
  • concentrate on the moment
  • concentrate on one activity
  • learn to enjoy your work
  • avoid working with unhappy colleagues
  • look for a job where you have some control
  • structure your free time.
Obviously not all of these points can relate to being creative - but you can see some of them do. So now we have a psychologist who supports quilting - indirectly - as it get us in 'flow'. Now we have a scientific excuse. LOL
Have a good week.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

February already

Thank you all for the lovely comments you left on my last posting. It's great to hear from you all.
I had a lovely day yesterday with the girls in the village hall. The aim was to test one of the members instructions for a scrappy Double Irish Chain. The idea is that you do all the hard work putting the scarves together and don't have to spend time moving the blocks around to get a good scrappy finish. It was very good - but my head did hurt by the end of the day LOL. As you can see I did make good progress but there's still some left to so. Unfortunately won't have time this week and we've been told -;) we have to have them ready for our festival in June. So as usual no pressure..... It was really interesting to see how we all had the same instructions and how the different colour choices looked so very different.
I've also been a very good girl and got my entry off for Trentham (3 - 5 April 2009). I'm very annoying as I've got the quilt ready now.
February is already with us and as I type this it's snowing. Flo has found the weather very confusing - she's chased the snow and run a round after it but in the end it landed on her she ran around in circles and wanted to come in. I should think by now she's assumed her standard position of sleeping.
I wanted to let you know about a video podcast I watch that I think is great; it's Bonnie McCaffrey. She does great interviews with artists and they often share their ideas and techniques - please do try to find time to have a look and listen.
I'll leave it there for now - hope you all have a good week.