Wednesday, 31 October 2012

WOW 31st October

Missed linking last week and wasn't sure if  I would find time today either.
Have taken time out from my sewing room this week now that I have finished Esther's October's blocks and suddenly it's the last day of the month.
Have been sanding and painting window frames in our Kitchen/Dining room.
It's not like quilting  but if I take my time I do a respectable job!!!
Steve has been wallpapering - Yes after time spent stripping all the old paper we are now repapering, something we thought we would never go back to but we found a wonderful  paper that suits the area at the local emporium shop.
Heavy vinyl paper, made in Canada, $10.00 a roll, far cheaper than paint!!!
Can't show a photo this week as Steve is renovating a house in Pahia, an hours drive north and he has taken the camera so he can show the owners updates of his progress
When I have had enough of painting I have played with my photo programmes, yesterday that was when I could leave the CNN News of Sandy's progress across the east coast of USA
Many of us are making Esther's blocks and I am sure we are all wondering how they will all come together - will they work or won't they.
Before Steve left I took a few photo's of background, frame and inner mount fabric's and have made collages.
Some of the proportions and shadings are out because of photo size but I think my wall hangings will work
Esther, your blocks are wonderful - and am not unpicking my Morning Glories!!!!

Used a photo of extra fabric as my background so have not been able to line up my fussy cutting of border  strips, background flowers will show much more.
Have not worked out how to do oval insets for the mounts, but feel colour balance with the white snowdrop block is coming right.
My frame fabric is the same fabric Esther is using for her light background Blocks and my mount fabric is the Lavender from my other blocks.

Again the background is oversized compared to the blocks as I photographed a couple of strips to create my background, these photo programmes are such fun to play with!!!
I am just hoping this works at the end of the day.
The colour balance I think is finally coming right
My frame fabric is a 3ZL mans shirt, a burgundy flocked iridescent paisley. I had only the collar left over once I cut  the framing strips but I am hoping it works.

Cheers for this week, enjoy what ever you are doing

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

WOW 17th Oct

Just home from work so time to link to Esther's Blog for this week.

In July my DH was asked to redo a garden, getting rid of all the old plants incuding a couple of very old standard roses, plus Azaleas and Lavender.
We had had all these growing in Christchurch so thought lets try and rescue them as our garden is also very much a WIP and free plants, Yea!!! we can design to suit.
The Largest Azalea was still in flower at the time and has never stopped blooming all winter

The other 2 are putting out buds, but this week the oldest of the standard roses opened it's first flower.

I am sure it is Deep Secret and she is just beautiful!!! Imagine appliequing this.
Think she is approz 25 years old by the age of the property she came from.
We didn't know if she would survive the shift but this is the proof of my DH's gardening skills.
He took her back to bare root stock, trimming any damaged roots off.
Gave her a radical prune keeping only the strongest branches with a few leaves.
A fertilizer tablet underneath at planting and once new leaves started appearing he wire brushed the crown.
We have new growth and buds everywhere.
The other standard has budded but nothing open yet so have no idea what she is.

Now to quilting.
 Esther released October's blocks on Monday.
Glorious blocks, but I was out of printer ink so had to wait to print the patterns and get started.
Played with making snowflakes for the Snowdrop block to stop my frustration.

This is the technique Mary Transom taught for her insect wings in the course I attended a few years ago.
Draw you basic pattern onto Solvy. A plasticised wash away.
Place net or tulle over top and secure both layers  in an embroidery hoop.
Stitch your design in free motion zig zag for outer edges, and main lines, stitching over the lines a couple of times then free motion straight stitch to fill the design.
I didn't use free motion as I found an embroidery stitch on my machine that resembled a snowflake pattern,
bernina 440 it is stitch 54.
Because the snowflakes are small I compromised and used zig zag for the first cross then straight stitched out and pattern stitched back to center with dark silver mettalic between the arms of the cross.

After stitching I trimmed as much of the Solvy and Tulle away as I could without cutting into  my stitching.
If you have an edged design like wings this is so much easier, as you have your zigzag stitch for the edges, very easy to trim close to.
Rinsed under warm water to dissolve the Solvy and dried with an iron you are left with only your stitching on net.
Yes I am thinking of making the snowdrops on my light background.
White on light, I am not sure but have a white with mettallic sparkle that may pull it off, and have 2 white flower blocks already on my Lavender background.
Will make the flowers up first and see how they look.
Happy sewing everyone.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Work On Wednesday 10th Oct

A muddled week.
Worked Monday which I never usually do but a work mate had a family bereavment so we swopped days and I go back on Friday. It has thrown me completely out as to what day  is which.
My DH was away  Mon / Tues and I nearly forgot to put the rubbish out Tues Morning as thought it was only Monday.
Can't get enthused in stitching my last 3 Kaleidoscope blocks, think I am in applique mode so am patiently -or impatiently - waiting for the 15th and Esther's next blocks.

Thought I would show you this week the full Poppies Wallhanging that I  use as my Header,
and where some of the techniques I use have come from.

Another pattern by Adrienne Walker, same designer as my Wild Lilies, and the only wallhanging I have parted with as a girlfriend fell in love with it and has furnished her spare bedroom around it.
Some of you might recognize the striped background fabric!!!Also the metallic silver leftovers in my coffee table runner. Don't ever throw any fabric out, no matter how small.

This is also where I discovered the Ribbed Wheel for my centers, and the outward blanket stitch for furry stems!!

The other major influence on my applique has been Mary Transom.
I did a course with her a couple of years ago and that was a big learning curve for stitching and padding before adding  applique to the background.

We had a choice of  Poppies or Pond Life.
As I had already made Adrienne Walker's Poppies  I opted for Pondlife.

This is Mary Transom's  teaching project, where we could prepare a pieced background before the class.

I had been reading a book on 3D perspective and offsetting horizons and much more so thought why not give it a go for my background.
Could only find fat quarters for my water foreground so played with that as well as my sky.

It worked -- but initially it didn't!!!
The lowered vanishing point on the horizon works well but I had origionally offset it to the right.
Tried toooo many things at once.
I am minus 1 bullrush and a couple of leaves in my finished hanging in order to make the fish the focal point rather than the bullrushes. Thanks to my group for their advice on how to fix it.

Also learnt how to stitch onto net over washaway for the insect wings.

I had shadow stitched the ripples for my quilting and it wasn't working either.
A group member suggested stippling the water, using  darker thread as shadow behind  the reeds, so my first attempt and I went overboard, but I am very happy with it.
Cheers everyone for this week, roll on the 15th.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Work on Wed 3rd oct

Where did Sept go!!!
Am on my last day of 5 days off, although yesterday had to go to work at 4pm to help with stocktaking,
extra pay so not all bad.
Have really enjoyed Esther's blocks this month.
Both are now finished and I am very happy. Went back to my roots I guess, lots of fussy cutting and prestitching rather than using pencils to add color and shadings.

Hibiscus came out stronger than I expected,  and I will have to be careful with fabric choices for next blocks on this background, or balance between blocks will go awry. It is so like  the one I had growing in Raro, so very in your face!!!

We have a new computer, it is 4 years old but compared to the old one I'm in 7th heaven!!!
Still adding programmes we want as it was stripped back to bare bones.
Found a free download for a basic photo editor and discovered I can make collages, so here are my seven lavender background blocks.
You can  see what I mean about careful colour choices for the rest of this set, it is not an easy background like I hoped it would be.
My Pansies, have had this fabric for a while and I just knew the right flower would come up to use it for.
The Violets fabric is a Blue/Purple batik that I have pulled out several times but was never right for my blue, until now.  Used an eyelet stitch to make a yellow center before adding the beads so they are just edged with gold. Yes I am Happy!!!

And a collage of these blocks.

Think the balance is pretty good but stll not sure about the Magnolia, I feel it looks better in this photo than in real life. So ----

First flower of the remake, have fussy cut my petals and stitched the petal veins with flower on a lightweight stabiliser. Last petal to attach and stitch.

Both main flowers vein stitched and ready for padding and applique.
And now completed.

I feel this is so delicate compared to my first magnolia.

Felt it was just a little insipid when finished so reverted to pencils and just edged some of the petals over my stitching with a deeper line plus a very little towards their center.

Have added it to my collage,  flowers appear bigger against the others as I took the photo from closer however I think it's colour fits better.
Interested for your comments.
Cheers everyone for this week