Sunday, 31 July 2011

Pianola Roll Progress

The countdown to our forthcoming exhibition, 'Sew-to-Speak', has begun with Anni kindly reminding us each week how much closer the deadlines are creeping up on us. GULP.This also means that the pressure is on to complete our individual pianola roll projects in time for display.
Last Christmas Lois gave each of us a little piece of musical history in the form of a pianola roll, complete with it's own slim cardboard case. The idea was hatched that we'd each produce a piece of stitchery based around the roll for inclusion in our September exhibition.
Fast forward seven months....It's fair to say that many of us have left this particuar project until the deadline clock began ticking. It seems that we have all felt a sense of responsibility towards the history and delicate nature of the paper to rush into chopping it up or sewing into it (some family members have been horrified that we're even entertaining such ideas!). However, as you can see from Anni's previous post, Fox Trot, work is now afoot!

The roll I am working with has particularly fragile paper; deciding how to handle the paper threw me into a lengthy period of indecision.  It would be possible to strengthen it with a vilene type backing, which I have experimented with but didn't find very inspiring. I have therefore decided to forgo the paper completely (eek) in favour of a piece of vintage napkin. Decision made I now need to see it through! Watch this space...
Getting started!

Thursday, 28 July 2011


In my search for inspiration, I'm on the trail of the fox. First stop....... check L's chickens.
Spot the faux.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Precious scraps of textile treasure.

This should have been with my earlier blog but literally couldn't get it together!

Threads that tie the generations.

My ten year old grand-daughter rushed in earlier in the week announcing that she had an idea. She wanted to make art- 'like your apples, Nan,when you look behind something and get a surprise.'

My special scrap box was emptied over the floor. Then followed a mini but exhuberant version of 'The Wednesday Group', 'ooh', 'aah' and 'look at this bit' moments with squeaks of delight. She had a magical hour or so auditioning fabrics. ( Term coined from SWC.)

I had to swallow hard and be prepared not to mind handing over my precious scraps.

It took me back to the day when I, at a similar age, took some pieces from my Mum's chest of textile treasures. I was questioned as to why I wanted them. I didn't know, I just knew I did.

I know now!

Lily's work of art? Well, it's on hold at the moment. Shortly afterwards, Curly, her favourite toy rabbit, needed an outing. He had to go for a spin in a radio controlled 4 by 4 truck over the field. It all ended in disaster, I'm afraid. He crossed the ford at speed once too many times and had to swim for it.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

July session at Anni's exquisite house

Our July meeting was at Anni's house by Malvern.  She had set out an excellent array of cakes and scones. There was even a little posy of pansies on the lace tablecloth.

The scones led to a discussion as to whether the fresh strawberries should be under or on top of the cream, with Katie and Lindsay in opposing camps.

Good progress is being made on the pianola roll projects for the Ledbury exhibition in September.  In addition to these we managed, yet again, to find french knots a source of hilarity.

Judy brought a large embroidery for our consideration for possible inclusion in the show.  It included lace she made using vanishing fabric, and a finely embroidered kimono.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Raining frogs in Mathon!

This may be inspiration in disguise! Best Beloved was just about to drive off this morning when I brought him to a halt.
'Eagle', I shouted. (Sorry, stitch campers, it's still tickling me.) There spread-eagled on his bonnet was a frog, as if sunbathing! As there is a shortage of knitted monkeys in Mathon, maybe the eagle has turned to frogs. But the more logical reason is that it rained frogs in the night and the others just jumped away. So look out for frogs in my future work, I feel quite inspired.
Oh, and about the meeting on Wednesday, it may be a good idea to bring reinforced umbrellas just in case.
Many thanks to Kathleen and her excellent photography.
(But you didn't really want a photo of a deceased frog did you?)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Back from Stitch Camp.

Hi, sew to speakers. I've just emptied the last bag and box from the Blue Ginger Exodus and everything is back in place in The Stitchery. It looks sort of earthquakey to an outsider but I know where things are. (This is a gross exaggeration - meaning - it could be in there somewhere.)
I must admit to a feeling akin to virtuous as I attempted to vacuum, dust and tidy before unloading my car. (Sad for the wild life in the corners though.)
Anyway, enough of domestic bliss....... (You will be relieved I don't do photos of that!)
I've had an idea for a group challenge.
A French Knotathon!
I think it would encourage team building, cake eating and all sorts of other 'ings'. Actually, I've started practising already. Some of you have seen my whirling leaves cushion.... well, spurred on by a basket of Lois's silk threads, I am well into thousands.....
Don't forget to design a French Knot into your pianola roll creations. We did say at the last meeting.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Grunty Pig Himself...

Wearing his T.W.G. rosette awarded for Services to Laughter...

The squealing pig

as a small token of gratitude to the squealing pig - a little postcard

pity I didnt spell the word squeal correctly!

Day 5. Last day of Stitch Camp.

Sparks flew from well honed needles on the final day. The public were warned to keep well away for their own safety. (Or they may have been watching the tennis...)
We were sobered by the thought that Katie had made an excellent start on her pianola roll and each of us resolved to do the same. ( Well that was before cake.)
Lindsay, who has now got her 'French Knot' badge,was working away at a new design for a french knotted thong for the 'Bravissimo' market. Needless to say we put a stop to this nonsense and told her to get her pansies focalized. ( ref Spring postcard.)
In the afternoon there was a little ceremony to award the grunty pig a rosette. The highest award that T.W.G. could give for services to laughter. (....and... to thank him for inspiring our next lot of work featuring pigs..... I think Kathleen said that ...but it may have been figs ...or wigs...)
We ended by thanking Sue for her hospitality and cake (excellent!) and believe it or not she said 'Come again!'
A picture of the little pig to come soon. Over and out.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Day 4 at Blue Ginger.

It's been another brilliant day and quite productive. We've fallen into our old ways of sparking each other off - my cat is hopeless at this. will be remembered for cake! Visitations from family and friends led Stitchers (screaming and kicking )to the B.G. cafe anxious to taste the fabled cakes for themselves. Oh, yes,Sophie made a guest appearance and blew bubbles at the french knots.
All day 'Marlene' has been giving folks the eye and doing a bit of luring for us. Those consequentials have certainly amused people.
Yes- and the conversation has turned to thongs again.... but the visitors are just as bad turning 'Luscious Divine' round and round.
Well I'm going to sign off now and leave you time to look at Lois's fab picture book blog,

Consequential Critters

Consequential Critters
A day under Kathleen' expert guidance produced a fine clutch of odd creatures.  She had brought some amorphous calico body/heads, which we randomly selected from a big blue Ikea bag.

critter blanks
We then each created a face, having an hour for this task.  The variety of approaches was, as usual with this group, quite amazing.

Kathleen's careful choices

and Katie - does it go?
Pretty, revolting, sly...human, rabbit, fish..head bigger than body, head smaller, treating the face as a two dimensional surface or going for the double profile.

phase 1 - faces

a rough day....

very sly with a touch of come hither

Back in the bag and a random selection - the only proviso being if you got your own you put it back. We then had an hour and a half for the appendages - arms, legs, ears, tails..

Katie making slender arms and legs


Back in the bag and embellishments.

Lindsay and the thong
Ann gives hair and a natty waistcoat to the dissolute critter

Annie making a dress
At each stage we concentrated on our own work, but also kept an eye on what was happening to the creatures we had worked on.  It was hard not to feel possessive of a creature that we had started, but also very cathartic to  have to let go of the creative process.  I was anxious not to spoil the delicate and exquisite work others had done, but still couldn't move away from my usual slap-dash approach.

the belly dancing rabbit - finding the tassels was the inspiration

rabbit rear - the tail produced unrepeatable hilarity and the thong a need for ribald dexterity

proud parents at the naming ceremony

Friday, 1 July 2011

Day 3 at Blue Ginger.

Our day began with fresh fruit salad and warm croissants from the Blue Ginger Cafe. Mmmmm.
We have named our group of creatures 'The Consequentials'. We created a park bench outside the summerhouse and there they sat all day luring visitors to our lair. I have to say that they made everyone smile!
Everyone who came yesterday will be sorry to hear that the pothole outside the summerhouse has been filled in therefore making the grunting pig redundant! I suspect that the guy with the spade was tired of hearing squeak piggy squeak followed by gales of laughter...maybe I made that up.
We've been very postitive about work today. Lindsay, fresh from her success as group thong maker, has been forging ahead with plans for her cards. I think I'm right in saying she's sent photos of her creation to Gossard though I am a bit hard of hearing at times and it may have been Ann Summers.
Several of Kathleen's darlings have been packed up and sent to new homes which is good news. Gez will pleased as he told me that they wake up very early and make a racket so maybe a lie in for him tomorrow.
Sensible last words..... we've been forging pathways off the 'conceptual platform'. Relief all round, collective sigh.