Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Experimentation.....and picture of cakes....quelle surprise!!

I have no delightful pictures to show you, no beautiful stitchery or exquisite fabrics.......no quilted piece to wave with pride.......sorry!! Just wanted to know if the blog would let me post anything....

Sunday, 25 December 2011

A treasure trove of silk and velvet

I should have made my nine by nine quilt on the theme of the Wednesday Group for the meeting in December, but what with attempting to get the house ready at breakneck speed for a completion date of Dec 20th and a vicious germ that kept me ill for over three weeks, I am late.

Today I got an envelope from my sister Joy, with a stash of stunning scraps from Sue Elliot, who has a studio in Selkirk near Joy’s.  As I will be stuck in this almost empty house (our sale hit a hitch literally at the eleventh hour – 11 am on the day we were expecting to pick up our keys to the new flat at 12) I shall get on with making the quilt.  It will have to be by hand as my machine is in storage with most of the rest of our things.

I chose nine different fabrics from the pile.  I used each one in whatever way the silk seemed to want, and stitched them in different ways.  Once they were all connected I used French knots over the whole surface to give a feeling of coherence.  French knots are a running theme with our group – some people use them along with many other stitches in exquisite hand embroidery – the rest of us struggle to remember how to make a single one correctly, and this often leads to hilarity.

A minor additional problem was that I couldn’t find any rulers to check how big nine inches was, as almost all our belongings are in storage while we wait in housing limbo.

I went through many planning stages for this piece – playing with my usual obsession with meaning.  In the end this is a simple celebration of beautiful fabrics that arrived with serendipity, each unique, together producing something with is rich and fascinating.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Someone ought to do a festive blog!

This year things sewn for Christmas are a bit thin on the ground. This was the year I was going to start really early...or was that last year? I always have lots of ideas but somehow getting started doesn't happen, ( Sound familiar?) Anyhow I never feel really Christmassy until the 18th then it's too late.

BUT, on a more positive note I have put thread to needle and achieved two finished pieces. The first was a commission from my technical support team. Grandson 1(aged 4) needs a 'Joseph' outfit, I was told. (By next ---day.) We agreed the landing curtains had just the right kind of stripe...and thus it was so. Joseph was robed. (He did very well - I saw a clip on his dad's mobile-only clapping a bit behind everyone else.)

The second piece was a Christmas bag. A friend and I have exchanged gifts since the days of yore. We each fill a bag of little things which we know will please and over the years it's become a custom to reuse little boxes/bags etc. (We privately agree that it's always our best present. ) The bags have been going back and forth for over 20yrs now and are getting a little fragile so I decided I would make a fabric bag and put the old one inside. The result you can see in the photo.

The old quilt you can see under the bag is a favourite of mine. It was hand stitched in lovely Christmassy colours by T's grandmother many years ago. It comes out every year to cover some table or other and has just become part of our Christmas.

Oh, and by the way, we moved into our present house (from a caravan in the garden) on Christmas day! And we cooked a Christmas meal! Happy Christmas. Stitch in the new year.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Crazy,dotty,french knotty.........

Well, the crazy little quilt is finished and despite how it looks in the photo, it really does measure 9" by 9". (Love the way we haven't gone metric. Just under 23cm by just under 23cm doesn't have the same ring to it.)

All those little pieces from my stash have come together to make a new story and of course that is it's charm. One sees amazingly clever quilts at shows with impossibly perfect points and computer controlled machines to quilt them too. Is that kind of perfection the ultimate goal of the art form? Maybe for some folk and good luck to them.

I didn't design my quilt. I chose the spots and pieced them together. It designed itself. AND it's turned out very pink! It just happened. It was meant to be.

There's lots of french knots on there amongst all the spots including the french knots with stalks!Most importantly there is a little embroidery icon for each of the lovely ladies of The Wednesday Group.

It was only when I stitched the binding round the edge that the work became a quilt. Suddenly it started to undulate and become cosy. It's a quilt now and wants to curl up with it's stories.