Saturday, January 12, 2019

What was I thinking?

I had intended making a small quilt for a new baby, due in 5 weeks.
The baby arrived early!! All is well with mum and bub. Phew. But now I have to get cracking.

I got out my yellow and green fabrics, cut them into squares, ready to make a simple small quilt.

The top is now made.
Taking the photo in the gloaming has highlighted the lighter fabrics that aren't so obvious in full daylight. Interesting.

It is just a random size, there isn't a lot of coherent information online about what size to make. Even cot quilts have large variations in their sizes. So it is just a little quilt that can be thrown on the floor and the baby can lie on it, if it doesn't fit the cot. At the moment, it is approximately 120cm by 80cm. The quilting will reduce that somewhat, so I don't know its finished size at the moment.

There is a LOT of fabric left over. Not sure what I was thinking, what size I thought I might make it. But I will have to come up with something, there is too much to just regard it as an error.
I must have thought I was making a double bed quilt, or that and a single!

I haven't done any quilting for ages, so maybe I will have to see what I can come up with, in yellow and green. Suppose I could put in some other colours for emphasis.

First, I have to actually make the quilt. The top is made but that is all. There is still a bit to do, so I won't worry about all those extra squares at this stage.

There is plenty of hot weather forecast, so I can hid indoors and see what I achieve.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A New Year

It is the first interesting date for the year (interesting for me): 9/1/19. Pity I can't write one of the nines the other way around and then it would be reversible. 9/1/1P. Sort of.

Anyway, Happy New Year. I haven't got off to a quick start but it is rather hard to do in summer, when you are recovering from Christmas too.

I have been working on a small machine embroiderey/fabric collage piece. It is based on a photo I took of an acorn sprouting.

I played around with it in Photoshop and then found a filter on the internet that put a Picasso filter onto the image.

I did my latest favourite technique and fabric collaged it without using any product, just the sewing machine, no glues, etc. As usual, the fabric shrank a little and there are some wrinkles but I think I will be able to deal with them.

I traced the image, laid out small pieces of fabric and sewed small areas at a time, just to attach them. Once it was all on, I then worked more heavily on specific areas. As with quilting, I started in the middle and worked on the acorn first. I used straight stitch for that.

I didn't like the dark pieces in the background, so went over them with some tulle and other small pieces of fabric. One of the great advantages of this technique is that you can cover up a lot of your mistakes.

One of my helpful critics said that she thought my stem should be greener, possibly the actual nut too. I returned to the original image and saw that she was correct. Now the final piece is greener.

It is sitting on the wall, waiting for me to decide if it is finished or not. That will take a few days. Then will come the mounting and finishing off, not my favourite part.
I allowed quite a bit of room for the shrinkage, so the ragged edges will be lost as I mount it on foam core and try to make it fit the size required by the current challenge from my group - 12" square.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The miracle of water.

I wasn't going to post about the hydrangeas this year but I just have to.

Here is the pot at the front door yesterday.

Here it is today, after I gave it some water yesterday. The flowers have miraculously recovered.
There are some hot days forecast in the near future so I will enjoy them in this lovely weather today.

So my Christmas tradition survives, posting yet another picture of the flowers at this time of year.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas is coming

Instead of my usual picture of the hydrangeas flowering (they are looking very nice at the moment), I thought I would put in this picture of a Christmas Beetle. I have no idea of its actual scientific name and can't be bothered looking it up. We know it as the Christmas Beetle. That will do.

I heard a talk on the radio a couple of days ago that they are being decimated by the Indian Minah. Apparently they are eating the grubs of the beetles.
(Actually, I couldn't help myself and found this link (one of many) which says that maybe they aren't disappearing.)

I don't know if it is true but I did see this one a couple of days ago. Gorgeous. But not very afraid of people, as you can see.

I am having that thing that occurs at this time of the year - often known as exhaustion - and am between ideas. I have an idea for the yearly challenge for the AuNZ tapestry weaving group. I may have the energy to warp the loom soon. I hope so.

And there is another Challenge about Self Portrait. I am thinking about this. It won't be an actual portrait (at this stage) but I am thinking on how I might approach the topic. One idea is to do a fingerprint, as can be seen, sort of, in the above picture. Not sure what will come of this theme, if anything. Just contemplating at this stage.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Celebrate ... Something

My last chance to do an 18 day in the 18 year!

I have recently been visiting a friend who lives in New York City (lucky me).
I went to several museums and have taken lots of pictures.

As I have some Challenges for some of the groups I belong to, I tended to focus on things that might help me with that. But there were lots of things to be thinking about.
Here are a few images that might be used - or not. They are just for inspiration, trying to get me going again with my work.

I have had a bit of a hiatus, not just because I was away. So I am hoping to get something happening soon.

One of the challenges is called Celebrate, and it is to be a maximum of 20cm square. I think I might celebrate being able to play! A woven tapestry.

I was inspired by some of the geometric pieces that were in various galleries I was able to visit.

If memory serves me correctly, these were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (there are only so many museums and galleries you can visit all at once and actually remember what you saw, or where!).

I love the geometric shapes. But I am considering it for a tapestry and I know that circles are difficult, so may not focus on them, but I will try to incorporate some geometry. I wouldn't want to strain myself with a difficult technique when I am not feeling all that creative at the moment.

 I am also thinking of celebrating a colour - and blue is appealing to me at the moment.

I visited Annie and Co Needlework and Knitting shop, in New York City (I got to travel upstate and now realise why people specify New York City, differentiating it from New York State). I couldn't resist buying some of the wonderful yarns, with no particular design in mind. So I have come home with a variety of blues, which is why I might go with playing with colour and design - and probably texture too.
If I lived in New York I would visit as often as I could. They are extremely helpful, wind your skeins into balls, download Revelry patterns for you, and have classes. They also provide a space for people to just drop in and do some work, with assistance as needed. What a friendly place!

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Just noticed the date: 6/12/18. Couldn't pass up that opportunity!

I have been away, visiting friends overseas. It was really weird to have to think about what day it was, that I left here on October 31st, at about 10am and arrived, after a 16 hour flight, on October 31st at 7am. Before I left home! (Sort of.)
I have travelled overseas before, I think being more immediately in touch with home, and friends in other parts of North America, made me more immediately aware of time and weather differences this time.

Anyway, time zones and differing seasons aside, I had a lovely time.

I visited quite a few art museums and galleries. But there are only so many you can do, day after day. I started to forget what I had seen as I moved onto the next exhibition.

Some standouts for me were:
The Art Gallery at Vancouver. I saw the fabulous works of Guo Pei: Couture Beyond.

I did see some of the same pieces at the NGV last year but still loved the Vancouver exhibition.

We did go and see some rather spectacular places. The weather was kind to us and we had a great chance to see some of the spectacular totem poles.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The vessel in situ

I didn't realise that I had not posted a picture of the final vessel. I ended up calling it Learning Curve, because it was so not perfect! And there is much improvement to make.
Seeing it is a members' exhibition and it is not juried, I thought I would put it in anyway. It looks ok from a distance.
I am telling people I have put it in to encourage all members to exhibit, not to be put off by the high standard of all the other pieces!
Here it is, with some other pieces that gave us a lovely little coloured corner.