Thursday, September 27, 2012

More unfinished embroideries

I hear about UFOs (UnFinished Objects), and have a few from my quilting projects, but now I can go back even further.  I have come across some embroideries that are waiting for the borders to be put on ... and have been waiting for a good 35 years!

I wasn't that keen to learn crocheting at the time although I did make a poncho that I wore to the footy for years.  Lots of granny squares.  Not that I do any crocheting anymore - but I used to know how to do it.
Actually, I did the crocheting on some of the pieces here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More old embroideries.

As I was looking for old embroideries, I found a table cloth that I got from the Women's Weekly - back in the early 70s - that I had almost completed. The embroidery is done and two of the sides are hemmed.

Then I found another tablecloth from the same offer.  It hasn't been started.

I also found a tablecloth that has the design printed but hasn't even been started.  I am pretty sure it was my mother's, so it is fairly old.

Who says I never throw anything out???

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finding Old Embroideries

As I posted previously, I have been seeing some old embroideries recently.  It reminded me of some table cloths, place mats and doilies that I made in my youth.  So I went to look for them.
I not only found some work I had done

but some my mother had done also.

There was even one celebrating Melbourne's centenary - which I had to look up to see when it was: 1934.  I assume it was embroidered by my mother.

When I looked at the picture, I realised I hadn't needed to look it up, the date was on the embroidery.

Some of them are stained and I might have go to Patra's Place and see if I can get any advice on cleaning them.  She talked to us about what she had done to clean the ones she had on display but I didn't take much notice at the time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't sew in when you are tired and watching tv!

I have finally finished my second cocoon and have cut it off the loom.  I did quite a lot of waste weaving to see if it supported the shaped tapestry better than cardboard.

I am not really sure if it was much better, I think it is better but am not sure it was worth all the extra work weaving it in and taking it out again.
Another thing to consider is that I used white - this meant that I wasn't too distracted by the colour when weaving but it also meant that it was a bit tricky to pull out around the white shape.  Something for me to consider if I do waste weaving again.

I left the yarn in at the bottom and just worked it down off the warps.  (I had unpicked the higher bits as they went in and out of the outline of the shape.) It was quite scary taking the last of the waste yarn out - I realised how easy it would be to pull the warps out of your weaving.

Then I decided to get a start on the sewing in of the warps.  I did this while watching tv - a mistake!!!  I wanted to get started quickly as I had a couple of spots on the shape that were wider than the bulk of the weaving (marked in red in the bottom picture) and I didn't want the warps to be pulled through accidentally.  (The other warps travel through to the various parts of the tapestry and appear more secure.)

But then I got involved in the show and just kept sewing it, totally forgetting that I want to pull some of them through to make them long enough to sew into the oddly shaped bits (marked in purple).  So I will have to have another go tomorrow and undo the sewing, then pull them through.  Let's hope it all works out and doesn't start undoing the weaving!

I am experimenting with the weaving - I have no idea how it will hang yet.  It might be turned sideways - or not.  Something else to be thinking about.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Something worked

The silk did dye but a lot of the dye ran out - probably because I didn't dilute it.  I actually remembered why I don't like dyeing much - it uses a LOT of water.  I rinsed and rinsed and eventually the dye stopped coming out of the fabric - well enough for my purposes, it isn't going to be clothing.

Here it is, drying on the line.
But enough remained in the fabric for it to be useful.  I haven't decided what to use it for: I might use it for tapestry weaving, if I rip it into strips; I might use it for machine embroidery when I try to do it using fabric as part of the design.

Two posts today!  I couldn't resist 12/9/12.  Just wait, soon it will be 12/12/12 - and almost Christmas.

Silk Painting with old dyes and no steamer

I have been brought up to be fugal - and sometimes it is still in me.  I also have dye for silk painting that I haven't used for about 15 years.  Everyone tells me that you should not keep dyes too long but I just couldn't bring myself to throw them out without trying.
So I decided to do the simple silk painting method - that way I wouldn't have to dig out all the old frames, etc. I dampened the silk and laid it out on plastic, slightly crumpled.  Then I used the undiluted dye to drip onto the silk.  I love watching the way it runs and forms its own patterns.
I have since remembered that using undiluted dye is wasteful as the silk does not hold it all.  Oh well, I will be able to see what happens when I wash it. I expect a lot of dye will run out.
Of course, I might not be able to tell as I am improvising how to steam it.  The dyes need to be steam set and I can't be bothered with buying a steamer (we only have one for food and I am not going to use that) and all the paper and stuff that needs to be used with it.  I am only experimenting after all, to see if the old dyes will work.
So I have bundled it all up into more plastic, closed the ends and left it rolled up in the sun (which is appearing intermittently today).  Heat batching - I hope it works.
Hmm, this is not very scientific:  I won't know if it didn't work because the dyes were old or because I didn't steam it properly.

The small table is holding it down as it is windy.

Here's hoping it does work and then I won't have to throw out my dyes and I can steam batch using plastic and the sun.

The weather seems to be changing so I might go out and retrieve it soon, now that it is not looking like being sunny again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mali in My School

Today I was at The Alcove Art shop at Box Hill Community Arts Centre and lo and behold - another Mali statue.  It is smaller than the ones in the city and was decorated by students of Box Hill High School.  The designer was a year 10 student, Natalie Wu.  Congratulations to all the teachers and students involved.
Apparently 55 schools around Melbourne were selected to decorate the statues as part of the Mali in My School program.

There was a group of kindergarten children visiting the centre specifically to have a look at Mali.  Lots of excitement all round.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spring ...

my least favourite season!
I love the look of the blossoms, the birds making nests, which they have been doing for weeks now, and the warmer weather.
But I don't like the wind!!!!!!
And I don't like the hay fever!!!!!
And I especially don't like the wattles in bloom - despite the fact that they look gorgeous.

I was at a friend's house yesterday and we were talking about how many branches and leaves are around on the ground at the moment, mostly eucalyptus - a good time to be collecting and dyeing, if only we didn't feel so rotten with the allergies.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Coo-ee and old embroideries

When browsing the Embroiderers' Guild newsletter, we noticed that there is an exhibition on at Bundoora Homestead.  It is Early Australian Linens (this is a blog about the exhibition with lots of photos).
My friend and I went along today (6/9/12) to have a look.  We were able to reminisce about the embroideries we did in our younger days, and the ones that we remember our mothers doing.  I will have to go through the cupboards and see what we still have - not that I could bear to part with them, I'll just remember doing them.  Maybe we'll use them again.

Of interest to me was this apron. It reminded me that Coo-ee (you can read about it here) has been around for quite a while - there was even a written record of it at the Napoleon exhibition at the National Gallery Victoria.

There were some lovely other pieces too.

This was lovely.  Apparently it was done by an 83 year old lady, not all that long ago. 

I remember seeing these sets, all ready to be embroidered and crocheted.
You can read more about the collection at Patra's Place of Linens.  And she has other blogs too - I have just discovered her swap card collection - will have to dig out mine now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

More elephants in the city

Today is 3/9/12 - I just couldn't let that lovely date go by.  It was also a beautiful spring day, warm and sunny.
I was in the city for my regular Monday appointment so decided to find some more of the elephants in  the city.  They have been decorated by a variety of people ranging from professional artists to students.
Here are a few, all within a couple of blocks of each other.

I had to photograph it from this side because some stupid person has scratched it on the other side.

Tiles in the sun. Outside the Town Hall.

Tiles in the shade, much easier to photograph.

Outside the Town Hall

Inside Melbourne Central

Also in Melbourne Central

You can see pictures of all of them here.
It was just like being a tourist - and it was great to see the tourists enjoying them too.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Elephant sculptures in the city

I have noticed elephant sculptures in the city a few times lately and have been wondering why they are around. Then I met a friend at Federation Square last week and we saw two of them.
I especially liked this one with the wrinkled, knitted skin.

They are around the city in various spots to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Zoo.  You can find a link to a map here.  They will be on display around the city till September 21st.  I will have to take my camera with me when I go to the city and try to see some others.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

ATASDA travelling suitcase exhibition

The travelling suitcase exhibition of Marrakech, by ATASDA members, came to our meeting today.  There were two suitcases for the exhibition, we got to see the one called Cara.  The works on display were wonderful.

I had intended going in it but, as is often the case, didn't get around to it.  However, I am feeling inspired to go in the next one.

There were also little kits that were available, to make tiles for a smaller piece if you didn't feel like making a bigger one.

Our Victorian group of ATASDA is still in its formative years and the people who have put so much work into starting it up are standing down - so now it is up to others to see if we have the genuine interest to make it a viable group.  We are going to meet in October and one of our members is going to lead us in making Christmas decorations (inspired by the little booties that Barbara had to show us - you can make them instead of the Christmas decorations if you like). I hope the group is viable but realise that if it is all left to a few participants then it is not a goer.  So we will persevere for the rest of the year and then make some decisions about the new year.