Monday, December 31, 2012

Summer holidays

It is that slow time between Christmas and New Year, that time when you have got over the Christmas rush and are finally relaxing into the summer holidays.
I have wanted to play around with a new template for a free motion machine thread bowl and today seemed the perfect time.  I have tried this idea before, with some success but not complete satisfaction. My previous attempts have just used a flat circle that was moulded over a bowl and the remnants of the soluble fabric provided stiffener.

This time I wanted it to hold its shape itself, not by depending on stiffener. So I had to find a template that would do that.  I knew that I should be able to do it because my cocoons have their own shapes but I hadn't been trying to make a regular, bowl shape.  I looked on the internet but didn't find what I was looking for. Some sites were too mathematical and most templates were for paper craft which was helpful but not exactly what I wanted.

I drew a few templates and cut them up to see how they would go.  I finally came up with one I thought might work.
I had to search to find my compass which I haven't used in YEARS.  I drew two circles, approximately 60cm diameter for the outside one and 25cm for the inside one.  I drew it on one of those brown paper bags that you buy things in but can't bear to throw out when you get everything home, the paper is too good, the bag looks useful. Now it turns out it was useful! It was a good size, my visual diaries were not large enough.
Ignore the inside circle, it was too far in and I drew a new, larger circle.

I folded the paper into four equal parts and cut straight up from the inside circle - this wasn't measured, I just cut and hoped.

The angle of the cut from the central circle (remember, I didn't use the smallest circle) will determine the angle of the side of the bowl.

As I was trying a new idea, I decided that I should stick to as easy a task as possible.  My recent work has been for the Suspension exhibition which was in black to white so I used the materials I had for that.  No colour decisions, no new threads and fabrics to find.  Much easier.
Fabric laid out to give some strength to the bowl.

All I had to do was come up with a template that works.

The sewn template - now to see if it really does work.


I am not totally happy with the shape but now I have a better idea of how to go about the task and may try for some more bowls.  I'd like to experiment with the angle of the side of the bowl.

But ... I have been reading some interesting quilting books lately and have other things I'd like to play with, so the bowls may get made, may not.
There is a design for a small tapestry on my mind too.
And I need to think about what I might do with all those little bits of silk I have been dyeing.
Ah, summer holidays.


parlance said...

So all those maths lessons at school weren't a waste of time after all!

Mary said...

Patlance, I'm not sure about that, I find the mathematical forums, where people are asking what formula to use, mindboggling. But I suppose I have some understanding of what I am trying to do. Something must have seeped in.