Saturday, March 9, 2013

Coping with the heat

Well. summer should be winding down but it isn't.  It is actually worse than our usual summer where we get hot days (with some cool nights) for about 4 days and then a storm rolls in and the temperature drops 10-15 degrees.  Then it starts up again.
Not this time - we are having hot days (but not ridiculously hot - only about in the low to mid 30s (C), mid 90s (F)) but the nights are staying warm, and the days are gradually warming up more and more.  It is forecast to be 37C in a couple of days and the nights are progressively warmer - they do cool down a bit, of course. It is all very enervating though.

As I have already said, I am doing an online workshop for the Traveller's Blanket.  I have decided to use pieces of fabric that I have left over from my years of playing around with textiles.  Some pieces go back to the 80s, when I did a bit of silk painting.  Some are from quilts I have made, screen printing, needle felting with the embellisher, silk dyeing, silk paper, fabric painting, sewing classes, etc.  I was going to put in some knitting but it was too bulky.  Most of the fabric selection is sorted, I have left some empty spots either for new stuff I do in the meantime (it is going to take a while to finish) or just to leave empty, to show that my journey is not finished.

I am now up to the hand embroidery. I have started because I  visited a friend who has very efficient air conditioning but it has just been too hot at home lately to have a blanket on my lap and be doing hand embroidery.  So I will try again in a week or so, or when I visit my friend.

I have decided to try sewing patterns that I have not used before, or it was so long ago that I have forgotten them. And I don't seem to be able to be tidy with it, my embroidery wants to wander.  But it is a journey, so it doesn't matter. I did do hand embroidery a bit in the 60s and 70s, maybe even the early 80s but that is (gasp) about 30 years ago.  So I have forgotten how to do a lot of the stitches.


Gina E. said...

Oh this weather is just horrible. Funny to think that back in October most Melburnians were looking forward to summer, all those sunny days to do whatever one likes doing outside. Well, just about everyone I've been talking to in the street say the same thing - "I'm over it. I just want us to go back to winter".
I would settle for a decent Autumn. Melbourne is usually just perfect in Autumn, but just looking at the weather forecast on the net for the coming week and it is going to stay in the 30's for ANOTHER week. Thank God for airconditioners. I keep wondering when the power grid will give up, it must be under a tremendous strain at the moment.
I'm inspired by the idea of your traveller's blanket. I've got a heap of experiments on fabrics that I can't bear to throw out because they were just that - an experiment, and even if I never do one again, at least I can look at it and think 'been there, done that'. I probably wouldn't sew them on to a blanket, but maybe a large piece of calico or some other kind of bland background?

Mary said...

Hi again Gina, thanks. The traveller's blanket is not my idea, I am doing Dijanne Cevaal's online workshop. But the trip down memory lane in terms of textiles has been interesting. I am thinking of things I have done before and how I might incorporate some of the things I once knew into my current work - and how I will never do some of them again. I also have two hand embroidery books that I could never bring myself to throw away, from the 70s, and they are proving to be useful and interesting again.

Gina E. said...

Yes I noticed you were doing the workshop model of the blanket and I did have a look at Dijanne's website. I also have a lot of embroidery books that probably duplicate most of the stitches in each other,but now and then I find one with really good instructions on a stitch that I couldn't figure out before.
I found a fascinating old book in a collectables shop near us the other day:"Weldon's Encyclopedia of Needlework". It doesn't have a publishing date on it, or mention previous editions, so I have no idea how old it is. I may never refer to it to learn a stitch, but it is so interesting just to browse.

Mary said...

Gina, the two books I have are great - one came in a series that included crochet stitches (and I just cannot translate the American stitches, I invariably get them mixed up, so I am glad I still have the old book). I also have the Patchwork and Applique, the Quilting and Patchwork (a bit of a clue about how long I have been dabbling with patchwork and quilting) and Crewel Embroidery stitches. They are the Landsdowne's books. My other favourite is Erica Wilson's Embroidery book. And I have the Needlwork School book (from London school of embroidery (or guild)). I have never been able to give that one away either.