Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Love Entwined Progress

 I finished the stalks on the final vase of this panel a couple of weeks ago.

It was, we are told, a coverlet.  That means just two layers.

I want mine to be a quilt, so I've had it up on the wall whilst I tried to decide how to quilt it.

I think that I'd like to try and hand quilt it - but at almost 3 feet square it will be the biggest hand quilting project that I'll have undertaken.

If I'm hand quilting it (which feels right, as it is pretty much all hand work apart from the compass piecing) then I want to choose something easy to stitch through.
 I'm wondering about wool.  It's not the obvious choice for something that I know will be wall hanging, but my hands get sore quite easily, so I need to think about that first and foremost, rather than how flat and straight it might hang on the wall.

I think that I've decided on a variegated King Tut thread (nice fast colour changes for hand stitching, as recommended by Jacqui Harvey at a workshop some time ago).

Now I just need to baste it and start sewing, rather than wondering about it!
Aside from the thinking time, I've spent a couple of happy hours at the sewing machine making scrappy stars for my latest Round Robin offering.

The little stars work out at 2" finished, so each of the 16 squares within it at just 1/2" each.  They are reasonably accurate, but not perfect, if I'm honest.  Nicely scrappy, though!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Off the Cuff

 Or, perhaps, ON the cuff?

I made a cuff book  earlier in the year, from a frayed shirt and part of the sleeve fabric.  To my shame I can't remember which blog I picked up this idea from, but it's not an original idea from me, I'm afraid.

This is the outside when it's buttoned up.
 This is how it looks when you open it.  I made the pages different lengths.
 My 'title page'.
 The early part of the year.  It rained (a lot!) then the grass grew......  Okay, okay, I never said that it was going to be an interesting book!
 Later in the year we went to Barcelona and I started stitching this sat outside the Aquarium there whilst the rest of the family went in.
This page represents the journey that I made down to see my Dad every week after he was admitted first to a Hospice, then to a nursing home.

It shows the train tracks, the lavender farm I went past, the orchards, the other fields, and a river.  There were two main routes.  Both of them took me past parts of the Medway and the Thames.
This shows the Thames again - running through the Borough where we live and where the girls both go to school.  DD2 is still at St Marys, DD1 moved to Waldegrave school with a swan logo this year.  They both love to read, but DD1 finds it hard with her dyslexia.

It's been fun to stitch this over the year, although I had hoped that I'd be able to manage this simple stitching on the train journeys, which wasn't the case!  never mind, I kept up to date with Radio 4 comedies, dramas and some other podcasts that I might not otherwise have made time to listen to.

If you've got an old shirt ready for recycling, maybe you'd like to make a cuff book too?  I can recommend them as a splendidly portable project!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

In case you wanted to know......

 I haven't done much sewing over the last few weeks, but this was one thing that I did make - a fully lined eye wateringly bright fabric case (with shoulder strap robbed from another bag).

DD2 is currently trying out the trumpet (sorry, neighbours!).  The case that she's been given has no shoulder strap and is awfully heavy.

I bought a smaller, lighter case, but the music teacher wasn't a fan (and the trumpet is only borrowed at the moment, so he's allowed to have some say in the matter!).

This was my next suggestion, with DD2's choice of Cloth Kits fabric.

Not sure that it's the total answer - after all, it doesn't magically take the weight away!

 My other sewing has been on our local quilt group's Round Robin.  My challenge this month (thank you Avril!) was to make a flag for what would be left of the UK if Scotland had left us.

Excellent theme!  Here is just a glimpse of part of the flag that I made.

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge!
Finally, I thought that it would be nice to share with you a picture that my Dad had on his bedroom wall for almost 50 years.
Painted by his friend, David John, in 1966, it shows Sonning Lock.  This photo really doesn't do the saturated colours justice!

I can only hope that anything that I've created lasts that long and is appreciated even half so much.

It's off to a new home with my brother now, where it will continue to be appreciated.  Nice that it's going to be with a 'Thames boy' - his first home was in a houseboat on the Thames with our mum and dad.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Life Goes On.

 I missed showing the card that I made for my tea guzzling brother on the event of his 'significant' birthday last week.  I've been waiting years to put this pun into card form!
 I also don't think that I've shown this tissue holder - another small project made from colour catchers (and just a little bit of lace edging).

Very fast to sew up.  Its now in my handbag so I can see how well colour catchers last in 'stress' situations!  If it doesn't fall apart too quickly I might make some more of them.
I have also made progress on my Love Entwined.  Shown here with the pins holding some of the last bits of Vase No. 4 in place, I've sewn these and the berries down and even added the backstitched stems.

I still haven't got as far as removing the paper from behind the zig zag border and washing the piece with Synthrapol, but they are on my list of things to do.

Small progresses, but at least forward movement.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

David G. Evans 1928 - 2014

Two wives, three children, two step children, eight grandchildren.  Good friend to countless people. 
My dad died yesterday and I can't begin to think how big a hole he is going to leave behind.

I hope that I can take his life as a lesson on how to get the maximum pleasure out of the world, whatever it throws at you.  He was a decent, honest, wise and funny man and I hope that he's having a ball in the big hereafter.