Wednesday 29 July 2020

Disappearing Shoo Fly - Complete!

 I last blogged about this on the 23rd June - and somewhere between then and now I actually got around to completing it!

Here it is, quilted and bound.
 I really enjoyed this quilting - somewhere between a clamshell and a baptist fan.  I tried to get a variety of sizes going in a variety of directions, and only got 'boxed in' once, which I thought wasn't too bad!  I was trying to keep it fairly loose so that this baby quilt wasn't too stiff.
Some Riley Blake zig zag on the back worked well with the bright colours on the front, but not so well  that I wanted to use it for the binding, although I did consider it.

I used a gentler pale blue with creamy stars on, and I'm very pleased with the outcome.  Probably a donation quilt, it will join the pile in the cupboard for the moment.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Lockdown Block

Our local Mayor has invited all residents of Richmond Borough to contribute to a 'lockdown memorial quilt'.

I think that it's an interesting idea, and I started to wonder about designs, and what my thoughts were during the time of lockdown.

I realised that they were a bit of a mixed bag, some good, some bad - so I was going to have a 'two sides' vibe going on.

 I wanted the fact that it was based in health / medicine to be the biggest feature, so used the symbol for medicine and healing (the Rod of Asclepius) and a simplified rainbow - so often seen to represent thanks to the NHS and other key workers - to make the key parts of a set of scales.

I added COVID-19 to the rod, and Lockdown 2020 to the base.

Then I added in some of the words that were important - so great things, like 'The Royal Mail', contrasted with 'Missing out' and 'Cancelled plans'.

Finally I added my name and those of my family members in the corners.  Originally I was going to put one name in each corner, but couldn't bear to put any of us under the weight of the lockdown 'bad' - so put a house symbol there and moved both girls names to the left hand side.

It will be fascinating to see the project when it is complete!

Wednesday 15 July 2020


 Woo hoo!

Today is day 100 of this year's #the100dayproject !

So, this morning I added my 100th home to the piece I've been working on, then set to to back and bind it, adding hanging 'corners' along the way.

It's been a lot of fun to come up with different designs.
 And fun to try out different techniques.

 A mix of hand and machine techniques, sometimes aiming for precision, sometimes being a little more cavalier with the ideas.
 And playing with the different colours!

I was aiming for a rainbow from the centre, but with added pink (why not?  I like it!) on the outer corners.
Not a great photo, but for the moment it's replaced my mini 'storm at sea' hanging between the two windows in my living room.

It can stay there at least until I decide whether to add some clear beads to the grid junctions between the homes.

Off to think about working on the kingfisher habitat quilt now!

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Progress this week

 I''ve carried on with my A3 challenge piece this week.

First pinning various patches of different tones and textures to the front.
 Then stitching them down.  Wish that I'd used a cream coloured thread instead of white, but I'm not planning to re-do it.
 Then, with the reverse side up, and my tracing of my design upside down, I worked on stitching the lines on.
 I used grey thread for the buildings in the background, black for the wall, fence and bridge and everything else in the foreground.

I have since added a blue line for the water line at the edge of the river, but it may yet become black.....  and that's as far as I've got.  I need to add weed, water, ivy, colour on the graffiti, and some willow leaves to hang in front of it, so plenty still to work on!
I've also made some more of these.

Teen size....

....and adult size, and plenty of wash bags for them too, as we find out how best to use them when out and about.

I still don't quite know where my sewing time disappears to sometimes!

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Kindness and Care

 I'm lucky to have good friends and good family.  During this strange period in our lives, I am cheered by thoughtful gifts and cards arriving now and then - jewels amongst the mess that life sometimes seems to be.

This 'survival kit' from Benta (thanks Benta!) made me laugh (and enjoy the chocolate that she sent - there were extra chocolate hearts for me to share with the family!).
 These cards and  the beautiful beaded 'wild woman' have arrived from Avril (thanks Avril!).  What wonderful workmanship - something to aspire to!  I feel warmer everytime I look at them.

In addition, we've had neighbours sharing vegetable plants, family sending cards, and friends sharing products from around the world
(I now know and love birch syrup, for example).

Thank you, everyone!  It's all appreciated.

This week I've been working on my kingfisher pin 'habitat'.

It doesn't scream "kingfisher" does it?

Yet this is a composite of what I saw where I was standing when I saw a kingfisher earlier this year!

My photos are shown here....
 I've really struggled to get a sense of the urban built environment with the juxtaposition of the river and the greening of the area by nature.

I've decided to make the stitching quite formal (or at least, that's the intention!) and then will work to put nature in over the top - by adding some leaves to look through, adding green weed to the bike in the river.  In fact, in real life, the bike is hardly visible now, three weeks on, as there is so much weed grown around it.
 The way I'm building up the primary layer isn't a neat process!  I've got all my pale fabrics out and spread about whilst I add small patches of them to the linen type base layer.

Later, stitching and some colouring will follow, before adding the green leaves and so on.
I'm basing my work on the technique shown by Wendy Dolan which I used on a couple of pieces just over three years ago.

I'm still pleased with this image of my house - but it was easier as it was from just one photo so I didn't have to create the design!

I'm happy, working away on my project and setting aside other matters for the time that I am working on it.  Hope that you are finding happiness too, in whatever way you can.