Friday, February 27, 2009

A lovely picture and an update.

I have always loved the look of, and wanted, a photograph on stretched canvas.
Well now I have one and I am very pleased with it too.

The canvas came from Bags of Love who do lots of wonderful, high quality gifts with your photos.

This is not one of the official photos and to be completely honest I don't know who took it, but it just sums up the joy of Laura and Toby's wedding day and I am thrilled to have it now hanging on my wall.

A little update.

Jan and I have some new work to show you at Textiles for Two.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Cushions - At last!

You would think after nearly 3 years of patchwork classes once a month I would have more than 3 nice table mats, one great bag for my cutting board and rulers and one rather dodgy table runner that doesn't fit any of my tables.

Well at last I have!
I now have 5 very nice cushions in my lounge. I was a little unsure of the calico ones as they came out a little small but, put next to my "Drunken Path" cushions I think they look fine.

And on my big comfy chair a woven wave of a cushion to match the colour scheme.

I have 3 more cushions, one bag and a rather large star table cloth to finish so watch this space as I seem to be working well this year ;0)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flutterby butterfly!

The project at Patchwork class this time is "Appliqué".

We meet once a month and this project is to take 3 classes. Normally I would find out all I can on our subject and do several pieces. This, however has resulted in quite a few UFO's (really must do something with them).
I decided I would change tack and work on one item and give it my full attention.

I thought I would make a butterfly. I wasn't sure what it would be but I thought I could used some of my favourite scraps for it.

Maggie, our teacher reminded me that I do quite a lot of appliqué when doing art quilts, something I hadn't really realised, so what about doing reverse appliqué?
So the first class was all about making patterns for my shapes, cutting them from the background fabric and placing the scraps in place, securing them with Bondaweb.
After that I satin stitched all the motifs.

This time I outlined the butterfly and free quilted the background. I did shadow quilting on the inside of the butterfly to create a contrast.
I have beaded the butterfly's antennae and round the body.
I can't decide if I should bead around the wings, maybe I will.
What do you think?

Next time I will finish my piece.
I have decided to make a soft wall hanging. This panel is approx 12inches square so will be a good size hanging when finished.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cracked Ice

I love ice. Well not to walk on or to drive on obviously but, when we were a little younger Jan and I used to go ice skating - yes we did have lessons. As usual she was better than me!! Sigh!

Well anyway, I love the look of ice on water. From a distance it looks so smooth and pristine.
Get closer and you can see the cracks in it. If you are really lucky it will have cracked, refrozen, cracked and refrozen again. Look into it and you can see lots of layers and notice that it isn't all white and perfect.

I wanted to try to translate that into textile for my Nature Series.
I gathered together all the fabrics that had an icy colour and look to them. Some were opaque and some sheer, others were sparkly.
I cut them into rough triangular shapes and stitched them down on to an icy blue background. I added fused and un-fused Angelina fibres for an extra sparkle. I used lots of layers.

I used a piece of white organza with little sequins on it as an overlay and stitched random straight lines with a silver thread. Like the ice, from the side or a distance the piece looks smooth but look into it and you can see all the layers.

I made ATC's from some of the fabric and two of them will be going for trades with Terri and Emmy. I hope they like ice!

Just before I go I thought I would tell you that I have posted a little of what I have been working on for Mesoamerica on Textiles for Two blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sorted and something silly!

Do you remember this mess??Well it looks like this now. And I love it.
Just got that bucket with sari's in to sort but there is an empty drawer for them.
The bookcase is gone and the books are now safe in the cupboard.

Now for something silly!
Look at these two, Mitzi and Fred, chatting away like an old married couple.

Just to prove that he is a softy and a baby here is Fred cuddled in his new blanket. Sorry, just had to share ;0)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Abstract and Pink and Orange

The "lottery" challenge this month at Textile Challenges is for a Colour Combinations ATC. I drew Pink and Orange.
The quiltie theme at Unlimited Textiles is Abstract.
Hmm, I thought these would work so well together.

The result: Abstract in Pink and Orange ATC and Abstract in Pink and Orange Quiltie.
The background is a piece of cerise cotton with a pattern in the same colour but deeper shade. I stitched other fabrics to the base with zig zag stitch in orange thread. All the pieced fabrics are hand painted pieces from some of my favourite projects. One or two of my favourite commercial fabrics sneaked in too!

Wot no beads!!!
That is right. For once I think beads would have been overkill. Well I think so, hmm maybe just..... NO not this time ;0)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Wall Flowers Panel

As well as working on the big Mesoamerican project with Jan for Textiles for Two, I am working on my own project on Nature from the inspiration around me in the North Devon countryside and coast.

This is my latest piece based on flowers growing against and old wall.
The base fabric is a piece of handmade felt I did last year. I trapped all sorts of bits and pieces with wool tops between soluble film and machined a close grid pattern over it all. I gave it a vigorous wash in hot water to felt the wools and dissolve the film. And that is how it stayed for a long while!

I recently found some gorgeous organzas in a fabric shop in Barnstaple. This one was a very pale lavender with embroidered flowers and leaves.
I used it as an overlay for my felt and machined a rambling stitch between the flowers. That looked OK but was missing texture. I love texture.
So out came my heat gun an the surface got a good blasting ;0)

I expected to get a lovely crusty surface that would feel like a stone wall but I didn't expect the flowers and leaves to pop out quite as well as they did.
I burnt all the organza away from the edge to leave it quite rough. I added beads to the centre of the flowers and some little beads and sequins around the background.

I'm not sure how I will finish it yet, maybe I will apply it to some velvet, I think the contrast in textures would be good but whether it will be a wall hanging or a framed piece, I just don't know.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Unfinished Symphony

The first swap of the year at Unlimited Textiles was an "Unfinished Symphony" swap.
The idea was to send an unfinished piece of work to your partner for them to do with what they wanted to make a finished piece of art.

I received a piece of experimental knitting and crochet from June.

Of course I pounced on the lovely flower motif at the top and with some hand painted cotton, some extra fancy wools and some needle felting I made this postcard. There are little beads at the centre of the flower and scattered on the "hillside" with a little silver ladybird peeping out from behind that flower.

Another shape jumped out at me - literally - and this little fishy art doll was born.
I did quite a bit of needle felting to make the lacy knitting a little firmer and make that lovely little tail.
The fishy is embellished with another little flower and beads and charms. There is a hidden fishy too for June to find.
I think this little doll is lots of fun and I hope June will agree.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snow here too!

Well I know every Britt is doing this, but we really don't get this much snow usually and at the sea side it is virtually unknown. Yes we do get snow in Ilfracombe but not much.

Living in a deep valley we get used to waiting at the top, or bottom, of one of the hills for an hour or so for the snows to go away then life goes on as usual.
But not today.
Actually at 6am this morning there was no snow at all. Then at about 6.30am it started. We had what could only be called blizzards and the poor souls who were already on the way to work started to get stuck and slip down the hills.

We are half way up on of the hills. There was not a way that anyone could get out.
Everyone was out in the street trying to move the cars but then gave up and joined the children in snow ball fights. It was like a street party.
The sun did eventually appear and the snow stop but, at 11.30am the night shift at the factory on top of the hill, in the photo above, were still stuck there and the day shift unable to get up the hill.
Oh what fun!!!
This unusual weather has been enjoyed though and it was lovely to see so many people out on the Torrs with makeshift sledges. They were still slipping and sliding at 1.30pm.

So I hope the rest of the world forgives the Britts for appearing silly and soft over a bit of snow that would not stop the rest of you getting about. We will all be back at work and school tomorrow and we will all have lots of wonderful tales to tell each other and for quite a while I suspect ;0)

Monday, February 02, 2009

The year long swap at Textile Challenges this year is "Houses". The idea is to make house fronts to the recipients theme.
This month I was sending to Marie and she chose "Greenhouse" or was it "Green House"?
I decided to go with Greenhouse.

I started with a fabric paper background painted with Twinkling H20's and stamped with leaves and dragonflies.
I cut planters of various sizes from scrapbook papers and stitched them to the background. The grass is made from paper and stitching.

Next I cut a greenhouse shape from a piece of acetate and cut out a door shape. I placed it over the background stitched it down and cut out the whole piece. I used satin stitch to make the window frames and to frame the greenhouse itself.

I was pleased with its winter look but felt it needed a summer look too.
I love to make oversize organza flowers to put on quilts or for brooches. I decided to make a big pink bloom and make it into a brooch to be pinned to the greenhouse.

Now wouldn't you love to grow a flower that size? I know I would!!
Marie really liked her Greenhouse and says she will wear her brooch. I have a similar one and will think of her when I wear it now.

The greenhouse measures 17cm high by 12cm wide.

You can see the very start Jan and Alis' Mesoamerican project at Textiles for Two.