Wednesday, 30 January 2008

And once it's has been drawn

it has to be stitched.
I start at the beginning of the first lobe and stitch the spine up one side and down the other.
I go up one side first. I tend to stick on the line on the way 'down' the lobe towards the spine and then a little away from the first line of stitching on the way out from it. This is similar to the way long arm quilters handle feathers.

Stop and cut or bury my threads .

Start at the begining on the other side and finish at the top in the same way.

A row of echo quilting outside the feather the same distance as the width between each lobe finishes it wonderfully.

Diane Gaudynski is the world's best at doing feathers like this. Read her book Quilt Savvy to really get to understand her wonderful way with feathers and all other sorts of elegant quilting.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

How I draw feathers (and something else for fun)

For fun, the magnets on the side of my fridge, they're not on full display as normally the kitchen door is open against the side of the fridge. The magnetic calender with one of Ferret's nudes arrived in today's post.
I start by outlining the area I must not go outside. In this case a 6" square. Then I draw the spine, followed by a rough guideline for where I want the lobes of the feathers to end.

Then I start by drawing the first lobe at the bottom on the right hand side (this one is the most difficult to make elegant but don't worry you can redraw it later if it really ends up badly) Each lobe starts from the spine. If I were left handed, I'd start on the other side of the spine.
When I get to the end, I do a final lobe but this time I start this final one from near the top of the preceding one. Instead of taking it back to the spine, I take it nearly to the spine then continue down nearly parallel to the first line. This gives you a nice double spine. Then starting at the bottom again, I draw the first lobe. I draw the next and all the following ones, not from the spine out but from near the tip of the lobe before it.
You can see I've gone outside my rough outline near the tip of the feather. This is OK, it's only a guide and when you reach somewhere where the rough line looks wrong, then go with what 'feels' right.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Not a lot done today

When Dale Ann won the giveaway last week, I offered her a choice of the intital one or any one of the black ones. She chose the red one. I promptly separated it from the others so it wouldn't get lost. And what happened? Of course I can find all the others but not the one safely put away. No problem, I'd just run up another one. Only doing it from memory was a mistake. Wrong colours, wrong style of feather. I'll run up anther one in the morning.

Though I did have a little sucess today, I found lamp shades which are perfectly balanced on the new lamps. I also found a couple of box frames for little quilts. Strangely the cheaper one had 'art' already in it. The 'art' is totally disposable (grin).

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Still no stitching again

But yet another trip to TK Max (TJ Max). Our old end tables didn't quite go after the makeover but we found these. They're not as bright as they seem in the photo and go very well.
We also found two of the these. They are huge. Originally they were supposed to come with shades. One was missing and the other damaged. This was good as it meant we got a 1/3rd off. I know exactly what shades I want, all I have to do is find them....

Saturday, 26 January 2008

A case for living in the South of England

My snowdrops have gone over. Now is the time to move them to their new home.
The crocuses are out.

The primulas are in full bloom.

The cowslips come up wherever they can find a place in amongst the greenery of the upcoming forget-me-nots.

The daffodils are truly in bud.
This little one, a tête a tête is even showing petal and another day or two of sun should see it fully open. Though this one is early to flower anyway.

This is lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) also known as lords and ladies.

My hellebores are wonderful but you have to get down low to see inside the flowers.
Their subtlety is always a joy.

In the north, they might have to wait another month to see these flowers.

Friday, 25 January 2008

'Tis done

Well almost. I have yet to dress the curtains and put up the tie back hooks, but hey. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out
Four photos taken from each corner going round the room in an anti-clockwise direction
I can't understand why the cushions and the footstool fabric look so different from the curtains, it is the same.

Just realised, that mirror on the floor next to my desk has to go up.

And another trick of the camera, those three light coloured circles.
If you know me in the non virtual world, take a look at this and commit to memory, you know my house is never this tidy!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

One for today and a couple from a few days back

I admit to this mounting on canvas causing a few difficulties. I never did find my stapler, down to a combination of a full and totally disorganised garage and not being able to get down really low to root around the boxes on the bottom shelves. Steph bought her manual one round with her and did a very good job on this one.I lost my patience trying to find the staple gun and tried using glue. Not a good idea, it's the sort of glue which makes you high as a kite and flows right out of it's tube. And that's a very big problem for me. I don't know if it's because I was just born clumsy or whether I was stoned from the fumes but I managed to get glue both on the little quilt and my cutting board.

And this little effort is one of my feathers. The background is a variation of Diane Gaudynki's bananas and Irena Bluhm's infinity. As I've said before my DH calls it intestines. I can see why but I think it one of the most elegant backgrounds.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Yesterday's feathers

These ones are all done in a 6" square.
The first one is couched thread using the Bernina freemotion couching foot.
This one is a pale green YLI Ultrasheen (btw I've heard YLI are discontinuing this thread)

So is this in a variegated version.

And this one has dayglo orange Madeira Polyneon as the feather and red Ultrasheen as the hyperquilting and the two rows of outlining. This one is not a free style Patsy Thompson feather but one I drew onto the fabric and then hyperquilted.
I've fallen in love with the white Clover pens which iron out.
I did a couple more of my own feathers but I'll show you those tomorrow as I'll be spending all day decorating. I might have to watch paint dry but you don't.

Monday, 21 January 2008

And the winner of Friday's Giveaway is.........

Huh, did you really think I'd put it at the top of my post (grin).

I've had a happy afternoon stitching and trying to mount the little quilts onto canvases. I have learnt that glues and fabrics don't mix when I'm playing around with them. I've also being playing with hyper-quilting different threads on a black background. Not sure where all these little quilts shall end up though. I have this feeling that there are so many people on the planet making little quilts, they will wrap the entire world and add to global warming.

The winner is ....

Dale Anne.

Please contact me at the email address in the copyright notice in the side bar of this blog.
I would have loved to have given every one a piece as you all said such lovely things, thank you.

Another lovely arrival from the postman

Sabine in Germany sent me this lovely package. The German Quilt Guild magazine (lovely magazine btw) and wonderful two packets/books of wrapping paper, one of kimono fabrics and the other of vintage quilts.
In the magazine is report from the Festival of Quilts and a photo of 'When Heide met Sally'. I'm very very happy to see one of my quilts in a foreign publication. I suppose it sneaked in because of my use of Heide Stoll Weber's fabric.

The chicken stock is set on 'simmer' and now I have time to go up into my sewing room/studio to play......

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Decorating again

It seems life has been one long decorating project since October and it hasn't finished yet. Today DH and I have been painting the ceiling in the sitting room. This involved carrying the stuff into the dining room. The flowers, silk and real are all on the table and it's looks like a lovely florists display. These tulips are real, the poppies not.

And I got to see another bunch of tulips from a different angle. Now that looks like a potential quilt to me.

And these are on the way out but that's when I think they look their best.

Another appliqué quilt maybe for that one on the right?

Don't forget to leave your comment on yesterday's post.

Friday, 18 January 2008

My Givaway

This one is done on a Bali hand dye. It's a very odd colour. In the energy saving bulbs in my sewing room it appears very green, in my sitting room with normal light bulbs it's a red brown and in daylight, half way between the two.The thread is a baby blue Madeira Polyneon.

I will draw names out of a hat (or some other random method) from everyone who leaves a comment on this post by Monday evening in the UK.
I've been asked what threads were used yesterday and they were all YLI Ultrasheen. The threads used on the red fabric were a pale leaf green and an emerald green and on the bright teal fabric, a deep rose and a bright red (these colours look totally different away from the fabrics they are stitched on to).
It will be left unfinished for you to do with as it your want.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Yes, yes yes!!

It's all very well buying fabric but what if all you want to do is stitch? Today my day has come. Some time ago I bought some stretched canvases with the intention of making little quilts to stretch over them. They are 6" square so today I made this little version of a Patsy Thompson feather. A minor problem, the canvases are way under my table and that might as well be on the moon at the moment. My knee does not permit crawling under tables.

Never mind, I still have to wash out the guideline marks. Yet again the Heide Stoll Weber fabrics absolutely refuse to photograph their colours well.

This one is larger and I made it simply because I could reach this size of canvas. It's got to be washed too but it's photographed folded over the canvas to give you an idea of what it will look like.

This is the back before the extra stitching was added. I've included this photo because the very bright teal is closer to the real colour.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Yesterday's postman bought me this

I ordered some of the lovely bright squares pre-cut by Wanda and with them came this block. See the frog on the right? He should fit right into Toad Hall.

Where those marbles came from

So many people have emailed me off blog asking about those fabulous marbles I got a Farnham Maltings the other day.
Here is the info from the selvedge ' Made in Japan'. It doesn't seem like it's in their current collections but it might be worth emailing and asking if they know who has any. You can look at this site in English.
I must have looked at it very quickly and thought it said and thought it English when .dk is Danish I think.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Some times things just make you feel good.

My UK Patchwork and Quilting magazine arrived with a photo of my 'Square Within a Square' quilt. I had forgotten all about it as the competition was over way back in August. It was only a runner up so it was pleasing to have it included.

Nostalgia came back from it's tour with the World Quilt Show and arrived with it's ribbon. My very first from a US show. Apparently in the US ribbons are colour coded so you can see immediately what place a quilt has received and red is a 2nd place (in country in this instance). I know this makes sense but I like our more exuberant ribbons (grin).
I have been suffering from that old quilter's problem of procrastination. Today I shall do 3 hours work in the house and then do some stitching, or at least some preparation for some appliqué.

Monday, 14 January 2008

My haul from The Maltings

Perhaps I shouldn't be allowed out but I'm very very happy with these purchases.

These marble type fabrics are wonderful. They are from a British company but made in Japan. A bit more movement than Moda marbles and very sophisticated. No brush marks or sponge marks like some on the market and a fabulous hand.

And this lovely blue is an old discontinued fabric for my reproduction stash.
And these fabulous ombres. I have some of these already. I adore them. My only problem is deciding which of all the potential uses I shall put them to.

And another for the repro stash.
I have been stroking them all day (grin)