Thursday 30 January 2014

A little more done.

I am enjoying doing this. It's taking longer than I thought but no matter, the journey is good.

I went into our little shed last week and found everything inside it was wet. We had the roof refelted last year but obviously not well enough. This was just after it was dismantled. This little area is overhung with trees and never gets any direct sun so it was pointless to replace it with another wooden one.
The alternatives are metal or plastic. I do not trust metal not to rust in this position so plastic it is. I am hoping it will get dirty and not stand out quite as much. I plan to plant a climber of some sort on the side we see from the house.
It should last longer than the last one. It just looks very bright. The temptation to put some graffiti on it is strong. It is even more twee than it is in this photo, that window is framed and has a sill.....

Tuesday 21 January 2014

I know I am picky.

This is Di Ford's original of the mystery quilt as it appears in the magazine. If you look closely at the large flower which hangs over the flower pot, you will see a ring of the background fabric round the edges.  This matters not when the flowers are on the background fabric but I don't like it on the dark of the pot.
I found the flower and drew round it with one of my back wash out pens. (See here)
This was so I could flip it over and mark the outline again on the back of the fabric.
This enabled me to iron a piece of freezer paper to the back and trace through easily.
What I should have done next but stupidly forgot was to iron the freezer paper to two other layers all shiny side down. Then I cut very carefully on the inside of the pen line.

I then ironed my new freezer paper template to the wrong side of the flower and using a glue stick fold the small seam allowance to the back. But STILL there a some little bits of the background showing round the edges. We have a limited amount of this fabric so I cannot waste this flower.

Inktense pencils from Derwent to the rescue.

Some time ago I did this little test piece of the pencils so I could see what colour they are once set.
For this flower Carmine Pink was just about right. I went round the edge with the pencil and then followed with a wet paint brush. If you haven't seen these pencils before, they are quite magical.  You can draw on fabric, wet the pencil marks, then once dry, the colour is set. Be aware the colour of the lead will be different from the colour once wetted and then dried so it is worth doing a little sample piece like the above.
This is the flower after  it has been prepared for applique and coloured. The greyish smudges are from were the marking pen got wet when I set the Inktense. This will rinse out when this centre is washed to remove any glue etc.

I am nearly finished sewing down the stems so it might be a little while before I get to the part when I sew these down.

Monday 13 January 2014

I have changed

The way I have always worked is with one project on the go at a time. I also like to do my own designs. BUT here I am with three projects on the go already and I have signed up to the Di Ford Mystery Quilt published by Quiltmania (also available from The Contented Cat in the UK). Not only am I making someone's design but I have also signed up to the fabric kits from The Quilt Room

Di Ford has made a video of how she made this block. In the video she has put the chintz fabric into tea to darken it slightly so it will match the background fabric. This looks great on her quilt but I need to be able to wash mine. Luckily I found some background fabric in my stash which matches the chintz background nicely, so I shall use this.

 I am not the best needleturner on the planet so I am going back to using 3 layers of freezer paper as my method. This is how the pattern is printed out and I will need to mirror image it or my quilt will end up back to front. Normally all I have to do with my own designs is place the image upside down on my lightbox/table and it is fine.
 However another pattern is printed on the reverse. Even with a light box it was difficult to see the right lines. So I traced it through onto the reverse. I could then trace this image onto one layer of freezer paper. With this piece of freezer paper on top I then pressed it shiny side down onto two more layers of freezer paper to get my templates.
 I turned it back the right way to copy onto my background fabric. I prepared the fabrics with starch. I show how on this post. 
I then glued them in place with a glue stick.
 I read in one of my applique books to try doing the applique stitch from right to left but with the applique facing away from you. It felt really wrong for the first five minutes or so but it is brilliant. My applique stitches have improved no end.

If anything, they are too small.....

On New Years Eve we got some bad news about Frank.
He has a  heart disease. He doesn't know and goes out for walks with great joy. His stomach is swollen and is giving him problems with excess fluid.
 Christmas Day
  Christmas Day

In amongst the neolithic stones on the hill.