24 February 2013

A Day to Dye

On Tuesday evening a had a trawl around the  blogs on Quilting Bloggers and came across this one, called Quilt Routes, authored by Deborah O'Hare, who does lots of luscious things with fabric.  In particular was a page devoted to Fabric Paint Techniques.  So come Wednesday morning, (Wednesday is my work day off) I went to the utility room, firstly to tidy the worktop there and then get my fabric paints out.  I am impatient with proper dyeing as I like to see results and not have to wait to see if something has worked or not, so fabric painting suits me better.

I had a go at the layering technique but I think the paint that I have is thicker and I took it straight out of the little pot not having anything to hand to pour into.  Also with my clearing out I found that some paints have become old and not much left in them, but hey ho, this is all part of the fun.  I had some blue and want to mix in some yellow, which by this time was all used up, so I added some limey green Setacolour paint that had some shimmer.

Above is what the fabric looked like just painted.  This was folder while wet and I put it over the airer on top of a plastic bag until dry
 This was the back (I liked the effect better)
and the front, with the limey paint with shimmer, I like that little bit of sparkle.

I'd also used some blue, yellow and a few dabs of purple on very damp cloth and rubbed together to merge the colours and added some sea salt which produced this lovely piece of fabric, this was another of Deborah's techniques, but went a little mad on the salt.  Think I'll be a bit more subtle next time, not bad though.
Some time ago I was shown shaving foam dyeing, and I still had some shaving foam in the cupboard, but it is old and a bit flat but still used this until I couldn't get any more out of the paint and foam

 Below is the first bit of dyeing, a bit blobby, the second one the paints merged a bit to give a marble-y effect and the bottom photo shows more and even more merged effect this time on paper

I then had a go a a technique on Terri Stegmiller's blog, from which she made Valentine's cards.  I have a few mask stencils and chose a flowery one on hand.  I only had one spray colour in lilac so sprayed that over the stencil.  I then tried to water down a metallic bronze Stewart Gill paint, but it's too old and thick to use and ended up with blotches on another card, so I think that paint will have to go. The heart was made from a previous fabric paint exercise.

None of it may be perfect but I had fun with playing around.

Yesterday I was invited to join some friends for a Sewing Saturday, which was a nice relaxing day of sew and chat.  My workshop machine hadn't been used for a while and it was a bit noisy but after warming up a bit was sewing like a dream.  I made 3 more Scrappy Trip blocks to add to the 11 already made with another in progress.

18 February 2013

Weekend stuff

This last weekend was mainly a stay-at-home one, just pottering around.  I sent off some postcards for a Flying Geese swap with 4 others, although I made 6 cards, there's now 2 to spare for another time.

My scrappy Trip Around the World blocks are increasing.  This is where I was yesterday
Later that afternoon I completed another 3
I'm not giving any thought to the arrangement of the blocks but it is surprising how they make their own pattern when put together. I'm enjoying this so far, nice easy piecing.

I also made progress on my cardigan in the last week and have finished the back and made a start on the right front.
The photo is a bit dark, this was taken in the evening I had the lights on by then.

I also succumbed to magazine and small book buying - in fairness I subscribe to Fabrications, but I liked what was in the Sewing World maggie.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture of the books.

Last of all David was able to take advantage of the sunny (but cold) weather this weekend and was able to plant out the rose that Alex and Mary got us for Christmas, at long last.  Nice to see things coming to life and know that spring is around the corner.

11 February 2013

Weekend away

February so far has seen one postcard made and sent for Pascale in the birthday swap

I wanted to do a collage style postcard and thought the bird fabric that I bought back in November would fit the bill.  I think I could get a lot of potential from a fat quarter of this bird fabric as just small amounts would be needed with other fabrics to good effect.

Last weekend David and I decided to go away in spite of the cold, wind, sleet, snow and rain that came our way on our travels.  David mostly works from home so sometimes feels the need to get out from the four walls.  We decided to spend the Saturday in Oxford and have a look around but a lot of time was spent escaping from the cold!  We visited the Ashmolean Museum, which has artefacts from various ancient civilisations and art collections.  It is a museum that does require a lot of time and felt that we could have spent all day there, but as we had just the day we found some of the colleges to walk through and another museum to visit, the Science Museum.  Here are some views.

The front of the Ashmolean Museum
The Science Museum
Lovely old stained glass windows

Rather elaborate gates
John Radcliffe Observatory
Tower to the Bodleian Library

Such wonderful buildings to see but too cold and wet to enjoy, so perhaps a return visit.

From there we stayed the night at a hotel in Aylesbury then Sunday went to Great Missenden and the Roald Dahl Museum. Another good escape from the rain!  Although you think it would be aimed at children there is a lot for grown ups to enjoy too.  From his boyhood (when he was sent to boarding school) to being in the RAF during the war to his writing career.  There was a replica of the shed where he did his writing and learning about the painstaking detail to ensure that his items were placed exactly as he left them before his death. 

After that it was on to Burnham, near Slough to visit my sister, brother-in-law and nephew and  enjoy Sunday dinner with them before our return home.  The weather may have been awful, but it was a great weekend and we both enjoy a bit of travel.

Meanwhile the knitting bug has not left me and last Wednesday I started knitting with some wool I bought a few years back.  I had a pattern to go with the wool that I had a go at twice and could not get to grips with.  So having unpicked I've abandoned the pattern and just doing a simple v-neck cardigan with dropped shoulders so no armhole shaping.  The wool is Twilley's Freedom Spirit, which is no longer available and hoping that I have enough to make the cardi, but I'm pretty sure I can just about do it (if not I'll have to be a bit creative!).  Here's the back so far...
I quite like the textural look of the yarn and it looks just fine with plain old stocking stitch.

01 February 2013

Where did January go?

Already one month down in 2013, I cannot believe where the time goes.  It is good that the evenings are getting lighter and I come home from work and it's not completely dark.

This past week I've been influenced by Kate North's blog post here (and there are more posts in January too) where she made some Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks, for which instructions are on Bonnie Hunter's blog (link in that post).  So here are my blocks that I made this week, 4 so far

 I also went on a strip cutting session too, not sure of how many I've cut up but it hasn't made much of a dent in my stash. I am trying to use up my older fabrics.
Another project on the go was some baby quilts from some fabric I was given by a member of Bourne Quilters and I think these two will be Linus quilts.  I managed to make 2 small quilts but ran out of blue gingham fabric, having asked if there was any more I was given a lot more fabric so my small quilts might get bigger. I hope to aim for cot size quilts if I can. This is a challenge for me as I don't go for "cutesy" baby stuff.
Having said that in the last few weeks I've taken to knitting in the evenings watching the television.  I had baby wool from when the grandchildren were, well, babies.  The wool never got knitted up and now they are older, so these baby knits will go to charity so will have to look for a cause that will take baby knits. So here's what I've done
 Cardigan and beanie hat
 a slightly smaller beanie hat (I quite liked making these I may do some in bright colours)
 Another cardigan, this is the back which I've now finished and done one front too.  All the above came from a Family Circle pattern from a number of years ago and the front cover had crayon scribbles on it from when one of the children were small so that dates this by about 20 odd years!  The designs don't really look out of place today.

It took a few evenings to make a big adult hat (making a change from the little items)
This pattern is a bit more up to date and in one of the recent knitting mags.  This is knitted in the round with double ended knitting needles.  This is for me - it fits ok and did keep me warm in the bitterly cold weather.  

I don't know how long this knitting lark is going to go on for, but I have got a fairly large collection of yarn that does need to be used or got rid of and decided to use.  I have got enough of one type of yarn to make a cardigan as I couldn't get to grips with the pattern to get it done, so I'll choose something simple to make another design.

As it's the first of the month I'll link up with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet here

Lily's QuiltsLily's Quilts

Have a good weekend