Stitching News: July 2019

Welcome to this month’s Stitching News with a special welcome if you are reading this blog for the first time.

I have had many emails from loyal readers, asking if I am OK as I have missed several of my regular monthly blogs. Thank you for your concern,  I haven’t been too well, so decided to have a break from writing, and pretty much from sewing too, but am feeling so much better now, and am picking up the pieces again.

In this post I am including a couple of projects I have been working on and information about Harbour quilter’s exhibition in Mevagissey, this September, as well as other quilt exhibitions that may interest you.

 

DSC01375 (4)I have always enjoyed making zipper pouches. They are endlessly useful for a myriad of different items. They are instantly identifiable because they are so personal, and fantastic for keeping individual pieces of “kit” especially when packing for a holiday: sewing kit; medication, chargers for various devices; camera, sketching equipment; jewellery items etc etc.

This photo on the left is the front of one such pouch. I have used various fabrics with along with some white batik fabric I found in our local market a couple of years ago. It had white spots of wax on, so I decided to dye some to see what happened! I space dyed, and when it was dried and ironed, I could see that the “wax” spots had taken up the golden yellow dye, rather than resisting it! That was interesting!!

So I added two or three more fabrics, and then quilted with hand dyed threads.

 

 

 

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To the left here is a photo of the back… a different arrangement of the same fabrics, with machine as well as hand quilting this time. Finally below the photo shows a possible selection of contents for this pouch!

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Pouches make great little gifts. I say “little” which rather denies the amount of work involved when hand and machine quilting  as well as lining and inserting the zip!

The finished measurement is 9.25″ x 4″

Another small project, I have been working on started off as hand stitched cards for sale at our next Textiles + exhibition which will be in June 2020.

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My initial thoughts were for cards, but as I worked on them and realised how much work I was putting into them I have had to change my thoughts!

I will mount them onto mount board and sell them ready for any prospective buyer to frame.

I took a photograph of some earlier stitched work (which will be in the exhibition) and I printed the photo onto computer paper, as photographic paper looks awful when stitched! However, the representation of the colours was poor..they had “greyed” …understandably. I should have used a much higher grade of paper!

Anyway, I painted over the individual areas again, with Koh-I-Nor inks.  (The original pieces of work are fabric and are A4  finished size.)  I then cut some plain Indian rag paper, using a very diluted blue ink, to mount the painted paper onto so that it would support the paper when stitching, as well as give a pleasing first mount. I really disliked the result of the inked rag paper, as the colour was far too dense. I turned it over, and the ink had bled through in places, which was just perfect. I am pleased with the result now!! The moral in this story is keep going when you don’t like something… until you do like it. This has worked so well for me in many situations over the years. It is really important to keep evaluating your your work as you are working!

Rob, my husband,  has been very creative himself recently. He has always been very involved with wildlife, both when he was a teacher, and very much more now. In fact most days his volunteering is the mainstay of his day! Many of you have known him a long time as he has always been so supportive of everything I have done, joining in with a wide range of the activities over many many years.

He is one of the founder members of Three Bays Wildlife group, which keeps an eye on the health of the wildlife along our local shoreline and up the streams. One of the regular activities of the group is a harbour floor clean. This activity is always done during a school holiday when  visitors are encouraged and warmly welcomed to participate! This year he has been collecting the old, small coloured plastic fish forks. These were discarded in the harbour, over many years. Apparently wooden knives and forks have been used for many years now….indicating that some of the plastic ones maybe tens of years old.

Rob has been playing with an idea of how to use the imagery of this plastic! He washed the last haul, and left them to dry having gathered them into colour groups. some are damaged, which doesn’t matter in the least, He saw them as all being part of family groups. He arranged them onto a piece of black fabric, and when he was happy with the result, he photographed them. He took his photo to a T-shirt shop in St Austell, and had the image printed onto the front and back of a black T-shirt.

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As you may see, there are various configurations of “family”. It has certainly caused some comment and interest! He even wore his T-shirt when 3 Bays wildlife group were presented to Prince Charles when the Royals came to Cornwall for a three day visit last week! The committee had been doing a harbour clean whilst waiting for the visit, so Rob also had a few forks in his hand to illustrate what it was all about!! They all had there wellies and shorts, and high viz waistcoats on! Prince Charles shook their hands and chatted with them.

I have a dress and a little bag to make over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully they may be photographed for the next blog…..we shall see!!

Dates for your diary:   A selection of Quilt Exhibitions this summer.

  1. 1st to 4th August at the NEC Birmingham, The Festival of Quilts
  2. 6th-10th August  Flowerpatch Quilting  Exhibition, Central Methodist Church, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8BA Admission £2. Refreshments available, sales table, disabled access. Raffle quilt in aid of a new Air Ambulance for Cornwall. For Further details phone Anita on 01566 86666.
  3. 15th, 16th, 17th August   The Mint Methodist Church, Exeter EX4 3AT. Admission £2. Refreshments, trader, sales table. Disabled access available. Public car parks nearby. On Matford Park and Ride route ( green bus). Contact Pam Smith 07825649694
  4.  29th, 30th,  & 31st August, The West Country Quilt Show.  University of the West of England Exhibition Centre North Entrance, Frenchay Campus, Filton Road Bristol, BS34 8QZ.
  5. 12th –14th September. Harbour Quilters Exhibition.  Jubilee Hall, Chapel St., Mevagissey, Cornwall PL26 6SS Open 10am – 4pm. Admission £2. Two beautiful raffle quilts (one French linen & one Irish tweed), trade stall, refreshments (incl. home-made cakes & light lunches). Disabled access to hall, and parking within short walking distance. For further details please contact Pam McCallum on 01726 843520.

It is always a delight to visit the local exhibitions, sample the cakes and often the lunches too. quilters are masters of baking….It is inspirational to see the lovely quilts on display and the vast array of skills; ideas and technical abilities on show.

These exhibitions demand a huge effort before hand, and a great big thank you goes out to all those who have been organising the “behind the scenes work” of planning and making the raffle quilts; and often a huge array of goodies for sales tables; organising the raffle tickets; planning the publicity (which involves contacting the quilting magazines months before the event; finishing work to be exhibited; preparing labels, and/or a catalogue. Quilt stands have to be got out of storage, and cleaned. Many groups who do not have stands, have to organise the hiring of stands from other groups who are able to hire theirs out. Then props, flowers, hanging of the quilts have to be considered, traders contacted, and refreshments bought and made…..lists of stewards are one of the last things to plan. I am sure I have left other considerations out!

ENJOY and be inspired wherever you go.

Happy stitching, Di

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the reverse side. I have used the same fabrics in a different arrangement, and with different proportions

As above, I have used machine quilting and hand quilting.