Thursday 29 August 2019

2019 Wk 34 - Stuff!

I'm teaching Dresden plates next week so thought it was about time I had a go!  I'm really pleased with this one

But it took a lot of work getting the right angles on the segments!

Husband has been working on some different angles - the bathroom-floor-to-garden-table project is progressing well - and I can hear him sanding the edges as I type so hopefully they will be another photo soon.


and nearly all glued in place . . .

Watch this space!

My sewing room is a right tip at the moment.

Amongst other things I am trying to make cooling summer scarves.  According to several people on Pinterest these water absorbing beads are the thing to use, but I can tell you they aren't :-(

So I moved on to a new dress for me.  I have fully lined it - so it's maybe a little thick for this weather (32 degrees as I type this!) but it means it is reversible.  I've wanted to try reversible for a while and the batik was so flimsy I thought this was maybe the time to try it.   Pockets and hems and then it's ready

I just love the batik pattern and the colour

Tuesday 27 August 2019

2019 Wk 33 - Children's Crafts

I spent a week teaching crafts at Windsor Baptist Church's Pop Up Community Cafe.  In UK children can get free hot lunches at school if the family income is below a certain level.  But this policy does not help feed them during school holidays.  The church set up a Community cafe offering lunches every day for a week - and parents could pay what they liked or could afford . . . if they left paying nothing that was OK

It was very popular and an amazing atmosphere too!

I was there every day teaching crafts:

We tried to make all the crafts sustainable - using leftovers or things that can be bough really cheap from charity shops.

Day 1.  Bird Seed Cakes
This was the only one that had real expenses - these were the cookie cutters, but they were only 20p per item, and the families got to take them home so they could make the craft again or use them for making cookies.

1 part water, 1 part flour and about 5 parts bird seed.  Mix (adjusting quantities if necessary) until thick and all seed is coated.   Press mixture into cookie cutter.  Use handle of spoon to make a small hole in the middle.  Allow to dry (turning over every few hours on day 1) then hang out with thread or pipe cleaner through the hole for the birds to enjoy

Day 2 - Weaving & Embroidery
Using a paper bowl or plate cut an ODD number of v shaped wedges in from the edge.  Tie yarn around one section then weave in and out going around the bowl.  To change colour tie the new yarn to the old yarn and hide the loose ends under the weaving.

Day 3 - Bunting
Bunting can take a lot of time to make properly - so we bodged a quick way of making it!  I cut loads from triangles from old sheets, and gave the kids fabric pens to decorate them

Rather than sewing or knotting the triangles to the yarn, I taught my helpers (two ten year olds) how to maker these loops and they did a great job of teaching the children and their adults.  Once you have this loop yo can push one top corner of the bunting through and pull the wool tight.

If you want to change things you can still pull the fabric out and there is no knon left in the yarn

It went really well!

Day 4 - Friendship bracelets
I have made friendship bracelets the traditional way - with fancy knots and very detailed instructions, but I wouldn't like top teach to more that two or three kids, and they'd have to be at least 10 or 12, but I potentially had about 30 children, and as young as 3!

So we did the twist method.  2m (2 yards) of two different wools.  Fold in half and knot at both ends.  Start twisting: you can anchor one end and twist by yourself, or two of you can twist opposite directions to make it quicker.  You want to twist until the stripes are almost left to right (weft) rather than top to bottom (warp).  I then take both ends and get the child to help the middle.  I bring both ends together and tell them to let go when they are ready and watch.  It often springs into a real mess (I have been known to tell the child it must have gone wrong and we should throw it away!) but if they run their hands down it (like milking a cow?) it tidies itself.

This little munchkin certainly got the hang of it!!!!

Day 5 Wooden Mobile
There is a tree at church which drops really nice chunky twigs.  I gathered loads, and we wrapped wool around and around, then used another colour to add decoration and to tie on with pine cones or extra twigs

 A great week!!!!!

Monday 26 August 2019

2019 Wk 32 - fun and finishes

I've been working on a random selection of stuff this week, as well as teaching 5 children's classes (separate blog post coming up)

Mt temperature embroidery is now over 2 metres long, and has already outgrown its wooden bobbin so I'm going to have to rethink its "home"!

I can only show it in a loose coil, so here are 5 lengths

and here are the alternate lengths

For quite a while now I've only been using the "hot" colours - lovely!!!!

I have finished the binding on this brick wall I-spy quilt,

And on this Mickey Mouse one.  names can be added as appropriate

Thanks to Sharon who gifted me some rainbow cork I made a cork travel bag - room for change in the front pocket, passport, glasses and phone in the main pocket, and boarding pass in the real vinyl pocket, plus a front zipped pocket under the flap, and a rear zipped.  I didn't line it, and I constructed it wrong sides together - just zigzagging over the sides and the edge of the flap with a rainbow variegated thread,  I'm in love!

We made a crazy patch at the last Richmond and Kew Quilters meeting, with the idea we would decorate it at September's meeting.  I'm going to be away for Septembers, and Avril was away for the last weeting so I handed my block over to her.  In fact she might have to miss September's meeting too so she's already started decorating her / my / our  patch: looking good Avril!

And Lizzy has been helping me make some coffee wraps: We've been having fun ready for the Church summer fair next Saturday

Friday 9 August 2019

2019 Wk 32 - mostly Kantha stitching

I have been finishing some projects ready for the village fair at the end of the month but have also been happily losing myself is stitching smaller portable projects just for fun.  The EPP sewing machine has started to be quilted with kantha stitches.  Defined as ".Kantha stitching is ...used to make simple quilts, commonly known as Nakshi Kantha. Women in Bengal typically use old saris and cloth and layer them with kantha stitching to make a light blanket, throw, or bedspread, especially for children." I think of it as stitches you don't need to think about: long or short, a bit wobbly, not quite parallel, not evenly separated. . .  who cares!

I am using the same dark colours for the stitches as are in the blocks, so it is fairly subtle

but you can see how far I've got looking at the back.

I also have worked on this piece: the Chertsey Museum ladies were making hanging pods this month, and I got the urge to Kantha mine to the nth degree!  This is the back

This is the front (we are calling the yellow a design feature not a I-didn't-have-enough-black-fabric-error!)

And this is the finished pod. 
Love LOVE LOVE it!!!

The ladies didn't get theirs finished so I am looking forward to seeing them at Show & Tell next month

I have finished the EPP-without-the-paper hexies, and have quilted the front much more than I would have done had it been any bigger!  I'm planning on  a few bigger EPPWP hexies for the other side so I guess I'll have to quilt that too then I can put it all together

I did make and finish this one though.  It's a lovely laminated fabric I got from Sewing Sanctuary at FOQ - she has designed the fabric, and had it laminated: it's lovely and soft.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

2019 Wk 31 Festival of Quilts Day 2

After a reasonable night's sleep and a lot of talking Jackie and I headed back to Festival of Quilts.

I fell in love with another quilt - Jo Avery's Vintage Home - and was delighted to catch up with Jo at Aneela's book signing stall (eavesdropping on their chat and now name dropping!!!)

A bit more shopping found its way into my bag (thank you for the T-shirt Jackie)

And then Jackie and I ended the day by attending a class teaching EPP without the paper!!! This method is really good for the design where the hexies dont join

I love to learn new methods!

The tutor does her zips differently too - she joins the outer and lining fabrics first, presses them open, and then add the zip to the lining side

I got home in the evening to find that husband has been creative too - these blocks were duckboarding sold by Ikea for decking, but used by us in the bathroom until earlier this year.  

They are now going to be attached to the garden table to replace (hide) the horrible wood that is there

Monday 5 August 2019

2019 Wk 31 - Festival of Quilts Day 1

Woohoo - a weekend with Jackie, and with a zillion other (mostly) ladies in Birmingham.

Some stunning quilts were on show: This amazing piece was made but a lovely friend of Jackie's called Valerie

And a close up

And these next two are by the very talented Avril: a friend who also attends Richmond & Key Quilters

This circle was made from gathered fabric - gathered as if for smocking - I was desperate to touch it: a lovely piece of wall art, although the pleats must collect so much dust!!

These are dorset buttons: tiny ones about thumbnail size, mounted in plastic rings

After 14000+ steps, we went to the town to find out hotel,

and show our purchases