Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tag Tuesday - Valentine

As well as the customs and traditions of Valentine's day this week's theme encompasses marriage, anniversaries and more hearts if we wish.  I chose to celebrate my grandparents' golden wedding anniversaries and made a tag for both sets of grandparents.  Each tag has a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day as well as one at their golden wedding anniversary parties.  I converted the golden wedding photos into black and white to match the wedding days but decided to keep the photo in colour for two reasons.  Firstly, the colours are 'golden' and secondly, being in colour emphasises the passage of time. 

I don't have any wedding dress material but did have some offcuts of when I made a christening robe so used that for the background.  For privacy reasons, I have obscured the date and names.

If you haven't already, have a look at the other tags on Tag Tuesday.  There's a great variety and everyone seems to enjoy taking part in the challenge.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Tag Tuesday - Hearts

This week's theme is hearts and I have used a heart from a collagraphy session at college a few years ago.   I made some hearts - some were patterned and others were in the negative with a pattern surround.  I've already used several of them on greetings cards but have a few left and thought this one would  be ideal as a tag.

To add some extra interest I have sewn beads onto the plain heart.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - more green

I had thought that I would throw the scraps left over from the last piece away – some were just slithers and I couldn't imagine them being useful.

However, before they went in the bin, I decided to use them with my embellisher machine.  When looking through my felt to attach to I saw that I had odd bits of felt too and instead of having to use a complete sheet I was able to join my felt scraps with my embellisher.
 front and back, the khaki is showing a bit brownish on these photos

 The next task was to embellish the cotton scraps on.

Then I softened it with some merino fibres and a couple of strands of scrap yarn

Realising I couldn't see much of the cotton fabrics, I picked some of the merino fibres off to reveal the fabrics again

 close ups

Here's what it may look like, cut up and mixed with pieces created in different colours

I'll keep it as it is until I have made some more pieces in future months, then decide what to use it for.

This has been a great opportunity to use all of those scraps to create a new fabric.

Apologies for the difference in quality of the photos - some were taken in daylight and others in artificial light.

Monday, 6 February 2012

TAG Tuesday - Lace

This week's tag is a reminder of one of my pieces I made for my City and Guild Embroidery Course.   It was called A Metre of Mushrooms as it was a metre wide and the design came from one of my paintings of some mushrooms - hence the words on the tag.  The photos on the tag are of the design (top photo) and the finished piece.  The background of the tag uses leftover lace, other leftovers from the project used for the tag are beads for the tassel and top, and wool for the 'string'.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Green

This month's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is green.

Here are my green fat quarters to choose from.
 I enjoy a variety of textile crafts but haven't done any patchwork and quilting for quite a while.  These fat quarters (or should I say partial fat quarters) are leftovers from various small patchwork and applique projects.  When I got them out I found this

It's a wonky flying geese pattern.  I don't remember doing it but I must have done.  My intial reaction was great - I can continue this and make it into a large block to go with the red one I made last month.  I don't want to make all of the blocks the same so auditioned the pieces next to each other and was happy.
I merrily cut squares from my fat quarters for the base but couldn't quite work out how to cut the pieces to form the sky as they wouldn't be proper squares.  Then I thought - hang on a minute.  The reason I joined this challenge was to use the odd bits of the fat quarters where squares, strips and other shapes had previously been cut.  By cutting fabric for the flying geese this would create more odd bits not use the ones I already had!

I changed tack, and went back to the fat quarters, opened them out and cut the odd bits off.  Over the last couple of weeks I've come across new terms such as crumbs.  I don't have any boxes of crumbs or scraps, at least my take on these words.  My cut up fat quarters may be scraps to others but they are still fat quarters to me.  The tiny pieces I would think of as crumbs have either been thrown away or are still attached to the main piece by thin strands of fabric.  These are the crumbs I cut from my red fat quarters last month but struggled to use them.
There are lots of curved shapes in there from a flower making project.  I'd like to thank Cathy Tomm for pointing me towards Bonnie Hunters crumb tutorial. Unfortunately, I've not had time to have a go with my red crumbs as we're now onto green and I've been making tags for Tag Tuesday as well as other projects I'm in the middle of.  I still want to make something from these red bits though.

With my green fat quarters I didn't have a crumb problem.  They'd been cut but most had what I would call tails which I could cut off and use as scraps.

Looking at my greens I wondered how they would look together - there are dark ones, light ones, yellowy ones, bluey ones, greyey ones, grids, circles, pea green.  Some I liked, some I didn't.  To me, they don't go together.  I wondered about  putting them into groups for likeness and make several small blocks but decided to use them randomly.  It seemed easier to do it that way and other scrappy quilts I've seen have a mix of fabrics I wouldn't necessarily have chosen to put together but they seem to work well.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.  If it looked a mess when it was finished I could put it down to experience.  They were only small bits of fabric I'd had for ages after all so I wouldn't have wasted any money.  Surely being in my stash for that long could be seen as a waste by some.

I've used the general technique from the crumb tutorial matching pieces by size to put together.  I didn't want to be worried by scale and tonal values but I think instinct kicked in so there aren't clumps of similar pieces together.   In the beginning, I had several little blocks and I wondered if they would have sides the same length to make one piece.  I busily kept stitching and quite soon I realised that a couple of my blocks had grown to 9 inches along so decided that this would be my final block size.  In the end I'd made four blocks and have very few bits left over so I'm pleased with what I have created - all from the odd bits.  Today I saw the term poverty piecing.  I thought it was something to do with making quilts for charity but it comes from the idea of not being wasteful and putting all good fabric to a good use.  I think my blocks qualify for this term - well, once they have been made into an item they will.

I haven't decided what to make from the blocks yet, ideas kept floating round my head and I've been inspired by lots of blogs I've been reading.  For the moment I'll keep the blocks separate whilst I create more in different colours and create an ideas file.

I'm going to work on other projects now but am looking forward to see what next month's colour is.