Five minutes during a walk at Clumber Park, a National Trust property in north Nottinghamshire.
Monday, 23 February 2015
I've been showing lots of denim bits over the last couple of months, and while these 'samples' are definitely now going to be a quilt in their own right, they were intended initially as experiments in working with denim, to see how the stitching I imagined would look in real life, but also to consider what effect it would have on how the fabric behaved, how heavy/stiff it became and what the implications of that would be. The plan was to get together with my sister, who is much more skilled in garment-making than I am, to try and create some garments. This was the weekend we got started.
We worked with a combination of my stitched pieces, some old jeans which had not been stitched and a couple of pieces of remnant denim. These had a rather pleasing dull red reverse, which turned out to be a good thing, as one section of the pattern was cut the wrong way round. We considered a couple of fixes, but decided to go with the flow, so the red got onto the front!
There is quite a lot of handstitching to do in finishing this, so I'm going to get that done and then post the whole thing (though sadly I'm away for a couple of days now and only enough packing space for little things, not great big ones!)
Sunday, 22 February 2015
I've spent the last two days with my sister, happily sewing away. We had loads of fun, worked hard, made a few fortuitous mistakes, talked a lot (though that was mainly me!)
We also used our machines a lot, so, since I am going to link up with Slow Sunday Sewing today, I'm just going to offer a peak at the hand stitching that went on, and will post more fully in the next few days.
Thursday, 19 February 2015
Like lots of other people I love a good play on Play Crafts Palette Builder software, so the linky party at A Quarter Inch from the Edge gives me the perfect excuse to share one or two of my favourite pictures:
Camellias, just past their best;
and this one. The photo is of a piece of fabric that in real life looks nothing like this - the light was all wrong, but I love the way the colours have come out. A happy accident!
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
The day had to come, I guess, when I wanted to do something for which applique, rather than piecing, seemed like the best way forward, and that day is today. I've gone all around the houses thinking it over, but no other answer seems right. So applique it is.
This means that right now I am not machining at all, which in turn means that my production has gone from slow to slooooooow.
This is what it looks like right now.
I'm hoping I'll get the hang of the applique okay (and please don't look too closely at my stitches, or tell me it will take years to get it right; I need it to work now, or at least now-ish) but any helpful tips more than welcome!
Sunday, 15 February 2015
Having spent last weekend being social, it's been good to get back to my denim, which becomes the main thing I am working on for a bit, now that Inner City is in the quilting pile.
I've done a couple more pieces. This one is tiny (just a pocket).
I am taking quite a lot of pockets off as I go along, because I like to see the contrast between faded and still-new denim. But I'll still use them somewhere, so stitched this one - something as tiny as this is done in next to no time! Very satisfying.
Then I tackled the other half of the kids' jeans that I started here. I just added one big patch and stitched all the way across it .
I really like the curve at the top of this patch:
I am also still playing around with all the pieces together, though reaching no firm conclusions. I like the mix of heavily stitched and less densely worked pieces though.
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
So this is Inner City, which is about to join my quilting queue.
I've added dark borders top and bottom, and did think about doing the sides too, but like it like this (and ran out of steam a bit). Obviously until I start quilting I can always change my mind, but for now I'm calling it done.
So now I've got a bee block to make and some tidying up to do (!) and some thinking about what next. There are a couple of things in the pipeline but first I'm thinking of putting in more time on the denim, just for a week or two, to see if I can figure out where that needs to go.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Friday, 6 February 2015
Nearly there now. I am playing around with one more tiny border, made up of little, dark log cabins and the rest of my coloured squares. I quite like the idea, but it takes more of these blocks than you would think!
I'm going to persist, do enough for two sides and then take a view. For the moment it looks like this:
Linking up with NinaMarie for Off the Wall Friday.
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
I was going to title this post 'cruising in the suburbs' but decided that was taking the whole city thing just a teeny bit too far. I wonder why I feel the need for some kind of reference to the current work in my post titles when sometimes it's just plain hard work thinking something up. For my next piece I am going to stop myself, if I can, and have posts called 'Did some sewing today' or 'Chopped up another chunk'.
Anyhow, it really does feel like I'm cruising now. I have the top strip and the right-hand side pieced and ready to join on...
...and left-hand side bit already sewn in place.
Then I have in mind one more tiny border-y thing,maybe like this:
and it'll be done.
Linking up with Let's Bee Social today.
Sunday, 1 February 2015
Sunday again - how did that happen?
A quick update on Little Elephant, still plodding happily along:
I wanted to take a picture that would show how far along I was, but this is so big that the only way it would work is on the wall outside, and that's just not practical right now, unless I want to show you what Little Elephant would look like soggy. So I have settled for cramming as much of the quilted area as I could into this photo:
The denim carries on too. All I have done this week is add a big patch to the piece I showed last time.
I am thinking a lot about what I am going to do with these pieces now, though I need to keep producing them too. I am wondering about combining them with something else, maybe some bits of vintage blanket (which is to say they are old and I got them from charity shops) or maybe wool suiting (again charity shop). I have some bits of both and don't want to buy new things for this project.
This is proving to be a fascinating project for me. Not only do I have the intended end point to work towards but it is sparking loads of ideas - I may be stitching denim for some time to come, and am becoming mildly obsessed with thoughts of hand-stitching on textiles. It's really quite exciting.