Friday, 29 January 2010

More elephants

Well here are 2 more of my patchwork elephants completed for a commission. They have now made their way up to Manchester and happily settling in with their new owners.

One of the elephants is for a 3 year old girl so he has felt eyes instead of the usual button ones. I think that they work rather well!

The other is for a slightly older girl and so I have used my usual (treasured) buttons - a pink flower one which doesnt show up very well in the picture - and a pink round one.

The ears are slightly fleeced too so that the little girls that will be receiving them can enjoy stroking them!

It is an amazing feeling when someone loves your stuff so much that they will pay you to create some more for you! That is 6 of my elephants out in the world - perhaps I should keep the next one!

The lady who bought these two was over the moon with them and is delighted that her girls will have the pleasure of some handmade toys made especially for them. I think that these will be well loved!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Slowly getting there

It is taking some time but I thought I would show you my 'nearly finished' Mental Mashup lap quilt that I made out of the batik fabrics I got from my trip the Bramble Patch the other week. I didn't follow a pattern - it is simply 3 piles of 8 fabrics cut into 5 pieces and then restitched together.

 So far I have randomly quilted around the squares:

I have used a verigated thread to match the mix of colours in the quilt.

I am still deciding what to quilt in the lattice around the squares - possibly some leaves as some of the batiks have leaf designs in them.

This is only my second qo at quilting a quilt - the one I did for Dad at christmas was my first. I have bought myself some quilting gloves now which definately makes life easier - but it is still tough getting it through my Janome! I dread to think how I am going to manage when I finally get my queen size sampler quilt top finished - now that will be a challenge!

Well I will take some photos when it is done so you can see it before it goes to it's new home - in the sitting room over my knees! I am definately keeping this one!

Erosion project

I stumbled across a blog a few weeks ago about the Erosion Project and my interest was piqued! Basically, you bundle upa whole load of tuff, stick it outside and leave it... for 6 months or so... then you open it and make something out of what you find! Interesting!!

So the other day I sorted out some bits to bundle:

I have included some copper scraps, findings and some metal chain from my jewellery making box, a feather and some tinsel wire from my old fly-tying kit, some paper from the office draw, some scraps of fabric from my scrap box and some broken watch links from a price hard won in a 2p machine in Hunstanton.

So a little late (everyone eslse started at Christmas) I stuck it out in the garden and now we wait and see.

I have wedged it between my heads and a piece wood!

It may be a disaster - a solid pack of paper mache or it may be something really interesting. Lets wait until the summer and see what we shall see!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Many thanks

I just wanted to post a quick note to thank everyone for their kind comments after my post about having to have my kitty Millie put to sleep over the weekend. It has hit us both hard, but having you send us both such kind thoughts has been really touching and I admit to having a tearful moment or two.


Monday, 25 January 2010

Sad weekend

This has been a very sad weekend because we had to have our poor kitty Millie put to sleep on Saturday afternoon.

Millie had been with us for nearly 2 years and had become a huge part of our little family. We had rescued her from Wood Green Animal shelter where she was the longest resident there. She had thyroid problems and would have to take medication every day for the rest of her life, so people just walked on past her. But not us. We took her home and she gave us 2 years of joy. Fortunately we were in a position to be able to afford the medication and vets bills. Unfortunately thyroid problems can also cause kidney damage - which is what happened with poor little Millie. For a year we managed with new medication and a blood text every 3 months, but eventually it just got too much for her poor little body. We took her for her checkup on Friday night and it was obvious that she had lost weight during the week and she didn't eat on Friday. But with thyroids the appetite can be all over the place so we weren't too worried. That was obviously wrong because we had to take her straight to the Veterinary Hospital in Peterborough to have fluids pumped into her. They warned us that there was only a 50/50 chance and it would be expensive - but for our Millie any chance was a chance.

We went to see her on Saturday afternoon and she perked up as soon as she saw us so I was hopeful. But the vet said that was the constant fluid drip, and as soon they took her off the drip she would collapse again. Her kidneys had completely given up. She couldn't even stand when she saw us, though bless her heart she did try. We then had to make the terrible decision to end her pain. We said our goodbyes but not until after she had weed all over the vet (I can imagine her saying "That's for all those needles you have poked me with today" - a little bit of kitty revenge!).

The vets were all very kind and did a great job keeping her going this long and at the end. We had her for 2 very happy years, knowing that she was already about 14 and sadly unwanted when she came to run our house. She has left a whole with her passing. Paul and I both feel that despite her end, she had a good life with us and is now somewhere in kitty heaven chasing butterflys.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Better late than never...

It has been a very busy week with no time to blog my weekend activities.

As our normal quilting class at Art & Stitch had been postponed on Saturday, my friend Vicki and I decided to take a trip to the Bramble Patch to spend my holiday money (which I have had stashed safely in an envelope since October). What larks!! The plan was to shop and then come back to my studio and stitch. The thing was we spent so long in the shop - and then gassing over a late (and long) lunch that we got back too late for any stitching. Nevermind - I did manage to spend nearly £140 on fabric and significantly increase my stash. So here are my buys:
I bought some more batik bundles in orange, purple and green so use in a 'mental mash' of a lap quilt (details to follow):

I bought these veggie ones simply because I thought that they were fun and I am sure that I will find something to do with them.

I bought some more pinks to make more elephants as I have an order for 2 more of the larger ones. I think they are so cute and they are for two little girls so pink is perfect.

These blacks are fora quilt that I am planning for my gorgeous Paul. He wants something in black to snuggle under when playing his computer games so I am collecting blacks in preparation:

I especially like the text ones!

This one is just plain cute:
So that is what £136 in fat quarters look like. Now I am off upstairs to start making things with them...

Friday, 15 January 2010

A splash of colour

I just thought that I would share a bit of ebay madness with you. The first are 2 bundles of fat quarters in some fantastic bright patterns:
Now I am not suggesting that they are 'mad' but this next one may just show me teetering on the edge.... 4 Jailhouse Rock Elvis patches 11x42"

They made me smile when I saw them in the auction and I am sure I will find a use for them someday!!!
Besides, who in their right minds doesn't love Elvis?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Some greenery in all this white!

Snow is fun for so long - but now I am missing a bit of greenery!

So I made myself a little brooch to remind myself what we can expect to see in the spring... a few green shoots.

Here it is hanging off of my green coat.

It is small but quite cute I think.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Another Tyvek gift

Having made a gift for my friend Vicky last week (though not delivered until next week) I thought that I couldn't leave out my friend Aly and therefore had to make her a gift too.

Using some more Tyvek based destruction, I have made Aly a lipstick case.

It is not firm enough to close the case using a popper so I have added a heart shaped crystal button and some silk ribbon to act as a clasp.

This has again been created with Tyvek but I have stitched it onto pelmet vilene instead of fabric so that it keeps it's shape.

I have used variegated threads and a few beads for further embellishment.

The inside is covered with silk for a little touch of luxury.

I hope Aly likes it when I deliver it at our delayed Christmas party on the 21st January.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

nearly there....

Well this is the current situation for my sampler quilt that I have been working on for what seems for ever! I have been attending monthly classes at Art & Stitch since the summer and after a mammoth effort (stitching til 4am Sunday morning) I have finally got it looking like a quilt!
OK, well there is still the outer border to go, then the bastings, then the quilting and then the binding... but I am getting there at last. Instead of a pile of squares littering my sewing room I finally have something to show for all those hours of classes! I wonder if it will be finished by 2011???

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New additions to my play room

As a girl who cannot resist a bargain - and the opportunity to play with her stash, I picked up these two CD racks from B&Q the other day for £12 each. And wouldn't you know it - they are just the right size to hold my stash!

Now I am nice and tidy, and there is room on my shelves for more lovely stuff! Best get down the fabric shop then :)

And by way of introduction - please meet Mark (my Christmas gift from my lovely Paul). He does look a little grumpy (Mark - not Paul) but I am sure he will be fine once he settles in!

Friday, 1 January 2010

My first project of 2010

Well I started as I mean to go on - and started a new project last night. This followed on from the picture that I blogged about the other day after a class with Gina. The new project used many of the same techniques, and also followed on from a lecture from Angela about my lack of needle case.

So to show her I made 2 - one last night and one tonight:

I have used Tyvek, netting, paper and a heat gun, with extensive machine stitching and some obligatory beading on each one. You can click on the images to see more detail.

I have made 2 because I know my friend Vicky doesn't have a case either so I hope she likes it. I think I will let her choose which one she wants because I can't decide which one to give away.

In both pieces I have used my favourite colour combinations of red, purple and turquoise which are showing a lot in my work lately - and they really speak to me. Add a bit of gold paper and some sparkly beads and you have my dream made fabric!

Happy New Year

Well we are now in 2010 and this is a time for reflecting on what has passed and preparing from what is to come.

On reflection I can say without fear of contradiction that this has been the most creatively satisfying year of my life. I have produced more (and better quality) work than ever before and I really feel that my are is developing in new and exciting directions. I have made new friends who have such great talents and have kindly passed on some of their knowledge to me. I now have people who I can talk to about 'this stuff' - and for that I am eternally grateful.

For the future I do not really believe in New Year resolutions - because I have usually broken them by the 2nd January, but this year I will try to keep some creative ones:

  • Take more classes and learn more techniques that I can then use in my own work.
  • Be more confident in the work that I produce. This year I have sold a few pieces, and given some really well received gifts so they can't all be wrong :)
  • Try to make some time each week to create - even if it something small and insignificant. My work life is quite stressful and this outlet really helps me stay balanced (sort of!)
  • Teach some more classes - I had such a great time doing it in 2009.
  • Remember to keep some of the things I make!
So as I raise a glass to those that I love this New Year - I hope that you get the 2010 that you desire!