Sunday, 24 April 2011

One quilt, different cameras and lighting.

Feather Journey #2
The first two photos are what I took with my camera at home for the juried entry into the MQX show, the last two are by people who took theirs at the show. The third photo has the best colour but not the best focus. I found it interesting to find how difficult it is to photograph Heide Stoll Weber fabrics accurately. No ribbons for this one at this show. I might enter it somewhere else.... I love it. It's about 15" wide and 58" high.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

What a difference a day makes

This was one of  the tree peonies last night and by early this afternoon...
 It was like this. I don't know if it was the snow during the winter or the lack of rain, but this year there are just five flowers coming on this bush and the other only has three (it had about a dozen last year).
The double tulips are stunning.
And the tree fern is just starting to unfurl.
Another week has gone by with no quilting done whatsoever. I promise to try harder. Perhaps not right now as I've just heard a huge roll of thunder, I'll unplug my machine......

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Spring has come early to Toad Hall

The apple blossom this year is all white with hardly a tinge of pink.

This tulips were supposed to be three different varieties of pink and even the ones which look pink in this photo are closer to purple.

The honesty is taller than it's ever been.

The bluebells are going over before they would not normally even be in flower.

Even the tough as old boots primoses, are going over and need watering.

We have two new additions to the family, Princess Suki and Goldie. They were in a tank too small for them. We floated them in bags for a couple of hours and all the little goldfish already in the pond came to say hello and investigate. We wondered if the big news guys would beat up the little residents but all is calm. The tank fish need to learn to be a bit more circumspect about coming to the surface or the heron will have them.

The Solomon's Seal shows promise of things to come.

This is four weeks at least too early.

And the shuttlecock ferns unfurl.

George is loving the dry weather.

Even the grass is showing dry patches. It's April, where are the showers?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Absent without leave

March just went, but I loved the quilt on my V and A calender.
 I must print out a quilt photo to cover this one up. It's the main quilt they used in the publicity last year. Ugly beyond words.
Spring has sprung and Rosie decided she could  hide in the bluebells coming up. This was last week. The weather here in England has been wonderful the last few days and now some are in flower.
The first of the camellias, and the sudden warmth has bought them all out.
I have been doing a bit of the appliqué on Esther's Blog, there are three blocks the same as this one to do. This is month 3 but I decided to get these done first as I'm not fond of doing the same thing over again and I shall 'reward' myself with block 2 which is similar but has a bird on it. I add this photo to show you how I do appliqué.

This is a case of don't do what I do because thousands of people will give you thousands of very good reasons why you shouldn't. That's fine but this works for me.

For the actual applique shapes I'm using the method Esther suggests using starch over freezer paper, but I double the freezer paper to make it more stiff.

I have traced the design directly onto the fabric using a Berol Handwriting  pen. I am confident it will wash out but don't take my word for it. (If you are in the UK there are some cheapie shops selling them which somehow don't seem to be the same ink, so try it first or buy them from WH Smith or another good supplier).

The other tool I use a lot are glue sticks. These particular ones in the photo are sold for children and are dirt cheap. They have the magical property of going on purple and clearing in about 30seconds. This means you can see where it's gone on. It washes out too. The manufacturers of glue sticks specially made for fabric say theirs are safe to use on fabric and others aren't. Well all I can say is I have never had a problem with a glue stick however cheap except if I have bought from somewhere with a low turnover they might be too dry. Click on the photo to enlarge to see everything is stitched down except the ring and the two leaves in the middle. That is how good it is for holding things in place.

After I have prepared the shape (Esther's method), I glue stick them into position. I will not prepare the whole block in one go, but prepare a few, sew them down, and do some more etc..

I'm stitching these on the machine with invisible Sew Art invisible thread using a blanket stitch. More on this in another post. I should be up and dressed, strimming the edge of the grass and doing a bit of pressure washing on the patio.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

1703 Quilt - Victoria & Albert Museum - Search the Collections

Bed cover - Victoria & Albert Museum - Search the Collections
I love this quilt and love going through the collections at the V&A. Sadly I don't seem to be able to share more than one quilt at a time. I find their descriptions a little weird. Would you call this a wholecloth?