Wednesday, 28 August 2013

August Journal Quilt

It's almost time to apply for an Indian Visa.   This is approached with caution and a certain nervousness!   Once upon a time our journey started with a visit to the Indian Embassy in London with all the necessary documents.    Passport stamped, cash money handed over, easy peasy.   A stroll over to Covent Garden for lunch and a little retail therapy.

Now Visas are issued by post.    There are hidden traps in the application form.   Every year it is a little different.   Last year Keith's passport and visa arrived, no sign of mine in the envelope.  Panic.   Ah, they required individual envelopes that year.  Credit cards are now accepted, instead of Postal Orders.   A good move.    What will lurk within this year?!!!

with thoughts of flying east in my head the August Journal Quilt took shape

a collage of painted/printed papers, news print, fragments of 
old textiles,  free machine embroidery

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

July Journal Quilt

Spent hours on Saturday painting papers, mark making, which brought to mind The Cola pen.    Delving into the Green Bin I found an aluminium can and set out to make some pens.  Now to find some ink.  Black Quink ink bottle dry, can't guess when it was last used.   Blue ink had to do.   Mark making, trying different ways to make a line, then I had the idea to try them as a batik tool.

I made marks on white cloth, admittedly the pen did not glide quite so well as 
on paper!   Perhaps a little sandpaper on the edges might help.    More marks 
made with a cork, cotton buds and a brush.   A stencil cut for the moon.
Into the indigo vat it went.     I noticed there was a tear in the old fabric.
Never mind, a little kantha darning fixed that.  Please with the result.

 By coincidence, the quilt was completed on the night of the Full Moon.

Moonlight Garden

The third Journal Quilt is almost finished, just a little tidying up of threads.
  It does contain some of my painted papers.  All will be revealed tomorrow.

catching up

I've spent a glorious three days fiddling about with fabric, playing with paint, and stitching.    Three Journal Quilts to complete before the end of the month.    

you might remember this little pile of fabrics dyed with ferrous sulphate

now transformed into my June Journal Quilt

Rusty Indigo

I have three sewing machines, all of which had the sulks on Sunday.    My trusty Pfaff, which is a very basic machine, is the one I use the most.   There is another ancient Pfaff, only twenty three years old, which I also love.   This has been ignored for a while because it is in a cupboard and heavy.    Likewise a Bernina, which is a mere teenager.   

One by one there were missed stitches, creaks and groans.    All had a good clean and oil, a needle change and a bit of a polish.    The little Pfaff eventually decided to come out to play, and stitched away happily.    Obviously they have all been neglected over the past weeks and just needed a little TLC.

Huge sigh of relief - deadline looming and not a machine that worked?   Lesson learnt.

Summer Workshop

Yes, it was a proper summer day!   Just right.

In the morning tie dye t shirts.    I was kept busy with eight eager children.    Thanks to my helper Jaz, it was such fun.     Busy hands folding, twisting for swirls and binding chickpeas.
Dye pots to the ready.   At the end of the morning session lots of lovely coloured packages.

Usually there is no time for photos, although I managed to take a couple of work in progress.   Ellie had spend most of the time tying chickpeas and beans on her t shirt.  Even before dyeing it looked amazing.

there are interesting things happening on the back too

there was just enough time for Ellie to dye a swirl

Indigo in the afternoon

a different pace
time to prepare t shirts for dyeing
the excitement of the first dip, patiently counting
revealing pattern after final dip
flag folding cloth and pleating socks

t shirts and socks

flag fold

a great day had by all

Monday, 19 August 2013

Here comes the rain

or, another day under the gazebo

Marvellous, a week of fine and warm weather.   What happens on Saturday?  Not only
did the temperatures drop, lashings of rain started to fall just as we were about to use the indigo vat.

the vats are sitting in black bin bags, insulated with newspapers

lots of blue cloth achieved despite the weather

just after this shot was taken the wind got under the gazebo.   I was well
and truly soaked as the puddle of rain landed on my back.   In good company
though, it happened to most of us, and we could still see the funny side

Today it is glorious.........grrrrrrrrrr.   Hoping it will stay that way.  At the end of the week I am taking two Summer workshops for children at Walford Mill.   Dyeing t shirts - Procion in the morning and indigo in the afternoon.

The end of indigo workshops for this year.    The first and last in stormy weather, the ones in the middle were perfect.    May be next year I should offer 'pop up' indigo workshops when I know the weather will be just right.   I wonder how that would work?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hey ho

hey ho, it's off to work I go

the ingredients for a tie dye workshop which took place at the Arts Week for children in a local community centre.    Sixty five t shirts left home, twelve returned.  Guess you could say it was a a busy day!      i was so pleased when my friend Brenda turned up, unexpectedly,  to give me a hand.     We worked hard with our little students, and were
rewarded with the delight on their faces when dyeing and going off with their t shirts all wrapped up, ready to be rinsed tomorrow morning - if they can wait that long!


I am going to leave the clearing up of buckets, pots, sponge brushes etc until tomorrow.
Right now, I need to put my feet up and enjoy a nice cup of tea

Monday, 12 August 2013


otherwise known as Cornwall

A little break in August.    
Biblical rain, stormy skies, cold and damp.
Moody photos!

 the view from Tate  St. Ives
on an unusually sunny evening

this is more the colour of the week

the writing on the slate 'don't forget your shoes'
the photo was taken early in the morning
I wonder if they were found later

a tower of slate, balanced precariously

we stayed in a small cottage near Fowey.  In lieu of rent, we looked
 after the garden (no watering required) and fed the chickens

Pedro and Snow White, as named by young Ben, despite the fact 
they both produced a delicious egg every day
we loved the chickens!

back to Dorset where it is much warmer, and the sun is shining

Saturday, 3 August 2013

a visiting rose chafer beetle 
metallic green and bronze