Sunday, 27 January 2013

the kurta quilt ready for quilting

Thursday, 24 January 2013

amazing indigo

As we know, last year was not the best growing season.   My indigo plants, from seedling
to flowering, had to be cosseted through spring, summer and autumn.

I managed to process a small amount of blue eventually, before the flowers appeared.
Then the nights started to get cold.   In came the eight plants to the relative warmth of
the conservatory.    Fed, watered, and the occasional blanket of fleece for protection.
Flowers appeared.  This was towards the end of October.

We were off to India at the beginning of November, what to do?    I brought them into
my room and Nic gave them water when he called in to check all was well in the house.
On our return at the end of November I was greeted with the amazing sight of loads
and loads of seeds.    Would they actually germinate I wondered.

The plants looked tired.   They had done well, all considered, so compost bin time.
I kept back one plant just to see what would happen to it.    The plant gradually died
back, but wait, what could I see?   Some indigo seedlings!     These must be a hardy
breed.   It is so cold in the conservatory right now and I am flabbergasted.     I think I
will just leave them, rather than potting them on.   It might be too much of a shock.
However, my little sash of seeds will be planted in April with the hope of a good crop
and, weather permitting, a good harvest of indigo leaves.

Looking back to a workshop with children at Walford Mill,  on possibly the warmest and
sunniest day last July, Caroline  took this picture.    Isn't it great?   Those little blue hands,
the peek of green and the deep blue of the vat.    Roll on summer!

Monday, 21 January 2013

keeping warm

we are experiencing real winter weather, even here on the sunny south
coast of England.   We had a goodly covering of snow and with temperatures
hovering around freezing it's still hanging around.   I should have taken a shibori
workshop on Sunday, which was cancelled due to the weather.   Actually, I was
quite glad.   My prepared Procion dyes really don't like the cold!   It's been
rearranged for the end of June, when we will probably have monsoon rain!

However, a good time for stitching.   The kurta quilt is progressing.   Sashing
stitched to the squares, so now I have 5 x 6 rows.    Horizonal sashing strips
prepared, and then there are the joining squares

a little pile is gathering  I am hoping to put the quilt together by the
end of the week

whilst rummaging through fabric baskets a little sampler of
Indian embroidery and mirror work.   I added a few more
stitches before filing so as not to loose it again

a blast from the past

seven appliqued stars on indigo dyed linen background
and I see I had started filling in the star with Kantha
stitching - the needle and thread are still there

goodness me,   this one deserves finishing

and finally, a dish of winter vegetables ready for roasting

warm wishes to you all

Sunday, 13 January 2013

a blue sky day

gorgeous, though cold

we took a walk along the beach this morning, well wrapped up

home for a hot bowl of soup

this afternoon I will be listening to the play on Radio 4, stitching

a tin of tacked squares for some more of these

sashing strips for my 'old kurta' quilt, only twenty more to go

a pleasant way to pass a winter's afternoon

Friday, 11 January 2013

this week has mainly been about paperwork
and sorting samples and files for up and coming 
workshops in attempt to be organised

as a little diversion I made a purple
felt broach

Monday, 7 January 2013

found object

dusting is good, sometimes

on the top of the bookcase, after Christmas cards
were removed, I found this

a metal mud guard bought from a bicycle rickshaw
accessory shop in Dharka, Bangladesh

Friday, 4 January 2013

out of the blue

a quilt for Daisy

Some time last century I gave this quilt to Daisy
it's been loved to bits
see blog post 25 June 2012

 This log cabin quilt has been languishing in a
cupboard  and now has a new home

I guess I made it around ten years ago, when I hadn't
really embraced dyeing.   Dark blue cotton, white
and blue Japanese fabric, and dupion silk squares.

I made a start at quilting, using commercial quilting
thread - dark blue.   The quilt got shoved in a cupboard
, half finished, for years!   It was a sort of nice, but a
tad boring, and more exciting textile things
were happening.

Then on one of those days when the only way to
go is to have a good old clear out of the workspace,
the unfinished quilt reappeared and spoke, as in 
please finish me and made me into a
grown up quilt.

I took out all the horrid blue quilting thread, re-drew the stitching 
lines, which are Japanese sashiko quilting designs, and off we went.
This time I used my hand dyed threads, so much more exciting.
And so, with the binding on and the quilt finished, it has spent
the last few years in a basket, along with other quilts.

It surfaced again in November, and it's lovely and needs a
home with someone who will love it to bits.
Aha, Daisy.

detail of quilting

a wobbly machine stitched label!

Comments - I can't seem to reply through blogger at the moment!

So, thank you Radka and Gaia, and welcome to new followers.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

a good start

Festivities over, empty fridge, loads of washing and cleaning,
which can wait for another day.

Oh joy, meeting up with my friends again at The Mill.   Hard to
believe we have been gathering together every two weeks since
1994.   Many stitches have flowed through the cloth over the years. 

We all brought along pieces to be included in the Horizon Exhibition
at The Mill, which runs  from 12 January to 24th February.    There is a
preview event from 2-4pm on Saturday 12 January.  You are welcome
to come along.

Lovely to look at the individual pieces, and we all definitely have our
 own 'signatures' now.

My contributions

circles quilt (detail)


"Bits and Pieces"
Indian Applique

some colour to brighten up winter days

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bradbury Rings Hill Fort at sunset

a brisk walk to clear the cobwebs 
forgot to put my walking boots in the car
lovely thick gooey mud
waking carefully in Ugg boots

a flock of sheep looking like ghost
so white, clean

Stitching in December

The Blue Moon quilt has been on my lap a lot.   
Quilting away, listening to music or plays on
the radio, whilst outside it has either been
pouring with rain or freezing cold.

I've been gathering old kurtas and scraps of Indian block printed 
fabric for some time.   Now they have been upcycled into 
blocks for a quilt

the blocks are sewn by machine, but the sashing is hand 
stitched Indian style applique squares.  This might take a
time!    The little tin is a Christmas present.  Very retro.
 Right now it is full of little squares ready to go.

I am enjoying a quiet time this morning.   Keith and the
boys are out.  There's a mini marathon involved, and
Nic has gone to the beach with his sketch book.

This afternoon I shall be mainly in the kitchen making
big pots of soup and two large Dorset Apple cakes
for lunch tomorrow.   We have a family gathering, and
hearty food will be called for after a morning on the
beach digging sandcastles and playing football.

Happy New Year

wishing peace and tranquility throughout
the world, time for creativity,
blue skies and sunshine

my little owl is a gift from Nic
it's a drawing of one of the characters 
in The Paper Cinema's 
version of the Odyssey 

the owl looks wise and calm
he will keep and eye on me
in my workroom 
and he makes me smile
which is a good thing