Sunday, 11 November 2007

Another Felted Bag

I decided to make a larger felted bag and bought the approriate number of balls of yarn to do so. I was pleased with the size I knitted - popped the result in the washing machine and was moderately pleased with the finished bag. Not being pleased enough I decided to pop said bag back in the washing machine and in my excitement put on too long and hot a wash and of course you know the result. Ooops! One bag smaller than the previous bags I have knitted. Anyway it is quite cute and I love the colour.

My best friend Ali sent me a lovely brooch she had made. I have pinned it to the front of my bag. Thank you Ali it was a lovely surprise and I love it.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Getting Ahead For Christmas

Each year I like to make a little textile something for family and friends. The other day I received my copy of Quilting Arts gifts Holiday Issue magazine. I was inspired by one of the articles and decided to make these gift bags/decorations. I have made six so far and am enjoying making them so much that I cannot stop. Hope you like them.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Walking in the Peak District

Instead of pottering about and ending up not doing very much as is usual on a Saturday we finally arranged to go for a walk in the Peak District with very close friends of ours. So armed with rucksacks full of food supplies myself, my husband, my two daughters, my very good friend L and her husband M, their two daughters and their son set out for the Peak District.
After hitting a couple of traffic jams due to roadworks we eventually arrived at the beginning of the walk. We piled out of our cars all raring to go when one of L's daughters realised she had not got the correct walking boots with her. After a bit of swapping about the poor girl ended up doing the walk in boots rather on the large side for her and not only that she wasn't feeling too well either! Anyway she completed the walk without a moan. Well done L's eldest!

Beside all that we had a lovely walk. It was rather steeper at the beginning than we had anticipated but we all coped well considering some of us (meaning me and dear husband) haven't been walking in years. The views were lovely, the rain held off until the very end
and I for one thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even my eldest daughter was running up and down hills like a mountain goat and all after she had been pulling a face because she had to get up early. She had said she would never forgive L for making her get up so early on a Saturday morning (I am meaning teenage early which is not early of course!). We had one stop for lunch and the only other stop was for a re-arranging of L's son's socks to stop him getting blisters.
After we had been home and sorted ourselves out we rounded off the evening by spending it at L's where we had a Chinese meal. Thank you L and M and family for being such good friends and company. We always enjoy ourselves when we are with you. Looking forward to the next walk.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Feeling Blue Quiltie Swap

This month's quiltie swap for Unlimited Textiles has the theme 'Feeling Blue'. This is the quiltie I am sending to my swap partner. I hope she likes it. Also I am sending a few bits and pieces that she may like to play with.

The background fabric for the quiltie is hand dyed calico. I then layered a piece of chiffon on to it then added machined coloured papers with one of the automatic patterns on my sewing machine. I machine couched and hand couched thread, stamped a repeating pattern with one of the Sherrill Kahn Sorbet Paints, added pieces of organza by machine stitch, added more handstitching and finally added flower sequins and beads.
I do not normally work with blue but I really enjoyed using the different shades of blue and will certainly use it in the future.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A Lovely Surprise

I have had a lovely surprise. When I bought the latest issue of Stitch magazine in it there are photos of some of the stars from the star swap. I am so excited that a piece of my work has been published in the magazine. What a real buzz to see the star I had made there alongside all those other wonderful stars. Plus the star I received is there as well. There are some very talented people out there.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Quilted Bag

Tonight I made the quilted bag from the material and pattern that my friend Ali bought for me. I really enjoyed making it and am pleased with the result. Ali was right - she knew I would love the colour scheme and I do. Have taken a photo of the inside with the magnetic fastener just to prove to Ali that I have finished the bag off properly.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Another Felted Bag and Look What I Got in the Post

I had another go at knitting and felting a bag. This time I used Twilleys Freedom Spirit 100% wool. As I was sewing up the seams the top edge folded itself so I decided to sew this down and it has made a nice rolled edge. I then sewed round some fashion yarn just to give it that finishing touch!

When I arrived home from work this lunchtime I had a lovely surprise of two packages in the post. One was from Annica who is also a member of Unlimited Textiles. She was my swap partner this month for the postcard swap. What a lovely postcard. Annica thank you I really love it. Just my colours and I really like the texture. Please look at Annica's blog she does really lovely work.

The other parcel was from my very bestest friend Ali. We have been friends for more years than we care to remember and although we live a fair distance from each other we are constantly in touch and I am very very grateful for her friendship and support. Anyway back to the parcel. Ali had sent me some lovely fabric that has a pattern for a bag with it, some sari ribbon (gorgeous colours) and two lovely wooden angels. Thank you Ali for the lovely present.

Last night I started a calligraphy course at the local college. The two hours I was there flew by. I think I am going to enjoy the course and hope to include some lettering in my textile work (obviously when I get a more proficient at the calligraphy). That may be a while yet as it isn't the easiest thing to do and will take lots and lots of practice. Looking forward to it though.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Hand Knitted Felted Bag

This is the bag I knitted with the wool bought at the Stitch and Craft show the other weekend. I am definitely having another go at this. Just great to knit up the bag very quickly on size 12 needles, sew together seams and then throw in the washer at 40 degrees. Outcomes a felted bag. Wonderful! My mum happened to be visiting me as I was finishing off and was ready to put knitting into the washing machine. She wouldn't believe that I was making a felted bag until she saw the finished article come out of the machine. She was impressed!

I bought the yarn (Twilleys Freedom Chunky and Paris Mohair) with free pattern from Designer Knitting Yarns and as it says on their site 'bag making is addictive'. Watch out for more bags on my blog.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Great Day

I had a lovely day today. I went to the Stitch and Creative Crafts Show with my future daughter-in-law and her Mum. We had a good look round (after a coffee first of course!) and then went round again this time shopping. As you would suspect I was very tempted to buy lots and lots. Here are the things I did buy. The wool is to knit a felted bag which I have wanted to do for quite a while. The variegated wool is for knitting socks. I love knitting socks. The jazzier the better! Lots of little charms and flowery sequins from MeiFlower which I have to say was my favourite stall. I am sending a little pressie to my best friend and textile/arty buddy Ali. She knows this will be on it's way to her next week but not what I am sending. Perhaps she can guess from the photo!

After shopping we went for a very nice lunch in a lovely Chinese Restaurant. Thank you to Ailsa and Fiona for a great day out. I am so pleased that we have the same interests. Whilst typing this I have heard that Ailsa has already started knitting her bag for felting. In that case I am now taking myself off to cast on!
Also I have put a photo here of part of my workroom. I am really pleased because I moved rooms the other day and now have a lot more space. Lots of thanks to my son who painted the room in express time and to my husband who spent the whole of a day helping me move furniture, books and materials which was no mean feat I can tell you. The thing is that now I have a larger room there is much more space for more supplies. Bliss!

Friday, 24 August 2007

More Spirals

This is another spiral piece. The background is fabric paper the instructions for which are in Beryl Taylor's book Mixed Media Explorations. A layer of chiffon, machine and hand stitching, wire and beads were added. The whole piece was backed onto felt and calico then finished with a machined edge. Hope you like it. I am now looking for a suitable frame.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Lovely Day With Friends

This afternoon I spent a pleasant couple of hours with friends watching our children have canoe lessons. It was lovely to watch the children have such fun. As you will see there were lots of swans keeping their beady eyes on the activity. I kept my distance! A big thank you to my friend for organising the afternoon. It was a huge success and my daughter had a smile on her face all afternoon - even after she had capsized!
Whilst the children were messing about on the river I went with one of my other friends to look at bikes. She is now the proud owner of a very nice bike. As you can see the car had to be emptied completely to try to accommodate the bike and it still had to taken home by another friend. Here's to happy cycling!

Thank you to my friends for a lovely afternoon.

Hope to post more textile work in next couple of days.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Lovely Time

I have had a lovely time the past couple of days making some mixed media pieces which I have mounted onto canvases. These are two of the six I made. I am on a roll.

This afternoon showed a friend how to make silk paper. She has been itching to make some for some time so we took the opportunity after lunch and she made two small pieces and one larger piece. She is already getting excited about making something out of them. What was nice was the enjoyment I got out of sharing a skill with a friend and seeing how thrilled she was. It also made me realise how much I need to stock up on silk paper making materials. I feel a spending spree coming on. Don't tell my husband!

Friday, 17 August 2007

A Favourite Technique

One of my favourite techniques is making silk paper. The other day I made some more so that I have a stock of it to dip into. This bag is made out of one of the pieces. The edging is ribbon I bought from Nostalgia who were at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate last year. Saving some of my pennies for the show this year. I have a long long list to stock up from some of my favourite suppliers who will be there. Can't wait!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Aren't I Lucky?

I received one of my swaps that I am involved with in the group Unlimited Textiles and aren't I lucky. I didn't only get one ATC I got eight. I was also sent some lovely fabric. I am sure you will agree with me that all the ATCs are wonderful. Lynda my swap partner asked me to choose my favourite. It was a very hard task. Thank you Lynda for a lovely swap.

Also here is a photo of part of my workroom. This is the side I use mainly for textile/art work. Not shown are more shelves with books, threads and fabrics all fighting for space. I sometimes wish I had a bigger room but then I would just make a bigger mess!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

August Quiltie and ATCs

These are a quiltie and two ATCs for a swap with members of Unlimited Textiles. Hope my swap partners like them. As this is our first swap with new members it is a 'Getting To Know You' theme. I used favourite techniques and the colour schemes I seem to be using at the moment.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

A Rosette For Buddy

Had a really fun day. Lucy, my youngest daughter, and myself took our lovely dog Buddy to a Fun Dog Show. We entered him into three classes. He didn't make the final ten in the 'Handsomest Dog' category or the 'Scruffiest Dog' category but came 5th in the category 'The Dog The Judge Would Most Like To Take Home'. We were so pleased as there were approximately 100 dogs entered and only 10 got a prize. There were four winners and six specials. Buddy came 5th. Here he is looking so proud with his rosette. We were very proud of him as he is usually quite nervous around other dogs. He positively preened when he trotted back to the car to come home - maybe wearing the rosette on his lead helped! It was a very fun day and we enjoyed meeting and chatting with lots of other dog owners. Buddy is now lying exhausted at my feet as I type this. It's very tiring being a winner!

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Star Swap

Well it is the summer hols and I am hoping to get going on lots of textile work over the next few weeks. Months ago I entered the star swap in Stitch Magazine. Duly sent my star off and wondered on and off whether I was going to receive one in return. As time went on I decided I wasn't going to receive a star. What a lovely surprise to receive this one the other day. It is entitled A Star For A Persian King by Barbara Butler. Apparently there had been a big response to the swap and it coincided with an even bigger response to a competition run at the same time causing the long delay. Anyway I am sure you will agree it was well worth the wait. Thank you Barbara the star now hangs in pride of place in my study.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Felt Day

Had promised Fiona that I would show her how to make felt so arranged for her to come round today. We were fortunate that the weather was really sunny and warm so that we were able to work outside all day. Lucy joined us and made a lovely stripey piece. Fiona and myself each made a piece. Fiona hopes to turn hers into a bag.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Second Journal for June Swap

I have completed the second journal cover for the swap with Unlimited Textiles. This one is going to Fiona. The colour scheme was chosen very much with her in mind as she loves very vibrant pinks. I have posted photos of the beginnings of the journal. Calico as the base and then layers of strips of dyed silk, organza and silk tops. I then covered the whole piece with a chiffon scarf. I then free machined over this adding small bits of fabric and a few patterns from my machine. Handsewn couched threads, french knots, cretan and herringbone stitch were done in a variety of threads and beads added. I then lined the embroidered piece with dyed calico. A handmade cord was attached to the edge of the cover and finally the completed journal cover was tied with a beaded cord.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Journal Cover Swap

Am actually a bit ahead of myself for once and have completed the first journal cover for the swap in June for Unlimited Textiles. My daughter and friends are throwing a surprise birthday party/sleepover for another of their friends - we are awaiting the arrival of seven giddy teenagers so I am shutting myself away in my workroom and hopefully I will be able to make the second journal for the swap.

Monday, 28 May 2007

New Hat

Spent the day messing about with a piece of silk paper I had made a while ago and turned it into this hat. More of a crown really I suppose. Quite enjoyed just developing it as I went along. Anyway this will be taken to my daughter's school with others I have made.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Art Work

I promised my friend Ali that I would post some of my drawings and recent art exercises. So here are a few I have done whilst researching African jewellery. Hopefully I will be incorporating some of these patterns in my next textile work but I think with a change of colour from pink!

Friday, 25 May 2007


I have decided to post pictures of a couple of the hats I have made in the past. This has been prompted by the fact that I have been asked by my daughter's school to go in and show one of their classes the hats I have made. The children are to make a hat for design and technology. I feel quite honoured that I have been asked and this has fired my enthusiasm to design and make more. The two shown here were made for drama productions at the school. The crown for Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland and the witch's hat for the Flower Witch in the Snow Queen. Of course I also had to make the rest of the costumes to go with the hats. I had great fun designing and making them. The latest costumes I made were for the drama production of The North Pole Goes Rock and Roll. These included all the hats for the elves, 'rock and roll elves' and elves' outfits and headdresses but in the style of the teletubbies! It was quite a task but very enjoyable and the production was a great success.

Second Quiltie for May

Here is the second quiltie in the May swap under the theme of Layers. The background is silk paper with pieces of fabric paper machine stitched on. A piece of braid, some machine stitch pattern and a heart bead.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Quiltie Swap for May

This is the first quiltie for the swap in May. The theme is layers. I am having fun researching layers - layers of peeling paint, peeling bark on trees and rock layers. This piece is made from layered tissue and torn papers sponged all over with koh-i-noor dyes. When dry I free machined it in areas and added some handstitching using silk thread.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Bookmark for Friendship

This is my other bookmark for the swap this month. I have named it Friendship. The background is painted watercolour paper. I then layered painted fabric and ribbon on top, machine sewing them onto the paper. Braiding was machined onto sides and hearts and flowers glued on. The tassel is twisted knitting ribbon with a heart charm threaded on. As she will have guessed from the name this bookmark will be on its way to my swap partner very soon. It is named Friendship in honour of my long lasting and wonderful friendship with Ali. I have known Ali for more years than we care to say and there are no words that can express the gratitude I have for her friendship and support over the years. I hope this bookmark will remind her of that friendship and the colours of the beach and sea that give her so much inspiration. Thank you Ali.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Bookmark Swap 'Sunset'

Here is the first bookmark for the swap with other members of Unlimited Textiles for May. I made it by layering organza, chiffon and silk paper onto iron on vilene then machine stitching all over. Threads and handmade cords were machined down the middle of the bookmark. Beads were added and a handmade cord was sewn around the edges.