Thursday, 20 October 2011

Bletchley Park Exhibition 2

In keeping with my theme, I want a faded, night time feel to this piece so I have tried some quilting ideas that use the same colours as the fabric and lettering and have tried to keep it simple. Each letter (symbol) is quilted and I want to suggest the effect of a searchlight piercing the gloom and flack shells bursting. So far my experiments have been just lettering and searchlight. I have to try out flack ideas this week.
I have busted a gut in the last 2 days to try out techniques for flack. Quite a difficult concept to convey in fabric. My sample piece is a bit heavy, so I'm going to add a firey centre and remove more of the black voile. I wish I'd made the piece a little smaller! There is so much to do!

Monday, 17 October 2011

My new room!

After 3 days of sorting through all of the "stuff" I had removed from room, I am now back in and working! I have been radical again and have a box of goodies to take to Lutterworth Piecemakers on Wednesday that may be of use to others and have culled my stash of spare bedlinen, etc. so that I am starting with a room that has space for expansion!
The room is lighter and brighter, has a sweep-able, wipeable floor and this brilliant built in unit which I am sitting at now with my laptop. Getting rid of the rather old PC with its huge box and miles of cable has given me so much more table space.
Now my work has to live up to this new work environment!!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Bletchley Park Exhibition

Some months ago I agreed to take part in the "Secret Messages" competition at the Bletchley Park exhibition Easter 2012, but I then promptly forgot about it! Now I have to provide the organisers with my sizes and colour scheme! So I have been working hard to crystallise my ideas, firm up a design and draw it out full size. In keeping with the theme I have used a code to write my message, concentrating on a code which offered shapes that would be interesting. My research came up with a "Pig-Pen" code used in the 18th century, very simple, geometric shapes that can be stitched.
My next issue was how to represent the code on the fabric. I tried simple appliqué but wasn't happy with the effect I got, I created a sponge block that I could print with, but the shapes lacked sufficient definition. Finally I decide to try using freezer paper stencils. This worked really well.
I used silver Markel stick to mark the fabric, and that persuaded me to dye a whole-cloth for the quilt using the colours of a moonless starry night that would have faced the agents dropping into France. Now I have to mark out the whole quilt and mark up each letter of my message.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Lucas' Playmat

While dispossessed of my room I have been making a small playmat for a friend's grandson. A tried and tested formula, hand stitched over papers and then machine quilted.
I have always loved the design but couldn't face the hassle of joining squares, marking out, cutting and re joining that the classic method requires, so I drew out the individual shapes that make up the design and photocopy them to use. I also love the design because it so effectively uses up really small scraps of fabric, one 6" square will make one windmill! Using a variation of Zig-zag to quilt the piece seemed to fit the jagged overall shape of the windmills.

The room before makeover!

As you know I have had to empty my workroom - what a task. You have no idea how much rubbish I have accumulated over the years or the joy of finding things I thought I'd lost. In order to appreciate the new room I decided to take some "before" shots so that I will appreciate the changes even more!
The room should be finished this week so I am now looking at all the huge amount of "stuff" piled in the spare room to develop a plan for where all of it will go. At the start I wanted to have space for completed quilts to be kept rolled, so the longest shelf in the cupboard is needed for that. The new wall unit will take my boxes of fabrics, one colour a box and the boxes of kit I use all the time - cutters, scissors, mark making things, tapemeasures etc. The books have been culled, so there should be more space on the shelves for sketchbooks and the inevitable crop of new books! My goal is to develop a more organised method of working that will stop me having so many different things on the go at the same time. Hopefully I will now have the space for each project to have a box so that it can be put away each evening! I have been practicing - my work table is in our bedroom so I have to clear up each evening, on pain of divorce!!!