Monday, 19 November 2007
Sew much fabric, sew little time, sew true!: Tagged again
Here's the dinosaur quilt as far as it has got:
On the left are two picture trialling the borders, and on the right is the final choice. I had to buy the bubble fabric as I had nothing at all that was right, even though I tried hard. However, the bubbles fabric is ideal I think. The back will be a rather garish green patterned fabric I bought at sale price for just such a purpose! I think this is a colour scheme that you either love or hate. I like it but I'm quite prepared to believe that it is hideous.
I'm going to have to concentrate on anything that I am making for Christmas now.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
I can't add pictures to this, sadly, as I am doing it on my Uni computer, and the normal tool bar is not here. Something to do with a browser or java or something, but I have no idea what. After I uploaded all my photos to this computer too. Typical. Anyway, here goes with answering the questions:
1. When did you start to make craft?
Well, I was pretty young! As a very little person I remember drawing cats and ballet shoes. Don't ask me why, except I had a cat and did ballet. Luckily, there are no pictures. My Mum used to make my costumes for the school ballet shoes - I remember being a Hawaiian hula girl in a raffia skirt, an American Indian (I still have some snippets of that fabric!), and a frog. My Miss Muffet costume wasn't home made - it was a very beautiful silk and velvet child's costume that had belonged to either my granny, or more probably my Great Granny. Sadly I have no idea what happened to it. It had a companion 18th Century style dress too. Beautiful.
A little later I remember making embroidered gifts for people, monograms on hankies, tray clothes and felt pin cushion (that was at school). My Granny had a lot of embroidery transfers, some from the 1930s, and I used those as patterns. I think I still have some of them - waste not, want not. Jacobean style was one of my favourites. I also started an embroidery kit in my early teens, but made a mess of it. I hung onto it, and finished it off when I was in my late 20s. It is a lovely picture of a kingfisher flying through weeping willow leaves over water, with fish and dragonflies. It is now framed and hanging in the living room. The kit was a gift from my stepmother, from a BBONT gift catalogue (BBONT was a local wildlife trust). Both my grannies, and my great aunts were knitters, and that influenced me a bit, although I didn't really knit until I was a 'grown-up'. I did crochet though - made hundreds of granny squares for Save the Children blankets. I also went to a local lady for Buckinghamshire lace making lessons. I still have a 5 inch long braid that I made, and a very short piece of more decorative lace. I would love to do that again, but my Mum has all the bobbins and the pillow. That might have to wait...
Mum also did English patchwork (guess - hexagons!) in the 1970s, and I copied.
2. Why did you start creating?
Well, Mummy was also making things - for economy I suppose, but also, I think she just likes the sense of achievement, as do I! As I child I really liked the praise I got for gifts that I had made myself, and this included baking as well as sewing! I also remember that it was normal as I was growing up for people to MAKE the presents that they gave, and I really like that. My Mum made me a wooden dolls bed and all the accessories for it, for example, and a farm landscape and buildings out of hardboard, papier mache and sticky backed plastic. I am of the Blue Peter generation - I was inspired by washing up liquid bottles, matchboxes, old fashioned pegs (I made a lot of Peg dolls).
3. Why do you create?
Just have to! Can't watch telly without doing something with my hands. That ranges from reading a book, doing Sudoku puzzles to knitting and sewing. Sewing with the TV less now as I mostly use the sewing machine, so I have to retreat somewhere. But I get cranky if I don't make something regularly. I actually feel like a failure when I haven't made something. Even if its only curtains!
4. What do you create?
See above! Curtains, clothes, dressing up costumes for the children, toys for the children, whether fabric or otherwise, sometimes I make cards, sometimes I draw and paint although not as much at the moment as I would like, quilts, wallhangings and cushions, household items, sewing kit items, bags, occasional knitting and crochet, mostly for the children ... On and on.
5. Has this changed since you began crafting?
Yes but no! I think the main change is that I try to make things more stylish, although as that is a matter of taste more than anything else, I think I should be satisfied with making things in my own style rather than trying to emulate the style of others. Although learning how to design things while doing City and Guilds has made me more confident with design, I have never been entirely happy with my style. As I have less time at the moment to spend on design, when the urge to make is upon me, I have been trying to work through the design processes of others, so I can get into their minds. This is quite interesting, I liken it to being apprenticed to old masters. I think I am learning a lot doing this, without having to invest a lot of time thinking about design before making something. I just get stuck into following someone else's process, reading what they say about it, and following their recommendations. I then do the thinking while I'm making. I hope when I have more time and space for my own work that this will come to fruition. I really should start a sketchbook again though.
One thing I would like to do more of is exploring creating my own fabrics through dying, painting and embellishing...
Who am I going to tag? Ali, Kate N, Sally, Lynda and Andrea. Sorry girls, hope you don't mind!
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Well, the last few weeks have been a bit much, without anything in particular happening. Trying to up the pressure on my PhD to progress it, but every time I try that the family needs me. What about me!!!
Monday, 10 September 2007
Monday, 3 September 2007
Friday, 31 August 2007
However, my friends in the audience said I was fine, and that I appeared to be completely confident (HA!). Still, probably not saying anything of any interest to transport geographers as I didn't mention buses once.
Since I last posted, I have finished the Chinese wallhanging, except for the label. A photo will be posted as soon as we have restored our broadband connection (AOL blame BT, BT blame AOL). We are both in the information game, so this is very traumatic. On WIP Wednesday, I was trying to finish a baby quilt for one of my cousins, who lives here in London, but I realise that the attempt was futile, and that it was better to finish it properly than to rush it. I'm coming again in November to another conference anyway.
What else have I finished? NOTHING! However, I haven't started anything new either, so that's good isn't it? What shall I reward myself with? Well, I'm just around the corner from the V&A, so I think I might go feast my eyes...
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
The green one is a baby quilt, which I started in 1997. All it needed was the binding, which I had half cut. I finally searched out more of the green/black spotted fabric from my hoard and finished off one evening last week. Not bad. I nearly like it now. Sadly it has no destination for the timebeing.
The little Japanese bag was made from a kit I purchased at the spring quilt show in Edinburgh earlier this year, from the lovely people at Euro-Japan Links. The kimono silks are just lovely to work with. I finished this one on Sunday. Several evening events have come and gone since I started this in March!
Finally, I am working on finishing a Chinese wedding wallhanging for a couple who married nearly 2 years ago! Oh well, I usually promise wedding quilts for the second anniversay, which is cotton, although quite a bit of this quilt is red silk. The reason this one has taken so long, is that I made the quilt up (using a pattern from Kitty Pippen's book Quilting with Japanese Fabrics), but couldn't settle on a quilting pattern for the central octagons. As you can see I have found something appropriate, and couched gold cord on with red thread. The top pattern is a stylised chinese character for double happiness, a traditional lucky symbol for weddings. In fact the wedding in question had this particular style distributed in red foil around the tables, and that is where I got it from. I had to change the size though. The bottom symbol is an eternal (love) symbol, which I got from a book on symbols. It is often used in China. I have rounded the corners off to make it look good with the top pattern. I also had to resize it. Aren't photocopiers wonderful!
Monday, 13 August 2007
Also, I have finished a ten year old UFO (one of the PhDs), that had languished minus a binding. It's done, it only took an hour, probably less. Only a baby quilt though, and a small one at that...
Also, have now got a memory card for the camera, but I haven't had time to insert it into the camera (too busy blogging, and enjoying Lynda's and Jane's blogs today). Well, you will have to WAIT! I promise that I'll get round to some serious snapping and uploading in the next week (ish).
Anyway, what does the title of this post mean? Well, I am going to see how many UFOs (WIPs and PhDs) I can finish in 100 days. Points will be deducted for new projects started (unless I finish them of course!). My fellow quilt bloggesses can be my official monitors! So, 100 days finishes on Tuesday 20th November (please correct me if I am wrong).
Saturday, 11 August 2007
In sorting out the fabric, and refolding, stroking, etc., I am inevitably turning up those UFOs. Well, I have UFOs (UnFinished Objects), which are orphan blocks, and other bits of sewing started but not finished, usually with no idea what they could turn into. I also have WIPs (Works in Progress) - these are cut out or with sewing begun, where I know what I am making. I also have PhDs (Projects Half Done) (I also am doing a real PhD, maybe that should be the subject of another blog - no time, no time), these are where the tops are largely completed or the quilting is in progress. Sadly there are few finished quilts - I think I have 4 in use as bed quilts or wallhangings, plus 5 cushions. One or two quilts are languishing in cupboards. That's it.
But that's OK I hear you say! Well, it isn't, because I have been counting the UFOs, WIPs and PhDs. There were 41 UFOs, 40 PhDs and 29 WIPs. When I stopped counting. Those maths genuises will spot that this makes more than 100 projects started and not finished. This is not counting dressmaking and other crafty endeavours. Is this some kind of record?
I would like to show you some pictures of this extravagant collection. To this end I bought a digital camera two days ago, but the dopes in the shop failed to tell me that I needed to buy a memory card seperately. DH is away this weekend, and I could have played with it to my hearts content without having to own up to expenditure. But I can't get back to the shops to buy a memory card! What I did do was take my 3 yr old on the bus (great excitement for the poor car-strapped mite), and up and down a lot of escalators. He has inherited his father's distaste for actually buying anything, but that didn't stop me buying clothes (Buy One Get One Free) in H&M on the grounds that yes I did like the dresses, but I liked the fact that they are plaid cotton and come in two different colourways even more! In my own defence, I wore one for the rest of the day. Is it work out yet, can I make something out of it?
Sad aren't I?
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Monday, 6 August 2007
Sadly, I can't post any pictures of these choice items, as my computer isn't speaking to Jay's, although it is SUPPOSED to.
I haven't made anything either, but I did buy 2 cushion pads (and 4 dress patterns, but that is another addiction, for a different blog), so now I have no excuse but to finish the remaining two cushions for the set for Granny.
I have also found a simplified version of a double happiness character, so I can finally finish my Chinese wedding hanging that I made for friends (German/Chinese) who married nearly 2 years ago! I shall have to tantalise you about those too...
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
However, I have also made 2 new quilty/bloggy friends, Kate N and Karol Ann - I would like to add links to their blogs, but don't know if you can do that, or whether they want me to! Maybe someone can let me know.
In reducing my stash, I have a promise of a swap - not really a reduction, just a stir! In the general spirit of compacting though (which is apparently what not buying things is called), I have spent an enjoyable hour fusing together plastic bags (the rustly type) with an iron and craft paper as a surface and iron protector. I found the instructions on another craft list somewhere (craftster?), and they seem to work fairly well. I got clever and applique fused some flowers (ever the quilter...) cut from coloured bags.
My first effort is pretty ropey, but it has definite possibilities and would be good for making waterproof bags. The finished fabric is quite robust in feel, and should be stitchable. Photo to follow eventually! Everyone else in the house was completely underwhelmed by it though.
Monday, 2 July 2007
In all the books and magazines and the quilt fora that I belong to quilters are both apologetic and defiant about the size of our fabric stash. So I'm probably not alone in admitting to owning a gargantuan amount of fabric. Some that I have had for 20 years. I still know where I got the early stuff, although I am more hazy about some of the more recent purchases, as my shopping habit has got out of hand.
I know I can't use this stuff. I know that a consumer attitude to my hobby is bad for me financially and psychologically and bad for the environment. Worse still almost is the paralysing effect all these materials have on my creativity. I have so many possibilities, I cannot choose, and I have more UFOs than I can remember. I find things everywhere. The mess upsets my other half and my step daughter. Thankfully my sons don't care about it all.
It's got to stop. This blog is a companion to my blog on MySpace (www.myspace.com/notfortaming) where I shall report occasionally on my efforts not to buy new stuff. Here I am undertaking to use up my stash! I am going on a stash diet (please nobody publish that book title before me). I will post pictures of my finished objects - if I run out of pristine fabric, I shall make do, learn to dye, or paint, or embellish (using my stocks of other craft materials bought just in case). I will rediscover my creativity and I shall have fun. I will no longer be burdened by the environmental damage done by indulging my hobby, which used to be all about thrift, make do and mend. Anyone want to join me?