“Kitchen Plastic Shibori”, Creative Quiltmaking, Ancient Carvings!

These three photos are before during and after, using the whole of the top of the milk bottle.  I cut the plastic  quite close to the neck so that you can still screw the lid on over the fabric.  This is an idea I got from Janice Gunner, I only had enough caps to do half of the piece of fabric.  It is dyed with procion mx dyes from Dharma Trading in the US, using Bright Orange and Burnt Orange.  The dye concentrates have been in my frig since April 13 which makes it about as long as they are safe to use.  I think the worst thing that will happen is that they will not be very light fast – too bad, I have had commercial fabric fade in a matter of months as well.

Here is another set using long freezer clips.  You can get them from supermarkets!  The colours are Imperial Purple and Blue Violet.

This final 3 are done with cheap plastic pegs.  I don’t think that they were strong enough and I am now looking for some of those wind proof pegs.  I think these colours are blue and brown.

I call these “Kitchen plastic Shibori”.  They are all ideas from Janice Gunner and easy and fun to try.  I think some of them might work better in an Indigo Vat because it works a little differently to Procion.  Indigo seems to attach to the outside of the cell, where Procion goes right in and makes changes in the cell.

These two photos are from My DM Creative Quiltmaking course photographs.  The first exercise has been to find a collection of objects, which will later be used quite a lot for inspiration.  I chose the old Optrex bottle because Optrex is supposed to make you see more clearly.  The glass is one of Mum’s sherry glasses.  The rubber duck is to remind me of Sophie.  The Christmas decoration is my something red and something shiny.  The seed pod I found a while ago and is from the Gold Coast.  I am not sure what plant it comes from.  I have discarded the round basket in favour of the simpler  square box, however I am going to add the patterned shell.  The next few stages involve sketchbooks and drawing – deep breath!!

The Star fish are in a shallow pool in Shark Bay at Sea World on the Gold Coast  I had to wait for a long time to get this photo while children came and went and cast shadows and touched the starfish.  We were visiting Sea World with the Whirlwind while she was here!  They are in about 10″ of water!

We thought Sea World was extremely expensive to enter and also expensive to be there, food etc is mediocre at best and as a captive audience  you are stung badly in the wallet.  I also had the WORST cup of coffee of my life there!  Having said all of that we had a lovely day and the displays are wonderfully done.  I could watch the polar bears and the penguins all day and Shark Bay was fantastic.

This carved stone is in The Cathedral in Chester.  The Cathedral was built on the site of an ancient Abbey hundreds of years ago.  This stone was saved from the ruins of the Abbey when the cathedral was built.  It takes my breath away when I see this sort of detail that is so old.  I wish we had such great artisans more prevalent these days!


Antique Sewing Machines, Shibori with Janice Gunner, Rusting again! City & Guilds.

This photo is taken of a shop called All Saints of Spitalfields.  The Shop is in the Bluewater Shopping Centre which is just off the M25 near the Dartford Crossing in London.  There are more than one window covered with sewing machines in this shop plus displays inside.  There are other shops in London as well.

I did a class with Janice Gunner learning new Shibori techniques and also how to dye with pre-reduced Indigo.  It was a great two day class and this little piece includes several of the techniques and also different fabrics –  cotton, linen and silk.

Here is the completed challenge quilt for the JEMS Quiltsitters Quilt Show.  I really did not like this quilt until I had nearly finished quilting it.  I am very pleased with it now.  I think when you get so close to your quilt or your art work and it does not really seem to be happening quite the way you wanted, it is difficult.  Then when you stand back and breathe, and get away from it for a while… it all falls into place.  This is quite a different sort of quilt for me and I am now looking forward to making more similar quilts.

I purchased these flat metal rest shapes in the very small outdoor department in Liberty’s Department Store in London.  Here is the result after rusting them.  I really like the leaf shape and might use it for some quilting patterns.

I am going to do some more experiments with the copper solution and have already soaked a rusted sample in the solution successfully.  I have also discovered that vinegar removes most of the copper colour from the fabric which might be interesting.  I also need to do some sewing on the copper dyed fabric to see how it goes with needles and thread.

This is a sketchbook cover I have made after seeing one at my friend Joybell’s home recently.  My cover is a different colour to hers, and I could only vaguely remember her instructions.  The backing is some fabric paper I had made earlier in the year.  The text is sponge fonts from four different sets which just stick on then I hurriedly machined over them to keep them in place.  Then acrylic paints – I used Winsor & Newton heavy body acrylics.  Then a few coats of varnish.  I used some old Jo Sonja Satin Varnish.  I really like it and it will make a great gift idea.  This one is for me – it has my name all over it!

This is a really cool photo taken with an app on my iPhone.  The App is called  ‘Paper Camera”.  There are multiple different ways of viewing the world through this app.  This is called sketch up and I think its great.

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while.  Travelling and blogging was more difficult than I thought it would be, then the Whirlwind and her mother came back to Australia with Perse and Myself.  Then had the elderly-but-delightful parent in and out of hospital.  Plus changing from the Windows operating system to the Apple Mac system proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated, however I have had several more classes at the Apple Store and am a little more comfortable with the new lap top now.

I have enrolled and been accepted to do a City & Guilds on line course in Creative Quiltmaking with the Design Matters Team.  Crazy I know,adding more to my already crazy schedule but I am really excited and will update my progress on this blog now and then.

The final photo is of slime at the Albert Docks on the Mersey River in Liverpool.




London and the Whirlwind.

Three and a half weeks ago I flew into London to visit my grandaughter – henceforth known as “the whirlwind”.

Silly me, I had forgotten about two year olds and their constant activity, I thought I could sew, sketch, draw, paint, stitch, write, blog, get places quickly.  But sadly no!

This is a blurry picture of the whirlwind, not that it is easy to get her to stand still long enough to take an un-blurry picture.  Here we are getting ready to go for a walk, I made the bag, under instructions, for her last year and it still goes nearly everywhere.

This tangle of trunks is a secret place in the garden that the whirlwind has been going to on Wednesdays for noisy activity and socialisation!  Texturally I thought it was lovely.  Overhead it is a mass of green leaves and mauve rhododendron flowers!

When I was a child, my maternal grandparents had a picture almost exactly like this in their large, book lined hall.  Then, I thought it was quite dreary.  I thought this photo, that I had taken, was glorious, it had been raining and it really looked as though Nelson had commanded a break in the clouds.  The photo is taken from the steps of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  I loved the gallery, it is inspiring to sit in front of Leonardo’s “Madonna on the Rocks” – an unfinished work!  Especially knowing that it is over 500 years old and the original.

These are some rusty metal shapes that I picked up in ‘Liberty’ of all places.  They are flat and I am hoping to get some nice rusty imprints from them when I get home.  The paper underneath is some anaglypta I managed to get for free, as a sample.  We can use it for texture on fabric with dyes or paint,  it would also be a great quilting design.

Spring is such a lovely time to visit England, everyone has a little bit of cottage garden somewhere around their house, some times is is just in a pot.  This is an aquilegia, we grew them in our tiny garden in Auckland but not this colourful or perfect.  As per usual I have taken lots of photos of flowers and also some moss and lichen and doors, and of course many of “the whirlwind”!

Last weekend was Person’s first in England so to keep him awake we took him to some National Trust Sites for a bit of fresh air body clock adjusting.  One of these was Batemans, which was the English home of Rudyard Kipling, and the other was Scotney Castle.

Old Scotney Castle - the ruin!