lobsterdesigns: (Default)

In other news, you know that strange thing you see in some Egyptian paintings hanging down from goddesses' armpits, or occasionally behind their backs? I've finally found out what it is: a peculiar counterweight to a heavy bead necklace. Apparently the object in question was, amongst other things, associated with potency and fertility. Yep, I could see how people could make those associations.

ETA: Halfway decent photos are finally here! I'll try to take even better ones outdoors before I send it off. Click on the thumbnails for huge images.

lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Quick version which I may expand on later: I think I've done enough quilting, though there are a couple of areas I'm unsure about which haven't been quilted much (the feathered sections of the wings, the plinth, and the headband), but right now I want to decide on the beading. There will be a necklace, anklet, arm rings and bracelets, and I've already planned the necklace and have a good idea of how to do the other jewellery. The colours will be red, turquoise, lapis blue, and galvanised gold.

Further ideas and of course, photos )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)

Unfortunately I'm rather tired out from all the basting, so I've had to take a few days off while I wait for my hands to stop aching, but I'm sure I'll be quilting soon. Ironically, I spent ages with my support worker creating a huge diamond grid from 15 sheets of paper I'd printed out and taped together, and then I absent-mindedly marked the grid on the wrong way around, after all that fuss! So I'll have to recalculate where I put the beaded stars, but I think it should still be perfectly manageable. For some reason everyone seems to be incapable of taking a non-blurry photo of the thing. I can take a close-up of the centre if anyone wants to see the embroidery detail, such as the stripes on the waistband.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
The wings are now outlined in gold thread, with an unpleasant pause to remove a blood spot from the background as someone caught their finger on an embroidery needle, and I'm sketching the papyrus clumps. I think the one on the left is sorted, though I've changed around the colour order and slightly tweaked the shapes. It's the one on the right that I'm working on. I was originally going to have the top flower pointing a bit to the right, but then I laid it out on the quilt and realised that there is enough pointing that way already. I've sketched in the looped stem on the right and am not sure if I like it or not. At the moment, it would be orange.

Note that I've labelled them O and B for orange and blue respectively. What do you think?Photos )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
The tendinitis is still present but easing up, so I'm managing some embroidery again, huzzah! The body is now outlined, the face is done (not mad about the lips but after trying six versions on scraps, I think they're as good as they're going to get), the hair-ribbon is outlined, and I'm nearly half-way through outlining the wings. I also completed one of my trial versions of the papyrus clumps.

Photos below: do remember that this is draped across my sofa, so it's not lying flat by any means. The face looks a bit better than that, and the papyrus clumps on the right wouldn't look quite so odd.

Read more... )

Stencil suggestions

Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:46 am
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I am about to place an order with The Stencil Company for a nice big spiral and this background for the Hoffman quilt (though I'm not discussing that here as this is an unlocked post, except to say that it'll be rotated 90 degrees). While I'm paying for international postage, I may as well pick up a few nice stencils as the UK has very few. Borders in particular, I think. I'm in the throes of taking up Welsh quilting, which you can learn more about here and here, and while I intend to learn how to use a sewing machine eventually, I'll be hand-quilting for the foreseeable future. Any suggestions as to which stencils will be particularly useful, or at least which sizes/border heights tend to be the most useful? I'm thinking of something along these lines.

(Meanwhile I have found some fabulous quilters who add beads, have ordered a book on beading fabrics, and am trying not to go too wild buying beads. I may as well think about the beading for the challenge quilt while I'm unable to sew, and there is so much prettiness!)
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
The proper version:

This quilt depicts the life-giving goddess Isis kneeling among papyrus flowers under a starry sky. Her wings represent her Protectress aspect. From the lotus flowers in the borders to the horned sun disk headdress, the design has been carefully adapted from original ancient Egyptian artwork, including the gold coffin of King Tutankhamun and frescoes from the tomb of Queen Nefertari. The quilt was entirely hand-sewn and uses piecing, appliqué, embroidery, metallic threads, beading and quilting.

The improper version:

I'm just in it for the boobs, really. What do we want in our handicrafts? Beads, shiny pretty threads and nudity all the way! If I dress it up in ancient Art then we can fool the critics and pull in the moon-worshipping Goddess-dancing womynfolk too.

Further suggestions welcome.

Incidentally, I've taken a few stitches last night and today. I don't want to start properly until I'm off the painkillers, but a few minutes here and there shouldn't hurt. I've outlined the left hand now at least. Slight ache along my left forearm muscles, so I should probably leave it now for a good few hours at the very least. I think the couching is going to be the worst part with regard to muscle pain, and unfortunately that's what I have to finish off first. There's a bit of arm and the feet left to outline in ordinary thread, then I have to outline the wings in metallic thread which will be hellish.


Friday, 2 July 2010 01:20 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I have tendonitis and cannot sew at all. Here's hoping that it clears up in good time for me to make the Hoffman competition deadline. The entry form needs to be in by 9 September, and they then send you instructions by 30 Sept on how to send in the quilt. It looks like it may be possible to send in the photo a bit later than the entry form if desperate, I'll contact them if I'm running late. I'll need to think of an "Artist Statement/Quilt Description", max 75 words, which I suppose is the one thing I can work on at the moment.

If you want to see my posts about the Hoffman challenge quilt and aren't yet on this journal's friends list, comment here to be added. I'm keeping these posts friends-only as the criteria for the UK Hoffman Challenge are fairly limited and I don't want random people stealing my ideas!

There goes that idea

Sunday, 20 June 2010 08:57 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
I just tried out a few more patterns for Isis' dress, picked one I liked, and embroidered the knee with it. It doesn't work. It's too busy, and D just remarked that it looks like tartan. So I'll unpick it, leaving the blue outlining in place, and then when it comes to quilting it I can always put in the lattice design by quilting along every other line on the fabric pattern. Whereas for the teal latticewing sections under the arms, I'm thinking of quilting along every line, as a small lattice is surprisingly traditional in that area and I have to distinguish them somehow. Using different colours for the threads (e.g. a darker emerald/teal green on the wing sections and a light aqua blue on the dress) may help as well. Should I bead the dress at all, do you think? I'll do the rest of the embroidery first and see how it all looks then.

The other change, apart from the feathers being nearly done (I ran out of gold metallic thread near the end), is that I've outlined the body on the left and the feet in orange thread. I'm not sure whether it stands out enough or whether I might actually be better off using a medium-darkish brown, not quite as dark as the hair and eyes (the brown for the eyes will more or less read as black), instead. After all, original frescoes often gave these ladies fairly pale skin but then outlined it firmly in black.

Photos )

Next job: trying out Version 3 of the papyrus flowers, this time for a right hand side clump, and after that hopefully embroidering the things onto the quilt at last. Although I may need to order more thread once I know which ones I'll be using, I got a good deal on eBay for fifteen different threads but they were all 4m rather than the usual 8m stitchbows, and I think some of them may run out.
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
I am writing notes for this now to get it out of my system, as I don't really plan to make it just yet.

My mother keeps saying she doesn't need a quilt, which I have been taking personally. I pointed out that someone on [livejournal.com profile] quilting had made this rather lovely dog quilt, and she may be persuaded that a dog quilt to put on the sofa would be rather a handy thing. I've just been talking this over with [livejournal.com profile] elfbystarlight, who cleverly suggested a Bear Paw block as it looks rather like a dog paw too. I think the quilt should have something doggy on it so that random guests don't try to use it, and this is a nice compromise between style (I don't want it to end up twee) and dogginess.

I have a pile of 8 1/2" x 9 1/2" pieces that were freebies when I placed a large order with a quilt shop a while back. Unfortunately, she chose fabrics that matched fairly well to the colours I was buying, but the patterns were small florals and such and really not to my taste at all. They should go fairly well with my mother's furnishings, however, and each one would be enough to yield a bear paw's worth plus eight 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces for a border. I rooted out a few more fabrics to go with, and I think all I'd need now would be a goodly length of a practical dark brown to use for the sashing, cornery bits and the back.

Photos of the fabric and the design )
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
tThe feathers are now hopefully sorted, with whipped running stitch in the antique gold metallic and its matching non-metallic (three strands of the former over two of the latter). I've done a bit of the left wing and it's looking fine so far. Quite a subtle effect, but I think you'll definitely realise that they are wings when it's done.

Meanwhile, I've been working on the clumps of papyrus that will be to either side of the plinth. Somehow I ended up peacefully embroidering until gone midnight last night! (I'm getting through my current audiobook, Gone With the Wind, surprisingly fast for a 43 hour book.) I don't have all my embroidery threads yet, and I think I'll need slightly different colours, as the blue and the green are too close at the moment.

A few pictures )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I finished the appliqué last night (I went for the light green plinth border) and the borders are all on too, so I'm gazing proudly at the completed top. At least, the piecing is completed. The embroidery is another story. I've just done the first set of feathers, couching all six strands of gold metallic, and it's awkward, slow and has come out unevenly. I think I'm going to unpick it and then try two strands metallic, two strands ordinary yellow embroidery floss, which should be a hell of a lot easier to handle and also postpone the time when I run out of metallic thread. Meanwhile, I feel slightly discouraged, although it'll be fine when I get a fresh start tomorrow. I used the small version of the Q-snap and it really doesn't have the tension for embroidery, so I think I'll have to use an embroidery hoop and hope it doesn't crease the top too badly. Although on that subject, I starched the cream fabric twice before cutting it up for the background, and it definitely made life a lot easier. I also tried embroidering the face onto the scrap where I'd originally tried turning under the seam allowances on that shape. The eye came out OK, and I quite like the colours I used, but dear me, the satin stitched mouth looked awful! Oh, and it's a bastard to mark the feathers on, I have to clear the part of my glass desk that doesn't have a cutting mat on it (but does have, for instance, the laptop), put a spotlight lamp underneath the glass, arrange the master diagram - where I spent a while going over the feather lines in black ink - and the quilt top over it, weight it down with whatever's handy, and then try to trace the lines with a silver quilting pencil which keeps breaking. I more or less got the lines where I want them, though the quilt top kept moving about and I could barely see through the fabric to the lines I was tracing. Grrr! Still, that's one wing marked up.

You can see the whole thing, more or less, plonked on the sofa here.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
This plinth is driving me to distraction. I got it pieced last night, and found that not only had it stretched quite a bit, but also that with the planned gold border it just didn't look right. I've tried out practically every fabric that could possibly work, and here's a short list of four. The border was originally intended to be 1/2" wide, though I could go down to 1/4". I'll probably have to resew the plinth to take off the blue chevrons at the end, as it's too long at the moment. I've folded the ends in to show this, with it now ending at the point of the last green chevrons. I've also drizzled some embroidery threads to represent the papyrus clumps that will be embroidered on either side of the plinth, as in the master drawing, and the blue stars that will be above the figure. There will of course be more stars than that, I just didn't have that many bits of loose blue thread. Remember that the dress will probably be embroidered and beaded in orange/pale copper, that the skin and dress will both be outlined in a darker colour, and that if the plinth needs more definition (I'm thinking particularly of the green here), that can easily be outlined or embroidered over (e.g. herringbone stitch).

Photos and a poll )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I have finally finished the borders for the Isis quilt. Ye gods and little fishes but did I get bored sewing all those tiny strips towards the end. Now the fun begins! Here it is, all laid out on the bed with the current proposed fabrics. I've pieced the wings, one of which has a knee attached, but nothing else. Remember that seam allowances are showing, so that the horns will be a third of their current width. I'm finding that this makes it even harder to work out whether I like the fabrics or not. The binding will be a navy crackle fabric, by the way.

Picture time! )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
As anyone who's been following my witterings will know, I'm a hand-quilter who's far more comfortable with piecing than with quilting. My partner reports that I once started burbling about stitch sizes in my sleep. I learnt quilting from this very useful book, and while it's generally excellent (apart from not mentioning the options for covering the under finger such as spoon quilting - see Jinny Beyer for details), it does lay stress on being able to make tiny stitches and I always felt a bit below par, terrorised by stern lectures on how many stitches per inch were acceptable. It's like playing the piano at a speed a little too fast for you: slowing down a mite would drastically cut the number of mistakes and no one else would even notice that you're playing more slowly.

[livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea and I met in a bookshop, he's a charity bookshop manager, our flat is overflowing with books, so it's no surprise that on his last day off, he wandered off to town and I got a phone call to say that he was in a charity shop with about fifteen quilting books and did I want any of them? I did a quick search, read the reviews on Amazon, and decided on five of them. Two in particular were good buys: The Essential Quilter and The Essential Quilter Project Book by Barbara Chainey. The quotation below is from p.27 of the latter.

"Yes, your stitches may be smaller on the back, but is this an imprisonable offence?" )
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
My mother and I were saying just the other day that it's almost a pity the turtle quilt was sent straight off to my cousin for her baby, as otherwise I'd have loved to exhibit it. It seems I still have a chance after all with the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

The joke is that this baby took such a long time coming that the first baby quilt I made ended up going to my oldest friend instead. Like me, my cousin is severely disabled, and it took her and her husband four years of gruelling assisted reproduction before their daughter Annaelle was born.

Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
Shell quilt top

It's come out very nicely, I think. Now I just have to work out how I want to quilt it. I'm fairly stuck on that one. Aunty D has suggested that as it has so many diagonals, to use horizontal lines for the waves and spirals inside the shell. Not sure if I like that idea or not. It's sitting pinned to a noticeboard above the sofa while I get on with my Hoffman Challenge quilt, I'm sure something will come to me sooner or later. Though D would quite like to be able to sit back on the sofa without hitting his head on the board, especially as it has a few pins on it!
lobsterdesigns: (Autumnal bedspread)
After gradually designing, making the templates, and cutting fabric (almost entirely done), I put needle to fabric for the first time today.

Isn't it pretty! )

Hoffman challenge

Saturday, 3 April 2010 11:59 am
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Despite being madly in love with the shell quilt, I have been thoroughly distracted by the Hoffman UK Challenge. You can see the fabrics here. I have to use at least three out of five, they have to make up at least 50% of the quilt, the size must be 1m square, and the theme is "majestic". The theme limited me a bit, but once I'd found a design, the main problems were getting it up to 50%, not having to buy too much extra fabric (I got a quarter metre of each), and working out what the hell to do with that damask pattern, which is huge, has the oddest repeat I've ever seen, and has bloody awful symmetry.

I was thinking over those blues with gold one night and suddenly had a very vague image of those Egyptian goddesses. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Shell against a background that is more or less the sea. Turquoise blues and light sand colours, as in this wallpaper. Possibly reverse colours so that shell is vivid sea blue and sea is sandy coloured, and perhaps blend irregularly back into the shell colours for a border. Traditional quilting pattern used for the background, may only be partial e.g. diagonal lines with occasional short rows of triangles, or Storm at Sea. Try to get the shell to start fading into the sea using this pattern. This is easier with large pieces for the shell, but don't want the background to end up with fiendishly small pieces. Play with transparency if the shell fades into the sea. Originally thinking a nautilus shell, perhaps something like this so that there is shell detail and still plenty of space for the blending into the sea.

For the background, something with more movement that the traditional square blocks. Storm at Sea can get a decent curvy diagonal going, e.g. here, though it's terribly regular - stretch it in areas? This is simple but with nice lines. Going back to SaS, I like this - colours don't work for me but the way they're blended does, if it could be converted to a better colour scheme. This is another way of showing diagonals. This has its moments too. Interesting variant in reds.

Ocean waves has possibilities too (another version), as does Lady of the Lake, although again that's quite a big-scale pattern.

Kaleidoscope might do as a smaller alternative to SaS. Examples:
one, two, three.
Consider the placement of the shell, how it is interacting with its background.

On the other hand, something simple using diagonals, as very vaguely sketched here, might work better.

This quilt artist does this sort of thing.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Method: hand-pieced and hand-quilted, with a little embroidery.
Size: 36" x 41" plus 1/4" binding.
Piecing design: my own design, based upon photographs of turtles I found online.
Fabrics: about 40 fabrics. Except for the Makower Dimple used for the limbs, they were all batiks. The sea background was all cut from the turquoise in Sew Batik's Gradation range, also known as Nuance, which contains four shades of turquoise.
Batting: Hobbs Polydown.
Backing: Squiggle - Sunkist Orange Spice from Sew Batik. The background is patches of yellow green, light fuchsia and yellow-orange with a yellow-orange and yellow squiggle motif.

Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
This will be going to my cousin M in Israel, so it's going to have to be a bit smaller as quilts go. Her daughter is due in four months. I'm thinking of 3'6 x 3'1 or thereabouts, which would permit me to use standard fabric for the backing.

Turtle flowing sea 1

The turtle shell needs to be better centred, and I think there needs to be a bit less sea around the turtle (i.e. closer borders) and a slightly wider outer border, judging from my fish baby quilt. The idea is that the turtle body is medium green, the shell is orange, hot pink, yellow, light green, and perhaps some red and darker green (maybe just for the edging), the sea is that graduated turquoise saltwash batik I used for the fish quilt (that's why it's numbered: 1 is the darkest, 4 is the lightest, and note that the fish quilt didn't use the darkest section), then there's a narrow border (I have two orangey-yellow fabrics with multicoloured patterns laid aside, I may even use both), then the sea design continues into the border, using a variety of patterned batiks ranging from turquoise through to dark blue. For the backing, I'm eyeing up this glorious fabric. I've just rung, and apparently it's a nice bright fabric, orange predominating, and equal amounts of pink, yellow and green elsewhere.

Photos of the fabrics )

What do you think, folks?
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
It looks like another baby quilt is required, which is a relief as I'd got totally stuck on other ideas. I flirted with the idea of a dragon, but it's a bit beyond me right now, so I'm playing with a turtle design. Here's what I have so far:

Turtle bordered 1

Thoughts, people? I don't really like appliqué, which is why I'm looking at ways of piecing the background. I'm not sure whether the background should be all one fabric or a group of similar fabrics. Some shade of blue for the background, perhaps this fabric (which I'm eyeing up for a backing), I think green for the head, arms and legs, and then greens, red, orange, hot pink and yellow for the shell. Multicoloured border, of course; not necessarily that simple stripe pattern, although it's a start while I work on the actual turtle. I've done a more complex version, though I think I'll wait until I start drawing in real-size before deciding which to go for.

And here it is )

I've started colouring in the simpler one, and am feeling rather intimidated. I'll keep going, and colour in a more complex one, and maybe they'll look better. I'm sure fabric will look far, far better than me scratching away with pencils.

(no subject)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 12:52 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Rachel's Star)
I really am stuck with what will hopefully become a wall hanging for above our bed. I'm not even sure I want a tree on it at all, though I'm fairly sure I want those autumnal tones and Klimty fabrics. I'm starting to wonder about something vaguely reminiscent of a sun, circular shapes shading to a gold centre (though not in the exact centre of the quilt), and I may look into mandala quilts. Meanwhile, I've discovered that making small items is really helping me develop as a designer, it's easier than getting stuck on big pieces, and I've remembered that I promised to make my parents a challah cloth. You can see the one I embroidered for my best friend's sister's wedding the other year here (which also explains what a challah cloth is); lovely work, if I do say it myself, but I'm never taking on that sort of embroidery project again. Also it was rather big (21" x 21"), especially for people like my parents who have one loaf instead of two. I've dug out a challah cloth of my grandmother's which is 18" x 21 1/2", and that looks a better size, so I'll work with that for the time being, plus I'll ring a shop selling them and find out what a standard one-loaf size is.

The idea is to piece the front, probably apply a lightweight interfacing (though I've never used interfacing in my life, so I'm not sure about that), add embroidery or beads as appropriate, then just give it a backing without actually quilting it, perhaps with piping around the edge. A tree of life would be ideal, I just need to work out what I can do given the size limitations. Ideas I may carry across from the previous challah cloth: incorporating their names; text (probably the same) in the border; "shabbat shalom" with one word on either side of the tree trunk. Since they're very lovebirdy, my parents (I painted them a plate with two lovebirds in a tree and a rather odd quotation in Hebrew my Israeli ex suggested around the border - which reminds me that there's no reason why this challah cloth should be rectangular, an oval might work too), it'd be great to put two birds in the tree as well, which I could create with embroidery and beading.

As for the tree, I think I'll try to develop an entirely pieced design first. I may also do something in appliqué, perhaps using Carol Taylor's arc-i-texture technique to create a tree using couched satin cord or similar (the Stoclet Frieze springs to mind for inspiration). If I appliqué the tree, then that does free me up in a way for the background, and it may be worth playing with hexagon-based motifs to create stars of David. I doubt that would look good, though, it would be too fussy to use as background to a tree and I don't think the shapes would mesh. Still, it's something to keep in mind. Meanwhile I'm going to Google Image olive trees and start thinking about tree shapes for this format.
lobsterdesigns: (Autumnal bedspread)
Originally, the plan was to do a tree skeleton against a red-gold sky. I think I have a better idea: to let the piecing around the branches suggest leaves. The style I'm currently working with could easily be adapted in that direction, and the needle case I'm making for Sam shows the right sort of fabric combination. I'd need to think about what to put in the non-leafy areas, perhaps the softer gold colours, though the almost solid metallic gold fabric would be ideal for accents amongst the leaves. Olson's Phases: Forest Tapestry is inspiring me, and also reminding me that the background need not look like sky, and could even be pieced entirely differently. I'll work on getting the tree right first. Sam has helpfully taken more photos of his winter tree mask, which may be seen here and here, and also shown me an early tree and sky painting, the sort of thing from which his network designs originated.

ETA: I'm finally getting somewhere with the sketching. Photos beneath the cut.

Design ideas )
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
These little things are addictive. My mother's just had eye surgery, and while attempting to cheer her up and get us off the topic of painkillers, I started talking about quilting. Turns out she'd like a needle case too, please. Here it is in all its glory.

And a pincushion too! )

Needle cases

Tuesday, 14 April 2009 05:26 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Rachel's Star)
I am pausing to make some needle cases. I owe a couple of people birthday presents, I fancy a small job, and it gives me a chance to start playing with ideas on a smaller scale before I turn them into wall hangings. [livejournal.com profile] mirrorshard, this is about your one, so don't click on the link if you don't want the surprise spoilt. Later edit: I've now done the piecing, but I'm going to put the picture next to the one where it was pinned up on the board for comparison.

Here's what I've pinned up on my brand-new design board )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I've been planning for a long time to make an art quilt to hang above our bed, in the same tones as the autumnal quilt but in fabrics reminiscent of Klimt, as were used in blues and golds in the Rachel's Star. I'm not still 100% sure they, rather than the batiks I used for the bedspread, will be the best choice for this quilt, but I've stocked up on loads of them and I'm pretty much out of the batiks, so it'll have to do.

I kept gathering fabrics without being able to work out how to begin my design. Because of the wall space, it'll need to be portrait rather than layout, which for a tree is tricky. I'm quite fond of Ruth McDowell's trees, especially that one on the front page, and some of her similar botanical work such as the witch hazel quilt and the sumac quilts, but her tree compositions tend to be strongly vertical in style and rather angular. I wanted something that flowed and curved more, something that could incorporate the style I used for one of the coffee cosies.

I started browsing Google Image the other day. I found that bonsai, while not my cup of tea at all, are useful in this respect, since the shapes are small enough to be usable, and sometimes in pleasing shapes. The weeping willow below is probably the prettiest I found. Incidentally, people talking about bonsai sound even more pretentious than people talking about fine wines. Anyway, this search led me to this artist, who makes wire tree sculptures.

Weeping willow - bonsai and wire sculpture )

Aha, finally something with lovely, simple lines and movement! Using a few of those wire trees, I tried a sketch.

My first sketch )

It's by no means the final version, but I finally feel as if I'm making progress. Unfortunately it's hard for me to tell exactly what's wrong, not being an artist, but I think it looks a bit witchy, a bit too stooped, almost unhappy. Less curve to the trunk, and make the first main branch (on the left) curve upwards instead of slightly down?

While I'm looking over those quilts again, I might try something similar to the second sumac quilt by McDowell for the loo, where I want to do something vertical and leafy. The loo is painted in apple white with pale green tiles, white fixtures and a white and pine cupboard, and it's also literally the smallest room in the flat, even smaller than the hall cupboard. So any artwork that goes up in there will be relatively limited as to size, will need to be washable (I imagine it could pick up smells eventually), and would probably need to be fairly light in colour so as not to be overwhelming. Leaves in dark greens and/or turquoises on a predominantly pale green background is where I think I'll start. Fewer leaves, most likely, as that sumac quilt of McDowell's would take up practically all of the available wall space.
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
I bought a Husqvarna Emerald 118 in December, but so far I've only dared try it once. Unfortunately, both the manual and my quilting books assume you already know how to use a sewing machine. I made a pathetic phone call to the shop I bought it from, where a quilter on the staff walked me through a few basic things such as threading the machine and got me started. I practised for a while on my own, and was completely puzzled as to why most of the stitches didn't come out as they should, despite following the chart carefully in all ways. The straight stitch and zigzag were OK at least.

I then left it for ages because I was a bit scared of the thing, and so dopey from an M.E. relapse that I couldn't hit the bin with a teabag, as we say in this place. [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea is away on a training course from this morning until Friday evening, giving me an ideal oppportunity to have my sewing stuff out for a few days, so I was brave and had another try. This time I ignored Presser Foot J and so forth, fished out a quilting book and leftover fabric and wadding scraps, and tried doing some proper quarter-inch seams. I'm veering off a bit at the start and end of pieces, but since I'm planning to keep piecing by hand anyway I'm not too bothered about that, I can practise. I successfully shortened my pyjama bottoms. The line is a bit wonky in places but it's black on black, no one will notice. Next I need to work out how to sew on stretchy fabrics so that I can shorten all those sleeves which are too long (the joys of being a short-arse).

After that I decided to try quilting, the main reason I bought the machine. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I'll do separate posts for the methods later, but meanwhile here are most of the pictures for my earlier work.

Cushion covers )

Carpenter's Square )

Fish baby quilt )

Coffee cosies )

Purple peacock quilt )

Rachel's Star )


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