lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Having chosen a top fabric at last, I have started to think about designing the Welsh quilting for the owl wholecloth quilt. I've done a little Welsh quilting so far, and I know that I love it and plan to keep on with it, especially for traditional or geometric quilts. A typical Welsh quilt will involve various different patterns which you have to draft yourself. Now, my grip is poor and my hands aren't all that steady, and I am crap at drawing. Something to guide me is really useful. So I'm planning to place an order with the Stencil Company. It won't be cheap, and the shipping alone will be a good tenner, but I think I know enough about my quilting habits by now to know what will be useful.

Looking at a variety of Welsh quilts and also my books on the subject, the following shapes recur again and again: circles, squares (oten on point), double or triple lines, spirals, leaves, hearts, paisleys, flowers (including tulips and roses), fans, cables, zigzags, lines radiating out from the centre of a circle. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Now that I'm feeling a bit more confident about beading, it's time to get back to peering thoughtfully at Dr F's wallhanging-to-be. I am still fairly stuck but at least I've started sketching. While the designs are very much in the early stages, I thought I may as well ask my lovely readers for ideas now. I have been thinking of doing a border design all the way down the left and in the top half of the right borders, and then continuing the curved lines into the border in the bottom right. I have lots of beads available as well as embroidery threads, a couple of colours of 3mm organza ribbon, cotton thong and satin cord, and I was thinking of using those along the curved seam lines, though I may not.

Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I proudly present to you January, my first Bead Journal Project piece.

BJP January 2011


It's 5" square, as all my pieces will be, and of course hasn't photographed terribly well, between my crappy photography skills (honestly, I can't even hold the camera still half the time) and the difficulty of photographing beads, especially the little mirrors at the centre of each circle. It may be helpful to say that I made a great deal of use of this grey bead mix. I started by drawing three circles onto paper, doing it again with the next size down circle templates (really useful, though beware that the edges aren't well cut and the lines are often askew), and then drawing branching curves in the gaps. I don't think I really thought properly about trees until I had the circles beaded and was filling in the lines, and then I realised what I'd made.

Accidental Schubert )

Start of a new year

Thursday, 6 January 2011 03:25 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
I don't generally do New Year's Resolutions, but this year I was inspired by Mathematical Doodling and have just bought a shiny new diary. The plan is to try to doodle every day, which I know will seem laughably forced to some, but I've never been an improviser and it's high time I started!

Stitchy stuff )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I've been considering making a wallhanging for my GP for a while now. She is an absolute treasure, and when you have ME you really appreciate that. I noticed that she was wearing turquoise for one visit, which suits me as I adore turquoise. She was here today for blood tests, and she admired the turquoise/pale green baby quilt which I've just started the quilting on. So I think turquoise is definitely the way to go, especially since it works well for a nice cheery wallhanging. It's occurred to me that I might be able to rustle something up for Christmas if I get to work on it now, and I think it would be good for me to do a quick art quilt project. A bit of brainstorming )

Welsh quilting

Monday, 20 September 2010 12:17 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Not long ago, I fell in love with Welsh quilting. While America is undoubtedly the home of an incredible variety of patchwork blocks, the quilting, as in the stage when you go through all three layers with thread (let's call the overall process Quilting to distinguish them), has always left me cold. Modern free-motion quilters such as Leah Day are doing fantastic things, but the traditional quilting patterns are rather limited, sometimes twee, and designs such as the omnipresent feathers just don't do it for me.

I discovered Welsh quilting through a stunning red wholecloth quilt in one of Barbara Chainey's books, and was moved to buy Making Welsh Quilts. It's a fantastic book, containing a thorough discussion of Welsh quilting, photo gallery, projects, and a particularly useful bit at the back which assigns a page to each common motif, such as paisleys, hearts, spirals, leaves, gives a host of examples of how to vary them, and good clear instructions on pattern drafting. I've also found an excellent blog about Welsh quilting, Welsh Quilts, and you can see many beautifully photographed examples intelligently discussed there. The patterns in Welsh quilting really speak to me, being at once classic yet fresh and modern as well. The designs are graceful and elegant, with great scope for creativity yet easy to put together once you know the basic principles.

My second cousin is due to have a baby in about a month, and naturally it took me mere seconds to offer her a baby quilt when I heard the news. Plans for my first Welsh quilt )

(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.

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.
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