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: (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)
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: (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... )


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