Thursday, 13 September 2007

Fabric Dying & Teflon Ironing Pad.

I've been busy dyeing cotton fabric today after realising how expensive coloured blenders are per 1/4 metre. I'm frustrated that I can't show you the true colours, but you'll have to trust me when I tell you that they're pretty. :0) These all look quite samey, but they're not.

This at least shows you the mottled effect I achieved by sprinkling dye powder onto damp fabric and squishing it up. Then I blasted it for a minute in the microwave.

Look at the marbled effect. If I can find some more dye I shall do lots more.

I have been asking around for a sleeve ironing board or an ironing pad to press my appliques and small bits of scrap fabric in my sewing room. It's a pain having to keep running downstairs to set up the ironing board and then of course I have to leave it there in the way because I have to keep going back to it while I'm working. I was just in the process of ordering a rather expensive ironing pad when I saw that they also sold Teflon coated fabric for making your own pads. Well, being my Grandmother's granddaughter, I'm not one to spend out when I can make my own! So I rummaged through my pan drawer and found a Teflon baking sheet. I sewed it to four layers of old tea towels and Voila! a smashing new ironing pad with one non-stick surface for when I'm using sticky iron-on fusing and a cotton side for normal pressing. OK, so it smells of sausages....but you can't have everything can you? :0)

Banoffee Pie, Pincushions and Embellishments.

Yesterday I made a Banoffee Pie for Emily. She's been whinging at me to make one for days. So this just goes to show that spoilt brats do get what they want by going on and on and on and on.....

Just to give you an idea of all the lardy goodness that goes into it: half a packet of digestive biscuits, a pack of butter, a tub of double cream, black treacle, half a bar of dark chocolate, about a cup of sugar and four bananas. Real heart attack stuff! I had the tiniest slither but couldn't eat it as it's SO sweet so both the girls swooped in, forks at the ready to finish mine off!

I have recently purchased some huge quilters pins. They need to be very big so that they can get through all the layers of fabric. They have big pearly coloured flower heads. My little pin cushion is no good for them as it's already stuffed with my regular sized pins, so I thought I'd make a big pin cushion to go with my big pins.

The base is about 4" in diameter. It's a plastic tub that I covered with an iridescent fabric. I then filled it with plastic pellets for weight. The top is a piece of scrap cotton that I embroidered on the machine. There wasn't much point in embroidering it but for my own satisfaction! I then did a running stitch round the embroidered fabric and stuffed it with polyfil before gluing it in place with my hot glue gun. I glued some pretty braid round the base to finish it off. It's certainly 'home made', but it does the trick admirably! Oh, and I have a nasty blister on my pinkie after using the hot glue gun. Ouch!

I started hand embellishing my quilt yesterday. Apart from the chain stitch on the facial features, it's the only hand sewing I have done to it. I have added the butterflies and beaded them and am now in the process of sewing on the flowers with little beads and gems that Auntie Leeta gave me. See, I told you I'd be able to use them for sewing Leeta!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Delivery From India and 60's Machine Embroidery

This morning parcel number two arrived courtesy of Debra in Texas. This time is was my scrummy variegated silk threads all the way from India. So pretty! I couldn't adjust the colours to show you how bright they really are so you'll have to take my word for it.

This morning I had a lovely visit from Auntie's Babs & Mo. We had a nice cup of tea and a chin-wag. It was so lovely to see them as I don't think I have seen them for a few months since becoming a hermit! They came to collect my old sewing machine which is going to Auntie Louie in Devon. While they were here they saw my new sewing machine, beads, threads and other shiny stuff. Babs gave me a few more pointers on machine embroidery and beading and while they were here I dug out some of Babs' embroideries that I have had since I was a wee girl. My girls have also enjoyed them and I used to let them sort through them when they were babies to keep them occupied. I assume Babs hasn't seen them since she made them at age 15? She was a trainee when she did them. They're great although they are so 60's!
They are something I wouldn't part with for the world and I hope my girls cherish them like I do. I can clearly remember gazing at them as a child.

Look at the work in this clown.
Yesterday I backed my quilt and put the binding on it, so the quilting stage is at last finished.
It's actually done very badly, but that's ok because I am an artiste! Now I can begin the fun of embellishing. This is the exciting bit for me now. I am going to bead and spangle it to within an inch of it's life!

I cut some butterflies and flowers from some pretty fabric and fused some backing onto them (circled). I will now bead them and maybe embroider on them and 3D them ready to attach to the quilt.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Geocaching in Yorkshire

First of all, a quick explanation of what Geocaching is:

Don't worry, it's a quick explanation and you'll understand within the first few lines.

Yesterday's geocache trip was to Wortley which is just a couple of miles from where we live. The cache was about a 3/4 mile walk down tracks, over fields and into the woods. Not a difficult one to find, but a lovely walk all the same. Another lovely spot that we didn't even know existed!

Livvie found the cache under a big log just inside the woods. It was a box covered in camouflage and inside were all sorts of kiddies goodies. Livvie chose a whistling string toy and left a little funny ornament.
When we got back to where we left the car there was a tiny tea room, Post Office and bed & Breakfast. We stopped for tea and scones. Yum yum! (This picture would have been slightly funnier if I had more mess on my face. However, I did not smear enough cream round my mouth and nose and now you all think I am just a messy eater!)

After our little break we went for a wander down the lane to Wortley Hall which used to be a stately home and is now an hotel and conference centre. They welcome visitors to the garden. It is so beautiful! It's set in 26 acres of formal gardens, woodland and Fields.

Definitely a place to take visitors for a stroll on a nice afternoon. :0)

Hard Work in The Sewing Room

Oh boy, have I been working hard! My first package from America arrived a few days ago. It was the metallic threads that I have been longing for for ages. They are so beautiful.

If you remember, these are part payment for my bear patterns. Debra in Texas is sending me pressies rather than cash and it's SO exciting! I am now awaiting some variegated threads and fabric packs.

This inspired me to clear out and reorganise my tiny office, henceforth to be known as The Sewing Room. I very nearly killed myself. I am only a girlie and that desk must weigh as much as five grown men! You'd think there is only so much you can do to a 6' x 7' room, but it still took me two days.

Gary's stuff is OUT! Actually, Gary's stuff amounted to half a bin liner of rubbish and a few papers that I put on a shelf. So how come he completely took the room over? He now has one bottom drawer for the stuff that he doesn't know where to put. I managed to gather a carrier bag full of his wires and leads. They are for obsolete mobile pones, iPods, chargers, adapters and kettle leads. Of course they are all extremely important and must go in a big box in the shed. ;0)

While I was clearing the very top shelf I found my wedding flower circlet and a picture I made from my wedding flowers. The poor circlet has been abused for to long now and has to be thrown. :0) It is literally falling to bits and shedding all over the place. I took some final photos before ditching it. It's like Miss Haversham's wedding outfit! The first photo isn't good as the camera was trying to focus on the centre hole rather than the circlet.

The picture I made from my wedding bouquet had no glass and was so covered in dust that I thought the colours had faded completely. When I very carefully dusted it though, the colours were still there. I managed to find another piece of glass and restored it to it's former glory. Isn't it pretty?

And finally, here's a wedding photo to show what the flowers looked like when they were fresh. I honestly don't think I have ever seen prettier wedding flowers. And look at us, we're all so young!