Friday, November 30, 2007

Again no fibre

but we went to the retirement function for my sister. Dorothy now has 4 days work left before she joins the ranks of the self funded retirees. I hope she enjoys it as much as we do.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthdays, food and things other than fibre

Wednesday was busy. Computer Club in the morning with a demonstration of some ideas for Christmas items to make quickly using the 4D software. My Show and Tell was pictures of the quilts I have in the Australia Wide exhibition.

Then I went to the fortnightly meeting of our friendship group. Only four of us there. I think that as we all get older we have more and more things to take up our time. Our last meeting for the year is on the 12th of December and hopefully everyone will be able to attend.

It was Helen's birthday and I had invited her for dinner, so I had to make an effort. I thawed some of the prawns we bought a couple of weeks ago and I marinated them in a mixture of soy, lemon zest, palm sugar and fresh chopped coriander. I made a sauce to accompany them with lemon juice and sweet chilli sauce. A potato salad and a green salad completed the main course. Dessert was strawberries marinated in Cointreau with a little caster sugar. We cooked the prawns on the barbecue and ate outside though it was quite chilly. It is not quite summer evenings yet, even if the days are hot.

Today was Kevin's birthday. He got his presents from Helen and I at breakfast, then she went off to school. I had an appointment with the optometrist which involved pupil dilating drops, so Kevin had to act as my chauffeur.

We haven't done much the rest of the day. I did wash some towels - does that count as fibre?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Textile Project

We worked very hard today, but we didn't manage to finish either panel. Doesn't help when you discover a LONG seam has been stitched in the wrong direction and requires unpicking and restitching. Pam did that task. What a trooper! Both Juliet and Iris seem quite happy with progress and are sure that the two panels will be finished by Thursday afternoon. I hope so.

I can't go again this week, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Melville Community Textile Art Project

Assembly of the panels is proving to be a very time and thought consuming process. This is Iris contemplating today's progress.

We did, however, make some progress and it looks as though tomorrow we will have definitely one, and possibly two, panels done. Only eight more to go!

Each of the inset pieces has some sort of story. Juliet spent a lot of time on Norm today, and I will try to get a picture tomorrow. This is a piece done by members of the Embroiderers' Guild. The pojagi-style seams look great but they are really slow going. I only managed to finish two blocks today - nine seams in total.

Tomorrow is the last day I can go this week.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Image transfer again

I think the demonstration I gave today to the Innovative Stitches group at the Embroiderers' Guild was a success. I repeated the talk I gave to the Contemporary Quilt Group in August, and there was a lot of interest, but I added some other methods of image transfer that I have been playing with since then. There are a couple of them on yesterday's blog. The printed vliesofix caught people's imagination so I hope to see some great results from that.

One of the transfers I tried yesterday was using a solvent (a citrus based cleaner) to transfer a laser printed image. It was only partially successful - I think because there is not enough carbon in the laser toner. This was the original

and here is a scan of the result.

I think a search for an old/secondhand toner based photocopier is in the immediate future.

My demonstration was followed by one from Hannah Katarski who has just had an exhibition at Heathcote. I have never met Hannah before - Perth is a small textile community but you don't necessarily know everyone, though you get to know names. Hannah has been playing with gel medium transfers from inkjet transparencies for a while and her results were much more appealing than mine. An interesting twist - she also uses water to transfer ink from transparencies. Great effects. I will definitely be playing with this technique.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Image transfer to fabric

I have spent a large part of the day playing with image transfers. These are some samples for the demonstration I am giving tomorrow.

This is an image inkjet printed on a transparency, then transferred to fabric with gel medium. As usual I was a bit heavy handed and the image is smeared.

I took this photo of giant lily pads in the Pamplemousse Gardens in Mauritius in 2005. Today I printed it out on Vleisofix and ironed it onto fabric. This is the first time I have tried this - I usually just paint the Vliesofix. I think the results are quite interesting and I will be trying this again.

This morning I went to Bestway with my Orchidea machine. It took David less than a minute to fix it. What had happened was that I was winding a bobbin with invisible thread. I thought I was going slowly enough, but it overheated the bobbin and it jammed onto the winding drive. I left it to cool and then pulled it off, but pulled out the shaft and the locking mechanism which was still inside the bobbin. The machine thought I was still winding a bobbin and wouldn't stitch. I got the mechanism out, but was too scared to try and push the shaft back. Not so David. A bit of a whack, push the locking bit on and it was fixed! No charge either. Thank you so much. Oh, and I didn't give blood. I woke up this morning with ANOTHER cold. Hope this one is milder than the last one.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This and That

Today's photo is of the flowers on the bauhinia trees in our back garden. They are almost all finished now. This is a fill-in because I didn't do much today.

I helped to assemble some of the Melville Textile Art project. It is really slow going: 4 hours to get three sections together (approximately 20% of one panel - and there are 10 of them!!) Should have taken a photo - I DID have my camera, but of course failed to use it. I managed to mess up my machine too, so off to Bestway tomorrow after I give blood.

Then I went to a funeral. Enough of today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Top finished

I finished assembling the blocks today. There are 10 of them, so I could either make a 9 block top and leave one out, or make 2 more for a 12 block top. No prizes for guessing my decision!

I decided to leave out my own block from the assembly, but I will applique it to the back after the whole thing is sandwiched and quilted. I thought about piecing it into the backing, but I always seem to have troubles keeping everything straight. The backing is printed with lines of text, so that will be challenge enough.

This is a very bad photo of the finished top.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Show and Tell

It was Sewing Club day today so I took along the zebra bag, minus the computer. Another girl who did the same workshop had two cushions using the designs we developed. Her designs were quite different to mine, though we started from the same bitmapped image.

A couple of people asked about the designs I made for the handles. That was easy - after using the Design Wizard to select and digitise the outlined zebras I used the endless hoop and just kept on repeating the designs till I had a length that was useable.

I have started on my Christmas obligations. Every member of the friendship group I belong to makes a Christmas block each year, using a common fabric. We put them in a bag and pull one out. The maker of that block takes them all, then supplies a 30cm square of fabric for the following year.

Tonight I started to assemble the Christmas blocks I won in 2005 to make a wall hanging. I was inspired (?) by the issue of the fabric for this year's blocks. What happened to 2006??

Monday, November 19, 2007

More catch up on the week past

Glenys Mann stayed with us from Sunday midday to Tuesday evening last week.

We went to the textile exhibition at Heathcote on Sunday afternoon. I had been the week before and had loved the work, but particularly the pieces by Christine Atkins (who is a member of Designing Women - boast, boast). Glenys was also impressed. Then we went to Midland to Gomboc Gallery to see the exhibition of paintings by Margaret Woodward. This painter is a favourite of Glenys's and she had really wanted to see the exhibition. I have a friend with the same name, but she is not a painter who can ask for (and get!) $45000 for a painting. I also took Glenys to see the Railway Workshops sculptures and the Coal Dam while we were in Midland.

Monday we went to Fremantle and hit the bookshops, new and secondhand, then went to the Fremantle Arts Centre. Great exhibitions on at the moment: Olga Cironis has wrapped a tree in blankets, Susan Flavell has built heroic size figures from cardboard strips, Ruth Parker has made fabulous curtains from rusted bottle tops and Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz have used sugar crystals and icing on motorised mirrors to make a magical fairy land.

Tuesday evening we went to the WAFTA meeting. I have been a member for a few years, but rarely manage to go to the meetings since I don't like driving at night. After the meeting we went to the airport so Glenys could get the red eye special. She has since told me that she lucked out and had 3 seats to herself, so could sleep. Wouldn't happen to me!!

Wednesday morning we got a call from Esperance where Kevin's sister and niece live. His sister had had an accident with boiling oil and was being sent to Perth for evaluation by the Burns Unit at Royal Perth Hospital.

A description of the rest of the week can be found on the family blog.

Today we have been prawning. We bought a 10kg box of "soft and broken" king prawns from a fishery company in Fremantle on the recommendation of a friend. It works out to $11 a kilo and despite the name the prawns look great. We are sharing them with Graham, Kevin's brother, and Helen so we weighed them into 1.5kg bags. Then we had to find freezer space.

There was a 1.5kg package I had bought earlier in the year that obviously needed eating first so they have been defrosted, peeled and half of them cooked tonight. The rest will be cooked tomorrow. When you remove heads and shells, 1.5kg is reduced to 750g. Still a lot of prawns for 2 people to consume. And the processing is dangerous. I have so many cuts and puncture wounds from the shells that I wonder if I should get a tetanus injection!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Catching up with events

Last Saturday (November 10) Designing Women did a paper fabric workshop with Pam Annesley. Everyone really enjoyed it and there were some great pieces produced. Now we have to make something out of it! Pam supplied a few ideas, including a book for storing ATCs.

Here are some pics of a couple of the girls at work. I intentionally focussed on Margaret's piece rather than her - it's not my lack of skill that has left her out of the picture.

It was a hot day and as Iris and I were locking up at the end of the afternoon we took care to stay out of the way of this visitor.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Back to blogging

I haven't blogged for a fortnight and am now getting back to it I hope.

This is one of the huge Moreton Bay fig trees that grow opposite the golf course part of Bibra Lake Reserve. There are three of them and I think they must be at least 100 years old. Similar trees in Perth CBD are unpopular because of the mess they make when the inedible fruit drops and the way the roots destroy pavements and neighbouring walls. No such problems here.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Getting to the nitty-gritty

The Melville Community Textile Project is approaching its end. "All" that is left to do is sewing the pieces together . . . .

There are 130 of them. The project is planned to have 5 panels: each 1 metre by 2.2 metres. Each panel has two layers, so effectively there are 10 panels to construct.

The planned design is lovely; the construction is yet to begin. Because it is using sheer fabrics, the construction details will be very obvious - hence the decision to use "pojagi" type seams. Juliet and Iris investigated a number of alternatives and have settled on a stitched down French seam.

I went to a workshop today for people who have volunteered to help assemble the panels. The intention was to develop consistent seams across a range of sewers and, more importantly, sewing machines. We used several different organzas and tried various threads, ending up with the invisible thread that will be used in the final assembly.

The first assembly session is next Thursday. I am able to attend, so I will report back.