Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A little progress

The rebagging was successful and I have basted the quilt horizontally and pinned it vertically. Why? Because the first quilting will be freemotion stitched text and I plan to use the basting lines as guides. It will also be easy to remove the pins as the stitching progresses.

I bit the bullet and submitted a request for professional photography. I now have 10 days to finish the quilt.

I had my 7th dose of chemo today which didn't finish till 8 pm. I had good news from the CT scan last week - the liver tumours are shrinking and there are no new ones. Full details on the other blog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frog Stitching

or rippit! rippit! I bagged the quilt for Stitched and Bound instead of doing a conventional backing and binding. Binding would not suit the quilt at all. Turned out the bagging was too baggy - the wool front of the quilt is quite stretchy, while the backing fabric is cotton drill which is very stable. I hadn't pinned it well enough, plus the uneven edges of the blanket no longer had a country like feel - they just looked as if they hadn't been properly straightened.

So this afternoon I have been unpicking. I have trimmed the edges straight and pinned really closely. Just need to stitch around the edge, turn it and re-pin for the first lot of quilting. I hope to begin this tomorrow morning. I have chemo in the afternoon - cycle 7, provided today's blood test shows the white blood cells are OK.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Why does the reality rarely match the vision? And why do other projects seem so much alluring when you know that THIS project needs to be completed?

I have been trying to finish my entry for Stitched and Bound and am having problems of many kinds. I took today off to step back from the project (I needed both the break from it plus a day to recover from a nasty bout of diarrhea). Tomorrow the family are coming for lunch to celebrate Martin's birthday, so the break will be two days. Hopefully I will resume work with renewed enthusiasm on Monday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Change in the Weather

There were major storms here in Perth last night, especially in the northern suburbs. Here it wasn't too bad, though the hail sounded like cannon balls landing on the metal roof of the veranda. After the hail came the very welcome rain, the first since November last year.

I did a 4D Pro computer workshop today which I really enjoyed. It is the first one I have done this year because they have coincided with chemo days. I plan to stitch out the project ASAP, but it has to go to the end of the queue of WiPs. I have several deadlines to meet in the next fortnight.

I finished modifying photos I want to use on one of the projects and plan to print them on Tshirt transfer paper tomorrow morning before I go to my sewing group. I tried the TAP paper by Lesley Riley, but the photo didn't transfer successfully to the dyed wool blanket I am using as my base fabric. I know the Tshirt transfers will work. I hope I can finish that part of the project tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sculpture by the Sea

We finally made it to Cottesloe Beach on Saturday evening, just as the sun was lowering. For the first time in the years we have been visiting we were in time to see the small sculptures which are displayed in the Surf Club rooms. I really loved some of them.

This is a maquette of the large horse sculpture which Kevin really liked.

I was greatly taken by these bathing caps. They were made of glass.

This is my favourite of the outdoor installations - a comment on the Nanny State we seem to live in. Title: Because I Said So.

Also loved these:
An untitled piece of stainless steel lace in a pod shape

The Sky is Falling

A plywood swimmer - Sead

And the flag installation at the northern end of the beach.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


At the February meeting of Designing Women we were challenged to bring along a small plastic bag of textiley bits for an exchange.

All the bags were put in brown paper bags and then we had to select one of them The challenge had two parts: make something from the bits you got using a dissolvable such as Romeo or Vilene 541 AND decorate the brown paper bag and bring it back in March.
This is what I did with the bits I received.

And this is what Juliet did.

And then, as if I didn't haven't enough deadlines with Stitched and Bound (which is still two pieces of fabric and a pile of photos) and QuiltWest, I embarked on a new project - crazy squares using some of the collection of lace I have been hoarding for years.

The centre bits are textured fabric using various techniques. I started them yesterday, but ran out of steam, so no square has more than two rounds of lace attached. At this moment I don't know if they will be a quilt or a cushion.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Melville Sculpture Walk 2010

Last night we went to the opening of this exhibition on the Canning River at Deepwater Point. We were early enough to be able to walk around all the sculptures before the official opening. There were several that reflected their setting but the one that appealed most to both Kevin and me was an installation of a large fish "Bottle Bream" and several sea creatures made from plastic drink bottles. The artist was Rachel Wyder.

I also particularly liked these other pieces - textile based of course.

This was a series of felted pods (42 of them according to the artist Tanya Peters) hanging in one of the trees on the foreshore.

Alexandra Rossi has included all sorts of textile bits - yarns, buttons, laces along with other found objects in a wooden box with a glass lid that is buried in the sand. The title is Archaeological Dig: Buttons and Laces. I loved it.

The opening was one of the best I have ever attended. Good wine and food and a place to sit. Well done, City of Melville and Hannah in particular.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Purple Circles

I joined my fortnightly group Secret Drawer this afternoon after I had had my PICC flush and visited Dale to hand in my Textile Tantrums. I wanted to buy some green Opulence interferon ink, but Dale was out of stock. Lovely lady - she gave me her own jar. Thanks heaps, Dale.

I spent the afternoon constructing more purple circles - buttonhole rings. I am not sure what they will be used for, but they are a good portable project, and I am liking how they look.
Before I left for the hospital I finished (I think) the chocolate box I covered with foil and painted with Opulence inks.
I had intended to take it along to show Helen who gave me the original choccies for Christmas, but I forgot. Didn't matter, Helen and hubby are on a trip somewhere and she didn't come.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finished fiddling

I completed my two entries for Dale's Textile Tantrums exhibition and will deliver them tomorrow after my visit to hospital for the mid-cycle PICC line flush.

I decided not to reprint the labels and just fused them on the back of each piece. They are legible - just look a bit mucky.

The first piece is called Tantrums in the Weave and was inspired by Maggie Grey's "Stitches, Straps and Layers" book. I used some failed pieces of embellished felt, added more funky yarn and silk sari ribbon, cut it up and wove it into a new piece, held together with some freehand stitching. Still looked unfinished so I added some beads.

The second piece used up some circular skins I had made at least 2 years ago from Plaid dimensional paint which I have had had for yonks. I painted some quilt wadding with acrylic paints, arranged the skins, covered it all with a piece of green chiffon scarf and free motioned in circles. Then I attacked it with a heat tool, removing the chiffon from the skins. I have called it A Circular Argument.

I made another booboo with the phototransfer for the ATCs by printing the images on the paper side instead of the film. Not a biggie - just reprinted on the correct side. I am quite happy with the ATCs and have posted them off to New Zealand for swapping.

So I have had a successful day of fiddling.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fiddling, failures and bungles

I did some more fiddling with my Textile Tantrum entries today - I think they are nearly finished. I decided to print the labels on to a ready prepared fabric sheet. OK, followed the directions and rinsed after leaving for a couple of hours. The ink ran. Decided it was still legible enough and left to dry overnight. First failure.

I also started work on the March ATC swap for Aus-NZ Art Quilters. I wanted to photo transfer onto black felt and foil over it. I printed an A4 sheet of images on TAP paper and attempted the transfer. Didn't work at all - probably the felt was too dark and too soft.

Next attempt - I dug out a packet of Tshirt transfer sheets for dark fabrics and printed off another sheet. Used a hot iron as required, and ironed on cardboard rather than the ironing board, also as required, but couldn't get it to work. I had cut out all the images and was trying to do individual transfers. I finally gave up in disgust and went and made dinner.

Then I reread the instructions and found that chemo brain had caused me to miss a crucial step - the image is printed on a paper backed film and the the two layers need to be separated. DUH!
So I have left it till tomorrow to try again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Foil and Fabric paper

I have been playing with kitchen foil. This is the top part of a chocolate box. I glued on some letters then covered the box with foil when it was dry. Today I have dabbed the foil with some Opulence inks in blue, purple and aubergine. I still need to add more colour around the letters. Not sure whether to leave them unpainted or to colour them so they are just textured.

I made some fabric paper with crumpled foil a couple of days ago and daubed it today with Opulence in blue,teal and green. I think it needs something else - maybe one of the interferons.

Remember the bit of knitting I tried to felt and scorched? It looks much better sprayed with Radiance colours. I plan to use the embellisher on this.

I also have been playing with adding more colour to the fabric paper I made a few days ago, but because I have used Moonglow sprays it hasn't dried yet (I only did it 10 minutes ago!) so no pic.

All the products I have mentioned are available from the Thread Studio.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I have been reading

ALL the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood - the whole 18 of them. I have read them all before, some of them more than once, but still found them most enjoyable.

I also read Fantasy in Death by JD Robb (Nora Roberts). Enjoyable, but not as good as the previous one in the series: Kindred in Death. I have lost track of how many novels are in this series - more than 25 I think. And yes, I have them all. Not quite ready to start a reread of them as yet.

While I was having chemo today I finished The City and The City by China Mieville, which I saw recommended on some blog - where I can't remember. It is a murder mystery/fantasy set in a place somewhere in Eastern Europe where two cities coexist in the same space and time. I found it fascinating and a good read. Another author to be added to my library list - I did borrow this one instead of buying.

Still trying to read from my own bookshelves, I found 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs. I have no idea why I haven't already read this one. I will start it tomorrow and sandwich reading with working on my Textile Tantrums (Dale has extended the deadline) and my entry for Stitched and Bound which needs to be finished soon if I am to have it professionally photographed.