Look what I got!

I responded to Doreen’s message about her lovely ATCs – and look what arrived in the mail today! Isn’t it gorgeous?
I sent Doreen one of my ATCs in return, plus a little bundle of my hand dyed silk ribbon, but being a few sandwiches short of a picnic, completely forgot to scan them first – oh well, hopefully Doreen will show you what the postie brings her in a day or two.

Bleach writing

Last week I mentioned this terrific tutorial on writing on fabric with bleach. I had a go yesterday, but first, I couldn’t find my little bottle with the nib that I was going to use (well, I could find the little bottle, but I could’nt find the nib) – so then I thought I could use one of those water pens or, if you can get them, the Clorox bleach pens- but wouldn’t you know it, I used it on some commercially dyed fabric, and absolutely nothing happened. this is particularly annoying given that if I spill so much as a drop of Domestos (a gel type bleach) on my bathmat or bath towels when I am cleaning the bathroom, it immediately strips all the colour out. But no matter how much I ‘painted’ onto the fabric, nothing happened. I have had better success with using it on hand-dyed fabric.

On this piece, I ‘drew’ around some gum leaves using my home made bleach pen – and it worked fine. I think I will add machine embroidery to this. I will have to wait until next weekend now to actually do the bleach writing, as I will have to go the art store during the week and get a fine point nib.

Microwave dyeing silk – aren’t these yummy?

I came across a post about dyeing silk in the microwave
and remembered that I had a selection of silk dyes that I got at a workshop, but never did anything with them as I realised I had to do some sort of complicated (so it seemed) steam setting process – so that was the end of that. Then I found out you can do it in your microwave! So, I pulled out my silk dyes and a roll of 4mm white silk ribbon I bought years ago – I think with the thought that I would dye my own colours – and off I went – what fun.
Here are the results of some playing yesterday. I just randomly played, but as I got into it, started really thinking about and trying to apply colour theory to mix colours and create complements.
I am definitely going to do more of this – it was quite addictive. I will send some to the first three people who respond to this post – I don’t actually do much silk ribbon embroidery anymore, so won’t actually use it myself – I just enjoyed creating it!

TAST – feather stitch

I did this piece a while ago – far too busy at work to find any playtime again this week. I do like feather stitch. I used a metallic to feather stitch on the torn strips of organza for kelp, and some rayon stuff for the yellow bushy thing in the middle.
Not much of an effort, and certainly not recent, but I find it so depressing to see another week go by and realise I have barely picked up a needle, that I thought I had to find something in the stash to remind me of the times when I had all day to stitch! Roll on retirement!
I am going to make a concerted effort to finish pieceing the tesselating quilt this weekend. And I want to paint up some cheesecloth to do some embellisher play. If I manage to achieve that much I will be happy, before Monday rolls around again. Although I am on standby to go into work this weekend if necessary – dreading the sound of the mobile ringing as it will only mean one thing.

More embellisher play

Alas, I have been so busy at work that my blogging has fallen by the wayside – it isn’t that I don’t have time to blog so much, as I don’t have time to produce anything new to publish on the blog. I find this quite depressing -but short of retiring, which I can’t do for another two to two and a half years, I am not sure what to do about it.

I did make this little piece this afternoon. Nothing earth shattering – I embellished some variegated organza ribbon – real cheapo stuff from the $1 store, onto some stretchy panne velvet. Then I embellished the whole thing onto a piece of felt for stability. It needs some beading and stitching to finish it off. And in retrospect it would have been more interesting to lay the ribbon in a diagonal grid rather than the more static horizontal.

I have also nearly finished pieceing the quilt that I posted about last week, on my design wall. Hopefully I will get it done and the borders on by the end of this week, so I will have something to show – and it will free up my design wall for something else.

A friend is expecting a baby boy on June – I want to make her a funky quilt for him, and fell in love with the Zipper quilt pattern I came across while blog surfing or is that trawling?

Haven’t decided on colours yet – I will poke about in my stash and see what jumps out at me.

I awoke yesterday to the most unusual sound – rolling thunder and the pounding of rain on the roof – absolutely wonderful. Not nearly enough to fill the tanks or the dams, but anything is a blessing in this drought.

I bought Margaret Beal’s book, Fusing Fabric a couple of weeks ago – had a quick play with synthetic stuff and my husband’s wood burning tool, in lieu of a soldering iron. The woodburning tool goes up to over 700 degrees F, which is far too hot of course. I did a bit of Googling and found out that soldering irons operate at around 425-450F, so turned it down to that level and got better results. Still, I have to do a lot of practice to get pieces that look as good as the ones in the book!

I haven’t had time to keep up with Take a Stitch Tuesday. I found that I was rushing, and not really taking the time to actually explore the stitch, which is the whole point really. So, I am going to save them up and take away some base fabrics and a box of embroidery threads when I go down to the south coast for two weeks from mid-March. We plan on retiring at a place called Dalmeny, just outside Narooma, on the south coast of New South Wales – about three hours from Canberra. Just to make you jealous – here is a picture of our back yard.

Our block extends to about mid picture – then there is a local road, then a narrow green strip of coastal reserve – then the mighty Pacific Ocean. I should point out for any North American visitors that this is looking east. My dear friend Beverly, an American, when she visited me looked out from my brother’s house, which has a similar aspect on the Gold Coast in Queensland, and declared she would look forward to sitting out and watching the sunset. Somewhat puzzled by this comment, I said well yes, we could watch the sun set, but it would involve hiking up over a considerable hill at the front of the property to be able to see it. After some mutual confusion, I realised that from her perspective, the Pacific lies to the west, and hence it is where the sun sets. From here, it lies to the east and it is where the sun rises. It took a collection of salt and pepper shakers, some glasses and other objects on the table doubling as continents before I managed to convince her!
It is quite an interesting thought, really. We all see things and assume that others see them the same, but it is not always so. On a similar vein, I was watching some British detective show recently, when witnesses to a crime were asked to describe the perpetrator. They all said he was of Asian appearance. I found this incomprehensible as he clearly looked like he was from the Indian sub-continent – so he didn’t look Asian at all to me, but Indian. Then it dawned on me that the British obviously consider India to be part of Asia. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but if an Australian described someone as “Asian looking”, they would almost certainly mean to suggest that the person looked Chinese, Vietnamese or similar.
That has the potential to be an interesting theme for journal quilts – perspective and how what one person sees is not what another sees.
Anyway, for someone who hasn’t got time to blog, I seem to have managed to ramble on quite long enough. Time to go and finish cooking dinner – free range chicken with corn and tomatoes picked fresh from our garden today (the corn and tomatoes – not the chicken – I had to go and buy that!)