Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Autumn in South Africa

Africa is never without vibrant colour contrasts, no matter what the season. The photo below is of yet another fabric landscape I made, my first with a fabric border. Note to self.... learn how to make decent mitred corners on the binding. Practise makes perfect they say....

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Fabric Postcards and Landscapes

After a long break I signed up for another postcard exchange. They are fun to make and even more fun to receive. This postcard came from Ireland.

I also made an autumn landscape yesterday.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Hot Sunny Day

It's a hot sunny day today - a perfect time for a bit of fabric dyeing fun. The self imposed brief was to dye fun funky colours.....as you can see it didn't quite work out but I'm happy I still have 8 new pieces of fabric to play with.

The first 2 photos are of the fabrica incubating in the dye in the sun.

The end result:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Very Long Time no post......

It's amazing how life always throws us curved balls to deal with. The latest curved ball in my family's life is taking a while to sort out. We are taking things one day at a time. Needless to say, I have been totally swamped and overwhelmed and haven't had the mental energy to be creative.

We went to the Game Farm last sunday and I managed to take some photos of a group of Aloes. It was a beautiful sunny, albeit cold day.

On the way up to the Game Farm we saw lots of snow on the Drakensberg Mountains. This photo was taken just outside a town called Escort. The snow is on the mountains in the background.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Creativity and huge learning curves

As you might have noticed, I haven't spent much time being creative this month - big mistake.....Being creative feeds my soul and helps me face the challenges of the real world.

On a lighter note....

I have completed 3 more exercises for my quilting course. The first photo is of my 2nd attempt at bias binding applique. The first one had too many pointy bits so was correctly deemed substandard. The second photo is my Curved Piecing exercise. This is always fun.

The following photo is of my Drunkard's Path exercise. This has been the most difficult exercise to date. I cut out the template without adding in seam allowances - not a good idea for me.  Guessing the seam allowance afterwards was not successful at all. I am going to have another shot at making a template but this time I'll add in the seam allowance to the template

Monday, 14 March 2011

Playing with lines

Playing with Bias binding or bias strip is fun. The task is to take an image or a line drawing and create a linear design using thin strips of bias binding. I LOVE stain glass windows so.....off to Google Images and the following image caught my eye.

This is the result...It is almost complete - I need to stitch the strips to the backing fabric either by hand or using the blind hem stitch on my machine (Help?). Would you believe it? I don't have any black thread.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Landscape Series

 These fabric landscapes were made as a wedding gift and the theme was burnt orange. It was my first commission (embarrassed blush). I think I am still rather overwhelmed by the fact that people like and want my work hanging on their walls.

The bridal couple own a lodge on the northern coast of Mozambique (I think) and are passionate about the Mozambique coast hence the inspiration was the Mozambique coast. Fortunately I have been to Mozambique twice on holiday now so had many photos to work from.

All the fabric in this photo were hand dyed by me - my first forays into the wonderful world of dyeing my own fabric

In the third photo I used a combination of my own dyed fabric with some Shweshwe (the bright orange) and some other hand dyed fabric I have.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Red and Indigo Shweshwe Rag Quilt

Rag quilts are fast becoming one of my favorite quilt designs. I love their soft and cuddly look..... I had some log cabin blocks left over from from a log cabin quilt that I am trying to finish. This is the result... I love it....

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Fabric Dyeing again

As I have mentioned before, fabric dyeing is a wonderful excursion into the world of semi-unpredictable creativity. Well, maybe it shouldn't be so unpredictable but it is such fun. I needed some backing fabric to finish off a couple of quilts. Mmmm, when do I find the time to rush off to the shop to buy some backing fabric...wait a moment, I can dye some fabric. Here are the results...

Dark plum fabric for the back of a purple Trip Round the World quilt was first up on the to do list. I had a sample of premixed purple dye. So.... on with the dyeing process.....One thing I learnt is that if you don't mix dye powder properly you get spots of the primary colours that are used to make up the secondary colour - not necessarily a bad thing. The results are a bit like snow dyeing- I love the results.

The next photo shows the blue fabric I dyed. I needed backing for one of my stash busting cot quilts so.. I started with a medium blue and then decided that it was too light so I over-dyed it with a navy blue. This piece of fabric will now serve 2 purposes....backing for the cot quilt as well as a stormy sky for a fabric landscape that was commissioned - that is another story for another day

The last photo is an attempt at dyeing a piece of burnt orange fabric  - not a success. It came out too brown. I used 4 parts yellow dye, 4 parts red dye and 1 part black dye powder. Any ideas on how to improve the colour?


Friday, 18 February 2011

Stash Busting

It's stash busting time!!! I had some fabric left over from when I made a blue cot quilt for a friend... So.. I have put together 2 cot quilt tops from this fabric. The question now is... do I hand dye some backing fabric using Low Immersion Water Dyeing and hope I match the colours or do I go and buy some commercially printed fabric for the backing fabric? Any ideas?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Beginnings of the fruit study

I have spoken before of my attempts at completing the City and Guilds quilting course. Well, it is taking longer than expected......One of the exercises I had to do was to do a fruit study - first paint a fruit with acrylic paint and then take interpret it using fabric. Well, my painting was a total disaster so I found a photo that my painting was supposed look like and used it as a base for my fabric interpretation. The recommendation was to fray the fabric squares - to make them look softer. What I found is that fraying the fabric also changes the perceived colour of the squares. Obviously the colour did not really change but still.... it was a fascinating experience. I look forward to more challenges along a similar vein. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Shweshwe Postcards

As I've mentioned before, making Shweshwe landscapes and postcards is a passion.Making these postcards also seem to be working as a "warm up exercise" for more creative quilting. It's interesting. I happened upon this discovery this morning....

Anyway, without further ado, some photos of the latest postcards.....

I love making the postcards with the "yellow sun" in it....

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I discovered I can draw

What an amazing discovery. I have spent my whole life believing that I can't draw a stick man properly. One of my challenges for this year was to gather the courage to take drawing lessons..... Well, after 2 lessons, I discovered that I can actually draw... The first lesson we drew apples and mushrooms. This week I took the following photo along......

The outline of the kitten is done - I am now shading her in. As soon as she is done, I'll post a photo of her.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Finished Trip Around the World

The latest Trip Around the World quilt is finally finished. This pattern must be one of my all time favorite patterns. It is simple but so effective. I also made a backing for the quilt out of left over fabrics from the top and cross hatched the whole quilt is variegated cotton - again, simple but effective.....

The first photo is of a close up of the cross hatching......

This is the backing - if you have followed my blog for a while you would have noticed that I cannot work in straight lines or blocks.....:LOL

This last photo of the top of the quilt. It looks much neater now that it finished off.....

Monday, 17 January 2011

Schools and Shweshwe pencil bags

The 2011 academic year is finally upon us.My daughter starts school tomorrow and my one son starts school on Wednesday. My other lad is being home schooled this year so he gets to stay at home for the year. I don't know whether he thinks home schooling is a blessing or a curse :LOL

Anyway.....back to matters at hand. I have been making pencil bags (why is it so difficult to sew a zipper into a pencil bag?) for the kids. It still amazes me that they would rather have goodies made by "MOM" rather than stuff purchased from the shop.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Dyed T-Shirts

Once a year my kids and I dye t-shirts for ourselves. It has become a family tradition. We normally use Sun Dye so have to wait for a bright sunny day but this time, we used the dye and Low Water Immersion dying technique I used to dye fabric I posted about in an earlier post.

We used purple and yellow dye to dye the first t-shirt and red/pink to dye the 2nd t-shirt. My son added black to his t-shirt but I still need to take photos of his t-shirt.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Conquering the Sketchbook

I am petrified of drawing or painting in any form...and have now decided to try and conquer this fear. Yesterday while waiting for my daughter to finish her cricket lesson (Yes, my daughter plays cricket.....), I took pencil crayons and tried a bit of scribbling....... My starting point was the colours of the fabric I have recently hand dyed - 3 primary colours - red, blue and yellow, and 3 secondary colours - purple, green and orange.

The first photo is a design of a quilt I want to make...simple but effective.

I love curved flowing lines - they remind me of my Burmese cat's whiskers......

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Green Fabric and Words for 2011

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Trip Round the World quilt I am doing as a raffle quilt...Well, it is still not finished. I was preparing to pin the 3 layers together so I can quilt it when I discovered that the backing fabric is too small. So....back to the shop we went and bought a wonderful green and yellow fabric. This photo below does not do justice to the fabric.......

The moral of this story is "Patience" and "Perseverance". It is very easy to get frustrated and impatient because things are not happening as fast as I'd like them to.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

More fabric dyeing

Fabric dyeing is rapidly becoming a fascination of mine. Here are some photos of the results.

In this photo the fabric is waiting in front of the washing machine to be washed.

This is a photo of my second attempt - the colours are much better than the first attempt.

The next exercise I had to attempt was to dye pieces of fabric using 2 complementary colours ie Red and Green, Blue and Orange, and Yellow and Purple. I also learnt that the stronger the Soda Ash solution, the brighter the colours. These dyed fabrics are much brighter than the first 2 attempts at dyeing single colours.

This is a photo of the Red and Green fabric. I am battling to mix the dye to make a green other than olive green. It is getting a bit frustrating......

This purple and yellow fabric is quite bright - I wonder where I can use this fabric.....

This orange and blue fabric is also quite bright. You can see the neutral colours appearing where the 2 colours have mixed.

In this last photo I used up all the left over dye..... These fabrics are almost too pretty to use.

My kids and I also dyed some t-shirts. They are still being washed and photographed. My son David has helped a lot with the rinsing out and ironing of the fabric.