Spring seems a long way off with the weather being so cold and icy even here in the South. We went for a bracing walk along the front at Walton-on-the-Naze, far too fast to spot any fossils or sharks teeth along the shore or to take photos. Even with gloves on my hands were cold!
Still it was nice as the sun was out, but it is nicer sitting by the fire and sewing another flower for my GFG (Grandmother’s Flower Garden)
I think this garden will take years to grow as it keeps getting pushed back in favour of machine projects. I must renovate the little sewing box I bought in the Summer and keep it by my chair. I’m sure I will think of it more and do more if it is right beside me, otherwise it will end up being a great-grandmother’s flower garden!
These two flowers have travelled round a bit – in and out of a zip lock bag getting a bit wrinkled on the way but now they are finished
They are larger than the previously completed flowers; adding the diamonds gives more design possibilities the idea for which came from ‘Quilting on the Go!’ by Jessica Alexandrakis. This is a very good book for people new to EPP (English paper piecing) or if you have experience, full of good ideas and design projects big and small.
I particularly like the leaves. The stripy material is one that I had doubts about when I bought it; was the colour too acidic? But I love it as the leaves because they set the pink off so well
What are you up to this Sunday? Pop over to Kathy’s quilts if you need some inspiration http://www.kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/ and see what everyone else is up to
I had to make this when I was trying to decide the layout of the little fans for ‘Fanfare’. The pieces are so small that a design wall would be ridiculous. Putting them on my drawing board was ok until a breeze blew half of them on the floor, so I had to come up with an alternative and a lightweight mini design board was the answer
- Take a piece of polystyrene around 60 x 40 x 2 or 3 cms (or whatever size you want) to use as the core of the board. I was lucky as I had a piece of polystyrene packing in the garage measuring 59cms x 39cms x 2cms.
- Draw round it on a piece of scrap cardboard box twice and make a sandwich for extra strength using PVA or white craft glue, as shown in the photo. Weigh it down with heavy books
- Once the glue has dried cover with batting which will need to be bigger than the board by about 12cms so that it can wrap around to the back. Use PVA or white craft glue again and spread out evenly. I made a spreader with an offcut of cardboard – it went soggy with use but lasted long enough to finish the board.
- You could use different size scraps of polystyrene as long as they are the same thickness as they will be held together by the cardboard. The same applies to the batting, any scraps can be stuck to the cardboard so all those strips cut off after basting can be put to good use – Re-use is better than recycling!
It works fine with EPP projects too when you can’t decide which way round your fussy cut hexagons look best, or which centre to use in your flowers. Looking at the orange flower I decided I need more fabric to make them both!
I also find it useful when I am pressing multiple sections of more than one block when chain piecing. Sometimes they can get mixed up but using the board you can press and replace in the appropriate block with no problems
The Slow Stitching Movement has been steadily gaining ground recently and is a reaction against the tendency to rush the creative process; to produce something, anything, rather than enjoy the process itself. Formally launched by Mark Lipinski and modelled after the Slow Food Movement they believe that;
” … speed can kill creativity and the enjoyment of our creative pursuits. Maybe what we really need to do is slow down, enjoy the process, and create fiber art that we’re really proud of.”
They are not the only advocates slow stitching, there are many others with a quiet passion for this way of working. At the moment Kathy is hosting a link up for Slow Sunday Stitching which you can find here. Why not grab her button like I did and join in.
My contribution at the moment is a grandmother’s flower garden. Started before I heard of The Slow Stitching Movement or Kathy’s’ blog, it is good to know that there is a growing appreciation, once again, for hand-stitched work. That doesn’t mean that machined quilts, chain piecing and easy blocks don’t have a place any more -they do, and I enjoy these too but in a different way.
The sewing machine ties us to the workbench, the noise inhibits conversation and drowns out music from the radio. Slow stitching is more sociable. I can sit and stitch with my other half while he relaxes watching a film, or I can join a group to stitch in park, pub or home.
Slowness is the important part here, not that it is by hand as Lucie Dutton writes in her piece as a guest blogger for slowstitching.com. I recommend this as a cautionary tale about losing sight of what the movement means and what happens when you don’t slow down