Tuesday, 31 May 2011


My machine went in to the repair shop on Friday so I'm waiting to hear what is wrong. How long it'll be before I have her back is any one's guess they had a whole array of machines waiting to be looked at before mine so there must be a sewing machine virus going round at the moment :)

It's frustrating not to be able to get on with things but in the meantime I'm keeping myself amused with these booksAnd on Saturday I spent a day in London and had a visit to Tate Britain.First time I've ever been. It was an interesting experience and lots of food for thought, but I have to confess that there were a lot of pieces there that I just didn't understand and left me feeling confused. I guess I'm just not intellectual enough to get some of this modern art stuff!! :)

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Let's start with the good shall we?

I went to the Malvern Quilt Show on Friday, lots of fantastic and skilled stitching on display made me want to cry thinking about my lack of skill! I managed to console myself with a bit of retail therapy though and treated myself to this batch of lovely threads.Now for the bad news, and I'm afraid it is BAD. My sewing machine Jemimah has stopped working :( I was merrily stitching away yesterday and the power just went. I've tried the basics, changing the fuse etc but she just won't fire up. The really bad news is there aren't many repair shops round here I've phoned the couple of closest ones and the earliest anyone can take a look at her is on Friday, so I'm out of action for at least a week. That really is cause for crying!!
So that's the good and the bad out of the way, you may be wondering about the ugly. Well that's me I'm sat here typing this in my pjs and I haven't brushed my hair either .... but I'm not showing you a pictures of that! :)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Been Doodling

I haven't much felt like sitting at my sewing machine the last couple of days. Have been feeling a bit restless for one reason and another. But I have spent some time on more work for chapter seven though.Doodling with lines, circles and spirals. It's been fun. Next step is to interpret some of these doodles in stitch.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Stuck but all is not lost

After making a good start with the praries yesterday, I've hit a snag and need to wait for some advice from Janet before I move on. I figured that rather than wait around not doing anything I'd make a start on chapter seven - the first foray in free stitching. I'll be keeping notes on the computer that way I can easily print them out and stick them in the work book when it comes to going back to write up the chapter.I have done some free stitching before, but never with fabric in a hoop. I'm struggling with the hoop thing a bit but I guess it's the same as everything else - takes a bit of practise to get used to it. Anyway I'm quite happy doodling away in stitch. If you need me today you'll find me sat at my machine with a smile :-)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Preparing Prairies

After a day off yesterday I've been hard at it on the machine again today, making a start on the first samples for chapter six.I picked out a range of spicy colours and have been stitching in to a band of calicoIt's nearly done. As soon as it is it will be chopped up and turned in to prairie points. I've never played with prairies before so it should be fun......... I did get to see some ever so cute Prairie Dogs on a trip to a local farm centre yesterday. I know nothing to do with embroidery but surely you've come to expect a bit of randomness from me every once in a while ;-)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Module One Chapter Five Submission of Work

What a palava. I had this post all set up and ready to appear here yesterday and then with all the blogger issues it went and disappeared.. Never mind, photos upload again and hopefully they won't go anywhere this time!

Having never studied colour before this has been an interesting chapter for me. I still have a long long way to go until I can claim to have a good understanding of colour, but this has been a fun an interesting way to start out on that journey.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Thinking about Triangles

While I couldn't progress with the painting yesterday, I did have a little look through the work that will be coming up in chapter six. Working with prairie points, and I'll be making my first resolved piece.

There is a lot of stitching to be done before I need to come up with the idea for my piece but I have lots of things whirling round in my head at the moment. Here are some of the things that are inspiring me right now.

I have some potential ideas inspired by the butterfly and the spider pictures on this page in my sketchbook.Images from the Millennium wall. Prairie Points as rays from the sun or points of a star...?
Prairie Points for the roofs of buildings in a little village scene......?
Prairie points on a 3D model based on a dragon fruit.....?
These are all just mutterings for now. Lots of directions I could go in, some may prove to be entirely unsuitable. Exciting times though :)

I have red

Let the rest of the painting commence!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Playing with Paints

Yesterday I managed to finish off the stitch experiment with shades, hues and tints. That is all the stitching done for chapter five, but before I creep on to chapter six I get to play with paints for a while :)

I dug out some tubes of acrylics that I've had lying around for years, but somewhere along the line red has gone astray. I know I had red at some point as I remember using it but it's just not with the rest so I've stalled until red can be bought. Hopefully 'the old man' will be able to find some in town during his lunch break today.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Time Flies

Wow, I didn't realise that it had been almost a week since I posted here doesn't time fly. I had a really lazy weekend and I've been battling the blues the last couple of days which always makes me feel lethargic and uninspired. Thankfully I think I'm snapping out of it and I'm starting to get to work again.

My colour wheels are done, and I'm now stitching out a sample exploring tints and shades.
It's an interesting experiment.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Plenty of Firsts

The thing that I'm loving about this course is that because I've not really been that adept at using my machine there are so many new things for me to do, so many firsts.

I've never really done any real study of colour before. I was never any good at art at school, the art teacher told me so and was one of those that instead of trying to encourage those with lesser abilities just concentrated all her energies on the talented students and let the rest of us struggle on.
I've certainly never stitched with 2 threads through the needle before - and this is one of the things that I'm getting to do in making my second stitched colour wheel for this chapter. I'm not sure that the colour mixing segments are looking all that great, but it is an interesting exercise.
The set up in the first picture wasn't really working for me with this thread. It's so shiny and slippery that it just kept falling off the spool and getting tangled up tight round the spindle it was sat on. So I switched to just throwing it in a bowl by the side of my machine and this worked a lot better.
All in all I'm having fun again, the disappointment of the bluebells has been forgotten. The last few days I've been noticing the wild poppies springing up along the roadsides, maybe there will be a poppy piece in my future ;-) or maybe I should stay clear of the flora for a while ;-) For the time being I see plenty more colour play in my immediate future. My little aim is to finish chapter five before the week is out.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Module One Chapter Four - Zig Zag Stitch and Automatic Patterns

Chapter Four is complete :)

I'm not sure what is happening with the photo upload though these pictures were all taken the same way on my camera but some of them have uploaded the wrong way round again!

Thinking caps to the ready

Some you win, some not so much. I've almost finished stitching the bluebell piece and after a fairly promising start I'm pretty disappointed with how it's come out.

This is a really ropey picture of me last night putting my poor tired brain through it's paces trying to think of ways that I could improve the piece if I did it again. As per usual I have a fair bit to say. Until now I've been hand writing my notes in the workbook but after a conversation with my friend Sue on Thursday about how long I'm spending trying to organise my thoughts and write them up I think I'm going to try something different this time. I'll be typing my notes on to computer that way I'll have the ability to pour out my randomness and then cut and paste in to some sort of logical order. Maybe this will save me a bit of write up time and leave more time for stitching ... we'll see :)