Grandma's Lap Quilt
A lap quilt that I originally made as another entry in a Guild of Machine Knitters competition, but which I then gave to my Auntie as a present for those colder nights when she's sat in her favourite chair.
The original inspiration was a picture of a grandma sitting in a rocking chair I came across on the internet. The patterned squares are the usual printed cotton quilting fabric, while the plain squares, border and backing are machine knitted in 3 ply lambswool from Uppingham Yarns (http://www.wools.co.uk/). It isn't clear from this picture, but the plain squares actually have texture created by pin tucks, cables and so on. The end product was lovely and soft and warm, just right for keeping your legs warm on a cold winter's night.
Such was my interest that I suddenly felt inspired to write a poem to go with the quilt! I used to write quite a lot of poetry at school, and then very little until I wrote something as a bit of a memorial when my maternal grandmother died. Anyway, here it is; up to you to make your own judgement on whether I'm a future candidate for Poet Laureate!
GRANDMA’S LAP QUILT
Flair 'Butterfly Magic' Competition Entry
My entry was called 'Butterflies love buddleia'. The piece of bark came from some I found on campus at work after a tree had been chopped down in preparation for a new building. Well, you never know when something might come in useful! The main stem is an actual piece of dried buddleia bush from the garden, while the other 'branches' are made from strong beading wire. The leaves are made from a sude-effect fabric. Two pieces are joined together with simple stitching to create veins, and the edges sealed using a soldering iron. The flowers are made from pieces of felt stitched all over with an approopriate built-in pattern on my sewing machine. I then cut out some shapes, stuffed them and hand stitched them together so that they gave the impression of buddleia flowers. Finally, I sitched out some butterfiles using the same disk that I used for my Butterfly Jacket (see Garments) on pieces of felt. The leaves, flowers and butterflies are stitched onto twisted loops of the wire.
The whole thing was a complete experiment, but worth it in the end because I was one of 10 people who won the competition, receiving a day's workshop with Laura Kempshall at Husqvarna Viking's HQ in Redditch as the main part of my prize! ;o)
VW Van Seat Covers & Cushions
A work colleague had made bespoke benching and shelving for the back of his van - his pride and joy! - and needed some help with making covers for the seating and cushions. Not one to turn down a challenge, I managed to do them for him as you can see from the photo below. The covers have hidden fastenings using long strips of velcro, so should the worst happen they can be removed for laundering. Must admit that I was seeing stripes everywhere by the time I'd done!
Examples of City & Guilds work
A few pictures of some of the samples I did as part of my City & Guilds Machine Embroidery Levels 1 & 2 work. They're mostly about trying out new techniques and displaying them so they are visually interesting. Of course they're never going to look as good on here as in real life, but they give some clues and are colourful to look at! :o)
Of course there are lots of elements to my OCA work, including a learning log which I'm doing as a blog:
Then there are experiments in sketchbooks, a bit like the City & Guilds ones above only going wider and further, research projects, assignments and visits to museums, exhibitions etc. To give you a small taster, here is a picture of my tree bark inspiration and the scarf that I made from it for my assignment.
This is the wet bark on a plane tree which I spotted while walking to the bus stop one day. I found the shapes, colours and texture just irresistible and had to take a photo on my phone for future reference. At that time the assignment was a distant project and I had no thoughts as to how I was going to use the picture. It was only later that the two came together.
And here is my work colleague, Laura, modelling the finished item for me. She just happened to be wearing the right outfit on the day to set it off beautifully - honest! The scarf is made out of several pieces of different thicknesses of silk fabric and (machine) knitted silk yarn. I painted these randomly with silk paints, cut out the resultant painted blobs and shapes into shapes, tacked them onto a base of strong wash away fabric, and then stitched where and how fancy took me. The scarf is fully reversible and I am very pleased with the finished look.
Roger's study items
Another work colleague, and having discovered my 'hidden talents' Roger asked me to make him and window seat cushion and blind. The former was realtively simple - although he had to make a paper template as it's a very old house where nothing is square or equal or anything like that! The blind was totally bespoke, again based on measurements he took, but serves the dual purpose of looking good and keeping the sun/cold out and the warmth in.
Not exciting stuff I know, but it gives a bit more info about what I have done.
I've started making bags here and there as presents for people, so here are some sample pics.
Apologies, not a very good quality picture, but perhaps enough for you to be able to get the gist. The original bag design is by Sue Box in Australia, and stitched in metallic threads - always a challenge! This became a present for my cousin.
The butterfly bag below was made for a departing work colleague who adores butterflies. I had the pattern and fabric that someone had given me (both the outer denim and the fabric I used for the lining too) in my 'stash'. I'd purchased the butterfly designs from Kreations by Kara because I think they're amazing, and had great fun choosing the colours and where to put them. The butterflies on the handle come from the same 'Butterflies' disk I used for my jacket, and there are a few flowers and leaves to add interest taken from the built-in designs on my SE machine.