A new beginning…

I’m working towards a couple of competitions next year with a garden theme, so I have planned a couple of stencils. As per my usual style, they are rather complicated. If I can get them cut as planned, I will be very pleased.


Not too sure how to cut the hollyhocks!

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Jam

I spent some lovely summer and early autumn evenings picking blackberries, giving me a 4kg harvest.

Last Sunday, a friend and I spent several happy hours in his kitchen, listening to some good music, and making jam.


Berries ready to go.


We had plenty of jars to use up.


Very precise measuring of jar apertures to cut waxed paper circles!


How much sugar!


Bubbling nicely 🙂

I didn’t take any more photos after this, but we made 13 jars of blackberry jam, and 8 jars of blackberry and apple jelly. It’s lovely, great in porridge.

We also made some non-Newtonian semi-Freddo, with some of the water which we poured over the berries, boiled for a bit, and then changed our minds, so poured it off and froze it. It is amazing, quite tart, but wonderful with chocolate ice cream. We’ll never be able to replicate it, sadly.

A Productive Day

I am working to finish a couple of quilts that have sat mounted on canvas for a couples of weeks, and just need bindings adding. This is the first time I have added fused bindings to quilts on canvases, so I did the little one first to get my hand in, before tackling the 1m by 50cm whopper.

I dyed the fabrics for the bindings, here is the light one drying on my line:

And here’s the finished piece, already up on the wall:


For the second one, I had a go at tray dyeing:


When I washed it out, I ended up with mostly orange! I think it’s because I had such an analogous set of dyes, but I am still pleased with the subtle patterns, and it’ll look nice on my quilt.


I have put the fusible on the back of the strips, but had to stop, because the curry which is simmering on the hob needed to be stirred; I’d neglected it for quite a while!

Woven rays

This evening I did a bit of hand stitching on one of the quilts I printed and composed in January. I really like the rays stencil which is in the background, and as it is composed mostly of paper, it is stiff enough to support long, straight stitches.


I like an opportunity to weave stitches.

Moving on

Today we got both the blocked pieces adhered to their canvases. They just need their borders adding now. I suspect that, especially for the coffee pots, I won’t have any dyed fabric long enough, so I will need to dye some up especially. That at least means I can get the colours right, but potentially leads to some analysis paralysis about precisely what colours to put where, whether to include some black and white, etc…

Blocking

I’ve got two quilts which are both ready to mount (Moka Pots and Bumble Hole) and so this morning I have pinned them both out on my blocking board, so they are both really flat when it comes to mounting them.

Hilary taught me to block pieces, and it’s well worth doing. You need a flat surface the size of your piece, a water spray, pins, and a finger that doesn’t mind getting a divot in the end of it!

I found a tub of map pins part way through blocking the second piece – they really are much better, as the short shaft means you can apply more pressure without them bending.


Here’s the Moka Pots – a little too big for my blocking board, but the end which is hanging off isn’t very distorted, so hopefully it’ll be ok. My blocking board is a 4ft office divider screen I got when my work were having a clear out. It’s easy to pin into, stable, so I can put some force into pinning, and stands in front of my shelves when not in use, so doesn’t get in the way much.

Moka Pots is being entered into the West Country Quilt and Textile Show next month, assuming they got my form in time, so I need to get it mounted and ready to post soon. Not too sure how I am going to post it, as it is 40″ by 20″ (1m by 50 cm).


Because the board is double sided, I can block two pieces at once. Bumble Hole is A3 sized, and I was worried about blocking it, as the crackle and butterfly prints are both on deli paper. Deli paper is a US version of greaseproof paper, and is excellent for printing on (unlike UK greaseproof, which is rubbish), but I was worried it would tear if it was pinned and stretched. Thankfully no tears, just slightly damp feet where the water rolled off!