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…


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!

Bumble Hole Mini-Quilt

I’m excitedly looking forward to picking my sewing machine up today; it has been serviced, the bobbin case has been replaced, and I have ordered a pack of new Janome bobbins. The non-Janome ones look so alike, but I suspect a non-Janome one was causing my problems.

So in my excitement, I have decided to spend some time this morning composing another small quilt, using the fabrics a I printed up on Bumble Hole. I only had a few fabrics printed, so I was struggling for choices, whereas I print in volume on paper, so I find the composition so much easier. I need to remember to print on fabric in the same volumes as I print on paper; I don’t really know why I don’t do it – I have a whole box of plain fabric to print on, which is now immediately by my print table. I do not have much which is ready for overdyeing (the way I work means that my fabric needs to be soaked in a soda ash solution), and that may be part of it.

So, this is the composition I have laid out:

I need to work out which bridge print I prefer for the top, as well as generally if I am satisfied with it.

Drawing at Bumble Hole

On Saturday morning, I went down to Bumble Hole nature reserve, my little local spot of sanctuary, took a few more photos and did some sketching.

We approached from a new side, and saw this beautiful metal sign, surrounded by wonderful wild flowers.  I had forgotten to put any crayons in my little art kit, so I couldn’t do a rubbing, something which needs to be rectified.


I love the beautiful curvy bridges:


So I drew them, mostly without taking the pen off the paper, after the Cas Holmes day school. It was surprisingly enjoyable!


There was a massive gaggle of goslings with their proud mum and dad paddling along:


This beautiful little path was new to us, like a wonderful green fairy path.


Leading us to a lovely wild meadow, with a dragonfly and some butterflies floating over.


And this lovely view of Cobb’s Engine House:


Which I had to sketch:


Another lovely view of the engine house:


And a beautiful view of the canal. For something which is stereotypically straight, there are lots of lovely curves!


I’ll post close up pictures of the sketches soon.