Moka Pots Finished

Moka Pots is now finished! The weekend after next, it will be in the competition at the West Country Quilt Show, where my lovely friend Hilary will also have a stand.

I’m pleased with it. I can see all its flaws and imperfections, but it is the biggest and most cohesive thing I have made so far.

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!

Moka Pots – Quilting the Focal Points

I got my sewing machine back from repair today, and it is much better. I finished machine quilting the focal points, and I’m pleased with it so far:


This is the piece so far. The black strips are sealing the edges of the velvet, to stop it fraying. I like it, but I will need to,include black in the hand stitching, bring the hand stitching over the edges, and go for a monochromatic border to balance it up.

Free machining and blocking

I’ve been working on the background of the coffee quilt, getting it all quilted before I put the focal points on.

Fitting in a bit of stitching in the mornings, and a good few hours on Wednesday and today, I’ve now got all the background quilting done:


I had a few problems with my machine, despite cleaning it regularly, there were still some lint buildups, and it started making a birds’ nest in the bobbin case, so I left it for a day and then re-cleaned it, and luckily it worked fine again:


The all over quilting is a checkerboard pattern of alternating squares of coffee beans and wiggly basket weave grids:


It is easier to see on this photo of the back of the quilt:


Some of the stitching is quite dense, so the piece needs blocking. You can see how distorted the middle section is here:


Here it is, all pinned out on my blocking board:


I’m looking forward to getting it off and stitching the focal points next.

Free machining and blocking

I’ve been working on the background of the coffee quilt, getting it all quilted before I put the focal points on.

Fitting in a bit of stitching in the mornings, and a good few hours on Wednesday and today, I’ve now got all the background quilting done:


I had a few problems with my machine, despite cleaning it regularly, there were still some lint buildups, and it started making a birds’ nest in the bobbin case, so I left it for a day and then re-cleaned it, and luckily it worked fine again:


The all over quilting is a checkerboard pattern of alternating squares of coffee beans and wiggly basket weave grids:


It is easier to see on this photo of the back of the quilt:


Some of the stitching is quite dense, so the piece needs blocking. You can see how distorted the middle section is here:


Here it is, all pinned out on my blocking board:


I’m looking forward to getting it off and stitching the focal points next.

Tea or coffee?

I worked on the latest page in my sketchbook tonight:

  
It is built up with layers, a green Rollagraph print on the right hand side, a couple of stamps, coral sand and turquoise dyes, strips of washi tape, a gesso print of a coffee pot, some colouring with Pablo pencils, paint dabbers and gelatos, a tea packet, and tea tags.

  
  
I really love it, the colours and layers are wonderful. A friend gave me the tea packet – thank you David!

Coffee Pots: Print and Dye

Yesterday, I made some coffee pot stamps to go with the stencils. They are both double sided, with the positive image on one side, and the negative on the other:  

This morning I cut a couple of word stencils to go with the coffee pots; milk and coffee in Italian:   

Trying them out with dabbers:

   

I did some printing with them and the stamps:

 

The Gelli plate prints were sometimes a bit indistinct, whereas I liked the crisp lines of the directly printed stencils, so I combined them both:   

 

I love the way that dye transforms prints. I had about 6 sketchbooks on the go, so I have lots of lovely prints to work into in the evenings ahead.

 

Some of the pages in my small sketchbook:

  
   

  
I made this zigzag book and card to use as tip ins in my sketchbooks:

  

And I started decanting my dyes into pots that are all the same size.  Previously they were in miscellaneous jam jars, which got me going using dyes, but wasn’t good for easy storage:

  
A lovely, long day of making.

Cutouts and Coffee Pots

Last night, I cut the two coffee pot stencils. They are the most complicated stencils I have cut, but the gyro cut made it easier, and I learned more about using the tool; namely that it is much easier to push away from you than pull towards, and I prefer to cut curves before straight lines.

I did one print with each stencil and also got the excess paint off one into my sketchbook

The large coffee pot stencil (a bit hard to see): 

The positive and negative prints. The positive is on the front of a board book I am altering, and the negative is on a page of my sketchbook that had scrap paint rolled onto it, both with a foam roller and the crackle Rollagraph, which is just lovely:  
I couldn’t resist adding a bit of dye:

 

Next, the three pots stencil: 
  
I put it on the  opposite page of my sketchbook, which also had some paint, and the blotted off dye from the previous page: 
The off print of this one didn’t go down well as I tried to roll it onto Khadi paper, which is too textured for the technique. Even with plenty of roller pressure I didn’t get a recognisable image. Oh well!

Next, I decided to cut some apertures in my little pink pig sketch book:

  
  
  
Not entirely sure about this one…

  
And I used the cut out spirals to decorate the front of the book, with gelatos:

  
All in all, a productive evening! Now I’m going to get up and cut some stamps.