Saturday, 29 December 2012

Taking a line for a walk

So Bad Hair Day Lady has a little boy (I'll call him lego boy) who loves to draw. When he was 4/5 years old he went through a particularly creative phase and lucky BHDL would stumble upon these magnificent pictures when tidying up after her noisy brood. She told me these pictures reminded her of Paul Klee, who said 'Drawing is taking a line for a walk' (or something like that).

Now I am not ashamed to say that I don't know my Klee's from Kandinsky's but I could see the link:
Panels of the doodle quilt

Lego Boy's drawings aged 4-5
Well needless to say this tripped the quilty ideas switch in my head and I had a lot of fun choosing fabrics and machine quilting the pictures - it really made me notice all the small details, like tiny faces in the windows of trucks. The machine embroidery was also a great way of using up Aunty Maureen's cottons, some of which are very old.

Doodle quilt detail: looks like a snail

Doodle quilt detail: birdcage head man and friend

Doodle quilt central panel: Thimble on the right
Probably a bit narcissistic, but I couldn't help putting my picture in the middle of the quilt (that is me on the right with the big chin). I wanted to join up the pictures with a maze design, but it got a bit complicated so I did a modified maze:
Taking a line for a walk quilt
For the border, I wanted to use up all the odds and end bits, so I used my new bias binding maker and was very pleased with the result, and with my thriftiness.
strippy bias binding
Anyway I was thrilled with the end result, so thanks Lego Boy for your inspiration. I hope this stands the test of time. Weirdly enough the portrait of me from the central panel (done in felt tip pen) was in a frame on my bookshelf and over the course of the year whilst making the quilt, the picture slowly faded away and now is just a ghost would have been lost forever had I not embroidered it into this quilt!


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Craft Crazy

This year's christmas tree angel is the lovely Castiel. I am not sure he featured strongly in the Jesus story, but then neither did magic mushrooms and marshmallows knitting a blanket, which also adorn our delicately tasteful plastic tree.
Something was missing though and I didn't know what until we were given this lovely hand-knitted snowman with crocheted twig arms. Thanks Sheila!

Sheila's snowman

Monday, 10 December 2012

Party Frock

Party Frock
Work christmas parties. Enough said. This year I was determined to fulfil my resolution to make a frock and make a proper job of it. It has been a(nother) curve on the mysterious and sometimes incredibly frustrating but mostly fun journey of learning needlecraft.

This was the starting point:
It was a sorry moment when after a recent severe cold spell necessitating extra portions of pie, I had to 'upsize' Hedley in the bust department. Then the really fun bit of ordering fabric which I mostly like to do in a real shop but I ran out of time so used Calico Laine which has the widest selection of dress lining fabrics I have ever come across and is really reasonably priced. I chose the Airforce/Navy iridescent satin back Dupion because it looked a bit special...and also some polka dot green cotton...well just because.

Unlike the lovely lady in black on the packet, my figure crossed over several size bands which was a bit confusing, being a novice. I decided to be extra careful and EVEN made a muslin FIRST:
Hedley in muslin
The idea being that this is made using the pattern, sewn up, tried on and then the muslin pieces adjusted and unpicked to become the new pattern pieces. I am jolly glad I didn't miss out this step because I had to add 2 inches to the length and alter the curve of the side panels. Well to cut a long story short I got into a bit of a pickle sewing the lining to the front mainly because I didn't read the instructions. I also found out that Satin back Dupion frays really easily and is not the best choice for a beginner. There were a few sweaty moments when I had to unpick the zip and it might have ended up in the bin at the attaching the skirt stage, had I not remembered that my best qualities are perseverance in the face of adversity and optimism.

Well, I did it. I had my Pretty in Pink moment (anyone else remember feeling a little crestfallen at the unveiling of the dress in that film after the tremendous build-up? I'd do it again though.
Pretty in Pink
Pretty in Airforce/Navy iridescent satin back Dupion