Friday, October 21, 2011

Making a Medallion - Border by Border

It's not just the eco-dying that has been keeping me occupied this week - it's also my applique attempt which is gradually being transformed into a medallion quilt. I had to make an emergency trip to my local quilt store this afternoon for more cream fabric and thread and it was pointed out to me by one of my stitching buddies who works there that I had been most remiss in not updating progress on this quilt - so here it is, to bring a smile to your face Marilyn.

Fortunately the friend who will be getting this quilt is not a textile person so doesn't read my blog with any regularity, apart from when she knows I am stitching something for her daughters. However, if you are reading, and can work out who you are, you should just stop now! Consider yourself warned.

So here is the progress to date - I started with a green border and moved onto a chequer-board.
Then came a border of a beautiful floral designed by Anna Griffin that is the basis of the colour choices for the quilt. My daughter picked it out as she was convinced that it was just the thing that would be loved by the intended recipient. It will end in a wider border of this feature fabric, quite a traditional English medallion quilt which I hope will be perfect, even if the applique isn't quite.

The most recent addition over the last two days are the 32 friendship stars. My friend and I have only been friends for 28 years, but I was prepared to extend her the benefit of the doubt for the sake of the design. At this point I think we will be able to hang in there for four more years....sounds suspiciously like a Presidential campaign slogan!
And now I am drawing breath and trying to decide what next. I think it will probably be another cream border so that the stars look like they are floating on the surface of the quilt. I'm hoping that's what it will look like anyway and not like a big bandage.

It's been great to have a week out of the office, with far more opportunity that normal for stitching. At this rate the January deadline won't be too much a stretch - although I probably shouldn't speak too soon!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tea and Eucalyptus

My first venture into eco dyeing has rapidly led to my second - I fear this could rapidly become habit forming.  
This time it was a second go for my eucalyptus leaves and to liven things up I popped in a few tea bags. 
The results were really impressive and were enhanced by the dye migration from the coloured silk which was left stitched onto the sleeve lining on this kimono silk.
It should probably come as no surprise that the undyed piece is currently bubbling away.
I'm almost certain that it will bear little relation to its pre-dyed companion sleeve. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The First Big Reveal

Time to reveal my dyeing results - it was all a big experiment and one we all enjoyed. Even my boys were fascinated by just what I was doing and what the results were going to be. The wool I used to tie the bunble truned from a bright blue to a olive green - very effective. I'm sure I should have used significantly less that I did - next time...
I thought the silk looked wonderful up against the back wall - the peeling paint looking just as distressed as the variable colours across the silk.
Now that the silk has dried I'm chain stitching around the ghostly figures of the gum leaves. It's a very relaxing thing to do, outlining the odd partial shapes. The ghost leaves intrigue me, particularly as they came from the local cemetry - like whispers of the past.

Not quite sure where it is taking me yet - time will tell but I have a few ideas bubbling away. In the meantime I'm planning the next boil up to see what else I can conjure up out of next to nothing. Lots of fun - many thanks to India Flint for the ideas, inspiration and information in her two beautiful books. They are a feast to the eyes and imagination.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Less thinking, More doing

I decided that this was the weekend that I would finally stop all the good intentions, stop the thinking and actually get started on the applique quilt.
And I am pleased to say that I have succeeded - it appears that I can actually do machine applique, even if I have have spent months convincing myself that it would be beyond me.

Clearly this is one of my real obstacles to creating - over thinking things instead of just getting on and doing it.

So while I was at it I also got cracking and put together my first ever bundle of dyeing - its sitting in the pot cooling down as I type. Eucalyptus leaves gathered from Karori Cemetery and rolled onto some kimono silk that I have had patiently waiting for just this purpose.
Can't wait to get it unwrapped tomorrow and see what has happened now that I have finally got through the thinking stage and onto the doing.