Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WIP Weds: More Art

Just a quick post from me today. I did some more painting/mixed media stuff yesterday morning, creating some backgrounds. I picked up some pictures from a craft shop on Saturday that I'm planning to use. I also want to get a few more bits - the canvasses I've done are really simple because I didn't want to spend money on tons of stuff if I didn't enjoy it.

I want to add more texture so these will probably wait until I've got some more supplies.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Birthday Goodies

I tend to be given money for birthdays so that I can choose what I like and it's also easier given we live quite a distance from family. This year I managed to pick up a bargain book at The Works. Dare To Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis was only £2.99 and I couldn't resist it for the lovely quilt patterns (robots, owls and skulls - what more could I want!). I had a look on Amazon when I got back and it was selling there for over £13.

We went to a craft fair at RiversMEET yesterday. As well as enjoying the pulled pork sandwiches and cake, I picked up 5 fat quarters of fabric.

A Few More Bits & Pieces

I've been a bit busy lately with an assignment due but I've managed to do a couple more blocks for the crochet block a month project.

Firstly, the January 12" filler square Frostbloom by Shan Sevcik. I really enjoyed making this pattern.

Sorry, I haven't sewn the ends in yet!
Secondly, the February main 12" square Centre Heart Square by Ginger Badger. I've actually made this square before with DK yarn and a smaller hook and really wasn't keen on the result as it didn't seem to lie flat. Part of me was dreading making this pattern again but I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

As you can see there's a little ripple and the edges bulge slightly but I will block this square before joining it to any others which should even it all out.

I also finished the canvas I was making for the living room.

I then thought about my robot quilt and decided to make a canvas based on the robot block I designed for it. This involved tracing the outline of the robot from the quilt and using similar colours.

Here's the original quilt block for comparison:

In order to make the canvas a bit more 'mixed media' style I added some words by stamping onto decorative papers. Orla went through a phase of playing robots and would say "I am a robot, I am coming to eat you" and I thought that would be perfect for the canvas.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

WIP: Playing With Paint

This week I've been having a play around with some mod podge, paper, decopatch papers and acrylic paints making mixed media canvas art.

It's been loosely based on this tutorial by Debbie Saenz but with less detail and using a few techniques from elsewhere on the web.

Luckily I had a bird template because I can't draw!

Progress so far:

I have used decopatch papers to cover a paper template of the bird. I copied the idea in the tutorial to use something on the papers for an eye (the flower in the top left). I have used just one paper for the wing section and will add the printed word at the end - I'll probably do some more colours round the edge of it to make it stand out.

I also worked on another canvas at the same time. This time without any of the papers, just paint. I mainly did this to experiment with it but quite liking the result.
Not entirely sure what I'm doing next with this one.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Great British Sewing Bee

Are you watching? I love this program and I'm always amazed at how quickly the contestants make the items. The other week, the episode was all about patterned fabric and I found it really interesting. I don't do a lot of dressmaking and had made a New Year's resolution to do a bit more this year rather than sticking to my quilting comfort zone. I've had some fabric for a while that I'd been planning on making a skirt from and decided yesterday to have a go. I had a style in mind but of course didn't have a suitable pattern. A quick search online and I found a site called Fashion-Era that explains how to draft a skirt pattern in really easy steps (that link takes you to the introduction, in case you want to try it yourself).

So I grabbed my tape measure and some squared pattern paper and started the process. Using squared pattern paper made the process easier as I could follow the pre-printed lines as much as possible (ok, I might have rounded my numbers a little to whole centimeters so that I could use the lines!). It was a fairly easy process with some guesswork involved when it came to marking the waist.

Despite having plenty of fabric, I decided to make a toile first to (a) make sure it fit and (b) practice because I'm so used to quilting I find it really strange using a larger seam allowance for dressmaking. I'm so glad I did because this is when I made my first mistake (through not reading the instructions properly). I forgot to add the seam allowance to the centre back. The front of the skirt is cut as one piece by placing the centre front on the fold but the back is cut as two pieces and therefore needs a seam allowance added to allow for the seam up the back of the skirt and the zip placement.

I carried on making the toile without as it was cut out and simply didn't bother with the back seam. It was only to check the fit so as long as the back pieces touched each other for the full length it would fit. As it happened it did fit fine so I started cutting out for the main skirt.

Following what was said on the sewing bee I decided to have flowers running down the centre front. This was easy to work out as the placement of them was pretty much straight with the grain of the fabric so I folded the fabric down the centre of a line of flowers. Cutting for the back was more difficult (and of course I had to add the seam allowance on). It turns out some of the flowers are different sizes which slowed down the matching up process (I think I must have triple checked this part). I again used the centre of a flower for the join point of the back seam. It got pushed out slightly when making but it's not bad for a first attempt.

My invisible zip could do with some work but I don't have the proper foot for this so I expect one of those might have made a lot of difference.


It just needs the waist and hem finished now. I didn't want to cut the waist part until I was sure the skirt part would fit - adjustments could have affected the length of the waist.