Saturday, 29 August 2015

RSC 15: For Indigo read Royal

Angela at soscrappy posts a colour and several sampler blocks each month. This month's colour is indigo, but I have a problem there, so I used royal blue.

the last two "royal" indigo blocks: Mr Roosevelt's neck-tie and Bullseye.
Now I just have to make the royal units of the alternate blocks and I'll be all set for a new colour in September. I hope it's orange!


I'm linking up to

RSC 15
so head over there and check out all the indigo fun.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Planning a rainbow

Hallo friends and fellow Rainbow Challengers!

Road to California in Royal blue

Firstly many thanks to the many people who responded to my question about what I should use instead of indigo.
The suggestions were mainly: turquoise, lavender, grey and white.

I've decided on royal /peacock blue to replace the dark blue and indigo sets (2nd row in Angela's diagram), and turquoise /aqua to replace the dark blue from January (3rd row ends). The top outer blocks will be lavender or pale grey.

This took a lot of contemplation during the last three weeks, not aided by the headache caused by Windows 10. My son has fixed that now, and I've made an August block, so all is well!

I'm linking up, rather late, to
RSC 15
so pop over there and take a look at the indigo beauties.

Happy sewing

Marly.

























Camera Challenge 7: Using natural light outdoors


The challenge this month was to photograph an object just after dawn, at the natural midday, and just before dusk, on both sunny and cloudy days. I took hundreds of photos, so I warn you this will take a while!

This is my first attempt:

Unfortunately I left the light balance setting on "Cloudy" instead of "automatic", but it is consistently cloudy! In fact it wasn't really cloudy at all!

Then I waited for a really cloudy day, and waited, and waited, and had a couple of thunder storms, but no opportunity to go outside and take photos of chess pieces while the sky was overcast.

When, earlier this week,  I read Katy's review post I got a shock: she had sky in all her photos. I'd got it completely wrong! I had four days to do it again.

Which of course I did, but may have focussed too much on the sky.


Looking east:

Not all the photos in this series were taken on the same day, so I've added a note on the date, and the weather conditions. They were all taken at ISO 400 setting, and manual exposure.
Saturday 22/08 brilliantly sunny day!
Friday 21/08 cloudy in the afternoon
Thursday 20/08 sunny day

If you live in a flat land there is inevitably an awful lot of sky! (It's no wonder Rembrandt was an expert at painting light!) If you live on the ninth floor you have more than most. I love the colour of the sky in the 21:23h  photo, so here it is again!


and, in spite of the light pollution on the right, white surfaces are also showing blue.

Of course I can look in more than one direction:

Looking south-west.


Yellow glow shortly after dawn (well, an hour after; I should have got up earlier!)

bleached at noon

just after sunset: blue glow?

just after sunset: blue glow?
Again these weren't all taken on the same day.

What have I learnt?
Just after sunrise objects are tinted yellow/orange and just after sunset they're tinted blue.
Just before sunset objects have an orange glow (White Queen)
The midday sun bleaches objects.

What I didn't learn from doing is what happens just before sunrise because I reacted too late (the sun woke me up!). But these I learnt from early-bird Katy in her review.

Thanks Katy: it was a puzzle but I think I've got it now!

I'm linking up to 
Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015 
so hop over there and see what others have achieved
and marvel at Katy's wonderful photos.

Happy snapping!

Marly.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Crazy Quilting

Since 27 June I've been following Kathy Shaw's Basic Crazy Quilting Class (this is now closed, but they come around about once a month, so it's worth looking out for in September). I declared my piece completed yesterday.

Crazy is the word for me, not only for the style of quilting; I'd never seen a crazy quilt in reality, only photos. Now, of course I've seen lots more photos as participants post each completed task on a special Blogger site accessible only to class members.

And I've seen one piece in reality,


my own!

There were so many embroidery techniques I used here for the first time.

Firstly the seams are decorated by sewing a line of basic stitching, like the herringbone on the seam bottom right in the photo above, after marking the exact spot for the stitches using a template. This ensures that you don't run out of space towards the end, and that the row of stitches fits. I'd never used a template for embroidery stitches before, but found it a real asset. After that the basic stitches are further decorated with other groups of stitches, beads, and sequins.

Secondly, what I found to be the most challenging, dauting and exciting new technique was silk ribbon embroidery.

These two silk ribbon irises were an absolute first for me, and in my view they turned out just fine!

They were followed by a group of silk ribbon woven roses, and bellow them gathered roses (the small dark purple dots)

 And more roses on a vine made using fly stitch.


They show up better in the following photo, together with a small butterfly, also in silk ribbon.

All these roses use different techniques, so there was a lot to learn in a very short time. That keeps you on your toes!

And then I added some more embellishments to fill the large gaps:

cross stitch butterfly
spider with web
lone flower made from jewellery spacer and beads.
I have learnt so much in the last month and a half, and all so expertly described in small enough steps to make nothing really difficult, and yet challenging. I can recommend this course to anyone wanting to extend their sewing experience. My thanks to Kathy for the expert tuition.


Happy sewing.

Marly.



Saturday, 1 August 2015

RSC 15: week 31: August and the colour is indigo!

Question: What do you do with indigo on this background?


Answer: You don't!

I shall not be idle this month, but have decided to remake the two "blue" blocks from earlier in the year and to make the "indigo" blocks in other colours. Which colours I'm not yet sure; I'm going to take a good look at the layout plan, because I absolutely don't want to end up out of balance with a disproportionately large amount of blue.

But most of this week has been red:


and the opportunity to tidy up the really little red scraps from the past month. This is still a work in progress, as I have to figure a way to join this little lot together.

Furthermore I have sewn my first Christmas block for the poinsettia QAL at SpringLeaf Studio

The QAL started in January,I believe, and the aim is to make a block a month for nine months. All the blocks are the same layout and are large - 16" square. Needless to say "Speedy" is not my middle name. It's taken me until now to collect enough greens to make one block! All the other green fabric I have is either too yellow, or too "19th century". Even though I don't intend to make a bed quilt, with nine blocks, I shall need to buy more green fabric to make three more for a table topper. I sewed the (slightly altered) DP blocks by machine, without pins, using this tutorial from Leanne at She Can Quilt . ( I posted about it earlier when I made a practice block.) Now for the QAL participants are asked to post their progress on Instagram, which will be my next challenge!

I wrote this just before leaving to view a floating flower parade in the Westland - the area between The Hague, Delft and Rotterdam on the one side and the North Sea on the other -  an area of market gardens separated by canals. Growers in the Westland specialise in cut flowers, potted plants, and some in vegetables. Only one of my 158 photos here, one that fits with last month's RSC theme:
Christmas in August! On a flat-bottomed boat decorated with roses, lilies, orchids gladioli and more.
I'll be posting a few more photos soon.

Now I'm linking up with
RSC 15
So hop over there and see what's been going on this week.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

RSC 15; week 30: A red (and pink) dilemma

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is hosted by Angela at Soscrappy, who gives a different colour each month and many quilters concentrate on using that colour for the whole month. Some make blocks of  their own choosing, but Angela also publishes block patterns to use in a sampler quilt. This month's colour is red.

This week I have tried to assemble the alternate blocks next to the red stars.
I have a dilemma knowing which colour to use together with red in the alternate blocks. To both the left and to the right is a pink star (doesn't fit on the wall)

What would you do?
  • Pink or purple? 
  • aligned as above?
  • or like this?

 Help please!



I'm linking up to
RSC 15
 Have a look round over there and see more red stars and other wonderful blocks.

Happy sewing

Marly.

A new technique: silk ribbon embroidery

This month I started my first ever Crazy Quilting project as part of the free on-line Basic Crazy Quilting Course run by Kathy Shaw. (I blogged about it briefly last week and although registration for this course is closed, registration for the next one will probably be starting this week.)


Crazy Quilting Project: quilting cotton fabric on a muslin foundation, embroidered with DMC split cotton and silk ribbon.
 So what's new?

Well to start with I'd never done Crazy Quilting before this month. Until I saw my own efforts, I'd never even seen a piece of Crazy Quilting in reality, only in photos.

Secondly, although I've been embroidering for over half a century, I've never used a ring before. It's a definite advantage here as very few of the patchwork pieces have been cut on the grain, and the danger of stretching the fabric is high, especially when working with ribbon. It does take getting used to, especially as it slowed me down considerably.

Thirdly, while none of the thread embroidery stitches was new to me, my stitching of stem stitch and French knots has improved beyond recognition (probably because of Kathy's tuition and the ring ).

But the real FIRST came this week with silk ribbon embroidery.


Until I started this course I didn't know it existed; until this week I'd never even tried it! I'm very proud of my first two irises.

I practised a little on a scrap of muslin:
 
This was done without a ring, and you can see in the row of running stitches how the fabric puckered. You can't see how it stretched, but it did, as I exerted great effort to pull the needle with ribbon through it.

The next part of the project is more silk ribbon embroidery: embroidering roses. I'm so excited!

I'm linking up to
Celtic Thistle Stitches 
so go and see what new things others have tried this month.

Happy sewing

Marly.