30 May 2009

South Yorkshire Gardens

Another second post for this month. I am catching up for the other week when I didn't post anything.

Today was such a lovely day with everyone seeming to be out and about making the most of the sunshine and David and I were no exception. We went to Sheffield Botanical Garden, where we had not visited since New Year's Day. Obviously a lot warmer than then and quite a bit more colourful with the azaleas and rhododendrons and a lot of perennial plants in flower, though roses were yet to bloom, but they're working on it.Above are some azaleas from the Japanese garden and below some rhododendronsThere is some art work dotted around the gardens and I could not resist taking a photo of this glazed pond with frog spawn and tadpoles. The writing around the edge of the pond reads "An iron rose, half open gates Show where a secret garden waits".And below is waterfall in the real pond, bordered with some Arum liliesIt was a lovely place to spend time for a picnic lunch and to have a wander. We hope to go back again in another month and see roses in the rose garden. They should be at their best then.

On our way home from there we made another visit to Brodsworth House to see the gardens. After a cup of tea in the house we had another wander to see more flowers. Lovely poppies.Through a rose pergolaThis a is fern dell, with the largest collection of ferns in the north of EnglandAnd lastly a view across the garden to the House. With the Monkey Puzzle trees against the blue sky it could almost look Mediterranean.
Can you tell that we are frustrated gardeners? We can grown things in pots at our rented house so it's a chance to enjoy what there is around elsewhere as well as making the most of the weekend. Tomorrow will be catching up day before venturing back to work on Monday.

Things made and received

Or should it be received and made?? I find that Blogger puts the photos in reverse order to which they've been uploaded so its a case of having to think in that order too, which I didn't do this time. Earlier this month I did some postcards for the BQL postcard group swap, which was Flip and Sew which you can see in my last post here. From the top are cards I've received from Claire, Janet, Jacquie and Plum. Aren't they lovely and colourful?
Onto things things made and last week at Creative Embroiderer's Group we made some funky fabric brooches in an evening workshop by Gemma Nemer, who is a very keen collector of vintage textiles. Janet has some pics of the workshop over on her blog. This little brooch (looks enormous in the photo but is only about 4.5" in diameter) was made from black/white and white/black fabrics from my stash. It was a very enjoyable evening and good to go home with something completed.
Something that I have been making on and off for a little while now and finally finished to give to my sister last weekend was a wallhanging, about 18" square. This is from Jennie Rayment's daisy pattern so the points on the daisy are made by folded squares into the seam sections with yellow prairie points in between. I free machine quilted the background with a pearly metallic yarn, which just catches the light. This will go well in her living room.

18 May 2009

Fabric painting and flip'n'sew

Last week during my first week of "resting between jobs" I did some fabric painting. A few years ago I was taught the technique of shaving foam printing. The lady who taught this didn't know who originated this type of monoprinting so I cannot credit anyone with this, all I do know is that it is fun discovering what effects this has on fabric and paper too. The above pic shows the lovely mess of foam, turquoise and pink paint.

The one below shows the fabric on the right having been peeled off the surface.
I spread a layer of shaving foam onto a laminated surface and dabbed spots of fabric paint. Using a fork I spread the paint around for a sort of marbling effect before placing the fabric on top of the foam for a few minutes. After peeling off I scraped off the foam to be left with the print. The foam surface can be used a second time for a more muted effect.

The photograph below shows my attempts at this. The purple one was not brilliant as I was trying to get more out of the foam on this one and it didn't quite work but still made a good working background to some stamping I went on to do (I'll show that in another post). Another one was just using drops of fabric paint and not spreading it so it was blotchy. The lilac one and the blue/turquoise ones were most sucessful. Some of these monoprinted fabrics have been stamped as well and they'll be used for next month's postcard swap with the theme of printing.

I've also made some postcards for a BQL postcard swap and they were sent out yesterday. The theme was flip and sew and I though of crazy patchwork, but turned into crazy log cabin instead. Using scrap bag pieces and keeping to a colour theme to each of the four cards. I'd added fancy sewing machine stitches and some other embellishments to keep some of the "crazy" look. I've had one postcard already and I'll put that on the next post. Here are the cards below.I'm also working on a bookmark for a swap in the Embellisher group and finishing the postcards as above. I think I may have to tidy my room, I'm having difficulty fitting things into drawers so need a good sort out (or bigger drawers perhaps?).

13 May 2009

2 Posts in One Day

Just to show that we don't go out and about every weekend, just seems like it, I thought I would show something that I've made and some things I've received recently.
If you've been reading my blog you will know that I am taking part in this year's BQL (British Quilt List) Challenge organised by Kandy Newton to make a 12 inch quilt a month. This month's is trapunto. Quilting the letters for MAY and I'd also quilted a couple of flowers before layering with more wadding and free machining the remainder of the quilt. I used a soft yellow with a print and the matching cotton was "lost" in the quilt and made it difficult to see for machine quilting. I then did another line of sewing in a slightly darker thread which turned out a lot better. I was also quite pleased how this photographed as sometimes it is difficult to see the quilting on wholecloth quilts.
Recently I took part in a postcard swap called Folded Wonders, swapping with 3 others in the Arts in the Mail Yahoo group. I had 2 already, shown in this post. This lovely snail (I know snails aren't normally lovely). This one came from Rita in Canada, which she called snail mail and it was worth the wait.

Something else I've received is a bookmark from Pam as part of the Embellisher group swap and a lovely surprise. I have been reading a lot lately with my commuting to Leeds every day, up until last Friday, when my temp job came to an end after 3 months. Reading is something I hope to keep up now that I've got a little more time on my hands now.

Something else I've received is from my friend Penny, who went to the Swanage Railway in Dorset the weekend before last. She collected some railway postcards and sent them both. I;ve also had cards this week - one from my colleagues from the job I've just left and another from the Bourne Quilters in Parkstone, who I haven't seen for ages. Which has reminded me that David and I have been in Yorkshire for almost 6 months. Hasn't time flown.

Another day in North Yorkshire

Haven't posted for a while so thought it time to update the blog. David and I had another Saturday in North Yorkshire, this time visiting a small quilt exhibition near Driffield in a small village called Kilham. The exhibition was in the parish church so here's a couple of pictures (we were allowed to take photos) one towards the back of the church and bell tower, where there was a colourful log cabin hung over the balcony. The second photo is towards the altar.
It was a lovely exhibition in a lovely setting.

David and I then went onto Flamborough Head after a brief stop in Bridlington for lunch. It is noted for its lighthouse and we also discovered that there are some kittiwakes who seem to cling on for dear life on the cliffs of the headland. I was amazed that my camera could get a really good close up of the birds.

We were lucky enough to have a tour of the lighthouse, never having been inside one before. It is amazing that because of the magnification of the light through the powerful lens that the light does not use much power. In spite of the lovely blue sky, when we came from there and headed towards York, then home, the weather turned and started to rain heavily. The photo below shows the birds nesting precariously on the cliff.

03 May 2009

Day in North Yorkshire

David and I went to North Yorkshire and as David visited the North Yorkshire Railway at Pickering for their Spring Steam Gala I decided to go to Scarborough. Lovely to see the sea again, took a few piccies but these caught my eye. The following photos were taken in Blands Cliff, a very steep cobbled street which joins the shopping area of Eastgate and the seafront.

Above is a mural on the side of a house
On a retaining wall going up the street
And looking back down.

After a few hours of shopping and sightseeing. I drove back to Pickering to await his return on one of the engines. There were a lot of people waiting at the station (for a train, of course!)
One particular train. And the engine was....
Tornado - the new steam engine, that was only named earlier this year.
Unfortunately it was not the one that David was on, that was to come in a lot later. Nevertheless we both had an enjoyable day and the weather behaved too.Some sewing was done earlier in the week. I finished off the two cushions that were in progress from my last post and now on one of our settees.A Sunday morning trip to Tescos for a few bits and pieces and some tulips that I could not resist.