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Stash busting (again!)

Stash Busting (Again!)

You might have heard me say over the years that when I have fabric left over from a quilting project I slice it up into narrow strips. I have a huge crate full of these strips, all perfect for adding bindings to a new quilt, or for making quick work of log cabin or courthouse steps patchwork. Recently I’ve been adding to this stash with some hand dyed fabrics I bought sight unseen. These turned out to be a very lightweight cotton – too thin for regular patchwork but excellent for anything worked onto a foundation. So, I’ve cut a number of eight inch foundation squares from some cotton blinds I recently replaced. I love to recycle! The first strip is laid from corner the corner on the square and the second lined up on top of it. My strips are different widths but none narrower than one and a quarter inches or wider than two inches. I’ve also been consistent to place the first strip as a dark blue/grey on every block. I press every seam and continue adding more strips either side of the first untill the whole of the cream foundation is covered.

The block looks really untidy at first but I flip it over and use a rotary cutter to trim the excess fabrics back to the edge of the foundation. This keeps everything nice and square and stitching onto the foundation prevents distortion at the same time as making the fabric more substantial.

At the moment I haven’t decided how I’m going to join these blocks. I’ve just plonked them on the floor for the purpose of these photos. The colours are pretty randomly placed except for the consistent grey strip at the centre of each block. In the arrangement here those strips create a suggestion of a grid which I do quite like. There are a number of other things I might do with the blocks though. They could be sliced in half and sewn to plain fabrics to make half square triangles for instance. Maybe I could sash them with a single colour to make the overall effect more controlled? I think I’ll have to make lots more blocks before I can make up my mind. It’s a good job they are so quick to do. I’m always such a control freak with my quilts so it’s hard for me to use so many random colours and to have so few seams line up. Wish me luck!

Bye for now.  Linda x

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I’m easily distracted

I'm easily distracted

I think when you like making ‘stuff’ you like to have lots of different things on the go at any one time so that you’re never bored. That’s how it is for me anyway. When I casually mentioned to my daughter, Laura, that I fancied knitting a cosy hat but I needed to get some yarn she took me to her stash and let me have my pick. These are all luxury blends of merino, cashmere and nylon that she hand dyed a while ago. All gorgeous but not huge quantities of the same colours as each skein was intended for making a pair of socks. Of course had I stuck to my plan of making a hat this would not have been an issue but somehow we were lured onto the free patterns on Ravelry.com and I found myself considering something a little more ambitious. Instead of a simple hat that might have kept me occupied for a couple of evenings in front of the TV I discovered a boxy sweater pattern I fancied. I don’t have the recommended yarn so I’ve knitted a test square – this is completely out of character, usually I just jump straight in accepting that whatever I make will fit somebody if it doesn’t fit me! I suspect this project is going to take me a while – I just hope it isn’t high summer by the time it’s finished.

Now I don’t want anyone to think I’ve just been sitting watching TV all over the holiday. I have been working into another handmade book. This latest one is a collection of plant printed papers that I asked Laura to bind for me. The papers are all shapes and sizes but I think that’s more interesting than a sketchbook with completely regular and uniform pages don’t you? As you can see from the photos, Laura’s attached the pages to folds of sturdy watercolour paper with rows of machine stitch. Some of the lines of stitch are functional and some purely decorative to add texture. When she presented the book to me the pristine white of the watercolour paper was really distracting so my first job has been to lose the white! I’ve got lots of little bottles of acrylic inks in golds, bronzes and transparent raw umber that I think are perfect to complement the colours of the prints. The inks may look a little bright right now but I’ll be working onto them with drawing, painting and text so that will tone them down a little.  The book doesn’t have its hard covers yet but I’ve found a piece of cotton fabric I printed at the same time I made the plant prints on paper. It should work really well but it’ll be the last thing I do – have to finish the pages first.

Do you see what I mean about being easily distracted? Why work on one thing when you can have several different ones on the go? Oh and I never even mentioned I’m returning to oil painting too – a medium I haven’t worked with for a long time. No time for boredom though!

Bye for now. Thanks for reading today! Linda x

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Goldcrest

Goldcrest

6 inches x 6 inches
15 cm x 15 cm

This is an original painting of one of the birds that I would love to see in my garden but I’ve only ever seen once. That was on a walk up the hill out of Laura’s village. We heard him first but after a careful search in the hedgerow we spotted him in all his tiny glory!  My painting is acrylic onto a square, wooden panel and is ready for display.

2022

The price of £95 includes UK postage but if you’re outside the UK please email before purchasing for a quick quote on shipping.

Available

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Winter Visitor

Winter Visitor

6 inches x 6 inches
15 cm x 15 cm

Original acrylic painting worked onto a  deep edge canvas box panel.This is an original acrylic painting of one of the birds that visit our garden during the cold days of winter when they are attracted by windfall apples in the orchard and all the red berries on our shrubs. It’s painted onto a square, deep edge box canvas and is ready for display.

£95 includes UK shipping . Please enquire for shipping at cost to anywhere else.

Available

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Needlefelted Landscape 4

Needlefelted Landscape 4

The frame measures 10 inches x 10 inches x 1.75 inches deep
25.5 cm x 25.5 cm x 4.5 cm deep

The aperture is 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
11.5 cm x 11.5 cm

This little landscape is one of a series of four. It features needlefelted woollen fibres which I’ve free motion machine quilted before adding hand stitched details to represent beautiful poppies growing in a field of honey coloured wheat. The essence of early summer! If you take a look at the gallery images below you’ll see that I’ve framed it with a white mount  in a deep black frame all ready for display!

£85 includes UK postage. It is available unframed for purchases outside the UK. Please ask for details.

Available

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Needlefelted Landscape 3

Needlefelted Landscape 3

The frame measures 10 inches x 10 inches x 1.75 inches deep
25.5 cm x 25.5 cm x 4.5 cm deep

The aperture is 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
11.5 cm x 11.5 cm

This little landscape is one of a series of four. It features needlefelted woollen fibres which I’ve free motion machine quilted before adding hand stitched details to represent beautiful poppies growing in a field of honey coloured wheat. The essence of early summer! If you take a look at the gallery images below you’ll see that I’ve framed it with a white mount  in a deep black frame all ready for display!

£85 includes UK postage. This is available unframed for countries outside the UK – please ask for details.

Available

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Needlefelted Landscape 2

Needlefelted Landscape 2

The frame measures 10 inches x 10 inches x 1.75 inches deep
25.5 cm x 25.5 cm x 4.5 cm deep

The aperture is 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
11.5 cm x 11.5 cm

This little landscape is one of a series of four. It features needlefelted woollen fibres which I’ve free motion machine quilted before adding hand stitched details to represent beautiful poppies growing in a field of honey coloured wheat. The essence of early summer! If you take a look at the gallery images below you’ll see that I’ve framed it with a white mount  in a deep black frame all ready for display!

£85 includes UK postage. This is available unframed for countries outside the UK – please ask for details.

Available

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Needlefelted Landscape 1

Needlefelted Landscape 1

The frame measures 10 inches x 10 inches x 1.75 inches deep
25.5 cm x 25.5 cm x 4.5 cm deep

The aperture is 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
11.5 cm x 11.5 cm

This little landscape is one of a series of four. It features needlefelted woollen fibres which I’ve free motion machine quilted before adding hand stitched details to represent beautiful poppies growing in a field of honey coloured wheat. The essence of early summer! If you take a look at the gallery images below you’ll see that I’ve framed it with a white mount  in a deep black frame all ready for display!

£85 includes UK postage. Enquire for unframed price for countries outside of the UK.

Available

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Starting Something New Today

Starting Something New Today

I always like to have a hand stitched project on the go – there’s nothing worse than twiddling your thumbs when you could be sewing or knitting is there? I had some time to kill recently and having enjoyed making the samples for our Running With Stitch online course so much I decided to start another piece but tweak it a bit. I stayed with the idea of a simple landscape (and being my work there had to be a moon up there too) but I choose fine cotton fabrics rather than the transparent and loosely woven fabrics I’d demonstrated with during the course.

I’m lucky that I have a stash of fine cotton threads that Laura and I have dyed over the years. You can see I’ve sorted out some colours that I think complement the fabrics but there are lots of lovely hand dyed threads available online if you don’t dye yourself and would like to achieve a similar effect. It can be unpredictable to know how the colours will appear if your threads are variegated like mine but when the thread and fabrics are high contrast I think it adds a spark to the finished piece.

I’ve included a photo of a detail of one of the landscapes I made for the course just so you can see how much stitch I like in my work and how those contrasting colours of stitch really sing. This new piece will be just as densely worked but I’m bringing in some herringbone and fly stitch alongside the running stitch. Fly stitch is a great option to represent grasses and leaves so I’ll be using that in the foreground to add colour and texture. If you look really closely at the left hand corner of the first image you’ll see I’ve made a start with the first row!

The red and gold image is a detail of an appliqué of mine that you might have spotted in the shop on my website. I’ve included it here to show how I created little spots of colour with French knots and scattered straight stitches – those might have a part to play in the new piece too. The final image you may remember from our Inspired by Banjara video workshop. I love the idea of weaving a thread through a grid of running stitches and am wondering how I might adapt that technique to my landscape without it looking too regular and formal. Maybe using a single colour of thread that matches the fabric might be the solution? This is only a small piece and I don’t want it to be too busy with many different elements – I shall proceed cautiously! So, lots of ideas floating around at the moment. I’ll get to work on some stitching and let you see how things evolve.

Hope you are all making time to be creative – if you need inspiration browse the www.designmatterstv.com website as there really is something for everyone. Running with Stitch is available in Online Courses for £25. You can watch as many times as you like and take as long as you like to make your own landscape piece. Get stitching and lose all sense of time in the process – or is that just me and my obsessive personality?

Talk again soon – Linda x

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New in my Shop

New in my Shop

I’ve been busy painting and stitching – nothing new there you might say. There comes a time though when everything starts piling up as I finish one thing and move onto the next project. I have begun to realise (again!) that unless I move some of my work on to new homes I risk being  buried alive. So, I’ve been sorting through some of the heaps of work I have and listing them here on my website. Several of the newest pieces have sold straight away and I’m very grateful to any of you who have supported me in this way. This little acrylic cat painting was really fun to paint and I’m glad someone else liked him as much as I did! I’ve also added a couple of the quilted and embroidered pieces that were featured in Quilting Arts Magazine a while ago – you can find them in the shop.

I’m happy to say the wren and the blue tit also found a new home last week. It’s quite liberating to work small sometimes – many of my quilts take weeks or months to create so it’s satisfying to tackle something that can be achieved a bit quicker than that. I do spend quite a few hours on my paintings because I love the fine detail but pincushions are a little less demanding. As well as being a useful object for anyone who loves to sew, they provide the opportunity to combine lots of colours, imagery and techniques and can be completed in less than a day. You can try things out just to see ‘what if’, without the stress of maybe making mistakes with a more important piece! I’ve got lots of pincushions and I’ve just listed these two in my shop today.

At the moment I am experimenting with oil painting after a gap of quite a few years. It’s a slow process and a steep learning curve so I appreciate being able to turn to a small project in-between waiting for layers of paint to dry! The smell of oil paint and turpentine is something I remember from my student days. I LOVED it and was immediately transported to another world as soon as I went into the studio!! Nowadays we are a lot more aware of the dangers of inhaling such heady substances so I’m substituting low odour mediums. Not so exciting but probably more sensible! If I can master the oils I’ll let you see what I’m painting – if it’s a disaster it will never be mentioned again!!

Hope you are all making time to be creative in these difficult days. I know from experience it does help.

Bye for now – Linda x

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Purple Swallowtail Pincushion

Purple Swallowtail Pincushion

5.5 inches x 5.5 inches
14 cm x 14 cm

6 inches x 6  inches
15 cm x 15 cm

I love to combine all my favourite fabrics and techniques in these small pincushions. This one features digitally printed cotton fabric with a swallowtail butterfly motif which has been digitally embroidered using lustrous Madeira rayon threads. It has been free motion machine quilted and the pincushion is framed with a folded insert  on all sides.

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Artist Paint Palette Pincushion

Artist Paint Palette Pincushion

5.5 inches x 5.5 inches
14 cm x 14 cm

I love to combine all my favourite fabrics and techniques in these small pincushions. This one features indigo dyed cotton fabric with an artist’s paint palette and brush motif which has been digitally embroidered using lustrous Madeira rayon threads. It has been free motion machine quilted and the pincushion is framed with a folded insert  on all sides.

This price includes postage.

If you’d like more information  please email before purchasing

Available

£20 includes postage