Archive for the tag 'sewing'

Plinth patchwork

August 16th, 2009

You may remember that our little craft group Stitched Up were approached by a local actress/ artist Hazel Ellerby to join in making squares for a patchwork that would be shown for the “One and Other” art project in Trafalgar Square.  Life for me has been a bit crazy recently, working my usual full time hours, as well as weekend classes at the Textile Workshop and my usual evening classes, so I didn’t know whether I would manage to get a patch of my own done in time.  I ended up rushing things a bit and managed to get this done in an evening, which wasn’t entirely what I had originally planned, but was happier with then I thought I would be, if that makes sense.029

I wanted to use a something that remided me of who started me off on all this crafting business – my parents.  There’s some pictures in there I have already blogged about before here, and one of my parents I took when I was about 14 at Brimham Rocks that sits on my dressing table. 028 I love this picture – they both look so happy in it, and for once my dad isn’t fooling around in the picture (can’t think where I get that from at all….).  I also appliqued a part of a vintage tray cloth and some scraps of fabric and lace, and embellished it with different embroidery stitches, bordering it all with a ribbon.  I wrote some text that I pinned to the back of the piece and left it to be collected.

Hazel took to the plinth on Weds this week, and I was surprised to see the amount of squares she had collected up – the quilt was double sided and then she ended up having to make bunting from it all (which I love the idea of!) to display them.  I was excited to see some of the patches I had seen, texted Vicky when I saw hers, and then saw mine.  If you watch the video you will hear some of the really emotional stories behind people’s squares.  You can see a bit of my square at 17 minutes, and at about 21 minutes you can hear all of Vicky’s text and half of mine read out (Hazel’s mum was heckling her to speak up!).035

What was a bit wierd, in a nice way, was when I was looking for images from somewhere I had been with my parents, to use as the background.  I ended up Googling “Sutton in Craven” – the village my mother lived in when she left home, and where my dad would visit her each week with a bunch of Chrysanths and a box of chocolates (how romantic!), and where we visited lots when I was little.  I found the village website, and was looking through the gallery of pictures when I saw a folder of “hostel girls” – the hostel was set up for the girls and women who weren’t originally from the village for them to live in whilst at work.  There were quite a few pictures that I recognised in there from my mother’s  photo album, and then there I found this. img095 It was such a nice shock – my mam is the one on the left at the back – pretty much in the centre of the photo, with her arm round who I seem to recall was her best mate (Jean?) who then moved to Australia, the girls in front I recognise but I don’t know who they are.  I ended up ordering some prints of the set, and am trying to contact the guy whose pictures they are.  My sister has all my mam’s pictures, and I wish that I had access to them as I would like to use some of them in my textiles.  My mam would have been about 19, and from the look of it was experimenting with setting her hair as it seems to be quite curly at the back!  I’d love to know what they were all giggling about as they seem to have been having a good time!

The technique that I used for my patch I will do a tutorial for soon, as it’s so easy and has such potential for stitching and working with, so watch this space.  Later today I am off to join my friend in Cromer – her parents have just moved there and so we’re camping in their garden – roll on beach walks and Cromer Crab for tea! xoxo

For the love of oilcloth

July 29th, 2009

I seem to have found a new obsession recently – a strange one at that, but people who have been reading this blog for a while now probably won’t be surprised at all by that!

Being a magpie at heart I have always loved shiny things. When I was a goth (back in the day) my love of shiny things translated into several PVC skirts and bustiers for clubbing in – don’t ask! And yes, you do get sweaty! Now, I needed something to help with my “manky table” problem. When we were moving into this house we were really lucky to be gifted a pine dining room table and 4 chairs via Freecycle. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth we accepted and have giventhe table 18 months of hard use – David has a folding games table that sits on top so he and his mates can play with his tiny fighting men of an evening, I have sat and sewn and painted and cut things out on it. Occasionally we have been known to eat at it too. But it’s looking tired, and orange, and I don’t deal well with orange pine. Rather than paint it (I’d like cream, just like my pretty dresser) or stain it (David would like it dark brown, like the floorboards) I thought that an oilcloth cover and some slipcovers for the chairs would be enough to tart it up for the time being.

I’d seen an advert for UK mexican oilcloth sellers Viva La Frida in a sewing magazine and had a look on their website, and was instantly smitten. First of all I ordered 2 craft packsoilcloth 005

oilcloth 006

- which you can see here, basically cos I didn’t know how big my table was (ordering at work on my lunch time!) and then a couple of days later I ordered this gorgeous turquoise rose print, which I adore.oilcloth 002

oilcloth 003

Even David thinks it looks good (which I was a tad surprised at). The craft pack pieces are large enough to make tote bags and make up bags from, so I think I will make some of those up, and maybe some cushions for taking into the garden should we ever get any dry weather this summer in the UK. I am now wondering what else I can cover in these bright, crazy flowery fabrics. I have also started digging out the other bits of oilcloth I have stashed away, which is a surprising amount really. Though to be fair they’re not as nice as these ones…

As an aside, if you wonder what the best way to sew oilcloth is, get a walking foot for your machine – they’re great and don’t stick to the fabric. Saves hours of swearing and frustration!

I can feel a bit of a show and tell coming on with all my oilcloth projects! xoxo