Unexpected Bursts Colour

It’s been a while since I did a ‘New to Me’ post but, despite appearances, I have spent some time in the Makery this month and tried out a couple of new things.

The first was inspired by something Fiona at Celtic Thistle stitches did a while ago. I say ‘inspired’ because I did this from memory and it’s probably not the right way to do it at all. It’s a sort of trapunto technique using strands of yarn. You can see the stages below. It’s an improved version of the golden hare I made last month. I started by stitching the outline, then cut away the backing fabric and, finally, threaded strands of wool into the spaces I wanted to be raised.

After that, I painted with gold, as I did last time, and hand quilted the background. I also tried some lettering. The letters are about 2cm high so it was a bit fiddly but I was quite pleased with the overall effect.

Having managed to paint the edges fairly straight, I attempted some more ambitious fabric painting. I quilted larger shapes and attempted to fill them in with paint and you can see my straight line painting leaves much to desired! I edged the gold with threaded running stitch using metallic Anchor stranded thread, which I have never tried before and I found it reasonably easy to sew with (even through layers of paint, fabric and wadding) but separating the strands to sew was a trial. They kept tangling and I ended up having to tease them out one by one. Bizarrely, I also tried a silver skein and managed to divide the threads without particular difficulty.

With the other painted colours, I decided to leave the poorly painted edges as they were.

Lately, I’ve come to conclusion that sometimes you just have to go for the overall effect because getting too obsessive with perfecting details is a certain route to a UFO…

Something I couldn’t really leave, though, was an experiment to create a more water-colour-like effect. It seemed to me at the time that, however much water I used, the paint wouldn’t spread easily. The next morning, however, I discovered that, quietly during the night, a whole band had seeped past a line of stitching into an area that was meant to be unpainted :( I frogged the red hand stitching and then remembered there was a line of machine stitching under it. So I frogged the machine stitching and steamed and steamed to get the holes made by the stitching out but to no avail :( Eventually, I re-did the hand stitching, where the black frixon line is in the photo below, and added a strip of lace under it. If I had settled on doing that sooner, I could have left the machine stitching in but onwards and upwards!

A more cheerful New to Me was my garden when we got back from my daughter’s wedding in Rhodes. Before we went I had cut back lots of flowers (which were dead and hadn’t been great this year owing to successive heatwaves) for Autumn but whilst we were away it rained for a solid week and I arrived home home to an unexpected burst of colour.

Now we are back in GMT so the sun is in the middle of the sky at midday and the evenings are dark. All that bodes well for more time in the Makery. This year, that will be another ‘New to Me’ and a very welcome one :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I’m linking this post with Fiona at Celtic Thistle stitches for ‘New to Me’

SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON

Slowly and intermittently, over this long time that I’ve been gardening, I have been pondering (and very occasionally working on) a new project and, at last, the nuts and bolts of it are starting to come together.

This is a smallish double-side quit. The dark blue is a fairly improv sewing together of night-coloured scraps, embellished with running stitch, darning and some buttonhole edged squares to created a patched together and mended look and the lighter side is a collection of vintage doilies hand stitched to an ivory background

And yesterday, since it was pouring with rain and I had an unusual and very welcome time at home alone, I made a similar sized quilt with light brown linen on one side and a grungy blue sort of fabric on the other. For the sake of speed and simplicity, I machine quilted with organic straight lines.

I’m thinking of these as backgrounds to display other sewn items and perhaps story scenes that could enable me to make something like the ABOUT TIME book but with reusable pages…

ABOUT TIME (blogged here) 2018

I really enjoyed making the fabric book and I love the idea of making quilts that do something more dynamic than lying in bed all day but, being so constrained by time, accomplishing that is a hard task. Since starting this blog, I think I’ve made two!

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (blogged here) 2017

EAT, SLEEP, SEW (blogged here) 2013

So the new venture I’m pondering will, I hope, be a sort of hybrid art quilt/book/puppet show. I found a cheap extending curtain rod, which fits in the alcove next the fireplace in the Makery and I’m planning to hang up the backgrounds and attach or hang or somehow or other display other sewings in front of them.

Mrs Hare and Fiona have kindly agreed to relocate their reading group.

Fiona reading (sideways as cats do) with Mrs Hare

Whether this will all work out, of course, is yet to be seen and I wonder if it’s quite sensible to blog about something that might well fail spectacularly but, as Mrs Hare often says, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

I hope you you are having a good week :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

A Walk in the Park


“Let us to go for a walk in the park”, she said.
“We will take some bread for the ducks
And jam jars to catch fishes in
And, maybe, a skipping rope…”
 
“The blackbird is sure to be singing,” she said,
“And children will be flying kites,
Making castles in the sandpit,
And throwing balls for their dogs”.
 
“You can watch the butterflies dancing,” she said.
And I’ll see how high I can swing…
Then, perhaps, you will buy ice creams
To eat on the bus back home”.

August 1st was a Reveal Day for The Endeavourers. If you haven’t already, I hope you will visit to see the wonderful collection of quilts everyone has made in response to this quarter’s theme – A Walk in the Park.

I struggled for a long time to find inspiration for this theme and, even when I eventually remembered how enthusiastic my pre-school self was about visiting our local park and how my brothers and I used to beg my mother to take us there, my thoughts ended up coming in words rather than pictures. I have been too long away from a needle and thread!

For a long time I have thought about having a traditional quilt block as a background for a picture and it’s something I’ve never tried so I made a QAYG block in Summer colours. I bagged it and then I appliqued images onto it to illustrate the poem.

I attached the bird and kite overlapping the edge of the quilt, which is something I’ve not done before and I like the effect of that but I think the general arrangement would definitely have benefitted from having a clearer concept or more time to experiment with the scale and placement of the various elements.

I used to be very last minute with these sorts of challenges but this is the first time in a couple of years that I’ve rushed to put something together at the eleventh hour and it has made me realise how much I prefer the leisurely approach of starting early and having plenty of time to experiment and let a quilt evolve as it grows.

I hope you are finding time to craft at a speed that suits you :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare