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’

A Golden Hare at Apple Time

So here we are again in apple time and the year heaves itself round another turn. And how did that happen? Barely a knit knitted, barely a stitch stitched.

They say the older you get, the faster time flies. But surely I’m not suddenly aged so fast that a whole year has sped by in the blink of an eye!

But there is no denying the apples! Green apples, red apples, sweet apples, cooking apples, apples on trees, apples on the ground, apples for the chicken, for the wasps, for the crows and apples to remember the dear sheep and how they loved to feast on them. Apples in crumbles, apples in pies, apples in bowls and chilly mornings and dark evenings lending a little time to visit the Makery again.

The leaves begin to turn and the sun shines a redder gold and, as the flowers fade, the hedges glow berry bright.

And I have sewn a golden hare.

I used almost the same technique as described in my Time and Tide post but, with this, I made the quilt sandwich first, then drew the outline, sewed on the drawn lines and painted last. I think this was probable a better way of doing it as I found the paint quite tricky to sew around before because it had a tendency to jam against the presser foot. The hare is about 6″ x 3″ so this was a much smaller and more detailed design than I have attempted with fabric paint in the past.

I did think I might include him in my next Endeavourers quilt but I’m not enthused by the background print and I’m not sure how I could incorporate him…it has given me some ideas for that quilt though and, hopefully, I’ll find a use for this piece sooner or later.

Happy Sewing!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Eureka! My Final Four in Art Reveal

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Today is the final Four in Art reveal and, firstly, I would like to say thank you to all the Four in Art members. Sewing along with you in these Art Quilt challenges has been an inspiration and an education and I wish you all well with your future projects :)

Our theme for this year is ‘Light’ and the sub-theme for this quarter is ‘Illumination’. Our aim, as always, is: “…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”.

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Although I chose ‘Illumination’ as the sub-theme, I had no idea what to make. I kept thinking about illuminated letters, but that didn’t seem to me to have much to do with this year’s main theme of ‘Light’.

Then I considered light bulbs and that, circuitously (no pun intended), led me to consider light bulb moments and eventually to ponder on Archimedes, who was taking a bath when he realised that a body submerged in water displaces its own volume and ‘took to the streets naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress, crying “Eureka!” (Greek“εὕρηκαheúrēka!”, meaning “I have found [it]!”‘ (Wikipedia). Or so the story goes.

This brought me back to the possibility of an illuminated letter – E for Eureka – illustrating a light bulb moment or a moment of illumination.

Once I had the image in my mind of an elegant golden letter with a lightbulb and a person in a bath, I came to the practical problem of how to actually sew that into a quilt. My go-to would ordinarily be appliqué but I’m not keen on raw edge appliqué and I thought if I tried to needle-turn a metallic fabric to appliqué a gilded letter with both thick and very thin strokes it would, most likely, end up a terrible mess! And then I had a small eureka moment myself when I realised I could use paint in place of tiny/awkward appliqué pieces! So I investigated fabric paints and luckily came upon Pebeo Setacolor Opaque fabric paints.

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Details of how I painted the letter can be found in my ‘Time and Tide’ post.

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I’m considering making some more of these as an occasional long-term project and, one day, turning them into an ‘Unexpected Alphabet Quilt’…

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Please visit the other members of Four in Art and see their interpretations of our Final theme.

Bette Ayers   Camilla Cathro   Catherine Chisholm

Elizabeth Eastmond   Nancy Myers   Rachel Riley   Simone Bradford

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Janine @ Rainbow Hare