Category Archives: Projects

Sweating the Small Stuff

Standard

I felt like I spent my entire week rushing to fit in meals and appointments, getting unnecessarily stressed by trivia. Despite that, I fitted in 3 simple customer quilts and celebrated my birthday. Even though I was not in India as planned, my girls made it special with lovely cards and gifts. The next day we drove Freya down to St Andrews to begin her final semester of 4th year. It is incredible how quickly her time at Uni has gone. 

 

It was a relief that Saturday was a day that I did not have to be anywhere and since it was dry I decided that the Ercol rocking chair would be sanded down for the last time. I did not have any wood oil or wax polish handy so I rubbed it over with the stuff that is meant for re-treating wax jackets and it looks fine. It is not a professional job by any means but it looks serviceable and will have cushions on it which will hide the tiny areas of dark stain that I could not completely remove. I have to decide whether it has white or navy screen-printed cushions – my preference is for blue but Mo, the upholstery expert disagrees;) I have bought a cheapo-nasty roller blind and a basic lamp because I plan to make a mini room set of screen-printed fabrics to display at the end of year Grays student show.

 

Bit by bit, I constructed all 20 Rainbow Warli blocks but they are not all exactly the same size. My large table is not big enough to lay them all out so I need a still, dry day to lay them on the grass to decide what order they should go in. I intend to fill the gaps with skinny pieced strips until it all more or less fits together, which will be a bit of a jigsaw. Why I can’t work to an exact size is beyond me…

 

Taking Advantage of a Dry Spell

Standard

We have had a week of unusually settled, dry, January weather so I put the Ercol rocking chair outside to try and strip off the rest of the dark wood stain. It was a much more complicated job than I had anticipated with so many fiddly struts and the only thing that really worked was sanding it all off. I used an electric Mouse sander and tried out a lookalike Dremel which was useless. Purists would have done the job by hand to avoid scratching the wood but that would have taken months. I applied a dry paste of Barkeepers Friend which contains oxalic acid to lighten the wood and it is almost there apart from a LOT more sanding still to do to get rid of the roughness, after which I should attempt to add some wax using wirewool.

Since I did not have any customer quilts to keep me busy I got into a routine of joining pieces of the Rainbow Warli quilt together in sections of very approximately 20” square, plus or minus a couple of inches. I have not ironed any of the sections, just relying on finger pressing to get the seams to match up. I will not actually be able to press anything on the right side of the quilt because of the giant sequins, silver lamé, glitter vinyl and screenprint foil. Progress seems to be going steadily and I have sewn 10 out of 16 sections. I daresay it will be challenging to get all of the slightly different sections to fit together and keep it all looking a bit haphazard but it is really nice to work on such a brightly coloured project in the middle of winter.

 

I developed 4 screens at my evening class, including transferring one of my original designs onto my own screen instead of one that belongs to the art school. One screen had not developed clearly, possibly due to an extra thick area of emulsion so it will have to be redone but I was pleased with the test prints. I took the huge screen home to print white ink onto indigo fabric but I did not remember to borrow a huge squeegee so I ordered my own. The first print was perfect but I did not leave enough space to print the next one so ended up with an annoying overlap. It is not easy to wash large screens at home so I took it outside and hosed it off with cold water, soaking myself in the process. I had enough indigo fabric to attempt 2 more prints – I flooded part of the first one and missed a bit one the second one. Screenprinting with such a huge screen and thick, opaque ink really can be a hit and miss affair!

I am trying to think of simple makes that I could sell using my doily prints so I made a prototype elasticated bowl cover. It is actually rather smart and could almost pass as a beret;)

 

January Get Set Go

Standard

I took full advantage of Freya’s last week at home and worked on as many projects as possible. In addition, Nella had a session with an English tutor, started some psychotherapy and we both concentrated hard in our second session with a German teacher. 

I printed a dye paste onto 2 pieces of lovely Irish linen at the screen-print class but had mixed results. One of the prints was really patchy, which was disappointing but I will attempt to print additional doilies on top to make it more like a fabric. The other one was crisper but there were flooded areas at the edges. So far, the heavy muslin/calico has produced the best print. It is my intention to make new covers for an Ercol rocking chair that needs to be stripped back from a ratty dark brown. The prints are bigger than the cushions need to be so I can get away with some smudges but it is frustrating to “ruin” an expensive piece of fabric.

 

There are not many weeks left of the course so I have to get a move on to draw and develop any new designs and get pieces made for the student exhibition. I had hoped to make a ceramic lamp base imprinted with doily designs but I will just buy a plain base and make a doily print shade. IF there is time left I also hope to cover a footstool in indigo fabric printed with white doilies but it will need to be quilted as it is very thin… Oh, and I want to print a roller blind too;)

Freya and I tried using paint stripper to take off the chair’s dark brown stain and lacquer but it did not do much. It needs some serious sand-papering, for which I will need some dry weather. 

I made a start on the Rainbow Warlis at last. It is a tricky quilt to lay out because I did not make a plan of course, just a load of blocks in different sizes. I want it to go together spontaneously as there are too many bits to set out in an organised way. I think I am going to make 16 blocks around 20” square so I have shared out the bits into piles to work on smaller sections at a time, hoping that it will all miraculously fit together in the end with the aid of some filler strips and a lot of fiddling around!

Dyeing to get into 2020

Standard

We had a quiet New Year without parties, fireworks or fuss, which suited me fine. I took advantage of having Freya home to keep Nella company while I got on with a couple of small projects. I spent a whole afternoon reorganising the IKEA drawers under my quilt machine. There was so much haberdashery stuffed into them that some of them would not shut because things had fallen down the back and caused a jam. I came across a few things that had got lost in plain sight and wondered why I had so many packets of laminating pouches.

 

I had a go at dyeing some plain cotton poplin fabric to see if I could get close to some of the vibrant Indian Rubia fabrics that I am using for my Rainbow Warli quilt. I did not have the right colours in Hungarian dyes to use my preferred method of dyeing in the washing machine so I made up large quantities of soda ash and salt solution and attempted cold Procion dyeing in plastic bags. It was difficult to gauge the intensity of the dye, even when dipping in pieces of paper towel to see what was developing. I left the pieces soaking for 24 hours but much of the colour washed out. The results were not awful but they were not nearly as strongly dyed as I had hoped.

I tried again with a couple of the colours in a large pan of very hot water and the hues definitely fixed better but were still not the right shades so I caved and ordered a selection of plain dyed Rose & Hubble plains from Doughtys. The one colour that I really could not source or dye was a shade of pinky peach that I call “Jaipur pink”. I ordered some from an ebay seller in India, hopeful that it will match my original fabric. 

I sewed up some skinny strip sets to chop up into sashing so I hope to start putting the Rainbow Warlis together soon…

 

For someone who cannot grasp crochet, I seem to be doing pretty well with macrame. I knotted together a hanging vase/large jar holder. I don’t really have a purpose for it, I just felt like having a go. I used the leftover strands to make a zig-zagged rope bowl to collect scraps beside my sewing machine. I’m not sure that I can think of many practical uses for macrame without turning my house into a retro hipster pad. The only thing putting me off making a hammock is that a rough guide to how much cord required for each project is that you need to reel off roughly 8 times the length of the finished item so presumably a 6 foot hammock would need 48 feet of cord for EACH strand! I should definitely set my sights on something smaller;)

Mildly Chilled Xmas

Standard

Don’t get me wrong – I do actually enjoy the ritual of making braised cabbage and bread sauce plus other trimmings on Christmas Eve but I think I will try to get more ready made stuff next year so I can just eat mince-pies and watch films all day. The idea is meant to be that there are plenty of leftovers for the next few days but with a vegan roast instead of turkey and having to go traipsing to and from the garage because my fridge is not very big, I don’t tend to over cater. 

Christmas itself was low key and minimal – we hardly even watched any telly. Despite the dreich weather we had a couple of short walks down by the river. I received some lovely gifts from my girls such as a felted Bumble (made by Mo) and an Indian cushion. I am glad to report that I was not given any chilli sauce, bath salts or toffees and I treated myself to a huge reel of macrame cord.

So far I have managed to make a couple of star decorations and 3 successful plant hangers. I have no idea how I can work out how to tie specific knots into a pattern yet I cannot conquer simple crochet. 

I pulled out my Rainbow Warli quilt blocks to see if I can work out what to do next. I think I need to put it together spontaneously like the red, black and white version with filler strips where the blocks don’t match up perfectly in size. I examined some antique textile scraps that I got in Jaipur and decided that I will piece skinny strips to punctuate the larger blocks.  

Since I may want to add borders using some sort of bunting/flaps I will not have enough of the original fabrics from the bazaar. I wasted time online looking for Rubia/Running-Cloth/plain fabrics but cannot find exactly what I am looking for in such vibrant colours and at a sensible price. There is one colour which I think of as Jaipur pink that I can’t see online so I will attempt to mix up some Hungarian dyes to see if I can make something close. I realised that I have no idea what strength and type the powder dye that bought in India actually is and the one that was labelled blue turned out purple!

One of the things that I intend to do before the New Year comes and goes is to have a  mini-sort-out in my workshop. I just want to go through all of the drawers and boxes to see what I actually have before I think I have lost things and feel the need to repurchase duplicates;)

Pre Xmas 2019

Standard

I always enjoy the time before Christmas far more than Christmas itself. It is probably because it is a busy time and I don’t cope well with nothing to do. It is great having Freya home as it means another person can keep Nella company. The girls helped me write Christmas cards which is a job I think takes ages but in fact is perfectly easy once you get started. They have made Christmas wreaths, built a bonfire and watched corny Christmas films. We had an outing to the cinema one evening to see “Last Christmas”, a typically British feel-good film with music by George Michael as the soundtrack. We have seen little of Fergus as he has been out partying with pals most nights – until the novelty of being 18 wears off or he runs out of funds.

I was desperate to make something but feel that cannot spread my Warli quilt blocks out until after Christmas so I made up a big batch of manutex paste to mix with procion dye. I did not have a measuring jug so I had to work out how many empty gin bottles worth of hot water were in 4 litres and because I could not be bothered to go and fetch the kitchen scales, I had to measure 24 dessert spoons of soda ash, having made a rough conversion of the tablespoon equivalent. 

I really do need to get some basic dyeing equipment to save myself much time and overcomplicated sums. I soaked linen in a soda ash water bath, rescued just in time from being washed out in a downpour when I hung it outside to dry. I decided to test the process thoroughly and found that the dye ran a bit when rinsed in cold water so something needs to improve the fixing of the colour. Mind you, I don’t actually know what the efficacy of the dye is, having mixed together turquoise and black powders that I bought from the bazaar in Jaipur.

I was not joking last week about wanting to have a go at Macramé. I made a prototype shelf hanger using washing line and a clementine box. It was easier than learning crochet and quite addictive so I ordered myself a Christmas treat of a big reel of macrame cord and will go and get knotted! 

On the Edge

Standard

Ever since I first became a Quilter I have been active on social media – first it was for information or advice on quilting forums then Facebook and Instagram came along. I posted something or made comments almost every day and for a while I did my 30 seconds max daily vlog, either about a project, my travels or something daft that I had done. My laptop tells me I have written over 11 000 emails since I got it in 2012! My weekly blog is really just an electronic journal for myself which some people happen to see sometimes. Recently, I have posted very little and I have felt increasingly like a quilting recluse with very little to show off about and currently I feel like I am not actively involved in the quilting world.

This week I kept thinking I should at least be running up a batch of home-made Christmas presents as I was not busy quilting. As  parcels arrived from the Postie and I kept track of my festive spending, I realised that my business has suffered. I may not be able to travel or teach at present but I can still undertake customer quilts so I will need to promote that service in the New Year. 

Freya came home for a couple of days to celebrate Fergus 18th birthday. It was a bit of a low key affair as we did not go out to celebrate but he made up for it after his gig on Friday night, going out to a nightclub (legally!) with his pals. Of course he did not actually feel any different to being 17 but the very next day he cast his vote for the first time in a momentous UK general election. 

I have had to hand over the reins of organising Bernina longarm quilting classes at FOQ 2020 but I hope to be able to take Nella with me to Birmingham for a couple of days instead of a whole week and teach one of the classes that I have offered previously. To be honest, nobody knows what life will be like by next summer but I hope it will at least be more predictable.

At least I managed to screen-print a few cushion covers and a couple of birthday T-shirts for Fergus, despite breaking the on-off switch on my workshop water heater. The worst part of screen-printing is actually cleaning off the equipment afterwards. I can temporarily use the tap with the aid of a screwdriver or hope the garden hose is not frozen. I can cope with up to A3 sized screens in my old Belfast sink but I would only be able to deal with the giant doily screen at the art school as they have a huge washing trough. I am really enjoying screen-printing and would like to see where it takes me, unless I get into another new hobby such as Macramé…!

All I Want for Christmas

Standard

Freya asked what I would like for Christmas and I could think of absolutely nothing that I “need” or even want – except that I would love to have my life back! I cannot make any bookings to teach quilting away from home or even schedule classes here, I have no foreign trips or holidays planned and some days that simply gets to me. (Don’t feel sorry for me – I just have to sulk occasionally) I am grateful that I have been able to support Nella in long battle with Anorexia and things have improved but there are really no days off for either of us. Something that I struggle with in life is not having a plan for the day. I hate waking up and not knowing what I will make or do! 

I felt that I should be making hand-made gifts of some sort but could not decide on what or for whom so on a whim I rustled up a couple of sets of practical, padded microwave bowl cozies. They may sound naff but they are really handy and prevent scalds when serving individual portions of hot soup or porridge.

I decided that I need a ready-to-go project so I cut out some more hen blocks by “Cluck, Cluck Sew”. I hope I don’t run into trouble for not pre-washing the Indian indigo which left my hands blue after cutting;) 

Nella and I had a go at a Regan sweatshirt top from “Sew Me Something”. We used an interlock jersey and striped, stretchy ribbing for cuffs and collar. The jersey was a bargain so we could have a go and not worry about messing up. However, I did not expect it to be peppered with little holes so I have had to make a complaint to the supplier. We did the whole project using the overlocker and coverlocker. The instructions are clear and easy to follow – we added a turtle neck instead of a t-shirt neck and when we make another, will add pockets. I was impressed that we coped with the stretchy fabric and actually made a wearable garment. 

I received a lovely parcel from Germany this week – Regina sent me some vintage doilies that she came across when clearing her Mother-in-Law’s house, along with 2 big bags of Haribos (not part of the house clearance!) The doilies are great so I think I will have to draw them out on acetate in order to make screens – maybe these might replace one of those that I did before. I printed some of the screen-print doilies out onto IKEA cushions and they look like festive snowflakes on the pale blue or red cushions.

Nella and I went into Aberdeen for late-night shopping on Thursday evening. It was not a serious shopping trip and we only went to John Lewis. It was great because it was almost deserted which is just how I like it! The rest of my purchases will be made online and locally. Mind you, before the Christmas countdown totally takes over we have to celebrate Fergus’ 18th birthday so I have 2 lots of unique presents to source within 2 weeks;)

Some Project Time

Standard

I can’t tell you how long it took me to browse images of clothes peg bag images before choosing the first one I found. I made my Mother a smart, new peg bag for Christmas since that is what she asked for. I could probably make more of those or cosmetics bags or some other complicated projects or actually nothing at all;)

I completed 3 blissfully straightforward customer quilts in short order, even though one had a back that was slightly too small. I simply advised the customer to apply extra wide binding. That left me the rest of my time to work on some of my remaining Rainbow Warli blocks. 

Obviously I had to fiddle with the perfectly good settings that I had previously settled on for making eyelets. Once the eyelets were made they were sewn onto squares of silver lame so they look like shisha mirrors. I added a touch of silver glitter paint to each one just to seal the thread ends. 

 

The organza Warli blocks were not as great as I had hoped because it would seem that not all organza is the same. Some did not burn right off with the soldering iron which was disappointing so I wondered whether to fill in the twin needle stripes with silver foil or glitter but it made the figures look they were in jail. Just to see what it would look like I tested out a sample of rustic Kantha stitching with razzle-dazzle thread in case I decide to add some insane stitching to the finished quilt. I am hoping that when Freya is home at Christmas I might get “free” time to lay the whole quilt out or at least work out what it could be – quilt, canopy or tent…

The thing I was most excited by this week was deciding to make a screen-print table top. I was lucky that a nice young man offered to help me get my MDF into the back of the Landy otherwise I would have had to go back into the shop to buy rope to strap it onto the roof. I stapled down 4 layers of quilt wadding plus a layer of heavyweight muslin and now have a padded printing surface the same size as my farmhouse table. I tested it out by printing some doilies onto plain cushions which I will give away as gifts.  

I have now ordered an unmarked heavy duty cutting mat that can sit on top when I am not printing so there will be no excuse for Nella and I not to become good at dressmaking – or at the very least we might get good at cutting the patterns out;)

Bumbling Along

Standard

Life is just bumbling along at present which is kind of fine in that it could be far worse. Nella is not in hospital and the feeding regime is slightly easier now that there is a pattern. She hates having to admit that she looks forward to porridge since Anorexics do not allow themselves to gain any pleasure from food. It is a very slow recovery, and I am definitely hopeful that it is a recovery, although she is still desperate to lose an extreme amount of weight and over exercise so the surveillance level is still high. I keep distracting her with projects and we will be attempting to make a corduroy dress even though I find dressmaking challenging. I would rather analyse Hamlet – one of the texts that she is meant to be studying for Higher English.

I honestly don’t know how much longer Bumble will bumble along for. She has done remarkably well for weeks despite her many tumours but lately she is hardly eating which means she is not taking any medicine. She would really just like to sleep under my desk without even having to go out for a pee. My shaggy pal is wobbly on her legs and deaf as a post  but in her usual fashion is not making a woof of complaint.

 

I spent the entire session of my evening class trying to wash out the photo emulsion from my giant doily screen-print. I only had time to rush off one quick print to see if it had all developed crisply but I used a squeegee that was too narrow, very thin fabric, runny ink and flooded the design so I am not sure yet if it is a good print or not. I really did wonder what possessed me to create such a large and complex design. If I cover a chair the design will be chopped off and the screen itself is challenging to handle. I have ordered some plain indigo fabric that I intend to treat with discharge paste and some poly-cotton to try out devoré. Unfortunately there is only one session left this term at the evening class so I won’t be able to continue with my experiments until the New Year. I will bring the smaller screens home and attempt some prints but the huge one will have to stay at the Art School. 

I am making slow progress on the background quilting of the Christmas customer quilt. I felt rusty to begin with but I soon became more fluid again. I cannot fit in more than an hour of quilting in a day so it is taking me far longer than usual and getting sidetracked with minor projects such as making flannel make-up removal pads is not helping;) I expect I will go off on a silly tangent to construct a dozen or more pattern weights if Nella wants to become a dressmaking pro;)

Infinitesimal Progress

Standard

I completed all of the stitch in the ditch and clamshells on my customer quilt and decided that the freehand background quilting could be put off until later so I could attempt to draw out my large doily on acetate ready to print at the next evening class. 

At 28” diameter and ridiculously small doodling I felt that this could be an impossible task. I worked on it almost constantly and by Sunday evening, finished everything apart from where the two pieces of acetate join. I wish I had bought an A1 piece so there was no join but I hope that if I finish that part in class I may make it as seamless as possible.

I exposed and printed 3 new screens but I am not sure whether to ditch one of them since it is so dense that it is almost impossible to see the pattern. Leaving sufficient negative space is often my downfall!

Nella had a good week – she seems to be thinking of the future more positively and currently wants to study Fashion and Textiles at college. We had a good meeting at her school where it was decided that she should only attempt to sit one of her Highers this year so the pressure is off, allowing her to concentrate on recovery. She allowed herself to drink more than one cup of tea throughout each day this week and she actually requested porridge for breakfast. We had a short visit into town for the first time in ages, visited 4 shops and the whole trip was completed in less than 2 hours. This really seems like a move in the right direction but I know cannot relax at all in the battle to restore her health.

Wild but Mild Weekend

Standard

Nella’s motivation for eating this week was the anticipation of an overnight stay with Freya in St Andrews to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I packaged up food with a military precision so I could be super organised in advance. We had a great visit – the show was raucous fun, we did a little frivolous shopping and spent time with a couple of Freya’s friends who came over to explain how to play old-school “Dungeons & Dragons”. Since the weather was unusually mild we even managed to go to the Banchory Bonfire and Fireworks on Saturday night for an hour. It all reminded her that her life could be so different if she can beat Anorexia but she did feel down afterwards, having no next big event to look forward to. We will plan small milestones such as a trip into Aberdeen or a visit to the cinema, things that we have not been able to do for months.

I started a Christmas customer quilt which I can work on for an hour at a time over the next week or so, deciding that for simplicity all of the trees will be quilted the same with small clamshells but the background quilting will be snowy and wild. 

I printed a pink screen-print doily onto the black camouflage fabric which looks really vibrant – maybe it could become a cushion or a funky cosmetics bag. The extra large doily is taking ages to draw out – after 4 hours I had not even completed the full outline so the detail will keep me busy for a while. I hope the crochet has not distorted too much from a circle into a sort-of squashed ellipse but then again maybe it will look more authentic if it is a bit wonky. 

The week ahead will include a couple of simple craft projects, the Christmas quilting and some school work – I have to brush up on Hamlet quotes!

A Different Birthday

Standard

It was lovely to have Freya home during Reading Week. Not only did we enjoy her company but it was such a relief to have someone else here to supervise Nella and offer distractions at mealtimes. We did not go anywhere or do anything exciting but she got some Uni work done and enjoyed the luxury of a few home comforts. I made her a new make-up bag a a small thank you, accidentally making the base wider than I intended but she said that made the contents more accessible. 

 

Everyone was dreading a birthday without cake, food, a party or an outing but Nella’s 16th birthday was enjoyable in the end. I surprised her with a balloon banner and Freya helped to wake her up, singing “Happy Birthday” by Altered Images. She appreciated receiving lovely cruelty-free toiletries and cosy PJs. We went for a gentle walk at Crathes Castle in the autumn sunshine then her friends came over in the evening to carve pumpkins. She said afterwards that she had had a super day but realised that it could have been so much more without the pall of Anorexia so hopefully that gives me some hope for the future.

I quilted, bound and posted 2 customer quilts and got a Christmas custom job ready to go for next week. At least I have already done an identical Christmas quilt for the same customer so I should not take long deciding what patterns to choose. 

I have laid out my giant 28” doily under a large sheet of acetate to work on a bit at a time and I still have some smaller ones to draw. I now have an idea that I might print blue and white overlapping doilies onto rustic linen. I experimented with a print paste of procion dye and Manutex gel and love how it looks so much “inkier” than screenprint pigment which dries more like fabric paint. Just for fun I bought a piece of black camouflage cotton on Ebay that I may print with bright pink ink or gold foil – just because I can;)

Sofa So Good

Standard

The new-old sofa in the workshop has been a great success – I have been heading straight out to my workshop after a morning cuppa to get started on customer quilts for an hour or two then Nella can have an after breakfast snooze while I continue. That is how I got 5 customer quilts done this week, nothing custom – just utility but all very nice. Since it is officially half-term we have not felt obliged to keep up with school work but I will have to mug up on Hamlet before the new term.

I had a go at screen-printing foil glue and applied gold transfer foil to my doilies. One was a bit splodgey but the other was quite crisp. The gold foil is rather a yellow gold and would probably look better on hot pink fabric but I bought 6 metres so I will just have to use it somehow. I have decided to go with the doily theme now that I have started. A fellow student wondered why I did not just sew doilies onto cushions instead of printing them but I never actually said I was simply going to make cushions;) I do have another, separate idea in mind as well so we will see what happens. I invested in a few blank screens and one ridiculously large one so I really need to come up with a project to use them on.

I made a couple of bolster cushions from some African wax fabric that Freya brought from Tanzania. The Youtube videos on how to attach zips to bolster cushion covers were useless but I figured it out. I foolishly decided to ignore the advice about Pi when measuring up the cushion tube but I winged it and produced 2 piped cushions that look acceptable. 

I took Nella for a pre-birthday hair colour and cut. We started off with the mirror covered but she managed to relax and enjoy the experience. I enjoyed a fringe benefit and persuaded the hairdresser to cut mine so I can actually see out. 

Our week was generally mundane and of a strict routine but at present that is fine. Bumble is still my best canine pal, despite having lost a lot of weight due to cancer and she sleeps most of the time. Even the vet is amazed that she is still around and since she does not appear to be in any pain I hope that will be for a while longer!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Standard

Just when I thought things were going well with re-feeding Nella, I was told that she had lost another 1.2kg by secretly exercising, panicking that she was putting on weight. I was furious and told her that if I find out that it is continuing I will pack her bag and drive her straight to hospital. She was genuinely sorry and scared so I have had to be even more vigilant, stepping up the quantity of nuts and swapping low calorie almond milk for a fortified coconut milk. I read a book called “Brave Girl Eating” where the mother battled with her daughter’s anorexia for a year, somehow getting her to consume 4000 calories per day to restore health. I have no idea how I am even going to get close to that on a strict vegan regime.

By getting up earlier I managed to fit in 4 customer quilts in bursts before breakfast and during the afternoon while Nella worked on school assignments. I showed her how to do free motion stitching and she took to it straight away so she might put some examples into her Art portfolio.

Nella is utterly exhausted most of the time and struggles to sit at the table in my workshop for long so I decided to look for a second-hand, small sofa or a “fainting couch”. I found one on Facebook and collected it in the back of the Landy with the door open, strapping it in with ropey granny-knots. It fits perfectly and looks great covered in an old quilt so hopefully I will be able to get a bit more quilting done if she is warm and comfortable.

I went to my evening class on printed textiles and developed the acetate that I had drawn of a crochet doily onto a photo-emulsion screen.  I really could not decide on a theme so I thought this could be a good starting point to get back into screen-printing. I was amazed at the detail of the print using opaque white printing ink on white cotton and rough, organic linen. It looks like this will definitely be the theme that I develop this term so I have drawn out 2 more doilies and plan to draw one that has a diameter of 28 inches. It will take ages – I have no idea what I will turn it into but I think it will work.

 

The grand tidy-up has now made its way out to the summerhouse which is now Fergus’ music studio. He is obviously incapable of organising it himself so Nella and I will supervise. The part we like the best is the IKEA pegboard with all of its neat accessories. I have put one up in the kitchen in an attempt to get clutter off my worktop. I think it is wonderful and would love to put it up everywhere there is a spare piece of wall!