Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A nautical card

I quickly want to show you some cards I made. I just sent one to Avril for her birthday, in the BQL birthday swap. The technique used is reverse paper, and I added 2 little birds by hand.

We are moving in 2 weeks now, so I'm starting to think about giving our new address to lots of organisations, to keep things working.
My shoulder is getting better every day it seems, but I still need to take things slowly. Progress.
Oh and I did a bit of knitting, but I need to finish it before I can show you.

Have fun sewing.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Progress for me and a tutorial for you

It's so nice to be able to use my arm again. I went to the hospital on Friday with DH who has been a great help all along. My slingy thing is off and I was told to use my arm a bit. I can now type with 2 hands, and knit and sew. All is not perfect yet and I can't do some movements going up or on the side with my arm, but I'm more mobile.

So here is a little tutorial I made earlier for a little purse, or to wrap a small present in. You can see Christmas coming around the corner, better start on some projects. Benta from Slikstitches asked for a tutorial a long time ago when I made my first one,

 First you need 2 squares of fabric. You decide on the size, mine was 9 1/2 " because that's the size of my ruler. The finished pouch is just under 4 1/2" square.
Sew right sides together 1/4" all the way around leaving an opening in the middle of one side, for turning.

 Trim the corners, and turn right side out. Poke the corners out. Slip stitch the opening closed.

 You get this nice reversible square.

 Fold in 2 along one diagonal.

 Then fold the top corners again, on both sides. The photo is the best way to explain this.

  Sew a litlle chanel along the fold, enough to pass a ribbon through.

Now draw a vertical line (in blue but not very visible on the photo) starting from the corner of the fold, in cream for me, going down to the central fold. Sew on these 2 lines, one on each side, to form a square pouch in the middle. This line of sewing will be hidden by the next step.

 Now my seam on the left is in the fold. Do the same on the other side.

 Secure the folded fabric and you are nearly done.

The last step is to put 2 pieces of ribbon through the little chanel we made. One starting on each side. And then pull to close.
It's an easy project, you need just a little bit of hand sewing.

Meanwhile our move to the new house is planned for the 2nd of December. That date will come quickly now. I will try to do some sewing , as I can't lift things,  and show you my projects.

Enjoy your time sewing.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Frustration !

I'm back from my little trip to northern France with the girls. Sorry I didn't contact you Pascale, but I wasn't very organised.
I managed to give a second lick of paint to the bathroom, and then on Tuesday last week I went to register for a horse riding lesson. As I left with DD1 in the dark, I slipped on some mud and had a bad fall. I didn't get to go on a horse. To cut the story short, I have dislocated my right shoulder with a bit of broken bone. I'm not supposed to move it : can't write, cut my meat, sew or knit. I'm developing my abilities with my left hand : brushing my teeth, holding a pencil.
DH had to come rescue us on Friday, as did my parents and sister on Wednesday. Luckily the girls are not toddlers any more, they can look after themselves for a little while.
I had taken some little projects with me but just managed to iron some fabric before falling.
That's where the frustration comes from.

I've used this time to check all my emails, and update the way my blog list is displayed. I need to do something about my banner though.
If only I could sew!

I can show you a card I made just before leaving.
 They were for the birthday swap on BQLpostcards, with cats as a theme.
My free motion quilting is easier now that I resolved the problem of tension.

I have somthing else made previously to show you, but my typing is very slow.

Enjoy your sewing.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The story of Tristan in Boutis at the V&A London.

This summer, in the South of France, we visited the Boutis Museum in Calvisson. We were lucky to meet the creator at the origin of the Museum, Francine Nicolle, and she gave us a long explanation of a copie of a boutis made by the women of her group. The Tristan Quilt.
She has bought an original, very ancient boutis, one of 3. Another one is at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, England.
  A few weeks ago we took all the family to the V&A and found the boutis. You can do the same by entering this immense Museum through the main door, and go right straight away (before reaching the shop) down some stairs. This area covers the Middle Ages, and there are also some great tapestries at the end of the rooms.
 We were allowed to use the flash on our camera, but sadly this creates a reflection on the glass protecting the precious fabric.

 This is the most ancient boutis found, and it is thought to have been made in Sicily, Italy, between 1360 and 1400.
This is copied from the website of the Museum "The legend of Tristan and Isolde was a favoured narrative in the Middle Ages and appears in many forms in literature and the decorative arts. The story represented here on a quilted linen coverlet in 14 scenes, is that of the oppression of Cornwall by King Languis of Ireland and his champion the Morold, and the battle of Sir Tristan with the latter on behalf of his uncle King Mark. Although in subtle shades, the large scale designs are very clear and the quilt must have looked particularly impressive by candlelight, with lively scenes of battles, ships and castles."

 They call it a quilt, but it's not one. There is no uniform wadding. Rather the shapes defined by the stitching are filled with a cotton meche afterwards. This gives the project transparency when a light is shown behind.

 You can click on the photos to enlarge them and see the details.
There is a PDF explanation on the page from the V&A Museum.

 The boutis is very big and made of several panels. You can't even see all of it in the vitrine where it is displayed, some is folded at the top.
On the sides of the main panel are 2 other ones placed to look at people around the quilt. As this would make them more obvious if the boutis was on a bed or table. There is another panel at the bottom.

 I've increased the size of this photo but you can look on the Museum website at the PDF that gives lots of explanations.

 As you can see there is a lot to look at.

I have included a lot of photos, I hope you enjoyed them. And maybe you will get the chance to see this testament of the skills of previous artists in needlecraft.

Enjoy your sewing.
In the meantime, as it is the school holidays, I am taking the girls to northern France for a quiet week away. DH has to work so won't be accompanying us. I hope to be able to sew a bit.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A quick quilt, disappearing nine patch

Sadly in July we learned that my mother in law was not well. She lives in the South of France, very far from England in a way, and had to go to hospital. They found out she had osteoporosis, and had broken a vertebrae.
We were going on holidays there so I wanted to make a quick quilt to take with us.
 An easy pattern is the disappearing 9 patch. You sew your squares together 9 by 9, as on these 2 photos. I had some pre-cut squares and used these.

One 9 patch block

 Then you cut right through the middle in both directions.

 Finally shuffle your blocks and choose your favorite design.

 This is how I put my blocks together. I find it difficult to capture the right colour of the fabrics.

 A photo of the back, in the garden of the house we rented in South of France in August. I did some very simple quilting as I was rushed for time. The back is made with 2 pieces of small pink flowers fabric.
The folds are nothing to worry about, just the consequence of travelling a long way.

With a corner of the back.

I added a small border to make this lap quilt a bit bigger, and it's a nice finishing touch.

DD3 is showing it fully, she has growned a lot, nearly my size.

My MIL really appreciated the quilt. She said it was the first she had. I explained that I haven't made many, especially outside the close family. DD2 is still waiting for me to finish hers. It's in the work in progress pile.

I'm sorry I didn't show this before. it's only from looking through the past posts that I realised I had forgotten to show you  the photos.
I have more projects to illustrate, just need to find time to blog.

Enjoy your sewing.