Friday, August 29, 2008

Snails, WAFTA and Advertising

As it rained a little overnight I went out snail hunting again after breakfast today. I bagged another 24 snails - which brings the total to 110 so far. The tomato seedlings chances are improving daily :-) I'm happy about the rain now our garden has all that mulch to soak it up.

Today I will be working on the newsletter for WAFTA, due to go out in early September.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gardening Update

The garden was still damp from last nights watering when we got back from our bicycle ride this morning so I went a-hunting. I bagged 84 snails! Actually the total count was 86 because I trod on 2. So now we'll see if the tomato seedlings fare any better.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gardening, not sewing

I have spent the last 2 days spreading 6 cubic metres of mulch - so I am shattered! I panicked a bit when I saw the size of the truck that pulled up. The driver was very kind and tipped it into 2 piles so that I didn't have to walk quite so far with every wheelbarrow load. Shame he didn't offer to spread it as well. At least the garden looks pretty good now and will retain any water put on it by the weather (or the reticulation) so we have a chance of the garden surviving the summer. We probably need another cubic metre to finish the last little bit round the back that you can't see. Russ helped for a little while yesterday morning but I did most of this by myself. I was so impressed with my efforts I just went out and took a couple of photos. The long skinny bit is our veggie patch and I dug out some very matted Oregano (very hard work!) before preparing the soil and then putting the mulch on this bit. The eggbox has tomato seeds in it but we have a sneaking suspicion that the snails are getting to them. The postbox photo shows the front of the house and the last photo shows the great long strip along the side of the house. One thing's for sure, I won't be buying a house on a corner block next time! Although there are advantages - only 2 adjacent neighbours for a start (who are lovely by the way).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Old Embroidery

Last Saturday I went to an open studio organised by WAFTA. We visited the Embroiderers Guild here in Perth to look at their textile collection and hear a talk by Valerie Cavill about conservation of textiles. It was a very informative session with lots to see. These photos are of Carrickmacross Lace, Irish Crochet Lace, Maltese Lace and Faggoting (Rouleau joined with needlelace).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mandala Series

This Mandala stitched on 2 layers of Tear Away Lite pulled a bit too but was "rescuable" with the iron and lots of pulling and tugging. I will do future ones using a machine embroidery hoop to prevent the distortion. I was trying to avoid that as some of the straight radiating lines are bigger than my largest hoop so I would have to move the hoop midway through a straight line and I thought stops and starts might create wiggles in the middle of the lines. I have sandwiched this one with some cotton wadding and am in the process of stitching on some sequins. This first one will be simply stitched in circles so I don't have to think about the design too much and can concentrate on the accuracy of the circles. I have lots of ideas for future ones including spirals and uneven division of the circle - so I don't think developing a series will present any problems.

Monday, August 11, 2008


It was just as I feared - the stitching pulled the work into a dome shape. Oh Bother! I thought. Or at least my thoughts were along the lines of Oh Bother :-) I have traced another circular grid onto Tear Away (Lite) and am currently stitching exactly the same design with the same fabric, same threads and same machine settings to see if that improves things. I used 2 layers of the Tear Away as I thought one layer might not be sufficient. I have stitched approximately 1/3 of the radiating lines so far and have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to pull in a bit too. I think it is a function of the radiating lines - ie proportionally there is more stitching per fabric area at the centre of the design compared to the outer ring. If this sample pulls significantly into a dome shape then I think the only solution will be to use a hoop when machine stitching this design. So I am prepared for the fact that I might have to stitch a 3rd sample before I get a satisfactory result.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mandala Series

I have decided to create a series of Mandala. I need to think about where I'm going and what I'm doing as a textile artist so I thought a Mandala series might help as I meditate on this. I started the first one today. First I used CorelDraw to create a semicircular grid so that it fit on A3 paper. I printed 2 copies and taped them together to get the full circle. I traced the grid onto lightweight interfacing and pinned it to the back of the fabric. I stitched all the lines using a thread to match the fabric so that I could see the whole grid from the front. I have started to couch some metallic thread on the radiating straight lines from the front using a narrow zigzag stitch. I am a little worried that this circular quilt will become dome-shaped as I stitch but we shall see what happens.