Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Ducks and Designs

Artisue (are you better?) - I am indeed much better but, far from slaving over a hot sewing machine, I was having a day out. The weather is fantastic here with frosty nights and lovely warm days - it was 15C here yesterday. So we took off for what we call ‘the duck place’, actually the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Arundel, near Chichester. Arundel is lovely and has both a castle and a cathedral but we just enjoyed the birds and the sunshine and didn’t get to the town.
They have very posh ducks and this pair (whose name escapes me) look even more colourful when made into Layers in PSP and the mode changed to Difference. I have blogged about this technique before.

There were a couple of Chinese Mergansers which were hysterical - like Road-runner on speed. They ran on the top of the water and then did a jump which turned into a dive. So funny. We also saw a water rail, a new one for me, and a water vole. They have a boat trip, powered by electricity, so you glide silently through reed beds and surprise unsuspecting ducks. A lovely day.

The fossil panel is evolving into something quite different from my intention. It has taken on a life of its own. I must get ready for my weekend teaching but hope to get back to it tomorrow. I want to try a couple of things and then I’ll show it.

We’ll do machine stuff at the end if that is OK.

Great to hear from you Jude. I miss all the Boughton gang but not the travelling. I am having a gap year in 2009 from teaching, although I shall try to do more talks instead. This is partly to build up more courses but also because we want to move house. Still in this area but something different - possibly with a hot tub after all your recommendations. This was supposed to be a temporary house twenty four years ago. The way house sales are going I think we should start now.

I laughed about the massage bit Wabbit, as I hate massage. I know how good it is for you but, as you say, I can’t stand the inactivity. My hairdresser goes in for head massage at the washing stage, but they know better than to try it with me.

Your idea of the glossary of terms is one that we need in Workshop on the Web but I never seem to have time to write one. Any offers - if you post any handy translations on the blog I will collate them and put them on the freebie part of WoW. Scrimn is a typo (was that me?) and scrim is the same - a very loosely woven material, often called builder’s scrim over here.

Machines: we’ve got a good discussion going here.
Carole asks about the Janome 6600 and whether it would handle some of the ideas in Stitch, Dissolve, Distort. I’m sure that it will, Carole, and I’ve always been pleased with Janome machines. They don’t do the 9mm width, which is very handy, but you can do a lot with the 7mm. I don’t know this particular machine but, on most Janomes, although the stitch width is on the screen, you can press the plus button while it stitches and it will do a smooth increase, Your last machine has certainly done you proud.

Wabbit, I like the sound of your Bernina. Do you have the software? The machines with an embroidery option can produce really exciting work but you have to do things with them to avoid the ‘flat’ look that the stitching can give. This is part of a cushion using a built-in quilting pattern. This was stitched on black muslin with gold lurex behind it. Then hand stitched and applied to a zapped chiffon background.

This was a sample for the cushion with chain stitch.

You can scan and stitch designs with the software but care needs to be taken when bringing in the scans. The software is expensive. This one uses the software to design celtic motifs which are stitched on felt, cut out and threaded through with further stitched strips. The piece is called ‘Fly the Flags for HRT’ and was made a few years ago before they found out it was not a good idea unless you really needed it. I felt great on it and my work became very colourful. detail below.

Meanwhile - back to the workshop preparation.


artisbliss said...

I am much, much better, Maggie. Back at work and all that, which means not as much time for stitching which was the only upside to my leg hurting, actually.
Glad you've been able to get out and enjoy the weather. I love the duck photo (posh ducks--how funny) and I love what you did to their colors.

Aussie Jo said...

An amazing image comes to mind of the running duck, would make a great cartoon. I had a little giggle at your 15C sunny day, especially after reading Dale's blog about the steamy weather over in WA. We have had some beautiful summer weather here in Southern Victoria, mid to high 20's, just hope we don't get the 40C+ heatwaves we had last summer.
I too am looking at buying a new sewing machine this year, so I'm finding all the comments very interesting. Perhaps there is a discussion/review site somewhere??? My machine is a very old Janome Combi which I bought when I first started working(1981). In 1992 I did buy an overlocker which I have used to death- with 4 children I have sewn a huge amount of clothing.

Carole said...

Maggie: Thanks very much for your comments on the sewing machine questions. I have to admit that I actually put away my machine post 1988 due to other priorities(kids,career and finding it easier to buy good quality on sale versus sewing it!) It has only been since reading your book and blog that I have pulled it out and taken a look at what it can do. So, I am looking at new machines with a slightly guilty conscience! Happy Valentine's Day to those in Pacific Standard time. Carole