Sunday, 18 February 2018

A Fragile Nature

Hi Everyone,

I really apologise for being so late posting, and, even now, I can only show you a flimsy!

When I saw our subject was “Nature” I knew I had this photo I’d taken in our garden .....

The Flashing Scissors

which I wanted to interpret into a quilt. I wasn't sure how, until I happened to see a photograph of a hibernating dormouse on the WWF website! I had visions of said dormouse dreaming of its food ..... and I checked they do eat berries and flowers, although whether my plant is the right type I don’t know.

I tentatively drew pictures from both photographs onto tracing paper, outlined them with a black pen, and then, with the help of a light box (a rather Heath Robinson affair of a tupperware box and small torch, torch held in place in the box with some drafting tape, and box held together with an elastic band!) pencilled the pictures onto calico (oops I said muslin in my original description .... I mis-spoke!).

Previously I had only painted fabric with Acrylic paints, and then it was only because I needed fabric of a specific tone to go with whatever project I was working on.

For this project I started with a “new to me” idea ..... fabric paints, and then decided to paint in the style of watercolours. Not such a clever idea in so many ways! I haven’t even painted watercolours on paper before, but I certainly have more idea “how to” now. I guess it did me a favour, as, if I hadn’t started this project, I think I might never have used the fabric paints and they would probably have eventually just dried up in the cupboard!

I’ve also painted binding for this project as the original fabric I was going to use was much too dark ..... I just hope it looks the way I think it will when it's finished.

I ironed all the fabric after painting so hopefully all the paint should last, only time will tell.

The Flashing Scissors

I still need to persuade my sewing machine to let me stitch free motion to embroider my quiltlet, but for now I will put this on hold to consider our next project.

Do visit me, FlashinScissors, to see a few pictures of my process. See you later!!

Happy designing everybody!

Barbara xxx
of The Flashing Scissors 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

New Theme Announcement

Thank you to everyone for posting your 'Nature' quilts. It was wonderful to see such a variety of different ideas and such a lovely selection of quilts all inspired by February's theme. If you have not yet done so, please visit and leave comments for everyone and please look out for the final two quilts, which will be posted here soon :)

Today I am going to announce our second theme. 

Our list of themes is here...

And the random generator has selected...

So our next theme is CHANGE/TRANSFORMATION

The deadline for this theme is Tuesday May 1st 2018 at 10.00am GMT but remember you can always put up your post earlier and Schedule it.

I can't wait to see what everyone makes for this. Please share your thoughts, ideas and progress here on The Endeavourers Blog.

Happy Sewing!

Janine :)

Friday, 2 February 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Endeavors Challenge

In the late November or early December I joined the Endeavors. This consisted of a group of ladies who were interested in broadening their ideas and abilities in mediums of art with fabric.
Sounded interesting and definitely  a challenge.  We all suggested some topics  and the host picked  one out at random, that being "Nature".  We had 3 months to design our thoughts and finish our project.

What  with Christmas coming up and life "stuff" there was no activity on the sight.  Now with me out of sight out of mind.  So I totally forgot about it.   OUCH!  About 3 or 4 wks. ago someone posted about the project coming up.  The only thing I had done at that point was my design.  My bad,  I can't really blame anyone but my self.  I already had this years calendar.  Just did not write it down.  I'm not even go into the things that have happened up until now.  And it seems I not alone.  And like the others,  I will  have my project finish in time for the next challenge.   Not through circumstances I can  help that is.

Okay, here we go.  My design basics.

First choice of base fabric

Back ground I went with.  Sorry, it's snowing now so no sharp colors.
This will depict the four seasons starting with winter on top and finishing with fall on the bottom
Nature was such a broad theme.  I figured this covered a nice chunk of it.

 There will be a lot of small piecing

This is some of the fabric picked out so far

I'm fairly pleased with what is done so far.  But but totally frustrated I could not finish on time.
I'm think of entering this in the fair if it finishes well.   

  Hooray, the parts are in for my quilter here and will be put on tomorrow.  Maybe the drama is over.
When the time comes I will be quilting free style on my domestic.
Please visit the Endeavourers   HERE

There are some very pretty and interesting work being shared.
Have a Blessed day

Nature Inspiration: Feathers

I feel so late in the game... sorry about that. For this challenge my inspiration was feathers. I so often find feathers around the garden or on my walks and never tire of picking them up or seeing them being carried by the wind.
I made this mini quilt using Ana Maria Horner's feather pattern. I chose Essex linen in gray I think it captures the texture and color of my inspiration perfectly. You ca read more about it on my blog.

So happy to be part of this group.


Thursday, 1 February 2018


Well I must learn about scheduled posting so that these posts go out at the right time, still better late than never! It is great to be part of this group which promises to be inspirational and exciting!
I  love the theme as it is very broad and can be interpreted in many ways. I made a slightly ambiguous mini quilt which could also be interpreted in many ways. It could be the Sun, it could be a flower, or an anenome; such strange flower-like animals.
The background fabric was dyed using Procion dyes and the print was made from soft-cut lino. I used slightly thinned acrylic paint for the linocut and used a brush rather than a roller to have better control of the colours. It was then ironed with paper place on top to push the acrylic into the fabric.
This close up really shows how much variation there is in the printing.It also shows the variegated thread. I used two; a blue, purple and green one and one of different green hues. Looking at it now a little orange would have been good. Just lately I feel more and more drawn to orange, It was one of my favourite colours as a child and I loved to put it with purple!
The binding is ice-dyed Procion which gives a lovely mottled effect. I did slightly pad the centre to make it stand out more but it doesnt really show up in the photos
I am looking forward to the next intriging topic!

Force of Nature

I was intrigued by our first theme, Nature, but also a bit daunted as it is such a huge topic, where would I begin?

Having posted on that dilemma earlier I set to thinking.

This photograph of moss covered dry stone walls in the Lake District in my first post on this blog, set me off in the direction that I finally decided on for my first quilt for this group. I was really taken with the power of nature to overcome man made obstacles. I live right on the seafront on the West Coast of Scotland so I see the power of nature on a daily basis!

I did a bit of research and discovered these photos of abandoned places overtaken by nature.

This Tunnel of Love in Ukraine really caught my attention so inspired by the photo and the stories of these abandoned places reclaimed I set to work.

This is what I came up with. I have called it Force of Nature.

I decided to leave traces of the man made in my quilt, so there are blocks of grey to represent buildings and scraps of russet shot cotton to represent the rust and decay. There are also scraps of fabrics representing the thick stems of the shrubs and trees that will eventually hide the man made structures.

When I was searching through my fabrics looking for greens to use in the quilt top, I came across a piece that had accidentally been left in the sun so was bleached along the fold. If I had noticed this earlier I would have left other pieces out too but, of course, I didn't leave myself with enough time to do that. (Nor it has to be said enough hours of sunshine in my part of the world either!)

The quilt is free-motion quilted in a random leaf pattern in several different shades of green. I used a variegated embroidery thread for some of it but it was slightly too thick I think, so did not stitch up as easily as my normal polyester threads, hence there is only a little of the quilting using it.

The quilt back was a grey/white sketch fabric and the binding was a green/sunflower fabric and a black/grey townscape fabric. I wanted to include the manmade and the natural in the binding to finish off the quilt.

I really enjoyed the whole process of this challenge, particularly having to think about and research around the theme. As ever with more time I would have probably done some things differently, but as the time limitations were of my own making, I cannot complain :)

#1, Nature: Winter Blackbird

It's very exciting to be a member of this new group, and this, our first, theme was a fantastic one to get started with!

I had all sorts of ideas right from the beginning, which in the end were abruptly abandoned when I looked from my dining room window into the garden below and saw a beautiful male blackbird sitting in a Cotoneaster bush.  Right there was a view representing the beauty and vitality of nature, even in the middle of the city.

So here is my winter blackbird.

You can read more about him on my blog