It’s my birthday at the weekend and i’ll be 59. I don’t feel old but I am having a crisis. I’ve been saying i’m going to retire for a few years now but kept saying yes to jobs and seemed to limp along. A bout of illness at the end of last year made the decision for me and I had to cancel work bookings. It’s definitely a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’. I feel lost, invisible, isolated, guilty and am driving my long suffering husband to distraction. I want to be useful, I want to do something for charity, I need to be creative … my head is ‘a shed’ and I’m not sure where I go next.
This morning I received an e mail from someone I went to school with and haven’t seen for 40 years! They were so lovely about my book Learning Through a lens and had taken the time to contact me. You have no idea how much that helped me. It really did make a huge difference and made me determined to make sure I tell others how much I appreciate them.
So at the minute, I’m trying to turn my sewing into a productive hobby (very frustrating but rewarding), I’m investigating charity ideas and planning to spend my birthday with my two grandchildren at my great nephew’s 5th birthday party – how can you feel down when surrounded by so much joy x
I’m reasonably new to sewing but health issues have forced me to slow down for a while. I need to have projects on the go, I need to create, I need to experiment. I attended a free motion embroidery class which led to the creation of ‘not the norm textiles ‘ with a friend and a series of portraits.
Free motion embroidery portraits
I then decided I needed to be able to sew straight lines which I found a lot more challenging than free motion. I made tissue holders (loads of them)- four straight lines and that’s it – result!
I progressed to simple pouches/purses – definitely a bit hit and miss with the zippers 😂. I spent hours on Pinterest and worked out how to sew bags, tweaked the patterns and made most of my Christmas presents.
I’m not good at reading Instructions or following patterns – i.e I just don’t do it. Having worked out a basic bag pattern I decided to create a bag using just
free motion quilt as you go sew outside the lines scrappy quilting.
There are no rules I just put scraps of materials over one another and sewed, I used random machine stitches, different angles and whatever scraps I had. It was amazingly liberating, no pins, no straight lines no worries! This can then be cut to a rectangle and used as the front of your bag – here’s my first attempt at scrappy quilting aka sewing outside the lines.
I had a real eureka moment today when I realised how easy it is to print onto fabric! I’ve used transfer paper but never been happy with the results. Today I used inkjet fabric sheets – £8.95 for 10 A4 sheets and the result is amazing! (The only downside is that they did take quite a while to be delivered) You can type quotes basically anything you can do on your computer you can print! I used photoshop and tried lots of images on A4 and am so impressed. You just peel of the backing paper and are left with a gorgeous fabric version of your image. I’m dabbling with sewing at the minute and making cards etc. I’m going to have a go at embellishing some of these images later – the flower fields look like they might work.
I’ve also been trying out some more machine embroidery and negative space embroidery – just experimenting! No pattern just making it up x
I’m currently working on photographs for a new book for Juliet Robertson @Creativestar (Juliet’s blog is here.)
She introduced me to the idea of Hapa Zome and I have written about this in an earlier blog post here. However, having spent weeks working on different materials, different plants and leaves – even different hammers! I found myself with a pile of dyed fabric and not a lot of idea what to do with it! So I decided to teach myself free hand machine embroidery. Several hours on Pinterest, loads of you tube videos, numerous mistakes and I have finally managed to create a series of (very) abstract cards. I’m very much still learning but am loving experimenting!
If you look at the header you can see that I have used Photoshop to turn some of my images into templates and am working on these at the minute x