Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A quilt is born! By Stephanie

After working on this snowball quilt for half of the year, it is finally finished and I shall be handing it over to my friend this Friday. I'm hoping it will be her favourite Christmas present!
I have previously posted photographs and progress updates, so it's lovely to now show off the finished piece. I love the navy blue sheet which forms the back and border. I didn't trust myself to manage a neat job on the machine, so I hand-stitched the borders and corners and I think it looks ok.

Here goes....

It's always a bit strange to spend so much time on a project and then give it away - but this is being given to the first friend I made when I moved to Leeds and she's very special to me. It was a pleasure to make this for her and love went into every stitch.
Posted by Stephanie.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A new blanket.

With Christmas hurtling towards us and quite a few handmade gifts on the go, the last thing I should be thinking about is farting about with beginning a new project. And yet here I am, doing just that. For most of the year I've had a real yen to knit a blanket and I've gathered a few lovely patterns from library books and Google searches.
I'm very fond of working with hexagons and I seem to return to them often in my patchwork creations....and I started to wonder if I could produce acceptable versions in yarn.
A bit of online research threw up results of varying desirability. And then I found this beauty, for which photographic and knitting pattern credit goes to Knit, Shear Bliss! blogspot. I won't be knitting the child, just the blanket : )

A raid in my yarn collection ( ye gods, how did I acquire so much of the stuff? ) has got me off to a great start. I'm a bit funny, well, very funny actually about lots of different colours together, so my version is more muted. Here is what I've made so far - I may well add another colour or two, I'll see how it looks when I've made more hexagons.
Clearly, these are not sewn together yet, the photographs simply show the shapes in their 'just finished' state.

They will be joined together in a simple over-stitch I think - colour of yarn for this yet to be decided upon - a long way off in the future. Now, I really must get all these Christmas presents finished.....
Posted by Stephanie.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

It's a wrap! By Stephanie.

It's a given that come September, I have to get my knitting needles out. I don't know if it's a primeval calling or simply a response to darker nights, colder weather and the downright need to feel cosy. Whatever prompts it, I give in to it.

Two years ago I started knitting what was to be an Aran poncho. It was no small undertaking - both sides were to be approximately a meter square in size. There were over 200 stitches on a needle and each row took about 5 minutes to knit. Unsurprisingly I lost heart. I managed about two-thirds of one side and then it got confined to the deepest depths of my knitting box.

This week it was time to face my demons, cut my losses and other such cliches - and deal with it. I decided to cast off and turn it into a lovely warm wrap. It's actually a great width and length, allowing for an array of folds and tucks. And a perfect excuse for wearing a beautiful brooch or shawl pin. Result!

It's a simple basket-weave stitch with a garter-stitch border.

Posted by Stephanie.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Small diversions.

I have taken a break from large-scale works - which has been lovely and I'll go back to my quilts and wall-hangings feeling refreshed, I'm sure!
I've been working on these cotton, padded phone pouches which are very quick and easy to make and it's fun to match up recipients of these with appropriate fabrics.
This one was for my friend Kath, a huge Leeds Rhinos fan, so blue and yellow was the only acceptable colourway...

This is mine - I love the USA cycling strip and this fabric reminded me of it, so I had to have it...

And this is for someone who just liked it when he spotted it online whilst I was fabric shopping...

 Posted by Stephanie.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Snowball quilt nears completion.

This week I finally finished the bulk of the snowball quilt for M. It's a great relief to have reached this point as it was quite awkward to stitch. After having a few doubts about certain fabrics and if they went together as an entirety, I see the piece now and absolutely love it. When I was putting colours together I didn't realise just how 'marine' it was, but this is my over-riding impression now - perhaps hardly surprising from a water-lover.

I am now intending to have a small break from the work, after which I shall square off the edges and that will be the patchwork finished. I have basted my triangles to sew along the sides, and this is the cotton I have chosen to use...

It's a lovely feeling to be able to make something so special for a wonderful friend. She really has no idea about this and will be gobsmacked when she opens it on Christmas Day!
Posted by Stephanie.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Hi All!
I've just made a post about patchworks over on my Blog.

Stephanie I think you may like it!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Old work revisited.

Last week I picked up a piece of work which I haven't touched for months. I began it last year as a way of using up lots of brown vintage fabric which I had accumulated. The hexagons are fairly small, about an inch across, so it was a farly intense piece of patchwork. Because of the way I stitched the shapes together, lots of gaps were left and I suppose at the time I couldn't face sewing up all these gaps!
It's been lovely to work on it again and I'm slowly getting it completed.

The intention is to mount it on a dark green background and then make a border consisting of hexagons - either a single or double row. Then I'll probably use it as a wall-hanging on my landing.

Posted by Stephanie.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Big Knit 2012 by Stephanie

This year I've contributed again to the Big Knit, whereby money raised through the initiative goes to help make winter warmer for older people. During winter months, bobble-hat wearing Innocent smoothies appear in selected stores. For each one of these sold, Innocent donates 25p to Age UK.

They're good fun to make and don't take long. So, this is what I've been up to for the past few weeks.....Very special thanks to my friend Kath for contributing lots of lovely yarn.

Posted by Stephanie.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Blue and white quilt blocks

The blue and white quilt blocks which I began working on last month are really beginning to grow in number now. I have enough for 3 rows of the lap quilt. I am lucky in that all of the fabric I've had to hand in my stash, which makes for quick work. And I've just acquired some lovely, high-quality cast-off shirts, which will make the quilt even more special.

Each row will be approx. 49 inches ( 117cm ) across, minus borders.

The blocks are all hand-stitched. Progress so far...the blocks are in no particular order.

Posted by Stephanie.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sepia by Stephanie.

I loved the idea of using 'sepia' tones as a colourway for whatever I chose as a subject. Over recent weeks I have begun collecting seedheads - these were the perfect inspiration. I wanted to create something simple but effective.
I began by using small pieces of fabric and embroidery threads to create a few seedheads before stitching the stems.
I loved the finished piece and the muted tones. 

I found it very difficult to photograph, but the close-ups give a better idea of the lovely colours.

 I adore seedheads - I photograph them and always collect some to keep in jars. I enjoyed trying to represent them in this way.
Posted by Stephanie.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Blue by Harriet Alice Fox

The August theme was Blue or Sepia.
A colourful choice for everyone this month.

I knew I wanted to work on an embroidery piece as I haven't sewn for a while.

I had seen someone online use the chain stitch to create these cute little flowers, so I set to work on making my own. I picked out a bunch of blue shades and drew out my heart shape.
Then I started sewing out the chain stitched flowers.

The embroidery hoop snapped whilst I was sewing this piece so I patched it together and used it as the frame for this embroidery. I think it looks great on my eclectic wall. : )

Sunday, 26 August 2012

I've been fabric-shopping.....by Stephanie

Last week I visited one of my favourite fabric shops, The Shipley Shuttle. It was love at first sight for this gorgeous cotton - I adore pink and yellow/orange together!

I spent some of yesterday making this large tote bag and I lined it with yellow.

I cut out a couple of the flowers from the fabric and backed them with interfacing and felt.

I sewed them to some ribbon ( a perfect match for the spotty elephant ears! ) and tied the adornment around one of the bag's handles.

I had enough fabric left over for a purse...

A lovely way to spend some of my lazy Bank Holiday weekend.
By Stephanie.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

One for Kaylie

I thought Kaylie would love this, so I'm posting it here.
It's the wonderful world of paper cutting from Michel Ocelot named Les Trois Inventeurs.

Friday, 24 August 2012

A new quilt takes shape...

Despite having two fairly large-scale patchwork projects already on the go, I decided last month that I would start another quilt. I am a recent convert to the combination of blue and white - I love the crispness and cleanliness of the two colours together. I thought that a little pink in places would be a nice way to warm up the work. The blocks are 7 inches square, and a relief to work with alongside the 1 inch square patchwork which is still ongoing. I am, as usual, stitching this by hand and using the English paper-piecing method. The quilt will probably end up as a lap-quilt to use in my sewing room in the winter months.

The fabrics will be a mix of floral, stripes, plain and some checks.

Here are my first six blocks. They are randomly placed together - I will not decide how they all fit together until all blocks are completed.

Posted by Stephanie.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dawn by Kaylie Joy Black

I have finally been able to finish this piece of work. It has taken me longer than expected but I have definitely enjoyed the process I have gone through to make this piece of work.

I was trying to capture the moment when beams of light come through the trees in the morning.

I started by covering the wood in white emulsion. I then used different 'leaf' colours to cover the base of the picture. I then added different papers, card and fabric in tree patterns to try and give the piece some depth and texture. I then left the piece for a few days, the paint then started to crack. Although this was unintentional, I really like the effect it has had on the painting. It reminds me of bark. I then used a pencil to draw and shade the final tree shape and surrounded the pencil drawing with white paint to try and get the glow of the light beams.

I am really happy about the way that this piece has turned out and it has really got me thinking about painting again.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Kaylie Joy Black at the Halifax Arts Festival.

I have been really busy recently with Forkbeard Fantasy's Summer School, Teaching at Ash Green Primary and Eureka, and having an exhibition on during The Halifax Arts Festival.

I have an absolutely amazing friend who was able to look after my work during the exhibition while I was galavanting in style. She also took some fantastic photos of my work in the exhibition space. Here they are!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Dawn and Birds by Kaylie Joy Black

I have been really busy this month with many different pieces of work. Therefore, I have yet to finish this piece.

I decided I have done any sort of painting for a really long time. I thought that dawn and birds is a great excuse to get my paints out! The colours and shapes made from this inspiration is perfect for my style of mixed media painting.

I began by just throwing paint onto the canvas, the quicker the white disappears, the better! I have then added string, fabric and card to add textures within the painting.

After this, I have scraped away some of the paint to once again reveal the white underneath. I was trying to get the effect of rays of light being caught on trees.

I have really enjoyed making this and so I can see it becoming a very big piece of work.
Be patient and it may end up pretty good!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Birds by harrietalicefox

To make a change, I was really prepared for this months theme.
I knew immediatly what I wanted to create, and finished on time. If only I could be like this every month.

July's theme was Birds/Dawn.
I decided upon a Peacock, and whilst searching for an inspirational image I found an albino peacock that still had a splash of colour. I knew that was the bird I wanted to capture within my art.

 I'm going to pop it in a frame and add it onto my wall of pictures.