Monday, 12 September 2011

Harvest Time

DH and I share a love of harvest but we agree to differ. He thinks about produce from the veggie plot, courgettes, sweetcorn, potatoes, onions, beans, pumpkins you get the picture? Me, well I dream in colour and harvest things that I can use to dye naturally through the Winter months. Today I have been processing elderberries which give me a lilac colour.

I freeze these in plastic cups. Each cup has about 85g-100g of elderberries. I am lucky enough to have a freezer for my non food stuff but if you don't have this just make sure that any berries are clearly labelled and well wrapped to prevent any contamination.
I don't freeze everything I collect. These rosehips have been dried in the oven. When I do collect berries I make sure that I only take about half from the tree or bush so as to leave enough for the birds.
I use fir cones as well but these stay in a dry box in the garage.
I am being very disciplined at the moment and resisting the urge to dye up some fibres. I really need to finally complete my C&G diploma and have made huge progress since FoQ as I am now over 50% finished. Trouble is life is starting to get in the way again, planning for workshops, making samples etc and I have a date with a Year Four class tomorrow. Oh well I will keep on stitching, keep on stitching and collecting goodies to dye with!!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Zebra returns home

I was really pleased to have my zebra quilt returned today. I didn't get to attend the exhibition which was at a National Trust property in Sutton Hoo but did get this photo sent to me. It is one of the most simple quilts I have made yet I think has the most visual impact. I have an idea in my sketchbook for another one based on the same theme. Thank you Nan for looking after it safely.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

35 flowers, parrots and first day nerves

Thirty five flowers? For those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a long time, you will know that I was completing a City & Guilds diploma in Patchwork and Quilting. Well, I am still completing it but am NEARLY there, yes NEARLY there. Since Festival of Quilts (I did go even though I haven't posted about it) I seem to have got my mojo back and have done alot of stitching in a relatively short time. The next step is to thread sketch 36 rape seed flowers, 8 are large, the rest small. The photo below isn't clear but give you an idea. I am stitching on a medium weight painted lutradur.  
Yesterday DS2 started secondary school for the first time. He was ready to leave the house at 7am, we waiting and waited and waited. A phone call confirmed that the minibus would be with us soon. A further phone call at 9am told us that they had forgotten to collect him and would send someone back asap. We are about an hour from the school so it was 10.20am before he finally set off for school. This would be difficult for anyone but for someone with his emotional needs it was really hard and I can't blame him for not wanting to go to school.

After he had gone DS and I had decided to make the most of our rare time together to visit the local parrot zoo. It was a quick jump in the car and we headed north. We had a great day, lots of things to see. DS's favourite thing was to go into the walk in aviary where the birds fly onto you. I didn't like having my buttons pecked and three birds on your head is quick heavy!! They were all very tame though and beautiful colours. I have enough ideas to fill sketchbooks.............
They also had other animals, I loved the patterning on this giant tortoise shell.

Today is cold, raining and very windy. Off to stitch more flowers and think of Summer....