Design board and print blocks…

DH is in the process of making me a design board.  Following instructions on Quiltart and on Mrs Mel’s blog, we went to buy a piece of 8′ by 4′ insulation board.  It was interesting getting it home in the car, particularly as we had two of the boys with us!

insulation board sitting in my studio

Here it is sitting in my studio.  By the way, the latter is relatively tidy.

He has now put a wooden frame round it and glued it in place, although he thinks he will have to use a different glue because that one isn’t holding too well.  He is then going to put some supports on the base with little wheels attached so I can move it round.

Here it is as it is at present.  He is off tomorrow so hopefully it will progress then….

I haven’t been doing too much in the studio lately but today, inspired by an article in Stitch Magazine by Ruth Issett on using metallic powders and Jacquard Pearl-Ex powders (amongst other things), both of which I have and don’t use much, I made a few stamp blocks in preparation.  I glued fun foam on to mountboard in various patterns and a few other things like string:

rubber stamps made out of fun foam in various patterns

There is a big one here too…

large stamp made from fun foam

Hopefully in a few days I’ll have done something with them, once the PVA glue dries.  I put it on quite thick to make it nice and waterproof as well as ensuring that the fun foam stays on.  We made quite a few stamps out of this during City & Guilds and I still use some of them, particularly a spiral one.  Sealed with acrylic paint, it is quite sturdy!

Concertina book tutorial

I can’t believe how much interest is still being shown in my Concertina Book photo Tutorial which I posted almost a year ago.

Sharon at In a Minute Ago kindly posted a link to it about a week ago and the Craftypod Podcast mentioned it as a resource in their Making Alt (not Altered) Books podcast .

If you are stuck for a gift or two and want something quick to make, I recommend having a go!

book all opened up

Meanwhile, I still have some presents to buy and all my cards to write and several other things to do …. it was my birthday yesterday – thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! One new phenomenon this year was the uncanny number of emails I had from online sales outlets and other sites like my webhost who also wished me a happy birthday…. I’m SURE I have never told them what it is! A bit worrying…

Advice wanted!

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe it is 4 days since I last posted. How easily I get out of the habit! I had the first stage of root canal treatment on my tooth last Friday and since then have had various aches and pains in my mouth – I thought I was getting a throat infection earlier in the week so I was taking it easy. Gargling with salt and dosing myself with plenty of vitamins and herb teas. It seems to be easing off, thankfully. 2 more weeks till the next stage of the treatment. I often find that if I have antibiotics, I get some sort of infection after I finish them, as if all the bad bacteria are rushing to take over again and my body can’t quite fight them off quickly enough…. Must be a quilt in that image…

Anyway, dear readers, I would like your advice. A few months ago I made this quilt with some of my rusted fabric:

rusted wallhanging with lots of grid patterns

I think it looks a bit boring like that and a bit strange (mainly due to the shape it turned out by the time I had finished quilting) and I would like to make it more like this:

above wallhanging with bends and waves in it

Of course, it is on the floor at the moment so it looks a bit strange anyway, but I thought of either wiring it somehow or attaching it to some background, either fabric or board or something. I’ve never done anything like this, and of course I didn’t start from the beginning and incorporate it into the design so anything I do will have to be added on to either the front or the back and therefore will affect the way it looks now. Any suggestions will be considered gratefully! It is quite thick, by the way, because the grey fabric is a sort of thick upholstery (I think) fabric with a bit of a pile and it has various layers on top of that, and it is quite heavily quilted.

Here is a detail of it:

detail of quilting of above

More ATCs!

A couple of people asked me if I wanted to swap ATCs with them, so I’ve made some more! If anyone else wants to swap, there are six going begging! (Of course, if I’m really enthusiastic I might just manage a few more….) Here are the second lot:

seven atcs

I also thought of a creative use for the iron grid thing you get with those disposable barbecues. To use it as a frame/mount for one of my collages! If it rusts through a bit, it will just add to the effect! There are quite sharp edges, however, so I decided to wrap thread round them and bend the sharp edges over using pliers. Here it is so far. I’ve decided to weave threads diagonally across too. I’ve just done one green one so far but intend to do a lot more. The rough edges need a bit more smoothing – any suggestions for good ways to do this? Or what I SHOULD have done? (I’ve got another of these grids which I’m intending to use for another one). What do you think of this ‘found objects’ method of mounting?! Any comments welcomed!

iron grid from barbecue, wrapped with green and reddy silver thread

This is it with the collage piece sitting on it. I need to zigzag round the edges. I think I will attach it by stitching it to the grid in four places.

collage on top of grid

There are a lot of arches and things in these collages and ATCs (they are all the same piece cut up) and I have stitched ‘portals’ all over it.