All That Glisters

19 Sep

Boy have I been busy. There can’t be too many more hobbies to discover but I seem to have done it again. I was leafing through a catalogue some months ago and discovered something called Silver Clay. It looked intriguing and I have been looking for a course so that I could learn the basics. I found a very good one in Cornwall at the Cornwall School of Art Craft and Jewellery (CSACJ)

Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery
Suite 2, Coldrenick Farm Offices
Helland
Nr Bodmin
Cornwall
PL30 4QE
Tel: 01208 264155

Email: info@csacj.co.uk

website: csacj.co.uk

I did a five day course that taught the basics from beginner up to intermediate. The teaching by Julia Rai was second to none and the atmosphere was friendly and peaceful. We made an awful lot of pieces. In fact I was surprised how many we made but I guess you have to make something for each stage.

We started off with a pair of earings and later on in the course I made a matching pendant.

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Each day progressed to a new stage but building on the previous stages. We made a variety of charms, moulded and formed.

DSCN3193Excuse the dreadful photo but shiny things are difficult to take. Beads was next

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Non fireable stones.

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Dry forming and setting stones by drilling.

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This is a piece of glass held in with silver balls.

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A hollow shape made with syringed clay.

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I was dreading ring day as I was convinced that my rings would end up misformed. However, not only were they both perfectly round and fit just right, they were not as difficult as I thought they would be.

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Silver, gold foil and liver of sulphur and very hot fingers produced this one.

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This one had liver of sulphur and liquid gold. I also thought I had ruined it with the liver of sulphur but a bit of polishing soon sorted it out. In any case apparently refiring returns it to the original state.

DSCN3183I did one more but I don’t like it so am going to experiment a bit with a different finish.

My biggest problem was jump rings, I just can’t get them to meet properly. Practice, practice, practice. Looking at the closeup photographs I think I will also use my large magnifying glass when cleaning the greenware to make sure the finish is just right. Normal eyesight, especially aged normal eyesight even with glasses is not enough for perfection. However, I always say that you only really learn when you make a mistake so I should be really good at this given time. In any case I shall be keeping these as examples of each technique and ‘what not to do’s’ and for practising polishing etc.

I did buy a kiln but in fact you do not have to have a kiln to make silver clay jewellery. A butane torch does the job on most of the pieces. This means that you can do it with a lot less outlay and still buy a kiln in the future if you want to branch out or make in quantity. Mind you as it only takes three minutes with the torch, quantity is eminently possible even with this method.

If you are thinking of taking a course, not only is the teaching superb but the srroundings are beautiful and peaceful. The studio is in the middle of the countryside whilst at the same time being very close to the A30. So easy to get to and still ‘away from it all’.

Whilst I was looking at the pieces in a display cabinet at the studio I came across some really beautiful glass used in jewellery. As a result I am taking a class on that too, this time with Marion. Another thing worth noting is that if you do not want to do the standard syllabus it is possible to have a class tailor made for you so that you learn what you want, especially if you have a grounding in the subject already and want to hone it.

Right, I’m off to do some polishing. If you are interested in how the glass making goes, watch this space.

If You Want To Get Ahead Get A Hat.

13 Sep

The latest pattern we are working on features hats of different ages.

I can’t claim any input into these as they were drawn and traced off by Daughter number one. I did try to master the software but my flat pack mentality intervened.

I did do the stitching but that, with a good pattern, is the easy bit.

The advantage of this pattern is that you can let your imagination fly. If you like ribbons and beads they can transform the finished hat into something beautiful.

I tried the patterns out in three colourways.

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Details:

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We took these patterns to the Harrogate show and they, together with the shoes, went very well.

Here is a link to my web page if you want to buy.

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1011

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1012

Sunbonnet Sue, Ex-UFO

19 Jun

The two sunbonnet quilts are now finished.

They didn’t turn out too badly.

One top finished.

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Here it is on the frame ready to quilt.

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Close up of quilting.

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Quilting round figures.

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The two quilts finished and bound.

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Just the labels now. I have a few without labels so I will have to have a labelathon.

Details of pattern etc on my original blog.

 

If You Go Down In The Woods Today

14 Jun

I am back with further admiration for Sue Box Designs.

I refuse to go through the hassle of stitching badly digitised embroideries and so I tend to stay with the designers I know never come into this category and she never seems to sell a bad design.

I bought some of her Timeless Teddy designs when there was a not to be missed deal on some months ago.  When I was looking to make a baby quilt they were the obvious ones to use.

I had never made a triple Irish Chain design quilt so I thought I would have a go. Unfortunately my first attempt ended up with a rather long, thin quilt but I solved this problem by making it into two square quilts, eminently suitable for protecting both floor and baby. I think floor quilts for babies are a very sensible idea. We never wear shoes in our house yet the carpets still need cleaning from time to time and as for houses with dogs, well what can I say?

Obviously serendipity.

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The thing that always strikes me with her designs is that the original artwork is superb. However, the detail in the artwork must make for a lot of work in the digitising.

If you want to try out her designs there are lots of free ones on this link.   If  you want to try out a particular collection before buying each collection has a free sample.  The one for the teddies is the last one I posted above.

If you fancy making a triple irish chain google it. There are lots out there but this one is easy to understand.

 

 

Sunbonnet Sue Strikes Again.

7 Jun

For someone who purports not to like Sunbonnet Sue I am again showing signs of inadvertent addiction. I once made two bags using free Sue and Sam patterns from The Quiltery. Later I joined their pattern club when it was a very reasonable price and two of the downloads were the same Sue and Sam but more of them. (see this link).

So far I have appliqued ten blocks to make two quilts. They are fun and easy to do and I think they turned out well.

See what you think.

DSCN3136 DSCN3137 DSCN3138 DSCN3139 DSCN3140 DSCN3141 DSCN3142 DSCN3143 DSCN3144 DSCN3145Now I just need to work out what to do about their faces. The sideways ones are fine but I think too many blank stares could cause nightmares amongst the young.

Anyway I am working on the rest of the top in my dungeon so pop back another day if you would like to see the results. I’m on a roll so it shouldn’t take too long. After all housework is not good for the soul, only the conscience.

I used the fabric I dyed myself and put into a blog last year.   I find it much easier to get variations whilst tying colours together using a fabric with lots of shades and patterns in different densities.

 

They also do matching embroideries. (see this link.)

Here is one I did earlier.

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Crazy Christmas Fairies

25 May

Having taken delivery of the Loralie Very Fairy Christmas fabric I just had to make something from it. This is what I came up with.

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I started with a square of batting and a panel from the Loralie Very Fairy Christmas panel.

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Cut strips of matching fabrics and stitch in a crazy patch.

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That gives you this.

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This is what the back looks like.

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I could have stitched through a backing layer as well if I had wanted the quilting to show on the finished back. However, I cut squares to fit and pinned them on the back.

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To join the blocks together I used quilt as you go (QAYG). I cut 1.25″ strips of sashing for the front and also to match the back. I stitched the sashing strip right sides together on the front.

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At the same time I stitched the strip to match the backing to the back.

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I then attached the next block right sides together on the front only.

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The back looks like this.

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Pin the strip over the seam folding in the seam allowance.

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This can be hand sewn or stitched with a straight, zigzag or fancy stitch either from the back or the front.

DSCN3126I also followed  the same process to attach the borders forming the thin strip between main section and border.

Binding consists of a 2.5″ strip folded in two and stitched either from back or front. I did it from the front.

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This was folded over and hand stitched to the back. It could have been stitched to the back, folded to the front and machine stitched.

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This won’t get the baby a new bonnet.

I am supposed to be tracing pattern pieces on Adobe Illustrator but unfortunately the ability to do that sort of thing left me along with the ability to understand the instructions for flat pack furniture in about 1985. Luckily I don’t like flat pack furniture but I do have to trace the patterns so I guess that needs to be the next project. Perhaps I should get a sandwich board and try a quid pro quo. With my luck I’d get a house full of furniture and still be without the tracings.

Ramblings apart. If you want to do crazy patch this should give you some idea. There are some more detailed blocks in the Tips and Tricks section – Crazy For Butterflies.

 

 

Loralie Fairies and the Soft Shoe Shuffle.

4 May

It’s not the first time I have showcased my  shoe bags but they are so far down the archive list that newcomers may never find them. As such I thought a few pictures of a new selection might be in order. These are really satisfying to produce. They can be made in so many different styles and colours and also used for so many different things as well as shoes. If you want a well organised suitcase a few of these bags will assist. They are also a rather more attractive substitute for the plastic bag for carrying dirty shoes.  A row of them on the coat rack looks so much more attractive than a row of muddy shoes on the shoe rack. Obsessed? Who? Me?

 

For the ladies.

blue green orange.

 

green green purple

 

beige pink pink

 

green pink mauve

 

brown blue red

 

white red green

 

green boot

For the dancer.

beige pink dance trainer

 

linen effect lined green yellow dance trainer

 

For himselfbeige swirl green yellow

 

green blue trainer

 

brown purple grren

 

If you want to have a go at your own how about buying one of my shoe quilt patterns and using the appliques to make your own.

Ladiesladies shoes whole 1_518x600

 

 

Men’s

 

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If you are feeling lazy try a ready made one.

Ladies’ Use this link to the web site.

Men’s Use this link to the web site.

I am awaiting delivery of another Loralie fabric. This time it is Very Fairy in time for Christmas. Be honest if you don’t start now will you really finish before Christmas?

First the panel.

very fairy panel

very fairy panel right

very fairy panel left

Matching Fabrics.

very fairy tossed

very fairy holly

very fairy red scroll

very fairy green scroll

verey fairy canes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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