Sunday 30 October 2011

Finished project: indigo square

indigo square

Yes, it's done and ready to hand over at the next Guild meeting. Seeing it finished, I do like the intense texture of it. P is reminded of Van Gogh's Starry Night. The polka dot pattern shows at the edge, which looks a bit odd but not awful.

But where are the beads? Well, when I finished the couching, I did try scattering some small (plastic) pearls and some clear seed beads on it, but the beads stood out from the threads, when I had imagined they would blend in. So a final bit of learning on the piece: beads at the end stand out, not blend.

the AeolusFinishing early did mean I didn't have any crafting to do while taking the bus to see the Aeolus Acoustic Wind Pavilion while it was at Salford. It is such a neat sculpture! I had expected it to sound like a flute, but it makes a more science fiction atmospheric sound. I had missed it when it was at Lyme Park, so it was a great treat to see it on the last day of the Manchester Science Festival. If you find out it is on tour near you, I recommend you see it.

So, with the indigo square done and just one more day until November, am I ready to Nanowrimo? Oh, yeah!nanowrimo equipment I decided I needed a pencil case because my new bag seems to eat pens. They get sucked down into an inaccessibly narrow pocket, requiring far too much effort to get out again. So yesterday, I pop into one of the China Town gift shops, and found a pencil case shaped like a bus! It also has a girl with bat wings, and I've had a note about wearable bat wings to put in my story for about two months now. It's as if fate is guiding me.


Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sudden deadline

I realized yesterday that it’s only two weeks until November. I’m aiming to do the Nanowrimo again (I’ve got my basic plot and lots of notes, but I’m not sure I have the required level of enthusiasm to get through it); that mean my free time in November will be pretty much full of writing. So, I need to finish the indigo square before 1 November, or it won’t be complete in time to go to the show in February. Here’s what needs doing:

  • finish 2 corners

  • fill 5 holes

  • fill in a 4x2 cm gap

  • add some beads (this is optional, but was in my original ‘plan’)

  • mount on the thankfully pre-cut card

The clock is ticking! (And I'm on my last bit of indigo thread; will black thread work well enough? Only one way to find out...)

Thursday 13 October 2011

No reprieve

I couched down the last bit of my collected denim string, and when I ravelled some more string from the piece of denim I had ready for this project, it was instantly clear that the scrap was much less worn and therefore darker than what I had been using. It was the perfect excuse to stop work on the indigo square. After all, I couldn’t possibly have two shades of indigo on the same square, oh no, no, no.

So, I get all excited about my next project! I want to try using the paper patchwork technique to make a little heart ornament, with each half of the heart (front and back) in a different fabric. I had my four half heart paper shapes and quickly found three fabrics to use. Then fate interrupted. The first box I looked in for a fourth fabric had a wide selection of denim scraps. And so, I’m still working on couching denim threads on this project that I’m determined to finish even though I’m sick of it! 

Sunday 9 October 2011


I’m still stitching on the indigo square. It has become a bit of an albatross. Every month, I tell myself that I’ll finish it in time for the next guild meeting, but then the meeting comes along, and it looks no closer to being finished.

Still, I can look at it as a learning process. For instance, I’ve learned that couching doesn’t stand out on polka-dot fabric, and that it isn’t a quick filling stitch. I’ve also discovered that it’s easier to coil a bit of thread and stitch that down than to fill a circle with couching.

Also, I’ve discovered an advantage to embroidering on the bus: the light is very good. Generally, I think of the bus as a challenging environment to craft in. But as I was stitching on my sofa yesterday, with the overhead light and reading light on, I still struggled to see the indigo thread against the indigo fabric to thread into the needle. It struck me that though it’s hard to thread a needle on a moving bus, it is easy to see what you’re doing. Not surprising, as the buses have as much window space as possible, giving lots of natural light, I just hadn’t realized it before. So even when you’re working on a project you’re totally sick of, there’s still something new to learn.