‘Home sweet home’ teabag quilt

I have been enjoying hand sewing very much recently, so I decided to make another tea bag quilt. A few people have asked how I made my first one so I thought I would do a step by step. My friend Fran Halperin and I have been experimenting with joining techniques. Fran has been using her sewing machine.

On the left zigzag stitch, on the right she has straight line stitched along the edge of the teabag and then jumped over the gaps.

On the left I used blanket stitch on the right for my new quilt – I back stitched the tea bag onto material. NB try and use something with very little ‘give’ – I used an old linen nappy and it’s very difficult to sew neatly on top of.

I decided to make my ‘ Home sweet home’ quilt have a more quilt like feel- the last one was a bit abstract. I printed some tea bags blue/ purple and others pale blue/ white. With my doors and window hand carved stamps .

The tea bags were a bit higgledy piggildy on the linen so I decided to add some strips of kitchen towel ( dyed with tea during the drying of teabags process) with writing on between the rows and buttons at corners. This stitching held on the back piece which is a white tea towel

I am edging the quilt with a sheet of used colour run paper/ fabric that goes in the washing machine. It needed 3 rows of running stitch to keep it flat. I used white sewing cotton throughout. I think I will print over this again when it’s stitched all around

Nearly finished. It needs a few more buttons and I haven’t stitched the edging all the way round but you get the idea.

I wanted this quilt to be a bit more obvious that it was teabags. I haven’t used any glue on the joints so that it feels much more like fabric

I think I need to do a bigger one ……

ICAD 2018

I am really enjoying making digital images for this years icad challenge. I don’t get the same art buzz working digitally in comparison to working in a messy paint way but it’s still fun.

I tend to start off with an image that’s on my camera roll or a found image. Then I just play with it in Freemix / imageblender/ my iPhone editing app until I am happy with the result

Today was Portrait

So I used a selfie from a few weeks ago. I can’t remember what I was pulling that face for.

I knew there had to be a mandala as a layer

Then I went straight into Image Blender

I particularly liked this image –

but the pattern felt too strong on my face so I edited it in my iPhone editor

I decided to crop the image for the final choice

Amsterdam mini break

Saturday

My daughter has moved to Amsterdam to work. She and her boyfriend have rented a flat on Haarlemmerdijk which is near the centre of the city. The road is in a busy neighbourhood with lots of independent shops and interesting architecture.

With a bit of anxiety I agreed to have a go at riding a bike around the city. It’s great fun but a bit scary. I wasn’t brave enough to try pedal brakes. The Dutch have different rules than the ones that I am used to and drive on the right. This morning from the flat window I saw someone riding a bike – holding a bunch of flowers, a coffee in one hand and a couple of bags in the other.

For my birthday I was treated to a posh boat trip around the canals (cushions and cocktails) we arrived at the dock a bit early so we went for coffee at #IvyBros- I can really recommend the hot chocolate and Jon reckoned that the coffee was a 9/10.

The coffee shop looked a bit like a game lodge with lots of skulls and interesting decor. ( loo was spotless)

The boat trip was fab- it was hot and sunny and we lolled around on cushions drinking gin and tonic as we ducked under bridges and listened to interesting commentary. The trip was run by #friendshipamsterdam

I learnt about ‘dancing houses’ that were built along the banks of the canals. They have wooden stakes as foundations. The stakes mean that the houses move. Some present at quite alarming angles.

The boat trip and the coffee shop are in the redlight district. I found the girls in the windows and doorways disturbing. There is the oldest church in Amsterdam, a kindergarten and ladies standing in windows right next to each other.

Sunday

We went for a cycle around Westerpark. There is lots of different playparks, ponds and paddling pools. We stopped at De Baakers Winkle for coffee.

The menu illustrations were fab

The buildings in the park are all very similar designed in redbrick with lots of patterns

Winkles is light and airy over three floors. We sat outside in a lovely covered garden area.

Before lunch we rode back to Haarlemmerdijk and wandered around the street window shopping. ‘Lost in Amsterdam’ recommends the area for shopping ( http://www.lostin.com)

I particularly like all the roof details and a tiny old cinema called ‘the movies’

We also wandered around Haarlemmerplein where someone had parked wooden bikes

Inside a bedding shop I found some interesting paper mache shapes illustrated with Indian line drawings

Door detail from the square

Monday

Last day today and I got to wander up and down Haarlemmerdijk. So here are some more detailed pics. There is a noticeable amount of wisteria growing up and around buildings. I would like to come back when it’s in flower

I have noticed lots of stained glass and art nouveau tiles when I was cycling around over the weekend. I managed to find a few tiles and a mosaic.

The old wooden doors are fab too

I also noticed quite a lot of different metal work on doors ( I have exceeded the data allowance for this post ….)

In-between the blocks of houses on Haarlemmerdijk there are lots of plants and bikes – it makes the city feel very green.

I really enjoyed my trip. Though I have to say the Dutch cycling rules are quite tricky- one is supposed to give way to the right …… Cyclists seem to rule the roads , particularly when there isn’t a pavement – so it’s a bit alarming being a pedestrian as well. I think it’s fab and wish there were more bikes instead of cars everywhere.

Teabag quilt

I have been working on teabags for the past few months. I am getting very tired of the tea leaves and soggy bags hanging around my kitchen drying.

I have been making small quilts A4 and 9 teabag sized efforts as part of my #teaandhome project. This looks at what ‘home’ in Edinburgh means to me after living here for 5 years. Drinking redbush tea is a big part of that. Jon drinks builders tea. The juxtaposition of the circles and rectangles has been interesting to play with in terms of teabag strings , mini journals and now quilts.

I had been playing with my hand carved stamps and layering the teabags with mandalas, text, hand written and printed. I was thinking of sizes in-terms of mounting them. However it struck me at 4.30am the other day that they might make a nice larger piece.

So I laid them out on the table. This configuration was too long and thin.

This felt a bit abstract and the fill in bags looked a bit out of place. So I printed sections of mandalas on the blanker bags and then added circular bags to the design.

All the layering and sewing has made some of the joints a bit fragile so I am wondering how to proceed.

Idea one- is to quilt it with padding and a back.

Idea two – to use an iron Vilene (interfacing) on the back

It is for a seminar that Jon and I are presenting in September and it would be good if people can touch it – without making holes in it.

I am leaning towards the Vilene and maybe a trim around the edge

I will keep you posted

I seem to have forgotten to post pics of my hand carved rubber stamps – here is the set I used on the quilt

Posterior vitreous detachment- PVD – Myodesopsia – (trying to represent what’s going on in my head at the moment)

On holiday in Portugal recently I started getting visual distortions. Flashing, strange floaty shapes and some lines like a window that went away when I closed my eyes.

I get a visual aura before my migraines but these didn’t develope into pins and needles or a headache.

I have had an eye test and and learnt that it is PVD. This usually happens with age. According to my optometrist at Spec Savers people with visual auras/ migraines have more problems too.

There is lots of good information out there about this and if you get sudden floaters or flashes you should see a doctor ASAP

https://eyelovethesun.com/blogs/news/why-am-i-seeing-flashes

https://www.great-eyes.com/santarosa-eye-surgery/floatersandflashes.html

As an artist I was interested in seeing what sort of representations there were around of this condition which is annoying but should settlement down in a couple of months.

This is a good images of what a floater looks like for me now – they are irritating because if you try and look at them directly they swim off to the side of your vision.

https://www.great-eyes.com/santarosa-eye-surgery/floatersandflashes

In the beginning it was much more intense and wriggly like a brown worm with a fluorescent edge. They are called Myodesopsia- I love learning new vocabulary (lol)

There don’t seem to be many images of flashes that look like mine. There is talk of similarities with fire works and lightning but nothing really like I experienced

I have been trying to make some images of the wiggly worm electronically without much success

The sparkler trail isn’t bad but the edge is too violent

I have given up on the worm for a bit. Here is a what looked like a silhouette of a man sitting – it’s not quite correct but it followed me around for a bit after the worm disappeared

Earlier there was some weird upside down windows in both eyes that flashed occasionally

As the disturbances have settled down over the week. The weird shapes have morphed in to circular flashes in both eyes but they appear as one

Luckily it’s not there all the time and just appears instantaneously

However, every time I go out into the sun/ dark/shade other shapes and lights get picked up and added – thank fully not lasting as long as the wiggly worm, the man or the windows.

Been playing a bit more after a walk outside – flashes have a bit more glare and flare than the top pic ( lol)

Lisbon mini break

We are in Lisbon for a couple of nights after our trip to the Omassim Guest house for a yoga retreat.

We are staying in an Airbnb at the back of the Sao Jorge Castle, on Calçada do Menino Deus 6–16. The Airbnb is in an old apartment block. It’s small with one bedroom but could sleep 4 at a push.

It’s quirkily decorated with charming second hand furniture and fittings

Around the apartment building there are lots of narrow streets with pretty architectural details

I particularly like the different ways the doors and windows can open to let in fresh air

There must have been a fiesta recently because lots of houses still have brightly coloured plastic decorations up

The apartment block has a hand of Fatima door knocker. These are a feature of the region and are a Muslim influence which implies that all who enter the house with one of these attached are protected by Fatima – Mohammed’s daughter. There are several different designs

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Jon took us on a walk today to find a coffee shop that had been recommended online. It was a good 30 mom walk from the apartment so we left early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day – it’s 34 degree at the moment ( 4pm) toooo hot for me to be walking around after the cool week in Omassim.

The trek took us past lots of beautiful tiles( see my earlier post), graffiti

Of which there is an abundance

And lots of different pavement mosaics – which are very attractive – if a bit slippery in places

The coffee shop was on Ruas das Flores and did an 8/10 pour over and had a original Blade Runner poster in the loo ( the things I do)

The coffee shop was on the number 28 tram line back to the apartment. These are 1930’s trams, the journey stopped an started as the extremely calm driver avoided pedestrians, parked cars and other obstacles.

Nice internal wooden features and a fab shiny metal wheel. There is an interesting website for the tram

http://lisbonlisboaportugal.com/lisbon-transport/lisbon-tram-28.html

We got off the tram at a very pretty viewing point of the estuary with a church, terrace and more tiles …..

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I do love all the blue and white details.

last night we ate out at a restaurant recommended in trip advisor. The food was fab we had a carrot salad – speciality of the restaurant which was crunchy and peppery with tomatoes and a great sauce, sardines with peppers which should have been on a bruschetta type toast but I am gluten free so they left the toast separate ( which was nice of them). The dinner was finished off with roast pork belly – which was a melt in the mouth version and comes highly recommended. I was in a bit of a strop about eating hot food in 30 or so degrees. However the plates were all to share and were smallish portions – Jon did not leave hungry and we didn’t have sweet or coffee

Funky table light – interesting fact Sean Connery was filmed at that location in 1991 for the Russia House. The restaurant’s name was ‘Needle in a haystack’ or Agulha No Palheiro.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189158-d8757206-Reviews-Agulha_No_Palheiro-Lisbon_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html

Lisbon Tiles

I have been enjoying the different designs of tiles on the buildings through out Lisbon. There are lots of blogs and websites with historical information. So I am just going to include a selection of the images that I have collected

https://www.timetravelturtle.com/azulejos-tile-museum-lisbon-portugal/

https://thetravelbunny.com/azulejo-tile-style-in-porto/

The next few grids show details of story panels that you can find in churches

Distressed tiles and graffiti