Boroinspired Christmas trees

I saw a lovely hand sewed Christmas decoration on Instagram and I fancied making something similar

I found some fat squares of tartan fabric and decided to use them with my collection of chambray/ blue cotton fabric

A friend gave me a selection of Christmas tree shapes – I drew around one on to the fabric with a biro – I tried using my blue washable fabric marker but, it didn’t show up enough. I used some of my mattress protective cover remnants and some wadding that I was given as padding. I used thin strips of a red based tartan to add contrast to the blue.

I cut the shapes out on double thickness fabric because when I did them individually I found it very difficult to cut them accurately enough. I pinned the fabric together before I cut out the trees.

I cut around the padding using one side of fabric and then pinned the three layers together

I stitched the fabric pieces to the wadding using running stitch in a rainbow thread- then went around the edges with a simple stitch that goes over the three pieces of fabric ( whip stitch?)

I stitched the tartan to the tree on both sides with running stitch

I am having great fun decorating the shapes with white crotchet thread – using my shashiko/ boroinspired stitching and buttons- I have added ribbon to one shape but decided to add the hanging loops after wards to the others.

A friend asked how big the trees were and if the could be worn as a broach. They are 2.5″ tall so a bit too big for me. I decided to have a go at making a smaller version. It was a bit fiddly I followed the above stages for making it – thumb added for scale

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Boroinspired quilting

I have always wanted to have a go at making a quilt. I was given a small blue one when the children were small that I always loved.

I have never been able to imagine cutting out the fabric neatly with 90 degree corners and straight lines. Doing some research around my teabag quilts after some one said they looked a bit like sashiko- I discovered the fabulous world of Japanese stitching and boro inspired patching.

There are lots of sources on Pinterest and blogs about the history of /methods online

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/an-experts-favorite-japanese-textiles#9

Above is an early 19th Century bed cover.

Back to my quilt. I was offered a bag of fabric scraps by a friend if mine. I decided to have a go at making a quilt using an old single duvet as a base.

As a child I remember saying when I grow up I am never going to darn socks – after watching my mother sew little hard circles of stitches into jumpers and socks. So I am amused that the technique mum taught me is now being used to top stitch a whole quilt!!!

My aversion to the effort required to cut neat shapes means that the design will be quite organic and the top stitching will hide a multitude of sins ….

I had a bright cotton skirt that was too busy. It would make a good choice to base all my other fabric colour choices on.

I started at the edges because I thought the hem of the skirt would add strength to the final piece.

I practiced boroinspired stitching on some of the pieces

Then started adding my friends fabric scraps. She has some experience with quilting so a lot of the pieces were cut into rectangles or squares ….

I wasn’t really sure about the yellow but it does lift the blue.

I have been a bit obsessive and made my hands and back ache. So I decided to stop pinning new fabric and sewing it onto the base and concentrate on a bit of top stitching.

Jon and I are enjoying this because me adding fabric pieces is very very messy 😂with needles pins, fabric and thread all over the kitchen.

This is as far as I have got with my design. I am thinking of just adding blue pieces to the middle bit in a nod to the Japanese

history. I am using second hand pieces of fabric or clothes in an attempt to be frugal.

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

Birmingham Library in November – 

Jon is at a meeting in Birghmingham this week so I have come down for the ride – we are staying at the Novotel in the city centre. The view from the room wasn’t very inspiring so I needed to fiddle with it in my IPhone apps 

Checking in on my location  near Brindley Place – I am minutes from the canal, the Ikon art gallery and the Birmingham library. 

The Library and Ikon don’t open til 11am –  I walked to the library – its highly decorated and new, I walked around it and inside as much as I am allowed until 11am 


 I walked through the symphony hall mall and on my 

 way spotted some nice sculpture,  and  a man made lake …. with ginkgo leaves that remind me of Korea. 

Typically sitting and drinking coffee the sun has come out 


My location today courtesy of the Ikon exhibition catalogue September- Nov 2016  www.ikon-gallery.org 


A sneak peak of the library internal architecture 

At 11am I travelled up the floors to the secret garden and Shakespeare’s Memorial room – which was a surprise after all the modern concrete . Below are an illustration in a stairwell, the lift from the main library up to the secret garden and some layers on the way up.


The secret garden and views from the top 

Shakespeare’s memorial room – the lift was out of order so I had to climb up 90steps to the garden and another 46 to the memorial lol- it was as worth the climb