Friday, 26 October 2012

Yesterday was a dreadful day, I lost my beautiful Tortie, poor old puss. Really really sad, she didn't quite make it to being with us for 18 years, just 10 days short. It seems very strange without her, she has been like a shadow for so long, I haven't been able to sit down for more than a minute and she would appear and commandeer my lap - the other two cats didn't get a look in, and such a character! Surprising she lived so long, I'm sure she didn't have many of her 9 lives left! These little animals come into our lives and steal our hearts, become one of the family and are so very much missed when they go on to higher things. Sleep peacefully my lovely Tortie Portie, no  more suffering for you.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Not sure where the days go to at the moment! Just washed the kitchen floor so am feeling quite pleased with myself as it's not one of my favourite jobs! The last two Tuesdays have been spent on an indigo dyeing course in Bristol. I went with Joyce who knew where the area where the class was held and also knows far more than I do about dyeing fabric. I have never been particularly keen on the end results with my few attempts at fabric dyeing - the fabric manufacturers do it so much better! So it was with slight trepidation that I went along. No need to worry though as Barbara, the teacher, was lovely and very experienced. She gave us a slide show of her visit to Nigeria to see the indigo dyers there and then her visit to China, both very inspiring. The first day we spent learning about how to use the indigo baths and played around with batiks and folding fabric etc. The second class we worked on our own projects and I made a bag with four panels. I love gingko leaves and brought some back from a trip to China in 2008 but couldn't find them anywhere so I used the leaf shapes from a Sylvia Pippen pattern that I made years ago. I traced them on to the pfd fabric with a wash out marker pen, then filled in the leaves with wax, wet the fabric, scrunched up the wax and put the fabric panels in the indigo dye and here are the results! Really pleased with the way it has turned out. I did try putting wadding between the two layers but that made it too bulky so out it came. I do intend to quilt round each leaf though - it could take some time!
The second picture is the lining fabric for the bag which I also dyed - the white bits are numbers used to mark the placement of the panels - the lining is a mirror image of the outer panels. Otherwise it gets very confusing trying to stitch it all together!

Great day last Wednesday when I went on a guided medieval walk in Bristol (went into Bristol two days in a row, unheard of!) learnt a lot and found lots of  little alley ways that I never knew existed! A definite revisit is needed.