Monday, 25 May 2009

I give up!

Right, that's it - I give up on the damn ripple rug thingie from last post. I simply cannot get it. The first couple of rows I was one stitch out, and I fudged it at the end, but by about row 10 I was about half a pattern repeat out, and I have no idea how that happened. I am obviously not suited to this kind of thing, so will I persist until I get it right?? No, of course not, I haven't got time - the baby is due on Saturday and I was getting RSI from wrangling with the damn thing.

So, I have resorted to good old granny squares instead. Seeing as how I am going to be a granny, I think that is quite appropriate. Also, they are quick to do, if I make a mistake it is immediately obvious, and they grow in a satisfying little pile with seemingly little effort, unlike the other thing, which I won't mention again.
I unexpectedly spent the weekend at a workshop with the lovely Beth Miller. I signed up through Canberra Quilters at the beginning of the year, on a whim, then forgot about it. I heard that the class was full and there was a waiting list, and as I didn't hear anything, I assumed that I had missed out and was on the wait list. Then I got a phone call at lunchtime on Saturday from the convener asking me where I was! The confirmation and class supply list went astray somewhere in the mail - good old Australia Post. Anyway, the class was being held in a hall not far from where I live, so I hopped in the car and went to see what was going on.

We were doing the landscape class which was great fun. Here is my little piece - it needs the shadow for the big tree plus stitching of course to integrate that grass in the foreground.

Beth is the most amazingly generous teacher. She let everyone handle and photograph her quilts and seeing some of her famous quilts close up was a delight - especially her famous image of the swagman - it is all done in quite heavy wools, and hand quilted - amazing!

She had a couple of pieces of wonderful rust dyed fabrics which she had heavily stitched

She also put me onto a wonderful fabric paint that doesn't change the hand of the fabric - Hi Strike - I am going to give it a go.

We also had a discussion on the the health and safety risks involved in some textile work, in particular, the vexed question of how to neutralise bleached fabric. There are a number of sources which say to use vinegar to neutralise. However there are others - somewhat more authoratative in my view - which say absolutely not.

Even bleach alone is not as benign as many people think. Just because we all have it in our homes doesn't mean it is safe or harmless. If you are going to bleach fabric, especially if you plan on spraying it about, please take the time to research the risks and the best way to mitigate those risks. And don't think one of those white dust mask things from the hardware store will do when it says to use a mask. Those are only intended to stop particles of dust etc from entering, anything that produces fumes needs a far more serious mask with filters appropriate to the chemicals being used.

Okay, here endeth the lesson - just don't take risks with your health for the sake of your art.

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