Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Hexis, a vintage sail making tool and charity shop finds

This is my latest hexi shape, I saw it on Pinterest somewhere and quite liked the idea of making several to go on my bed cover, perhaps to run around the sides.

I was given a cassette tape today by a kind chap off Freegle, our version of Freecycle.
Its called 'There's to the Grimsby Lads' and is sung by John Conolly and Bill Meek and they sing fishing songs which is kind of apt, given that we have been making things for exhibitions centred around the east coast trawler men and the fisher women who gutted the fish on the dock sides.

He also gave me this tool that his Grandfather had once used, to assist him in stitching sails for the fishing boats.
I guess it must have been really hard to push the needles through the canvas and we figured this would have been worn on the hand and the needle could then be more easily pushed through the canvas layers.
By anchoring the needle end into the circular reinforced area, you'd be able to push the needle through using the strength of your arm, without damaging your hand.
A cleverly thought out tool I thought!
I suppose it would be as useful in hand stitching leather, so perhaps it was used in shoe making or clothing manufacture too in the past?

I'm hoping it may be able to be included in one of the exhibitions but if not then I shall see if our Maritime Museum might like to have it.
It could do with some saddle soap rubbed into it to bring the leather back to life but even so, it's certainly a piece of fishing history.

I nipped into a charity shop and saw these ........ I didn't buy them but thought the pattern illustration below was so charming! ( 50p)
Such idyllic looking children from days now long since gone lol 

Then turning round I saw this sewing box, ( £5 ) which was a style Id never seen before. I'm not sure if its old or a modern retro remake, 
but the interior had not been used by the looks of it,
 yet it had a 50s look to it?
A little cottage shaped box!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fish Friday Workshop

These are the samples we were shown - and the ones we made would later be placed into wire circles/shapes like the one above here.
The circular-ish shapes are then to be attached to each other and all hung against a display wall.
Most were made with the thicker garden wire but some were also made using fine wire too, those could have had beading threaded on if we'd wanted to make them that way, but most of us chose to make fabric covered ones.

Some of what we made below here - thought Id taken more pics


mine below >>

Rose worked on her Manta Ray

 and just look at these!! Aren't they wonderful! We were shown these made by someone else for  the display. I've got to try this and hang them in my garden!

I had lunch at the Fudge café near Artlink and thought I'd show you the natty table and the rather nice paint jobs on the smaller tables too.
It looks as if they've used an old door for the tables ends here.

Clever idea I thought.

Hey and how about that for a climbing clematis!
That's a 6' fence to give you an idea of the height.

Patchwork sting ray tutorial - sort of : )

The antibiotics are working.
I've managed to make at work and at home : )
At home I've made up a patchwork ray fish, which is one of several things that we have been making at the Fish Friday Workshops that will form a display in the local Artlink Gallery.
Brigit Murray an artworker at Artlink, came up with the pattern for the patchwork ray and in case you fancy making one similar, you may get the idea from the pics here.
 I did ask her if it was okay to post the design on blog and she said yes but please credit her if you pass it on.
( Bridgit Murray, Artlink, Hull, UK)
First you piece the 4" ish squares, although you may notice looking at the pattern layout above, that I stitched the 2 on the left too high, so I had to adjust that bit before I went any further.
The calico below will be the backing and general shape of the ray.
      There needs to be a layer of wadding and also an insert central area
             - pattern shapes below.

 The inserts are machined into place onto the back of the patchwork  to give some shape to the body.
The smaller 'fillets' tucked under the larger shape.

Then the wadding  is laid on the backing calico,
the calico is laid on the right side of the patchwork
and you machine stitch round the ray shape.
However leave enough space at the tail to turn the whole
thing inside out!
 This below is what you end up with and at this stage
 if you machine round the edges to form a sort of pathway,
you can insert some sturdy wire, which will enable you to manoeuvre the wings into undulating positions later.
But make sure you cut enough wire to insert up the tail end, pushing it right round and leaving enough to run down along the length of the tail too.

I understand they intend to hang these from a ceiling, so the fact that there is wire within, means that they can shape the wings to suggest swimming movement. 
Clever idea Bridgit!
I enjoyed making this and quite fancy the idea of floral fabric rays, cavorting in the wind in my garden, rather like Prayer Flags!
I am going to have to make a blue/grey one for my grandson now.
But maybe half the size, so it doesn't scare the bejaybabs out of him if he wakes in the night!
I was once lucky enough to be flying from Belize to Chapel Quay, then an idyllic little island in the Mexican Gulf, in a light aircraft that was as noisy as hell and held together with gaffa tape
- it seemed to me at the time!
Our RAF VC10 crew were housed on the Quay for a couple of days because all the hotels in Belize were full with actors and film crews.
They were filming The Dogs of War there.
It was hell of course.
White sand, stunning sea, king coconuts sprouting into trees on the sand dunes, naïve style colonial rooms and the most wonderful rum punches from the bar!
As we flew low from the army camp to the quay, the sea was see through aquamarine and swimming beneath us was a family of Mantas!
We were all stunned by how big the adults were, 2 of them and how lucky we were to see the group like that, from above.
My camera was in my case sadly.
It's stayed with me that stunningly beautiful sight, so there was more than a bit of nostalgia in making this fabric manta!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

May hexi BOM : )

Of course I've added a bit extra you may notice!
Those two half hexis at either side, weren't in the original pattern,
 but somehow, that blue fabric cried out for a little less hexi shape on the lower wings lol
My blocks are all going onto white on white backing, so that's why flutterby's antennae are on a white hexi.
Anyway that's my May block of the month, and given that I've felt so crap, it will have to do : )

BUT success, I may yet live folks.
I finally got a Drs appointment and have had antibiotics prescribed and a diagnosis of an inner ear infection.
In fact Dr couldn't see anything in my ear, it was so inflamed she said.
No wonder I had a temperature and felt so dizzy and badly.

Considering I'd gone to the Drs last month feeling much the same and was blithely then told it was just a virus, to go home, rest and take paracetomol ............ I have to wonder if antibiotics then,
would have prevented this escalation of symptoms.

Anyway fingers crossed for recovery enough to get my fabric, patchwork sting ray made in time for Friday mornings Fish Friday Workshop. lol
Many thanks for the kind words about my health by the way too x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Patchwork Sting rays and fisher women folk

Nannie just tires me out!
Not from this weekend but recently ~
I haven't enough energy to wear anyone out at the moment, these blocked sinuses are making me weary and I keep going dizzy and feeling or being sick - yukkk

The Friday fish workshop which I popped in to, was making patchwork rays with wired edges, so they would be able to be hung from the ceiling and have their 'wings' adjusted so they'd look as if they were flying or swimming along. I've brought the makings home to make one up when I'm feeling more able.
Here's Brigit Murrays very clever pattern, inspired designing I reckon!
And here's Jean holding the completed sample too.
I think it looks great!


I dropped some more knitted sky into the volunteer knitty group at Princess Quay today but didn't feel up to staying. But I was thrilled to see how the 'painting' is coming together and relieved to see that the faces, in situ, are going to work pretty well.

Oh and since my old black cat Fergus has passed, Hilly cat, a still timid, semi feral is bit by bit getting closer to me lol
But she simply wont clamber across on to my lap - yet - I've only had her about 10/11 years after all and she's certainly determined
to play hard to get!
But then when Fergus was alive, she would no more have sat along side me like this than whistle Dixie!
Now she allows me to stroke her and fondle her ears whilst she's alongside me.
She's never had a meow oddly enough, she goes through the
motions of opening her mouth but there's rarely anything
but a sort of subtle gurgle!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

WW1 Trench and Anderson Shelter tactile models

This is a repeat post of pics for most of you no doubt
so my apologies for that.
But since the pics have disappeared and they had been on apparently most popular posts, thought Id include them again.
I made these to go in school Topic Boxes and they have
been well used and are still going strong.

Below was the first Anderson shelter I made and it was pretty much thrown together since I only had a couple of days notice they needed one. So I thought the second one out more and that's the one above.

and of course if you hadn't got a garden, then instead of the above,
they gave you one of these to hide from the bombs in.
But its name escapes me at the moment !
Oh wow!
Thank you Antiques Road Show!
How odd, the top of one was just on tv lol
A Morrison Table Shelter ~
All of these have been made to enable children who have visual impairment, to 'feel' what the teacher is talking about and the class are looking at pictures of.
Their TAs would of course talk them through what it is a model of
and explain its actual use.

Picasa and knitty catch up

In view of the fact that I deleted Picasa when I installed my new cameras disc wizardry, it looks as if the wizardry hasn't linked up with my old blog pics.
Undoubtedly my fault by not clicking whatever I should have done:(
It's enough to put me off blogging any more to be honest and I can't face going back through and trying to infill pics, many of whom I probably no longer have jpegs of, knowing me lol
So frustrating. So beware folks, learn by my mistakes, Blogger and Picasa go hand in hand, delete from Picasa and pics will disappear from your blog too.
I'm not alone, lots of others have made the same error of judgement.
You can see the 3 women folk coming together above and this is whats being recreated in knitting ~ pic lifted from Wikepedia,_Winslow_-_%27Fisherwomen,_Cullercoats%27,_1881,_graphite_%26_watercolor_on_paper.jpg

File:Homer, Winslow - 'Fisherwomen, Cullercoats', 1881, graphite & watercolor on paper.jpg

I was asked to stitch the faces for the girls, although at close quarters they look pretty horrific to me now lol Once hung up on the wall and viewed from afar, hopefully they'll look more mellowed!

Grandaughters first birthday today but we had her party yesterday and she was on top form bless her.
grandson getting ruffed up by the birthday girl lol

Picked up the blocked sinuses and barking cough again so feeling sorry for myself at the moment  lol


This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.