Sunday, 18 July 2010

Utterly vintage and the St. Ives quilt saga!

You say the nicest things! Thank you for your very kind comments and good wishes

In my alphabet series I'm up to the letters U and V ... one more post and I'm all caught up!

U is for umbel shapes found in nature

I took this photo at Geevor on a walk between Geevor tin mine and the inspiring ruins of Levant steam engine houses

At the moment I am noticing beautiful umbelliferous seedheads everywhere growing out of the tops of hedgerows silhouetted against stormy skies

Yes, we've had stormy skies and weather for the past week. On Thursday one of our trees came down in the lane outside our cottage. Removing it was very hard work for hubby but on the plus side we now have a good store of logs ready for autumn

Small seedhead from Queen Anne's Lace pressed in my sketchbook

Utterly in love is my offering for the letter U in the alphabet challenge on inchybyinch

utterly in love

My week was not Uneventful!

On Monday I went into hospital and had my operation. It went as well as could be expected and I'd like to thank you for your kind messages and thoughts. I've been home resting this week apart from working like crazy on my art quilt entry for Festival of Quilts. More on that later in the post

The same day the tree came down (Thursday) we were woken at 5 am by a blackbird flying into our bedroom and landing on the top of the wardrobe. I was really worried about it messing up our new cream carpet which has only been down a couple of months. Despite still being half asleep, I instinctively grabbed a towel from the bathroom and hubby threw it over the blackbird. He was then able to pick it up and release him back through the window without a single blob of mess ... Unbelievable!

Vintage feel

This is my mosaic for Mosaic Monday featururing a beautiful blackbird, vintage images and contemporary fine art that I consider has a vintage feel about it

Thank you to my wonderful flickr friends and faves!

1. ATC seaside available 2. Vintage advertisement - Bestform 1945 Good Housekeeping 3. Family tea in the garden 4. Marching 4x4 5. IMG_5990-1 6. Monoprinting 7. Victorian beauty tips 8. Nue 1171 9. Nada (5) 10. Palapeli/Puzzle 11. Grace 12. Testa 54 (Camille C.) 13. Untitled

V is for vintage ... my inchy for the inchybyinch challenge. I used a piece from an old bracelet as a charm, photo'd on an old art book I have

V is also for Violets and Valentines

all she wanted was a box of violet creams from Harrods

My week has been dominated by surgery and my art quilt. I first joined Annabel's group last September and have known all along that the quilt needs to be finished and posted to the Festival of Quilts by the end of July. So, quite typically of me I only started it on Wednesday!

Fortunately, quite some time ago I had planned my design, researched my ideas, gathered all my materials and piled it all up ready to start as though I had all the time in the world ... but there is sat untouched! I am now paying for my earlier procrastination!

Paint patterns on my desk

These were patterns
left on my desk after
dyeing my fabrics

As well as taking
photos, I also made
some monoprints

Colours of stormy St. Ives skies

So far, I have accurately measured, cut and dyed all the pieces and I have also pieced it together with a border that doesn't show in this photo

This is the front

It's based on elements of St. Ives that I particularly love. I chose warm purple/plum/grey for an exaggerated stormy St. Ives sky, the yellow for a sandy beach scattered with shells and the green for the sea. I wanted the green to be a browny/olive green for the colour of seaweed

You may think it looks a bit yukky at this stage ... but I have plans! Hopefully, all will become apparent when the quilting and embellishment is added. There are also elements I haven't mentioned yet

I know what you are thinking! Where's the red? Where are those warm rosy reds, pinks and plums that I love? Ha ha! I've surprised myself with this one! You could say it was an Urge!

The back

I know it's an Unusual interpretation of the colours of St. Ives ... but all will be revealed soon!

Now for my avocado skin dyeing. I showed last week some fabrics that were left in the avocado dye for one day. These are the fabrics that I left soaking in another jar of avocado skin dye for just over a week

A much richer, deeper colour was achieved from leaving the fabrics in the dye for longer. These fabrics have been washed and are colour-fast and I didn't use a mordant of any kind. I would say the silk fabrics took the dye best and if a mordant had been used it would be stronger still

The picture below shows the gradient of dye. The bottom layer of crochet is undyed. The middle piece of crochet was left in the dye jar for one day and the top layer of crochet was left in the dye jar for a week. You can see the strength of colour of the last piece

Well, enough from me. I must get back to the quilt!
I will show some more progress in the next post

Have a lovely lazy Sunday

Carolyn ♥


jan said...

Lovely to read your post and I'm glad your operation went well. Best wishes Janice x

Andi's English Attic said...

Glad to hear everything went well. You seem to have done more than I ever would after an op. Congratulations! xx

Cathie said...

so glad you avoided a messy "blob!" oh the horror that would have been. i absolutely adore the wonderful shades of color you have selected for your quilt. a departure from the norm - yes. but a delicious unexpected detour in color. so excited to watch the evolution of this. XO

Mary said...

Glad to hear your operation went well. Enjoyed your post very much.

Sheila Roussel said...

I'm so glad you're op went ok. You are amazing getting on with your quilt! Good luck with it all.

maggi said...

Glad your operation went well. I look forward to seeing that quilt in August.

bad penny said...

How strange that you should have a blackbird fly in - I know you love them.
How lovely the colours from the dye - so pretty.

Jo said...

So pleased to hear you are on the mend - aren't you supposed to take it easy when recovering from an op........?! Those colours are so scrummy, and I love the effect of the avocado skin dye. Good luck finishing the quilt! x

Jo said...

ps oh yes, and the U and V inchies are super - love how you've displayed them for this post too. x

Pom Pom said...

I'm glad you are feeling well enough to quilt, quilt, quilt!
I am not surprised that the blackbird flew in your window to say hello. He knew you liked him.
All your photos are gorgeous!

A Time to Dance said...

Hi Carolyn, please could you do a post with instructions on how to dye using avacado skins I would love to try...especially with Petes new yarn which he has spun himself (se last post)

mano said...

very good that the op went well!! In your post I especially love the colours of the stormy St. Ives skies and the wonderful avocado colours. when I make guacamole next time I'll also try it... have a good week!


Hello and thank you for all lovely comments. Yes, Helen, I don't mind doing a post on the avocados but it won't be for a while as I'm so busy at the mo. I got the idea from Heike so I will also ask her first, although there is nothing to stop anyone trying it

Someone asked me about the tea towels in the last post (with the teapots and cups on). I got them in John Lewis about ten years ago. Fortunately, I knew they would eventually wear out so I bought several at the time so I still have some unused ... but they are nicer "worn"

Carolyn ♥

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

I hope you manage to get your quilt finished in time. I am going to the Festival of Quilts so I will look out for it. Love the colours you have chosen to work with.
I am enjoying your alphabet series, I will miss it when you get to the end.

A bird in the hand said...

Good to hear the op went well. There's so much fabulousness in this post! The avocado skin dyeing especially!
xxoo Colette

Chris Gray said...

Glad you're doing ok lovely....

...and still managing to get things done! :-)

What's the fabric in the quilt?

x x Chris

Monica@The White Bench said...

Glad all went well! Now take care, dear friend!
Hugs and lots of love,

Deborah said...

I very much enjoyed your post. Glad your operation went well.

Lisa said...

Glad you are out of the hospital and well on your way to recovering.
More delicious your avocado dyed fabrics..i have a few packs from Heike and may have to get more..isn't the pink just divine?
Thanks for commenting on my tidal pool quilt..i knew you'd appreciate the colorways! take care and rest up.

missy k said...

U nbelievably wonderful post, as U sual!

You amaze me with all that you get done. I know you W ill finish the quilt and I have no doubt that it will be totally beautiful.

The pink dye colours are delicious!

Your inchies are brilliant!!!! I love them both!

Have a great week, happy and speedy sewing and good luck with the other stitches!!!!

Lots of love


Jensters said...

Does this mean your Quilt will be at the festival of quilts in Birmingham? As im going there and it would be so nice to see it in person and as its based on St Ives my favourite place as you know....i love the colours so far....and your avocado dyeing is coming along brilliantly x

sandra wyman said...

Love those colours - looking forward to seeing it finished! Nice to know you're on the mend and hope to meet up at FOQ if you're going?
Have now got my quilt layered ready for final quilting but have to cut back loads of tiny bits of layers of scrim which I think is going to take forever so you're probably ahead of me. Good luck with it

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

You've had the operation and are recovering well by the sound of things - that's good news. I love the colours of your quilt Carolyn, they really are some of the wonderful colours that we are so fortunate to see on a daily basis here in St Ives. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished article. Have a good week, Lesley x

Julie said...

Your fabrics for the St Ives quilt are fascinating and sumptuous colours! Roll on FOQ so I can see the finished quilt ;o)

Keep up the good work in the recovery department but take care too.

You have some beautiful colours from the avocado.

Menopausal musing said...

A beautiful post. I just adore the photo of the cotton reel on the fabric which you have used to illustrate the colours of stormy St Ives Skies..... I have never been there, but that photo makes me imagine what they must be like....... such a lovely way of interpreting it......

Caroline said...

There are some very beautiful pieces here - a real feast for the eyes, Carolyn! I'm so looking forward to seeing your quilt.

Gina said...

I love this posts full of inspirational photos. Pleased to hear all went well at the hospital. Wishing you a speedy recovery and good luck with the quilt!

Elizabethanne said...

Dear Carolyn, How many Avocado skins did you use? If you could email me on with the answer that would be great. I am doing a City & Guild course & a part of it has to do with dying fabrics with natural dyes. I just love the colours of the Avocado.
Thank You
Your Friend

Melanie Uys said...

Hello Carolyn
I'm glad your operation is over now and I hope you are healing well. A lovely post, as usual x

Much love to you, Melanie

Bunty said...

Hi Carolyn

Sorry to hear you have had to have surgery - hope it wasn't anything major and that you are now on the mend.

I am fascinated by your beautiful avocado dyed items! I would never have thought that the dye would be pink. I would love to know more about this please and look forward to reading more in your forthcoming post ....!

Get well soon.

Barbara (Carole's Journal Class)

Diane said...

So glad you are done and dusted and can concentrate on getting better - oh, and making the quilt!!!! You do like to leave things till the last minute don't you!! I can't wait to see what it looks like. xxxxxxx

Jo said...

Another lovely blog. Love the avocado dyeing, maybe we could include this on our next Crow Day. Great to see you today, looking forward to Friday! xxxx

Twiglet said...

Avocado skin pink is the new colour then! Its lovely and is perfect for the crochet etc - may have a go myself! What an inspiration you are.


Avocados for lunch then :o)

Cathy said...

Wow, there is so much to digest in this post Carolyn. Those advocado dyes are gorgeous. The colour is quite stunning and very you. I am pleased that you are recovering from your surgery and hope you get plenty of time to rest and recuperate. I am looking forward to seeing the finished quilt and the embellishment although it looks lovely as it is. I am a great fan of seedheads too and have just spent an enjoyable day at Art in Action at Waterperry in Oxfordshire clicking away in their huge gardens. They have a huge collection of sea holly which I love.

Have a great crafty week.

Kayla coo said...

Hi Carolyn,
I wish you a speedy recovery.
I love the soft colours from the avocado.
Good luck with your quilt!
M x

Lottie said...

Oh dear - my comment seems to have been lost.

Just wanted to say that I just adore your blog. I am captivated by your work and really must have a go at your fabric dieing techinques.

Wishing you a speedy recover

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Glad to hear your surgery went well - hope your recovery is uneventful and fast. Love the 'beginning' of your quilt and it's SO nice to know I'm not the only one who ends up working last minute on things! Oh yeah - and I'm going to miss your 'alphabet' when the series ends.

Lynette (NZ) said...

Your blog is just BEAUTIFUL. I have become a follower :-)

Sandra Scott Textile Artist said...

Hi Carolyn
I hope that you are recovering quickly after your surgery, it is wonderful to read your blogs and see your beautiful work. Your work and blog leaves me with such a calm, relaxed, happy and inspired feeling. Thank you so much.

ju-north said...

Hi Carolyn! I've added a blog with some instructions about borders - let me know if they make sense and if you are able to add a border to something!

Alexandra Mason said...

So glad your operation went well. Can't wait to see your quilt, those colours are beautiful. Hope you are having a great week xx

Judy Scott said...

I keep coming back to read your posts they really are an inspiration - I too would love to try the avocado dyeing - pity Im not closer to Stevie he and Scarlett have a tree in their back garden :)
Thinking of you and sending a gentle hug xxx

Elizabethanne said...

Hello Carolyn, I am not sure what I have done wrong but my attempt at avocado dying has resulted in the most yucky sort of muddy green/brown colour. MMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!

I hope that you have fully recovered from your op?
Your Friend
Elizabeth x

Fiona Whitehead said...

Gorgeous post Carolyn - hope you're recovering well - love the vintage inchy - a cream carpet me too just before I bought a puppy - bad mistake! lol!

Elizabethanne said...

Hello Carolyn. I have dyed some more fabric from the dye bath I made the other week. I have found the longer I let the dye bath sit, the nicer the colours.

I am now starting to get the lovely pinks like you did. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Your Friend
Elizabeth x