Sunday, 28 June 2015

1:1 Home Sewing Tuition

 Yesterday I had my first 1:1 Hand Sewing Home tuition session with a lovely little girl called Jess.
Jess has got a little prior experience but wants to have some proper lessons and project ideas that will help her to learn and takcle some little ideas on her own.

I decided that the felt keyring or bag charm would be a good place to start and I also left enough materials for her tomake another one on her own after I had left!
She was as bright as a button and had no porblem threading and knotting the thread.....way better than someof my year 7 students and Jess is in year 4!!
Parents and jess are very keen for future sessions so I hope to help this young lady for some time to come.
Brilliant way to start the weekend.
Home tuition was not something I had comnsidered but i think I will, including GCSE practical work and theory papers.  Will need to add that to my website and 
Facebook pages: Indigo blue textiles and workshops.
Pop over and tsake a look.
have a good week.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Crochet WIP and workshops

I have tried to be strict with myself and set aside some Me Time, which is quite difficult this time of year at work.
 I have always wanted to make a blanket like this but other styles caught my eye as well!  The wool is from Stylecraft and I bought it last August but other things got int he way.  So to continue with my 2014 promise of crochet advancement, I decided in January 2015 that this would carry on.
 I tried a couple of different sized hooks but in the end I settled for a 4.5mm hook which may or may not be the right size but it works for me.
I have been making them in groups of 2 colourways at a time as i like to try and use up the colours evenly across the blanket.
Not sure when this is going to get done but I am averaging two squares an evening ( I slow down after 8pm) and I hope to have it done by September/October time.

I have been a bit absent from my blog as it has been sooooo busy at work but I have also been working on my workshops and researching venues and materials.  Not sure how it is going to develop and I will be honest that it has been a trickle rather than a rush to sign up but I have had nothing but encouragement and that it is a good idea and much needed locally.  I just need more sign ups but I suppose it will take time and i need a few more sessions to have been completed and advertise what is being made by those that come to entice others to come along.

So I shall be back and I have signed up for a couple of swaps.
If anyone has a Face book page could I ask  (Or beg ) that you could pop over and Like, share my workshop and business page to just try and give it a bit of exposure.  I would be very grateful,
If you are on holiday in Cornwall on 24th July and fancy making some bunting and any other project that you would like help with then get in touch!


Many thanks and have a lovely week!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Signed up for 2015

NOW OPEN for 2015
OI have signed up for a second year with the Santa sack swap and I already have some ideas up my sleeve!
Wonder who my partner will be?

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Been a bit busy because............

Hello everyone..........
I have been very absent from Indigo Blue recently although I have been visitng some blogs my own has had to take a bit of a back seat as I have been busy with something else.

At Easter I decided that it was time for a new direction and I know that the mortgage needs paying and until Sophie knows what she wants to do...there may be Uni fees to pay for.  However I need a new challenge, one that is on my terms and not that of someone else.

Above is a still life which appears on some of my Facebook pages.  I have been busy setting up Instagram and Facebook pages to build interest in Sewing / Art and Craft workshops and Classes.

I decided to run through the basics of the sewing machine and several of those who came brought their own machine and we were able to look at any questions or problems they were having.  Then we moved on to simple stitch tasks to investigate different stitches and threading up etc. Tension and any
"well what does this do?" situation.

Next was to select fabric to make a 9 patch cushion and this saw loved but forgotten fabric being pulled out of bags and a few fat quarters being purchased.
I gave everyone a little starter pack and in each one was several items including a template to make the cover.  
We looked at pattern cutting back panel sections.
Then how to actually construct the cushions.
These are the final cushions and we were able to recycle pads which they already had at home.
They all used fabric that they already had and were delighted with the results and were keenly talking about what else they could make with the simple layout.
They are even more keen to set another date as Summer Bunting was on the list along with completing some long forgotten projects...........mainly started when their own children were very small.
It was a fantastic 4 hours and their delight was clear including high fives and jumping up and down!!

This is what teaching used to be like when I first started.  This is a direction I am going to be working on in my spare time and see where it takes me.  My Facebook page generated more interest that the four cushions suggest and I have a list of people who want to come.
Next is to foloow up a request for a 1:1 home tuition hand sewing session.
Keep you posted.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Image Transfer Tutorial

It has been quite a while since I have put a tutorial on my blog so I thought I would add something that I did with my GCSE group this week.
Image Transfer using an inkjet image and sellotape.

Materials needed:
Image which has been printed out using an inkjet printer (not laser jet).

1. Firstly you need to trim down any excess white paper so that yo are not wasting sellotape and time rubbing off areas you are not going to need.  Next cover the front of your image with a layer of sellotape.  Make sure that the edges overlap slightly and check that the image is well and truly stuck to it.  I actually left it stuck to the table while I went and had my dinner!
Next I submerged the image under water.  As you can see I used the sink for this.  I left it for a couple of minutes and judging this time takes a bit of practise.  If you then rub the back of the paper and it seems to some off then take the image out of the water.  Try to rub in a circular motion as this evens out the pressure and you will not rub too hard and take your image off as well.
As the paper backing starts to rub away you should see the image left behind which has transfered to the sellotape.  It will be quite transparent.  If the paper seems to be drying out them add a few drops of water to the paper to continue to rub away the paper backing.
I hope that you can see this alright.  I have put the still damp image up against the glass of my patio windows and the light is showing through.  
The image has really kept its colour and I do not have any holes in the image at all.
All of the students who tried this all got equally successful outcomes.  You can still see the sellotape but i suppose you could turn the image around.  If you put on top of water soluble fabric then you could free machine embroider on to it.  This technique is very easy and would be ideal for transferring photographs (after they have been scanned and printed on an inkjet printer) and scrapbooking/art journaling.
Sophie was really impressed and we are going to see what else we come up with during the half term break.
Have a go!
Let me know if you have any success or if you have any questions.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

FNSI - Project Folder

I have always liked the fabric files that Peg makes over at Happy In Quilting and with her blessing I thought I would make one ready for my first Sewing Workshop that I am running on 6th June.
The centre panels are from a charm pack called friendship and I joined this with a jelly roll.
I lined it with white 100%b cotton as any other colour did not seem to really "go" with it.
I used another of the jellyroll strips for the binding and some lovely binding that I bought from Coast and Country near Falmouth.
That is as far as I had got and I have now reached the stage where I am deciding on how best to fasten it.
Green button?
Brown button?
Fabric ties?
Will have to sleep on it perhaps.
More FNSI projects can be seen over on Wendy's site here.
Many thanks for hosting my second month of taking part,

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Spring is sprung....well almost

My pansies just keep growing........... and the slugs are no where to be seen Hurrah!  I have three little pots which Sophie put together for me.
This hanging basket is over a year old and has not stopped blooming...all the way through winter as well.  I have not got a clue why or how it has managed this but thank you garden centre for selling me a plant that I can not kill!!
Cheerful little Forget-me-Knots.
I love dandelions at this stage, so delicate.
My clematis is in full boom and going berserk.  Last year it did nothing so this is a bit of a build up.
Another Sophie creation.  She is getting quite good at this gardening lark!
There is more that is starting to "Spring " in to life but more on that later on.
The garden is finally getting there, just a few more cut flowers and bright colours, after 15 years of trying I have managed to work out exactly what I can and can not grow.
Take care all.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Italian Landscape in Stitch

I have been looking at some of my City and Guilds work over the past few weeks since joining Facebook as I am now a member of a Art textiles Group.
The above picture was a final outcome from a series of samples and tasks that we were asked to do as part of that course.  This sample was inspired by some pictures and photographs that I had taken during a couple of trips to Italy.  The background is painted scrim and the layout of the design is supposed to be abstract.
Here you can see links to the terracotta tiles, trees, the colours of the landscape and textures that are very different to that which i see in the UK.
Using an Instagram app I have made a collage of close-ups to show you the stitch detail and the fabrics used.
It has then been stretched our a piece of mount board and now I should really find a frame or something to display it.
I have yet to add this to the Facebook group but that is next.
I wonder what else I shall find.
Have a good week.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Mixed Media and Stitch

My job had changed direction over the past two years, even more so since last September and the need to complete my A level Fine Art textiles was linked to that.
So today I thought I would show you a piece that I made as part of a project I was introducing at work.  I think we have seen enough cushions for a while!
This is a silk painted background using just blue, yellow and a little bit of green silk paint.
The theme I was putting across was abstract and a limited number of materials and technqiues.
So think water, sea, shells etc.
The centre has a piece of scrunched up paper with painted Tyvek and tissuer paper.  I did not want a perfect straight edge anywhere so at times this did mean ripping edges to gain that.
I then added free machine embroidery is certain areas and tried to centralise the whole design in the middle.
The photograph has come out a little paler than the real item as the colours are much richer than this, but the texture is very detailed and the papers contrast well with the fibres and fabric.

Some of the project and exam titles for Art textiles can be very lose and vague which can be really difficult for teenagers, so creating a piece like this just helps to visually clarify how they might generate their own ideas and outcomes.  Plus I really like doing it!
I am going to put this on Facebook as I have joined an Art textiles group on there and a picture I posted last week suddenly got 68 likes which is a much bigger response than I get on my blog.
Sadly I can see why blogging is falling out of favour.
I am in the process of working on a couple of projects but nothing is ready to post here at the moment but I shall be looking more to how my garden is progressing as it  to wake up and meet summer as it slowly starts to arrive here in Cornwall.
Hope you all have a good weekend.
PS:  Lots of interest in my first Sewing Class so I shall bring news on that over the coming weeks and hopefully some photos too.  Really excited with how it might develope.

Facebook:  Indigo Blue -Textiles

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

April OPAM -Round Up

April turned out to be quite a successful month and some of that is due to me going back to my little sewing group after a 2.5 year gap studying for my A Level and then my print class.
So I thought a little round up might be in order to celebrate and to spur me on.
Knitted scarf for our Wizard of Oz Production
City and Guilds sample turned in to a cushion.
Cross stitch lavender sachet which is now in my car.
Applique cushion cover which now has a new duck down pad and I all ready for a birthday next month.
Been a bit of a cushion month!  Another for a retirement do last week.
Plus a tissue holder.............oh picture will not load.  I shall take another but anyway the  tissue holder is in a very bright fabric and means that you do not need to struggle with those silly little plastic wrappers which end of breaking anyway.  They can be re-used and washed.  Will post at the weekend and I shall probably make another for my first workshop on 6th June and there has been quite a bit of interest today on that which made my day!
Well it is getting late so off to my bed.
Take care all

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Opam - May -Crochet Mandalas

Well April proved to be quite a successful month for OPAM finishes and several cushions involved.  Mainly gifts as they are items that perhaps someone would not make or buy for themselves so much.
Went over to my in-laws for dinner yesterday and to pick up Sophie who had stayed over so that we could go to the retirement do and I took along the cushion that I made shown two posts back.

I decided to take to my MIL my crochet hooks and some wool with me as I have been asked about a beginners crochet class and I am thinking about it but I have only had two people so far interested in the beginners sewing class so we shall see if I go as far as organising another or not.  I suppose it is early days and there is a month to go yet.  Just a bit anxoius I suppose as I would so love to do more workshops and classes.
So I picked out these lovely yarns which are 50% cotton and 50% acrylic called Kon-Tiki by stylecraft, and is so soft to handle.  Sadly it seems to be dis-continued so I have a few other colours left and then I think that is it.
I originally used it for a blanket that I made several years ago.
I have recently been doing a lot of Granny squares and so I wanted to have another go at crocheting some Mandalas or fancy in the round.
I looked at Attic24 which I love because she uses photographs and you can actually see what it should look like.  I am clearly a visual learner.  
I did find row/round 4 a little tricky but got there in the end and then carried on to finish it.
This design is fun to make and if I make a few more I actually feel that I might be able to come up with some design shapes of my own.
This pictures show two that I made earlier in the year and I really like the edging on these ones.  They are based on a tutorial by K-town.  I use the two smaller ones on my white dresser underneath my Cath Kidston teapot and my ceramic cupcake. So they are in use.  
Blanket is growing although this is a picture from Easter as my camera has just gone flat...typical.
Really enjoying this and even introduced crochet to my Year 10 group last week.  Some want to do some more as well!
Take care and enjoy the rest of the bank holiday!
PS if you are on Facebook I have taken the plunge and signed up.  You can find me here
Indigo Blue Designs - textiles
I have a personal page too wich should link.

 It would be great to hear from you over there.  I have some privacy settings due to my day job but just request friend and I shall do the rest.  My flower logo is there as well.
Even got my Mum in Law signed up yesterday as well!!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Heart Applique Cushion - OPAM April -Update

I did not realsie just how much blue fabric bits I have.  I really need to change direction with my choice of colours.
This is a heart applique block left over from making my blue and white quilt back in.........not sure will have to look it up.  2009 perhaps?
Anyway....... now that I am back with my sewing group after a 2 year sabbatical with my evening classes, I have been pulloing out some WIP's and bits and peices that ned sorting out.

I really enjoy applique and my beloved Husquvarna  has always made an excellent applique stitch.
The block on its own was not a size suitable for a  cushion pad so I added a couple of rows of blue and gingham fabric.  By adding a thin layer of wadding behind it I then quilted the pnale a little to give it some strength when the cushion pad is inside it.
I bought some blue and whote gingham  while back which is 100% cotton and comes from France.  Lovely fabric and wears well too.  This was to be the back panels.  No zips on this cushions just a deep and generus flap opening at the back.
Yesterday I attended my sewing group ( I did not realise just how much I have missed those meetings until last week)and managed to fully complete it.  I have decided to give it to my friend for her birthday in June and she loves blue and white and this is pretty darn close.
I like a good bit of satin stitch on those applique shapes.
I do not have a cushion pad as yet, there seems to be a bit of shortage of 14" cushion pads at the moment.
Another WIP sorted and completed.
I then start another block for my quilt.  I will try and take some photos over the weekend, weather permitting.
Take care all
Finally found the ideal cushion pad sonow completly finished.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Retirement Gift - OPAM April

Had fun on Sunday making this retirement cushion to go in my friend's new shed!  Hs is a golfing fan and I found this fabric on Ebay.
Very brightly coloured and I picked out the red to make the backing but then thought that some piping might be nice.
I have not made any piping for years so I am really pleased with how it turned out as it went in first time!  Used green binding and piping cord with a zipper foot.
Just hope he likes it.
Have a good week.
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