Wednesday, 23 November 2011

View from the (Wobbly) Bridge

Crumbs, it’s actually properly November all of a sudden.  As I wandered into work along the South Bank this morning, clutching my Thermos (yes, people still use them to take packed lunch to work) it was a stunning winter morning.  The fog over the Thames was thick enough to obscure the north of the river so I had to take a picture of the view (pardon the very poor literary pun above).  I was not alone – I lost count of the people taking snaps of the mist; perhaps we were all a little lost in the romance of Dickensian London and wishing we were wrapped up in our bed jackets at home in front of a roaring fire and reading a jolly good book.  I still envy tortoises, snuggling down to sleep in a nice fuggy straw lined box for the whole winter.  Lucky bastards.

Last night’s craftsploits took me north of the river to the Make Lounge in Islington where I learnt more about machine quilting.  We were tasked with creating a Log Cabin quilted cushion cover - quilting probably doesn’t get more straightforward than this which was great.  I’ve taken Friday afternoon off work to start making the baby quilt up (and finish those Christmas stockings so I may be being slightly ambitious) and I already had an idea of what I wanted to do.  The workshop last night hasn’t changed my view, but it was fun to sit in a room of other people all sewing away. 

There were a few quizzical looks when I pulled together my fabrics but while I was bearing colour theory in mind, I didn’t really want to stick with pastel florals, all spots, or harlequin solids.  There’s not really any point being frightened of pattern or colour given my view that if you like something and the way it works together, it really doesn’t matter what other people think – it works if you think it works.  I have my favourites of the fabrics, I might have used bright pink instead of orange thread, and I’m not a big fan of what I think of as slightly 1980s graphic prints (which is why I decided to use it to challenge my thinking a bit) but overall I’m really chuffed with the outcome and do think the colours and patterns work together well. 

I've rejigged the quilt pattern and swapped out some of the white spots for the orange fabric. I now think I'm going to scrap the four orange squares on the outside of the formation and replace them with a solid colour, probably light green so it tones down the busyness.  I also wonder if I prefer the first formation, and perhaps in that case I should switch out the white spots for a solid colour.  Thinking thinking ...  

Original layout - not quite right ...

New layout - still not quite right

This morning I started reading some preparatory work for my creative writing course in January and am suddenly realising how much I’m taking on by starting the Certificate at the RSN and a 22 week writing course; but life’s there for the challenge and the things I want to be doing are writing and making, which means I’ll find a way to fit them in.  Ultimately, I’d like to work with textiles and right now feel as if I’m right at the start of any kind of understanding, but am just not sure of the steps I need to take so all of these things come together.  Am taking a bit of a “ah Grasshopper” view of it and assuming that if I keep trundling along learning what I’m learning, and listening more to the little voice that says “take a picture of that”, “have a go at drawing this”, “how would that look in stitched form” that eventually I’ll get there in my own little way.

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