Sunday, 10 March 2013

Bead Dazzled


The trouble with browsing on Ebay is that it is easy to waste an awful lot of time doing "research" while finding the best sites for gems or beads. I also became extremely distracted looking at handmade glass lampwork beads on Etsy and I started to build up quite a collection of inexpensive and not-so-cheap beads for my Houston Chamilia/Trollbead bracelet. My excuse was that I was actually choosing beads to add to the Pandora bracelet that I have bought Freya for her birthday but virtual shopping for bead-charms was becoming my latest addiction. I told myself that this was perfectly justifiable since I have not been drinking wine in recent weeks as part of a mini health kick! Fenella has informed me that she would also like a bracelet like mine so it looks like I may have to spend a little more time searching for the best deals. 

In addition to a day in the classroom, I helped a beginner quilter to apply binding to a cub-scout banner, sewed yet more gemstones onto the white leather goatskin, and I did some utility quilting on a gingerbread man patchwork throw for a customer. 

I confounded the local pharmacist again with an unusual request for lanolin cream or neatsfoot oil which I wanted to use for rehydrating the battered old leather that Mo stripped from some ancient armchairs. I did not want to drive all the way over to the feed merchant and horse tack shop so I improvised with French olive-oil soap and rapeseed oil. I really want to maintain the very worn look of the old leather but I am concerned that it will all crack up if I try quilting it when it is so dry. I daresay I may have to quilt a test piece to see what happens. 

I finished quilting the Norse birds onto the soft deerskin hide and posted a picture on Facebook. I was thrilled when one of my quilting heroes, Karen McTavish, commented that she thought it was "Glorious!" I have decided that it definitely will not become part of the tree/totem series as I have concluded that they should all feature circles that can be surrounded with gems or other interesting beads. 

I worked on some skinny curved piecing over the weekend as I want the "totem" to look a little like birch bark but using the same colours as the gems. There was a time when I would never had dared to try such a radical aspect of patchwork but I figured out my own way of doing it and I am quite excited by what I have planned.

I balked at Mo's suggestion of making  7 such pieces since that is a magical number but I am very tempted by the notion of making 12 - one for every month of the year. I have not even finished the first one yet and I can picture myself being consumed by a new major series. I am already trying to talk myself out of creating something new for the inaugural British Quilt & Stitch Village Show in Uttoxeter at the end of April. Surely I must have something already finished that could be suitable? 

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