Monday, August 26, 2013

Seasonal Colour Inspiration

The berries and rose hips are just starting to ripen; plants are going to seed; and hazy sunshine turns the mudflats and sea to shades of taupe and grey.

[Please click on the photo collages to see a larger version.]

Friday, August 23, 2013

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Visit and Scottish Modern Quilt Exhibition

Rob and I went for a long and fun-filled day out to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Tuesday.

Lapping up the atmosphere and cider at the Pleasance Courtyard

Our first entertainment was 'The Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show' at 13.10 in the Pleasance Courtyard. There were five comedians (including the compere). Four were really funny, one not so good, so I won't mention him! I would recommend all of the following shows.

Danny Ward was the hilarious compere, and is also giving a free show at 4.45pm at the Laughing Horse at The White Horse until 25 August.

Daniel Townes is an Australian with a very laid back, self-depreciating sense of humour. His free show is at Bar 50, The Alcove at 9.45pm just tonight and Sunday.

Joe Bor is Jasper Cromwell Jones (posh mountain climber character comedy). Brilliant timing and very funny. His act is on at 7.00pm at The Guilded Balloon Teviot until 26 August.

Christian Reilly sings songs 'in the style of' different celebrities and gave a very confident and enjoyable performance. His free show, 'Songs of Praise' can be found at 6.00pm at The Dram House until 24 August.
[Performer photos from the website]

We managed to fit in a couple of exhibitions between shows:- The Scottish Modern Quilt Exhibition was held in a sewing shop called Avery Homestore and included dozens of colourful quilts, cushions and small wall hangings to enjoy. Here are some of my favourites:-

The second exhibition was the 151st International Exhibition of Photography, which cost £4 each for entry, but you also received a colour brochure of the exhibits. The exhibition runs until 1 September at 68 Great King Street, Edinburgh. (Check the link above for opening days/times.) It is well worth a visit if you enjoy photography. Examples of all sorts of subjects and methods are shown. My favourite was of a big, fat seal on a beach, looking very happy.

[Photograph from the website.]

After a quick whip round the 2D/3D arts and crafts market (running until 25 August), we had dinner at the Hendersons @ St Johns. It is a vegetarian cafe that closes at 5pm normally, although I'm sure it was later than that when we ate there. We had a huge chunk each of fritatta served with a choice of one salad. (I had Greek salad; Rob had chickpea salad). At £7.50 per serving, it was a filling and tasty meal.

Our final show was David Sedaris at the EICC, a huge and comfortable venue. The tickets were a bit pricey at £20 each, but it was worth it for the 1.5 hours of amusing story telling and excerpts from his diary. Beforehand, Rob bought a copy of one of the author's latest books 'Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls', and had it signed by him. He gamely agreed to the dedication reading "This would have been better written with WriteItNow" (Rob's software for writers). His final show is on 24 August.

[Photograph from the website.]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Flowers Rag Rug Wall Hanging

I finally finished my rag rug wall hanging (or rug!), made from repurposed clothing, cut into strips and hooked through a linen back cloth.

The linen back cloth is secured in a wooden frame. The design is drawn on using a Sharpie felt pen. Huge mounds of used, laundered clothing are assembled ready for recycling. (I think I used parts from around 30 t-shirts, tops, and a pair of leggings and a jersey duvet for this piece.) The garments are cut into strips using a sharp pair of dressmaking scissors. The strips measure from 1/4 - 1/2 an inch in width. I usually fold the strips in half if they are thin fabrics (eg, t-shirts), or use 'as is' if thick (such as sweatshirt fabric).

A hand hook (much like a large crochet hook set into a wooden handle) is used to pull the fabric strips into loops through the loose weave of the back cloth. You can hook in any direction, either straight lines or swirls, so I chose to do some of each in this piece. I tend to place the colours as I go along rather than planning in advance, and improvise if I run out of a particular colour.

Hand hooking can take a long time, so I just worked for an hour or so at a time over a year or so to finish this rug.

When the piece is finished, you can add a mitred border of cotton webbing to the reverse to hide the raw edges of the linen and to give extra strength to the edges. I decided to give the added option of wall hanging for this piece, so sawed some wooden batons to length for the top and bottom of the rug. Velcro is attached by stitching, to the webbing on the reverse,  and also to the wooden batons, using wood glue and staples. The wood can then be screwed to the wall and the rug pressed into place. If you want to use the piece as a rug, then the soft side of the velcro is on the reverse, and the wooden batons are not used.

The rug is for sale in the Fire Horse Textiles shop.


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