Thursday, 31 January 2013

The 39 steps

I must admit that I really do like the most recent of the versions of this story. The original book was written by John Buchan in 1915, and is very much of it's time. The book and the older versions (starring Robert Donat, Kenneth More and then Robert Powell) all have a weak and rather insignificant female character. The latest version with Rupert Penry-Jones, has a rather feisty female character which gives a really interesting twist to the story.
For those not familiar with the plot, the main character, Richard Hannay becomes embroiled in foiling a pre-first world war German spy ring. He is chased around the wilds of Scotland by the spies in a car. They also use an aeroplane. In the book, the phrase "39 steps" refers to an area on the coast where there are 39 steps leading down to a harbour. 
Chatting to my daughter, she pointed out the similarity of the chase by aeroplane to that portrayed in the Hitchcock film "North by Northwest". Interestingly, Alfred Hitchcock also directed the earlier 1935 version starring Robert Donat.
For my version, I used images handstitched onto sheer voiles, with bondawebbed trees and running figure made from dyed scrim. The green background is painted fabric, whilst the remaining fabrics are accidentally dyed dye-catchers.

Monsters Inc

My favourite film is Monster Inc, for all sorts of reasons.  I love the Pixar movies in general but we saw Monsters Inc on the weekend of my fortieth birthday in a cinema in Dublin.

I decided that I wanted to do an abstract piece rather than a figurative one so here it is.  The purple spots are reverse appliqued, it was a challenge to make the toenail/ horn pieces as I seemed to have forgotten all I ever knew about foundation piecing and realised that it was easier just to curve piece. The green represents Mike Wazowski and the pink Boo. I wondered about putting Mike's eye in the piece but decided it might look rather like an "all seeing" eye.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

February theme

It is almost time to start working on the new theme. The random number generator picked this as the new theme: Spring. Okay, I admit I had to run it twice as the first number corresponded with a theme we had worked with before :-).

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


My original idea for this challenge was The Color Purple, but when I was working on that I changed my mind. After all the last couple of months I have been making all kind of trees and what would be more fitting than the Tree of Souls or in other words the movie Avatar :-). Not only I could create another tree, but I love the movie.

For background I used 2 different blue fabrics, tore them into strips and placed them overlapping each other on the batting and background. Next step was to quilt them and applique the tree shape on it. What was time consuming was to create the branches/tentacles. For this I cut lengths of metallic Madeira thread and pulled them through the machine stitches, knotted them and kept them hanging like this. The effect is a bit 3-dimensional. And to be honest I had no other idea how to get this effect.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fiddler On The Roof

I laughed...I cried.  And many of the lines and songs from this movie are a part of our life now.  One of my favorites is when Tevia is talking to God in the barn about wishing he were a rich man.  "Would it spoil some great eternal plan...if I were a wealthy man?"  And the relationship with his wife and the loves of his many faces of love and devotion.

Fiddler On The Roof - Kelly

This piece has all kinds of my own fabrics - hand-dyed, snow-dyed, discharged, ruching, confetti dyed, stamped, drawn on, painted. Only the fiddler is not my fabric but black Kona.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

On Golden Pond

Hilary is still having a few problems getting onto this site, so I am posting this for her.

In explanation of her delightful quilt, she says:

"Over the Xmas break I played with a variety of white fabrics and dyed them using union skins and tea bags.My film piece On Golden Pond is a result of one of these experiments."

Friday, 11 January 2013

From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love
My first Bond movie at the cinema and Sean Connery was the answer to every girl's dream! His escapades on the screen were so thrilling in 1964 and the stunts and set pieces sent a shiver up the spine.
This time I have made the piece from commercial fabrics and the black swirls have been blanket stitched for security with the picture of James himself having been added at the end with Steam-a-seam, always guaranteed to stick small pieces of fabric in place!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Here, rather delayed, is my December quiltlet.  This one is all white so I hope you can see it.  Having had several disasters with trying out techniques for snowflakes I decided to look at footprints in the snow.  Lots of dense seeding stitches mark out the different textures of the snow. It took me a long time to complete in small stages.

The January quiltlet is planned and I'm waiting to collect my sewing machine from it's service so that I can get it made.  Less hand stitching next time!