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Work In Progress Wednesday

Apologies for the sudden outage over the last week, I'd taken my laptop with me on holiday intending to get all my posts done... when it died!  I'm not sure if it was the Adobe CC update or the Windows update just before I left, but the poor thing was 8 years old, and obviously couldn't take it any more.  Anyway, Jack and I had a lovely time in North Wales and Dublin, and one of us walked over 50 miles while the other put his feet up.  Just before I went, I finished sewing up presents for my hosts, but since then it's been all about the photos.  I have over 1,000 photos though, so it may take some time to work through them all ;o)  I won't inflict them on you though!

Finishes This Week:

For my photography tutor hosts, 2 camera that they've been using, the Fuji X100 and the Nikon D700.  Can I tell you that as a Canon girl that last one pained me, and not just because of the million and one pieces ;o)

In Progress This Week:


To Be Worked On This Week:

I need to start plotting on my Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap - I have a few ideas to play about with
I have a bunch of blocks to draw up in Illustrator for the next round of Brit Bee madness.  I'm not sure if we get to share this one or if it will be another 2 year silence ;o)
I need to do my starter block for this Brit Bee round too, any ideas for 15" blocks?
I might extend my MSW.  Then again...

Hope you all have a great week!  Linking up with Lee and the gang:

Camera Challenge 8 - Using Natural Light Indoors

Last month we looked at how natural light behaved outdoors, so this month we're going to move it on inside.  Now one of the challenges that people have with taking photos indoors is getting the right lighting, so this month your challenge is to explore what's possible with the places you have available to you.

Pick a few objects of varying sizes to photograph and move them around to what you consider to be naturally well lit areas of your house.  By that, I mean areas where you consider there to be good amounts of light without having to turn on electric lighting of any kind.  This is likely to be near windows or doors, but check out the difference in available light on different sides of your property at different times of day.  What you learned in the last challenge should also influence how you approach this month - think about the time of day and how that will affect the colour of the light.

For the second part of the challenge, try moving your objects away from the light source and see how far away you have to go before you lose the natural light.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Work In Progress Wednesday

I've got one lonely, pathetic photo for you this week.  Not that I've only done one lonely, pathetic thing, but a lot of things have been deep dark secrets.  Well to be fair, one will cease to be a secret in a couple of weeks, but the other will be, like, months until publication *sigh*  The secret that's coming out in a couple of weeks is really exciting though, so I hope you'll forgive me please ;o)

Finishes This Week:

One super secret 'Think Pink' inspired Quilt Now submission.

In Progress This Week:

My MSW extension panel has grown by one whopping row of houses, which aren't even joined yet:

To Be Worked On This Week:

I'm away visiting some friends next week, so I have a couple of wee gifts to make
I'm hoping to get back to the pattern I was wrestling with last week, but I need to fight a few more pattern pieces after I decided it was too big

Hope you all have a great week!

Bag Making Basics - Understanding Fusible Interfacing

As witnessed in my IG feed recently, one of the biggest challenges that people seem to encounter in bag making is understanding how to use fusible interfacing.  Patterns will gaily tell you to 'apply interfacing as per manufacturer's instructions', but a lot of the time the instructions aren't that obvious to the end user.  Now there's a reason *why* pattern writers do this, because not all interfacing is created equal, manufacturer's have different ideas, and really, we don't want to be responsible if it all goes horribly wrong for you by us giving out the wrong instructions.  So basically, I'm going out on a limb here for you, I hope you appreciate it ;o)

Fusible interfacing is pretty much the same as sew-in interfacing, but with a layer of adhesive on one side.  There are quite the range of options out there too:

  • Gossamer thin options for use with certain types of fabric in garment making
  • Thin papery like versions, also for garment sewing
  • Heavyweight card like kinds for pelmets and certain types of bag making 
  • Woven cotton varieties, used in bag making 
  • Thick, foamy types, also used in bag making.

Regardless of which option we're looking at, there's a few basic principles that can be used in their application, the manufacturer's variations being the heat and time you leave the iron in place for.

If you're lucky, the instructions are printed on the edge of the interfacing, if not, there should be some paper around the roll, an insert in the packet, or instructions on the end of the roll (but that being the case you'll have to note it down in the shop)

Translating the below, pop the iron on the 2 dot setting (medium), grab a damp cloth, and stick it on top of the interfacing before applying the iron 15 seconds at a time.  Do not underestimate the mind numbing amount of time it takes to apply interfacing to a whole bag's worth of pieces, pop on a good film and get comfy!

And here's how it goes on (with apologies for my revolting ironing board):

First, layer up the fabric, wrong sides up, and the interfacing, fusible side down:

Grab your damp cloth and place it on top.  I use a men's hankie for this (that is exclusively used for this purpose), and keep a jug of water on the table nearby to refresh the dampness as I go:

Place your iron on top for the allotted time period, and leave it there.  No running the thing around all over the top, counting to 15, or whatever, and hoping that that will do the trick, leave the bloody thing along!

After the time is up, pick up the iron and place it in the next unfused bit, and so on.  I flip the direction each time, since the iron is triangular, and it kind of tessellates:

You should be able to tell what's fused and what isn't, because your cloth will have dried on the fused part, while the rest will remain damp:

At the end you will have a nicely interfaced piece of fabric:

If you have several layers to apply, you will need to do it one at a time.  I know.  Suck it up ;o)

Everything should turn out beautifully smooth and bubble free at this point, even if you have quietly lost your mind in the meantime, I mean it, you need a good film!

Hope that makes sense, but if you have any questions, give me a shout...
My Not So Small World So Far

Finally I got a short window with no rain and available time to take a photo of My (Not So) Small World quilt.  I should have ordered no wind too, but you take what you can get in these parts!

The sky is actually various shades of Modo Grunge with white and cream bases, but it's not so obvious in the sun here.  I think you can appreciate all the bright colours of the Pam Kitty Garden and Lecien Sugar Flower fabrics though :o)

I love where it's got to, but I do have to get that extension panel for the bottom done, since I'm booked in with the excellent Trudi for some long arm graffiti magic in November!

Work In Progress Wednesday

I have to confess that I've not sewn a single stitch this week!  Thursday and Friday I was working quite late, I spent Saturday going down glens and up hills, and then all day Sunday and Monday night saw me grappling with the design of a new pattern and a great deal of angst!  Last night I started cutting though, so I did one little bit of sewing related work that did not involve screaming at Illustrator and waving a ruler around in frustration...

Finishes This Week:

I spent 5 miles walking up and down lots of steep bits of rocky bog, that must count as a finish, right?!

The down:

And the up:

And the mud... (those boots are light blue and grey BTW)

In Progress This Week:

This is the fabric/notions pull for the angst inducing pattern:

And here's another little project I picked up.  The Eternal Maker was getting rid of some old Kona colour cards with 'only' 243 colours on it, so I grabbed one to chop it up rather like many of the good folks on Instagram (I'd been too cheap to buy one full price to do that with!)

To Be Worked On This Week:

QC Issue 16 project
Developing the pattern from hell (which will obviously be renamed before I release it ;o) )

I think that should keep me going, hope you all have a great week!

Camera Challenge 7 Review - Using Natural Light Outdoors

I hope everybody enjoyed the natural light challenge, and you all got to go out and enjoy at least some sunshine with your cameras.

So this challenge was all about using ‘natural light’, aka daylight, to light the subject of your photos.  It is the beloved of many photographers for the wonderful effects you can get in the setting sun, leaving a pleasing golden glow on your scene…  But wait a minute, did we not spend ages back in March trying to work out how to white balance things so that everything was a true colour and not skewed by a light effect?  Um, yes, yes we did.  We humans are fickle creatures, and while being bathed in the glow of the setting sun is admired, being bathed in the glow of a tungsten bulb quite frankly is not, despite the fact that they both have a yellow glow.  I’m not a psychologist, so let’s not try and work out why ;o)

What you should have seen is that as the day progresses, an object will appear to be different colours as the light upon it changes, from the very cool light just before sunrise/just after sunset leaving a blue/purple cast, through the reds and oranges of sunrise/sunset, right the way up to the bleaching effect of the sun in the middle of the day.

Much as I would have loved to take part in this, rain has been featuring rather heavily in my non-working days of late, but I had a little root around in my archives to show you the effects I was describing above.

Here we are just before sunrise on a snowy day December day on Rannoch Moor (it was about -10C that day BTW!)  It's all very blue at that time, even the white frost and the grey stones look blue:

A short while later things are still going through a blue period:

And then not long after sunrise.  Look at what a difference 40 minutes makes from that first shot, that sunrise is adding in so much red to the scene that now it's positively purple!:

Now for the middle of the day we're going to a somewhat warmer part of the world, the Hoover Dam in late October.  This part will show you that it very much depends on your angle to the sun just what colour your sky can turn out - this effect can be enhanced by a polarising filter although there wasn't one used here.  These two photos were taken maybe 10 minutes apart, but obviously at different angles to each other, since the first photo is of the towers that appear in the water on the second photo.  Other than the sky, the rest is subject to some sun bleaching effects, but it's not so noticeable in the first photo because of the colours of the elements appearing:

You can see here just how much the midday sun is bleaching the colours out of the sky and rocks:

This next set of 3 photos were taken roughly mid afternoon at Bryce Canyon in Utah.  There's still sun bleaching effects, but things are starting to warm up a little.  You can also see the effect of turning at further 90 degree angle to the sun through each photo and how it affects the colour of the sky:

These next photos were taken during the late afternoon and evening at Monument Valley.  You can see how the colours of the red rocks and sky change and get warmer as the sun goes down:

Not long before sunset everything is looking a little orange:

Just after sunset things have definitely started to cool in the bottom half of the photo:

This was just after sunset over the great Salt Lake as we took off on the flight home, the tones are all very cool here apart from that one orangey pink streak of afterglow:

Finally, these pictures from Vegas were after sunset, the first one just before the last natural light faded from the sky.  You can see here that the colours of the sky are now very similar to the pre-sunrise one at the start, even if there was about 30C difference between the two!:

Now the natural light is all gone, and it's very flat, those fountains would have looked much nicer with a bit of colour in the sky:

I hope you got to see at least some of these effects with your photos, please link up and show me: