Sonnets – UL 16

While I’m still working (more or less) on Vintage Glassware and Beyond The Garden Gate I have already drawn the next two projects from the UFO Lottery box.

The first one is Sonnets. I had machine embroidered Mr. Shakespeare’s sonnets 27 (Weary with toil, I haste to my bed) and 61 (Is it thy will thy image should keep open) onto two pieces of decorators fabric. I got the fabric for free from an upholstery workshop some years ago, they were giving away some of their old sample books. It was a shame I could only carry one of them home because of their massive weight.

After a couple of days pondering on a possible project (a cushion cover?) I decided that the two panels are not going to be made into something now. They have found a place in the textile art materials box for some future project(s).


Fixed! Friday 32

Welcome to the next part of Fixed! Friday.

I have to admit that I wasn’t in the mood for patchwork during the last two or three weeks. I felt more like doing some other things – knitting, cross stitch, canvaswork, editing photos and stuff for an experimental art blog, the like. But as the days grow shorter and weather conditions for taking pictures outside will become a little more challenging over the next weeks, there will be a good chance I will be back to sewing, finishing the last tops so I can finally start my UFO lottery.


This came out totally different from what I had planned. It was supposed to be a project about local flora and fauna with 3D borders. In the end, it became an aquarium. Well …

made between July 2001 and June 2003, 76 x 76 cms, 27 hours

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Bargello Quilt

Fixed! Friday 16

Welcome again to Fixed! Friday.

Just got a call from Günther. Günther from the fishing club. No, I don’t know him. Obviously he called a totally different mobile number than mine, and I don’t even have a mobile phone. And you know how guys sometimes are. Immediately afterwards he rang again. Women don’t do this, at least I’ve never experienced this before. Other than with men.

I need to finish another piece for my secret knitting project now and then make some crochet lichen from perle cotton to go with it. Tonight will be one of those now rare occasions – I’ll be watching TV. Yesterday, the DVD Penguins – Spy in the huddle arrived in the mail, narrated by David Tennant. No, I’m not suffering from Tennantitis – I enjoy every minute. 😉

Here’s today’s piece:

9 x 13

An original design. A former colleague used to give me thin cardboard sheets their office always got in the mail, separating the papers of different clients. I simply cut nine of them (the sheets, not the clients) into three long strips each and then into smaller pieces of different sizes. Each of the nine strips has got thirteen pieces, hence the title.

I used three different colours of Prismaglass fabrics, which went together pretty well with some batiks I had bought before. Miraculously, three embroidery yarns in matching colours were in my stash as well. All of those were bought independently over a period of time and only came together in this piece, the grey fabric coming also from my stash.


Made between November 2007 and June 2011, size is 70 x 104 cms. Number of pieces: 9 x 13 (117).

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Im Farbenrausch (Rush of colours)

Dave’s Design Disasters – 2

Not all of my countless ideas are really brilliant, I have to admit that. Here’s another one that didn’t turn out too well.

Sorting slides

A couple of years ago my assistant was part of a group who met in a local fabric store once a month. Someone had suggested they could put together some stuff in bags and hold a raffle. Do I need to mention that everyone always puts in their uglies?

My assistant got some green and red fabrics and a flower print. Also in that bag was a little metal box filled with some buttons, beads, a lace motif, a little bell from an Easter bunny and a white fur brooch (which we saved for a future project). The task was to make a quilt from this gift, adding some of your own fabrics was optional.

It took me a while to decide what to make. Finally I went for an old idea: picture slides. There was some grey fabric in Ms J’s stash which was perfect for the frames. She made a cardboard template from a borrowed frame. The finished slides were appliquéd to a white base fabric and some of them decorated with beads, buttons, sequins and pieces from a shell bracelet.

The idea behind it was to make it look like someone was sorting slides. Which also became the title of this piece.

See you


How To Draw An Invisible Muse

– Hi! Dave here! –
Hi Dave! How are you?
– Fine. I was wondering about some things we talked about recently… Can you do me a favour? –
Sure. What is it?
– Can you draw me? –
But you’re invisible.
– I know. Still. Can you draw me? –
But even you don’t know how you look like. You told me.
– Yes, but I thought about it. How I would love to look like. –
Which would be?
– Oh, eh, tall … thin … I want cool  clothes. –
– Sneakers, jeans and a leather jacket. With a scarf. –
– Yes, and a pair of glasses like the guy on the poster in your Boudoir. He reminds me of
(confidential whisper)  
(blushes)  Yes, that’s him. Er-hem.  I didn’t know you need glasses.
– I don’t, but they look cool.  –
– Green eyes. And wild hair. I love  wild hair. And can you draw a bit of a scruff, please? –
You know exactly what you want, right?
– Yup. –
OK then, but I’m rubbish at drawing people. Or muses.
– Knit me, then. –
Knit you?
– Come on! If you can knit those litte dolls, you can knit me. –
Will this do any harm? Remember the story of the little mermaid.
– No, no, not at all. –
Are you sure?
– Yes, absolutely. –
– Please! –

I have the strange feeling, faithful reader, that he’s into something. Something consequential. I could be wrong, of course …

(I almost forgot. He suggested some more machine stitching. But – my sewing machine suddenly changed into her ‘female teenager’ mood and declined services. I disassembled ‘her’, cleaned her, reassembled her. Tried some stitching. Disassembled her, cleaned her some more, reassembled her. Even cursed her. To sum it up: I’ll have to finish the piece shown below later.)

(work in progress)

Lines And Dots

A couple of days ago I pulled my red SuperKnitter cape out of the closet and put it on. Then I started a new and yet top secret project. I was making pretty progress – until yesterday evening when I hurt my index finger. No knitting, no stitching, no nothing. Dung. (Even typing’s still tricky.)

So I considered Dave’s suggestion from yesterday’s post. Yes, machine sewing would work. This morning, I went through my two drawers full (and I mean ‘full’ in its very sense) of beautiful and not so beautiful batiks and sorted out the latter. I added them to my pile of put-aside fabrics. There were some leftover scraps of batting from an old project as well which I cut up into postcard and double postcard sized pieces.

After so much exhausting work I needed a rest and went to the German-Dutch fabric market which was held at Town Hall Square today. I bought some unusual buttons and a stencil with letters. Also in my bag I later found one meter of decorator’s fabric with a London map print. Ask Dave how it got there and what I’m going to do with it. I don’t know.

Back home. It’s raining cats and dogs now and we’ve got the second thunderstorm already. Time to get to work on some samples.

The first little piece is promising (see above). A scrap of fabric for the back, some batting and another scrap of some hard to handle batik fabric for the top. The stitching also gave me a quilted effect.

I think I should thank the unknown artist for the graffiti on the box. It’s standing next to the bus stop where I admire it every morning. I always loved it and was often thinking of using it in some way to make it into a little piece of art of my own.

How Do You Shave When You’re Invisible?

When Dave called the other day to surprise me with another idea of his, I asked him about something that had been on my mind for a while.

Dave, before we start, may I ask you a question?
– Sure. What is it? –
How do you look like?
– I don’t know. –
What do you mean, ‘I don’t know’?
– I’m invisible. –
Even to yourself?
– Yup. –
So how do you shave? Or dress?
(slighty uncomfortable)  – I … eh … –
Oh. … You mean, like a putto?
– If you like. Only taller. And wingless. Can we change the subject, please? –
Of course. Sorry to embarrass you.
– Shaving’s tricky, though. –
I bet. (giggles)  A shaving putto. – Er-hem. – OK, what have you got for me today?
– Well, I thought about some machine stitching. Some lines or random patterns. They should look fine on a piece of arty fabric like the hand-dyed cotton or the red and green print. –
I could use the graffiti pattern I found on a box in the street a while ago which I wanted to do forever.
– The blue lines and dots I turned your attention to? Great! –
You did?
– Yup. –

When I pulled the red and green print from my stash it turned out it was darker than I had remembered.

The hand-dyed cotton would have been a good alternative.

But then I found another piece from the decorator’s fabric pattern book which I think is the better choice. If I can ever manage to get the creases out.

The Freelancer

– Hello! Dave here. –
Here to inspire me.
– Exactly. –
Before you do so, I’d love to know something. Tell me, how did you come to me in the first place? Is there an organization or society or maybe something like a muse agency who sent you?
– No, it’s a guild. The Muses’ Guild. There’s only a limited number of members. If a person dies and their muse is no longer needed, they get assigned to a new person. The committee decides who will get a muse. In some very rare cases, when it turns out that people don’t deserve their muse, they are called back. Muses live much longer than people, but we are not immortal. Only if a muse dies, a new member is admitted into the Guild. We have to pass a complicated test, only the best get on the list of possible members. The others who passed the test are allowed to go freelance, though. –
And you …
– I passed. –
Oh, I see. A freelance muse. May I ask, is this your first job?
– Yes, it is. –
So you’re a kind of apprentice muse?
– If you want. –
That explains something.
– What do you mean? –
Nothing, forget it. How did you find me?
– You were on the Guild’s list of possible candidates. –
Or victims.
– What? –
Nothing. –

Are you one of the people who haven’t got a muse yet? I think it would be a great idea if you adopt one. As mentioned above, there are some freelancers available. You don’t have to pick someone like Dave, though. A normal one would do for a start.

– What? –

Oh, I almost forgot, what have you got for me today?
– Eh, I think, some sample pieces of decorative machine stitching. Using the batik swatches from Africa. –
Good idea.

You Can’t Hide Anything From Your Muse

– Hi! Dave here. –
Hi! How are you doing?
– Copperplates. –
– Copperplates. –
– That’s your next project. The old abandoned one. Bit on the slow side today, eh? –
Oi! Careful!
– As I said, copperplates. ‘Kupferstiche’*** in German. –
You speak German?
– Of course. I’m your muse. –
I’m not going to ask now where you got that from.
– It was in one of the drawers. In your brain. –
I thought they were folders.
– No, drawers. Anyway, time to finally start making something out of this beautiful fabrics. And before you ask – yes, I’ve also found the bag with all the matching ribbons and buttons and beads and a jar of copper paint. Use them. I want heavy embellishing. –

Faithful reader, if he goes on like this, I think I’ll have to ask my boss for at least six months off to complete all those projects. I hope your muse is a little less demanding.

*Meaning ‘I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I don’t quite know what you’re talking about’, but shorter and therefore more convenient.
**Meaning ‘I still don’t understand.’
***lit. ‘copper stitches’

Ouch! My muse has hit me

I have never met my muse. But she is around. In some kind of invisiblity cloak, of course. And obviously armed with a baseball bat, judging by the way she hits me. On the other hand, it might be a male, then.

At least it would explain why I hate pink and get sick about kitschy things. And also it would explain why there are so many ideas left lying around, not being put back into their respective folders and drawers. – Yes, definitely a male. To protect his privacy – this is the internet, after all – let’s call him ‘Dave’.

The other day Dave hit me again (the bump is still on the back of my head).
Let’s take a look then at the latest release from Your Muse Productions©.

The cast

Variegated crochet yarns – They came on cardboard tubes, so I had to wind them onto spools because I wanted to use them on my sewing machine. Unfortunately, they didn’t work. Put aside for further use.
Silk sewing thread, black – either inherited or a gift, I take them all
Basting thread, white – too heavy for use in my patchwork projects, also put aside

The plot

To be honest, I hate this colour. The fabric came together with others in a sample pack and immediately went to the ‘magenta’ pile. For a free embroidery experiment I put that piece of fabric into a hoop and filled the space with seed stitches in the medium colour. Then I made a light coloured wedge and a dark one, crossing at the center with added French knots in black (dark wedge) and white (light wedge). I came out with the piece that’s pictured at the top. As I wasn’t satisfied with what I got I put it onto the ‘samples’ pile. From where my muse obviously pulled it out now.

I added more stitching in the two wedges as well as more French knots. Better now, but I’m still not satisfied with the light wedge.