Tuesday, 2 September 2014

On our way to Japan!

Boarding our flight in a few minutes!  We will be arriving in Tokyo at 12 noon on Wednesday 4th September, 3 a.m. UK time.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Glyn in Denbigh with my fabrics on September 13th....

I'm off to Japan for two weeks tomorrow, so Glyn will be taking my fabrics to Denbigh for the event below -

Cwiltwyr Dyffryn Clwyd Quilters are staging atwo-day exhibition on September 13 and 14 at Denbigh Town Hall (10-5 each day). There will be everything from large traditional bed quilts to contemporary art work on display. Members of the group will also be demonstrating quilting techniques and will be happy to chat about the craft of making quilts for use and display.

The 80-strong group, which meets every month in Ruthin and runs workshops to help members
develop their skills, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The exhibition is also one of the events featured in the Helfa Gelf Open Studios programme giving art lovers across North Wales the chance to meet the makers and view their work.

As well as the main exhibition in the Town Hall, on the Saturday there will also be a trading day with fabric, thread and other textile suppliers selling their wares in the Market Hall on the ground
floor - Susan Briscoe, Stitch Allsorts (Tan Lan), Linda Parrish, African Fabric Shop, Batiks & Beads,Castle Court Quilter, Quilters' Needs (Dot Sherlock). There will be refreshments for sale, and admission to the exhibition is free (donations gratefully accepted).

The quilting group members have made a stunning traditional quilt, called 'Dear Jane', which will be raffled in aid of St Kentigern's Hospice. The quilt will be unveiled at the exhibition and raffle tickets will be for sale.

Further details of the venue can be found on the Helfa Gelf website http://www.helfagelf.co.uk/en/artists/cwiltwr-dyffryn-clwyd-quilters or by contacting 01352 757482. It has ramp/lift access and there is a public car park behind the Hall (venue postcode is LL16 3TB). There are also many other artist studios open in Denbigh and the area that weekend - details www.helfgelf.co.uk

Glyn will have a very similar selection to the fabrics we took to Festival of Quilts, so if you didn't manage to see us there, perhaps you'll be able to get to Denbigh.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summerhouse - rafter detail and windows

The outer joists supporting the eaves were designed to be screwed to the top of the side walls, so we couldn't add them until the rest of the roof was complete.  Glyn notched them out at a 15-degree angle.

Somehow I'd managed to prime both joists on the same side... I'll add primer to this today, weather permitting.

They were screwed to the walls to line up with the internal frame.

Luckily we didn't have any wet paint on Tuesday evening, because the fields near the house were being harvested, so there was lots of dust in the air.

Last night, Glyn sanded down all the window frames, in the areas where he added an acrylic filler.

More dust!

When the gothic window frame was made, the joints at the top were never filled in.  We thought it was better to fill every nook and cranny! He also sanded off a little more wood, so the aluminium weather strips will fit between the window and the wall sheet - these were a later addition/improvement when we found Homebase were selling off a lot of their strip metal for £1 a strip.  On the other windows, there were gaps where previous window fittings have been removed.  The only ones we have kept are the sliding vents at the top.

I must make sure he takes plenty of photos of work in progress while I am in Japan next month!

My virtual taupe quilt design made real!

When I write my little square block books, I include virtual quilt ideas.  These are quilts that don't actually exist, but are made by repeating, turning and shuffling digital images of individual blocks.  The little quilt plan above, 54in square or 6 x 6 nine inch blocks, is one of my favourites and one I would love to make one day.  Margo Geers has already made it!  Her beautiful real version of it shown below.  Margo writes -

It was your book that inspired me to make this quilt...  It is such a beautiful design, with so much depth in it that you can look at it for hours without getting bored. I want to thank for the inspiration. There is another quilt, in my head. When I finish it, I will send you a photo.

I'm looking forward to seeing the next one... I like the rectangle border Margo added - it finished the design off very nicely.  Thanks for the photo!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Denman Kannon - the original pattern

I'm sure I once wrote a blog post that included the working drawing for the Denman Kannon but I can't find it in the label cloud on the right - if I can't find it, blog readers probably can't either! So here it is again.  It was drawn on an A4 sheet, scanned, printed out over 16 A4 sheets, each sheet enlarged to A3, stuck together with sellotape and traced through.  Not very high tech.

The original inspiration was a print of Kannon by Hokusai, from the 13th volume of his 'Manga', published around 1823 (if I remember right).  I kept the fish, but changed the pose and details of Kannon Bosatsu, taking ideas from other Kannon images I found on the internet - basic pose from one, face from another, crown from another etc. until I got it how I wanted.

I wanted to have the willow bough so I could stitch the leaves by adapting a single hitomezashi hishizashi (diamond sitch) motif.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Summerhouse - the roof is on

We finished getting the 'porch' roof sections on last night.  The roof overhangs by about 18in (45cm) at the front so the total length of each roof section is 10ft (3.05m).  Unfortunately, when I ordered the corrugated sheets, the roofing suppliers thought that five sheets on each side would be enough, which it wasn't.  I queried it at the time but no, they were sure that would be right.  We ended up having to get an extra couple of sheets and redo the front part of the roof - the corrugations on the end panels have to go up, to fit under the eaves boards, while all the others go down at the edge, so the roof is watertight.  So we took off the last two panels and moved them along.

 Once we have the exact position of the roof edge worked out, Glyn trimmed the rafters back.

We painted the rafters before adding the roof sheets.

Here's the roof with the rafters all ready for the final sheets.

Important supplies!

The underside of all the roof panels are painted with Hammerite 'copper' hammered finish paint, which looks more like bronze.

Getting the last panel onto the porch roof.

The panels are held in place with long roofing screws and washers.

 The ridge cap.

The summerhouse has started to look more and more Japanese.  We thought it looks a bit like the roof of my old house in Yuza (now demolished).  Look at the large roof finials on the tiled roof. So I started to look for some recycled Japanese roof tiles on Yahoo Japan Auctions and found a few that might do.  These tiles are called onigawara ('demon tile') although they don't always feature oni.

The oni goblin design motif is thought to have originated from a previous architectural element, the oni-ita,  鬼板 which is a board painted with the face of an oni and was meant to stop roof leaks.

We certainly don't want a leaky roof!

They are a typical feature of Japanese roofs, especially the heavy tiled roofs seen around Yuza, so it would be nice to have them.  This is typical of the elaborate roof shapes seen in my old neighbourhood - my old house was really quite plain compared with many of the neighbours' houses.

I don't want something quite as ornate as those on Yamagata castle - I probably couldn't afford those anyway.

This one is a very interesting design - in metal, and it adjusts to the angle of the roof.  But they cost about £85 each, which would make the roof a bit expensive.  The YJA seller is in Yamagata.

I like the shape of this one too - and it is plastic... the hire wave patterns are very lively on this 'tile'.

However, our roof pitch is 15-degrees, so I think I might be able to find some which are close enough.  I'll keep looking!