Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Message in a Bottle Challenge

The last entry for 2013 was my entry for the "Message in a Bottle" Challenge organised by Thearica Burroughs.  It was shortly after this that DH and I went to England for three months to visit his 91 year old mother and also friends and extended family.  Unfortunately while we were there, DH developed terrible pains which the doctors in UK couldn't control and which turned out to be the spread of his bone cancer into his spine, ribs, hips, left leg and breast bone.

As soon as I got home and went to start blogging again, I couldn't.  I couldn't get into my blog to update or to post new entries.  I can get in to look at it and read it but that is all. So after all this time, I have decided to start again with a brand new blog and move on.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Message in a Bottle crazy quilting challenge 2013

At last I have finished my entry for the Message in a Bottle Challenge organised by Thearica Burrows from Crazy Quilting Supplies. I wanted to make something that would appeal to adults as well as to children and consulted my seven year old grandson Jesse who is learning about ecology in school for advice. The end result is a concertina style book which slides into a presentation box for safe keeping.


Here is the story in Pages.....there is a thin gold dotted line sewn across all the pages that tracks the journey that the bottle undertakes from being thrown into the sea to when it is washed up on the beach.
Page One
The bottle was thrown from a sailing ship by a sailor who was afraid of the approaching storm and the rocks below the sea. I stitched the sailing ship masts and hull first before attaching each white felt sail with tiny blanket stitches and finished off with the rigging. I thought that the two birds were not "flying" birds because they had no wings, so they are seagulls floating on the waves.
Page Two
Before it reaches the surface, the bottle is taken over the top of a brightly coloured coral reef.
Page Three
As it travels the world for one hundred years, the bottle is caught up in swirling currents. I found this block challenging because part of the kit was a piece of turquoise net on which was stitched these three ribbon roundels. I unpicked the roundels from the netting and re-stitched them back again onto the circular swirling current. The kit also included a ball of beige coloured Perle cotton which I used to make the length of tatting on the sandy sea-bed.
Page Four
The bottle is eventually picked up by the waves and carried by a huge surf towards the shore. In the block, I included the netting that was the background of the roundels and also included some of the sequins which were also attached to the netting. I enjoyed creating the waves out of lots of pieces of white lace, some of which were included in the kit and hopefully I have captured the movement of the surf.
Page Five
At last the bottle is thrown up onto a beach.........a beach polluted with dead sea creatures such as the turtle trapped in rope, the duck with a rubber band around its neck, dead fish caught in a piece of wayward net, more bottles, a rubber sandal, a tin can, beaded oil slick, plastic and now, our bottle.  The message spills out, a simple S.O.S., no longer for the sailor whom we assume sailed home safely but for our own Planet Earth. 
Eventually, people arrived who understood the problems facing our environment. They cleaned up the ocean and the beaches and educated  the general public to respect our world - the water as well as the land.
Page Six
The last picture shows the results of this campaign to clean up our environment. There is a pristine clean beach with butterflies fluttering over fresh sea grasses, there are dolphins playing in the sea and clean water lapping on the shoreline, all under a bright, warm sun. Two surfers have propped their surfboards in the sand while they take a break and their boards reflect the message. The most time consuming part of this block was the surfboards as both are cross-stitched onto 27 threads-per-inch canvas. 
I can only hope that I have helped to spread the message.......let's keep our world clean from pollution!!

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