Thursday, January 27, 2011

Odds and Ends

Well, can't believe I haven't posted here since October.  I seem to have been busy doing odds and ends and most of my stitching has been for christmas presents.  Always a problem for a blogger as you can't say too much about it.  I saw a picture of some candles decorated with machine embroidered motifs so I made loads using commercial patterns on the computerised machine - here is just one. 
 I also made this little cushion as a last-minute gift for someone who has a westie - again a commercial embroidery design and some very simple patchwork as a border.

And here are my ATCs for the January swop on Facebook on the theme of musical.
As usual, I have been getting distracted - this time by my brother's present to me... electronics kit (and my sister gave me the book to go with it).  It is a great kit, designed for people with no experience to learn to programme a microcontroller.   It connects to a computer via USB to download your program and then runs from the mains or a battery.  You can use inputs such as buttons, tilt switches or pressure pads and control output to eg LEDs or motors, making interactive objects. I have spent a few happy evenings working through the sample programs and then writing my own to understand how it works.  So, where is all this leading?  Answer  - to incorporating electronics into textiles using a LilyPad  - a microcontroller designed to be sewn into wearables.  No particular project in mind at the moment, but I am sure something will happen.  For more info see the Arduino website  and Leah Buechley's LilyPad pages and to see what people have made with a LilyPad, have a look at this video on YouTube.

And finally while I'm in a high-tech mood, check out this site and meet the RepRap - a self-replicating desktop sized 3d printer you can build at home and then use to produce the parts to make another one (you may have seen an article in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago).  I feel sure there will be ways of using this with textiles...

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