Tuesday 31 December 2013

Things Don't Always Work Out!!

31st December 2013

Thought I would make a Shadow Extended Sample using Honesty seed heads.

As the Honesty had split last time I stitched it I backed with Bondaweb....

...organza is difficult to stitch without a hoop and as my piece of fabric was too big I used a 'tear away' paper that I had bought at one of the shows as a backing.
I drew the shape I wanted to stitch...

and free stitched on pale blue crystal organza using the backing paper and it worked!!

Back after some paper has been torn away...

...front... far so good.

Next I ironed on the Honesty, and placed a layer of white organza over and stitched....

..then disaster struck!!!

Lots of loopy stitches at the back...

..there was nothing I could do except cut this away which left an odd shaped sample...

...I quite like the effect so am going to have another go today!

I can't believe it is the last day of the year.

 It has been an amazing year and I have learnt many new skills, machine embroidery, paper making, felt making, computer skills, Pilates and writing a blog, to name a few!!

I have developed friendships and had good times with my family. 

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and share my textile journey with me.

Monday 30 December 2013

The Last Secret Project

30th December 2013

This gift was for an amazing lady who LOVES New York!

 The finished, unframed picture in stitch- my interpretation of Brooklyn Bridge!

Now for the process....

I began by drawing the bridge on A4 tracing paper from a photo in the web....

...transferred onto card and cut a template...

...this was pinned to a bluey/grey linen backed with firm Vilene and I free machined around it....

...then with some anxiety I started stitching!!

I only stitched one half first as I still didn't know whether my idea was going to work!

I used 3 different threads, 2 shades of variegated grey and a plain grey for the outline and free machined using zigzag and straight stitch with the final outline in narrow 0.8 satin stitch.

Although I had backed the fabric the dense stitching caused it to pucker so I cut around the bridge, backed this with Bondaweb and ironed it onto another piece of fabric!!

 I still didn't know whether it was going to work!

I backed the new fabric with a firm Vilene and placed the tracing over to mark where the lines would go and with feed dog up I stitched. 

Then came the stretching....

 ....another learning curve, it took two attempts but finally I felt it was good enough to give as a present and think it will look much better when it is mounted and framed.

No more secret projects so now must get back to Unit 5 and my remaining extended samples.

Sunday 29 December 2013

Great Gifts and a secret project

29th December 2013

I had some really lovely gifts for Christmas and thought I would share four with you.

I had these two books on my 'wish list' and have already spent a couple of hours browsing... 

....this has a lot of ideas for texture and hand stitching as well as machining.

My sister lives in London and bought me this...

..a years membership to The Royal School of Needlework based at Hampton Court. This is something we can both do when I visit and I will be sure to report on my blog!!

This next gift was a complete surprise from my daughter...

Beautiful packaging...

...we are going on a marbling course, just the two of us in the class, I am so excited!!!

The colours Jemma uses are beautiful.
 I can see the results from this course together with my handmade paper being made into cards, notelets and book covers.

Now for a small secret project....

Remember I blogged about this piece of wet felting (10th November) made using Merino Fleece and Mohair??

I used some of it in my texturing work and had some left so made a 'gift envelope' ...

..there are a variety of programmed stitches for decoration and the buttons have a tree design because my daughter loves trees!

Just one more secret project to reveal tomorrow then back to my course work!

Saturday 28 December 2013

Another Secret Project

28th December 2013

This project was a gift for my daughter.

I made this picture in Unit 2 with my dyed fabrics and yarns and Catherine liked the colours.

These colours were popular when I had my craft stall and I sold both pictures in these shades!

I decided to make a picture using the same fabrics and yarns but also incorporated my new skills!

This picture was also bigger, 9 inch square.

I began by backing a variety of my fabrics with Bondaweb, then cut out circles....

I also plaited, corded and wove yarns to add variation in colour and texture... came the positioning of all 55 circles!

This took a while....

Corded yarn circle...

..woven (middle right)

...darker circle on the left is plaited and couched yarn...

..when all were in place I ironed remembering to use baking parchment.. came the free stitching and I did it in stages as it took quite a while!

I used a variety of threads including my variegated and some beautiful silk thread, matching the shades with the various fabrics.
 First I machined around the overlapping circles in satin stitch, I think this took about 4 hours in all!

Then I just had fun using all the stitches I had been practising over the last few months, straight, zigzag, granite spirals. It was great to see the picture come alive! 
This also took about 4 hours as I did it in stages.

When I came to mount my creation the backing fabric showed at the edges even though I had made the picture larger than the aperture! Again the dense machining had reduced the size of the backing fabric....

so I shaded in around the edges with straight stitch and variegated thread- problem solved and another lesson learned!

The colour in my photos isn't very good as the natural light was very poor!!

Just 2 more secret projects to reveal then back to creating my extended samples!!

Friday 27 December 2013

Christmas and One Secret Project!

27th December 2013

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

On Christmas Day 8 of us went to my sisters and her home was beautifully decorated, I just loved the 'quirkiness'........

.....this is a wooden 'drawing hand' attached to the wall holding a snowball!!

Table set ready for the feast to follow.

My nephew and his lovely lady are wearing one of my 'secret projects'!

After the present exchange and lots of oohs, ahhs and squeals of delight we sat at the table for  an amazing, tasty feast which resulted in silence at the table -always the sign of good food!

This was followed by a hilarious game of 'team Pictionary'. 

A wonderful day was had by all!!

Boxing Day saw more gift giving, twelve at the table, again amazing food, great company, a quiz and fireworks to end the festivities!!

Sadly I now have to pack for the journey home.....

...more 'secret projects' tomorrow.

Friday 20 December 2013

Honesty and Organza

20th December 2013

I can't believe I haven't posted for 10 days!!
 I have been busy making gifts, sending cards, wrapping presents and icing the cake ready for my trip to London for a lovely family Christmas.

I had coffee and catch up with my friend Jo yesterday and we both said how much we have missed our creative time!! So when I got home I stitched some split honesty seed pods coated in acrylic wax.....

...onto a small square of pale blue organza...

..unfortunately one split when I stitched!!
 I then stitched a backing of white organza and zigzag stitched around the edge.

This looks so different when held up to the window....

I think this would make a lovely window panel but I would have to back the pods with Bondaweb to prevent splitting!

I will finish this post wishing you all a 


My next post will feature my secret projects! 

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Extended Sample Showing Hard Edge Applique

10th December 2013

I don't know where the last 5 days went!!

I have been busy experimenting and making gifts and cards but decided I must do some course work today after a long beach walk in the sun!!

 Sadly there was a lot of sand dune erosion from the storm last week.

I needed to make another extended sample so found some of my dyed fabrics, cut out some circles...

...chose a backing fabric...

..and used Bondaweb to attach....

...then stitched in various widths of satin stitch...

...using different threads including silver grey(not too sparkly!)

I backed this with a fine wadding to give a quilted effect around the applique. I used my blue/green variegated thread in straight stitch with the final circle in fine silver satin stitch.

I enjoyed my project and do like these colours, they remind me of the sea!

This sample could be made into a wall hanging or the front of a cushion!!

My next project for the course is a sample of soft edged applique so watch this space!!

Thursday 5 December 2013

Another Attempt at Shadow Technique!!

5th December 2013

Greetings from a VERY windy Blackpool!

 The promenade was closed as 20ft waves came over the sea wall!! No beach walk today.

Pilates this morning and opticians this afternoon with a little 'play' in between!

I heat cut circles using organza, Sizoflor and silver  florist's paper in different sizes...

..then ironed Bondaweb onto a square of white organza and placed the circles randomly, covering with another piece.. free machined around random circles in silver thread and decided to satin stitch the edge following the circular shape.

This is holding it up against the window...

... the colour of our sky today!!!

I am not sure whether I am on the right track with this work (will have to contact Anne!)

I think I will HAVE to work in colour tomorrow, maybe an extended sample inspired by Kandinsky's circles......

Wednesday 4 December 2013

More Experimenting with Soft Edge Applique.

4th December 2013

I started by ironing a piece of bondaweb backed Lutradur onto linen scrim...

...stitched in gold metallic and cotton variegated thread..

..again some puckering although I backed with orange dyed linen but I quite like the texturing on this sample!

I then stitched a circle on linen, quite densely, and appliqued this in the centre...

The backing linen looks more red in this photo but it actually matches the Lutradur circle!

I do like the way dense free machining distorts the fabrics.

My next little sample I am not pleased with but I will show you anyway.

I found some silk paper I made ages ago, in one of my textile books, and wove 6 strips and placed between two pieces of organza and stitched in a variegated metallic thread to secure, sealing the organza edges with my trusty soldering iron!

The natural light is so poor at the moment that the flash want off!

I held the sample up against the window...

I might try something like this in leaf shapes next time.......