Sunday 30 June 2013

Cow Parsley Picture using free machining

30th June 2013

Greetings from a very windy Blackpool!

Today I cut a piece from my dyed linen fabric and decided to print a background of leaves using the leaves I had previously dried.        

This time I used a brush(instead of a sponge) to paint each leaf before placing it on the cloth. I then took a firm cardboard roll and rolled quite firmly over the leaf. The result was much clearer using this method.

Next I used wadding and felt to back this fabric to give a quilted effect. I then free machined the 'cow parsley' onto the fabric using variegated threads and a narrow satin stitch for the stems. I also gently sponge printed yellow and a touch of orange into the background. (This idea came from the 'Stitch' magazine.)

I am going to hand embroider white french knots on my train journey to London tomorrow!

Friday 28 June 2013

More whip stitch and lavender sachets

28th June 2013

 Another wellies and waterproofs day so I spent 3 very pleasant hours stitching and creating!!

I made up some more lavender bags, very relaxing and I posted some photos of them on the 'lookwhativemade' site.

I do hope these sell at the craft fair or family and friends will be having them for presents!!

I then experimented with Whip Stitch.

I used cotton fabric with a thick fabric backing as I didn't want to use a hoop because it sometimes catches on the foot or machine.

I thought I would start with normal tension with purple thread on top and variegated pink in the bobbin.
 I increased the top tension on each new row of stitching, there was some difference but the stitch wasn't as textured as on the silk. I think it must have been the thickness of the fabric and the effect is much better with a plain thread.

I then used the same cotton fabric without the backing. The stitch was much more textured but I still didn't like the variegated thread. I had difficulty holding the fabric so did not have as much control over the lines.

My last piece was worked on muslin using a hoop!!

I had a much better result. I had cream thread on top and red or green in the bobbin. I also tried a variegated metallic thread in the bobbin for the heart shape and have finally decided that a plain thread is much more effective.

Again the faster the machine and slower the hoop movement the better the result.

I think this stitch will be really useful for landscapes and outlining and is easier than cable stitch as you can see the result immediately.

I think I might make a Cow Parsley picture tomorrow. Until then have a good weekend.

Thursday 27 June 2013


27th June 2013

I had to wear  waterproofs and wellies to walk the dog today!!

I made 4 cards using my dyed fabrics and free machine embroidery, unfortunately only 2 photos were ok.
 I decided to write on the back of the card the materials used to show that they are unique! Even I couldn't make another exactly the same.

I also cut samples from my space dyed fabrics an yarn for my sketch book and prepared 10 different lavender bags ready for stitching tomorrow.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Unit 3 Whip Stitch

26th June 2013

I decided to 'bite the bullet' and try Whip Stitch. I have been telling myself it is only a new stitch, there is nothing to worry about!

I put purple thread on top and red in the bobbin, set my tension to 8, had a little practise on a spare piece of silk fabric then put my silk in the hoop and started.
It was really interesting as the faster I machined,while moving the hoop slowly, the thicker the stitch became and no purple thread visible!
When I machined and moved the hoop fairly quickly the line was much finer and some purple top thread was visible and more importantly I enjoyed trying the stitch. Next time I will try different threads and fabrics and see what happens-nearly as much fun as dyeing!!

I then made 3 more lavender bags and my room smells wonderful.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

4th picture

25th June 2013

I decided to use my bright dyed fabric and yarn for my 4th square picture.

I ironed linen, velvet, calico and yarn onto Bondaweb then cut out 16 small squares. These were ironed onto a piece of linen.

Variegated thread and satin stitch were used to bind the edges. Then I just had fun free machining patterns on the squares.

After I had finished the postman came with 1 kilo of lavender!! The parcel smelled wonderful.
I made a lavender bag with some dyed embroidered muslin and silk ribbon.

This sachet can be placed in a drawer, on a coat hanger or hang on a hook in a bedroom.
Another item for the Craft Fair!

Monday 24 June 2013

A variety of stitching

24th June 2013

I have had a brilliant afternoon being creative with fabrics/yarns I dyed last week.





                                           White muslin

                                               Bamboo/silk knitting yarn

This picture was made by laying the yarn on Bondaweb in wavy lines, then I used the wavy stitch on my machine to secure. I backed a piece of the linen with Bondaweb then cut out a circle which I ironed on the thread backing. I then used variegated thread to make satin stitch lines. I am happy with the result.

For the next piece I backed various fabrics from my dyeing with Bondaweb and cut out circles . I layered them on a piece of calico.

Then I just had a great time playing with stitches, satin stitch binds the edges in various widths and lengths. I then free machined the shapes some with double thread. I think it took about 2 hours to complete the stitching but it was a very enjoyable 2 hours!!

I have lots of dyed fabric and yarn left so who knows what I will create next-watch this space!!

Sunday 23 June 2013

PhD (Projects half Done) work today !!

23rd June 2013

The wind and rain woke me very early this morning so I decided to complete some projects ready for the Craft Fair. I have made 2 padded.Kindle covers.

Also 2 felt book covers with a needle felted design on the front. I really enjoyed making these.

This scene was made using Merino fleece, free machining and some french knots were used for the white, yellow and centre of the poppies to create texture.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Space dyeing

22nd June 2013

I wanted to dye background fabrics for flowers and seascape colours for another picture.

I had prepared muslin, calico, linen, scrim, embroidered muslin and bamboo/silk yarn for dyeing by washing and then soaking in cold water.

I layered the fabric in folds and spooned the dye over lengthways. I used diluted dyes as I wanted more subtle shades. I mixed different strengths of blue and yellow dye to make make(hopefully) shades of green. The calico was the top layer and I sprinkled some yellow and blue Procion powder in some areas.
 It is great to try and create with dyes because you always finish with a surprise!!

  The beginning

I forgot to add the linen to the bowl so put it in the remainder of all the dyes!!

The result was...

very subtle shades of green.


Lovely for a couched background or seascape.


This was more blue than green and my least favourite!!


You can see where I have added the powder but I do like the tie/dye effect.

These fabrics are embroidered muslin and I want to use this fabric to make lavender bags.

White muslin

I will make another picture with these fabrics and yarns tomorrow.

The shades in my fabrics are more blue/green but I am happy with them. Next time I will either use a green dye or try adding more yellow! Experimenting is really good the fun!

Thursday 20 June 2013

Machine stitched picture

20th June 2013

Today I made a picture using the fabric and yarn that I dyed earlier in the week.

I took one of my yarn bundles and proceeded to couch. I used a wide zigzag in variegated thread.
It took about 45 minutes to cover the fabric with yarn.

I was pleased with the richness of the colours.

I then cut a circle out of scrim that had been backed in Bondaweb and ironed this in the centre of the fabric. I changed the thread, still variegated, from pinks to blue/green and made a smaller width satin stitch diagonally across the circle. I then mounted it in a frame and was so pleased with the result I signed and dated it!! (in pencil)

I really enjoyed the whole process of making this picture.

Wednesday 19 June 2013


19th June 2013

Today I have made cards with the yarn and fabric I dyed. Hope you like them!

I free machined some purple scrim onto a thin layer of wadding to give a quilted effect. I ironed some yarn onto Bondaweb then stitched this in place using variegated thread. This was then inserted into an aperture card.

The next 3 cards were made by stitching the yarns, backed with Bondaweb to scrim or linen. I then fringed the edges. I like the tie-dyed effect on the linen.

I think I will try a picture tomorrow with couched yarn.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Results of Dyeing

18th June 2013

I have had a lovely day. I went to a garden centre near Garstang and bought some new pots and plants, had lunch then walked the dog along the canal and picked some grasses to press.

When I walked into my kitchen this morning this is what I saw through the window.

I was so pleased to find the colours were still vibrant when the fabric was dry.

As I was ironing the fabrics I was planning my next project!

I was delighted with the colours in the yarn although it took me nearly an hour to untangle them!!

I also looked at work by Paul Klee, Andy Goldsworthy and Hundertwasser for ideas in design.

Here are some of my favourites.

 I must use my yarn tomorrow and maybe some of the fabric.