Friday 30 August 2013

Extended Sample Unit 3

30th August 2013

I have spent 3 hours planning and stitching today and enjoyed every minute!

'An extended sample is a sample of a technique, but one that you would be happy to show to a client as an example of the kind of work you can do. To show the difference between free machining and using programmed stitches.'

My other samples feature both programmed and free machining so this sample shows only programmed stitches and also stitches using a twin needle.

I began by planning my design and my dyed fabrics and yarn.

Next the bondaweb, fabric and yarn. I chose the fabric/yarn placement and cut out the templates.

This was then ironed onto a backing fabric remembering to use baking parchment!!

I then stitched using a variety of threads including variegated and metallic. The programmed stitches were wavy, straight with a twin needle and the 'joints' were stitched with a twin needle and satin stitch.

The finished sample reminds me of the sea!

 I enjoyed making this sample and was pleased with the result but I did miss free machining as I would have used granite stitch( small circles ) and some shading. 

Perhaps I will use the same template and use free machining to show the difference! 

Tomorrow I leave the house at 6.30 AM!! to travel to Hull for my weekend paper making course. I will try to remember to take photos!! 

Watch this space......

Thursday 29 August 2013

Whip Stitch Samples for Unit 3

29th August 2013

Just spent a couple of hours practising Whip Stitch. Two different coloured threads are used and the top tension is supposed to be tight to bring the lower thread up to create a speckled effect. This isn't always successful on my machine as changing the Auto tension doesn't seem to make much difference!

I tried pedal fast and hand slow, both pedal and hand the same and used different fabrics. The best results seemed to be on finer fabric with the light coloured thread on top and a dark thread in the bobbin.

This is dyed linen. I started in the centre with top red, purple bobbin and alternated with purple top/red bobbin. Not a lot of 'speckling'. The two outer rings were stitched in zigzag. This gave a good textured line. I made the lines wavy on purpose!

Experimenting with red/purple combination on a linen/viscose.

This was stitched on muslin. The fabric puckered as I didn't use a hoop or stabiliser fabric. The lower thread can be seen more easily on this fabric and more so when the dark thread is in the bobbin.

I printed the flower shapes in orange fabric paint. The larger flower was printed using a wooden block and  a dried poppy head for the small flower. The latter gave a very pretty, delicate shape. 

I used an orange variegated thread with blue in the bobbin, but the blue didn't come through very well on this dense cotton fabric. I free machined in a variety of ways and was quite pleased with the colour and texture.

My next task is an extended sample using programmed stitches, not sure what colour yet, perhaps I need to do some more dyeing.....

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Etsy Shop

27th August 2013

No time to be creative today as I really needed to do some housework!!

I have also spent 2 hours updating my Etsy Shop with Kindle covers, books with removable covers and fabric pictures, all original and would make lovely gifts!!

Monday 26 August 2013

Artisan Apron

26th August 2013

Yesterday I made my Artisan Apron from a pattern bought at the Festival of Quilts from

Janet Clare

This lovely lady was wearing her apron and I loved it and bought the pattern.

I chose linen and cotton, I know linen creases but I love wearing it! 

It is years since I have done any dressmaking and I was quite nervous cutting out the pattern and double checked everything!!

This process made me want to make an item of clothing!

It took about 4 hours from beginning to end and I enjoyed every minute.

                                                              The back view ( better than the front)

I was tempted to decapitate!!!

A number of people said they liked it at the craft fair and asked where I had bought the pattern so I gave them my blog address!!

I made my apron reversible so the other side is patterned with grey pockets. 
This matches my stall which has grey and white cloths and grey and white striped bags. 

I intend to wear this apron when I am 'textile working' and will not do any washing, ironing, cooking or housework when I am wearing it.... maybe I will wear it all the time!!!!!

Sunday 25 August 2013

Sampler of flowers using ice dyed fabric and free machining.

25th August 2013

First I would like to thank you for leaving comments, it is so good to have some interaction, especially as my course is on line and not in a class. So, if you have questions or want to know more detail please get in touch.

I have had a busy couple of days!!
Friday was spent sorting my fabrics, ribbons and all things crafty!! It took most of the day but I think I will now be able to find things more easily.

Yesterday I took Jack for a long walk along the promenade, it was very windy and the sea was pounding against the sea wall so not many people around, just how I like it!!

As soon as I arrived home, after coffee, I started on another sampler using flower shapes and ice dyed scrim, calico, linen, cotton and velvet.

After backing the fabric with bondaweb I traced the flower shapes and cut out. 

I had intended to place the smaller shape on top of the larger but after trying this decided against the idea and layered and overlapped instead. I placed this on sponge printed calico and used fine wadding for a quilted effect.

Then I had a great time free machining using a variety of threads. I must have spent 3 hours stitching and finished the project this morning.

I think tiny beads would also look good as an embellishment.

This idea could be used on a cushion, wall hanging or picture in any shade to match the colour scheme in a room.

This is the largest sample so far, 9 inches square but could be made larger or smaller!!

I have really enjoyed working on my last two samplers and I love working with vibrant colours.

Now I must make a start on my Artisan Apron....

Thursday 22 August 2013

Blue/green sampler

22nd August 2013

Part of Unit 3 is to make pieces using techniques learnt so far.

I really love these blue/green dyed fabrics and threads so this morning I decided to experiment and play with free machining.

                                         Linen and cotton.

I couched some of my dyed yarn onto a strip of dyed linen using a long zigzag and variegated thread.  

I then backed the fabrics with wonderful Bondaweb and cut into 4cm squares.
I also machined pin tucks into some fabric and backed this but forgot to take a photo!!

I positioned the squares onto a fine wadding and backing fabric.

I stitched around the edge using a double needle, 2 shades of variegated thread and medium satin stitch.

The inner square edges were stitched with a double needle, 2 shades of thread and feather stitch. 

Next came the play!!

 I decorated the squares to show a variety of free machining stitches and this resulted in a 'sampler' which might be useful if anyone wants me to make a picture, wall hanging or cushion at a later date!

My next project is nothing to do with my course, I am going to make a special reversible apron.
I bought the pattern in the Birmingham Quilts exhibition so watch this space...

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Napkin Project and Birthday Books

20th August 2013

I arrived home last night to a mountain of washing and an empty fridge, the joys of having a son at home!!
This morning was spent shopping, washing and collecting Jack from his holiday hotel who gave me a rapturous welcome and we enjoyed a long walk.

My son then presented me with 2 books he had bought me for my birthday. I was really thrilled by his choice and forgave him the washing and empty fridge!!!

These are my other birthday books giving me lots of ideas!!

Spent a couple of hours sitting in the garden looking at my new books. 

Then I finished my napkin decoration for the Napkin Project.

This was a plain white napkin and I decided to use only red thread. The edges are blanket stitch, the corners have a spider web 3D flower, the centre has a free machined Whip Stitch flower and I used programmed stitches around the edge. I do hope the dementia residents enjoy using my napkin!

If you would like to find out more about this project the blog is

Sunday 18 August 2013

A Day in Kew Gardens

18th August 2013

This morning my sister and I walked from Richmond to Kew along the path beside the Thames. It was extremely busy with walkers and cyclists and our first destination was The Orangery for a well deserved cup of coffee!

The park was so busy with people of all ages and nationalities enjoying the many delights of Kew.

The theme for Kew was edible plants and vegetables and there were a number of beds planted with a huge variety of pumpkins.

We could see some toadstool structures in the distance and went for a look! I really liked the way the canes had been woven around a metal shape to create these large structures/works of art.
                                                      My sister insisted on one photo of me!!

                                           These were at least 10 feet tall.

I loved the shape and colour of these and you can see one of the many pumpkin beds in the foreground.

These are formal beds planted with a huge variety of vegetables.

And now a flavour of Kew....

                                         These alium seed heads were HUGE!! almost the size of a football.


Wish my photography was better as this was really beautiful and there was also the sound of the waterfall.

                                         I loved this grass bed swaying in the wind.
                                         Had to touch these!!

Back to Blackpool tomorrow and also back to textile blogging.....

Saturday 17 August 2013

A great day out!

17th August 2013

Just arrived back after a very enjoyable day on King's Road.

My daughter and I went to The Saatchi Gallery where the theme was paper.

These were amazing paper sculptures created from various paper bags!! The artist had cut out an incredibly delicate tree shape from the side of the bags, these shapes then dropped down inside the bag.
Here is a small selection.

                                          The side of the bag on a perspex shelf.

                                        Looking into the front of the bag where the tree shape is still attached.

This was made from a thick card cognac box.

Made from a black carrier bag.

The artist.

This 'flower arrangement' was actually created using coloured newspaper, wire and glue and this wasn't obvious until we looked really closely. My daughter is in the picture also taking a photo.

A close up of a 'rose'.

We then visited the interactive gallery and had fun!! 

Afterwards we sampled some delicious food from the market in the square outside the gallery.

A very enjoyable day!