Monday 30 September 2013

Unit 4 -Edges

29th September 2013

Good morning on this lovely Autumnal day, the colours are so beautiful, especially my Virginia Creeper.

I made cards with yesterday's embroidered flowers.

I am now working on Edges in Unit 4.
Fringed, Bound, Layered and your own ideas on decorated edges using everything except soluble fabric!!

I have used all my own dyed fabrics and yarns.

I fringed the edges of 4 squares of fabric :-hessian which is very easy to fringe, linen, cotton and lovely scrim. Scrim is so soft after it has been dyed and very easy to fringe and I also pulled threads from the centre of the fabric which gave texture. I free machined using zigzag stitch to secure.

Next I followed instructions for making a fringe- wind threads around a piece of card then gently remove and place along the bottom of fabric  and stitch. Fold the bottom edge under and stitch, the threads flop over and are then trimmed.

1st attempt using velvet and cotton/silk yarn. I plaited some yarn and couched this near the edge.

2nd attempt-using fringed linen and made the loops bigger to make a longer fringe and decorated the edge with  a programmed flower stitch.

It was quite fiddly getting the threads even!

Bound edges tomorrow....

Playing with the Soldering Iron

30th September 2013

I started by thinking of edges.....

then went on playing!!

Now I must get back to Unit 4!!

Saturday 28 September 2013

More Experimenting with Free Machining

28th september 2013

What a beautiful day! I was walking barefoot on the beach today and even paddling for a minute or two.

Yesterday was really busy with the Macmillan coffee afternoon, but it was great and well worth all the effort from a lot of people as £320 was raised. More details and photos on Joanne's blog:-

This afternoon I used one of my lovely flower wooden stamp blocks to print on a piece of cotton scrim...

I backed this fabric with natural coloured linen/viscose to help with the free machining.

I used shaded threads and was pleased with the effect...

On the next print I tried 2 top threads, red and cerise, and used straight stitch around the edge and filled in with zigzag, making the stitches varying lengths. The effect of using this method was a much thicker, denser stitch. I used a purply/pink variegated using straight stitch for some detail.

I think I may stitch around the shape over a fine wadding to give a quilted effect and hopefully reduce the slight puckering of the scrim. 

It is great having an experiment work, not sure what I will do with these flowers, maybe an aperture card that could be framed, but that is for another day ......

Friday 27 September 2013

Frustrating Threads!!

27th September 2013

Yesterday I started a leaf shape on Solu-Fleece.

I tried 5 different threads and shades for an Autumn leaf and it took me over an hour.... the thread kept breaking, the needle broke, I tried different needles but I still had the problem! I then read all the labels on the threads, cotton and polymide/polyester and the silver metallic thread, the latter was the only one that worked really well, and that was 100% polyester.
So an expensive lesson as I have bought the threads over time by choosing the colours I thought would be useful!!
I will pay a lot more attention next time and choose Gutterman 100% polyester.
Grumble over!

I stitched the outline in free straight stitch then over sewing with narrow/close zigzag. ( I didn't want a stretchy outline!!)
I then stitched 'veins' and thought I had been really careful joining these to the outline.

I was quite pleased with the effect after all the frustration......

until I soaked in warm water to dissolve the soluble....

and discovered that after taking care to make sure the stitching was all attached IT WASN'T!!!

I am determined to use this for something but will have to overstitch to attach.

SO the soluble fabric work will have to be put on hold until I have bought a selection of Polyester threads.

I am now going to decorate my cakes for the Macmillan coffee afternoon and perhaps tomorrow will start on the 'Edges' part of the unit, hope it will be less frustrating....

Thursday 26 September 2013

Experimenting with Soluble Fabric

26th September 2013

Had a busy day, supermarket, Pilates, ironing, making a big pot of minestrone soup and a couple of hours experimenting with soluble fabric and threads!

I decided to use my wonderful soldering iron to make a square aperture in 4 layers of green organza and stitch across the square using free machining and soluble fabric and my silver polyester thread as this does not keep breaking!!

Since I started this course I have never thrown any cut off threads away but keep them all in a special box.

 I decided to 'sandwich' some of these red, purple and sparkly threads with soluble fabric.
 I cut the threads into small pieces and stitched a grid with all the lines very close together, then traced a flower template and stitched again around the shape first with straight stitch then a close, fine zigzag.

I then stitched from the centre out to each petal, cut around the shape and held my breath as I washed this in warm water to dissolve the fabric!

 It worked and I was so pleased with the result.

 When I rinsed the square I saw that 2 of the 'spokes' were not attached!! I really must remember to check carefully in future.

These were still wet after rinsing but I have placed the flower on the square and am quite pleased with the result of my experiment...

I am looking forward to working on the next section of Unit 4 but will be too busy tomorrow baking and helping raise funds for MacMillan, so hopefully at the weekend.....

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Printing and Soluble Fabric

25th September 2013

I was gardening in my local park this morning and very satisfying it was too.

Then took our dog for a long walk along the promenade.

Next decided to print my 'pilates' t-shirt with one of my favourite wooden blocks.

        close up....

I had to paint grass around the tree with a fine brush as I pressed too hard on the block when I was printing and made a smudge but I think it looks okay!

I then printed, using my flower block, on cotton muslin scrim and am hoping to use free machining to enhance. I intend to make cards....

I then 'bit the bullet' and had a go at soluble fabric, the next part of Unit 4.

I used Solu-Fleece soluble fabric with a piece of triple organza from last weeks play with my soldering iron.

I encased the organza with the soluble fabric and stitched using a fine silver metallic thread and it worked really well.

Then I dissolved the fabric in warm water and this is the result...

it was a good learning curve as the second from the bottom was not very successful as I had used zigzag but not remembered to make a straight stitch first so the zigzag lines stretched when the soluble fabric was removed! Also the third from the top did not catch the sides but still looks okay!
I was quite pleased with the result and will try something different tomorrow if I have time!!

I am really enjoying combining various techniques to produce something original. 

Tuesday 24 September 2013

A Brilliant Weekend

24th September 2013

I have had a GREAT weekend in London meeting up with all -well nearly all- the family.
My sister made a superb birthday lunch-Beef Wellington- and my daughter made a cake with lots of chocolate and fresh raspberries and 'roman candle' like candles! It all tasted delicious and there was little conversation when the food was served, always the sign of a good meal!

I was enjoying myself so much I forgot to take any photos of the food.

I made a card and bottle bag for the 'birthday boy' using hessian, soldering iron and simple stitching with some wool twine. The numbers are made from polyester/muslin and the braid from plaited wool twine.

This is my worst photo yet!! Sorry!

The bottle bad is made from hessian with  free machined 'Cheers' embroidered on the front and with  3 shades of  plaited wool twine to make the tie.

This is another sample for the holes in Unit 4 using the soldering iron, 3 layers of organza and a small circle template. I then chose a variety of coloured yarns in shades of red and green and machined them using zigzag stitch to make the braid. 

Maybe it could be used for a festive bookmark gift.

Friday 20 September 2013

Last of Unit 4 Holes.

20th September 2013

I decided to use hessian as a backing for my orange ice dyed fabric as I love the texture and it fringes very easily.

My first design..

free stitched...

second design.. I cut 'flower shapes..

stitched with a variety of threads...

once again apologies for the photos!!

No posts until Wednesday as I am meeting up with my lovely family in London for a celebration birthday lunch!!

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Soldering Iron Fun!

17th September 2013

Spent a couple of hours using some ideas from my book by Margaret Beal-New Ideas in Fusing Fabric.

I used templates to cut 3 layers of organza into a variety of shapes and batons/strips.

Then I fiddled and pondered and pinned onto a piece of my ice dyed linen....

next I stitched using a variety of programmed stitches and attached 2 squares with diagonally cut holes..

these squares were raised from the surface and attached with an organza baton...

I do enjoy making 3D shapes but I must make my holes free stitching samples tomorrow then move onto soluble fabrics. I must stay focussed!!

Sunday 15 September 2013

Holes, Ice Dyed Fabrics and Shrink Polyester

15th September 2013

First the results of my ice dyeing using lemon yellow, scarlet and magenta Procion powders.

                                                    I folded and twisted the fabric

scrunched it

twisted it

and scrunched again. 

Not quite sure what I am going to do with it!!

Apologies for the poor photos!

I then used my soldering iron to make a variety of holes in my 3 layers of organza then stitched it to my dyed linen which I fringed.

I 'cut' a number of long holes and selected a variety of orange yarns from my stash and did some weaving.

Again I cut long holes and stitched 4 pieces together for texture and holes.

Triangular holes and texture 

I think some of these ideas could be used on a larger scale.

My last 'play' of the day was using some Shrink Polyester that I bought from Jan Tillett at the Quilts Show in Birmingham. Needless to say my first attempt didn't quite match her samples! I used a small piece of sponge printed muslin and a piece of 'rusted' silk pinning them to the Shrink Polyester.

                                             Bags by Jan Tillett using this method....

I used my wavy line programmed stitch in variegated thread

and then very lightly steamed the back and this is the result...

It has a puffed effect but think the result would have been better with more space between the rows.

I had so much trouble trying to free machine the silk, the thread kept breaking so I finally used a programmed stitch.

A lot of texture because I had used a number of stitches.

Lots of experimenting with some results more pleasing than others....