This was the intriguing title of our full day workshop with Josie Storey at Embroiderers’ Guild last Saturday, so armed with some very lush velvet and the usual sewing stuff I headed off without any real idea of what I was going to be doing!
The technique we were going to be playing with involved ironing prepainted bondaweb onto velvet and then using the stickiness to embellish with anything and everything to create a rich textured surface.
I started with some gorgeous Oliver Twists hand dyed velvet called ‘Stormy Seas’ and so I had to go for wave shapes,
with silk waste, carrier rod strippings
and scraps of painted melted plastic.
By this point I’d decided this was going to be the next piece in my travelling book, so when I got home I layered it up with wadding and calico and quilted round the wave shapes with my sewing machine. From this:
No hand embroidery – yet…
Posted in Experimenting, Travelling books | Tagged Bondaweb, Embroiderers' Guild, experimenting, fused fabric, hammered texture, sea, travelling book, velvet | 7 Comments »
Finally got onto two of the sides! From this:
It does look like tiny fields from above.
Wish I’d recorded the hours its taken so far. But then, probably not a good idea – I’d have a better idea of how many hours there were still left to do!
Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
Theatre has rather taken the place of embroidery for the last couple of weeks and apart from a few more patches of french knots on the encrusted piece, nothing much else has happened until this weekend when I was inspired by a new batch of broken jewellery to make something to add to my Etsy shop.
The starting point was a pink and gold diamanté bracelet. The catch was sound but the middle section of the bracelet was broken and quite a lot of the diamantés were missing from the strap section. I removed the broken bit and once I’d reset the spare diamantés from the broken section into the gaps in the strap, I had this:
For the middle section I decided to needlefelt over a slim metal hoop which had been an old earring drop with some leaf green roving and then to define the edge I added a fringe of green, gold and pink seed and bugle beads.
Putting it in place to gauge the effect.
Now for the hard bit, working out what to add to the front of the needlefelted circle. This was my first try – a beaded stem and beaded fly stitch leaves with woven spiders’ web flowers.
it was late last night and I was taking against the embroidered flowers so I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. I liked them no better in the morning so went looking for some flower beads with which to replace them. All the flower beads were too bulky but I did find some vintage gold tone bead caps which with seed bead centres worked much better.
Then all that needed to be done was to use jump rings to connect the central corsage piece with the straps.
And one sad and sorry bracelet restored…
…and in my etsy shop waiting for a new owner.
Posted in Jewellery, Upcycling | Tagged beaded fly stitch leaves, beading, bracelet, etsy, etsy shop, jewellery, needlefelt, repurposing, theatre, upcycling, woven spiders' web stitch | 6 Comments »
Sounds like something you might need to get some cream for…! However in this case it’s just an update on the embroidered veneer piece I’m working to restore the top of a Victorian mahogany writing box. Just before Autumn Term started it looked like this:
I’ve worked on it on and off around directing three nights a week and my eternally ‘interesting’ day job and I’m starting to feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with it!
As ‘Cheshire Cats’ is in theatre this week (with two small yet very appreciative audiences so far) my role is to sit back and quietly support. And of course, stitch.
Perfect for lowish light levels in the dressing rooms and working while I have half an ear on the show.
Posted in General Embroidery, Upcycling | Tagged encrusting, eyelets, french knots, upcycled box, upcycling | 7 Comments »
The final person in our group was Christina and her piece was entitled ‘Plenty More In The Sea!’
Unlike my other contributors, Christina’s inspiration had come from a piece of glorious fabric first with the sea element second. That’s not a complaint, just my delight in the glimpses these books have given into other people’s creative processes.
It must have been fabulous too, by what you can see in the bodies of the fish.
Hand embroidery stitches to enhance the fish shapes and seeding and french knots to texture the background.
It’s really made me want to play with reverse appliqué a bit!
The show I’m currently directing – ‘Cheshire Cats’ – is in theatre next week so there should be time for sewing back stage even if the week is probably going to be crazily busy. Fingers crossed for enough audience for us to make a profit. Even a small one would be nice!
Posted in Theatre, Travelling books | Tagged french knots, reverse appliqué, Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club, seeding, theatre, travelling book | 6 Comments »
The next addition to my travelling book was provided by Lynda who when she first took the book said, “Oooh, beach huts!” Not quite what I ended up with!
But another wonderful response which led us to a great conversation about memories of eating crab and visiting the coast. Like Lynda, harvesting food from the sea was an important part of my childhood too. We lived a couple of miles from the sea and my dad and uncle jointly owned an off shore fishing boat, like a large dinghy, which they would often take out for pleasure, long lining for dabs, whiting and mackerel, trawling for sweet brown shrimps and also catching the odd crab. I only went out with them once (and nearly froze to death!) but I learned at a very young age to dress a crab (including getting the meat out of every joint of every one of the ten legs!) and boil and peel brown shrimps. They are gorgeous, but it takes ages to get enough for a good sandwich!
I really like the different media she has used to create the pot and the crab is just cute.
I love crabs – they have such attitude! – and the vintage beads work really well as beach pebbles.
One of the best things has been the excitement of seeing what someone else has done in the book and every time being blown away by how different their response is to my thoughts and ideas.
Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »