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My inspiration for my page in Janet’s Travelling Book came from finding the rusted fragments I was working on for an art quilt a while ago, including a fragment of very old soft sheeting scattered with rusted marks. I added a scrap of rust coloured silk, variegated thread, silk ribbon and some rusty washers and sat down to stitch.

I started by attaching the silk with a line of back stitch and the largest washer was couched down with metallic Madeira thread.

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Then I added parallel lines of kantha stitching with the variegated thread, weaving around blobs of rust and paint, (I think the fabric was part of an old paint cloth I ‘borrowed’ from my dad’s workshop when I brought home a load of rusted bits a few years ago!) the washer and the silk scrap.

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French knots on the silk strip in a variegated turquoise and rust coloured silk ribbon were joined by metallic thread straight stitches and then I couched some brass watch cogs into some of the spaces.

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I added an explanatory paragraph with little photos of some of my rusted fragments…

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…and attached the finished rusty piece to the next page.

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Janet’s spattered page backgrounds work really well with the colours of the fabric and threads.

This was my starting point:

dscn2537The only other stipulation we were all given was that the finished article must be three- dimensional in some way. I had an initial load of over-complicated and grandiose ideas, but soon realised my best bet was to stick to what I know so I decided to make a book.

I’ve made what I call lotus-fold books before, with origami square bases stuck back to back and opening like a concertina, but several years ago my middle one came home from Guides with  one she had made which opened up and folded back on itself to make a star. I’d always loved the idea and it was perfect for this project.

I started by making a double sided copy of the carol ‘Ding Dong, Merrily on High’ and ageing it with a deftly wielded tea bag. Odd coffee granules added a foxed look and then I cut the sheets into squares and folded them into a set of square bases.

20161210_230756_HDR.jpgThe next stage was to stick the square faces together to form the star shape. You can see the gap at the bottom right hand corner which is where the covers will go.

20161210_231039_HDR.jpgNext job was to embroider the cover. I experimented with applique and various other techniques on some lovely dull gold silk  but came back to needlelace using some Mulberry Silks I’ve been saving for a special occasion. The medium and heavy weights make the most fabulous needlelace.

20161215_171828_HDR.jpgAlso, one of my required elements was couching, and the stitch is buttonhole couching.

20161215_232203_HDR.jpgMy lace element was the bow and after I had added gold kid leather clappers to the bells the cover was laced over a piece of mounting board.

20161217_103827_HDR.jpgI trapped a piece of gold ribbon between the cover and the endpapers as a closure when I stuck them together…

20161217_104141_HDR.jpg…and did the same with the back.

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As well as tying a bow to close the book up, the ribbons also hold it closed and form the hanging loop when you bring the covers together to make it into an ornament.

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And best of all, Sandra was delighted with it. :o)

Last Saturday was our December meeting at Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild and as well as Stitch Club, lovely Christmassy treats, our usual mega raffle and a workshop with our own Liz on making dream-catcher style Christmas tree ornaments, it was the grand unveiling of the Christmas Consequences which Helen set us at the AGM back in September. The scope and imagination of what everyone involved had produced in response to a handful of words was truly amazing.

Helen judged the winner, but members also voted by putting coins (one coin, one vote, with the value of the coin being irrelevant) into a saucer by the side of each  piece of work. All the coins go into our funds.

Just a taster of the work on show and apologies if I’ve missed anybody’s out! Helen’s choice was Janet’s beautiful mistletoe headband at the back of this first photo.

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The runner up Member’s Choice was this delightful partridge in a pear tree by one of out newest members – sorry, can’t remember her name. :os

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Lynda’s mince pie crusts actually lift off to reveal ‘mincemeat’ (chocolate covered raisins).

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The Member’s Choice winner was Sandra’s witty picture.

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Looking back at the photos, there is at least one person’s I’ve missed – my own! Well done, Alex! Not that it matters as I’ll blog about my ‘consequence’ in a bit more detail later.

 

Saturday sort of got away from me. I knew I wasn’t going to make the morning session of our Embroiderers’ Guild meeting but I had high hopes of making the afternoon. That was a mistake. I finally walked through the door at about 3pm and by the time I’d caught my breath, looked round at all the various boards, tables and displays and sorted my travelling book there was only enough time for chatting (always good, though) and putting literally a handful of stitches in one of the activities that our new chair, Ruth, had organised for us.

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Pauline had finished her bookmark and was happy to let me photograph it.

 

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Another group was stitching heart shaped decorations. This one is Julie’s:

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Debbie and Janet pulled together their matryoshka with the examples Ruth had already stitched for me to photograph.

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There was also another flower shaped decoration or similar but I didn’t manage to find any worked examples of that. It looked like a nice selection of fun things to stitch and even though I only had an hour, it was lovely to relax with some straightforward stitching and good company.

I’ve also been making some more ribbon roses to turn into pendants. This one has fly stitch leaves, stem stitch stems and lazy daisy sepals in variegated coton a broder with a woven spider’s web rose and french knot buds in pale blue silk ribbon.

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And this one has fly stitch leaves, split stitch stems and lazy daisy sepals in variegated perle with a woven spider’s web rose and french knot buds in crimson silk ribbon.

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A weekend of nice quick little projects.

My Travelling Book page was quick, easy and finished a full day before the Guild meeting, which is virtually unheard of!

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My Frister and Rossmann rose to the occasion yet again, stitching happily through a sandwich of cotton calico and crinkle rayon with cotton in the bobbin and golden coloured rayon in the top to define the edges of the fish.

Seeing how well it coped with the rayon, I thought I’d try metallic Gutermann thread to just highlight the inside of the fins and the main body. Metallic thread? Piece of cake.

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Silver sequins and pale blue beads for the eyes and they were finished!

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I know they are gold but they made me think of the herrings – the ‘silver darlings’  – which were such an important part of the economy of East Anglia and in the lives of my dad’s side of the family, who were trawlermen. And then it was a short step to the words of a folk song I grew up with: Windy Old Weather.

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So on Saturday off the silver darlings went on the next round of the Travelling Book project!

I’m still vaguely irritated about not being able to finish the french knot project so have been knitting socks instead and trying not to think about how fast I seem to be hurtling towards Christmas. Then I realised it was Guild this Saturday; time for the Travelling Books to set off on their third round and I still hadn’t done mine. I’m going to use some of the printing I did at Chris Gray’s workshop in the summer and it’s got this far:

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Not a single stitch in it. Oops. Guess what I need to do when I finish writing this…

But first I thought I’d share some of the pages that other people have stitched for me on the theme of The Sea.

Pam’s beach huts on a pieced patchwork background:

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Lorna’s paper string technique:

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Eilleen’s ‘Water Babies’ inspired underwater scene:

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Helen’s Rod Stewart ‘Sailing’ ships against a textured painted fabric background.

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Pauline’s impression of the Barrier Reef from a recent visit. The background is transfer printed using wrapping paper ironed onto calico!

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Mary gave me this delicious looking 3D crab.

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And finally Debbie interpreted one of her lovely photos taken at Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire in layers of fabric and stitch.

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They are all delightful – thanks everyone!

It seems that you can’t get away from Black Friday even in this country, so if you can’t beat them, join them. I’m offering a 25% discount on orders over £5 in my Etsy shop until the 5th of December. The code to enter at the checkout is: IFYOUCANTBEATTHEM

 

I put the final french knot into my huge piece for the Victorian Box Project  two days ago and after nearly 15 months, it was a fabulous feeling!

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I stabilised the back before I sent to bed so it could dry overnight and the next morning got the box out ready to attach the stitching. So excited! I laid it over the top of the box and stretched it over the sides and that was then I discovered that it had shrunk somewhere and wasn’t going to fit. Fortunately I have some leeway around the edges, but it’s back to the drawing board for the moment.

So to cheer myself up I picked up the brown and gold sea glass watch case pendant I showed a couple of posts ago.

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I love those tiny nuggets of very rare yellow sea glass I picked up at Seaham and the colours work perfectly with the watch case.

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I’ve also started a real upcycled piece, creating something from nothing. I started with an offcut of some hand made felt I was cutting up for another project and a piece of bent gold coloured wire that came out of a job lot of broken jewellery. Trimming the felt slightly I evened up the shape and attached the wire with straight stitches in fine silk thread. The longer stitches were topped with french knots – what else! – in a heavier mercerised cotton and I used the same thread for running stitch around the edge.

 

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I attached a pelmet vilene backing with beaded blanket stitch…

 

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…and an odd link I took off a vintage rolled gold watch strap yesterday will make the perfect bale to turn it into a pendant.