Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘General Embroidery’ Category

At the end of October, just before it shuts up and snuggles down for the winter, I went with some friends to visit the textiles collection at Gawthorpe Hall. The items on show were all stunning and inspirational but I fell completely in love with this little early 20th century peony slip worked in Pekinese stitch.

IMG_20191030_123455.jpg

I love the texture and the layering and was completely inspired to do some of my own. Pekinese Stitch was one of the first stitches I learned from my mother’s Mary Thomas’ Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches as a child. It’s a variety of laced back stitch so an ideal one for a beginner to learn. I rediscovered it recently as a beautifully textured edging stitch, but although Mary Thomas does say it can be used as a filling stitch, I’d never considered it.

My first sample is on a piece of Japanese silk kimono fabric with stranded cotton.

IMG_20191123_124507.jpg

The shape was far too fiddly to work well – getting a very rounded loopy stitch into the points of the leaf was not easy! But I persevered and with a little bit of cheating to fill in those pointy bits, manage to finish it.

IMG_20191128_105653.jpg

I was unexpectedly given a ticket and a lift to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate last Friday and one of my purchases was a spool of vintage metal thread in a lovely soft gold. Perfect for couching around the edge.

IMG_20191201_111451.jpg

Second shape needed to be interesting but without the tricky infills, so I chose a paisley, again stitched on Japanese kimono silk with stranded cottons.

IMG_20191201_140240.jpg

Definitely a better choice!

IMG_20191201_234908.jpg

It has an almost woolly look and texture.

IMG_20191202_000754.jpg

Finding the different gradations of stranded cotton was the most challenging bit so my next thought is to use a single cotton but in a variegated thread.

Read Full Post »

This month’s Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a talk given by the very talented Jessica Grady, whose vibrant work includes embellishments made from all sorts of upcycled materials.

In the summer, to link with this talk, our chair gave us all an identical pack of bits and pieces to create something. I did blog about the start of my piece back in September when I hadn’t read the instructions and thought it had to be done for October’s meeting!

My starting point was the pale green tubing and a huge metal ring, to which I added a copper coloured earring middle and a holed limpet shell.

IMG_20190920_172552

There were more jump rings in the pack which I stitched down with random straight stitches to echo the big one…

IMG_20191018_122734.jpg

…and I also found a broken agate slice pendant which was a good colour match for the copper earring.

IMG_20191018_122738.jpg

Next I added turquoise coloured beads from the pack.

IMG_20191018_160616.jpg

Using the same metallic gold thread for all the stitching helped to bring it together. A few more smaller jump rings from my tool box and some gifted flat beads completed it and I even manged to get it mounted three days before the meeting!

IMG_20191121_202643.jpg

Needless to say, all the entries were amazing and incredibly different, give that we all had the same starting point.

IMG_20191123_104844.jpg

IMG_20191123_104853.jpg

The other finish for the meeting were the embroidered Folk Art doves that will decorate our Christmas tree at the local Festival of Trees. They were a lovely fun, relatively quick stitch. Mine looks like this:

IMG_20191117_233234.jpg

And these are some of his friends:

IMG_20191123_104931.jpg

Even though a few more arrived later, there isn’t enough here to fill a six foot tree, so the chair has been frantically stitching over the last couple of months to add extra additions to the flock!

Read Full Post »

October’s Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a brilliantly packed full day workshop with Fran Holmes based on teabags.

IMG_20191026_142641

Fran brought along loads of samples she had stitched using a base of dyed, opened out and ironed teabags with added lace and hand and machine embroidery for inspiration.

IMG_20191026_142648.jpg

 

Then it was our turn. We had been asked to bring some tea bags of our own, and I was quite pleased with the effect where a fruit tea bag had leaned up against an ordinary one and they two had bled into each other, but mine were nothing compared with the amazing patterns Fran had got on the ones she had done for us in our kits.

We experimented with all sorts of things, including various iron on products, foils, printing, inks, paints and stamps and so busy was the day that I didn’t actually add any stitching until the afternoon!

We ended up with four different bases for further stitching.

The first two were a mixture of lace, tea bags and net.

IMG_20191026_120224.jpg

I added some watercolour detailing on the lace flowers of this one.

IMG_20191026_120229.jpg

Then a base for stamping in acrylics.

IMG_20191026_125851 cropped.jpg

And lastly one with a subtle shimmery foil underlay which I layered with torn silk ribbon and a stamp.

IMG_20191026_143139.jpg

All four lovely backgrounds, ready for stitching.

IMG_20191026_143155.jpg

I finally managed a few french knots…

IMG_20191118_120755.jpg

Great workshop and lovely to do something outside my usual range.

Read Full Post »

Sorting some of my beachcombed treasures led to a couple of pieces of jewellery. First was a chunk of school ruler which had frosted beautifully in the waves. I paired it with a piece of beachcombed metal swarf with a lovely milled texture to make a brooch, now available here in my Etsy shop.

IMG_20190928_085517.jpg

Then I managed to find two vintage panel bracelets which are great for setting with sea glass and pottery like this one. There is just something about blue and white sea-washed china that I love.

IMG_20191004_100354.jpg

I also like to use panel bracelets to turn groupings of odd vintage earrings into unique assemblage bracelets. The theme that developed here was floral soft blues and greys with a central enamelled dragonfly. Available here in my Etsy shop.

DSCN6144.JPG

I also managed to list the brooch I made during show week from a scrap of felted woollen jumper, a vintage kilt pin and an odd earring drop and it’s available here.

DSCN6171.JPG

Definitely in my blue period!

I’ve also had a bit of a spurt with one of the pelmet vilene accordion book memory journals I’m working on. This one is based on a visit we made at the end of March to the North Sea Observatory and Anderby Creek beach in Lincolnshire. The shell strewn beach was unlike anything I’ve ever seen on the North Sea coast and then we had a stroll along the sand dunes to the lovely Anderby Beach Cafe for lunch before heading back home.

IMG_20190711_150409.jpg

I stitched a fragment with cast on stitch and one of the big flat holed oyster shells in the summer but then things lapsed until a piece of evenweave gave me an idea to do a piece of pulled thread work. I used natural coloured silk thread and Diamond Stitch to create a random pattern like ripples in the sand.

IMG_20191011_154054.jpg

Then I added some dried seaweed, a clam shell with a hole in and a little piece of driftwood.

IMG_20191011_165830.jpg

IMG_20191011_165752.jpg

I love the very clever Anderby Beach Cafe logo which uses part of the structure of a traditional deck chair as the initial ‘A’ and the hot dog I had for lunch that day, using local butcher’s sausages was delicious. So that quickly led to a hand painted and stitched applique ‘receipt’ on calico, featuring a splodge of ‘tomato sauce’ to remind me of how much I enjoyed my lunch!

IMG_20191013_000821.jpg

Ideas forming for the North Sea Observatory and the Cloud Bar…!

Read Full Post »

In the end, Baby Leaf-tailed Dragon wasn’t finished for show week and in total, I only managed to put half a dozen stitches in him on stage the entire week, most of which had to be unpicked and restitched later! But ‘The Fifth Elephant’ went well and we had lots of positive comments from Pratchett fans, some of whom had travelled some distance to come and see the show.  No rest for the am dram wicked though – last performance of ‘The Fifth Elephant’ on Saturday and tonight (Monday) is the first casting reading for panto!

I did manage to get some stitching done in the interval though, so all the Bayeux Stitch is completed and I’ve started the couched outline. It neatens the edge up a treat.

IMG_20191006_104838.jpg

Since the Baby Leaf-tailed Dragon and his frame were props for a scene in Act 1, I had to find something else to sew before curtain up and I decided to experiment with a banner style brooch using an odd kilt pin. I had a few small pieces left of a wool jumper I felted a while ago and turned variously into a cushion cover, a pair of mittens and some earring cases.

I added some commercial grey marl felt and an odd earring drop…

IMG_20190927_123017.jpg

…blanket stitch, french knots…

IMG_20190927_123033.jpg

…sequins, a bead, split stitch and detached chain stitch…

IMG_20190927_214704.jpg

…before finishing with a kantha stitched back ground in shimmery blending filament, a beaded blanket stitch edging which joined it to the grey felt back and blanket stitching it to the kilt pin in stranded silk thread.

IMG_20191004_192739.jpg

A fun little project and I particularly like the subtle sparkle you get from the blending filament.

Read Full Post »

The applique for Lady Margolotta’s bat themed blouse is finished!

IMG_20190923_112131.jpg

The biggest ones took 20-30 minutes each to stitch on and the smallest ones 10 to 15, so all twenty together have been quite a long job. Stitching with black thread on black felt has also limited when and where I can stitch, but in spite of that, it’s done with time to spare, thank goodness.

Baby leaf tailed dragon now has leaves sprouting from his lower tail.

IMG_20190923_112555.jpg

He would have had another leaf completed but after a busy evening rehearsing and stitching, I went to put the couching stitches in and realised that I had put a whole leaf’s worth of laid stitches in vertically, instead of horizontally… He learned some new rude words that night.

IMG_20190923_112605.jpg

Before the summer break, our ever-inventive Chair gave everyone who wanted to take part a pack of odd and interesting found objects to create a piece of found object embroidery. She included an instruction/guideline sheet as well, which I did refer to, noting that the finished piece should be no more than 7 inches by 5. However, I didn’t note that it was to be due in for November’s meeting. I assumed it was for the AGM last Saturday. Result – frantic stitching last week until a friend who had read the instructions properly, pointed out that I was two months too early. Moral of the story; don’t skim read and make the gaps up as you go along, Alex!

There was a load of thin plastic tubing in the pack and that suggested spirals to  me straight away.

IMG_20190918_091936.jpg

It’s couched down with gold thread for some sparkle and then I played with widening some of the lines with more of the tubing to give the spirals a bit more weight.

IMG_20190920_172552.jpg

Next to be added from the pack was a very large metal ring which I also couched down with gold thread in a starburst pattern. The broken earring front fitted perfectly in the middle of it and I love copper and green together.

IMG_20190920_172602.jpg

Then I added a holed limpet shell from my own collection  to echo the shape of the loop of tubing.

IMG_20190920_172607.jpg

At least I’ve made a start and hopefully won’t be rushing to complete it for November’s meeting!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

After a long stretch in various back stage roles, from costuming to directing with props and writing in between, I’m finally going to be on stage again, playing the role of Lady Sybil Ramkin in Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club’s upcoming production of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Fifth Elephant’ at the Plowright Theatre from Wednesday 2nd of October to Saturday 5th of October. Details and booking information can be found here.

5EWebsite

Lady Sybil is a swamp dragon breeder, all round dragon lover and the founder of the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons, so when one of the scenes called for her to be sewing, it made sense to get my baby leaf tailed dragon out and underway again.  Last seen, I had finally managed to get his head and chest almost finished.

IMG_20190729_130919

Since then, I’ve been working on him through rehearsals. I finished the couching on his head and then all the stitches for his tail were laid over about two sessions…

IMG_20190911_204335.jpg

…with the couching taking another two. Just a few more stitches to put in before I can start on the leaves.

IMG_20190916_121903.jpg

I do love Bayeux stitch for the textured result and also the way it works up so quickly. However, that could be an issue as I only have his leaves left to do before the split stitch detailing. I’m a bit concerned that he may peak a little too early and be finished before we get into the theatre for show week!

My other bit of show stitching is adding bats to the pink blouse worn my Lady Margolotta, a vampire who is ‘”on the vagon” and has not bitten a neck for nearly four years. She is brightly dressed to reflect her more modern thinking, but the director, who is also making all the costumes, wanted there to be bats to reference her background.

IMG_20190916_121944.jpg

Lovely little bats but they all have to be individually cut out of felt and hand stitched on and it is taking forever – still got the sleeves to do yet!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »