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Posts Tagged ‘blanket stitch’

When I went to visit my parents at Easter I spent some time with my dad in his workshop. He turned me a couple of pairs of knitting needles from yew last year…

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…and I used one pair to knit him a hat but the knobs on the end were a bit too small and they were a little on the short side so he turned me a version 2:

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in lilac wood

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with laburnum collars over the ends to make the knobs a better size.

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Laburnum is a fabulous wood. Who could have guessed that the small slender trees which rain down their clusters of golden flowers in suburban gardens at this time of the year have such rich dark wood. I’m not sure where my dad has managed to get so much laburnum from, but you can really see the deep colour of the wood and the dark, spiralling grain in a mouse and egg he made years ago.

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Anyway, whilst in the workshop, to my dad’s bemusement,  I managed to score an assortment of scraps and offcuts of various woods. This is apple, which he has used to make some gorgeous chopping blocks.

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I added some kantha style rusty doodling. (That rusted sheet came from the workshop too, as I remember…)

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With some pieces of watch mechanism added…

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I think this will probably become a brooch.

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Also time I was thinking about upcycling a random notebook – the sort of thing that comes full of gorgeous pictures and inspiring ideas inside glossy lifestyle magazines – into a holiday journal. Usually I just fuse fabric to the inside, but there was more writing on the front than I wanted, so I made a cover sandwich, with fabric inside…

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…and outside.

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I’ve just started to blanket stitch the edge for decoration, to keep the edges of the fused fabric from flapping up and also for adding strength to the cover.

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I’m using a slightly lighter weight perle that I have done before with these journals and so have put the stitches closer together which means I need to concentrate on keeping the spacing neat!

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At our Stitch Club last Saturday I was all set to begin some Ruskin lace work for my last year’s Lake District journal. That was until I realised I’d forgotten to pack a frame. So instead I selected a piece of hand dyed vintage handkerchief, an oddment of slubby thread, a piece of calico to stabilise it and a fine thread to couch with and started to doodle.

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It wasn’t entirely aimless. I’m in the middle of some upcycling ideas and one of those was to create a rich jungly background for a single plastic orchid earring and then turn it into a barrette. After I’d doodled the slubby thread all over I added trails of feather stitch over the top in a variegated cotton, made up a pad of felt and pelmet vilene and began to lace the embroidery over it.

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Then I stitched on some gorgeous little polymer clay beads – more dangles really – that I’ve had for ages.

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Next the orchid went on.

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Finally I attached a commercial new barrette clip to a piece of grey felt and blanket stitched it to the back…

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…before popping it into my Etsy shop here.

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So pleased with it – that earring was just too pretty not to have a new lease of life!

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Next to be used was the yoke of the jumper. I thought about needle cases and then somehow made a leap to the idea of a case to hold stud earrings. For my prototype I cut two rectangles of felted jumper and folded them in half like a simple book. I added a silhouette of a woman’s head out of black felt, stitched it invisibly to the front of one piece and then used some fabulous variegated perle to add a decorative blanket stitch to the edge.

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An odd earring made the perfect accent and a clue to the use of the case.

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Once I’d blanket stitched all the way round the edge of the front I machine stitched the second piece in half to make a thick central page…

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…and then stitched it to the spine with a simple running stitch in the same thread as I’d used for the edging.

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And this is how it works: the studs go easily through the double layer of felted wool, you put the backs on and the soft wool covers protect the front and at the back of the earrings.

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I was really pleased with the way the prototype had turned out and there was enough fabric in the yoke to make another two cases.

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I want a closure on each one but I’m not sure what would look best. Any thoughts?

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I love lemon verbena. The smell from the fresh crushed leaves never fails to lift my spirits and inhaling the aroma of fresh lemon verbena tea while you snuggle your hands around the mug is simply wonderful. Dried isn’t so good, but on holiday last year I bought a small packet of lemon verbena tea by the Cornish tea specialists Tregothnan. Somehow that also had to be incorporated into my journal!

The packet the tea bags came in was first up, and with an apt quote on the back as well as the elegant design on the front, I didn’t want to stick it in. I also love that scrap of tissue paper on the page behind, and didn’t want to cover that up either.

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Yet every page in this journal is needed to carry something, so I blanket stitched the edge of the packet to the edge of the page so it’s now a flap with access to both the quote and that lusciously foresty scrap of paper.

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Then the teabag. I wanted to stitch on one that I’d actually used, so I carefully dried it, slit the bottom to get the leaves out and then put a small piece of fabric inside to help stabilise it and give it a bit of weight. I found a single leaf shape cut from a piece of translucent green vintage fabric from something I did ages ago with fused fabric and that seemed perfect.

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Toning silk thread in simple zigzagged double running stitch to form the toothed edge of the leaf, with whipped running stitch veins and a bullion knot stem. Stitching through all layers, I wanted the back to be as neat as possible.

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The bottom was finished with a piece of silk ribbon and blanket stitch and it lives happily in the pocket created by its packet!

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This was so much fun to do!

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Belated, but I wish it all the same. :o) And I hope everyone has had a good and peaceful Christmas.

In between trying to organise Christmas early so we could go away, I finally finished the crazy patchwork Christmas tree. After the snow and the wreath, presents underneath, blanket stitched down with Kreinik gold thread.

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Tied with a Mulberry silk ‘ribbon’

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The bow is a lovely compound of stitches that I saw on the internet somewhere a while ago. Two lazy daisy stitches make up the loops, the knot is a french knot and the trailing ends, two straight stitches. Very simple yet extremely effective.

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In spite of this, I ended up taking it away and finishing the last two sections off with only my phone camera to take the final shots, so apologies for the quality.

The top left section was seeded with ermine stitch, a vertical straight stitch crossed 2/3 of the way down with an equal armed cross stitch and the existing stars outlined, all in Kreinik gold.

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Then, running out of ideas and time, I edged the existing gold pattern middle right with lines of french knots in poppy red Mulberry silk. I also found an iridescent star bead for the top of the tree and little pressed metal dangles to hang on the branch tips.

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From a difficult beginning it’s turned out rather well and made a very good card in the end.

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Early in our holiday we walked the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow and while in Padstow visited the National Lobster Hatchery as my youngest wanted desperately to adopt a lobster. I bought a gorgeous retro-styled tea-towel in the shop which came with a hand stamped tag depicting the two lobsters of the Hatchery logo that I had to incorporate into my journal.

Lobsters hiding in seaweed was my first thought.

I started with a base of light-weight hand dyed calico with splodges of deep green and then added some strips of dark green hand dyed scrim, which was all bunched up and curled up on itself. I stitched the scrim strips loosely to the background with blanket stitch and then cut round the fronds I’d created with a pair of sharp scissors, also adding some fronds of the base fabric to fill in any spaces.

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I had some of the pale green silk organza ribbon I’d used to edge the cover left, so I cut it into shapes and used it to back some of the fronds by couching a line of green chenille thread down the middle of the whole frond.

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I pierced holes in the edge of the tag and stitched through them with a simple running stitch in turquoise which I then whipped twice with a slubby thread.

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With the tag in place on top. The stamp hadn’t quite printed the whole image so I completed it in pencil and added black ink later.

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Next, I cut a lobster claw shape from vilene and coloured it with water-soluble oil pastels. Reaching cautiously out from under the seaweed…

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Stuck in place in the journal.

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And the full spread.

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Just need to add some text, possibly using one of the tags I made when I created the journal.

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As usual, and with the excuse of the last session of my jewellery course looming, I’ve been rushing to complete another project with a deadline. Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild is having a ‘Showcase’ Open Day on the 27th of July and the organisers had requested us to stitch 2 and 3D owls for display.

Several weeks ago I cut these out at home and quickly hammered and polished them during one evening at my course.

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As I’ve moved into metalworking I wanted to be able to include elements in the work that reflected my current skills and interests, and I also wanted to go back to the crazy patchwork that was my early way into embroidery.

He’s pieced from a pattern in one of my youngest’s books, using a mixture of silks and cottons in greys and black, with gold highlights, on a black silk dupion background.

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The hammered brass eyes are held down with long stitches in gold thread over raw edged patchwork pieces with feather stitched seams and blanket stitched edging.

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For his beak I found a triangle of reticulated brass.

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This was attached with more long stitches in gold thread, this time criss crossing to keep the shape in place.

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You might notice that by this point I’d replaced the grey/white piece of silk on the top of right wing, which wasn’t working, with another piece of matt grey silk from an old blouse which does.

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By this time it was 5 hours to the Guild meeting where I needed to hand him over, finished, mounted, labelled etc. No pressure then.

Gold purl feet. Not as neat as I would like, but the clock was ticking.

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Neither was some of the blanket stitch up to my preferred standard, but no time to take it all down. The silk dupion was laced over a piece of thick board and then stuck onto another slightly larger piece of thick white card to form a frame of sorts.

Meet Windy Rupert. It’s a long story, you had to be there, but take it from me, naming my little fat owl Windy Rupert caused a lot of hilarity in the house. I wanted to call him Bunter, but no one these days seems to have heard of the Fat Owl of the Remove.

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I hope what he lacks in technicality he makes up for in charm. 🙂

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