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Posts Tagged ‘buttonhole rings’

Another way of working round Embroiderers’ Block I suppose, is to do something that you fancy doing, so I’ve started a third design for the Kew Memory Journal, based on English Paper Pieced patchwork.

First of all I cut a rectangle of paper slightly smaller than the page of the book and divided it into a few smaller rectangles. One needed to be big enough to be the background for a vintage 1990 Kew Gardens stamp, and I fitted the rest around it.

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I usually cut the pieces out one by one so I don’t forget what order they go in and put them back into the design when they’re covered. Taking process photos also helps in case of disaster!

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Then the pieces need stitching together. I use ladder stitch because I like my stitching to be as invisible as possible.

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Once the pieces were all stitched together I gave them a quick iron to press the edges under so they would stay when I took the papers out, and then ladder stitched round the outside edge to attach it to a piece of pale green felt.

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This stabilises the edges, gives the whole thing a bit of body as I’ve used a variety of weights of fabric including some very fine silk and means I have a firmer background to attach it to the page.

I trimmed it next and carefully back stitched the stamp in place. The pink and blue tones in the stamp don’t quite work with the greens, but I had to remind myself that this is a memory journal and the Pagoda is part of it.

The memory it holds is of having lunch in a shady grove of trees near the Pagoda and then, as it was one of those two insanely hot days last July, we sat on a seat under the bottom tier and decided it was much too warm to go up all those steps!

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I like embroider on these types of patchwork pieces as I did with my 2012 Cornwall Holiday Journal (August 2012 in the ‘Recent Posts’ part of the sidebar if you’re interested) so I’m probably going to add a branch to the top right hand corner.

I’ve also made the middle of a flower on the buttonhole rings piece. The big ring is attached with french knots, the inner one with invisible stitches to pull it down inside and the centre is filled with a few french knots.

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Now I need to decide not only on the colour of the rings that will become the petals, but also whether to keep them as circles or stretch them into petal shapes.

 

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Or at least one jump ring! And there were quite a lot to undo and then replace when I took a couple of odd earrings…

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…deconstructed them…

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…and with the addition of some reclaimed chain and a load of jump rings, reconstructed them into an upcycled bib necklace.

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The gold tone sections are nice and light so even though the whole thing has quite an opulent look, it isn’t too heavy to wear. It’s available here in my Etsy shop with free UK postage and packing.

I have managed to set a few stitches too. After the mini workshop I taught on making buttonhole rings at The Stitch Zone last December I had an idea for manipulating some rings to create a four seasons piece.

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It seemed like a good way back into stitching since the Kew pieces are still proving problematic. I came across Quaker Stitch here on Mary Corbett’s Needle n’ Thread recently and was looking for an excuse to try it out.

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It’s a cross between stem and split stitch and really sits up beautifully on the line. Then I made a load of rings in various shades of blue and couched them down to form puddles or ripples.

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They don’t quite make sense until you add the rain…

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…and that’s Spring done! One stitch at a time.

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And turquoise.

This is another fragment piece I’ve been playing with. It also gave me the opportunity to use some gorgeous chunky, slubby hand-dyed silk thread that was far too thick to stitch with and to experiment with making buttonhole rings on a ring stitck that my Dad turned for me.

A piece of very old, very well-worn and soft sheet turned dustsheet/rag which I rusted last summer was scrunched up and stitched down onto another piece of the same fabric – a more stable piece which is in fact a wide end seam – with variegated metallic thread.

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The stick has three different sized sections and so I experimented with making different sized rings in a couple of different threads and then nestling them in the folds of the rusted cotton before couching them down.

Instead of finishing off the ends I left them trailing and they were couched down with a sort of uneven armed cross stitch which I believe is called thorn stitch.

I really like the soft fraying ends of the cotton.

It was while I was working on this one that I had a sudden vision of a piece comprised of various sized embroidered/embellished fragments of rusted fabric and sashed in turquoise.

So I rushed into this:

The rusted fabric is bigger than the calico square underneath so the idea is to use french knots to gather it up in folds and layers until it fits the underlying square.

I like the look, but because the french knots need controlling as you lay them down, it makes the gathering/ruching harder to control, so I finished off the length of thread I was using and now plan to catch the rest down with tiny stitches which can be hidden with french knots over the top.

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