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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Our December meeting was held last Saturday and was an all day Stitch Play workshop sort of in the style of Sue Spargo which I led – hence why so much of my recent stitching has been under wraps! There are so many images of the work that came out of it that I’m going to leave you hanging until after Christmas for a report on the workshop and instead just show the results of our Christmas Challenge, which was set at the AGM in September to create a Christmas tote bag suitable either for an adult or a child.

We voted for our top five in each category by putting beads in a saucer.

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The winner of the children’s bag section was Sally, with her intricate gingerbread house and biscuit button topped roof on the right in the photo.

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Hazel’s bag (far left) is fitted with fairy lights in the middle of each star which actually light up!

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The competition in the adult’s bag section was extremely close but Pauline’s Holly and the Ivy bag, on the left, won by a well-deserved whisker. I’m relieved that we had five votes because I could not have chosen just one.

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If I’ve missed anybody’s bag, my apologies! I’ll leave you with a long shot of the Challenge Bags in the background and a glimpse of my table set up with materials and examples…

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Have a fabulous Christmas!

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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)

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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.

 

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The Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild AGM at the end of September was a real feast of embroidery. As well as some of the results from our workshop with Chris Gray in July from straightforward amulets…

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…to composite arrangements…

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…there were other lovely items stitched by members over the summer:

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We also enjoyed an exhibition of the work of one of our founder members, Margaret Riding, who brought in a huge range of her embroidery for us to admire.

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It’s become a tradition now for us to have some sort of collaborative consequences type activity at the AGM to be stitched for later in the year. In 2014 it was Consequences, last year (which I missed) were our acclaimed maps and this year Helen came up trumps yet again with Christmas Consequences. This time, instead of different people adding to the list of requirements, we each wrote our own wish list of things we would like to have on a Christmas gift to be stitched by another club member. The papers were folded and put into a bag and then we all pulled one out. Helen’s last stipulation was that the item needed to have a 3D element. This could be anything, from 3D embroidery on a card to the item itself – a decoration, bag, box etc.

This was the wish list I drew:

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After several rather grandiose plans I decided to go for something a bit closer to my usual practice and I have an idea that I’m really pleased with. Under wraps until the December meeting though!

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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.

Presents 1

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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I was looking at my archives, wondering what I’d been creating at Christmas in previous years when I came upon this from December 2011:

Crazy patchwork Christmas tree 1

I’d had numerous problems with it from the start and once Christmas was over, it ended up languishing in a box. Until I found it in my archive that is. And now it looks like this:

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Snowflakes on red velvet in a mixture of french knots, star stitches and woven spiders’ web stitch.

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Snowflakes on green velvet ditto, surrounding an odd crocheted snowflake in vintage white perle.

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A quick wreath finished with a bow created from…

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…a circle of feather stitch in dark green silk thread with another in light green silk stitched directly over the top and dark red silk french knot berries.

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It’s coming together, hopefully for a Christmas card, and I’m enjoying it again.

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