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Posts Tagged ‘detached button hole stitch’

This month our Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a full day workshop run by a couple of our members on abstract stumpwork, focussing on getting to grips with some of the stumpwork techniques such as creating slips, needlelace etc. In the morning we practised techniques and in the afternoon we worked a little sampler piece about 6cm square using a variety of the techniques in a colourway of our choosing. Blue of course, on a lovely piece of indigo dyed calico, for me.

Stumpwork sampler 1

I’ve done raised stem stitch band before and loved the effect, so I was keen to use some variegated sashiko thread as a base and start with a line of that. But something went wrong and instead of a lovely closely woven surface, I ended up with something more open. Moral of the story: don’t assume that having done something once (in 2009!) that you can automatically do it again without the instructions!

Stumpwork sampler 2

Anyway, I quite liked the lacy effect, with the variegated thread underneath so ran a couple of lines on chain stitch down each side to tie it in to the fabric and got on with the next element, using a lovely lustrous silk thread to buttonhole stitch over a washer, which I then attached to the fabric with well spaced french knots.

Stumpwork sampler 3

My third element was a lovely piece of soft blue leather over which I’m working detached buttonhole bars in a variety of threads.

Stumpwork sampler 4

Not quite finished but despite the small size, plenty to go at!

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“…the merrow took up her story stick; shook it until the clattering of stone and bone brought silence and then began her tale…”

Story sticks 1

This is the piece I created to go with the first full day of our holiday, Sunday 11th August. We spent a wonderful afternoon and early evening at a quiet, secluded and sandy beach just north of Padstow and these were some sticks that I picked up at the top of the beach.

Story sticks 2

I had no fixed idea of what I wanted to do with them, but later that evening I decided to start wrapping them and embroidering around them, much to the bemusement of some of the rest of the party.

Story sticks 3

This one, with its lovely weathered ends, has been wrapped with a soft slubby browny grey blue thread, overwrapped with a variegated turquoise silk thread and embellished with tiny turquoise chips, stitched down with a fine silk thread which shades from sand through to sea.

Story sticks 4

The middle one was wrapped with a hand dyed silk strip at one end and then over with various other hand dyed threads.  which were left loose to form a tassel to which I added a brass dragonfly charm to remind me of the huge dragon flies we often see here and also some beads and sodalite chips.

Story sticks 5

There is some needle weaving at the end of the silk wrapping and some buttonhole stitch over the longer threads in the middle. The slubby thread at the ends has been criss-crossed and a cream buttonhole thread used to tie the crosses together.

Story sticks 6

For the last one I had some variegated thread I wanted to showcase, so after I’d tied some scraps of silk round the stick…

Story sticks 7a

…I wrapped most of the rest of it in the thread.

Story sticks 7

Some detached buttonhole stitch just to see if it would  work, and then the ends of the silk were finished with little Fimo charms and a cluster of beads.

Story sticks 8

All three story sticks were then stitched onto a piece of my own eucalyptus hand dyed silk matka.

Who knows what stories the merrow (the mer-folk) might tell with them.

Story sticks 9

Also…

Hawker's Cove scallop shells 1

Hawker's Cove scallop shells 2

More treasure from the sea.

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And one finish.  I finally got round to making up my angelina and goldwork flower into a card.

Angelina goldwork card

I’ve also been finishing off a felt flower piece made with flowers cut from the left over felt I made for ‘Guards! Guards!’ last year…

Last felted flowers 1

…and some odd fused fabric leaves I made so long ago I can’t remember what I used them for…

Last felted flowers 2

…and making progress with the Elizabethan scissors case I started in an Embroiderers’ Guild workshop with Brenda Scarman several months ago.

At the end of the workshop I’d got as far as this:

Scissors case 1

Detached buttonhole stitch petals and chain stitch stems.

I finished the stems and as per the instructions, added trios of fly stitch between the petals and long straight stitches to define the petals. The french knots in the centre would be joined later by beads.

Scissors case 2

Beads added, the chain whipped with gold thread and buttonhole stitch in the same thread round the edge of the petals.

Scissors case 3

Scissors case 4

Then the spangles, which I attached with a central seed bead. I think they’re too densely packed but I don’t dislike the effect enough to unpick them all. I intend to make the seeding less dense by using just beads round the edge and making them more widely spaced.

Scissors case 5

Just the beading to finish before I can make it up.

 

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Rather than cutting a shape from already reticulated brass, I cut this half leaf shape first and then reticulated it.

Leaf pendant 1

As with the beaded leaf I used detached buttonhole stitch to create the embroidered side of the leaf and long bullions to hold the metal in place.

Leaf pendant 2

Following a suggestion from a friend, I replaced the gold bullions over the green side with lengths of gold purl.

Leaf pendant 3

They were a lot easier than doing bullions in metallic thread but I feel they’re a little skimpy looking. Then I gathered and laced it over a double thickness of pelmet vilene cut into a leaf shape.

Leaf pendant 4

I wanted to leave a bit of the background fabric (silk dupion) as a buffer between the leaf and the edge of the pendant.

Leaf pendant 5

No spare silk dupion in this colour for the back, so I covered a slightly smaller leaf shape in pelmet vilene with a scrap of hand dyed habotai silk.

Leaf pendant 6

This just needs a bale to finish.

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Both of our last two Embroiderers’ Guild meetings have been workshops and lovely ones at that. In April we had a talk by Brenda Scarman which was followed by her ‘Elizabethan embroidery’ workshop to make scissor cases with Tudor style embroidery.

The main rose motif was stitched in detached buttonhole stitch, which I have used in the past and really enjoy, so I was able to actually finish all the petals of my rose in the session.

Scissor case 1

It’s stitched in two strands of a lovely hand-dyed mercerised cotton, which felt quite unusually thick, but had great coverage.

Scissor case 2

The petals are outlined in chain stitch rather than the back stitch I’ve always used, which gives a much better finish as you have one side of the chain to stitch into and the other side gives a lovely even edging.

Scissor case 3

The tendrils are chain stitch in an ordinary stranded cotton. And I really must get it finished!

Scissor case 4

Then on Saturday we had a fantastic beading workshop by Gwen, one of our members, on how to make a St Petersburg chain for a bracelet. Gwen’s instructions were so good that I came in a little late, sat down and was able to work straight away from the sheets she had prepared.

It’s a lovely pattern to bead and so easy to drop into the rhythm and I was delighted to finish my bracelet in the session.

St Petersburg chain bracelet 1

I have a weakness for iridescent beads and although the beads weren’t very evenly sized, these moonlight and evening sky coloured seed beads work so well together.

St Petersburg chain bracelet 2

I even had time to start another chain with some much smaller delicas just to see what difference it made, if any, to use a better quality bead.

St Petersburg chain delicas

Not enough yet to tell, but I enjoyed it so much I’m already trying to work out how I can incorporate pieces of reticulated metal!

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Now I’ve started to get the hang of reticulation, it’s actually quite hard to get the holes I was intially looking for, so when I produced this (mostly unholed)piece, I decided to cut shapes out and find ways of working them into jewellery.

Beaded leaf 1

My first idea was to cut circles and use them a bit like shishas, but the strong fan shape at the top was too tempting to resist, so I cut that out too.

Beaded leaf 2

A bit like half a leaf.

Beaded leaf 3

During the long drive home, I started to play with ideas involving using the metal as one side of the leaf and having the other side embroidered. To give a solid textured finish, I went for one of my favourite embroidery stitches, detached buttonhole stitch in hand dyed mercerised cotton on dark green silk dupion.

Beaded leaf 4

With the barrelled and polished brass section.

Beaded leaf 5

And with the stitching completed.

Beaded leaf 6

Long bullion knots had worked very well on the Volcano pendant for holding the metal in place. Here I thought they would look like stylised veins on the leaf.

The green thread worked well and was very forgiving over such a long distance and then I had a brainwave of going for a mirror image effect by using gold thread over the detached buttonhole stitch.

Beaded leaf 7

Using the gold thread was pretty nerve-wracking as it was stiffer and a lot trickier to pull through layers of fabric and thread while keeping the wraps even. It also made a horrible noise as it came through as if it was stripping the metal off the core, but in spite of that it also behaved remarkably well.

Beaded leaf 8

And laid down much more neatly than I expected. Seen this close up there seems to be an awful lot of the yellow silk core showing but it looks a lot more sparkly and evenly covered in real life.

Beaded leaf 9

At this point I was really pleased with the effect and moved on to cutting out a matching leaf shape from some Vilene and covering it with the metal and embroidery.

Beaded leaf 10ame

The same silk as the background was used to cover another piece for the back.

Beaded leaf 11

But I didn’t like it. Without the green silk surrounding it, the leaf looked and felt chunky and blocky. It definitely needed some sort of border or edging to set off the central embroidery. I didn’t want to have to undo it all and add in extra fabric, so I went for a simple line of seaweed green seed beads around the edge and worked a border of light green beads accented with metallic dark copper into that.

Beaded leaf 12

It was exactly the finishing touch it needed, offsetting the heavy embroidery of the centre and lightening the whole thing.

Beaded leaf 13

Not quite finished though. It’s actually only 4.5cm/just under 2 inches long. Is that too small for a pendant? Would it be better as a brooch?

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