Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘experimenting’

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 »

Apologies – March has been mad. Between trying to shake illness and most of my workshops and courses all coming at once, things have been crazy. So, to catch up!

The found objects plastic rings piece I blogged about back in February, came together like a dream. I wanted to use it as a sample piece for a Found Objects Workshop I taught at Hull Embroiderers’ Guild at the end of March. (There is a lovely post about the workshop on their Facebook page.) It was a lot of fun trying out different ways of attaching the rings, including lazy daisy stitch, sheaf stitch and chain stitch.

I finished it as a quiltlet, with a border of strip patchwork, which makes it nice and robust to handle.

dav

Love the indigo dyed back.

dav

I also taught a Beaded Oglala Stitch workshop with Brigg Allsorts (a local stitching group) the same week, so after having made a sampler of variants of the stitch…

IMG_20190318_122937.jpg

…I started another found objects piece I could use with both workshops as it combined Beaded Oglala with found objects. It worked surprisingly well as a method of attaching the vintage key and I’m very pleased with the effect.

IMG_20190319_164854.jpg

I had a fabulous time teaching the workshop with the ladies in Hull and they produced some lovely work.

IMG_20190323_163136.jpgIMG_20190323_163133.jpg

IMG_20190323_163140.jpg

IMG_20190323_163148.jpg

We also had a fantastic workshop ourselves at Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild in February, doing Print to Stitch with Jan Dowson.

IMG_20190223_112225.jpg

Jan had made us some great kits with paisley shaped printing blocks in them as a main focus…

IMG_20190223_112220.jpg

…but I had a couple of my own stamps that I wanted to use as well. Medieval tile first.

IMG_20190223_114826.jpg

Then the paisley. We used acrylic paints and instead of rollering it onto the block, I dabbed random areas of paint to get a mottled effect.

IMG_20190223_115838.jpg

Jan had also put some pieces of compressed foam into the kits. You can cut them with scissors into any shape and then drop them into water to get a sponge printing block, which is how I got  the over-printed tear drop shapes inside the paisleys.

IMG_20190223_121107.jpg

Lastly I had a shell stamp from home to play with.

IMG_20190223_122028.jpg

I love the look of the paint on the stamps…

IMG_20190223_122035.jpg

…and on the palettes.

IMG_20190223_122012.jpg

Once we had our printed fabric…

IMG_20190223_130449.jpg

…time to stitch. The border of the paisleys was a perfect place for Pekinese Stitch. Rayon back stitch for a bit of shine, interlaced with all six strands of a variegated stranded cotton thread.

IMG_20190223_150749.jpg

I will try harder on here, honestly! It’s all Susan from Stitchery Stories‘ fault – she recommended I got myself onto Instagram and I have been properly sucked in. It is so much quicker when you are busy – or lazy!!

Read Full Post »

After Saturday’s talk, a whole Sunday workshop with Alice Fox. We had just been asked to bring our normal sewing kits plus threads, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, making it even more exciting. There was a tempting array of papers, threads and ephemera laid out…

20180429_155900_HDR.jpg

…along with some examples of Alice’s own work for inspiration. To start, we were each given a selection of different papers…

20180429_100347_HDR.jpg

…and a prompt sheet asking us to explore how it felt to stitch into them. I used a template from my silversmithing course five years ago to do some feather stitch in various weights of thread..

20180429_113213_HDR.jpg

I really liked the rough texture I got from putting stitching holes into the heavy tracing paper, so once I’d stitched through it, I used a metalworking scribe to mark wavy lines into the paper without piercing it before punching varying sized holes from either the front (smooth) or the back (rough).

20180429_113207_HDR.jpg

I really like the differences of line and texture on this. And it reminds me of the sea.

20180429_113200_HDR.jpg

The next prompt was cutting and patching.

20180429_143352_HDR.jpg

So a piece of old map cut along the grid lines became the fragment on the right.

20180429_151208_HDR.jpg

As you can see, by this time I had succumbed and made a little book for my fragments. It started off as an origami book, folded from a single piece of paper with one cut, but I wanted a bit more stability and to have access to all the sides of the pages, so I pamphlet stitched it in two places and tore the double pages into singles. Winging it, but it works.

Next was couching.  I followed the road and river lines on this scrap of map.

20180429_151157_HDR.jpg

By this time we were all engrossed in our own thing, and although there were two more prompts about deconstructing marked papers and accentuating printed marks, everyone was well away with their cutting, stitching, tearing, patching and experimenting.

At the end of the day we ended up with with a fascinating range of responses.

20180429_155257_HDR.jpg

20180429_155321_HDR.jpg

20180429_155402_HDR.jpg

20180429_155442_HDR.jpg

20180429_155448_HDR.jpg

20180429_155552_HDR.jpg

20180429_155558_HDR.jpg

Alice uses rusting quite a lot in her work and so when I got home to my rusty washers, I couldn’t resist some mark making on tea soaked paper.

DSCN9927.JPG

My little book was over half full by the time the workshop ended.

DSCN9931.JPG

DSCN9932.JPG

DSCN9936.JPG

With my rust and tea stained papers and these that I didn’t get round to exploring…

DSCN9925.JPG

…I have every intention of playing with some more of Alice’s prompts and completing my little book!

Read Full Post »

Several years ago when I was doing my silversmithing course, I had an idea about creating a piece where I ‘mended’ a piece of denim with a ‘patch’ of impressed brass. I impressed some brass with a piece of fabric to give it a woven texture, but got no further. Some time later I was revisiting my sketch book from the course and cut out a ‘patch’ which I then drilled all round the edge to take the stitches. Once polished, it stalled yet again.

20180212_114601_HDR.jpg

However, last week I found the perfect piece of denim  – an off cut from a pair of jeans – and with a square of apple wood from my Dad’s shed, the project was back on again.

20180212_114616_HDR.jpg

I cut a section of the denim with one of the iconic seams running through it and frayed the edges. Next I chose some bright red perle thread to stitch the ‘patch’ on. It took less time to stitch the patch down than it had to drill just one of the holes with my bow drill!

20180212_120300_HDR.jpg

Mounted onto the apple wood square…

DSCN8585.JPG

… and made into an unusual brooch which I’ve listed here.

Some more progress on the bluework too. From this:

DSCN7902

To this:

DSCN8577.JPG

I’ve finished the eyelets at the bottom and completed the leaves and stems on the floral fragment on the right. The leaves and stems are in split stitch, a favourite of mine for filling areas.

DSCN8578.JPG

I found an image on the internet of a flower where the petals had been created from long blanket stitches and then the top loops of the blanket stitches had been blanket stitched into to give a frilly sort of raised edge, so I thought I’d have a go at that for my next section.

DSCN8580.JPG

It’s an interesting method, but slightly untidy for my liking! I think I’m going to seed stitch the background so they don’t stand out quite as much.

And in other news, I have just got the silk fabric to add to my linen and wool and I should soon be able to start investigating how to get ‘crocus coloured’ fabric for the start of my Dorian Gray project.

Read Full Post »

First of all, Happy New Year to you all!  As promised, now the holiday period is out of the way, some more images of the stitch play workshop I ran at our December Embroiderers’ Guild meeting. I managed to stitch and mount four example pieces which between them showcase 48 different stitches, many of which were completely new to me.

DSCN7809.JPG

I provided everyone with a two-page worksheet containing the instructions and sixteen simple shapes from leaves and flowers to a star, bird, Christmas tree, heart etc to use as the base for their stitch play.  The results were fabulous.

20171216_153144_HDR.jpg

The background felt for Janet’s little robin was sparkly, which isn’t obvious in the photo, but made him look very festive!

20171216_153115_HDR.jpg

20171216_153053_HDR.jpg

20171216_153043_HDR.jpg

20171216_153029_HDR.jpg

20171216_153017_HDR.jpg

20171216_152958_HDR.jpg

20171216_152929_HDR.jpg

Pauline combined the stitch play idea with a felt project she already had on the go.

20171216_152917_HDR.jpg

All my pieces were stitched on light coloured felt so I could use a marker to keep my lines straight and equidistant, but pencil/markers don’t show up dark coloured felt so I made note of Sally’s use of guideline tacking stitches to keep her work level.

20171216_152852_HDR.jpg

20171216_152833_HDR.jpg

20171216_152754_HDR.jpg

20171216_152652_HDR.jpg

20171216_152635_HDR.jpg

20171216_152551_HDR.jpg

20171216_152520_HDR.jpg

20171216_152506_HDR.jpg

I admire the bravery of anyone, who like Christina, has a go at Rosette Chain Stitch, especially in stranded cotton!

20171216_152456_HDR.jpg

20171216_152423_HDR.jpg

20171216_145116_HDR.jpg

Don’t know why this one insists on going sideways!

20171216_135744_HDR.jpg

20171216_135733_HDR.jpg

Mary was also working on a project which lent itself to the stitch play.

20171216_135617_HDR.jpg

As a workshop it seemed to go down very well indeed. Pretty much everybody tried at least one stitch they hadn’t worked before/hadn’t worked for some time and everyone, from the most to the least experienced of us, was able to work and achieve at our own rate and ability level, which is what I had hoped would happen. :o)

Read Full Post »

After completing the ruched brooch I made with supplies from my Dad’s shed, I still had some scraps of the muslin left. Inspired by the Casalguidi workshop, I decided to add some random pulled work to one of the scraps using four sided stitch and eyelets.

DSCN5508.JPG

That reminded me that I hadn’t rusted anything for a while and I had some gorgeous bits of rusty iron just begging to be wrapped. I think those big spirals may be part of an old clock mechanism.

DSCN5268

After a week or so outside in the alternate pouring rain and baking sun of a typical British summer:

DSCN5274.JPG

DSCN5277.JPG

Lots of possibilities!

I’ve also done a little more of the blue work piece and the second shaded flower is nearly completed.

DSCN5500.JPG

DSCN5504.JPG

Getting there slowly…

Read Full Post »

It is high time I started to practise my metal-working skills again so I decided to start small, cutting out a rose leaf shape from sheet brass and piercing it with holes before I textured it with the hammer.

20161230_165429_HDR.jpg

Then I used some green perle and using the holes, put in the foundation stitches for a woven spider’s web which I worked in a gorgeous variegated pink and green silk ribbon.

20161230_180120_HDR.jpg

It worked out perfectly so I had a green centre shading out to the deep pink edge. I neatened it up with a piece of pink kid leather over the back and added a jump ring to turn it into a sweet little mixed media pendant.

20161230_214214_hdr

One of my Christmas presents was a Dremel engraver so I had a bit of a play with that, first using one of the included stencils to add a rustic star shape to a piece of sea glass which I then turned into a pendant.

20170101_154256_HDR.jpg

Then I moved on to a piece of reticulated brass which I created on the silversmithing course I took in Sheffield a few years ago. I had deliberately worked the reticulation from either end of the piece of brass in order to leave a smooth bridge between them for some text. Finally, I had the tool to add the lettering!

I used uncial script and the H of ‘haven’ looks a bit like an R, unfortunately, but I really like the way the engraver worked on the brass.

20161230_205035_HDR.jpg

I turned this into yet another pendant and gave it a lovely vintage sari silk strip ribbon to hang from in crimson and gold.

20170101_130406_HDR.jpg

My other Christmas present thanks to some vouchers was a doming set and I was dying to have a go at doming some old coins that I’d accumulated. Tiny bronze British decimal half pennies seemed to work best and I combined one that I’d hammered into a hemisphere with a ‘cornflake’ of reticulated brass that I’d also domed. I drilled them both through the middle and chose an odd stud earring with purple diamantes like stamens of a flower to connect them together.

20170101_135614_hdr

20170101_135518_HDR.jpg

I’ve got a piece of fantastically patterned gilding metal to which I hope to attach the ‘flower’ which I can then turn into a brooch. It’s been good to play with metal again!

Read Full Post »

This was the intriguing title of our full day workshop with Josie Storey at Embroiderers’ Guild last Saturday, so armed with some very lush velvet and the usual sewing stuff I headed off without any real idea of what I was going to be doing!

The technique we were going to be playing with involved ironing prepainted bondaweb onto velvet and then using the stickiness to embellish with anything and everything to create a rich textured surface.

I started with some gorgeous Oliver Twists hand dyed velvet called ‘Stormy Seas’ and so I had to go for wave shapes,

Lush plush and crush 1

with silk waste, carrier rod strippings

Lush plush and crush 2

and scraps of painted melted plastic.

Lush plush and crush 3

Lush plush and crush 4

By this point I’d decided this was going to be the next piece in my travelling book, so when I got home I layered it up with wadding and calico and quilted round the wave shapes with my sewing machine. From this:

Lush plush and crush 5

to this:

Lush plush and crush 6

No hand embroidery – yet…

Read Full Post »

I saw the idea for covering a large focal bead with crazy patchwork some time ago and it was something that I knew I wanted to have a go at, but it wasn’t until I found a very large wooden bead a week or so ago while hunting for something else that I had my chance.

First I pieced together some scraps of silk in greens and browns.

Crazy patchwork bead 1

Then I used feather stitch in single strands of brown silk to secure the patches to the calico backing and started to embellish the first patch with spirals of kantha stitch in a variegated blue-green-brown silk thread.

Crazy patchwork bead 3

It looks more blue in the photos than in real life.

Crazy patchwork bead 3

Just need to work out what I’m doing on the other sections now. As it’s going to be a pendant drop, I want the embroidery to be flat, rather than raised, which counts out several favourite go-to stitches!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been looking forward to the January meeting of our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild as it’s the start of our travelling books project. I’ve always been interested in the idea of round robins and I’m really looking forward to not only getting my own book back in 6 months time, but also to stretching my creative practice by working in other people’s books within their rules.

We’ve all started with a spiral bound A5 sketchbook to which I need to add a cover, especially as I managed to drop some chutney on it from my lunch… I’m going to have a welcome and guidelines page on the back of the front endpaper and then there was a spare page facing, so I’ve started to put my name and quick contact details there in Zentangle style. (There are full contact details on the inside of the back cover)

Contact details page

Then I started on my first piece. I’ve decided that I’d like a theme to my travelling book and so have chosen one close to my heart – the sea. This of course, led to play-time with the bagful of glass I beachcombed from Polperro last summer.

Travelling book sea glass 1

 

I’m sure you’ve noticed that there’s something a little odd about some of the nuggets in the photo above. If you look closer…

Travelling book sea glass 2

 

…there are imposters…

Travelling book sea glass 3

…in hand dyed silk and indigo shibori cotton.

Travelling book sea glass 4

The background fabric is a lovely natural coloured scrim and I plan to use pulled thread work around the pieces of ‘sea glass’ and ‘pottery’ to give the impression of them being scattered in the sand of the beach.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

karensstitchography

Embroidery & other craft

re:retro

collecting retro

View From Our Hill

Textile, Mixed Media, Yarn, Books and Beads

Things I find in the garbage

I'm a professional scavenger making a living selling curbside garbage. This blog details my finds and sales. It also acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.

summerholiday111

stitching, creative textiles, inspiration

Stitched up with Thread

Slowly threading things together

Lincs In Stitches

Creative ramblings in the Lincolnshire Wolds

Kiln Fired Art Blog

Crafts and the outdoors - slow living involving handmade ceramics, painting, textiles, walking and good food

Hillview Embroidery

Teaching and Learning One Stitch at a Time

Dreaming In Stitches

a mingled yarn

sunshine and celandines

These are a few of my favourite things.

LucyAnn &Luna craft

crafting,dachshunds including other bits & bobs

Carlseapatch's Weblog

A log of progress (I hope)and fun in textile arts

seafieldview

Life on a Cornish cliff

late start studio

Late . . . in taking my creativity seriously.

Shibori Girl

....practicing the fine art of shibori

Pomegranate Studio

- because making is good for us

Fall from Grace Crafts

A blog on my craft journey highs and lows...

opusanglicanum

one Englishwoman's work

Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works

Chasing the Paper Rabbit

Chrissie Freeth - Tapestry Weaver

Blog of Chrissie Freeth tapestry weaver, features writer for UK Handmade, weaving features editor for the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, Artist in Residence National Trust and trustee of the Heritage Crafts Association

debbidipity

into textiles & beyond

KDD & co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design