Posts Tagged ‘finishing’

Sometimes things stall so close to completion that you wonder later how and why you ran out of steam when so little more effort was needed to get a finish. This pendant is a case in point. When I finished my silversmithing course last year it was at this stage:

Pierced impressed pendant 1


All it needed was a piece of drilled sea glass to go in the hole and it was finished. It was at that point that I learned that drilling sea glass is an art and trying to drill a nugget the size of a very scrawny pea is an art currently beyond me. After a morning and several pieces of sea glass wasted, I gave up and decided that a bead would do fine.

But it wasn’t until last week that I actually bothered to go in search of a suitable bead and found some vintage faux pearls which graduate from a shade very close to the colour of the gilding metal to a soft verdigris green.

Pierced impressed pendant 2

It took all of 5 minutes to mount the bead on a headpin and then into the pendant. Another 5 minutes to find the hand-dyed ribbon I’d planned to go with it and 15 more to list it here in my Etsy shop.

Impressed pierced pendant 3

And the rest of the day wondering why I hadn’t done it months ago!

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Thank you all very much for your advice and suggestions for how to complete my nine patch of back stitched spider’s web stitches. Lots of laying out and living with different threads ensued but it was the comment about liking the colour of the blank squares that really struck a chord.  I found this lovely Caron thread…

Grey spider's webs 1

…which was perfect – it’s very close in tone value to the grey but with the variegation of the black/purple.

Grey spider's webs 2

In fact, with my glasses off, and the details of the stitching thoroughly blurred, it almost looks like the original colour of the fabric.

Grey spider's webs 3

Now it’s time for the making up. it was originally designed as a coin purse, but I saw someone else in our Guild had made theirs into a needle case, which is quite tempting too. Decisions, decisions…


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Or I might make it into a hair clip. I’ve no memory of making the little dark brown felted dreadlock that forms the basis of this spiral brooch, but I found it in the pile of unfinished things I’ve been working through over half term.

Brown, blue and gold spiral brooch 1

It rolled up easily and neatly and a selection of gold, amber and blue beads worked together very well for the edging.

Brown, blue and gold spiral brooch 2

That was short and sweet. (Wish they were all like that!)


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It was over a year ago that I started an Elizabethan scissor case at one of our Embroiderers’ Guild workshops. I stitched the rose petals in the session, worked most of the rest of the embroidery fairly quickly after and even got as far as putting on the spangles. And there I hesitated. I wasn’t sure about the density of the spangles, so I added some more seed beads on their own and then stalled. It wasn’t right.

Scissor case 1

I did find some cotton for the lining that I preferred to the fabric in the kit, but over the last year, that’ s all I did.

However, I’ve had a few days away and thanks to some horrible and typically British weather, been able to get a fair bit of sewing done. Firstly, the scissor case. The beads were completely wrong, so they came out. and then I stitched the finished front to a matching triangle of the lining fabric.

Scissor case 2

I love this gentle autumn leaves print and it tones well with the brown of the stems.

Scissor case 3

After ladder stitching the opening I’d turned it through closed, I then brought the sides to the back and ladder stitched that closed as well.

Scissor case 4

In the end, there were more than enough spangles for the front, but I do wish I had brought them a bit closer to the point.

Scissor case 5

Inside looks very cosy!

Scissor case 6

And it’s the perfect place for one of my pairs of embroidery scissors.

Scissor case 7

So pleased to have this off the hoop and finished.

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It’s finally finished, and as Rachel pointed out, more or less in time for this year’s holiday! Just thought it might be interesting to take a virtual tour through the pages.

Holiday journal tour 1

Holiday journal tour 2

Holiday journal tour 3

Holiday journal tour 4

Holiday journal tour 5

Holiday journal tour 6

Holiday journal tour 7

Holiday journal tour 8

Holiday journal tour 9


Holiday journal tour 10

Holiday journal tour 11

Holiday journal tour 12

Holiday journal tour 13

Holiday journal tour 14

Holiday journal tour 14

Part two coming soon.

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The first strip of crazy patchwork for James’ cushion is finished.

Blue strip 1a

The texturing chain stitches, french knots and seeding here:

Blue strip 1b

The cluster of eyelets and french knots using up oddments of thread here:

Blue strip 1c

Soft twilight coloured silk thread couched around the outline of the design on this commercially embroidered piece:

Blue strip 1d


Blue strip 1e

Fly stitch leaves in thick variegated cotton perle on silk dupion:

Blue strip 1f

The leaves are very satisfying motifs to stitch as they’re nice and bold and work up quickly.

Blue strip 1g

One strip done, two to go and the middle one with the lovely indigo sunburst next.

Pieced crazy patchwork strips

Fingers crossed that half term gives me a bit more time to sew.

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In the week before our December Embroiderers’ Guild meeting I managed to turn this:

Embroidery consequences 9

into this.

Buildings book 1

I covered the back with the same red lame fabric as the front and used silky black fabric for the endpapers.

Buildings book 2

With there being so little daylight at the moment, these were the best photos I could get indoors.  Then I chose some sunset coloured hand dyed cotton for the pages.

Buildings book 3

And used my favourite french link stitch in a variegated medium weight perle (to complement the colours in the pages) to put the whole thing together. In terms of time, it was a close run thing. I ended up attaching the last page and cover while sitting in the meeting and the judging had started on every one else’s pieces!

Buildings book 4

So, having rushed the binding, I managed somehow to make a mistake in the stitching at one edge, which means it’ll have to be rebound at some point, but I’m very pleased not only with the way it turned out but also that I actually managed to get the book completed for the meeting!

Buildings book 5

I’m not a great user of reds and yellows, so it was good to do something in an unusual colour way. And the tension on the binding isn’t great, aside from the mistake, so all the more reason to take it apart and restitch it at some point.

Buildings book 6

But what to do with it? (If anything.) I’m more than satisfied with the creating side – it doesn’t have to be for anything, but a suggestion made at the meeting by Debbie, coupled with some of the work I’ve been doing in my altered book, planted the germ of an idea…

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