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Posts Tagged ‘fly stitch’

It was a pleasure to finish the little Bossa Nova Rose from our Embroiderers’ Guild Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery workshop last weekend. I didn’t follow the instructions when it came to the leaves, going for fly stitch over blanket stitch and not adding the fine pale green edging it suggested because I felt the sheen of the thread gave enough definition.

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And then quickly finished as a card.

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My first sea glass and pocket watch case pendant positively flew out of my Etsy shop and I’ve started another one to go with a harlequin case of a gold coloured collar and engine turned back. I’ve got some tiny pieces of very rare yellow sea glass and some ordinary brown to add to this.

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I also turned some off cuts of hand dyed fabric, the batik I’m using above and some cotton print in shades of brown into some strip patchwork which I used to cover a grotty looking cabochon pendant…

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…turning it into an upcycled patchwork pendant with added vintage lace and flower trim.

Lots going on!

 

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Our October Meeting at Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild was an all day workshop with Ann Stalley on Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery. Knowing that it involved rayon thread, which in my experience is some of the most evil stuff on the planet, I was in two minds about the workshop. However, I can never resist a go at something new and so armed with a big block of beeswax for beating the rayon into submission, I headed off to the meeting to admire Ann’s work…

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…before she told us about her creative  journey. Hard to believe when looking at work like this, that Ann has only been doing Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery for eighteen months.

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She also assured us that the special threads (Edmar) used for this type of work are nothing like ordinary rayon thread (but still I had my beeswax ready just in case!).

Then it was our turn. For the morning session we would practise some of the basic stitches and then stitch a design using those basics in the afternoon. We each had a pack with some of the thread, two substantial milliners’ needles and some calico.

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First, bullions. I can do them but they’re not one of my stitches of choice. We put five pairs of dots in, all about a quarter of an inch apart. Our first bullion was ten wraps and pretty much filled the gap. That’s when I found it easier to work out of the hoop. The second one, to go in the same space, was twenty wraps, then thirty, forty and fifty, getting progressively loopier the more wraps we did.

I take it all back about the thread. The Edmar is a delight to work with. The loops slide smoothly over the needle and even though my bullions could be a lot more even, they were an awful lot easier to work than with ordinary thread.

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Next was a bullion lazy daisy. It’s an interesting technique as the little bullions are formed as part of the stitch, rather than being like the running stitch that tacks a normal lazy daisy down and took some practise.  They also would have been a lot neater if I’d hooped the calico back up!

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Lastly was cast on stitch which once I got a rhythm to casting on the loops, I absolutely loved.

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So much so, that I had a go at creating a sort of flower with cast on stitch petals in perle over lunch. It worked, but wasn’t as crisp a finish and just didn’t stand up as well as the Edmar.

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Using the perle illustrated perfectly what it is about the springiness of the rayon thread that makes the dimensional elements work so well. I was definitely ready to start the afternoon’s design of the bullion rose spray.

However, I struggled to place the first rounds of bullions properly and halfway through, although I was pleased with the quality of the bullions, I wasn’t happy with my scrappy rose.

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Luckily the outer bullions managed to neaten things up, and with the addition of a bead centre, managed to salvage it from being a complete disaster.

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Next the leaves. The design used buttonhole stitch but I love the way close fly stitch works up into leaves and I thought that this would suit the lustre of the thread.

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Very pleased with the result and by the end of the afternoon I had two leaves added to the spray.

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Not much to do to finish, and despite my slight misgivings beforehand, I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I’m seriously thinking about investing in some Edmar threads and I fancy seeing if I can stitch some dimensional sea shells.

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Next to be added was the large lace motif on the left in a rich deep red…

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…which I stitched down with a variety of decorative stitches in contrasting green and complementary red.

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Then a gold chain stitch spiral to match the paisleys already on this piece of sari fabric and fill in the middle space.

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Next ribbon roses in an unusual tubular thread (Caron I think) with fly stitch leaves.

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I decided to ring the changes and give the next spotty bird stars on his spots.

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And with a start made on the spotty bird at the bottom, I felt it was going well.

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Only three blocks to finish and I’d already made a start on the experimental beaded fly stitch leaves for one of them so I was feeling really positive. Parting with this one was going to be probably the hardest of the lot!

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I was finishing the kantha stitching when I had a brainwave for the mottled batik piece of fabric on the left.

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It’s something I’d seen somewhere on the internet – back stitched spiders web fans in variegated fine perle thread.

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Great fun to stitch, fitting them into the corners and edges of the pale blue shapes.

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And then I went back to the commercial embroidered piece on the right, adding tete de boeuf stitch (fly stitches caught down with a french knot, rather than a straight stitch) in the same size as the distance between the couching threads.

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They make me think of fern leaves unrolling in the spring.

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And then back to the chain stitched ‘portholes’.  Last element to finish before I can start on the third strip.

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I’m costuming our pantomime this year, so I’m aiming for a birthday finish (April) rather than Christmas.

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I really need some more hours in the day. but a couple of meeting have enabled me to do some more of the blue crazy patchwork for James’ cushion. The button motif is finished with a row of fly stitches linking the outer row of french knots.

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Then I started on a piece of batik patterned fabric. Seeding in white to texture the cloudy white and aqua of the background.

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And chain stitch and french knots in rich blue to highlight the leaves and dots  pattern. Just a few bits to finish on this one.

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Then I decided to make a small corner triangle the place to use up ends of threads I’d used elsewhere in a mix of eyelets and french knots.

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I can’t bear to throw anything away!

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We spent a wonderful day at The Eden Project during our holiday. I’ve been before but it was all as fresh and new and even more awe-inspiring this time round. So as a textile response, did I soar to the heights of the tree canopy in the rain forest biome?

Eden Project rainforest biome

Quite the reverse, but very much in keeping with the Eden ethos, I feel. 

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Near the den building area, one of the friends we went with found a chunky, heavily rusted washer on the grass. Knowing how much I love things like this, and the rustier the better, he picked it up for me.

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I had some rusted soft cotton with me and a scrap of fine, floaty silk in a pale rust colour. They went together beautifully and the washer was attached with long straight stitches in hand dyed turquoise stranded silk thread.

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I did needle weaving around some of the bars and buttonhole stitched others to vary the density of thread to washer.

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Then fly stiches around the outside, lining them up with the straight stitch spokes of the washer…Eden rusty washer 4

…and meandering lines of running stitch in a rusty coloured stranded cotton radiating out from the point of the fly stitches to the edge of the fabric.

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A thing of beauty from a used and discarded object.  A tiny, tiny echo of the ethos of the Eden Project.

 

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

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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…

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

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…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:

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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.

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

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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.

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

 

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