Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘journal’

Not a comment about the weather, but it easily could be at the moment! Our last prompt at In The Stitch Zone was ‘Weave’ and that gave me the excuse to create and play with a pin loom. I used a little cardboard postal box which I filled with foam padding to give me a base to push the pins into. I used crewel wool in beige and yellow to do my first experimental piece. As I set the pins 0.5cm apart, and the crewel wool is very fine, it was a bit more open than I hoped, which means you can see the knots where I was joining pre-cut pieces of wool, but other than that, I think it worked out quite well.

I wanted to try it again with some thicker tapestry wool and I actually remembered to take some in progress photos this time so you can see how the loom works, with pins not only top and bottom, but also along the sides, which keeps the spacing between the warp and weft rows. Lots of knots again because I’m using pre-cut lengths from a load I bought in a charity shop which I think were probably from a kit.

This block is 9.5cm square and I managed to find a weaving needle in my workbox which made life very much easier with this sample as it was long enough to go across the whole piece in one go.

The thicker wool was a definite improvement and the denser texture meant the ends of the knots are much more difficult to see now it’s finished. I’m also hoping that I can more easily darn the ends from the weft knots along the edges.

I’m planning to use the cream piece as a background for the first one – something like this.

I’m delighted to have finished the central section of the Brantwood wallpaper motif. Last time I had successfully played red thread chicken and was thinking about using a very dark charcoal grey for the remaining stars rather than black.

I chose a lovely deep charcoal grey by HDF called ‘Night Smoke’ and have not only completed the stars, but also stitched over the red section at the base of the stalks which should have been black/grey. The grey is not quite as dark in real life as the photo suggests, but the weather isn’t really helping with good photographs at the moment.

The last section is the light grey. I’m not planning to fill in all the grey around the leaves as in the original – I can’t see that working at all – so I’m going to stitch the outline of the shape around the central motif and then satin and split stitch the stems and leaves around the edges. However, to my amazement, after having searched through all my threads, I’ve found I don’t have any pale grey silk thread at all, but I do have this lovely subtly variegated stranded cotton which is the right tone, if a little on the grey-blue rather than the grey-brown side.

I am torn though. I like the idea of the grey having the same sort of very subtle variegation as the blue, and I am also always keen to used what I already have rather than buying new. However, I love the lustre of the silk threads I’ve used throughout and I’m concerned that the cotton will look quite dull beside them. Any thoughts?

Read Full Post »

I’ve made a couple of pieces of upcycled jewellery recently that both have felt as a basis. The first is using the second of the two offcuts of hand made felt I was given by my lovely neighbour Lisa at the Artisan Market at The Collection back in June. I’ve already made the top one into a round found object mandala brooch which sold at Arttopia back in the summer.

I decided to make a barrette with the bottom one and cut it into a random curvy shape.

Next, auditioning found objects to decorate it…

…before I settled on a border of chunky vintage chain with a pressed brass motif, a larger clockwork cog and some unusual spiral wire wrapped chain links. I stitched everything down using simple straight stitches in a variegated mercerised cotton which echoes the pinks and purples in the felt.

I attached a barrette fixing to a piece of commercial felt for the backing and stitched the two layers together with a simple beaded blanket stitch and iridescent pinky-red/gold seed beads.

The second piece is a brooch and started off as a wet felted flower hair ornament which belonged to my little one when she was a lot younger. It doesn’t quite fit with the moody goth look she’s sporting at the moment and the felt itself was quite delicate so it had been pulled out of shape and was wearing very thin in places. I ironed it flat and having just processed some odd beads and a ring that all had a bit of a cogs and gears thing going on, had a bit of a play.

Next I stitched the pieces down with variegated turquoise and rust coloured thread.

And then cut the felt into the shape I wanted for the brooch, echoing the shape formed by the ‘cogs’.

Last step was to attach the felt and brooch back with beaded blanket stitch using some of my favourite iridescent turquoise seed beads. Not only is it a sturdy stitched edging but when you’re joining two pieces of fabric the beads sit nicely in the join and hide the edges.

Lastly, a thread chicken update on the Brantwood wallpaper motif. I made it: that is all I have left of the red!

I knew I had a little bit of wiggle room as I could have unpicked the red bar at the bottom of the leaves that’s supposed to be black, but I’m relieved it didn’t come to that. Next stage is the black (in fact a very dark grey called Night Smoke) stars.

Read Full Post »

I’ve had a few meetings over the last week which have borne fruit as far as the Victorian wallpaper motif is concerned. When I blogged about it a couple of weeks ago, I was a little worried about the coverage of the single strand red silk thread and wondering if two strands would work better.

As I’d worked a symmetrical section, I decided to change to two strands for the next one down and see how things went. And they went perfectly. The strands worked well together and I think the coverage is much smoother and neater. However, there is a definite difference in height between the two sections, so I’m wondering whether to restitch the three sections I’ve already done.

Especially as I checked back with the original photo – spot the not deliberate mistake!

I am definitely going to have to restitch the middle section, although I might just see if I can use the existing red stitches as padding, satin stitch over it in black and make it a slightly more raised block. Loving the way the silk shimmers in the sunlight.

At In The Stitch Zone, the class I teach on a Monday afternoon, we have just started the SpringBoard Project. The idea is that we all stitch something which incorporates the prompt for the week. It can be as complex or simple, obvious or tenuous as you like and therefore, hopefully accessible by anyone at any level of ability. We’re a week out of sync due to the Bank Holiday for the Queen’s funeral, so started last week with the first prompt, which was ‘Wrap’.

Even up to the start of the session I had no clear idea of what I was going to do. I had threads, fabric, beads and some other bits and pieces which included a section of plastic drinking straw. So I picked out some fabric in my favourite shades and started to play; literally doodling with the materials in front of me. And I ended up with this:

The bright turquoise is frayed habotai silk and I have caught it down with beads over sections of the straw.

I only had a small piece of the straw so I’m trying to use every scrap!

Loving this doodle and definitely going to carry on with it.

Lastly, as we’re at the end of yet another month (how did that happen?!) the round up for September’s Move It On Project. Not finished, but definitely moved on. I’ve learned some things, made choices and again, ended up with something that is worth continuing and finishing when the time is right.

I’ve bit the bullet with October’s Project because it’s actually something that has not yet been started. It’s not just my project, it’s a three way collaboration that started in lockdown and I’m painfully aware that I’m holding the job up, so I’m using this as a way of holding myself accountable. There will be pictures and a fuller confession to follow.

Read Full Post »

Just got back from a slightly different but very much needed and enjoyable week in North Cornwall. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen photos of our walks and beach excursions in my stories and I even managed to get some stitching done as well.

First, a piece of blackwork from a gorgeous design I found on Pinterest several years ago. I’m afraid I don’t know the designer, so if anyone does please can they let me know so I can credit them. This is stitched in a single strand of Gloriana silk thread on 28 count natural Cashel linen and yes, it is tiny! Most of the motifs are about 1cm square.

Stitching al fresco in Boscastle while my husband and little one went snorkelling in the harbour.

And again at Tintagel while we waited for our slot to cross the new bridge onto the headland.

Finally finished. I still love the design and I’m glad I stitched it, but I’m ready to move onto something else!

I’ve decided to stitch a Memory Journal style diary for this holiday. I’m going for images and memories from the whole week, rather than one piece to represent each day as I’ve done in the past. We went to Crackington Haven on the Sunday evening to watch the sunset.

And to have a little beachcomb – although as the tide was well in, it was only a little one. I love the slate pebbles of this beach with their scribbly quartz inclusions.

So the first piece I created was using the pebble fabric from the Anderby Creek Memory Journal and some flat slate pebbles from Crackington Haven beach over which I stitched my own quartz inclusions.

I’ve also been very taken with the way the prevailing winds sculpt the trees on the north coast. (Taken through the windscreen of the car, so not the best photo, but I love the shape of that tree.)

Start of my sculpted tree piece. I’m planning to couch the strands of cotton down to make the outline of the branches and then clothe it in leaves – possibly a few less than on the original so you can still see the framework of branches.

We visited a few beaches during the week but the beach finds were generally a bit sparse. However, I’m planning to use some of these bits I picked up at Tintagel for various stitching and jewellery projects.

Plenty of inspiration and hopefully now I’ve had a week’s recharge, I have the energy to get stuck into them.

Read Full Post »

Firstly, the Niijima Floats piece is finished – all apart from stitching on the press studs. I had initially thought about continuing the lines of the trapunto onto the binding to try and disguise what to me had become glaring errors, but Debbie pointed out that by doing that I would lose the lovely contrast between the smooth binding and the furrows of the trapunto.

Then I found the sycamore leaf template I used for ‘It Rained’ in the Tattershall Journal and had a bit of a brainwave. I cut two leaves out of a very fine felt I made for a project that ended up not happening, stitched on veins and popped them strategically onto the binding.

IMG_20200825_195939

Not only do they hide the mistakes, they balance the colour pop in the top corner and remind me of the beautiful Japanese maples around the garden. It’s been a long slog, but I think this piece has finally got there!

IMG_20200825_201248

This gave me renewed enthusiasm to tackle the reeds again. It’s going very slowly as I put the tiniest of stitches in to attach the silver fabric, but at least it’s going and I’m starting to enjoy the process.

IMG_20200831_104926

And lastly, I trekked out to Cleethorpes in torrential rain on Friday to get the first batch of my upcycled jewellery into Arttopia – an amazing shop full of all sorts of art and craft by local artists.

IMG_20200828_163049

What with the pandemic and all sort of other issues, it’s taken a long time to get here, but I’m delighted to finally be part of this group of talented people.

IMG_20200828_163102

Great position right next to the till – I just hope the customers like my work enough to buy it!

Read Full Post »

Another way of working round Embroiderers’ Block I suppose, is to do something that you fancy doing, so I’ve started a third design for the Kew Memory Journal, based on English Paper Pieced patchwork.

First of all I cut a rectangle of paper slightly smaller than the page of the book and divided it into a few smaller rectangles. One needed to be big enough to be the background for a vintage 1990 Kew Gardens stamp, and I fitted the rest around it.

IMG_20200820_111425

I usually cut the pieces out one by one so I don’t forget what order they go in and put them back into the design when they’re covered. Taking process photos also helps in case of disaster!

IMG_20200820_120406

Then the pieces need stitching together. I use ladder stitch because I like my stitching to be as invisible as possible.

IMG_20200820_124158

Once the pieces were all stitched together I gave them a quick iron to press the edges under so they would stay when I took the papers out, and then ladder stitched round the outside edge to attach it to a piece of pale green felt.

IMG_20200823_172942

This stabilises the edges, gives the whole thing a bit of body as I’ve used a variety of weights of fabric including some very fine silk and means I have a firmer background to attach it to the page.

I trimmed it next and carefully back stitched the stamp in place. The pink and blue tones in the stamp don’t quite work with the greens, but I had to remind myself that this is a memory journal and the Pagoda is part of it.

The memory it holds is of having lunch in a shady grove of trees near the Pagoda and then, as it was one of those two insanely hot days last July, we sat on a seat under the bottom tier and decided it was much too warm to go up all those steps!

IMG_20200823_185020

I like embroider on these types of patchwork pieces as I did with my 2012 Cornwall Holiday Journal (August 2012 in the ‘Recent Posts’ part of the sidebar if you’re interested) so I’m probably going to add a branch to the top right hand corner.

I’ve also made the middle of a flower on the buttonhole rings piece. The big ring is attached with french knots, the inner one with invisible stitches to pull it down inside and the centre is filled with a few french knots.

IMG_20200824_085531

Now I need to decide not only on the colour of the rings that will become the petals, but also whether to keep them as circles or stretch them into petal shapes.

 

Read Full Post »

As I continued to stitch the Diagonal Raised Band I became less and less sure that it was right for the piece. It’s a lovely and relatively simple stitch to work as it’s based on diagonally placed cross stitches and the lacy background is beautiful, but in spite of all its good points, it still didn’t feel right.

IMG_20200712_151619

It was too stiff and just didn’t reflect the soft curves of the raked gravel cradling the Niijima Floats in the Zen Garden. So I finished it off…

IMG_20200712_182325

…and started stitching into some silk noil. It’s difficult to see as it’s double running stitch in cream silk thread on cream silk noil but it’s supposed to be a series of parallel channels like the rake lines.

IMG_20200713_144026

I planned to experiment with trapunto quilting by stuffing the stitched channels with thick wool. And to my delight, even though the only wool I could find in the right thickness was green, it worked!

IMG_20200713_145953

Stuffing the other channels which aren’t open at both ends has been an interesting task but with the help of a stiletto I managed to get this far.

IMG_20200713_190206

And with the transferred picture.

IMG_20200713_190141

Suddenly it works. The lines of trapunto quilting even almost match up with the lines of gravel (which was a complete accident). I’ve been fighting the pulled thread work all week but when the right technique falls into place it just comes together so easily that I actively want to stitch it instead of it being a chore.

Read Full Post »

Finally finished, thanks to all your help, advice and ideas. I settled on a frame of brick fabric over an interfacing core to finish off the canvaswork bricks and a touch of Inktense to intensify the colours. It’s tacked in place here…

IMG_20200620_185158

…and slip stitched in place here.

IMG_20200622_155833

A closure of some grosgrain ribbon printed with maple leaves and a vintage snap was the final finishing touch, and I can now proudly present the Tattershall Castle Memory Journal.

IMG_20200622_155946

IMG_20200622_160008

Unlike the Anderby Creek Journal this one is folded as a triptych with the bollock purse in the middle.

IMG_20200622_155806

And the reverse. The ribbon is stitched to the two folds and passes under the micro quilt which is press studded in place.

IMG_20200622_155859

I’m delighted to have finished it and am ready to move onto the third in the series – the Kew Gardens Chihuly Exhibition memory journal. I just have to find the black hole that my evenweave fabric has disappeared into first…

I also had fun making a Fathers’ Day card for a friend’s dad. I really object to the tired old football, beer, cars tropes that get trotted out every year, especially as neither my dad nor my husband are into any of those and neither is my friend’s dad. But he does love the Lake District, so I gathered some scraps of hand dyed fabric and started to experiment.

IMG_20200616_225306

A little bit of ironing later and I had this:

IMG_20200617_092454

It was a good way of showcasing the different textures as well as the variations in colour and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.

IMG_20200617_092509

It went down very well apparently, so another satisfied customer!

Read Full Post »

Bullion roses first. In fact this is quite an old finish (early lockdown rather than later!) but one I haven’t blogged about at all. I began another tiny locket insert on silk carrier rod well before last Christmas, using silk buttonhole twist to make bullion knot roses.

IMG_20200429_135358

It stalled as other projects took priority but finally at the end of April I decided to crack on and get it finished.

IMG_20200430_172549

I was aiming for an asymmetric look but without it appearing to be unfinished and I am very pleased with the result which you can find here in my Etsy shop.

DSCN8521

Back to the Tattershall Castle memory journal. ‘It Rained’ is completed and I am really pleased with it. First the split stitch leaves and couched perle thread stalks.

IMG_20200610_162858

Then I added the raindrops. Flat backed teardrop shaped beads with an iridescent coating. They were the perfect finishing touch and I think this might be my favourite of all of the Tattershall pieces.

IMG_20200613_104244

This meant that I was now ready to assemble the memory journal, put it away and move onto the third one, documenting my visit to Kew last summer. I blanket stitched a border around the bollock purse…

IMG_20200613_104323

…and stitched into it with tiny stab stitches to attach it to the page.

IMG_20200615_114405

Everything else went on really smoothly but then I came to the canvaswork piece…

IMG_20200615_114512

Unfortunately I trimmed it really close to the edge and this has given me no leeway now I need to stitch it in place. I’m pretty sure that even if I try to invisibly stitch it down the handling will be enough to loosen the last thread on each edge and in any case, I don’t want the spiky bare canvas as an edging.

IMG_20200404_100322

So near and yet so far! So, dear readers, any thoughts, ideas or inspiration? All suggestions very gratefully received!

Read Full Post »

I’m not exactly sure where the last week has gone. A lot of it gobbled up in household chores and eBay/Etsy listings, I suspect. I know it’s important not to get obsessed by what we have or haven’t done given the continuing situation but I am a bit irritated with myself that I haven’t progressed further with my stitching projects.

The last Tattershall piece, ‘It Rained’, has had a few more veins added.

IMG_20200608_184048

I’ve also had what I modestly consider a genius idea to attach the micro quilt so you can still see the back. I stitched on press studs!

IMG_20200608_180839

And then discovered it wasn’t centred… :o(

IMG_20200608_180822

The canvaswork needlebook is also finished. Well, the canvaswork bit of it is and I also made the closure cords.

IMG_20200608_154643

Next is the making up and I’ve stalled on that. I know I’m not alone in this but why is it that we so often baulk at the finishing off stage of a project? I really need a needlebook too, so you’d think that would give me the incentive to crack on and get it finished, but no, I’m dragging my heels like my youngest when reminded that she has flute practise to do instead of WhatsApping her friends.

I’ve made a few more bits of upcycled jewellery as well. A silver 1970s coin pendant, vintage carved bone disc and single silver earring…

IMG_20200507_142646

…became this:

DSCN8808

Available here in my Etsy shop.

I also restored a lovely 1950s diamante bib necklace section with a replacement diamante (the small blue one in the middle) and some reclaimed chain…

DSCN9254

…to make it into this:

DSCN9246

Also available here in my Etsy shop.

In fact, not too shabby for a week’s work, I suppose!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Stitching Diaries

Level 3 Stitched Textiles Embroidery with Distant Stitch

summerholiday111

stitching, creative textiles, inspiration

hertstitch

for embroiderers and textile artists in hertfordshire and beyond

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.

Stitched up with Thread

Slowly threading things together through stitch

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 artist and tapestry weaver Chrissie Freeth

debbidipity

into textiles & beyond

KDD & Co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design