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Posts Tagged ‘ladder stitch’

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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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The applique cover of this little book experiment has been finished a while, so the next step was to cover the back of the embroidery with a lining.

Leaves book cover 1

I chose some hand dyed purple and turquoise feather-light silk and turning over the raw edges as I went, ladder stitched it to the back of the cover.

Leaves cuff book 1

Leaves cuff book 2

Finally, I divided the medley of papers into three signatures and used a beaded long stitch binding to attach them to the spine – not easy through two layers of shifting fabric!

Leaves cuff book 3

Leaves cuff book 3

Leaves cuff book 4

Leaves cuff book 5

A little selection of iridescent seed beads, matte bugles and interesting triangular beads work well together for the binding and the blue thread I used blends into the denim for the unbeaded stitches.

Leaves cuff book 6

The thickness of the denim layers really helps it to stand up on its own.

Leaves cuff book 7

It’s a pretty rugged little notebook! I’ve really enjoyed putting it together and even, better, the concept worked just as I’d hoped. Not often that happens!

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The reticulated brass paisley shape at the heart of the design was attached using a modified curve stitching pattern.

Paisley brooch - finishing 1

And then it was time for the making up.

Paisley brooch - finishing 2

I cut and laminated together two piece of pelmet vilene the same size as the overall shape and laced the design over them. I covered another single piece of vilene in the blue silk, stitched a brooch back to it and then ladder stitched the two covered pieces together.

Paisley brooch - finishing 3

The basic shape is a kidney shape, which made getting the fabric to evenly go into the dent of the kidney quite challenging and even after my best efforts, there’s still a slight pucker on the back.

Fortunately the french knot edging on the front hides any imperfections.

Paisley brooch - finishing 4

And boxed ready to join my other completed pieces.

Paisley brooch - finishing 5

My summer holiday job is to open an etsy shop for my jewellery. Watch this space.

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