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Posts Tagged ‘pamphlet stitch’

I first had the idea for putting a pamphlet stitched booklet inside the cuff of a shirt or jacket about 6 years ago and although I’ve since seen images on the internet, I’m proud to say it was it was an idea I had all by myself!

Denim cuff books

It’s a great method for making notebooks to carry around in a bag or pocket as the button (or snap) on the cuff holds the pages closed and you have the length of the cuff to decorate.

Leaves book cover 1

So I was delighted to be asked to teach it as a workshop for Brigg Allsorts group last week.  Men’s shirts, my main source of cuffs, often are patterned in stripes or checks and the patterns are a great set of guidelines for keeping your stitches straight, so I chose a checked one and decided to have a go at some chicken scratch embroidery with cross stitch and rice stitch.

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I also replaced the boring button with one covered in scarlet silk. It’s fascinating how adding even simple stitches can alter your perception of the background design so much.

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One of the early projects on the seven week crazy patchwork course I’m running for North Lincolnshire Adult Education at Ashby Link was to piece three tiny scraps of fabric together with feather stitch and enhance them with stitches to make a crazy patchwork brooch. This is my example. Black and gold silk covered with lace on either side of a scrap of printed Japanese style cotton with a gold coloured metal motif stitched onto it.

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Kantha stitch knocks back the brightness of the print in the middle. Whipped back stitch and threaded chain stitch to the left and bullion roses with stem stitch stems and nested lazy daisy leaves on the right.

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I went for a very closely worked blanket stitch edging as the pieces of silk fabric were fraying very badly. It took a lot longer to finish, but I think the neat effect is worth it.

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One thing about teaching these courses, I have to get things finished to keep up with the learners!

 

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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…

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

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…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..

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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).

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

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The next prompt was cutting and patching.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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As well as messing about with old jewellery, I’ve also been putting the finishing touches to my altered York Minster book. I didn’t have any real aim apart from to play with the pages and images and see what happened.

The cover simply had a quatrefoil border in embossing paste added.

Altered York Minster book 1

Experiments with transfer medium on a colour photocopy with added background in watersoluble oil pastel. I love this image taken pointing up at the sky.

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Stones from a scrap of marbled paper and medieval tiles.

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Close up of the tiles. The page has been given a rough coat of gesso followed by a rough coat of brown oil pastel. The ’tiles’ are made from a papier mache medium pressed into a silicon mould, painted and dry brushed and then mounted on little squares of card.

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More tile patterns  and fantasy mason’s marks, made by putting letter stickers together. There are always a few x, v, z, j etc kicking around on the end of a sheet and it was fun to see what patterns I could make from them.

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Dragon boss in flames and medieval dioceses. My first attempt at stitching through ready pierced paper.

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Part of the rose window with oil pastels behind and layering two transfers of a painted roof boss.

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More mason’s marks. real ones this time, scratched into a heavy layer of gesso on one side of the spread and drawn onto a thinner layer with some assorted facts on the facing page.

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More experiments with transfer medium and photocopies. The great seal of York Minster (reversed!) on the left. You can also see the slubby thread I used to stitch it back together, the very old original staples having rusted away.

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My found poem pages. The rest of the text is obscured by layers of gesso and iridescent watercolours and the words are joined with rub down transfers of gold dotted lines. The pages are interleaved with wrapping acetate from a posh shop!

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More experiments with transfer medium, this time onto clear acetate sheet, using patterns from the Five Sisters window which is referenced in the original text. The images on the right are mounted above a paper copy of the pattern using spacers.

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A transfer medium green man with oil pastels and embossing paste foliage on the left. On the right, two left-over images from the Five Sisters window have been stuck on the page, the ‘panes’ cut out with a craft knife and painted gauze stuck behind. Painted gesso covered card strips form the masonry around the ‘window’.

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The gauze ‘stained glass window’ with the light behind it.

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The back of the gauze with embossing paste patterns and the same stencil used as a rubbing for the ‘cope chest’.

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The silk brocade contents of the ‘cope chest’.

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And the ‘richly embroidered jewelled copes’ page using a pricking tool for the embroidery and Stewart Gill paints and glitter medium for extra sparkle!

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A rose and text fragment with stick-on edging.

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The final page – the Minster and the Roman fort.

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And the back cover – assorted stars, gesso and paint with the pamphlet stitch re-stitched spine.

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It’s been fun.

But still in my heart of hearts, I can hear the scandalised whisper of my conscience,

“You drew in a book…”

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