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Posts Tagged ‘patchwork’

Our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is having an exhibition at the end of June and a week last Saturday was the deadline for handing in completed pieces of work from the last couple of years to the organisers. We had very helpfully been given a list of all the meetings and workshops to jog our memories so I went down the list, annotating each one as to whether I hadn’t been at the meeting, hadn’t finished it or if it was finished, where it was. There seemed to be two main outcomes – didn’t finish, or made into a card and sent to somebody! The only finished pieces I could lay my hands on for the last two years were my faux driftwood piece…

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…the Chris Gray amulet…

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…and the Brazilian embroidery rose I’d made up into a card but not sent because I couldn’t bear to part with it!

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So it ended up a busy week, so busy that I forgot to photograph both the nuno felting which I turned from this:

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…into a simple seascape and a piece of the paper stitching we did with Alice Fox recently which I mounted as a card.

The kantha fish…

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…was the first to be finished by stitching him onto a piece of indigo dyed fabric with rows of running stitch that merged into the kantha and then mounting over a 7 x 5 inch canvas.

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I also finished a selection of little stitched fragments for my Alice Fox book.

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But the really big finish was my English paper piecing. I get bored easily with the piecing process and when we did the workshop, I chose small equilateral triangles – probably not the best shape in the circumstances! At the end of the day I had a pile of triangles in shades of browns and indigo and absolutely no idea what to do with them.

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Seeing the workshop on the list I wondered if it was even possible to finish the project, but I had what promised to be a lengthy committee meeting that week and repeatedly stitching together triangles looked like the perfect way of passing the time. It was: by the end of the meeting I had all the finished triangles stitched together and an idea very firmly in my head.

Without using half triangles the shapes you can make with equilateral triangles are rather limited, so I created a diamond which I planned to stitch onto this gorgeous piece of hand dyed indigo with some quilt wadding in between and a plain piece of indigo dyed cotton for the backing.

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My trusty Frister and Rossmann coped easily with quilting through all the various layers along the lines of the triangles.

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Then I joined a number of strips of woodland themed fabric in three different brown colourways to get enough and had a go at a tutorial I found online (where else?!) for adding a binding with mitred corners as you go. It worked!!

 

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I tidied the ends up, wrote (no time to embroider) a label…

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…added a hanging sleeve and couched some glittery thread around the edge of the diamond to hide the line where I had machined it down. In hindsight and with more time I would have appliqued it invisibly to the top.

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From a handful of triangles…

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…to a mini quilt…

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…in about three days. I still can’t believe it!

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It was our Embroiderers’ Guild Meeting the Saturday before last and between taking my little one for her tennis lesson and not checking the timings on the extremely clear and useful newsletter which our secretary always sends out just prior to the monthly meeting, I managed to roll up late as usual.

By the time I sidled in, everyone was engrossed in their English Paper Piecing project set up by our chair, Ruth, in the morning. As well as providing fabric and sheets of templates, Ruth had brought a fabulous display of books, works in progress and completed projects to inspire.

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Debbie had been inspired by one of Ruth’s patchwork pouches and was well on with her own version in some glorious sunflower fabrics.

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I had gone for some oddments of prints and hand dyes in coffee shades with some indigo dyed cotton for my fabrics.

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Since I’ve been working with hexagons in Auntie Sheila’s patchwork project I decided to go for equilateral triangles for a bit of a challenge.

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I really enjoyed getting quite a few pieced in various fabrics so I could play around with some arrangements and I even got some stitched together, but not entirely sure where I’m going to take this next, which is irritating as it was a really good workshop and I like the colour and shape combinations. I’m sure something will come to me when I’m thinking about something else!

In June the Embroiderers’ Guild are having a stand at the annual Lincolnshire Show and members from various branches in the area have been asked to make some little bits and pieces which could be sold to raise funds and at least cover the cost of the stand. I had seen some little pincushion brooches on Pinterest which were made from puffs of stuffed fabric on a flat metal brooch type background. It just so happened that I had some new flat brass discs among my jewellery making kit, so I used a scrap of silk, a length of vintage crochet thread, a gold bead and a small amount of stuffing and made a prototype.

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There were ten of the stamped brass discs in the packet, so I decided to use all ten. Works in progress…

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And a couple of the finished articles.

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They are now all neatly packed up and ready for the Show. Apparently our branch alone has amassed nearly a hundred items to sell!

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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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My Auntie Sheila was a wonderful woman. She was warm, kind, always elegantly dressed and effortlessly glamorous, arty and creative and I thought she was amazing. The only openly artistic member of our very practical family, she made it OK for me to be creative. I just wish I had really got into my textile art before she died in 2005. I know she would have been fascinated and supportive.

When she died, my uncle gave me a big box full of her craft bits and pieces. Most of it was card making type stuff, but there was a very pretty traditional style quilted patchwork bag, full of pieced paper hexagons. Some cut out ready to stitch, some covered but on their own, quite a lot formed up into flower shapes and some into larger flowers.

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Traditional hexagon patchwork has never really appealed, but Auntie Sheila had pieced these, so I put them in the back of the wardrobe as a possible project for the far distant future.

When I was packing for our holiday in the Lake District in May, I was looking for a fairly straightforward project to work on in the evenings alongside my (non-stitching) holiday diary and I don’t know what made me get it out, especially with so many other stitching projects littered around the house, but I did, and it was a winner. Since most of the hard work was done, it was quite soothing starting to put the larger flowers together and I worked on it again when we went away to the Scottish Borders in August.

I’ve nearly completed the middle section which is blues around a central cream and rust flower. It is a proper rust, not garish orange as the photo suggests.

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For the next round I’m starting to sort through the pile of smaller hex flowers for ones in cream and rust and there are some florals in a similar colour which I think I’ll incorporate too. I want to use as many of Auntie Sheila’s blocks and fabrics as possible but I also want it to work pattern-wise, so compromises will need to be made. A long-term project, this one.

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I will confess to using something I already had for the Travelling Book this month, but when I leafed through Eileen’s book and saw how much of it was inspired by gardens and the natural world, I immediately thought of the meadow grasses piece I stitched based on a piece of work from a Folio our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild borrowed from headquarters a couple of years ago.

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I photocopied the page from my sketch book with all the inspiration detail on it…

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And then tidied up the finished piece to go on the facing page.

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It’s really nice to be able to find a home for something you’ve stitched and love but have no immediate use for and also to have a bit of room to breathe this month rather than frantically stitching at the last moment!

I’ve also been enjoying upcycling jewellery. Each piece is different and I love looking at these broken down bits and working out how to make them wearable again.

The soft creamy rose pinks and faded greens of these patchwork and vintage lace covered earrings is so much nicer than the brash plastic cabochon I started off with.

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And it was lovely to sort through my sea glass collection to find some matching aqua coloured pieces to repair a bib necklace where some of the plastic decorative elements were missing. I didn’t realise quite how much I had amassed as it’s in different places according to where I collected it from!

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The central piece is from Polperro in Cornwall and most of the other pieces are from Seaham. It’s so nice to be able to showcase some of this beautiful glass. They’re both now in my Etsy shop and I hope they find new leases of life very soon!

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We’ve just had a typically wet, but in spite of that, very enjoyable week sharing a cottage with friends in the Lake District. I’m on with my holiday journal which is a mix between an altered book and the found object journalling I did a couple of years ago in Cornwall. No pictures of that yet, but here are some of the lovely things that I came across in our exploration of the Lakes which have inspired me.

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness:

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Just one example of the stunning stained glass at Blackwell House.

Stained glass, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Inlaid detail on a bureau:

Detail of a bureau, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

A period Arts and Crafts sofa:

Arts and Crafts sofa, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the plasterwork between picture rail and ceiling:

Decorative plasterwork, Blackwell House, Bowness

Beautiful whitework on a pillow:

Whitework, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the pieced patchwork hexagon fans of the 1911 quilt on the same bed:

Patchwork bedspread, Blackwell House, Bowness

Wet slate roofs in Chapel Stile:

Slate roofs, Chapel Stile

 

Crewelwork bedspread at Brantwood House near Coniston, the home of John Ruskin.

Crewelwork bedspread, Brantwood House, Coniston

An example of Ruskin lace, a type of drawn threadwork introduced by Ruskin to the Lake District as a cottage industry.

Ruskin lace, Brantwood House, Coniston

I love these cheeky sheep – one of the sculptures at Grizedale Forest.

Sethera, Grizedale Forest

Sethera, Grizedale Forest 2

 

It feels quite odd to be home – I could have happily stayed another week!

 

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I’m enjoying the challenge of upcycling jewellery at the moment and I found a couple of pairs of 80s earrings – biggish, with white plastic middles (just right to tone with those classy white stilettos and matching handbag to dance round to George Michael!) and gold-tone borders – which were in fairly good condition and crying out for something interesting to be done with the blank canvas of the middles.

Initially, I toyed with pieces of cotton print and silk kimono fabric, but although the fabrics were attractive, the effect was a little thin. Then I found some scraps of fine strip patchwork and the extra thickness given by the seams was perfect.

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I like being able to tuck the edges under the rolled metal borders for extra neatness.

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Then the tear-drop shaped pair.

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The pointed end made these a bit more challenging to work with as the fabrics wanted to fray right away on such a narrow area.

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From brash 80s costume jewellery to unique textile pieces. I’m so pleased with these and my Etsy shop doesn’t know what’s hit it – three new listings in a week! Check them out here and here.

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