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Posts Tagged ‘sea’

Embroidery as promised. I not only finished off the faux driftwood piece I stitched at our sea-themed Embroiderers’ Guild March workshop…

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…but also found a framed ceramic plaque for £1 in a charity shop which after a bit of sanding and dry brushing with some pale blue emulsion paint yielded the perfect frame.

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The beaded fish is now nearly a name badge. I just need to add a brooch back, ladder stitch the two sections together and bead it round the edge.

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On Saturday it was our April Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting and an opportunity to revisit the embroidery we produced in March after Mary’s workshop. It was lovely to see such a variety of outcomes.

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This was followed by a fascinating talk by Alice Fox, learning about her creative journey and focusing on her ‘Findings’ body of work. Anyone who beach and pavement combs and turns the oddments she finds into works of art is a woman after my own heart. We had a workshop booked with her on the Sunday but I’m going to blog about that separately.

I’ve also been embroidering more pieces of silk carrier rod to inlay into upcycled jewellery – two lockets and a pendant. The pendant was first: vibrant green carrier rod with a crimson ribbon embroidery rose circled by five little leaf stitch leaves.

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This went beautifully with a stamped filigree brass frame to become June Rose.

Then I moved onto the smaller of two gold tone lockets. I used a wintry blue carrier rod and embroidered it with tiny snowflakes in two weights of silk thread. 20180426_114304_HDR.jpg

It really is very small – the central oval is about 2cm by 1.5cm and the finest thread is thinner than normal sewing cotton. The snowflakes aren’t quite well stitched as I wanted, but embroidering something that intricate freehand was quite a challenge.

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Snowflakes is available here.

For the second locket I returned to a familiar design, an undersea landscape of waving feather stitch fronds of coral or seaweed and tiny nuggets of sea glass.

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I chose a variegated pink and turquoise thread as a starting point and teamed it with turquoise/blue carrier rod, three nuggets of multi-coloured Seaham sea glass and a couple of darker pink threads.

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The Coral Garden locket is quite a bit bigger than the Snowflakes locket at about 4 by 4.5cm. I really like the colour combination. I wouldn’t have necessarily put the two colours together but they worked so well in the variegated thread.

I really love stitching these little vignettes and using them to make bits of junk jewellery into things of beauty again.

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On Saturday our Guild meeting was an all day workshop led by Mary, one of our members. It was themed as ‘The Sea’ and Mary provided not only inspiration in the form of some lovely examples of her own work on the subject…

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…assorted books, magazines etc. but also masses of fabric, shells, stones, beads, paints, printing blocks, silk waste; you name it… basically a complete treasure trove of stuff.

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And we all know how much more deliciously tempting other people’s stuff is than our own!

As a topic, the sea is completely in my comfort zone, so much so that my initial problem was where to start. There was so much I wanted to do! But as Mary talked us through her goodies, inspiration was initially triggered by a cloud of bright orange silk throwster’s waste and then confirmed by some foam core board. With a very definite idea in my head, I nipped in, grabbed a few bits and bore my loot off to my table.

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The lovely pale marbled fabric was a perfect base for my wrapped and back stitched  foam core board driftwood. I just cut it roughly to the right shape and then back stitched through the boards and several layers of dyed muslin, pulling and pleating the fullness of the fabric to give the impression of wood grain. It was easy to stitch invisibly to the background, where I used Inktense pencils to enhance the pattern of the fabric.

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The orange silk said rust to me, so I created a rusty square-headed bolt from a sandwich of silk carrier rods, the throwster’s waste and a street-scavenged washer I just happened to have in my bag, wrapped in an off-cut of the brown muslin I’d used for the  driftwood and stitched down with my favourite semi-metallic thread.

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The last element was some lovely aqua sea glass nuggets I also had in my bag. I nestled them in the curves of the marbled fabric pattern…

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…and after gluing them in place, stitched them down with a toning machine rayon thread.

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I couldn’t believe I’d actually finished a project within the workshop and still had time to start another one. There was a leaping fish stamp that I liked the look of, so I used metallic blue acrylic paint to stamp some images of it onto more of the grey marbled fabric.

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Then I stitched beads in the spots and some short bugle beads for his underbelly to make him sparkle. I’m adding my name underneath to turn him into a name badge. We are supposed to have one and wear it at meetings, but to my eternal shame it’s something I’ve never quite got round to – until now.

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A good day’s work.

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I know that some members prefer to have a bit of a project set out, but this free for all rummage through Mary’s treasures was perfect for me, and thanks to her skilful facilitation, gave me a wonderful day’s stitching.

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I’m still vaguely irritated about not being able to finish the french knot project so have been knitting socks instead and trying not to think about how fast I seem to be hurtling towards Christmas. Then I realised it was Guild this Saturday; time for the Travelling Books to set off on their third round and I still hadn’t done mine. I’m going to use some of the printing I did at Chris Gray’s workshop in the summer and it’s got this far:

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Not a single stitch in it. Oops. Guess what I need to do when I finish writing this…

But first I thought I’d share some of the pages that other people have stitched for me on the theme of The Sea.

Pam’s beach huts on a pieced patchwork background:

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Lorna’s paper string technique:

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Eilleen’s ‘Water Babies’ inspired underwater scene:

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Helen’s Rod Stewart ‘Sailing’ ships against a textured painted fabric background.

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Pauline’s impression of the Barrier Reef from a recent visit. The background is transfer printed using wrapping paper ironed onto calico!

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Mary gave me this delicious looking 3D crab.

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And finally Debbie interpreted one of her lovely photos taken at Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire in layers of fabric and stitch.

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They are all delightful – thanks everyone!

It seems that you can’t get away from Black Friday even in this country, so if you can’t beat them, join them. I’m offering a 25% discount on orders over £5 in my Etsy shop until the 5th of December. The code to enter at the checkout is: IFYOUCANTBEATTHEM

 

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I finally decided what the waves needed to finish them off for inclusion in my Travelling Book. As usual it was very last minute but in terms of effectiveness and being exactly what I wanted, it was worth waiting for inspiration!

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I chose fine white perle crochet cotton, two tiny steel Victorian crochet hooks (one of which belong to my great-grandmother) and a canvas needle to create the foaming white tops of the waves.

The top one is a line of slip stitch worked directly into the machine stitches (seriously tricky!) with a row of double crochet on top of that and then a layer of several trebles into each stitch to give the ruffle effect.

On the right I whipped each machine stitch, went back with a row of buttonhole stitch, returned with longer buttonholes and then put 5 or 6 more buttonholes into each loop.

Bottom left is a lacier affair with lengths of chain caught down with trebles.

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The others are all minor variants of these in either crochet or buttonhole loops.

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Then the piece was stretched over card and mounted into the book with an extract describing the waves which I love from Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with words by Walt Whitman.

By this point I was working against the clock and instead of being able to tea dye the music I had to give it a quick wash of watercolour which was the wrong shade. :o(

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But I at least made the deadline and I’m really excited that my book has gone off on another adventure!

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This was the intriguing title of our full day workshop with Josie Storey at Embroiderers’ Guild last Saturday, so armed with some very lush velvet and the usual sewing stuff I headed off without any real idea of what I was going to be doing!

The technique we were going to be playing with involved ironing prepainted bondaweb onto velvet and then using the stickiness to embellish with anything and everything to create a rich textured surface.

I started with some gorgeous Oliver Twists hand dyed velvet called ‘Stormy Seas’ and so I had to go for wave shapes,

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with silk waste, carrier rod strippings

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and scraps of painted melted plastic.

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By this point I’d decided this was going to be the next piece in my travelling book, so when I got home I layered it up with wadding and calico and quilted round the wave shapes with my sewing machine. From this:

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to this:

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No hand embroidery – yet…

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