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Posts Tagged ‘seeding’

This was my last piece for someone else’s travelling book before we started a new journey and Debbie’s brief was to create something to do with letters.

I already had a piece of embellished sheet music left over from a workshop we did last year with Fran Holmes. The bigger piece had gone to cover the steampunk journal I made for a friend’s wedding…

 

Fused paper fabric 1

…and I had the smaller piece left, which I had started to cover in seed stitch.

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I finished the seed stitch, which was a bit of a marathon to say the least,

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and as the finished piece was nicely sturdy, with layers of fusible vilene, thick paper, chiffon and heavy stitching, I decided to turn it into the cover of a journal which could be sent as a letter. I took the idea from a book I’d recently bought and for card and paper substituted fused fabric and kimono silk.

I fused a piece of chiffon to the back to stabilise the stitching when I cut it and also to neaten it off a bit.

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Then I cut three sets of pages from vintage Japanese kimono silk…

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…and pamphlet stitched them into the cover, which I had already cut to shape.

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The left flap folds under and the tapered section on the right slots into the slit on the left.

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I copied the instructions to go with the journal and made an envelope for it to go into using a photocopied piece of the instructions which hadn’t printed properly.

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Next was the bag. Debbie had made a bag for her travelling book to go in at the beginning of the project, when we all had nice slim books. Three rounds later there was no way her book was going back into the bag, so she asked me to alter the bag as if it was an envelope that had been to and fro through the postal system.

I used some postal themed rubber stamps and found some slightly shiny fabric which looks a bit like parcel tape, slit the bag up the sides and started to add sections of the parcel tape fabric to enlarge the bag. Then I stamped all over the front and back and stitched it all together.

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Now I need to put another piece into my own journal before it wanders off on another round of travels.

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The final person in our group was Christina and her piece was entitled ‘Plenty More In The Sea!’

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Unlike my other contributors, Christina’s inspiration had come from a piece of glorious fabric first with the sea element second. That’s not a complaint, just my delight in the glimpses these books have given into other people’s creative processes.

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It must have been fabulous too, by what you can see in the bodies of the fish.

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Hand embroidery stitches to enhance the fish shapes and seeding and french knots to texture the background.

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It’s really made me want to play with reverse appliqué a bit!

The show I’m currently directing – ‘Cheshire Cats’ – is in theatre next week so there should be time for sewing back stage even if the week is probably going to be crazily busy. Fingers crossed for enough audience for us to make a profit. Even a small one would be nice!

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This started with another full day workshop at our Embroiderers’ Guild branch: Brown Paper Embellishment with Fran Holmes. I didn’t have any brown paper but reasoned that an odd piece of vintage sheet music would work as well. So we had a lovely session scrunching and adding crayon, more scrunching, more crayon, then layering our paper with flowers etc. (I used simple leaf shapes cut from silk) Mistyfuse, chiffon and interfacing on the back. Then we ironed transfoil onto the front which caught in random places depending on how much Mistyfuse was still sticky through the chiffon.

Fused paper fabric transfoil

After all that, I ended up with this:

Fused paper fabric 1

Fran showed us how to further embellish the pieces with machine stitch, but I went for hand stitching and some seed stitches on the bottom piece with my favourite variegated Madeira thread.

Fused paper fabric 2

This was the starting point for a steampunk journal I’ve been planning to make ever since we were invited to a friend’s steampunk themed wedding. As the wedding was yesterday (and FABULOUS!) I can now reveal the rest of it.

The top piece of paper with die-cut cogs and a distressed watch face stitched onto it, became the basis for the front cover over a chipboard base:

Steampunk journal 1

Some flat-backed gems and an old earring cabochon added texture and sparkle.

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Put together with rings to bind.

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I had great fun going through my stash of papers and ephemera to make the pages of the book.

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The scraps of vintage fabric on the right hand page were hand dyed with walnuts from Oxburgh Hall a couple of summers ago.

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On the right hand page, which is the inside of the back cover, those layers are a multi-part pocket into which I’ve slipped some more bits and pieces for use elsewhere in the journal.

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And the back cover. Steampunk journal 18 I hope the bride gets as much pleasure out of using it as I did making it.

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Thanks for all your input on the indigo book. I was starting to lean towards the boro mend myself, so it was good to have that thought supported. Hopefully I should get it finished today.

James’ blue crazy patchwork cushion continues to evolve slowly. I found another scrap of commercially embroidered fabric which I added to the left hand side of the strip to break up the expanse of the piece at that end.

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The printed Japanese cotton had curious spirals within the faux tie-dye shapes, so I enhanced them with spirals of chain stitch in white silk.

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The new piece of embroidered brocade now has a seeded background.

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And the other commercially embroidered patch has had heavy soft silk couched around the shapes prior to adding some extra detail in probably fly stitch and French knots – not quite decided yet.

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The little yachts will be getting their own frames of chain stitch spirals in variegated thread.

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And the ultramarine silk dupion has waves of kantha stitch.

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Slowly making progress.

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was an all day affair, with a stitching workshop in the morning and a fascinating talk in the afternoon given by Hull Branch’s Alison Larkin on miniature embroidery.

In the morning she gave out kits she had made up for us to practise stitching a floral Jacobean-style motif  in a single thread of stranded cotton and tiny stitches. There were three colour choices and I went for green and yellow. By lunchtime I’d got as far as this:

Miniature embroidery 1

The half seed stitch and half Jacobean laid work/trellis stitch leaf is edged in whipped back stitch, as are the petals in the central flower with the french knot middle – you can see the back stitched foundation in the bottom petal. The stems are split stitch and the top flower has one petal edged in split stitch over which is worked satin stitch with the other petal being whipped back stitch again.

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The other leaf is half satin stitch over a split stitch edging and half outlined in whipped back stitch with split stitch veins.

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Unfortunately I had to leave promptly and it wasn’t until I got home that I realised I’d left with my embroidery still in one of Alison’s hoops! This meant I really had to get on and finish the stitching to post it back to her! Not that it was any hardship at all to work on such a lovely design.

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The simple straight stitches in the petals of the central flower and bud really bring them to life. The darker yellow daisy was only supposed to be a bud, but I’d stitched most of the petals before I checked the design and I liked it so decided to keep it as a full flower.

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Finished and with a penny to show the scale!

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I really enjoyed this little project. It was right up my street anyway as I love working small. :o)

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A great day – many thanks to Alison and her fellow members of the Hull branch.

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The first strip of crazy patchwork for James’ cushion is finished.

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The texturing chain stitches, french knots and seeding here:

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The cluster of eyelets and french knots using up oddments of thread here:

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Soft twilight coloured silk thread couched around the outline of the design on this commercially embroidered piece:

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Fly stitch leaves in thick variegated cotton perle on silk dupion:

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The leaves are very satisfying motifs to stitch as they’re nice and bold and work up quickly.

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One strip done, two to go and the middle one with the lovely indigo sunburst next.

Pieced crazy patchwork strips

Fingers crossed that half term gives me a bit more time to sew.

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I really need some more hours in the day. but a couple of meeting have enabled me to do some more of the blue crazy patchwork for James’ cushion. The button motif is finished with a row of fly stitches linking the outer row of french knots.

January Blue button motif 1

Then I started on a piece of batik patterned fabric. Seeding in white to texture the cloudy white and aqua of the background.

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And chain stitch and french knots in rich blue to highlight the leaves and dots  pattern. Just a few bits to finish on this one.

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Then I decided to make a small corner triangle the place to use up ends of threads I’d used elsewhere in a mix of eyelets and french knots.

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I can’t bear to throw anything away!

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