some of this, some of that

On Tuesday I set up my machine for some thread painting with the thought of making a short video of the process because I’ve seen so many sewing demos online and thought it couldn’t be too difficult. Ha! The lighting wasn’t quite right so the stitching didn’t show up clearly on playback (although my hands didn’t look too bad) and if the camera got knocked it sounded like a volcano erupting. Finding the ideal camera position was difficult and the lack of a zoom facility didn’t help although how I might have operated that as well as moving the fabric is still a quandry. How do others do this so successfully? Perhaps there’s just a lot of deft editing or they have someone else doing the filming or they use a camera more suitable than my webcam (which is tethered to my pc with a not-as-long-as-I’d-like-it-to-be cable). Frustratingly, I couldn’t find anything online that might explain how I could do it better so it might take a lot longer to win that oscar!

This is what was stitched during the filming and it’s obvious that I had no clear stitching plan in mind before I began. I used a layer of pelmet interfacing which had been painted with poster paints and sprinkled with salt crystals before the surface dried to give that mottled effect on the right. (I’m still finding salt on the work bench several days later.) I backed the interfacing with batting and a layer of cotton but I needn’t have done as it’s easy to thread paint on a single layer of the interfacing.

fme doodles

Yesterday I did some leaf prints on a scrap of thick canvas-type fabric and on the remaining coloured interfacing (which hadn’t been layered with anything else). I’d gathered leaves weeks ago and I wish I could now remember what I rubbed on them in an attempt to preserve them because it was quite successful! I do know that I subsequently ironed two of them between sheets of kitchen paper and those were the leaves I used for the print attempts as well as a leaf shape cut from flexible fabric in my craft supplies (there, because it hadn’t lived up to its original description as being suitable to prevent rug-creep). The backs of the leaves were rubbed with the flat side of an Inktense block and then placed upside down and the image transferred to damp interfacing/fabric with a brayer.  On dry fabric/interfacing I very lightly sprayed the coloured leaves with water before transferring. I think the interfacing as a background worked best of all because it’s quite rigid. The larger leaf stood up well to use and I think I could probably take further prints before it finally disintegrates.

leaf print

playing with orts

This week has been an unsettled one as far as needle and threads have been concerned. I needed to use a magnifying glass for my tulips embroidery but because the magnifyer and my d-i-y lighting system are hung round my neck and they got in the way of each other so I gave up on the tulips.  Several daytime sessions at thread painting were unsatisfactory too and most were binned, apart from this little bowl which used up some of my growing collection of orts.

Two layers of cotton fabric were topped with a circular layer of pelmet vilene marked into twelve segments. Orts were applied to each segment with a random free-motion zig zag under a layer of heavy-duty water soluble interfacing and then an automatic machine stitch was used to stitch a swirl from the centre outwards with satin stitching around the rim. Machine stitched bar-tacks and darts provide shaping to the bowl. The ort side has a fuzzy appearance but the surface is actually fairly compact and threads can’t easily be removed due to the free-motion stitching and the fact that the water-soluble interfacing was only partially washed out.  It’s not the prettiest bowl I’ve ever made but the method is one that could be developed so I’ll hang on to it.

orts dish

orts dish2

tartan puppy

I forgot to show you this little guy! He was made last month and was originally intended as a doorstop but the shape of his legs makes him unsuitable for that so he failed the job interview. Every now and again I find him passing the time of day with Dexter who did get the job.

tartan dog


at the finish line

This is the last of the fabric bowls which you’ve not seen together with some tissue holders which I made last weekend and which will also go for sale. I’m so pleased I don’t do this for a living.

blue white lidded pot

tissue holders

not quite done yet

Two more pots/baskets/bowls, whatever you want to call them. The blue and white one has a hinged lid and reminded JP of a snake-charmer’s basket.


orange dish

snake charmer basket

8 days later

A new card reader was received by post last week but it wasn’t what I had ordered so it’s now about to be returned. Fortunately I had also ordered another from a different supplier and it arrived on Saturday. The second reader was the correct kind so I’m happily transferring images from camera to computer once more.

Here are two more of the fabric bowls I made last week. More to see tomorrow!

blue beige basket b

blue and red bowl

oh no!

My Windows PC decided in the last hour two hours ago that the card reader, which has only worked intermittently for the past year anyway, is now  possibly for ever, a mere useless fixture and only good for storing a spare card. My trusty USB card reader which was purchased when the integral card reader failed once too often, also now cannot be recognised in any USB port. Microsoft websites and online forums have not helped me resolve the problem.

Viewing images direct from the camera via the cable connection to my PC also didn’t work. I could see the folder and that it more than half full but when I opened it, it said it was empty! The Fuji website shows that the camera software is not compatible with Windows 10.

My Epson printer stated that there were 1200+ photos on the card but when I chose to scan them to my PC, it fooled me into thinking that it had done so but failed to actually import them. When I tried it again, it said that my PC is not connected.

I took a load of photos this morning so that I could show you the latest pots and bowls I’d made but unfortunately I wasn’t able to save any to the computer before it all went haywire. I am now trying to view the card contents on my old Windows Vista laptop but I don’t hold out much hope. Wish me luck!



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