Oystercatcher

I always take a piece of embroidery when I’m going on a long train journey and my recent visit to Scotland was no exception. Except that the piece I had planned to stitch was begun and almost completed before I even left home so I prepared a second piece which I’ll show you another day.¬† I didn’t touch the oystercatcher piece at all on the journey or during my visit but I did finish it this week. The design was from the June/July issue of Stitch magazine and I mainly followed the design but you know me, I just have to add a little wax crayon colour every now and again. I also did the pebbles differently and I added some seaweed too. It’s in the folder now, never to be seen again, well, not for a while anyway.

where I’m at this week

An emery block was the next Home Sweet Home accessory to embroider and I did begin it but wasn’t happy with my stitching so I put it aside for a few days. That was weeks ago and I’m still not enthused enough about it to pick it up again. It’s not nagging at my conscience though since I didn’t set myself any completion deadlines for this project.

So, if I haven’t been embroidering, what have I been doing?

  • Watching YouTube videos and getting ideas for mixed media things (which may or may not come to fruition).
  • Trying not to be ‘precious’ about things I’ve sewn or made in the past and actually toss them if they’re not worth keeping or re-purpose them.
  • Properly reading and not just skimming through the content of books I have on design and colour and drawing, in the forlorn hope that some of it at least will finally stick.
  • Making a start on a fabric book
  • Joining a newly formed up-cycling group at a local charity shop. More on that as it evolves.

 

I made felt and wired fabric flowers a few years ago for my son and his partner’s coffee lounge but they were looking a tad sorry for themselves by last year so I put them in a bin liner, brought them home and tossed them onto the top of a bookcase. Two weeks ago I finally did something with some of them. Destined to be pages of a kind of reference book made of fabric for finished pieces of work as well as small samples that are currently randomly stored amongst fabric supplies.

Yes, I know that the fabrics in the first piece are not square with each other¬† – I was after a scrappy random look and yes, the stems are real twigs which will probably snap off in a book but it’s hanging on a wall at the moment, out of snapping danger and we have to experiment don’t we? The background in the second piece was painted a long time ago but why or with what kind of paint I don’t now remember. I free-motion stitched around the edge just to attach it to the stiff interfacing background.

 

workbox #9 needlecase back

Today is the first day in almost a week that I’ve been able to access any embroidery as all the contents of my workroom had to be stored in another room while some major re-plastering followed by re-decoration was done. The workmen will be back again after the Easter break but I have been able to move most of my craft and sewing supplies back into my workroom and finished this imperfectly shaped and hitherto unknown species of blue flower which will be on the back of the needlecase.

workbox #9 needlebook

I chose a rose for the workbox needlebook front but I haven’t given any thought to what will be embroidered on the back.

workbox #7 tape measure cover 2

This Allium (aka flowering onion) is for the other side of the tape measure cover. The flower heads were embroidered with three or six strands in the needle which meant it only took an afternoon to stitch. I normally embroider with only one strand in the needle and I didn’t think that I’d be happy using six strands, but it was quite liberating. I’m pleasantly surprised with the end result.

workbox #6 tape measure cover

This embroidery for the lid of the tape measure cover measures only approximately 4 cm across and it’s taken me many hours over several days to stitch, longer than I expected it would. I outlined each part with stem stitch then filled them with satin stitch except for the light blue area which is filled with French knots. As an afterthought I used gold around the outer edges to give the medallion a visual lift using stem stitch, with the centre in satin stitch and a single French knots. I had to resort to using my small forceps to pull the needle through. There’s a slightly raised effect which I like although it’s not very obvious from the image. All stitching done with a single strand of DMC embroidery cotton and silk. Glad to be finished with this now and looking forward to starting something else.

workbox #5 scissor fob

Here’s a close-up of the workbox scissor fob embroidery which I did a few weeks ago. As I was editing the image I remembered that there’s supposed to be an embroidered border around both the initial and the flower so I must do that soon before I forget again. When made up, the fob will be approximately 2.5 cm square.