magnifier cover

I am unable to embroider the Victorian Street crewel work piece whilst seated on the sofa because the frame is wide and it’s just awkward to turn it over in a restricted space, but I wanted something to stitch in the evening so I made a cover for a magnifier I recently acquired. Two of the pieces from Sachiko Morimoto’s book Stumpwork Flowers embroidered way back in March/April 2014 were used for the outer cover and the lining is a synthetic batting which should protect the glass well. One flower on the cover is watercress and the other is viola.  This evening I might add some fancy stitching along the seam as I think it looks a bit plain. I only ever framed one of the completed flowers from the book and the rest have been in a cupboard since. Three down, fifteen to go. Any ideas on what to do with them?

2nd last course sample

This sample was for the module on hand stitch appliqué in which we develop patterns. I posted this to the Facebook group page earlier this week but I’ve only just realised that I fused the shapes to the background fabric instead of hand stitching them. Just as well there is no pass or fail for this course! Only one more sample to make before all the modules are complete.

needle weaving

These needle weaving samples were for a module on Sue Stone’s course using different yarns/threads for both warp and weft and varying the spacing etc. Some samples are anchored to the fabric at top and bottom only.

This module took me back many years to when I was a student at the (then) Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, studying for a diploma in Textile Design and used a full-sized dobby loom to weave much larger pieces than these 5 x 5 cm samples. I can hardly remember why I chose to drop out halfway through the three year course but the reasons for doing so seemed extremely valid at the time and a regret I learned to live with. Much water has passed under the bridge since then but I’ve never forgotten how to do plain and twill weave.

abracadabra…

… and behold, a wizard’s hat. Commissioned as a prop to display lapel badges. I inserted flexible curtain wire around the brim and padded the hat for stability. Two spotty stars were appliquéd but I could only get one in shot.

Exploring texture and pattern 2

Since Sue Stone’s course (see my previous post) came online just over a week ago, I’ve hardly thought about anything else stitch-wise. So far I’ve made grid samples of running stitch, back stitch and mock herringbone stitch and I’ve never found it so difficult to sew a straight line of stitches as I have for these samples but that seems to be a common problem for more than a few of us doing this course so I don’t feel so bad.

Like millions of others, I’ve had a Facebook account for years but I could count on one hand the number of posts I’ve written. I rarely log-in and frequently consider deleting the account but as a member of the FB group set up for this course I now find myself happily checking-in several times a day to look at the images posted and to read how others have interpreted the challenges set or to empathise with the difficulties they’ve also found in accomplishing what at first glance appeared to be an easy task but wasn’t particularly.

I stuck the words of the stitched and painted fabric on the front of an A4 notebook which I’m using for notes and details about the samples I’ve made. The samples will later be made into a separate book. Each challenge asks questions at the end and I find these more difficult to answer than the practicalities of stitching. For example, “How might what you discovered in today’s creative challenge inform a piece of textile art?” I haven’t answered that one yet because I don’t do textile art (?) but it’s making me think, so that can only be good.

Here’s my running stitch sample so you can see what I mean about my non-straight stitching lines!

Exploring Texture and Pattern

I’ve been reading lots of articles on TextileArtist.org lately and some of the content really resonated with me – particularly this one! The website is run by Joe and Sam Pitcher whose mother is Sue Stone (Woman With a Fish) and after signing up for and watching Joe and Sam’s free video training sessions several times, I registered for Sue’s online course, Exploring Texture and Pattern. (Enrolment is possible until Friday 23rd June if you’re interested.)

Amongst other things, the course will involve making a stitch sample book so I thought I’d prepare the book cover fabric in advance. I used another of my rubbishy painted fabric pieces, wrote the course title with Inktense blocks, and outlined the letters with free machine stitching. The image makes the text look huge but it’s only roughly 14 cm (5.5 ins) square.

what if? #2

Using yet another ‘fail’ piece of fabric painting, I placed the cut-out words from what if! #1 underneath and rubbed oil pastels and water soluble wax pastels over them before free machine stitching and couching too. I then roughly cut the piece into strips, and then small squares.

 

This simple six rows of five squares layout used all the squares and that was how I left it overnight.

 

This morning it seemed too safe and boring but more essentially, a pointless exercise if the text couldn’t be read. I also realised that I didn’t need to use all the squares so I selected the text squares, divided some other squares further and settled on this:

It reminds me of graffiti and I like that there are little pieces missing from the text. I also like how I succeeded in turning a fail piece into something I’d be happy to see on my wall.

The painted fabric is blackout curtain lining which doesn’t fray, accepts paint well and stitches through easily. The dark background is cotton sheeting and an additional layer of re-cycled white sheeting was stitched behind that.