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.

applique portrait pt2

Gosh, this course module class seems to have taken the longest time to do but I’m happy with the end result. Stitches used were back stitch and straight stitch, with buttonhole stitch only to appliqué the red pinafore because the wool cloth frayed badly.  I re-stitched all the face in a brown thread, finer than the black I’d used when stitching through the tissue paper (see previous post) and the lighter thread colour and closer stitching enabled me to put in more detail. I have to confess that I’ve given my mother brown eyes here instead of the blue that they really were but if I hadn’t told you, you’d never have known. Call it artist licence. Size is approx 12 x 17 cm. I’m off now to write up my notes for this module, put this little portrait with my other samples, and then have a look to see what’s next on Sue Stone’s online course which is almost at an end!

applique portrait

After six weeks blog silence I’m happy to be able to post about my stitching adventures once again.

The latest module for Sue Stone’s online course that I’m doing is about bringing to life the previous hand-stitched images we made with the addition of appliqué and further stitching. I wanted to keep my original image sample just as it is and instead chose the photograph of my mother that I’d used as the basis for the portrait quilt I made in 2015. (The quilt was made with the image in reverse.)

Sue gives suggestions on how to indicate hair using simple stitches but I was having difficulties interpreting her method for my photo even after several trial pieces so I opted for a sort of raised embroidery/stumpwork/appliqué combo, lightly padding some loosely woven crinkly fabric with strands of knitting yarn to indicate volume and then over-stitching with three different coloured strands of sewing machine thread in the needle to imitate the highlights of the hair. I will probably re-stitch the facial features at a later stage but the next thing to do is add appliqué for the clothes and background and embellish those with more hand stitching.

more pouches

I just remembered that I hadn’t posted about the second batch of zippered pouches I made and I imagine you’ve all been desperate to see them (as if). I haven’t boxed the corners this time apart from the one that has “top” on one side and “bottom” on the other.

 

what if?

I recently made this small collage piece and thought that if I could see it easily in my workroom and be reminded daily, I might actually challenge myself more often to take a familiar technique several steps further than I currently do. When I have a piece which I consider a fail, I try to work out what has gone wrong and mostly I think it’s my colour choices so even though I have two colour wheels and an Ultimate 3-in-1 Colour Tool within easy reach, and I decide to use colour combinations that compliment each other, what actually ends up on the fabric falls far short of the original expectations. I’ve also always known that putting random colours of paint on fabric and expecting the end result to look fabulous will rarely, if ever work, but I do it time and time again and get the same muddy results or clashing colour combinations each time. I’m never surprised when this happens and I don’t know why I haven’t stopped doing this, but I’m hoping that from now on, seeing my “what if?” collage will be like someone shouting, “STOP! What if you actually think about this before you paint/draw/sew/cut….” Maybe I need several of these collages in strategic places around my workroom. Hmmm.

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Not sure about the heavy border of black soft cord but I think the appliquéd letters are a success. The large piece of painted interfacing the letters were cut from was a fail, but in smaller pieces the poor colour combinations seem more acceptable. I would consider this collage a success but I can’t really explain why. Do you agree? I welcome your opinions and or suggestions for improvement. I’m already working on a second piece using the same letter cutouts but in a different “what if?” manner.

Cotton fabric background coloured with acrylic paints. Letters hand cut from heavy-duty interfacing previously splattered with acrylics, and free-motion stitched to the background. The blue rectangles (painted cotton sheeting scraps) were stitched around the borders using a normal sewing machine presser foot with reduced tension and a very short stitch length. Backing fabric (not shown) of bonded twill fabric.

 

zippered pouches

I thought it was time to start using up some of the odd bits and pieces of fabric that I have so I made these little zippered pouches which will go on sale in my son’s shop. Hopefully they will ‘fly off the shelves’ as they say!

a country house

I really enjoyed stitching this house this weekend and wouldn’t mind living in it if it was real. Appliqué and free motion machine stitching. Approximately 16″ x 12″.

country cottage