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 #8 pin cushion

I’ve always thought it daft to spend time embroidering a pincushion just to ruin it by sticking pins and needles into it but since a pincushion is included in the Home Sweet Home workbox accessories, I’m making one anyway although I’ve never made one like this before. The intention is that the lesser embroidered side will be the top. I’ve basted the segments but the pincushion has to be put together and stuffed before they’re sewn permanently.

Pincushion from the Home Sweet Home workbox book.

 

 

 

 

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.

box of birds tree stuff

After I’d posted the branch samples, Joyce of Little Felt Houses asked if I’d thought about using wrapped wire. I had discounted this method but Joyce’s comment prompted a rethink.  Thank you Joyce! It was quick and easy to do and the wire can easily be manipulated into shape. It needs finessing a little but the method is a definite keeper.

 

I also made a 4cm long wired leaf this week. Any wired leaf instructions I’ve ever read have not specified a particular fabric to use but I’ve never been entirely happy that it’s virtually impossible to trim the fabric back to the edge of the leaf without leaving a few stray fabric threads which then have to be camouflaged by colouring with a marker pen or glued down. A eureka moment came last week when I watched a YouTube video showing a stumpwork leaf being worked on organza. Naturally, I had to try it for myself. My organza was a cheap polyester variety but it held up quite well and because the organza fibres are fine, it was fairly easy to trim them back. No colouring or gluing required! According to the RSN Stumpwork book which arrived in the post yesterday morning, any fine fabric can be used for wired shapes. Why have I never considered this myself?

 

I couched the wire in red thread so that it would be easy to see when unpicking it and then realised when I was actually doing so that the couching thread should have been the same as the leaf, since the fabric and the resultant leaf would never be separated. And yes, it was difficult to unpick. Two strands of green DMC embroidery cotton used throughout. Buttonhole stitch around the wire and a row of badly applied split stitch along the inner edge.

 

The front of the leaf. More un-fabulous stitching, this time satin stitch with overcast stitch for the central vein.

 

The back of the leaf with even more rubbishy stitching and can you spot a couple of organza fibres? I didn’t see them until after the image was taken with the camera’s macro setting. They show how fine the organza fibres are but now I know they’re there I could easily snip them off.

 

 

autumn garden 6

The final installment. Finished size 9″ x 4″ approx. I’m not happy with some of it but doubt that I’ll unpick and re-sew those bits. The fabric was OK to embroider on but I seem to get better results with calico so I’ll no doubt revert to that for the next piece, whatever that might be.

 

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autumn garden 5

On the last leg now and if I don’t finish it this evening, it will be nearly a week before I can add any more as I’m off to do some painting away from home this coming week.

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autumn garden 4

This time round it’s nerine, rosehips, cyclamen, autumn crocus, hydrangea, colchicum and chamomile that have been stitched. This evening a start will be made on the other side of the arch.

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autumn garden 3

Not the best quality image I’m afraid but all I could do in the available light. French lavender, easter daisies (aka michaelmas daisies), and button chrysanthemums now completed.

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autumn garden 2

I’ve already gone off piste with this piece by choosing slightly different colours to those recommended in the book. I consider my supply of embroidery threads and colour options to be reasonably large but when looking for the colours suggested I found that I was missing more than just a few and I’m reluctant to buy more threads and use perhaps only one or two lengths just to be able to keep to the colour suggestions listed. Using existing supplies makes the piece more my own perhaps. Or me a cheapskate. Yeah, definitely the latter.

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Autumn Garden 1

I bought Diana Lampe’s book Embroidery For All Seasons for a friend’s Christmas pressie and when it arrived I thought it was so good that I ordered a copy for myself. I’m using a polyester viscose mix curtain fabric which I bought thinking that it might be suitable for crewel wool embroidery. I haven’t yet decided on a particular subject for that so the fabric has remained in the drawer since it was purchased until I came across it again two days ago. I’ve added some background colour with crayons but think that by the time I’ve finished embroidering on it, the colour will have mostly rubbed off. No matter. The book has four gardens to embroider and I have chosen the autumn one. I may change things as I go along and then end up with a garden that has flowers and or plants that belong to different seasons but do I care? Absolutely not.

 

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My continued thanks to those of you who still follow me – it’s good not to be blogging in a vacuum. I also appreciate the lovely comments about my work that some of you take time to write. My face may show that JP and I were married 39 years ago yesterday but inside I’m still in my mid twenties. Well, maybe mid thirties if I’m honest. I’ve no idea what the coming year will hold for any of us but I’m determined to continue to look for the best and good in anything that happens. I hope 2017 will be good for you. See you then.