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

ginger jar

Well, roughly based on a ginger jar shape anyway. This was all stitched before I had made the jug in yesterday’s post but each time I pushed one piece into shape it would collapse somewhere else. The solution was to inflate a balloon inside it but I was all out of those so that had to wait for a supermarket trip yesterday. The balloon puffed it up quite nicely and I then painted it with a branded fabric stiffener rather than my normal go-to PVA, but there are still a few little dents in places so I think a second balloon and another coat of stiffener are in order.

Constructed from a scrap length of the usual heavy duty interfacing which I had painted with acrylics many months ago and using a bog-standard glue stick meant for paper, I attached a now unidentifiable thin fabric to the back, ironed it to help set the glue and then free-motion stitched five of the panels and the base. On the sixth panel I strung a length of small beads randomly tied in overhand knots before hand stitching them to the panel. It stands about 5″ tall and approximately 4.5″ wide and has no earthly use whatsoever. I think it needs a lid but I didn’t factor that in at the beginning and I used the largest remaining scrap for something else which I’ll show you another day.

6 sided pot 26 sided pot pieces

Pretty parrot 4

I wasn’t happy with the parrot body stitching I did yesterday. The body has four layers of felt fused to organza which was quite plump even without the addition of hundreds of stitches and I didn’t think my stitches looked very much like feathers so I ripped out the stitches, removed the lowest felt layer and prepared it once more for stitches. Today I took a day off from stitching to have a day out with JP and when we came home, JP wanted to catch up on today’s cricket so I took myself off to the work room and made the boysenberries.