My Embroidery Feed

Oh Dear!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! 

I didn't go to the hospital on Monday.  On Monday I realised that I have just one week to come up with a project for the Children's Classes in the September Holidays.  That is whilst I'm driving up and down to the hospital and everything else going on.  So it is panic stations here at the moment.   Getting the project ready also entails preparing all the kits etc.  I don't know if I can do this.

Anyway, we had decided on making a draw string bag.  Not your normal easy to put together bag, one that is a bit more difficult.  I have had to tweek the design a bit but I think I can come up with something.  Normally this kind of bag is lined.  This will not work on a production assembly line.  All the kids will finish at the same time and we just won't be able to put them together.  Most of the machine stitching will have to be done in advance.  The solution to this problem is my major concern at the moment.

This bag has a round base 7" in diameter.

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The sides are one piece of fabric 20.5" long and 10" deep.  Normally with this kind of bag you would put the seam at the centre back but we won't have time to put the casing on so I have moved this to the side seam. To neaten the top edge I have bound it with a contrasting fabric the same as that round base.

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Then stitched the draw string casing in place, also in a contrasting fabric. (I like to mark my construction lines with tailors chalk because it is easy to remove.)  I think this is as much of the pre-construction that I can get away with.   I have started work on the basic design which is based on yo yo's.  Even beginners should be able to handle this.  The good thing about this design is that it can be extended.  I am just going to do the front designs, the rest is for the imagination.

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After the kids get to this point we will have to sew up the back seam and insert the base. I timed myself and it takes 15 mins to sew the bag together. I think 2 of us will be able to handle this but I might need another volunteer on a machine.  The finish is not what I would like, but it is more important to get a finished product here.  There will be a few of my dedicated embroiderers who would prefer to make the bag in the traditional way so I will put together a few kits with just the components so they can finish their work at home,

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One design down, I need to stitch another.

I have called this a 'Mary Bag' from the rhyme, 'Mary, Mary quite contary, how does you garden grow.'  I have added a lady bug to this one but there are all kinds of creepy crawlies that could but put on, as embroideries or charms.  I know a couple of the boys might like 'dead flowers or weeds'.  I better be prepared for that.

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WIPW

I wrote this post and then lost it so have had to start again.  Oh Dear!!

Progress to date, not much.  Things have kind of stalled as I adjust to my new eyes.  But I could see to sew the Xmas decorations together but not to do the edging. 

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I drew the design for July's Peace Embroidery but progress is slow.  I am using a piece of quiet heavy linen to embroider on and it is an uneven weave.  I had thought of doing grub roses for the flowers but they might not sit behind the glass in the frame I am using.  I might have to switch to a flatter flower.

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WIPW

Not a lot of work but I have finished two of the Xmas decorations.

It took me 3 or 4 attempts to get the right stitch to sew the edges together.  I had thought of stitching needle lace around the edges but gave that away fairly quickly.  I sewed the front and back together using quilting thread and a whip stitch.  Over this I then stitched and edge using my version of Van Dyke stitch.  I had to try a few different threads for this but ended up with the same perle 8 I had used for the cross stitch.  This gives a nice edge that you can attach to.

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  Onto this I sewed the seed beads and used a DMC stranded gold metallic thread. (Mouline No E3821 x 1 strand)

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I crocheted 150 chain stitches to make the hanging thread using the same gold metallic thread.  I was surprised at how strong it was as this thread usually shreds.

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The red stitched one was next and I used the same method but worked out a better way of attaching the beads.

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So, 2 down and 6 to go.

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Another project finished

My cottage patchwork group always have our Mother's Day Breakfast the Sunday after Mother's Day, that was yesterday.  After all the rain we have had recently I was a bit worried about the weather but the morning was fine with banks of incredible clouds in the east.  (There is another island underneath some of that cloud.)

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 4.07.16 pmAnd in the west.  This one looked like a giant wave about to break.

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It was an interesting drive to the venue.  Through thick fog and blinding sunshine.

The ladies had decorated the table.

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And made bags of goodies for everyone.

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They all had delicious, non fattening chocolates in them.

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The challenge this year was to make a Book-Cover in the Boro style.  I put a lot of thought into my piece and actually had some Boro fabric from Japan that I was able to use.  I left the darning stitches that someone had put into some of the pieces and embroidered over the top of them.  I also left 4cm seam allowances as I had embroidered a larger piece so that the book-cover could be unpicked and re-purposed latter on.  It was a bit scrappy and didn't look like any of the others.

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And the others were great.  Some used non traditional fabrics.

Not traditional

Others used traditional fabrics.

Boro

This is going to be a hard act to follow next year.

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Peace Embroidery No 5 May 2017

What a pleasure to stitch!  This was really a peaceful project.  Simplicity is sometimes the best answer to a design problem.  The frame adds all the frills.

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Because I have two of these frames I have decided that I will reverse this design and stitch it in blue, with another saying, for next month.  I nearly came undone with the amount of thread I had on the card.  Just enough.

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Peace Embroidery No 4 April 2017

I am really cutting it fine this month but I did get my piece finished.

I ended up unpicking the lettering and changing the stitch and the thread colour.  Last week Queenie featured ' satin stitch outline' on the Sunday Stitch School.'   This is a far better choice for the lettering.  I also added two extra springs to my original design.  Again what looks balanced on paper can translate differently into embroidery.  I think the pale colours would look entirely different if I had used a plain instead of a printed background fabric.

I painted an old embroidery hoop that had a cheap screw on it.  I'm glad I found a use for it and it didn't end up in the garbage.  So all in all I'm quite pleased with the outcome.  It certainly was a learning experience.

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I have another two pieces that I want to do in this genre but they will have to wait.

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A Disarster Averted!!

Oh dear, I am still shaking at what might have been.

I was teaching a class on Saturday at The Embroiderers' Guild and being the weekend the ferry and barge time tables change.  No barges till 8am and the first ferry is 6:45am, which is the one I had to catch.  When I lived in town and was teaching I just carried my requirements out to the car and drove to where I wanted to go.  Here I have to walk 1k to the ferry and then 900metres from the ferry to the car.  On Saturday I was talking to another resident on the ferry and up the jetty and I got held up.  Then I rushed up through the park to get to the parking area over rough ground because it was threatening to rain.  My bags were held on the trolley with a 'bungy strap' but the bottom bag must have slipped out somewhere along the way.  (In fact it dropped out behind the public toilets where I had taken a short cut.)  The strap was still tight when I put the trolley in the car and I didn't realise that I had lost a bag.

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Realisation dawned when I went to put up the display of samples for the class.  No samples.  This was all my TAST work from 2010 - 2015 plus other embroidery samples I had made.  All I could do was ring my husband and send him out looking.  He had no luck.  So, I put a post up on the island Facebook page and within 5 minutes someone was posting that they had found the bag and handed it to the Post Mistress.  Then the Post Mistress was on the phone to say she had the bag and would deliver it to my home. 

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There are great advantages to living in a small community.


Class preparation

My life has been taken over by preparation for an upcoming class.  I wasn't sure that it would go ahead and suddenly there was a rush of enrollments.  This project includes 26 different colours of thread.  For a participant to have to buy that many threads would make the cost prohibitive so I have bought the thread and will divide it between those doing the class.

This little bundle was $190 then there was another $60 of thread I got from England, plus the linen fabric.  Granted I have paid retail for this.  I am going to have to be more careful with my needles as they now cost $1 each.

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I have a great stash of threads that has been fed constantly over the years and haven't noticed how much it cost.  I look at the cost of embroidery kits and think how expensive they are but after this exercise I will look with new eyes.  Embroidery is an expensive hobby.

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Peace Embroidery No 3 March 2017

This design offered so much promise but I did it all wrong.  I think it would have been a lot better if I had just used a simple outline stitch instead of arguing with this #*% of a piece of embroidery.  (I might still do that just to see if it would work.)  Don't get me wrong, it isn't that bad, I just think it is worse.

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The other thing I am struggling with here is the light.  In my old home the light came at just the right direction, not so here.  I think that I am going to have to construct a light box for taking photos.  More research needed.

I took another photo of the piece hanging on the wall but the light was even worse.  That is really a fairly light coloured grey linen from Ikea backed with Amourweft interfacing to give it some body.  I used 2 stands of a DMC cotton.  And that is a whole other story! I used thread from my stash but didn't have enough.  Went to buy more, but, the colour has been discontinued.  So I had to use something close in colour. (The embroidery complained.)

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Still there have been some positives.  By the time I got to the final few leaves my satin stitch was smooth.  Now that has to be good news.  It has taken me a life time to get to this point.

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