My Embroidery Feed

WIPW

It seems a long time ago that I last posted about my work in progress but it was only two weeks ago! 

Then I said that I was experimenting with some new Xmas decoration and two weeks later  I have stitched out 4 designs.

I decided to use perle 8 thread.  I wanted a look of 'embossing' so I made my tension just a little tighter. 

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Now that I have stitched out these designs I now have to decide just how I am going to make them up.

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These were all stitched during the time that the children were here.  Lots of miss counting and unpicking.

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There are still another 8 patterns to be stitched but Xmas is 12 months away!

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Peace Embroidery No 1 January 2017

One of the tasks on my list for 2017 was a "Peace Embroidery" for each month of the year. Personal Peace is what this months saying concerns.  It comes from George Fox, one of the founders of the Quaker Movement and was written during the 1600's.  But the sentiments are true today.

"Carry around some quiet inside thee."

Having a quiet spirit is an enviable attribute.  In our world today, with it's many distractions it is sometimes hard to find.  In my classroom I had positive affirmations posted on the walls to encourage a positive learning environment.  I think the same approach, of having quotes that catch our attention and remind us of things that are important,  is applicable in our daily lives.

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I have to say I rushed this piece.  It was the noisiest embroidery I have every stitched  It was insistent that I keep stitching and get it finished.  It wasn't happy with the colours I had choosen and I found myself stitching with different colours altogether.  I told it that it would just have to put up with the frame I put it in as it was all I had to hand and I can see it has moved slightly..

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With all that pressure I made mistakes so the chart is slightly different from the finished embroidery. (Only at the corners of the border)  It is stitched on 32 count even weave linen and I used 2 strands of DMC embroidery cotton and a 26 Tapestry needle.  I'm not quite sure how many hours are in the stitching as I did so much 'reverse' stitching but I think it wouldn't take more than a day or so.  A quick easy project.

Download Peace 1

 

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Thank goodness for the aircon!

It is very hot and humid here.  The humidity is so thick it makes me feel sick on the stomach.  Thank goodness for the air- conditioning. 

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My husband soldiers on but the dogs have all moved into my sewing room with me!

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I have been stitching away every spare minute I get but I don't seem to make much progress.  I am bevering away at teaching samples but I keep getting all these other ideas that keep saying "stitch me, stitch me."  Then there are the pieces that I have half finished but am not pleased with. I can't just nick out to the shops to get some more fabric, that requires a full days planning for the travel but I have in my mind what I want.  I know the shop to go to but will I be able to park the car?

But looking at the pieces again I think that the 'busy' fabrics I used are the problem.

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The ones that I used Toiles in don't look too bad.

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Where is that quic-unpick?


Heating up

It is hot here 38 degrees centigrade.  I have been working flat out stitching samples for the next Children's Class.  I had the idea for this class back in April but could never get it all together.  Now, with a dead-line looming, the samples are finished. 

It is a "Two in One" project.  The cover can be used as a needle case or a key case.  Each of the little pouches have a lining of wadding and a cotton fabric.  For 'Polly the Pig' I used some glitter fabric that was so pretty I extended it a little to make a trim.  I used a natural coloured fabric for the cover because they will be handled a lot and pale colours will show the dirt.  (they are washable.)

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Depending on how quickly the students complete the embroidery, they can have no trim, like the birds, or a row of stitching around the hem and also a small embroidery on the back.  For those really quick sewers, they can make their own cord.

There are seven different designs to choose from, although I have only stitched out three.  (I got a bit carried away with the drawing.)  The purpose of this class is to teach how you can fill in a shape using stitches other than satin stitch.  I tested these on the grand children and the pig won hands down.


A tale of 3 little fabric bowls

My friends have given me little fabric bowls as gifts over the years.  Two in particular I find just doesn't work but they were given to me by a friend that has passed on and I like to look at them and think of her.  But that still doesn't make them work! 

The problem is that I use these to put the ends of threads in and the opening is too small.

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I keep looking at them on my desk and try to think how I can fix them.  The sides have been machine stitched, so I have tried undoing this  a bit, but that opening is still too small.  So today I completely undid the sides of one, folded down the flaps further and re stitched the sides by hand.

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It works a lot better.  But is still not as good as the one that I made as gifts for my friends a few years ago.

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Luckily I put up the pattern in April 2009 as a free download,  so I was able to get it down and make another one using some scraps I had left over.  I tried to dress it up a bit by beading the edges.  I was just going to do the corners but got carried away.  Then I thought it could use some buttons, so I made some.

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The pattern for this can be found on Mary Hickmott's blog.  It is a fair way back and is titled "Yorkshire Buttons".  She has included templates is several sizes, from small, like mine, to large.  She said you shouldn't start with the small size, but I don't listen very well.  I also made mine out of 3 strands of DMC cotton, which is a bit challenging, but I'm please with the result.  I have now put those other thread bowls on tables I don't use as much. Then I looked at them again and have had a better idea, wool bowls!

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Now I originally made my thread bowls back in 2009, 7 years ago as Easter presents and filled them with chocolates.  I think I will make some more this year as Xmas presents.  I have lots of scraps and I can get some more practice on those buttons.

 

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Something in the water

I am having trouble with colours running in the wash.  Not big trouble, but trouble all the same.  I think there must be some natural chemical in our water which is pumped over from Stradbroke Island.  I know the water originates up on the downs,  filters through the aquafers and then rises through the sand near the sea.  I bought some new tea towels and washed them before they were to be used.  My husband put in an old T shirt that had been washed over and over with that wash and the tea towels now have a slightly pink tinge.

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The completed Kogin bag kit also is a problem.  Before i wet the piece for blocking the thread was very white.

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Now that I have sewn it together I sew the thread has turned slightly blue.

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I never had this problem on the mainland.  The farmers and others on the Downs have been complaining about contamination of their water from mining and I wonder if this has anything to do with this? I am going to have to be careful with washing my embroidery in future.

As to the bag I am quite pleased with the finished product.  I have made the straps a bit longer so that it can be carried over the shoulder, the original was to be carried in your hand.   I also dug out some precious Japanese fabric for the lining.

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This is cotton fabric but the fibre is so long it feels like silk.  It is a light weight fabric with a lovely woven pattern and has then been printed.  I put a large pocket in the bag to hold bibs and bobs.

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WIPW

I am finding it hard to concentrate on this piece, although I am enjoying stitching it.  Looking at it again I see that I have reversed one of the patterns.  How did I do that?  If I had tried to do it it would have been impossible.  It doesn't look too bad so I think I will leave it as it is.

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The background of this voided design is stitched in 'Old Italian Cross Stitch'.  I had never heard of this stitch before and went to my reference books.  It wasn't mentioned in them either.  It is a kind of a mixture of a four sided stitch and a cross stitch.  I had to practice for a while till I worked out the sequence.  As you can see it took me a while to work it out.  When I turned the work over I realised that that pattern was the same on the back.  This meant that those old pieces could be used on either side.  Nifty!  Only drawback is that it uses a lot of thread and takes 3 times the amount of time it takes to stitch the modern cross stitch.  Still, I think I would use this stitch if I was going to do another piece of Assisi embroidery.

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It gives wonderful coverage of the fabric and is much better than the modern cross stitch.  The reason that I took this class in the first place has it's origins back when I was in high school. For our senior assessment in year 12 we had to design a piece of embroidery as part of the Textiles and Design subject.  Looking through books I came across Assissi embroidery and fell in love with it but after the disaster of trying to do cross stitch back in year 9 I opted for drawn thread work.  (I'd never done that before, fools rush in...)  I still love Assissi work and this UFO is a wonderful learning piece.

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Samples completed

I have finished my trials of the monograms for the next children's class and learnt quite a few things whilst stitching them.  Over at Mary Corbett's blog she has trialed the same kind of designs but on totally different fabrics and for a different audience.  My samples were stitched with children and their abilities in mind.  Firstly, I couldn't afford good quality linen so had to use a cheap alternative. I choose a patchwork linen which was $20 p.m. the weave was good but the finished fabric was weak and rather thin.  It does come in white, beige and natural, which gives the stitcher a variety of background.

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Mary used a good quality homespun on the back of hers but I found this a bit difficult for kids to stitch through.  I settled on Amour Weft dress making interfacing which is iron on and gives the fabric more weight and doesn't allow shadowing of the stitching. 

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I did have to add another layer of white homespun under the white linen so have reserved this fabric for the volunteers who will be able to handle it.

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The A5 book cover is for the beginners.  I tried stitching a close confetti of seed stitch but found that it looked better spread out and the stitches a bit bigger.  (I have tried to match my stitching to that of the proposed students.) The momogram can be stitched in a range of line stitches that therefore will accommodate the skills of a beginner.  For the A6 book cover I used 2 strands of DMC for the monogram but only one for the embroidery.  I choose simple stitches, lazy daisy, french knots and fly stitch but I am sure that the kids with more experience will come up with a design to suit themselves. 

This project has to be able to be finished at the end of the 2 day class so I have simplified the making up.  I have overlocked all the edges of the linen.  This then only requires the end to be folded over to size, a piece of lining fabric place over this and then the top and bottom seams have to be machined, a 5 minute job.  If they want to they can top stitch around the edge, as I did in the A5 version, to give a neater finish. 

Big sigh of relief that I have finished that job.

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