Monday, 25 April 2016

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Cloud Stitch

Take a Stitch Tuesday
Ever since the textile course I signed up for got cancelled I've been looking for online resources that will encourage me to learn new textile techniques. Today I found Sharon Boggon's website Pintangle and spent ages browsing her blog. Sharon is an artist who specialises in hand embroidery and crazy quilting and she is another one of those lovely people who is prepared to share lots of the things she knows. Every Tuesday she runs a challenge called 'Take a Stitch Tuesday' where she teaches an embroidery stitch and invites participants to post pictures of their versions of it. I'm hoping this will be a good way to extend my skills.

Last week's stitch was cloud stitch. Here is my first attempt.

I'm pleased that I managed to get it so even and I like the difference in tone between the anchor stitch and the loopy connections. Then I thought I'd experiment so I tried doing two set of cloud stitch, one over the other.

Again, I like this. Naturally I wasn't satisfied until I'd added some beads so this came next.

I didn't anchor these beads firmly enough or get the spacing quite right but I still like the overall effect. Spot the extra cream bead where I ran out of green ones and apologies for the rather drunk looking bead bottom right.

Finally, there was a little bit of space left on the fabric so I thought I'd experiment with not leaving gaps between the anchor stitches and it looked like this:

I think it would make quite a nice fill. Here's the whole sampler.

Looking forward to next week's stitch.

April Bead Journal Project and a Problem Piece

This is my April piece for the Bead Journal Project.

I really enjoyed doing this one as I had a clear idea of what I wanted and it came out fairly close to how it looked in my imagination. I spent three days in Paris with my daughter at the beginning of April. The last time I went to Paris was over 25 years ago and I found it all a bit overwhelming then. This time, being older and wiser, I was able to take it in my stride and enjoy it more. Even though it was around Easter it wasn't hugely busy and we had a brilliant time. I chose some photos of the Eiffel Tower as my inspiration for this month's piece.

The photo above on the right is the detail I used to base the design on. Originally I planned to include the curls but it would have made it too fussy I think.

The one on the left with the tree branches gave me the idea for the fabric I wanted to use. Some time ago I experimented with designing fabric to be printed by a company called Print Me Pretty. One of the fabrics I got printed up was a blue fabric with twigs and blossom on it which I made using a photo of one of the trees in our garden and a lot of photo shopping. Here's the fabric as it looked after printing.

Might have helped if I'd ironed it before taking the photo! I've only used about a quarter of it. It makes quite a handy background for embroidery as there's a bit of texture without a regular pattern. I find if the fabric is too patterned it takes over the design of a piece.

I've prepped several squares for the Bead Journal Project now. One of my favourite pieces of fabric has been sitting ready made for four months now but I've realised that, although I like the fabric very much, I don't quite know how I would bead on to it. The fabric is confetti dyed and the design is quite delicate so I feel that any beading will just cover up the nice bits of the fabric. I'm thinking I might do something very minimal which I find difficult. Here it is below. Any ideas for how to bead it?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Mosaic circles beaded quilt

This was a little practice piece (about 12" square again) to have another go at using my free motion sewing machine foot.

The cream background is a kind of damask that I had left over from covering a sofa. I appliqued on the circles then used the free motion foot to outline some of the leaves.

I think it came out quite well.
Then I added the beads inspired by some mosaic tile work I'd seen. Here are a few close ups.

For some reason this was particularly difficult to photograph. The actual pieces has a brightness that I can't quite capture. I'm not quite sure which way up this piece goes - it doesn't seem to matter much.