I have previously posted that I am studying with the RSN, well I have now graduated (Hurrah!). One of the last projects I was expected to undertake was box making.
This is quite a challenging task, it takes time and working out the relative dimensions? phew, then you have to do it in space you have - wow it can be totally confusing, frustrating but exhilarating when you get it right!
I started with a small 5 cm box with a lid, it was the simplest type of box. There are two sections, the inner and the outer box, each one has four sides a top and a bottom, so a totally of eight pieces. Each of these pieces where hand cut from 2mm mount board, covered with fabric and the stitched together. The aim was to produce a box that fitted together well, the top edges of both of the boxes needed to be flush so that the lid (or top) was flat when closed (it wasn't)
This is what I came up with:
So having not done a brilliant job on this one I decided to make a slightly bigger 10 cm box with a moving part (this was a drawer). The fit was slightly better and the drawer moved beautifully!
So having made 2 boxes to practice the method (technically I only needed to make one to test the method, but there you go!!) I had to make a creative box. This meant taking the principles I had learnt and applying them to a design and dimensions of my own (the 5cm and 10cm box where pre-written instructions that I was following) I also had to include some kind of surface embroidery to decorate the box. I couldn't decide what to do, a theme like flowers? or a favourite colour? or maybe even something like a building or a strange object?
I decided I liked the colour blue. So I would make a blue box, a little blue box and well, I like a challenge so why not play with the laws of physics as well.....
The doors even open when I click my fingers (well, when I take the lid off)
there are two drawers (which along with the pocket and ribbons ties where an attempt to make it bigger on the inside)
There is even a secret compartment
This was a fantastic project, one of my teachers was really excited by it as well which made it even more fun! There were some testing times, like discovering the doors where both 1mm too small and had to be taken apart and re-cut, re-covered and reattached to the box But ultimately I am really happy with the piece! I know this was epically long pody, so thanks for sticking with it!
I am currently taking a course with the Royal School of Needlework in the UK. The lastest project is Quilting, it is also my first attempt at quilting and so was quite exciting. The piece is small, will become a wall hanging and looks like this:
I had to use english, trapunto, italian and Kantha quilting, it was really fun to combine all of the these techniques!
If you haven't heard of these techniques before, here are some definitions for you (I wasn't sure on a couple of them!):
English quilting - This technique uses a combination of back stitch to define the main motifs, surrounded by a running stitch pattern. The running stitch pattern is not random, we had to select a traditional pattern to use.
Trapunto quilting/Stuffed - A shape/motif is worked in back stitch, the piece is turned over and the backing fabric cut. The shape is then stuffed and the hole sewn up.
Italian quilting/Corded - The technique is worked by stitching a channel, traditionally this was a running stitch, then a cord (either cotton or wool) is passed through the channels.
Kantha quilting - is a technique that comes from West Bengal. It is made up of old saris layered with other fabrics.
The layers are secured together with a running stitch, there are traditional motifs that are often included, these are usually animal or plants. If a motif is used the shape is then echoed with a running stitch as seen in the example.
If these aren't correct please let me know, then I can update my paperwork!
The last couple of months have been super busy, but I have had a chance to do some stitching (!) My lastest project is whitework and I started with pulled thread work. LOVE pulled thread work!
For those who haven't encountered pulled thread work, I describe it like this: "You know when you are stitching and everyone tells you not to pull to hard on the thread because you will distort the fabric? well you get to break that rule in pulled thread work!"
So here is the finished thing! (well not quite, I still have to mount it!)
Before the end of last term, I finished this piece, it is my advanced gold piece, or as I like to call it Extra Sparkly Fun Time!
Some progress shots for you, underneath the craft felt is carpet felt - ewwww, its horrible, itchy and shreds very easily - the little fibres go up your nose, not good!
For my applique project I wanted to explore the world under the sea. I was inspired by a vintage travel poster, but the project doubled in size when I found two beautiful pieces of dyed habotai silk at the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace in the UK which was used for the background. After 7 seven weeks I came up with this:
its huge! although most of the stitching takes place in the lower half of the piece. As this was a project for my course with the Royal School of Needlework, I had certain criteria I had to meet. I had to include 6 types of edges, they were corded, couched, satin stitched, folded, machined and frayed.
Working all of this in was a lot of fun, particularly the frayed edges in the waves and making cord with stranded cotton.
Some of the close ups:
The fan coral in the bottom right hand corner was two layers of organza with stitching over the top. The larger veins are wires which have been couched over, this allows the coral to be shaped slightly
The turtle was fun to do! he is made entirely separately from the rest of the piece and then stitched on - he is sooooo cute!
A lot of the elements are stitched, however all of the fish and the turtle come from a beautiful fabric I found. The clarity of the images on it was AMAZING!
Working out the stitching was lots of fun and I used beth8144's brilliant Undersea Hoopla piece as inspiration!
Work continues on my RSN course, I have now completed two more projects since my last post and broken up for Christmas.
The first project was silk shading
Although I am not happy with the final results, I think it was a good first attempt at this technique.
The second technique has to be my favourite so far, it is called Goldwork, but I like to refer to it as Sparkly fun time Yay!
It is in for marking at the moment, and I will find out the results in the new year. I LOVED every minute of this technique, despite the fact that it was quite repetitive.
I am also working on some more black work designs for practice, the first of which is this:
it will eventually be a whale tail, based on a picture I took a few years ago at the Vancouver Aquarium. I have converted a couple of my own photos into stitch and get a real sense of satisfaction from it, so in the new year I plan to spend alot more time with my camera!!
Another piece from my RSN course! In this technique you have to balance colour and shading using multiple strands of different types and shades of threads along with stitch texture and thread texture, all whilst trying to replicate your original design.
In my case the design was a photograph I took on holiday, just outside of Vancouver harbour, a couple of years ago. This is the original:
I started by enlarging the picture on a photocopier, then tracing the lines of the design. Having mounted my fabric on the slate frame and stretched it sufficiently I placed the frame over the tracing and using a fine tipped black marker pen I traced the lines onto the canvas and ended up with this:
here is the canvas and the picture side by side to see the size difference:
I photographed it before and after each lesson to chart my progress, so there are a number of pictures! To cut a long story short, it is FINALLY finished and due to be handed in on Monday. here it is:
I am really pleased with the results.
I charted my progress on my blog if you are interested in the other pictures!
and here it is with the sample I knitted to show scale
It is quite big, but will sit nicely next to my bed to keep my feet of the cold floor in the winter. Of course a cold floor is not really an issue at the moment, it is simply too darn hot at the moment.
This project was knitted on size 29mm needles, obviously this means a slightly different approach than my normal knitting technique. This is what they look like, I have added size fours and my left foot for scale:
big aren't they? awkward as well, but ultimately lots of fun! I have a crochet hook as well, but not enough yarn to make anything else! This piece was knitted with 8 strands of different weight threads from a mixed 25kg bag of yarn bought from a show at Olympia a couple of years ago. I have had a couple of goes at knitting a small rug, but was never happy with the results. Then I received 150 blocks to knit and crochet as a christmas present, and settled on the pattern on page 95.
I am really happy with the results and can't wait to try ultimate crochet, now to sort out the cross stitch!
A couple of years ago, my sister gave me the gift of crochet for christmas. The gift being a range of threads, hooks and a book on how they went together!
I got going on it and made a load of things, most of which I have shared with you. But the one thing I hadn't done until a few weeks before christmas was tackle the snowflake patterns she had also given me. Once I got started, I was off! I was a crochet snowflake machine, I couldn't stop! but then I had to find out how to make them keep their shape, this was resolved with a quick wander round the internet, a saucepan containg water and cornflour! it was a lovely gooey warm mess, and blocking was lots of fun! I then turned to ravelry to further my addiction to crocheted snowflakes and found a vast library of new patterns to play with! the results are below:
Sadly the addiction has not abated, I have around more made up waiting for blocking and I am still making more, but what do you expect? I found sparkly yarn to make them with!!!!!