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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bee and berries stumpwork on: December 16, 2011 05:24:45 PM
This was stitched for the marvellous miknessevie in the IYP swap. She said she would like some embroidery, so I decided it had to be stumpwork Smiley

It is all made of thread, fabric, beads, and wire, with traditional stumpwork techniques. I used components from a Jane Nicholas book to create a design for Jen - she likes bees and berries. The hoop is just a little one, the embroidery is tiny.

Stitches include stem, feather, cretan, french knots, ghoirdes/turkey knots, couching, satin. The berries and wings are stitched separately, then applied, the wings are wired, the eyes are beads.

Hope you like it!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Sea Treasure Box - freehand machine embroidered little box on: December 11, 2011 06:22:49 PM
I made this for the awesome alwaysinmyroom for the Scrappy Swap. She likes things inspired by the sea, so I made her a little box for tiny treasures. It is made out of mostly silk scraps, a little organza, machine embroidered and hand sewn, with a few glass beads too.

Each side is similar.

The little shell rings slide down to open the top, the inside is plain silver silk.

It's probably more decorative than practical. but I think alwaysinmyroom likes it anyway Smiley  I'm looking forward to doing some more freehand projects soon!

3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Reverse applique Union Jack mug rug - with tutorial! on: December 07, 2011 03:16:07 PM
I was making a mug rug for jtlhmmwabodf for OWS. She likes Union Jacks, and so I decided to try something new with reverse applique! I had a lot of fun sewing this, and I thought some of you might like to try it out.

This is an easy design for this technique as it's all straight lines, only three colours, and the lines all go to the edge (for easy cutting). But you could adapt this technique for all sorts of designs.

I wanted to get my shapes quite accurate, so I decided to use Glad Press and Seal. This stuff makes it very easy! I printed a Union Jack image, and traced over it (use a waterproof pen so it doesn't smudge).

I cut 3 fabric rectangles, and left plenty of room around the edges.

Then I made a sandwich with the Press N Seal on top, and pinned it nice and flat.

I sewed over the lines with a straight stitch, and then peeled off the Press N Seal. (Don't zigzag over the Press N Seal unless you want to spend FOREVER picking out tiny bits of plastic. Ask me how I know  Roll Eyes)

If you don't want to use the Press N Seal, you can just sew directly on your fabric sandwich. You could mark your design with tailors chalk or a vanishing embroidery marker, or work freehand.

I went over the straight stitching with a narrow, close zigzag. (You can just leave it with straight stitching, but I liked the thick stitching, and also it makes it much stronger, especially if it's an item that you want to wash.) Then I carefully cut out the layers close to the stitching.


I backed mine with batting and fabric, and top stitched around the edge, to make a mug rug. But I think you could turn a panel like this into whatever you wanted - cushion? pocket on a bag? patch on clothing?

I like the texture the raw edges and stitching give - something a bit different from traditional applique. I like the second colourway even better:-

For this one I used darker and more muted colours. My fabric sandwich was blue/white/red, and I stitched with navy thread - I like the outlining effect a lot.

Hope you like it! Smiley

(I was a bit unsure which board this should go on, as I'm not sure this technique really counts as quilting. Since this is a mug rug, and since there are lots of mug rugs here, I thought this would be the best place. But if you think it would fit better somewhere else, please let me know!)
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Paisley Power! Embroidered Silk Cuff on: November 28, 2011 07:06:53 PM
This was a gift for the lovely luckdragon Smiley

I found the basic paisley shape in a non-needlework pattern, and then just did my own thing with selecting stitches and colours.

It was stitched using silk thread (soie d'alger, 2 threads) on a coarsely woven silk fabric. I used a variety of simple stitches, including chain stitch, coral stitch, blanket stitch, colonial knot, and cretan stitch. It was fun working with a non-rectangular shape. I tried to keep the stitching fluid and casual rather than being too precise about measuring everything out. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I think luckdragon likes it too Smiley

More pics:-

I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions for future cuff-y stitch-y things!
5  California / California: North / visiting San Francisco on: October 30, 2011 09:09:51 PM
I'm visiting San Francisco soon, woohoo! I have been there before, so I know my way around a little, but I won't have a car to go very far. Where are the crafty places that you would recommend?
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Socks of the Distant Future (Flight of the Conchords inspired) on: October 14, 2011 01:24:30 PM
Hi there! I just wanted to show off these socks a bit - I've only recently done a few pieces of stranded knitting, and I love these a lot! But they are bit small for me, so I had to give them to my sister ...

If you are into Fight of the Conchords, these socks are Robotic Socks of the Distant Future (from the song The Humans Are Dead), complete with robots on the legs, and a binary sole-o!

Pattern here on ravelry. I didn't write the pattern, I enjoyed knitting it though Smiley
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Birds and hearts embroidery on: May 12, 2011 03:04:55 PM
This hoop has just gone to its new home with the lovely Robinpich in a personal swap Smiley

It's adapted from a traditional Schwalm embroidery design, from a vintage Anna magazine. I didn't use the traditional drawn or pulled thread techniques though. It's stitched with perle cotton using various stitches (chain, satin, coral, trellis couching, herringbone, and something else).

It was very enjoyable to stitch - and I think Robin likes it too! Smiley Would love to hear your comments. Have any of you tried Schwalm work? I'd love to see some here.
8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Cat etching on: May 11, 2011 03:46:33 PM
aheartofglass very kindly sent me a new etching tool in the Ongoing Wish Swap. Smiley  I took it for a test drive this week, and made a cat! (well, several cats actually ...) It's a drypoint etching, drawn freehand with my new scribe on a metal plate, then printed on a small etching press. It's about 3" square.

I was very pleased with the result of one evening's work - can't wait to try something more ambitious soon!

I'd love to hear what you think of it - and I'd be really interested in any suggestions for subjects that might suit this style of artwork too!
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / More happy trees! on: April 20, 2011 07:38:50 PM
Same concept, different colour scheme (no pink, more green/spring colours). An angel package for the lovely phoenixfiredesigns in the Ongoing Wish Swap. Hope it makes you smile!

In my painting group, it's funny how several different people kept saying the same thing when they saw these trees in progress: "they're so happy!" Cheesy

10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Stumpwork Dragon on: April 17, 2011 05:00:56 PM
This was stitched for the lovely luckdragon in the recent IYP swap. luckdragon is an awesome swap partner! (you might have seen the gorgeous fishies she stitched for me on this board Smiley)

I was wondering what to stitch for her, and of course, it had to be a dragon! While there are many fabulous dragon patterns and pictures out there, I hadn't seen a stumpwork dragon anywhere, and I really wanted to work in 3D. So I came up with this one from scratch.

The wing is sitting fairly flat in this picture, before posting, but it's wired and poseable.

A closer view of his face.

And here he is, fierce but happy, in his new home on luckdragon's wall. Smiley

He is stitched with silk applique on a cotton background fabric, in Soie d'Alger silk thread, wired and padded, various stitches (just ask if you want to identify any particular stitch). He was a challenge to create, but I had a lot of fun making him - and best of all I think luckdragon rather likes him too! Cheesy
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