Sunday, April 30, 2006

Silk bowl

It is May Day bank holiday here which means the luxury of having Monday off work. This has given me some time to get side tracked from the poppy project and I tried my hand at making a silk bowl using Mawata Caps. I dyed the silk with dye-n-flow. Whilst machining I added a few whisps of dyed fleece which I had for felt making.
This is a method described by Katleen Danswan in 'Embroidery' magazine. The result has potential but I have a long way to go to achieve anything like her results.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bokhara Couching

This is a close up which shows the couching stitch well.
It can be interesting to remember how threads are acquired. Many of mine are bought at shows, when you live in a small town without a proper craft shop you have to take any opportunity; sometimes I am lucky in Charity Shops. I always look in any tins just in case they hide a hoard of threads. The dark blue thread used here was found in a roll of stranded cottons, all graded in colour, which had been wrapped up in a tray cloth and fastened into a roll with safety pins. It must have been someones pride and joy at one time.
The lemony yellow wool was a similar find. I have 'found' quite a few tapestry wools, no doubt the end of someones project or a project never completed. It all helps to provide a range of textures and colours.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tissue Paper Poppy 3

It is satisfying to sort out the threads for a project. Here I have couched down threads and strips of material with free machining. In places I have used very fine pieces of silk to knock back and give texture to the surface. There are small areas of dark purple velvet which peep out from under the gossamer silk surface.

For some reason I had the urge to use BOKHARA COUCHING, which is a solid filling stitch. You can see it in Mary Thomas' Dictionary of Stitches p98. The idea came because I have been tidying all my photos and found an interesting picture of this stitch used in a sample. I wanted to use quite heavy stitching with bold colours. I haven't used it before but it comes together nicely and works to blend in the colours.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tissue Paper Poppy 2

These are the threads and materials sorted for the 'Tissue Paper Poppy' project. My plan is to work on three small pieces, a mini series on this theme.

For any of you who may not know, ' the handweavers studio ' at 29 Haroldstone Road, London (020 8521 2281) have a wonderful range of colours in their threads which are relatively cheap. I have never managed to get to the shop but have sent colour swatches and had a good postal service - or they are often at stitching shows. The rayon threads are also good for cord and tassel making. The fine silks are lovely but slightly more expensive.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

'Tissue Paper Poppy'

I really liked the colours in a magazine photo of 'Meconopsis Quintuplinervia', the harebell poppy to those of us who are not gardening enthusiasts. So far I have painted some calico . The flowers are described as having deep blue tissue paper petals; an image which seems to really asked to be stitched.

Happy Easter to everyone. If we do ever get any sun I will post a picture of the wonderful array of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths in our garden. I have been a bit distracted by all the weekend cooking; including hot cross buns this morning. Thank goodness we get to eat the easter eggs tomorrow.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Adding "Pizzazz"

Last October I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace. I have been many times now and always find something interesting; especially the work of the young graduates or the knitted sculpture. On this occasion Sherril Kahn gave a generous demonstration of her work and afterwards I bought a set of her stamps. Here they are combined with hand stitching on a fabric painted background. 'Creating with Paint' by her is an interesting read; she believes in lots of complementary colours and strong colours to add "pizzazz".

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Recently I have printed and dyed some calico using procion and fabric paints. I have a skeleton leaf thermo-screen which I bought from Committed to Cloth ; you can read about them on their web site. I first saw them used at the NEC Quilt Championships last year. They are small and easy to use if you have limited space.
I also used cotton reels, a stencil and pieces of plastic to print with. The gold is Pearl Ex powders.
As you can see I also finished the bag from the one day course at the VA last weekend.
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