Thursday, 10 February 2011

Quaker squares and how to turn a blunder into an asset!

Ok, I have some photos of the finished squares for the Friends Meeting House in Keswick which was devastated by floods in November 2010. So hopefully these will be going up on the wall in the room we hire off them and another 10 sets of four squares from some of the other ladies too, all in different colours of the rainbow...............

Crazy patchwork with goldwork
So first up is one I was still working when I took the photo last night. I layed some sticky backed stabiliser down and just applied the fabric in sections until I was pleased with the result. The orangy coloured piece is actually some ribbon and then there was a piece of velvet and some brocade and silk with gold embellishments added. I worked a bit of free machine embroidery here and there and lastly of all you see my needle and gold thread as I attach a gold edge which I am carefully twisting with some Linton Tweed thread.

Machine embroidered flower with beadwork
This one was a lot of fun to do. I started with a background fabric which was beige so I overlaid it with a piece of brown gauze from an old scarf. It immediately turned the black flower design underneath to chocolate,  hmm just what I wanted.  I then picked out the central motif and did my silver thread machine embroidery on the top after I had placed the whole thing in a really tight embroidery hoop so I could drop the feed dogs.  I was after a passion flower look and wanted it kept simple. So I beaded the centre with yellow and red beads and then radiated out with silver long beads; then finally added the pinky red beads around the flower. I added the edge which was Linton Tweed thread again and stitched it down with the same silver thread I had used on the flower it's by Madeira and called Jewel.

Little applique hearts with buttons
Here we have a simple background which was stabilised with sticky stabiliser again and then I added the heart shapes and buttons. I did a bit of machine embroidery around the leaves which were part of the background silk fabric. I cut out some more and added them to balance the effect. Lastly I added the edge trim again using scraps of threads taken from Linton Tweed and stitched with Madeira Jewel in red.

My little trees
This photo won't enlarge unless it is huge so I am having to put up with it.......I really enjoyed making this square and I simply took some velvet and satin stitched the tree designs on. The little red one was part of the giveaway I won last month, I simply detached it from it's background embroidery and re used it...... Then added a gnarled stump from a bit of old jute string and twisted it a bit to look like a tree trunk. I added a few red beads to the first 2 trees so they looked as if they had berries on them and finished off with a lovely satin stitch border. Then I had a snag because the square had pulled out of shape a bit so I had the idea of disguising it with the edge which is taken from Linton Tweed again. Its a wonderful glittery sort of riot of sticky out bits of thread.....Take a closer look and you will see what I mean. This was the 2nd square I made and when I had added the edge I realised that it was a good idea to do the same on all subsequent squares. So that's why I had the idea, to disguise my very non square design,  hmmm.   Where there is a mistake always turn it to your advantage.


Miriam Weaver said...

The square's are lovely, you've really turned that mistake to an advantage. If you'd not mentioned it I would never have known there had been a mistake!

Lyn Armstrong said...

Thanks Miriam, the trouble with satin stitch is it pulls some fabrics way out of shape, I was being a bit too confident trying it on velvet and its not easy to it was thinking cap on or else.