Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tempus fugit

Landscape showing cliff and seaweed island at dawn
I can't believe I last posted about this project on 10th October. Where did the time go? I remember an inscription under a clock in Folkestone Kent which said something like "Tarry not thy time is short"  I always passed that clocktower with a shudder.  Well I have now completed the base for the top and I have to decide how best to continue. The view is a cliff at Noup Head, Westray, Isle of Orkney in Scotland. The actual place has a wonderful lighthouse on it and that is what I need to do next. My original plan was to make a separate machine embroidered and applique piece and attach it to the white wall you can just see in the top righthand corner. I will let you know how I get on.............

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I've been working on a project

This one was suspended over the Christmas period and has only just surfaced from the cupboard again, but it is now on track to be finished. At least the top is as it's a quilt. I don't have any new photos tonight and it's getting late, so I will post again tomorrow or the day after depending on how it goes.

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.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Designing with the needle

I have been completing a project over the last few days and it took longer than I expected.  (It is ages since I posted so I am feeling guilty of neglecting this blog.) Anyway, the design ideas I had were not too bad because the problem is that I am good at some things with a needle but can't work up any enthusiasm for hand embroidery unless it is crewel work. So I like to think that I design with a needle.... I am simply making 4 inch squares again like the Rainbow Squares we made for the EG a couple of years back but this time they are for the Friends Meeting House (Quakers) who were flooded last autumn. The room which the Keswick EG hire off them needed a lift so the Quakers asked us to make them a rainbow squares type decoration. I was given 4 squares to make and the random colour was brown..... Now brown is not really a colour which turns me on, but I noticed some of the other ladies in the group were I thought OK I'll do brown. 

Tomorrow they will be finished, and I have been taking photos, so until then.