Friday, 25 January 2013

Sketchbook practice

Another of my aspirations for 2013 is to spend some time each week playing around in my sketchbooks. I have a fondness for 1950's designs, and you can find some wonderful inspiration in old needlework books.

Here are some sketches of stylised seed heads and shells inspired by design ideas from Embroidery - A Fresh Approach by Alison Liley, first published by Mills & Boon (when they published more than romantic fiction!) in 1964.

Sketchbook practice -seed heads and shells

Monday, 21 January 2013

Trade Winds ....A Breath of Fresh Air

What better way to celebrate the New Year and new aspirations than with a new project which tries out new skills. Having hand-pieced and hand quilted my last two quilts which I gifted to others, I am trying my hand at machine piecing. Much as I am a huge advocate of slow stitching and the Slow Cloth manifesto, hand piecing a quilt does take quite a long time, time perhaps better given to hand quilting the top once pieced. 

So,  I invested in a 1/4" seam foot for my sewing machine and have begun to piece a tablerunner, following a pattern from Moda Bake Shop, but using  a Trade Winds Charm Pack from Moda.

Here's the fabric

And here's the centre blocks of the tablerunner pieced and the side blocks cut and ready to sew together.  The solid  turquoise fabric is for the borders and the backing: I'm going to use the self-binding method to finish the edges (until I practice separate binding!)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Experiments in felting

 Some photos here of first experiments in felting carried out in my Creative Stitches class. As I stitched round the felted circle piece with variegated thread, the stitched created lovely little raised cone shapes.

Felted circles with hand stitching

 This nuno felt sample was worked with hand dyed scrim and hand dyed wool.

Nuno felt sample

Friday, 4 January 2013

Module 3 all done and dusted!

I've just submitted Module 3 of my City & Guilds Embroidery course for assessment. The first achievement of 2013! Looking forward to Module 4 which looks at manipulating fabric. Meanwhile, here's a taster of some of my Module 3 work - Appliqué techniques, Appliqué samples and Celtic arts and crafts sketchbook work.

Appliqué methods notebook

Appliqué samples

Celtic sketchbook