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Archive for the ‘Textiles’ Category

While photography has become a major interest, I have not totally given up stitching and other crafty things.  Currently I’m knitting (!!!) a cowl or more likely a neck sock with some gorgeous Noro yarn I found in a bargain bin. Also successfully using circular needles, which is a coup as I am very much an old school traditional knitter – two or four needles if I need to knit something round.  Anyway – it’s a change and easy to do in front of the television – though Australian television these days is full of foolish politicians trying to outdo each other.  I read somewhere that the main party leaders were referred to as Dr No and the Flim-flam man.  Seemed appropriate somehow.  I’m longing for September 8th when hopefully the whole business will be over.

Back to some stitching  – I made this recently as part of a birthday gift for one of my stitching group.  A nifty little container in which to keep orts.  If you do not know what this word means, its origin is from late middle English or German meaning food remains, however in this case it is for scraps of thread.

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The other item I have actually finished is a triptych made after a class at the Embroiderers Guild.  While quite pleased with it, there are a couple of things I might do differently next time.  Sadly it is not possible to post a larger image here, but this is actually more than 50 cms wide and the detail is lost in this puny picture.

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Now just because the last picture is not so good, here are a couple I took today of one of the many Kookaburras that visit this garden daily.  I know someone who occasionally reads this spasmodic blog will enjoy them.

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It is freezing cold and wet today, so I have been sitting in front of my wood fire, putting the finishing touches to this piece.  It’s all made from felted lambswool jumpers with machine and hand stitching.  The back is red like the front with a split down it to allow insertion of the hot water bottle.  The original idea was not this, due to a near fatal mistake.  When cutting the embroidered piece to shape I omitted a seam allowance.  How dumb was that?!!  The only solution was to applique the whole, reshaped front piece to another bit of wool and so give a border effect.  I think it worked.146A0419

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All the required pieces of work for the Intermediate Certificate in Canvas work have now been completed!  A huge relief, now I just have to mount all the samples, write some notes, put together my folio, then hand it in after Christmas.  I am very pleased to have finished it all, now I can focus on things like my overgrown garden and organising some light clothing for my Singapore trip.  I am resolved never to undertake another long stitching course again, it takes over one’s life and leaves little time for anything else.  I can clear away all my stitching paraphernalia from my dining table where it has been for three months, and best of all, my stitching time is once more my own!

Anyway, the last piece is a large (4 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall) pincushion to match the needle case made earlier – same colours, same thread, a different design and some different stitches.  Bright and glaring, I’m sure I shall not misplace them easily once they are put to use.

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What do you think?

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Almost there…….

I now have only one small sampler, and two other original pieces to do before all stitching is completed for the Intermediate Canvas Work Certificate.  Then I just need to put the folio together which will also take some time, but the end is in sight!  I have finished this today – it was to show how one can add things to canvas to make it more interesting.  In this, supposedly underwater scene, the canvas was painted, there were fine silk gauzy bits stuck on and stitched through or gathered and added to the surface to represent seaweed, heat distressed Tyvek was used to create rocks, and real shells attached too.  Threads were a mixture of stranded cottons, perle cotton, silk, and stranded wool.  Stitches used included cross, rice, cushion, fly, tent, slanted gobelin, French knots, drizzle, velvet, Milanese, and Hungarian diamond stitch.  I sort of like the result, but there are some things I would do differently if starting again, and I don’t think adding sundry bits to canvas is something I would do often.

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Another Sample

I fell behind in class because of so much garden activity, so am still catching up with the assignments from the last couple of sessions in our canvas work certificate.  I completed this small piece yesterday, it is worked on rug canvas which has about 4 threads to the inch.  Great for rugs using the appropriate thick yarn or rags, but not something one might use for anything else. This is what I did using strips of natural dyed silk and thick knitting yarns.  No thing of great beauty, but there is potential there….

I thought it might be useful to show this handyman’s clamp as in my opinion, it is an essential accessory for any embroiderer.  I read recently on another blog where a stitcher was having difficulty holding a frame for her work, and wondered if folk knew of this easy solution.  Most embroidery will look better if it has been worked in a frame and there are numerous sizes of circular or rectangular ones from which to choose, some of which come with their own stands however, most do not.  To be able to use both hands when stitching, and avoid the aches of holding a frame yourself, the cheapest solution is to clamp it to a table edge, and it is very simple with one of these tools which has a pump action to tighten the clamp.  The thick cork mat, made from two large placemats from a $2 shop glued together, protects the table and can also be used for blocking finished work.

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I may have mentioned before that Blue is my favourite colour – I wear it, I’m most comfortable stitching in blues, I make blue quilts, and there are many blues to be found in my garden.  In fact, it is a bit of a joke amongst some of my friends who are astounded if I appear in another colour.

This latest piece for the Intermediate Certificate which was to be an exercise in repeating patterns, is also another attempt to steer clear of the beautiful blues that I love – so it is Red and four shades of Purple!  When made up, it will be a needlecase – one which I feel will be difficult to lose because it is so loud and lurid!  It will fold down the centre line, and have another row of long legged cross stitch around the edge.  I will post a photo again when it is completed.

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The assignment was to work a piece in only one colour, but different threads, shades and tints, and using stitches to give a textured finish.  This is mine.

Threads were a mixture of tapestry wools, knitting yarn, persian wool, silks and cottons, variegated or plain,  giving shine or not.  Stitches used are Rhodes, Norwich, Square & Diamond Eyelet, Leaf, Rice, Tent, Fan, French Knots, Wheat, Upright cross, Woven Spider…………and I have just spotted a couple of bare threads!  Must fix that before I hand it in!
PS. If you use Pintrest, please DO NOT pin this or any other photos from this blog.

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