Archive for the ‘Machine Embroidery’ 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.


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.


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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Don’t fall off your chair in shock, but I have some textile pieces to show you!  The first for months, and a bit different as well.

At our Nifty Needles group today, where our current theme is Recycling, I demonstrated how to make a couple of different textured surfaces for further embellishment and stitch.

I guess the first, Fabric Paper, is really what one might call a mixed media technique but the results certainly have potential for a number of things.  Instructions can be found here on Linda Matthews website “Creative Textile and Quilting Arts”.  One starts with a piece of fine cotton slathered with a diluted PVA glue, then add bits of fabric, threads, dried petals or whatever, and cover it with tissue paper – plain, coloured or discarded dressmaking patterns, and saturate it again with glue.  It can be painted wet, or dry (my preference), and when totally dry becomes a flexible fabric which can be machine or hand stitched.  Some photos of how mine was made.

Damp fabric with a layer of muslin and other bits and pieces.

Covered with old dress pattern tissue

This piece was painted while wet, and will need more when dry.

A second piece with added threads, before the tissue layer

Final product - painted dry, dried again and then Shiva Paintsticks applied.

This last piece is very textured and has the feel and consistency of leather, and will probably make a book cover, but I think fabric paper could be used for boxes, vessels, ATCs, Postcards and more….. I made a small notebook from some as a sample for this session, where the pages are made from the backs of A4 envelopes.

The second surface was made using strips of plastic fruit or onion bags, overlapped and layered on Aqua Bond, covered with another plastic dissolving film, and densely machine stitched all over with polyester thread (which will melt) to hold it together and to integrate the pieces and colours.  A simple design with a strong outline was drawn onto the top plastic film, and machine stitched again with cotton or other heat resistant thread, before dissolving the Aqua Bond and Romeo.  This results in an open and lacy fabric which can be layered and stitched on something else.  With mine, I used a soldering iron to cut away the centres of the simple daisy design, which is why it is essential that the first stitching is done with Polyester thread.  Having left my preparation for this session to the last minute, this piece was made in a hurry last night, but even so I think it is quite effective, and if made with a bit more thought, the technique has a lot of potential.

Strips of fruit bag layered, and covered with plastic film.

Piece has been machine stitched all over, and design drawn on the plastic

Design machine stitched with cotton thread - could use metalic.

Plastic films have been dissolved, and fabric sitting on black felt

I plan to do this again with better colour choices, a more interesting design and try metallic threads plus some hand stitching…..but don’t hold your breath!

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Jasmine and her contents were displayed today at our Guild meeting, but she is once more on her way to her next showing in the South of this state.  Our members were impressed by the wide range of techniques used, the amount of work involved, the very vibrant colours in the textiles, and the skills with which each piece was worked.  Many of them were pieces designed to hang, but unfortunately we did not have the means to hang them all – none the less we were all able to enjoy this traveling exhibition spread out on tables.  The pieces of work were accompanied by a large folder which explained how they were made, together with an artist’s statement for each piece.  I would certainly recommend this show to anyone who might want to have it visit their group – so if you do, then contact ATASDA.

Here are some photos of some of the works…….

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The fabric book has finally been finished, I completed the binding of the pages last night.  I’m fairly pleased with it, but as always , if I were doing it again some things would be done differently.  There are eight pages inside the cover, each one demonstrates a technique learned at Nifty Needles, the EG interest group that focuses on non traditional embroidery techniques.

The pages are bound with a simple stitched Japanese binding.

Each page is backed with a hand-dyed fabric, and the edges finished with buttonhole stitch.

Each facing page has a label with the name of the piece, and details of how it was made.

The labels were printed on the computer and attached with Vliesofix

The background fabric for the covers was made by enclosing a piece of wool prefelt between two layers of hand dyed silk, stitching them together by hand and machine, then felting the three layers together. It is a lovely texture to touch.

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This one is to show what one might do with a monoprint.  In class, this was scribbled on glass and printed on calico.  Today I coloured it with acrylic paints and added machine stitching.  I really like it and would like to try it again with a little more planning and attention to detail…….

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