Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another Challenge

Another Challenge is about to begin.

Every 2 years the ACT Embroiderers Guild in conjunction with their Annual Exhibition -holds a Creative Challenge.

Members are asked to purchase a kit for a small amount of money and are given a selection of fabrics -ribbons- threads etc and then the challenge is to make something from the kit.

There are certain rules connected to the Challenge -some of them being that you must use at least 50% of everything in the kit-you can add any support item such as interfacing or wire mesh but it must not be visible when on display and you can add any embellishments as long as they are in the colours of the fabrics in the kit and your chosen colour.

This years Challenge is Black and White plus one other colour.

The kit contained a fat quarter of both black and white fabric plus some black perle cotton-white braid and black grograin ribbon with white spots in two different widths.
I must add no more than a fat quarter of my chosen colour.

My chosen colour is lime green (I think a lot of people will choose red) because I love lime green--and I didn't find it hard to collect ribbons and other embellishments in lime green because I have lots of them in my stash.

I did buy the black and white buttons and the very narrow black and white ric rac braid.

Now the only thing left to do is come up with an idea as to what to make(I do have several running around in my head) but I don't want to rush into this and I don't have to have it finished until the beginning of October so you will have to wait until then to see the end result.
Let the Challenge begin.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Trading Cards for friends

These two Atc's were made for Dianne on the right and Dot on the left hence the letter D on them.
They were made from one of my re-discovered pieces of machine embroidery that I had posted on my blog several weeks ago.
Seeing as both Dianne and Dot have received them I can now show all.The gold frames on them were made from glue from a hot glue gun and then rubbed over with "Goldfinger" which is similar to Treasure Gold.

Friday, January 26, 2007

TAST samples of Cretan stitch

Here are my samples for Take a stitch Tuesday
this week we did Cretan stitch.

Most of the designs I stitched are from a book titled Crazy Quilt Stitches by Dorothy Bond.
This is an amazing little book and full of ideas and designs for Crazy Quilting.
I had forgotten that I owned it-and I must use it again.
Cretan stitch is another stitch that I enjoyed doing.
I mainly used DMC threads but the mauve/blue variegated thread is by Needle Necessities.
I am still having trouble with my photos because the background fabric always appears to be dull.
I am using natural coloured fabrics and I take the photos in different
light sources but they always appear dull.
Can anyone help me as to what I am doing wrong.
Maybe I should forget this fabric and choose something else.


I was sorting through some of my stash looking for some fabric and I came across a lot of pieces of black Homespun (cotton) and got completely
The next thing I knew I was in the laundry -bottle of bleach in one hand and vinegar in the other.
I was a girl on a mission- nothing could stop me now.
It is amazing what colours you can get when you bleach black fabric(or any other dark fabric) here are samples of 6 different dye lots of Homespun and I do have another sample somewhere hiding in the depths of that stash and it bleached back to a blue colour.Wish I could find it.
Now back to looking for that other fabric again.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gifts in the mail

On Tuesday I received a wonderful surprise in the mail--a parcel from Dot.

I had swapped 2 ATC's with Dot but when I opened up the package there was a little surprise for me also.

I now own one of Dot's little Art Doll's

I have named her Samantha.

Welcome to my home Samantha

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sewing on the felt

Last week Ebony was supposed to hand stitch on the piece of felt that she had made previously.
But no -what she wanted to do was Machine stitch it.
With much fear and trepidation I agreed.
The first time I sat her down on my knee and I controlled the foot pedal and she controlled the sewing on the felt.
But she was not happy with this---she wanted to do the lot.
With reluctance I let her have a go and like as if she had done it before she stitched away without any trouble.
I think all those times when she sat next to me and watched what I was doing have paid off.
When it was done all her fingers were intact and the machine hadn't jammed up --so I think we will call it a success.
I was so proud of her but not half as much as she was .
Next week we make the handles

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Trading Cards

I have been busy making ATC's from samples of machine embroidery and odds and ends.I really enjoy making them and I like having a few on hand --but if anyone is interested in a swap then let me know.
I haven't been creative today because the house work got in the way.
Well there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Detached Chain stitch

I decided this week to do a little bit of old fashioned embroidery for something different using detached chain stitch.
I tea dyed the little lady first to add some colour to her and used mainly DMC threads and some silk ribbon.
The flowers are all lazy daisy with french knot centres and straight stitch stems and also detatched chain leaves.
I added a little butterfly charm as well.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gifts from Queensland

I received this tassel in the mail yesterday
from my friend Robin in Mackay Qld.
Before Christmas she had sent me this
wonderful little box that she made .
The box instructions were from an article
by Carol Fletcher in issue 20 of the
QA magazine.
Her detail to stitching is incredible
and I just adore both gifts.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Picnic and photo's

Yesterday I took my son and grandaughter on a picnic to Bungendore a small village not far from Canberra.
Great day- but in over 30 degrees celsius heat it was a bit
uncomfortable to say the least.
But I did manage to get some great photo's from an
old tree there -I don't know what it was but it was very old.
I have started taking photo's to build up a design folder to
use as inspiration for my textile arts -it is amazing what you
can see if you look past the overall picture and look at the
smaller things.
These photo's will add to my collection.
The cone was on the ground under the tree and obviously
the birds had been having a good feed .
The top photo shows how it was laying on the ground and
then I turned it over slightly to reveal the back half still intact.
I can see plenty to inspire me in these with great colour
and texture.

Tree trunk textures

All these photo's were taken from the same tree
trunk. I was amazed at the different textural qualities

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Free Machine Embroidery

Here is a piece of FME that I re-discovered along with yesterdays piece.This is a sample that came about from showing one of the groups that I belong to how to do reverse applique.
The base fabric is lime green coloured silk satin with several wavy shapes cut from a piece of pink and grey fabric that had some metallic threads through it -bonded on the top of it.
Over the top of this I placed a layer of black nylon organza.
I then FME around the outer edges of the shapes then stitched a free hand design over the top in straight stitch--cut back some of the layers to reveal what was underneath and then FME stitched around all the edges.
I think the reason this sample was hiding from me is because every time it re-surfaces I have to resist the urge to cut it up -- mmmm-maybe it would make nice post cards or ATC'c-- oops there I go again.
But really I must do something with it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sumptuous Surface

While this is not a recent piece of stitching I re-discovered it last week while searching for something else.
It was done at a workshop with Effie Mitrofanis.
The class was called Sumptuous Surfaces and it was all hand stitching- which I found different because I mostly do free machine embroidery.
I have made it into a small wall hanging now.
I also noticed that I had done some Herringbone stitching on it to hold down the green cord and also on the right hand side where the purple piece is.
More re-discovered samples tomorrow

Monday, January 15, 2007

Felt purse

Last week I received a lovely surprise in the mail from Joei in Rhode Island USA.
I met Joei through a trading card swap and we have become good friends.
I had sent her a Tassel and as her "thing" is felting she sent me this beautiful purse in return.
Thank you Joei it is truly a special gift.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Making Felt

When my Grand-daughter Ebony who is almost 7 y.o comes to stay we try to do some craft of some sort and this week she wanted to do some felting.This usually was some wool fibres about 18cm long and it was wet and then had some dish washing liquid added and she proceeded to roll it between her hands to create a long thin sausage which she would wrap around her wrist to make a bracelet or a play toy for her Kitten.
I decided to show her the correct way as best I could as I am not an expert at this just a dabbler.
You can see by the concentration that she was taking it all seriously and wanted to do another one when we finished

Rolling in the bubble wrap

Enough of the circular hand motions.
The end is not too far away now.

And who's a happy girl

And here she is with the finished piece.
She now wants to stitch on it and make a bag.
We will do this on Friday

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hearts and flowers

The last sample for this week is Hearts and flowers.
The fabric for the hearts is cotton and the threads are perle 5 and 8.
The fabric is from a recycled pair of jeans.
I will piece this into a bag made from old jeans.

Week 2 Buttonhole stitch

In this sample I have worked the basket
in raised buttonhole stitch and the flowers are
closed buttonhole stitch and buttonhole wheels.
A few french knots and beads were added and straight stitch stems on the flowers.I am having difficulty getting a good quality photo this week I don't seem to be getting enough light somehow.
Maybe the camera is getting narky with me for the over use it has been getting lately.

Another one

I like using buttonhole stitch- for some reason I find it relaxing.
In the top 2 rows I have used silk threads from the Illuminations range from The Thread Studio- the colour is Byzantium -they come in about 6 different textures.
The rest is perle 8 thread.
I can't wait to see what I will be doing next week

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Before Christmas I was involved in a Tassel swap
with some girls whom I have "met" through an ATC swap with Dale Rollerson at The Thread Studio.
The one on the left is from Sandi in Portland Oregan-- the middle one from Robyn in NSW Australia and the right one from Linda in WA Australia.
The one on the left has a beautiful hand beaded band around the head.
I am indeed a lucky girl

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Paper Fabric 2

This is the second sample of the paper fabric
that I have made but this time I used Jo Sonja Poster paint.
These paints are quite thick and gave a firmer fee
l to the paper fabric
I used the same technique as before and then after
the last stage I applied some Goldfinger metallic
rub on paste which is made by Daley-Rowner in the U.K.
This can be purchased at Art supply stores.
After reading Sharon Boggan's blog yesterday I realized
that I should have mentioned where I found these
They came from the Maggie Grey book
Raising the Surface published by Batsford.
Sorry about that.
I haven't tried to machine stitch into this fabric yet
but hopefully that will happen soon.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Creating Paper fabric

These samples are about creating a fabric from lightweight brown paper and fabric.
I first painted the brown paper with dynaflow dyes and when it was dry I crumpled it up to give it texture.
Next I ironed some bondaweb to a piece of fine cotton .

I placed the crumpled painted paper face down on the ironing
and then placed the cotton fabric with the bondaweb side facing
down onto the paper and ironed it.
I then ironed some previously painted bondaweb onto the painted
crumpled paper to get the finished effect.
These are only sample pieces so now I can make a larger peice to make a book cover for my TAST samples.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Artist Trading Cards

These are the 5 Trading cards that I have made for Dale Rollersons "Make 5 Take 5" swap in February".
The background is made using the off cuts from when I rolled hemmed some silk scarves for a friend .
I placed the bits onto a piece of gold metallic fabric and stitched it down with gold thread.The little tile is covered with some paper that I have dyed and I have attached them on with gold thread.
I then stitched around them using a narrow zigzag stitch to make them stand out a bit more.
Whoops I have just noticed one of them is missing the stitched border around the tile--I must fix that.
The colour has photographed a bit lighter than the true colour---

Sunday, January 7, 2007

I forgot to say

I forgot to say previously what I have used on the sampler.
1st row is perle cotton band with broder cotton stems and hand dyed silk ribbon flowers.
2nd row is hand dyed perle cotton and Minnamurra threads with beads added.
3rd row is perle cotton laced with hand dyed variegated silk thread.
4th row is silk thread couched over 4mm silk ribbon with sequins and a french knot.
the last row has DMC thread, broder cotton,and silk thread.
I knew that all those threads etc. would come in handy one day'

TAST Herringbone stitch

Well I have finished my sampler and I have enjoyed doing this first part of the challenge.
I haven't done much hand stitching lately and I think I will enjoy the rest of stitching days to come.
I have spent 4 hours trying to figure out how to get this photo from the camera to the computer and then on to this page.
I feel as though I have aged 10 years this week but I think I will get the hang of it eventually.
If I can now remember how I got to this stage it would really help.
Off to bed now as I am exhausted.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

The Journey continues----

Well I have learned more in the last 2 days on how to do things on my computer than I have in the previous 6 years.
As I have said before I am not very computer savvy and I forget to read all the icons on the screen(it's no wonder I haven't learned much).
And I almost never used the right click on the mouse.
So I just stayed within my comfort zone and never ventured very far.
Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Friday, January 5, 2007

In the beginning

This is my first attempt at blogging and I'm nervous.
I have been thinking about doing this for some time but I always thought it would be too hard for me and what would I have to say that would interest any one.
Then I signed on for Sharon Boggan's Take a Stitch Tuesday and the challenge was set in motion.
Not being computer savvy I now have to learn how to upload photos and all that stuff so just bare with me.
Will my life ever be the same again?
I don't think so