Monday, February 28, 2011

Final Pattern Darning class

The final lesson today in Pattern Darning was what the tutor calls Two way Darning.
This was the technique that was used back in the "olden days" and I mean "olden days" when young girls would stitch away mending garments---and I don't know how they ever managed to do it with out the aid of electricity and magnifying glasses.
The first lot of stitches I worked were the green vertical ones and I made a couple of boo boos along the top but if I didn't tell you then you probably wouldn't have noticed.
The horizontal pink ones were worked next and they were woven in and out of the green ones in the centre.
I had to unpick a few rows every now and then-one would really wonder how much of a problem it is to count "under two and over four" and keep getting it wrong-but I did with monotonous regularity-but in the end I finished it and I am very happy again.
The first photo is the front --------------

And the second one is the back---------------

I have a couple of other small patterns that I will try later but I now have a new Church banner that I have to make up--so it will be heads down for a while now.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Finished Book

Sorry about the dull photos but Murphy's Law has again reared it's ugly head.
This is the finished stitched front cover.
As you can see I have used Running stitch to outline some of the petals and also some French Knots to hilite the centres.
I did not want to fill the centres with French Knots because I wanted to give the appearance of flowers that were disintegrating.
The gold and copper hilites appear well with the book slanted slightly when I took the photo.

In this photo you can see the front -back and the spine-------------

Here is the spine showing the stitching over the tapes---------------------

This is the centre of the book not that you can see much really but you can see the stitched threads as they go in between the tapes that hold the pages into position.

I am very pleased with the finished book and I would advise anyone who has the opportunity to do this workshop with Isobel to do so--

Thursday, February 24, 2011

January Fibre Fever Page

This is officially the last page for the Fibre Fever group swap and is from Kath in Crete.
If you remember my theme was for "the country you live in" and each month I received a page from one of the girls depicting the country where they live.
Crete is Kaths adopted country and if you enlarge the photo you will see that she has embroidered the words "fruit and flowers of Crete" and she has embellished the page with a bunch of grapes -a pomegranate and an olive plus a purple Anemone.
I love this page as it shows me something of about Crete that I was not aware of.
Thank you Kath.

I am still waiting for a page from last year but I am not worried because I know that it will turn up eventually.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pattern Darning (Kogin)

Today in my Pattern Darning class we did Kogin which is a form of pattern darning that was developed in an area of Japan to improve the warmth and strength of fabric.(quote from Tutors notes)
Traditional Kogin designs were worked in white thread on dark blue (indigo dyed) fabric on clothing and now can be seen on bags-purses-wall hangings etc.(more quotes)
Once you get into the rhythm of the stitching it all falls into place- but again if you make a mistake it is very obvious.

I struggled with the back because I like it to be neat(I know you all said not to worry about it) but- you have to leave a loop at the end of each row.
The reason for this is that when the garment was washed the thread would shrink and without the loop of extra thread the garment would pucker.
I did forget to leave a loop a couple of times but by the time I noticed I was too far down the track so I just left it.
The long tails still attached were from starting and ending threads--I didn't have to weave them in because they will get caught up when I make the sample into a pin cushion or something else.
Or I may just leave it as a sample--who knows.

I think next week is going to be a real eye strainer :0(

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pattern Darning.

Here are the samples of my first attempt at Pattern Darning.
To say that I am very pleased is an understatement--to say it was easy would be a lie-but- to say that I have enjoyed it in the end is the honest truth.
Yes my eyes hurt even with the magnifying glasses but that was because I was getting tired and wouldn't give up --nope the stubborn part of my being kept pushing me on.
I made plenty of mistakes and unpicked lots of stitches but it was all worth it in the end.
I started out using variegated Perle 8 cotton but in some of the designs it looked awful --especially the one which I eventually worked in cotton a Broder worked in the red thread on the top left.
The aqua one on the bottom left was printed wrong on the instruction sheet and the tutor said she would correct it and bring it back on Monday.
After I had completed the other five I thought that I would try to work it out for myself-which I did and I am not sure if it is correct but I think it looks ok :-))

Then when I turned the piece over to look at the back--horror of horrors I had made two mistakes on the back--see the aqua sample on the bottom.
Then I decided to work it again in a lime green coloured thread and bingo it was ok.
I also got the tail of the green thread caught in the needle of the green one on the centre left side which caused a length of thread to carry down the side.
Ah well it is only a sample and the Tutor is a friend so I don't think I will be shot at twenty paces.

You can see the long threads carried across the bottom third of the diamonds--that's a no-no--------------

This is what it is supposed to look like.

I am a happy chappy anyway.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OWOH Winner(s)

Yippee---- I have used the random generator and I now have a winner for my little white quiltie----------
Drum roll please-----the winner is Sandra of Thistle Cove Farm.
Congratulations Sandra --I will post it off to you as soon as I get your address.
Because I had over 200 responses I have decided to give a second prize which is another quiltie that I made using patchwork fabric woven through warp threads which was then embellished with machine and hand embroidery.
So another drum roll please-----this one goes to Jan at Jans arty atc journey.
Congratulations Jan I will send it off to you as soon as I have your address.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by and left a comment I hope that you have enjoyed your visit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What have I been up to recently--well there has not been any blogging which is quite evident-but I have been busy.
Last weekend I did a 2 day workshop with Isobel Hall at the Embroiderers Guild on Embroidered books.
Isobel is a mixed media artist from the UK and has written several books including "Bags with Paper and Stitch"-"Embroidered Books" and her latest book"Mixed Media :new studio techniques" was written in conjunction with Maggie Grey.
There were 15 of us in the class and we all had a great time and learnt so much from such a giving teacher.
We found new ways to use "stuff" that we already had-different ways that is.
Isobell's husband Eric travels with her and what an asset he is-doing all the odd jobs for us like drying our painted papers so that we could get on with the next new technique.
I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a class so much-no stress involved-no pressure to get things completed-which is a good thing because my book is far from being completed.
We made the book pages and stitched them to the tapes and then went about making the covers.
I am not going to show you much at present------------------
Here I am with Isobel having a good time-----

-----------but here is a sneak peak of my paper which had been stencilled with Light molding past using a floral stencil.
I know it is a bit hard to see but that adds to the mystery.
I won't be able to do anything more to it until the weekend because I have a fellow blogger coming for a sleepover on Thursday night and there won't be much time for craft when there is so much chit chat going on.

On Monday I started the first of 3 x 2 hour classes in Pattern Darning which I never thought I would do because counting stitches and rows on even weave fabric is not my idea of fun.
But I have admired the work of the person who is teaching it at the Guild so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.
I had to enlist the aid of a magnifying glass because I am working on a 28 count fabric and perle 8 thread-need I say more.
So far the stitching and "unstitching" are about even in time spent-- because if you make a mistake (and I do) you have to correct it otherwise it stands out like a sore thumb.
If you don't know what Pattern Darning is go to Sharon Boggans blog here and see how it is done.
I will show you my efforts when I finish the sample (that's if my eyes hold out).
Next week we are doing Kogin embroidery and you can see a sample here
And lastly the OWOH event finishes tomorrow and if you want to enter my giveaway you still have time --just scroll down to the previous post and leave a comment just remember that I must be able to contact you to let you know should you be the winner.
Oh and I have decided to give another prize as well because of all the comments.
It will be another Quiltie but not the same type as the first one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

I have decided to participate in this years One World One Heart event run by Lisa Swifka .
This is the fith year (and final one) that Lisa has run this event and I have at last made the effort to join in.
The reason that Lisa started this event 5 years ago was to connect bloggers with each other.
Each of the bloggers participating in the event are offering a "door prize" as a giveaway.
So to the people who don't know me let me introduce myself----------

My name is Doreen and I am a dabbler in many things.
I started my Journey as a dressmaker many moons ago and in my fifties I rediscovered hand embroidery.
Next it was Machine embroidery-then felting -then card making and then mixed media work.
Gradually I am doing the circle again and I am back doing hand embroidery but this time in a more creative way.
I love what I do and I love having the freedom to change my mind and try something new without feeling guilty about not finishing the last project that I was working on.
The idea of OWOH is for people to meet each other and maybe become great friends into the bargain.
The event is open to all bloggers worldwide and all you have to do is leave a comment here on my blog to be in the draw and I must be able to contact you if you win.
If you would like to see the list of the other participating bloggers click here and then you can leave a message on their blogs as well.
Now about my door prize---
It is a small quiltie which measures 6 and 1/2 inches square and is made of embroidered silk chiffon with cotton laces attached.
It has a small photo of a little girl printed on fabric and embellished with silk ribbon embroidery,buttons and flower motifs.
The blanket stitched border finishes it off.

The event closes on February 17th 2011 when the winner will be announced.
I will contact the winner by e-mail.
Good luck.