Thursday, March 22, 2007

Daisy box

Here I am, still messing about with different shapes to make little soft boxes. This one is based on a 6 inch circle.

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For the background fabric I used a rejected piece of silk painted cotton fabric with a circular daisy motif outlined in gold gutta. I needle punched the design to a piece of muslin to give some texture to the piece and to disguise the mistakes I made with the silk paint. (Have I said how much I love this machine, I can use up all the bits I might otherwise have thrown away!). I machine stitched it to a piece of washing up cloth, used a compass to make a six petalled flower shape, zigzaged around it and cut it out.

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I buttonholed it together halfway up the petals, and all around the edges. I should have used a lighter thread, perhaps a variegated stranded cotton, or even crochet cotton, instead of the perle cotton, but at the time I was more interested in the shape I was getting.

I don't much like this particular example, but I like the shape and the technique, so I will be trying it again some time - probably when I get a bigger compass! After I had made it, I wished I had used a different piece of fabric for the experiment, because the daisy bit looked so nice after it had been needlepunched and stitched and before I cut it out! Now I suppose I'll have to make another one............................

Needle punching experiments

I love this machine! I've barely scratched the surface yet.......

I used dyed and felted wool blanket for the backing for these:

Scraps of sari silk and wool tops (roving). To keep the very fine layer of wool tops in place, I put a piece of net (tulle) over the top and tacked it all down by needle punching lightly first, then removed the net and needle punched both surfaces.

Scraps of sari silk, thicker shot silk, wool tops and some tangled silk threads that I bought in the market once because I knew they would come in useful for something!

This is the back of the previous piece. I needle punched more pieces of silk to the back of the piece, to get a lighter effect on the front.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not so clever 3 sided box Mark 2

This time I needle punched the silk scraps to a piece of an old Tshirt before stitching to the felt and vilene. I got a much nicer finish.

I was pleased with this one, so I gave it a personal flourish and kept it for myself!

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I've been looking at some old design work with an Egyptian flavour, and I think that's where the inspiration for the shape and the colours of these last 2 boxes probably came from.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Still boxing, but not so clever

I adapted the five sided box method:

to make a three sided box with a pointed top.

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The not so clever bit was that I tried to cut out one stage of the method and needlepunch the silk scraps for the main fabric straight onto the craft vilene (pellon). This did not work very well. I had bits of vilene flying all over the place and more than a few bald spots on the outside of the box. With hindsight, it would have been better to a) not be so impatient and have a separate piece of fabric or b) paint the vilene first, so the bald spots would not show! I used straight and patterned machine stitching to attach the vilene to the felt and zigzagged on some fancy silk yarn for decoration using a metallic thread to give a bit of sparkle.

This is what the outside of the outside of the box looked like (not this one, this is Mark 2) before the sides were stitched together.

And this is the inside of the box. Here you can easily see the construction lines.

I fastened it with eyelets, a machine wrapped cord and wooden beads. I still felt it needed a handstitched buttonhole edging to finish it off.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Needlefelt challenge

I've been watching the Needlefelt Challenge with interest. (I haven't signed up, because I have a spam-related aversion to Yahoo Groups.)

Last week's challenge was Trapped, and I couldn't resist. This is what I made:

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I made butterfly motifs on the embroidery machine to cover the repair I did on a tear in my grandaughter's favourite party dress. I made some motifs on satin and some on net, but I only used the satin ones.
For the first sample, I put layers of chiffon onto a piece of dyed felted wool, sandwiching the butterfly motifs in the middle. I needlepunched from the front and back of the piece and then, to make the butterflies stand out more I needlepunched some wool roving on from the back. Finally, I 'quilted' with the programmed vermicelli stitch on my machine. It's quite nice, I've no idea what I shall do with it!
The pieces on the bottom row were made by sandwiching the butterfly motifs between two pieces of nylon organza. The first one was also placed on a piece of dyed felted wool. The second one had a piece of metallic fabric under the butterfly, and the third was just the butterfly/organza sandwich. I tidied up the edges and will probably sew these on something as patches, which, co-incidently, is this week's Needlefelt Challenge!
You can find the Needlefelt Challenge, along with details of the webring, here:
it's well worth investigating.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Boxing Clever

Still playing with the needle punch machine and making boxes. I adapted the little soft box made for TAST7 feather stitch to make a three sided one.

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I needle punched scraps of fine sari silk to a piece of dyed curtain interlining, then decorated it with programmed stitches on the sewing machine, using gold coloured and metallic thread. I bonded a piece of gold coloured satin to the back, then cut out the shape with a zigzag rotary cutter (must get some pinking shears!). I pintucked the bottom edges with a machine zigzag stitch and put eyelets into the points of the triangles. Finally, finished it off with a toning machine wrapped cord and a wooden bead.

This is the template for the box/bag

It is just an equal sided triangle divided into four.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Green Fly - post as you go

The fly is finished, apart from a few small adjustments. The wire I used for the legs is too flexible to hold the body up, so I need to devise a way of stabilising them. At the moment, I have pushed cocktail sticks into the holes in the beads used for the feet and that seems to work OK.

Here's the front view. The eyes are fabric covered buttons and wool wrapped plastic washers. The other features are made from beads.

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Here's the back view.
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Here are the two flies together. It doesn't look like it in the photographs, but the green fly is quite a bit bigger. The blue fly has a great deal more work in the making of it, because it was made for a metal thread assessment piece.

Monday, March 05, 2007

TAST More Cross Stitch

One more quick one, just under the wire!

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Cross stitch in variegated stranded cotton on dyed felted wool fabric. I put the two toning strips (one felted wood and one muslin) on first and fastened them with the 'points'. I placed three flat beads on the offcentre vertical piece to balance the area of textured stitching and one bead to lead the eye over the stitching to the right hand side. I pulled the cross stitch quite tight, to create the textured finish.

I learnt about 'points' during Sharon B's online class - Developing a Personal Library of Stitches: this course is running now at Joggles

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Green Fly - post as you go

Here are the wrapped wire legs - these are a bit too sturdy but I didn't have any of the florist's wire I used for the first fly left and these are made of a bit of old electrical wire I found in the shed. They are buttonhole stitched together, ready to stitch to the body. They will be cut to length later and have beads attached for the feet.

This is the face mask, in two pieces, made on the embellisher from felt, wool tops (roving) and scraps of organza, some of it with metallic thread woven in.

and this is the breastplate, made from the same piece of constructed fabric as the face mask -well, all the best dressed flys have a matching set! The breast plate covers the stitching where the legs are attached and adds a bit of decoration and colour.

Most of the face mask will be covered by the eyes, but although it sparkles from the organza and the metallic thread, I think the breast plate is a bit plain. It is unlikely that I will be able to resist embellishing it in some way.

The next thing to do is to make the wings...

This is the pattern. I cut the pattern from craft vilene and attached nylon organza with machine straight stitch in metallic thread. The vilene proved to be too white so I toned it down with coloured pencils.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

TAST Cross Stitch

Another postcard sized sample:

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This is done on dyed curtain interlining with scraps of silk and washingup cloths needle punched on. The cross stitch is in variegated stranded and perle cotton.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

6x4 lives - Fibre Postcard - Egypt

This is my submission for 6x4 Lives this month. I made notes on ancient egyptian jewellery as part of my City & Guilds course years ago, but I concentrated on another aspect of the research project to make my assessed item and didn't use it. (The title of the Resarch Project was Insect Gems - I followed the trail of insect gems back through history to find out when they were popular, which insects were portrayed and why). Browsing through Textile Tuesday I saw that one of the challenges was Egypt and that prompted me to get my notes out again. As a result, I made this postcard.

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The inspiration for this postcard came from here:

The necklace is gold flies on a chain from the burial of Queen Aahhotep. The flies were part of an award for valour. Each set of fly wings was cut from a sheet of gold plate. The heads were made by hammering gold sheet into a mould and then chasing the details. The striated markings on the flies backs have been imitated by cutting slots to give an open-work effect. (circa 1540BC).

I particularly liked the simplicity of the gold flies and interpreted that in this string print block.

I took the colours for the postcard from the picture of Tutankhamun's gold pectoral. This featured a lapis lazuli scarab encircled by cloisonne wings inlaid with lapis lazuli, cornelian and feldspar. The stitching around the prints and the border of the postcard echos the cloisonne work on the wings of the scarab.

The background fabric is a piece of dyed wool curtain interlining. The prints were made on polyester by rubbing with Markal (Shiva) paint sticks. The applique was done very simply with buttonhole stitch to echo the cloisonne work the egyptians used so extensively.

I made another string print block without a fly and I had intended to use the two prints together, side by side, to give the appearance of heiroglyphics, but this looked too crowded on the postcard, so I cut out the fly from the first print.

Here's the link for Textile Tuesday Egypt:

and the link for the 6x4 lives Flickr Site: