Monday, April 30, 2007

TAST - Running stitch

I wish it was more exciting...........:(

I started with this scrap of dyed and discharged linen/viscose fabric.

I outlined the shapes in running stitch in variegated perle and stranded cotton. Then I thought it needed more and I decided to stuff the lines with yarn and some of the other areas with wadding, trapunto style.

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I didn't think ahead, and I stitched right up to the edge, not leaving myself a margin so that I could use this sample later on.

I wish I hadn't bothered!! Never mind, you can't win 'em all....

Thursday, April 26, 2007


More samples made on the embellisher using bits from my reject bin! I've been playing with needle punching the fabrics then 'quilting' them using the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.

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The darker green piece is another 'verdigris' bit I made using a piece of green silk with a scarab stencil in copper coloured metallic powder mixed with fabric medium that didn't come out at all well. I made a 'sandwich' with the printed fabric on top, some copper coloured silk fibres on the bottom and turquoise felt in the middle. I needle punched it quite heavily on both sides to bring the felt and the silk fibres through to the top. Then I machine quilted it in a greek key pattern with copper coloured thread.

The piece on the right was a piece of space dyed muslin treated with potassium permanganate then discharged with lemon juice. It was very drab and dingy. I needle punched it to a piece of dyed wool blanket in turquoise to brighten it up a bit. Then I machine quilted in two different patterns with copper coloured, green and turquoise thread.

The last piece was space dyed muslin that I had scribbled on in felt tip pens in dark red and silver. I needle punched it to a piece of yellow felt to harmonise the colours, then machine quilted it in yellow thread.

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This is what they look like on the underside.

I really like these punched and stitched pieces. The bin is emptying and the sample drawer is filling up!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Now they have clothes!

I had a hard job making clothes to fit these dolls. They are adapted from a teddy bear pattern, to get that 'babyish' look, but I hadn't thought ahead to fitting clothes on them. Once I realised that dolls clothes don't have to be made or fit in the same way as regular children's clothes, it became a little easier. Also, trousers had to be made very baggy, otherwise they couldn't sit. I had quite a few false starts, and there is a pile of clothes that don't quite fit!

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Here they are dressed in shorts and t-shirts, out to play.

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And here they are all dressed up to go out to tea.

I had fun making these, and I'm sure my grandaughter won't mind the mistakes! I can improve on these quite a lot..

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Soft box from a square of fabric

I used my TAST Bonnet Stitch sample to make another soft box based on a square of fabric. I machine 'quilted' it to a piece of synthetic dish cloth using a sparkly thread, cut it to size and machine satin stitched the edge. Then I added eyelets in the corners, a cord and beads.

This is the bottom of the box.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another embellisher experiment

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This piece was needlepunched onto a piece of dyed felted cotton curtain lining. The top fabric was a scrap of multicoloured, sheer sari silk stamped with a gold metallic pattern. The unpainted silk areas made a lovely soft felted effect, but the needles did not like the metallic paint. The result was an interesting texture with loose, raised areas where the fabric was stamped. I like the effect, but I don't think I will do it again because of damaging the needles!

This is much safer!

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The background fabric is synthetic felt. I tried out different weights of chiffon, including pieces of a black nylon chiffon scarf, a printed polyester blouse weight chiffon and a dark red dress weight chiffon crepe. I especially like the effect of the black nylon stripes. The fabric almost disintegrated under needles.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

TAST Bonnet Stitch

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I machine stitched all over the sample in matt and shiny thread, using straight stitch and a greek key pattern, to help merge the bonnet stitch into the background. I really like the texture I got where the machine stitching went over the bonnet stitch worked in wool. Then I added wavy lines in bonnet stitch in cotton perle, to make a better design. I enhanced the bonnet stitch with french knots.

I like this better!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My first 'proper' cloth dolls

Babies for my six year old grandaughter, so quite traditional.

I made the heads first, because I thought they would be the most difficult bit...

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Made in stretch velour fabric. Needle sculpted. Painted with watercolour dyes and gouache in fabric medium. Heat fixed with a hot air gun.

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The 'wigs' are knitted in fancy fur-type knitting yarn. I had several goes knitting different yarns on different sized knitting needles. (I've got a bag of 'experimental' wigs now that will probably be used to make puppets!). I used 'teddy bear' joints to fix the legs and arms to the body, so that the dolls can sit and I put empty 'plastic tubes' from polyester sewing machine thread in the necks to help keep the heads up. That's about it, really. Made in the traditional stuffed toy way. Now I just have to make two sets of clothes.

I'm pleased with these, they make me laugh. I think I'll make some more!

Monday, April 02, 2007

More embellisher experiments

Two post cards made on the needle punch machine.

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Scraps of silk and strips of green felt needle punched onto a nappy liner. It took a lot of needle punching from both sides to get the felt to blend in with the scraps of silk. It made a lovely soft piece of fabric.

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Scraps of different weights of sari silk fabrics needlepunched onto a very fine piece of printed silk. The different scraps of silk produced quite different textures, some very crunchy, some soft and fluffy. I needle punched this from both sides, quite a lot.