Sunday, 13 July 2014

Some old samplers

My groups have just held a stitch and chat day with a display of the work they have done over the last year. We had a few visitors including one lady who had brought 3 samplers to show us, and when she unwrapped them, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  She very kindly let me photograph them.

Unfortunately none of them are dated, so here's my best guesses.

I guess this charming little piece is mid to late Victorian - beautifully stitched in  tiny cross stitches across one thread on fine white linen.

I really can't guess a date for this one - maybe late eigtheenth century, early nineteenth century. This one has a name - Ann Beckett - at the bottom. This one was difficult to read, so there may be a date somewhere. The bottom two thirds is the Lord's prayer, worked in tine eyelets on unbleached linen.

This one's a real enigma - it looks like a seventeenth century band sampler (surely not!), but looking at it, it appears to have some later additions - the blue flowers and possibly the white flowers in the second and fourth bands. The "original" bits are exquisitely stitched with tiny stitches on a piece of very fine unbleached linen. There is also evidence of metallic threads in the top band. The "additions" are fairly crudely stitched .

If anyone can add anything, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, 23 June 2014

National Quilt Championships, Sandown Park

First time I have ever entered a judged quilt show, needless to say, I didn't win anything. There were some wonderful quilts.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and am already thinking about next year!

Here's me with both quilts.

The quilt on the right is called Circles 1. It's hand pieced and quilted.
The quilt on the left is called Circles 2. I used fabrics left from the first quilt, but added to it to lighten and brighten the mix. The inspiration for the quilt is a technique by American quilt artist Jane LaFazio called Recycled circles. Each block is made by freely cutting quadrants and then bonding them to the background. Each block is heavily embroidered, machined together and hand quilted with seeding stitches.

Some details:

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Module 3 Chapter 8

A bead sampler

The brief was to select the different types of bead - seed, bugle, sequin etc - and sew them on in as many ways as possible to create a bead sampler.

I chose some shot taffeta, backed it with some cotton curtain lining and, after I had tacked the grid, I mounted it onto a wooden frame. I decided to make each square  2", and the grid six squares by six squares. After a few squares, I did wonder if I had made too many squares, but left it as it is.

Once I had completed the squares, I laced it onto a square of mount board, and then worked the edges and the fringes along the bottom. Finally I mounted the whole thing onto a larger rectangle of mount board. I had intended to mount it on the white side of the board, but it looked much better on the green side - sheer coincidence that the only piece of mount board I had was that colour.


Now to look at the details:


Top left hand square -  two colours of pearl beads sewn on individually to make a diagonal pattern; pearl beads strung onto the thread and couched down; pearl beads sewn on using a small seed bead.
Top right hand square - seed beads sewn on randomly.
Bottom left hand square - different sorts of seed beads sewn on in a spiral pattern. Beads strung on the thread and couched down.
Bottom right hand square - bugle beads sewn on parallel, in straight and diagonal lines.
The edges - 9 small seed beads strung onto the thread, and the needle taken back through the first bead to create a little picot; pearl beads simply sewn on; groups of 5 seed beads simply sewn on; bugle beads alternating with seed beads.


Top double square - 4 colours of small seed beads. The lime green beads sewn randomly over the whole area using a space dyed fine perle thread and 4 straight stitches, then the pale pink beads over three quaters of the area, the dark pink beads over half the area and finally the dark green beads over the last quarter.
Bottom left hand square - bugle beads sewn on randomly.
Bottom right hand square - bugle beads sewn on randomly then with a cross stitch in either dark pink fine perle and light pink coton a broder.
Edge - A bugle bead, a seed bead and a bugle bead strung onto the thread to make V-shapes.


Top left hand square - seed beads sewn on with other seed beads - tiny gold ones, lime green ones, dark green ones, and then itself.
Top right hand square - stars using various seed beads strung onto thread and couched down if necessary.
Bottom left hand square - bugle beads sewn in alternating blocks of three, plus an attempt at a colour change.
Bottom right hand square - Piles of bugle beads, each one sewn on and then a stitch over the top to hold them in place; bugle beads on end, held in place with a seed bead.
Edges - Seed bead, sequin, seed bead; patterned beads sewn on with a seed bead; seed beads sewn on using a blanket stitch; facetted beads sewn on using a blanket stitch.


Top double square (from left to right) - bugle beads sewn on with raised chain band using the bugle bead as the bar, fly stitch, and raised stem stitch band using the bugle as the bar; a florentine pattern made with bugle beads sewn on individually; blocks of bugle beads with stitches over the top.
Bottom left hand square - rows of sequins sewn on overlapping, each row in the opposite direction to the previous row, which gives the change in colour. Seed beads added on the right two rows.
Bottom right hand square - cup shaped sequins sewn on with beads.
Edge - bugle beads sewn on with a seed bead; sequins sewn on simply.


Top left hand square - hanging loops of bugle beads, adding one extra bead each time.
Top right hand square - sequins sewn on simply.
Bottom left hand square - piles of sequins sewn on with a seed bead, with 4 radiating stitches using dark pink fine perle, and with a bugle bead attached with a seed bead.
Bottom left hand square - hanging loops of sequins - the top row just sequins; the next row sequins with 1 seed bead between them; the next row with 2 seed beads between them; the bottom row with 3 seed beads between them.


Top double square - sequins sewn on with 4 radiating stitches in dark pink fine perle, getting more dense and overlapping towards the right.
Bottom left hand square - a regular pattern of sequins sewn on with small seed beads and pairs of bugle beads.
Bottom right hand square - a random pattern of sequins sewn on with small seed beads and pairs of bugle beads.
Edge - sequins with a piece cut out to give a jagged edge; pairs of bugle beads sewn on together.


Top left hand square - tight beads and longer spirals made by wrapping dark pink wire round either a knitting needle or a pencil.
Top right hand square - beads made by wrapping some of the painted papers made earlier in the module round a knitting needle. I used a dab of matte gel medium to secure them. Stitched on through the centre and then decorated with stitches over the top.
Bottom left hand square - some very pretty little metal bits found in my husbands "bits and pieces" box. They were coloured by shaking them in a jar with a little bit of acrylic paint. Some of them got a second coat of another colour when they were dry to give a mottled effect. The gold star shapes are cut from sequin waste.
Bottom right hand square - the sequin waste star shapes sewn on quite densely.
Edges - a long spiral made from dark pink wire, stitched through the centre and then couched down were necessary; a section of the straight edge of the sequin waste; a fringe made from alternate seed beads (3) and sequins; a fringe made from a random (ish) selection of beads bought together at a show. 


Top left hand square - a continuation of the hand made paper beads
Top right hand square - melon seeds, dried and coloured with the metal bits above, sewn on randomly with a seed bead.
Bottom  left hand square - what was left of the sequin waste once I had cut out the stars, kept in one piece.
Bottom right hand square -what was left of the sequin waste once I had cut out the stars, cut up into odd lengths.
Edges - seed beads and bugle beads. This could have been more dramatic if I had increased the number of strings, made them longer, and added 3 or 4 extra beads instead of 2 before the bugle bead ; melon seeds with 1, 2, 3, or 4 seed beads between them.


Top left hand square - more bits from the "bits and pieces" box, coloured with everything else in the jar. The square nuts attached with 4 radiating stitches in dark pink fine perle, and with a pearl and a seed bead in the hole in the middle.
Top right hand square - a patch of beads and a patch of halved melon seeds trapped under a piece of organza.
Bottom double square - some tyvek beads, some made in the last Chapter and some newly made.
Edges - melon seeds; coloured washers; 3 loops of facetted beads; 2 sets of seed beads and bugle beads, the left set with a double row of seed beads between a single bugle bead, the right set the other way round, with a double row of bugle beads between a single row of seed beads. How different they are!

I've absolutely loved this Chapter - I haven't even scratched the surface of what it is possible to do with beads, but the next chapter awaits!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Playing with tyvek

Waiting for some painted beads to dry, so I thought I would play with the tyvek I painted and printed while I was doing Chapter 7.

Interesting results - they look like fossils, particularly the top right one, which I think looks like an ammonite.
The next challenge is to try and embed them into a stitched piece, and to prevent them just looking like a chunk of tyvek!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Module 3 Chapter 7

Simple buttons

This chapter explores the making of simple buttons - using cut shapes and found objects to make cores; using Dorset button techniques; and wrapping techniques, including the use of tyvek.

This first group are made using cut shapes and found objects to make "buttons" - I'm not sure any of these would made practical buttons. I've treated them as experimental little 3D sculptures, and I haven't tried to finish off the backs beautifully!









Dorset buttons

The history of Dorset buttons is well documented - see here, and here. This last site has some very good photographs of old and new buttons, which really shows what can be done.

I find it particularly interesting that women could make more money working at home making buttons than working in the fields, and that one benefit was that their clothes and particularly their shoes lasted longer. Women could expect to make two shillings a day making about six or seven dozen buttons, as opposed to ninepence a day working in the fields.

The two smallest buttons in the picture below took me about an hour - I'd need a lot of practice before I could earn two shillings a day!!

I found the whole process quite compulsive, and could have gone on making them for days!



Wrapped buttons

I started off by making some simple wrapped buttons using fabric and threads and then using paper.




I painted a few pieces of tyvek saved from envelopes. I used the same colours of acrylic paint that I used to paint papers earlier in the module.
While I was waiting for the papers to dry, I decided to quickly make two print blocks using funky foam stuck to foam core board. I used a simple spiral,  and made a positive and negative block. Once the tyvek was dry (well nearly dry, I'm not very patient, and I could hardly use a hairdryer to speed the process!), I printed one side of all four sheets.


Once I've cut up and  zapped the tyvek, I don't expect the patterns to have any impact other than colour changes. If I have any left when I have finished making toggles, I may have a little play!




I do have some painted and printed tyvek left and plan to have a little play in the next few days.