Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I'm A Bit Sick Of The Colours Here But Then I See It Every Day And I've Moved On. 1996 Is Ten Years Ago!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
At the moment I'm working on some Reticalla lace with Buttonhole Bars and Detached Buttonhole, can't show you my design yet but I will.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
The top tail wing is annoyingly crooked, but you get that. 'Eitlean Beag' means 'Little Bird' in Irish Celtic. The words are around the other way, that is... 'beag' is 'little' and 'eitlean' is 'bird'. I was sitting at the Hoddles Creek Draught-Horse Festival, embroidering as a demonstrator for someone or another, and an oldish Irish gentleman came up and talked to me for some time. I could have listened to him all day too, with his gorgeous accent. I'd been embroidering the Armstrong motto (my maiden and maybe soon to be reclaimed name) which is 'Invictus Maneo' ('I Remain Unvanquished'... a lie, by the way) and I asked him if he could give me some Irish, since he told me he studied the Celtic. I'll always remember him.
The swirley surrounds are from the yugoslavian Embroidery book I keep mentioning. I miss that book.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Here is the pattern for my butterfly. It's all Knots and Bullions, with a Stem stitch outline (I'd do it thicker if I did it again, more significant), Satin stitch pink spots with Stem stitch outlines... It's all written there on the diagram.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
This is (obviously) the front, or back of the bag. Once again, I had no intention of working any PICTURES! For goodness sake! I just can't stick to that SIMPLE plan! I made it to help sell some hand made wooden handles Bustle & Bow's had got in, but in the end the handles didn't suit the bag, so I took these off an old tapestry bag I'd been given (which was useless because the side gusset was so narrow you couldn't get your hands into the bag).
I began to make a 'Carpet' bag in all brown velvets, with green and gold threads only... which got boring pretty quickly. Very quickly. Again, as with the big quilt, the idea was to showcase the incredible borders from (particularly) Sarah Bonds little brown book. The butterfly-looking border below the 60's trippy butterfly is an adaptation from Carole Samples book on Crazy Quilt Stitches.
I liked the old, old friendship quilts where the women wrote their names in ink... and in keeping with that I wrote the poem in indelible ink:
'A fair little girl sat under a tree
Sewing as long as her eyes could see
Then smoothed her work and folded it right
And said "Dear work, Goodnight, Goodnight!"
When and if I get to writing a book of my designs and methods, I have always set this poem aside for the last page. It's by Baron Houghton.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I find that adding texture like this works well if you keep it to a minimum. Rucching and abstract folding also looks nice, but too much and you've got a mess. Remember that the Crazed effect is already a bit messy, so it doesn't work when you get too carried away with the texture (in my humble opinion).
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
It's either called Ceylon stitch or in this case, Vandyke stitch with the single loop in the middle as you see in the picture (see here for genuine unadulterated Ceylon stitch). I think it's called Loop stitch too. Depends upon where you look. The tree trunk is Stem stitch, worked up and down, then Buttonhole stitched over the top. Oh, and a few stray Knots for fruit.
I've decided to call these knots Pekin Knots, which is the true name, excepting I've wrapped a few times. I grew up when French Knots were single wrap Bullion stitches, and they sit differently. Colonial Knots do that figure-eight thing. Pekin Knot is truly, really correct.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
I bought a hank of beautiful hand-spun linen some years ago from one of the first Stitches and Craft type shows, the first one I'd been to at least. Each hank had a variety of shades, and I used the browns here in the trunk of the tree. They are each couched down with a lighter shade of silk. Foliage is worked with Appleton's crewel wool in Leaf stitch. Easy. Grass is Bullion.
'C' is for Claire, my eldest daughter. This patch of the quilt looked very dark in comparison to the rest, so I had to bring in more reds and yellows... before it was put together I lay them all out to see how they worked together and figure out a final order for the pieces. The little cross-stitch pansy is worked on hand spun silk and (the design) comes from an old book, or a newish book of old designs at least.
Friday, May 05, 2006
The Bee was a long time favourite of mine. So much so that family and friends bought me bee things all of the time... Bee cards for my birthday, Bee ornaments etc. One little girl made me a Bee embroidery, which was such a lovely gift (I'll find it and show you).
The fact is, Bees are lovely things and well suit embroidery. Have a look at my so named Rabbit Cushion for another example. There are others besides, either not finished or worn out. I need to buy a scanner so I can give you precise patterns here abd there.
This one is appliqued in a crushed velvet. with silk/metallic fabric wings. Usually I work the legs in Double Herringbone stitch, but these are simply outlined and filled with Stem stitch, with a single Fly stitch on the end. An open Cretan stitch background works well as it looks like honeycomb (see the Rabbit Cushion again), and I'm sorry, but I can't find a link to show you how!
The fiddle on the wings and for the feeler thingy's are just Back stitch. Easy!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The embroidery is worked using machine rayon, single strand DMC, some fine silk and er... ah... a bit of metallic old-gold. Hmmm, have to think hard. I stitched the white bits in Chain stitch firstly, with Satin stitch over the top. What else..? Long and short stitch, or needle painting for the larger areas, some Buttonhole on one of the little striped onion domes. The 'Norman' tower (an artistic addition) is worked in Ceylon and Detached Buttonhole stitches.
The cathedral took a few weeks and a trip to the optometrist to complete. I'd strained my eyes so much with the ridiculously close work that I was going cross-eyed. I couldn't focus, anyway, I don't really know it I was cross-eyed, but I absolutely couldn't focus. The optometrist said it was because I was holding it so close, my poor eyes had to fight for focus, and since I sewed for hours on end they got tired and decided not to play anymore.
He also said it is not possible to damage your eyes by bad light/eye strain etc. Which is good, huh!
To the right, just above the cathedral, is a lovley 'tulip' looking border I found in a book of Yugoslavian embroidery. I'll draw it out and take a photo for you if you want. I've used the design elsewhere too. Great book, but it was lost or stolen from the library and so I can't get to it anymore. Not at Amazon either.
One of the cift cards features St. Basil's too, over on the Bobby's Cards link, if you're interested.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Using machine rayon, it's worked mostly Chain and Fly sitches. It was fun playing with the colour and, although the stitching is fine and took a little while, it was very simple. I don't mind if you copy the design, if you want to. You don't have to. It's not an assumption that of course you will want to and I'm being a big head. It's just that, on the off chance that you do and you wonder if it's ok, it is ok.