Archive for September, 2012

I keep lists for EVERYTHING – And this week my ‘To Do’ selection is possibly rivalling a fat, beardy bloke living slightly further to the north of me with a penchant for reindeers, gift wrapped fripperies and the odd bit of ‘Ho. Ho. ho-ing!’!

Sadly, I have no elves to help me in my quest – So I’m working hard and keeping my head down in an effort to tick off the multiple things to be done…….

This month’s theme is embroidery; This week’s offering is a free cross stitch chart designed by me…….. In truth, I created it this time last year but I’m really up against it atm so apologies in advance if you’ve seen it before…….

You know the score – Please feel free to use this design but acknowledge it’s origins when you sell stuff you’ve made…..blah blah!

Use it as a motif; sell stuff with it, but don’t claim to have come up with the original idea. It’s ACID protected – So please don’t try to sell it as your own design – You’ll get put on the fat beardy man’s naughty list straight away….. then there’s the wrath of ME to contend with………. and British Copyright Law!

Until next week……. Happy crafting and watch yer backs!

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Last week I said I planned to make something nice to show off the new stitches I’ve been practising – but I’m so completely enamoured with feather stitch that I haven’t had time to attempt anything else!

My aim for this week was to replicate the heart featured in this great tutorial from A Simple Quilter:

http://asimplequilter.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/christmas-ornament.html

But once I’d sat down and started I decided that I had to make a few changes to my original plan as the very first line of turquoise feather stitch immediately reminded me of Sally in a Nightmare Before Christmas……

Sally Finkelstein – Seamstress extraordinaire.

I think it’s the patchwork that did it. At any rate I decided not to opt for additional stitches or seed bead details but instead plumped for feather stitch to delineate the patchwork sections and blanket stitch to edge the outline of the heart. To finish, I chose to use a die cut pleatherette flower, assorted loops of ribbon and a flower shaped mother of pearl button. I’ve also included a ribbon loop for hanging and filled it with micro aroma beads which I’ve fragranced with ‘Baby Powder’. Here’s the results:

‘Sally’ heart by Big Blue Bully Bus 🙂

So, it’s another week of me feeling very pleased with myself; It’s also been a very productive process as it’s given me lots of inspiration for how I could adapt the idea further to incorporate different fabrics other than felt to create the newest addition to my repetoire – ‘The Sally Heart’.

I think that both her and my Gran would heartily approve of my efforts 😉

Officially, it was a 100 days until Christmas 2012 yesterday – So let the nightmare begin!!!!!

It’s week two of my embroidery odyssey and I’ve learned to do something new; I’m really pleased with myself!

Years ago my Gran sat me down and patiently tried to teach me a whole range of stitches which I attempted enthusiastically at first but then quickly gave up when it seemed I’d just never get the hang of it all. I was fine with blanket stitch, perfectly happy with chain stitch and would happily cover everything with lazy daisies if given half the chance. But the one technique I could never quite master was feather stitch.

Today I met my Nemesis face to face; I wish my Gran could see the results.

I’m such a happy bunny. Who would think that something so seemingly insignificant could make me smile so much?

I’m determined to attempt to learn more new stitches now and make something nice to show them off. Hopefully you’ll see the results next week 😉 Happy Crafting Folks!

It’s a new month and a new theme; September is all about ‘Embroidery’.

So I’ve been sat thinking about the 101 things I want to attempt over the coming weeks and how I can tie this month’s theme in with my general list of things to do…….. it’s to the designing table I’ve been………. and here’s this week’s offering……. 😉

It says in Wikipedia that, amongst other things,  ‘Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.

A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work — chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch — remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.’

Cool ! I like stitching – Cross stitch is my perennial favourite but I’ve recently been dabbling in freeform machine embroidery after a break of nearly 16 years. I’ve learned to love my sewing machine again; I think that’s a story that’s best saved for another week though……

This week I started out by digging through a box of unfinished projects in a bid to find something to blog about. And I actually turned up a tapestry that I’d started at least 10+ years ago as a soft furnishing idea I’d had for the last house we lived in!

Tapestry work that hasn’t seen the light of day for over ten years!

First things first, I sat down and finished it – There wasn’t that much left to do……… I can’t think why I’d discarded it in the first place. Now I’ve just got to find the time to source some coordinating fabric so that I can make it in to the cushion cover I had originally intended it to be used for (possibly another ten years for that to finally see completion then!) 😉

Detail of part of my old tapestry cushion project – A bit of blocking and pressing might be required to get it looking its best methinks!

Sitting down and finishing the piece actually got me thinking some more……. It’s been ages since I’ve done any tapestry; I kind of forgot how nice it is to sit and quietly stitch my way through a larger, more time consuming project. It’s very satisfying to see a design gradually spring to life over a period of days, rather than quick-fix crafting that’s done and dusted in a few hours. With this in mind I decided to plan out something that’d keep me quiet for a week or so…… An on-trend, mandala inspired tapestry cushion.

This was my initial starting point – a tried and trusted design originally intended for use in cross stitch projects.

One of my ACID protected designs – I use it constantly in cross stitch projects but decided to apply it to tapestry work this week for a bit of a change 🙂

All my designs start out on the computer – actually plotting something out from scratch can be a bit laborious to begin with but once the initial idea is complete it becomes very easy to manipulate it, change colours etc in a matter of moments. So I started with a conjectural view of the original design as it would look when worked as part of a tapestry rather than cross stitch………

The initial design looks just as good when worked as a tapestry rather than cross stitch.

Then I started playing around with it a little bit by adding a background colour and repeating, rotating and flipping the basic motif……

Looking good!

And also added a few more design elements to create something which could be used as a tile for further repeats…….

Looking gooderer! As Keith Lemon would point out 😉

I went through exactly the same process with a bay design before alternately placing each element together to create a larger block of four tiles in total. And finally altered the outside edging to make the whole design look like a more cohesive, finished end product.

Hey Presto!

I can’t wait to get stitching this design!

I’m really pleased with the finished result – Albeit only as a computer generated image at the moment. I think it’ll look great if I actually manage to complete it. I said I wanted to design something which would take me a week or so to create but I’m guessing that if I’ve got it done by Christmas 2012 I’ll deserve a rather large pat on the back for all my efforts…..

At any rate, I’m off in to Leeds tomorrow to gather supplies ready for the task in hand. Wish me luck!!!!!