Posts Tagged ‘handstitched VW’

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!!!!!

Phew! It’s been a scorcher of a week – cloudless blue skies and a blazing sun from first thing in the morning until last thing at night. Lovely!

In truth, it’s been way too hot to stay inside for the last few days so my crafting adventures have been a bit thin on the ground this week; Instead I’ve ditched assorted projects in favour of the odd spot of sunbathing and lots of gardening…. Quite a welcome change really.

Here’s the only bit of sewing I’ve done this week – I think it may possibly fall more within the realms of embroidery though…..

A pair of cross stitched VW splitties – not quite finished yet but both destined to embellish different sewing projects.

Both these pieces of cross stitch are destined for separate projects I’m working on. The smallest one is going to be used to embellish a scented heart shaped sachet that I’m going to hang in the wardrobe of my camper van and the larger piece is going to be incorporated into a much needed needle case for any sewing on the go that I may need to work on.

They’re both my own designs…… and without wanting to sound like a right royal misery guts, I don’t really want to share them with anyone. They’re also ACID protected; For more info click here.

If you are interested in a bit of VW themed stitching there’s a couple of free VW themed charts that you could use here.

And I’ll share one of my designs with you too….. Suitably patriotic to help you celebrate forthcoming events in the UK throughout the Summer.

I wonder how many people actually do make a point of acknowledging the original designer when they make use of their free ideas?

Maybe it’s a bit late in the day to be setting to work to make a cross stitched Union Jack heart – what with the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations set to take place in only a few days time. However, it’s an easy chart to follow as it only uses whole cross stitches and a simple backstitch to outline the shape – easy enough for even a complete beginner to have a go at!

Please feel free to use this motif in your own work but remember to acknowledge the original designer when displaying or selling your finished work 🙂

Here’s the chart to make the job a bit easier…..

This motif can be produced quickly and easily; It is suitable for complete beginners as it uses only whole cross stitches and simple backstitching to add definition to the outline.

The sun’s STILL shining; Time for me to back out into the garden and water the plants. But before I sign off please note that next week see’s the crossover into another month and the new theme of ‘Dyeing’. I’ve got my rubber gloves at the ready and can hardly wait! Until then, Happy Crafting 😉

A very quick post this week again I’m afraid……….

This month’s theme is sewing; my machine has gone into overdrive recently with assorted strings of bunting, cushions, bags, patchwork etc flying out at a rate of knots. It’s been manic!

Here’s a few of my favourite makes of the moment…….

Felt Union Jack Cushion

Floral Micro Bunting – Perfect for decorating your favourite ride….

Patchwork Bags – Tanglewood Style

I love this! It’s called the ‘Tanglewood’ bag and the pattern and full making up instructions are available to purchase from here – http://rosylittlethings.com/tanglewoodpattern.html

‘It’s a little bit hippie, a little bit preppy. It’s a little bit country and a little bit Liberty. It’s embroidered yokes and dangly earrings. It’s blackberry crumble, balmy nights, and piccolo solos. It’s picnic quilts spread out, corner-to-corner on the concert lawn. Bring on starlight: You’ve got the perfect bag for it now, honeygirl.’  Alicia Paulson – Posie, Rosy Little Things Blog.

Machine patchwork – Cool!

Tanglewood Bag Detail

Phew! I said it’d be a quick post didn’t I? It’s back to the sewing machine for me I’m afraid – no rest for the wicked! I’m destined to end up like this young man if I’m not careful….. I certainly know the feeling!

Banksy’s ‘comment’ on the use of child sweatshop labour currently being exploited in the name of the Golden Jubilee and Olympic celebrations – something a lot of us handmade in the UK crowd have been pointing out for the last few months……

Wow! It’s already February and this week see’s the move into the second month’s theme of  ‘Jewellery’. And a very busy start to the month at Bully Bus HQ it has been what with early Spring cleaning and all; I was fearful that at one point I might not be able to squeeze this week’s offering in at all, but here it is – my adventures in beaded felt jewellery….

I love playing with embroidery silks and beads!

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE making little felt beads! The resulting treasures look great when incorporated into jewellery designs and are always a really big talking point when people spot me wearing them. They’re incredibly easy to make and there’s also a brilliant little book bursting with all the inspiration and instructions you’ll need to get producing them for yourself.

Beaded Felt Jewellery – Helen Birmingham

If  you haven’t got a copy of this inexpensive little book, and you feel after reading this blog that you’d like to include beaded felt jewellery in your own crafting repetoire, I would highly recommend popping along to your local bookshop, craft store or online at Amazon and make sure that you pick one up – ISBN-13: 978-1844483150.

Make sure you gather everything you need!

So…….. How to make some felt beads of your own. Hopefully you’ve gathered together some scraps of felt (the thin crafting type is easier to work with), some embroidery silks (although normal sewing thread is fine), a selection of seed and bugle beads, a sewing needle, some scissors and a bamboo skewer – make sure that you either cut the sharp end off, or cover it with a blob of  Blutack or piece of cork though; From painful experience I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve impaled myself with the air turning blue as a result 😉

Step 1: Cut yourself some strips of felt roughly 2.5 cms wide by about 8 cms long. Select some thread to match the colour of your felt – it doesn’t matter too much if it’s not exact.

Step 2: Take the bamboo skewer and wrap the felt strip tightly around it. Use a few stitches to secure the edges in place. I’ve used a contrasting colour to demonstrate – And don’t worry about being too precious at this stage as you won’t actually see this join when you’ve finished.

Wrap tightly then stitch to secure.

Step 3: This is where the fun begins! Choose some contrasting thread and using your needle, sew into the felt tube at one end to secure in place. Carefully wrap around the tube with the thread, making sure that both ends are tightly bound – otherwise the ends will flare out over time and the beads may look mis-shapen. Finish off with a little knot and bury this, along with the tail of you thread, inside the bead.

Bind well at each end to stop ‘flaring’.

Step 4: Securing fresh thread in your felt tube bead (back to the same colour you used in Step 1) you can now add your embellishments. I tend to start at one end and work randomly, stitching through from one side to the other each time to secure your seed or bugle beads in place. This will add strength to the structure of your bead and ensures maximum life expectancy when incorporated into jewellery pieces that are sure to be worn again, and again, and again….

To make life easy I’ve used size 8/0 beads; Size 11/0 will require more patience as not all will slip over the eye of the needle!

I like to add the beads in a random pattern – but neat freaks may differ in approach 😉

Step 5: Believe it or not that’s pretty much it! Repeat each step until you’ve got yourself a nice little selection of beads which you can then use in your own jewellery making projects. I tend to keep the beads on the skewer until I’m ready to use them and you’ll find that you can easily fit about six or seven beads to a skewer – just the right number to use for a bracelet!

So easy! And gorgeous when incorporated into your own designs 🙂

Yay! The finished product; Very nice – even if I do say so myself 😉

Next week I’m going to be having a go at more bead making – but this time with Polymer Clay. Wish me luck!