SAL Update: Seashells #4

February 19, 2017 at 10:18 am | Posted in Embroidery | 15 Comments
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Just a tiny little bit of progress this time round. Before:

seashell_20170129

Now we can see how the second colour changes the appearance of the shell:

Seashells - Progress 2017-02-19

There’s a couple more progress reports with the big shell waiting to happen …

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL Update: Seashells #3

January 29, 2017 at 9:00 am | Posted in Embroidery | 16 Comments
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This is where I was last time:

seashell_20170108

And this time, I just managed to finish the first colour of the big shell!

seashell_20170129

It’s still a slog, but thanks to wanting to show you something new each time, I’m keeping up with it! I do like the result, so that helps as well.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

 

SAL Update: Seashells

January 8, 2017 at 10:18 am | Posted in Embroidery | 20 Comments
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I think I may be in the middle of the longest slog this project has. Last time:

seashell_20161218

Current state:

seashell_20170108

Filling in the big shell with chain stitch is slow going. And when I’m done with one colour, I get to do it again with another colour in the spaces currently left free. My guess is that I’ll have to show another shot of this stage three weeks from now.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen and Steph. Welcome back to Wendy, and welcome to Linda and Catherine who are joining us for the first time!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL Update: A Start on Seashells

December 18, 2016 at 10:42 am | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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After finally having finished my paisley pillow cover last time, I managed to get a start on the goldwork project “Seashells”. First, the preparation work: framing the project up. The RSN Goldwork book recommends using a slate frame, but also gives the option to use a ring frame. Goldwork embroidery needs to be stretched very tightly, which is very hard to achieve in a ring frame, and I don’t have a ring frame where I can work hands-free. Therefore I took the more cumbersome option, mounting it on my Millenium frame. This makes it possible to comfortably work with both hands free, but makes it decidedly non-portable.

I also had to replace the backing fabric provided with the project, since the backing was much smaller than the silk with the design. The normal order of work is to attach the silk to the backing, not the other way round! So I grabbed a bigger piece of cotton from my fabric stash and attached the silk to that. That made it possible to frame the whole thing correctly:

seashell_framedup

Then it was time to start the embroidery. First part for all kinds of goldwork is to work all the non-goldwork pieces of the project, in this case the silk embroidery. The thread provided turned out to be something that may or may not contain real silk, but definitely contains viscose. It’s very slippery, but shiny. I like the effect, although working it is far from easy. (I have no illusions that working with silk would be any easier, although the source of the difficulties might be different.) Here’s how far I’ve come:

seashell_20161218

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy and Helen. Welcome to Steph, who’s joining us for the first time!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL Update: Finally, a Finish!

November 27, 2016 at 9:58 am | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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I made a firm plan at the last update to finish my Paisley Pillow this time round, since there was so little work left to do. And yes, it actually happened! I finished the stitching a week ago, and this morning I managed to iron it (was a bit apprehensive about ironing silk, but managed) and to take some pictures for you.

Last time we were here:

indian_pillow_20161106

And here’s the finished and ironed pillow cover:

indian_pillow_finished

A detail shot of the embroidery:

indian_pillow_finished_detail

And here it is, with a pillow inside in pride of place at the back of my couch:

indian_pillow_stuffed

I love the shine of the silk!

So, now I’m out of excuses to start with that goldwork project … maybe I can get it at least set up till next time in spite of crazy Christmas season being here already?

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret and Cindy. Helen is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

 

A Year of Quilting

November 12, 2016 at 10:03 am | Posted in Patchwork | 5 Comments

Last weekend saw the yearly exhibition of my quilt group, where we show off everything we’ve created over the past year. Seeing everything hanging together, I’m always impressed by what everybody manages to do over the space of a year.

So I think this is a good time to look at my contribution for this year’s exhibition. Turns out, even though it doesn’t feel like that much, I did get things done.

First, the group projects. Every year, we make a quilt to raffle away for charity at the show. For quite a few years now, we decide on next year’s quilt during this year’s show, and then get together on the 6th of January to sew the top. It generally takes the rest of the year to add the borders, get the quilt professionally long-arm-quilted and add the binding. Here’s the result a lucky visitor won last weekend:

ausstellung2016_gemeinschaftsquilt

When the top was finished, we had one left-over block, which I used to make a pillow cover to go with the quilt:

ausstellung2016_gemeinschaftsquilt_kissen

Then there’s the yearly challenge project, where everybody gets the same constraints to make a 40*40 cm quilt. I already wrote about my contribution, and here’s the whole panel with everybody’s quilts:

ausstellung2016_challenge

And of course, I had my own quilts at the show.

Rainbow: Gravity

ausstellung2016_rainbowgravity

Looks like I haven’t posted a picture of the finished quilt yet, but there are a couple of relevant posts here and here.

Mexican Bird

ausstellung2016_mexicanbird

There’s a whole pile of previous posts regarding this project:

  1. Getting started
  2. Paint by Numbers
  3. Adding hand embroidery
  4. Some decision making
  5. Documenting the Project

Looks like I’ve also been a better blogger than I thought! I think it’s good to occasionally look back at the things that did get done, especially with a hobby where things generally proceed at a glacial pace. Hope you enjoyed the little visit to our show!

 

SAL Update: A tiny bit of Progress

November 6, 2016 at 8:29 am | Posted in Embroidery | 11 Comments
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Somehow the last few stitches in my project don’t happen, but this time I have made at least a little bit of progress. Here’s where I was <cough> six weeks ago:

indian_pillow_20160925

And this is where I am today:

indian_pillow_20161106

I at least managed to get a start on that last motif, and actually finished all the yellow stitching. It doesn’t stand out, since all the red is still missing. Here’s a detail shot:

indian_pillow_20161106_detail

Maybe I can manage the red next time? I sure hope so!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy and Margaret. Cindy is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL-Update: Sneak Preview

October 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 7 Comments
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Sorry, can’t show you the promised finish because it didn’t happen. I’ve been traveling, and while I had the paisley pillow with me, I didn’t find any time to stitch. So, instead I’m going to show you a sneak preview of the project I’m hoping to tackle next:

seashell_preview

The project is called “Seashells”, and it’s supposed to be a goldwork project suitable for beginners, which is the reason I bought it at a Festival of Quilts back in the mists of time. Working with gold and silk threads is said to be finicky, and so I thought there would be extensive instructions coming with the project. Looking inside, I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I didn’t dare start the project just going on those instructions. So, back in Birmingham at another Festival of Quilts two years later, I bought the book on the right, which is part of a series of embroidery books published by the Royal School of Needlework. Those have a tendency to be very careful and thorough in their instructions.

Back home, somehow the book went onto the bookshelf, and the project stayed in the drawer. I found it in my quest to figure  out which of the things in that drawer are worth keeping and finishing. Now, it’s next on the list, and I’m still a bit scared!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy. Margaret is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

So close! – SAL Update

September 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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The Afghanistan project is still eating my time, but at least I got two of the three remaining motifs done. Before:

indian_pillow_20160904

Today:

indian_pillow_20160925

That should be doable till next time, I think.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

After the Finish – Documenting the Project

September 18, 2016 at 7:19 am | Posted in Patchwork, Quilting | 3 Comments
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So, once a quilt is finished, in this case my Mexican Bird, the work tends to be almost, but not quite completely done. At that point of time my worktable tends to be a mess: left-over fabric, design sketches, photographs I’ve been working from, and samples all lying around. There’s way too much work in there to throw it all away, and those are the physical artefacts of making this particular quilt. So, what do I do with all that stuff?

First, the samples:

mexican_bird_samples

They still have raw edges that need to be cleaned up, which I take care of with zig-zagging around the whole thing. To put them away in a folder, I take a strip of strong cardboard, fold it in half and catch the sample beween the layers, attaching the cardboard to the fabric with enough space to punch a couple of holes in the cardboard:

mexican_bird_samples_finished

Now I collect all the paper, sorting out what I want to keep:

mexican_bird_papers

There’s the photograph I took, the original tracing on transparent paper, and the smaller copies of that I used for working out the colours and other details.

All of this goes into an A3 folder, where it lives happily ever after together with all the other finished projects.

mexican_bird_documentation

I’m now free to clean everything else away and start with whatever’s next!

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