Sunday, September 27, 2015

Is this the perfect gift for the person who knows everything?

A few years ago, I made cushions with machine-embroidered words. The words were drawn from the sadly now-defunct Save the Words website, which was dedicated to preserving words in danger of disappearing from the English language.

A friend saw a photo of those cushions and declared them "the perfect gift for the person who knows everything". I'd been thinking of re-visiting the idea but having the words in a crossword/scrabble-like grid format. So this version is hand-stitched with white thread on black Aida.

My friend was delighted to receive the piece and now has it hanging in his office - appropriately in the Communication school at a university.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Exhibition Gift Shop

The embroidery exhibition is on next weekend and I've made some things for the gift shop:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Billy B Brown

Emma wanted to go to her school's Book Week parade as her favourite character, Billy B Brown in The Bad Butterfly by Sally Rippin:

I mad a circular skirt with a piece of taffeta that has been in my stash for a long, long time (well, a couple of decades. I then added the blue 'B' and trims to a white t-shirt. She already had the hot pink boots. Not exactly like the original but Emma was happy with it. She particularly likes the way the skirts twirls.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tissues and dice

While my sons are very supportive and encouraging of my textile arts, they show little interest in many of the things I make. However, recently they both asked me to make something for them.

With two daughters, Keith finds it necessary to always carry tissues with him but they quickly become very grotty. So I made him a tissue cover, using Japanese-style fabrics for the lining/trim. I actually made 6 (2 of each colour combination) and they proved very popular. I must put one in my handbag.

Then Dan wanted a dice bag for the board games he plays with friends. The bags are made in fake leather, with a machine embroidery design we found online, and lined in printed cotton fabric. The design seemingly makes sense if you are a fan of the Firefly series - generally favoured by nerds.

Dan also asked me to make a bag for his brother, almost a duplicate of his but with different in the embroidery.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Explorer Backpacks

A couple of years ago, I made a nature bag for Emma. However, I wasn't very happy with the bag - it was a bit floppy - and Olivia didn't have one.

So I have made new bags for both girls. Each bag is lined with the fabric used as external trim and they have lots of pockets, both inside and outside, for all those things that they might collect. They also contain bags and containers, as well as necessary equipment such as binoculars, magnifying glasses, pencils, books and so on.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Leafy table runner

My super-dooper Husqvarna Diamond sewing machine came with an embroidery unit, which I wasn't particularly interested in but I've played around with from time to time - it's great for making quilt labels.

Last year, I decided to explore what I could do with it and bought Sarah Vedeler's A New Leaf design. It works with the Rustling Leaves cutters for the Accuquilt Go Cutter, which I had just bought, so it seemed like a good project to try out.

Then my brother and sister-in-law mentioned that they wanted a table runner. I showed them the pattern for A New Leaf, which they liked but they wanted their one to be half as long again. I soon found that there is more to machine embroidery than just hooping up some fabric and watching it stitch out but after making just about every mistake possible, I eventually finished all the stitching and put the runner together.

Here it is spread out on my extended dining table - the runner is a bit less than 2.6 metres.

This photo shows some of the detail:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kanzashi Flower Brooches revisited

I enjoy making these silk flower brooches - they are very quick to make and don't take much concentration - but I don't often think to make them. However, I recently made these for the Embroiderers' Guild sales table. They proved to be a very effective fund-raiser - they all sold in one day.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Eco dyeing

I recently attended an eco-dyeing workshop. We had 5 pots of liquids - brown onion skins, red onion skins, eucalyptus, avocado skins and seeds, and crepe myrtle bark - which we boiled up for about 2 hours. We then added fabric (I used silk noil) and let the brews simmer for a further 45 minutes. However, as you can see from these photos, there was very little difference in what came out, apart from the way I had tied up the fabrics - and the leaves that I wrapped in 2 of the pieces (4th and 6th photos).

It was a relatively easy way of trying eco-dyeing but I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Handmade beads

I meet with a group of friends once a month to try out different techniques (and try to actually use some of the things I acquire over time). Last month, we made beads, using fabric, paper, Tyvek and even a painted baby wipe. They were easy enough to make but I didn't really get into it. I can now cross it off my list of things to try - I don't think I'll be making lots of beads in the future.

Some are made with long triangles of fabric, while the baby wipe one and one of the painted paper beads started off as long rectangles. I blasted the Tyvek beads with a heat gun to give them more texture:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fabric swap - January 2015 - Gelli plates

I have joined a monthly fabric swap through the Surface Design group on StitchinFingers and the theme for January was Gelli plates. So I unwrapped my plates and started playing around on fabric (I had only used them once before and that was on paper). My efforts were rather basic but it's a start:

 The fabrics I received in return showed a much greater level of sophistication - something for me to aim for:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A wedding

I've been making more bags, this time for a wedding. My daughter-in-law's sister was married yesterday.

It took me ages to settle on a design for the bride's bag. I wanted to do hand embroidery or beading but in the end I opted for this machine-embroidered heart design with a pair of ladybirds. But I did hand-stitch the beads in place around the top of the bag.

I then stitched the names of the bride and groom, bordered by hearts, onto the back.

I also made this bag for my d-i-l, whose black dress featured a fern design in silver sequins on the bodice:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Christmas has come . . . and gone

Last year ended in a whirlwind of fabric, as I did my usual sewing frenzy in the lead-up to Christmas, including these Christmas stockings for my brother and sister-in-law. We spent Christmas - New Year with them in Hobart and had a wonderful time sampling local food.