Friday, July 25, 2008

Lace inspiration - A New Book

Last Saturday I had a day with my Stitchers Plus group, & my dear friend Robyn presented me with this book. What a treasure! The front cover alone has inspiration enough to keep me occupied for a lifetime, so I'm sure you can all imagine what is inside. A treasure chest of photos of the most amazing buildings including:-

The Alambra, Spain
The Roman Forum, Italy
Heidelberg Castle, West Germany
St Peter's, Vatican City
Temple of Amon, Egypt
The Imperial Palace, Japan
The Binnenhof, the Netherlands
Edinburh Castle, Scotland

My instant reaction is of course lace, & I want to start a piece now. The reality is though that I have more pressing matters to attend to, so you will all have to wait a while before you see anything inspired from this book.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Cutwork Bookmark

This little book mark was made as a sample to a major piece I am working on. It was to test a pattern that I had designed but when I worked it, I didn't like it. I have since changed the design & the major work is happening on this fabric. It may not be the best bookmark that I have made, but it will get used, even if only to mark a place in a stitch book. It used scraps of hand dyed linen & thread from my stash.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I've Been Published!

Look what I found on my doorstep this morning! A copy of the local Fairfield Advance Newspaper with this article written by Joanne Vella.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

TIF Challenge - June

All year Sharon B has been running the TIF Challenge. I had good intentions of completing something every month but things have got a little out of control lately & I have let the TIF challenge slide. I have completed January, February, March & April, but got stuck at May. I have an idea, & got all my fabrics ready to do the challenge, but that is as far as it got. Now the challenges are up for June & July & I am getting further behind.

The June Challenge is about "Stash Busting - Stories That Are & Stories That Are Possible'. So while I have been working on the RR of my previous post, I had to sample a new stitch, and guess what I dug into to do this sample? Da da........ my stash of course! OK, so while I was working the RR sampler, I also started turning my sample into a book mark. It only took me a month to think that this was actually stash busting, and that there is a story behind the stash of fabric and also the thread. So here goes.

About 8 years ago I wanted to make a hardanger sachet, (above) so went about designing it & worked out that I needed a meter of Belfast linen. Any hardanger worker will know that a lot of the designs are worked on the diagonal, and this one was no different. So consequently I had a lot of fabric left from my meter, just odd shapes. The shapes were definately big enough to do something with so they went back into the "Stash" for later use.

About 4 years ago I dug into this "stash "to see if I had enough fabric to make my tissue box cover. Yes! One piece was just enough! The pattern for this was also a strange shape, with funny corners cut out. To do the drawn thread work, I had to withdraw the threads & work the ends back into the fabric. When the piece was finished I had more odd shaped pieces (just smaller than before) , but this time with ends woven back into the fabric. These woven ends can be seen still dangling in the pic below.

OK, some of the pieces are big enough to make small doileys, parts will make book marks & some really small parts might just squeeze in a scissor fob or tassle, so back into the stash they went. It is one of these pieces that I pulled out to sample "single cross eyelets" on for the RR. The sample has since decided to become a book mark.

Then there is the story behind the thread. This story begins also with the meter of fabric and the hardanger sachet. I wanted the stitching to be pink & green , & was game enough to dye my own thread. The problem was that when I dyed it, I wasn't happy with the colour, so wound it all up on empty machine thread reels & placed it in my thread stash. When I started sampling the single cross eyelets, I pulled out this thread from my stash to use, after all it was just going to be a sample.

Now the book mark is nearly finished. It has used fabric & thread from my stash, and combine this with a new stitch to me, I am very happy with the result, even the colour of the thread! So the story began eight years ago with a meter of fabric, and will continue well into the future with many stories to come. The book mark will mark my place in many of the novels that I like to read before going to sleep, as well as references to new & wonderful stitches that I want to try.

Sarah's Band Sampler

Another band for the Stitching Sister Counted Thread Band RR finished. This one is for Sarah in Texas. This one was a little more difficult for me to design for than the previous ones that I have done. Initially I thought that I would work some cherry blossoms, or maybe some Chinese scrolls, but when the sampler arrived, I didn't think these were suitable at this point in the sampler. Sarah had already worked scrolls in the previous band, so they were out, & the cherry blossoms were curvey & I felt this needed something geometric. So I looked to the card that came in the package for inspiration.

My eye instantly went to the key design in the border on the Emperor's robe, so I took one section, mirrored it, then flipped this to form my basic motif, which when repeated, reminded me of Chinese lattice work. Design decided on, I now needed to think of stitches. The fabric lent it'self to pulled work, something I have not done very much of, so I found a stitch called "Single Cross Eyelet" which I thought would work. So I graphed the key pattern over three squares on a graph, supposedly working the eyelets in a checkaboard pattern, only to find that this made the whole design much wider than what I intended. So then I marked the key pattern in just a single row of eyelets & it worked fine.

I worked the eyelets in two strands of DMC Stranded thread, & when they were finished I felt they were a little bland. I tried to outline them in back stitch but the eyelets are worked over five threads & this did not work out mathematically, so I tried over one thread (yuk!) and also over all five threads ( also yuk!). In the end I woked tiny cross stitches in blue over the single cross formed in the center of each eyelet.

So now this sampler is ready to continue on it's journey. Sarah, I hope you like what I did.