Free Motion Embroidery – Shading

In my attempt to learn to draw I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube tutorials.  Since I’m learning to draw to eventually create images on fabric, I thought I’d try applying some of what I’d learnt about shading to create a 3 dimensional appearance to free motion embroidery.

I started by exploring shading a ball as when I’d drawn one previously

My first attempt was spreading the ‘shading’ lines out further and further the more I moved across the fabric (unnumbered images bottom right). This created more of a cylinder than a ball – even when I used  a thread that was closer in value to the fabric.

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I then tried a thread version of cross hatching (1). This was a little better, but certainly not good enough.

The ‘ball’ top left is worked in a variegated thread. Although the ball is unconvincing, it inspired me to sew in patches of each colour as the tread changed (3). I thought this might be a good effect for sky or water. Does anyone have any other ideas of anything it might be useful for?

I would have liked to try shading the ball using several slightly different shades of a single colour of thread. However, since I didn’t have any that were very close in colour, I did my best at making a patch of shading with the closest set of 4 I had – (5) below.

I also played with other techniques used in drawing that might give a 3 dimensional effect….

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(1) and (2) are basically curly scribbling. I’m thinking these might be good for curly fur, wool on sheep, bushes or leaves on distant trees. Any other offers?

For (3) I did curly scribbling, but tried not to let any circle overlap the other. Apart from maybe more curly fur, I’m not sure what I’d use it for. Any ideas?

(4) is my thread version of cross hatching. If I turn it 90 degrees it reminds me a bit of seaweed!

I’d love to know if you’ve thoughts of any other ways I could machine embroider to build texture/give the impression of an object being 3D.

Until next time,

Bekki x

 

Kwik Sew 3614

As some of you know, I’ve just started knocking the rust off my clothes sewing skills. Although this is the third garment I’m posting, it was my second finish. Yes, this is another catch up post from June/July.

Back in June I saw a pair of shorts in Long Tall Sally made from black and white ticking and I’m very partial to a bit of ticking.

The shorts cost £55. But before I could even think about the price tag, I remembered a black and white ticking remnant I bought a couple of years ago for £3 or £4. It felt like fate.

I chose Kwik Sew pattern 3164.

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I took out the pieces, measured them and measured several pairs of my existing shorts. The measurements seamed to coincide, so I held my breath and cut into my ticking.

 

I decided to add the optional pockets and am pleased to say the stripes line up pretty well…

20190828_115719I did stray a little from the pattern; leaving off the belt loops and adding a button and button hole at the top, instead if hooks and an overlap…

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For my second garment in 30 years I’m very pleased to say they fit perfectly…

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And they only cost me about a fiver.

Until next time,

Bekki x

The Elephants in the Room.

When we moved into our house six years ago our old lounge suite was both exhausted and the wrong shape to fit our new lounge. The chairs went to chair heaven and the settee to the kitchen for HRH…

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However the footstool still had plenty of life in it – clearly we don’t have very heavy feet. It also fitted nicely into a corner of our new lounge – well, apart from the colour.

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I planned to make a cover, but you know how it goes… Six years later the red footstool was still sitting in the corner and we’d been ignoring the colour clash for years.  Then Harry arrived rather suddenly and boring plain throws were immediately cast over my beautiful Laura Ashley settees.

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As I began to plot and scheme how to improve the look of the throw covered settees, my thoughts turned to the foot stall and, when I discovered some elephant Clarke and Clarke fabric, a plan emerged.

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Making a footstool cover from this fabric would leave me with an unused long thin strip of fabric – not very economical. But if cut the strip into near squares four elephants long by three wide I could made a fake patchwork quilt with them for one of my very bland looking settees.

So that’s what I did: I made a simple footstool cover….

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…and a rather less simple quilt….

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….which incidentally won second prize at the produce show

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until next time.

Bekki x

 

Scrap Happy June – Free Motion Embroidery Cards

I love to send cards, but most, considering they’re just a piece of paper with a picture on, are expensive. Of course when we send a card is much more than a piece of paper with a picture – it’s a message of love, of thanks, of congratulations, a wish… and much much more.

To me cards are important and I’ve been meaning for ages to make my own freehand embroidery ones, but never quite found the time. But having recently had a ball quilting two quilts,  I was keen to do more scribbling on fabric. Fortuitously I’d also acquired a fair few fabric scraps from both quilts.

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I ironed a few scraps onto some Steam-a-seam…

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I particularly love this idea, because it finds a use for even the tiniest scraps of fabric.

…drew shapes on the fabric using templates made from a cereal packet, sugar paste cutters and a ruler…

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… and cut the shapes out…

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I cut some squares and oblongs the right size for my cards from scraps of calico and beige fabric plus identical squares and oblongs from scarps of interfacing.20190602_115137oo

I then forgot to take a photo until after I’d

  1.  Fused the interfacing to the back of the calico/beige fabric.
  2. Written various greetings on the calico/beige fabric with the alphabet on my machine.
  3. Stuck the scrap fabric shapes in the right places on the calico/beige fabric.
  4. Scribbled over the scraps with my sewing machine – using straight stitch and with the feed dogs down.
  5. Glued them to the card.

But I’m sure you can imagine all that.

I was so pleased with them I also put some in cello covers on some to sell on my stall…

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If you like the idea of using your scraps (of anything, not just fabric) click on Kate or Gun(first two names in the list  below) and join us on the 15th of every month – or just those months you feel like joining in.  Here’s a list of both frequent and occasional Scraphappiers (?) if you want to see what everybody else is doing.

Kate,  Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn , Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJeanJohanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Good Sewing Books

I’ve muttered recently about starting to sew some of my own clothes, and whilst I’m definitely rusty, I’m also definitely not a beginner. As I ponder my first project – first if you don’t count the PJ bottoms – I’ve been thinking thoughts Such as:  What is tissue fitting? Why does everyone on GBSB use pebbles instead of pins when they cut out? What new machine feet are there now to make things easier? The internet is great for all sorts of questions, but what I’d also like is a good reference book. Which is where you guys come in. What would you recommend? I’m thinking I want the sewing equivalent of June Hemmons Hiat’s  Principles of Knitting.

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The sort of book I want isn’t padded out with projects, aimed at beginners, or written by someone who’s not a hugely experience dressmaker, but just good at PR.  I want the sort of book you dip into when you know in the dark recesses of your mind there is better way to do something; a book that feels as if it’s full of facts; a book so big you can press flowers in it. I want a book that tells you all the ways to do something, the pros and cons, and the practical reasons for choosing one method over another.

Having said all that, if you’ve any other favourites that don’t fit my want, but you’d recommend, I’d love to know about them too.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Look forward hearing what you suggest.

Until next time.

Bekki x

 

Floral Quilt TA-DA!

For the last two weeks I’ve been spending most evening hand sewing the binding onto my floral quilt.

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It’s taken two weeks because not only did I have seven meters of binding to sew, but I also find hand sewing hard going on my middle finger – the eye end of the needle manages to make it sore and even bleed very easily – does anyone else have that challenge?

With the binding finally attached the quilt is finished…

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Lovely Husband is behind there somewhere

And here it is in place in our bedroom…

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What else is there to say, but HURRAH!

Until next time,

Bekki x

Quilting Time

I’m pleased to report I’ve finished the top of the jungle baby quilt and sandwiched it up with batting and backing fabric…

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Next step: Quilting.

I’m thinking I’ll stitch in the ditch between all the patchwork pieces and echo the pinwheels in quilting across the jungle fabric squares. I’m not going to quilt the thin jungle fabric and polka dot boarders, but the red one is a wee bit too wide not to quilt. Any thoughts on what I should do with that?

Look forward hearing what you think 🙂

Bekki x