Monday, December 22, 2008

Back stitch . . .

. . . for the Stitchin fingers stitchalong.
If you follow the link above you will understand what this is all about. I'm very keen on this business of exploring surface stitches, and get on better with doing it in some kind of organised challenge type of thing. This stitchalong is ideal. A list of stitches is provided, there is free choice of stitch to work with and no deadline except the expectation of other participants that there will be regular examples to look at. So here is my first effort. I decided to work through the list picking a stitch from each letter of the alphabet. And have immediately broken my 'rule' by starting with B! Ok, ok.
I couldn't think of many really different things to do with back stitch, but tried varying length and thread, and also featuring the back of the stitch on the right side as it is rather interesting, like an untidy stem stitch. I've also done back stitch along chain stitch, and whipped and threaded lines of stitching, and put beads on. Haven't tried pekinese lacing yet. In the top pic I was seeing what it looked like working a lot of lines of stitching close together to cover the ground. I did one like this with running stitch (in an earlier post) and wanted to compare the effect. Some is a kind of semi-back stitch, taking the backwards stitch and then bringing the needle out at the end of the stitch instead of ahead of it. This has a slightly different look, kind of alternate bumpy and flat. (And saves thread of course. Back stitch does use a lot more thread than shows on the surface).
The second pic has a row of zigzags, still backstitches, but angled. I could pursue this to see how it covers an area.
I also decided to do these samples in postcard format. That gives the option of perhaps making them into some kind of book, or stringing them together in some way.

Friday, December 19, 2008

And yet another bag . .

. . . made by our 13 year old granddaughter at school in whatever it is they call the class these days in which they get to do a bit of sewing! It may be Technology, but my memory is so bad! She used an embroidery machine to do her name, and the suffolk puffs have beads on and something interesting tucked inside. The handles have black thread stitching down them and are stuffed with a thick yarn.
I don't think she found it all that easy, but she's done well! Its one cool bag!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little kantha bags . . .

. . . made for the last Quilters' Guild meeting, Three Corners Workshops, in October. There were three workshops on offer and everyone circulated round the three, with about an hour and a quarter for each. I felt very honoured to be asked to teach one of them, alongside Carol Dowsett (my long ago C&G tutor) and Becca Balazs who runs an amazing shop in west Dorset. Something to get a good start on in that time frame is not easy to think of, and with Carol doing postcards I had to come up with something else!
Also we had to provide packs for everyone - about 50 people. So I dyed some fabric and found threads, and invented these small bags, supplying too the templates for the designs, and some beads etc.

It features 2 of the many types of kantha stitching; 1. the general background filling in, echoing the motif or in patches worked in varying directions, and 2. for the motifs, outlining them then filling in with the running stitch, again either following the shape, or just filling the space.
Becca did some lovely shadow quilted cards, using glitzy sheers as the overlay and some nice butterfly motifs under it.

Can't stop making postcards . . .

. . . or in this case, finishing off some that have been sitting around for a bit waiting for their edges to be done. I tried couching a textured yarn round one of these but didn't like the effect - the only yarn I had the right colours was too hairy, so reverted to default mode buttonhole stitch. I need to think of other possibilities.
I don't use browns much but the results are pleasing, so maybe I should try it a bit more often.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest Journal Quilt . . .

. . . on the topic 'Pots'. I hope the words are legible! Pots are stencilled on, the words written and machine stitched over. I don't trust myself to write neatly enough with o guide. Not that 'neat' is exactly a characteristic of my work generally! The shapes are taken from some lovely pots in a Normandy gite we stayed at in 2001.

Perhaps I shouldn't like bacon butties .. .

. . . when they start off as cute as this.
Gloucester Old Spot at a farm shop at Frampton Cotterell, seen last Sunday on visit to daughter. Well, it had been raining a lot, with flash flooding problems in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire areas.