I’ve had the idea of doing ‘something’ combining pine needles and embroidery for ages so I finally put needles to fabric and got stitching. The road I walk down when I’m out with the dog is littered with pine needles and I am always struck by the lovely patterns they make on the pavement.
I am really pleased with how this has turned out and as I have a plentiful supply of needles I’m planning on creating some more designs – probably incorporating some beads as well – in the coming weeks.
Here’s some photos of the work as it progressed, those little demons in my head that attempt to squash any creative ideas were out in force in the early stages saying “why are you spending hours stitching down pine needles? It’s going to look rubbish!” but I pushed on and they are now silenced by the finished result!
It looks good held up to the light too:
While stitching I wondered how the design would look on a coloured background and I’m also thinking of doing a number of different sized circles on a larger piece of fabric… I have too many ideas and too little time!
As I’m working on a large quilt project at the moment I thought I’d do a bit of experimenting with foundation paper piecing to give me a break from the the what feels like endless Half Square Triangle cutting and piecing!
I copied this simple design, watched a couple of YouTube videos and I was away.
I made the rookie error of not checking that the fabric was large enough to cover the space so I just added another section to cover the gap:
I really enjoyed this and can see a lot of potential in the technique. As I didn’t want yet another random piece of fabric around me I took the opportunity to try out some different free motion stitch patterns. I’m now using it as a coaster on my work desk, it adds a nice splash of colour to my environment and if I’m having a long day it makes me look forward to getting home and doing some more stitching!
Back in October I spent a week on the Greek island of Zakynthos enjoying some late season sunshine with my sister in law and two teenage nieces. I took a crochet hook and a skein of wool with me (along with countless other threads,stitching projects,paints…you get the picture!) so I wanted a simple project to work on. I had a stash of downloaded patterns on my phone and finally decided on the Herbstrauschen pattern by Christina Adorjan:
I started crocheting on the train to Birmingham and then put in most of the hours sat on the balcony drinking coffee and chatting with the girls.
Early morning view from the balcony, it wasn’t always this quiet!
My sis in law loved watching me making the scarf and asked me to make her one but as time is tight for me just now I finished this one and gave it to her for Christmas.
This is a great pattern that was challenging enough to keep it interesting and the three row repeat meant I could talk while I worked and pick up/put down the crochet without losing my place. I also learnt the German words for crochet stitches!
I’ve got a few more finished crochet projects to share, mainly more scarves, I think I need to enforce a crochet scarf ban in 2017 and get a bit more adventurous with my hooks!
What possessed me to attempt to stitch the girders of the Forth Rail Bridge? This has felt like the stitching equivalent of the mythical never ending paint job! I used to do 15 minute stitching sessions when bubs was sleeping but then I got sidetracked with other things and this has lain dormant next to my desk for about a year. The image is a tracing of a woodblock print that I found online, the bridge is such a beautiful structure and I still marvel at the scale of it despite seeing it and crossing it nearly everyday for the past 13 years.
I’d initially planned to stitch the whole picture in red thread but I think it might look better with some additional colour.
So over the past couple of evenings I’ve stitched the bridge while watching Charlie Brooker ‘s Screenwipe, the fabulous Cunk on Christmas then tonight’s episode of Sherlock. I’m gutted that I’ve only got a tiny section of it to do and I can’t find the bloody thread that I used and of course I didn’t make a note of the number/make either! I’ll have a proper look in the morning, I can always make a start on the other sections and hope I can find a close match in the thread stash!
I started working on this piece in January last year but life got in the way and it lay abandoned in a drawer until September this year. I saw an advert for the Fife Art Exhibition which is open to artists without a formal art qualification who live in Fife so I thought that as this piece was close to being finished I’d get my arse into gear and enter it.
I saw this beautiful Bedford bus – which was used by the Caledonia Macbrayne ferry company – on a trip to Benbecula a few years back. I’m a big fan of ‘Quilting Arts’ magazine and seeing the amazing examples of textile art created using photos I had wanted to try a photo based / realist embroidery for some time. Stage 1 involved printing out the photo,outlining the main parts of the image then tracing it on to thin paper which i then transferred to fabric using a light box. Then the hard part of the painting began…
I found the painting an enjoyable challenge, trying to find the exact shade, especially making more of the same colour I had created (too light,too dark, not ‘red’ enough…) but once it was finished I was really pleased with how it was looking,those patches of white on the bonnet really bring the image to life, I was so excited to get back into my comfort zone to start the stitching!
I attached the painted fabric to fleece and stitched the main lines of the bus in matching thread.Although this did push sections of the image out I wanted a more 3D effect so I cut slits in the back of the work and burrowed in thin lumps of stuffing, I discover later that this is called trapunto embroidery so that’s another new skill learned through this project!
So here’s the finished piece hanging in the gallery, the artwork above mine was a red setter made from bark! There was certainly an impressive range of work on display and the exhibition was a great show case for the talented people in Fife. All of the work was for sale and I had mixed emotions about mine being unsold (it was a bargain at £80!) but it will be on display in my living room and I’m proud that a piece of my work had been included in an exhibition. I need to start planning for next year now!
I started making this quilt when I was about 4 months pregnant and when I did the last run on the machine of the border edging a week before my due date I told her she could arrive anytime now as I’d finished her quilt!
I used fabric from my stash for this quilt and I didn’t really have a design in mind when I started out. The hexagons were made up on my commute and I played around with various layouts before I settled on this design. I picked the hexagons out from a bag lucky dip style and arranged them that way. As the fabric was floral I thought I’d quilt leaf like vines, this was a lovely pattern to stitch, I find quilting is so meditative once I get the rhythm right – woman and machine became one with just the sound of the needle chugging away…
I don’t intend posting many photos of my girl but this pic of her snuggled under the quilt makes me chuckle every time I see it. she was a couple of months old here and I used to call her the pixie faced sleep thief during this period, Aah those crazy sleep deprived days! I’ve started cutting up her outgrown clothes for a new quilt but that i think that will be some time coming!
Well it’s been nigh on 2 years since I’ve posted anything on here,I bet you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to see how far I’ve got with the various projects I’ve featured on this blog! Well I’m glad to say that my Aubrey Beardsley embroidery is now finished, framed and hanging on the wall in the living room of the house I moved into at the tail end of 2014
Aside from the wonky border I was really pleased with how this turned out although looking at these photos I spot a number of dog hairs trapped beneath the glass so I think a polish is in order!
I also finished my crocodile stitch bag (lined and with a fitted zip no less!) last summer:
The yarn I used in this bag was 100% nylon and I can confidently say that I will never work with this kind of yarn again as it was horrible to stitch with. Thankfully I used it all up in the bag so there is no 1/2 ball left 2 taunt me!
I’ve been working on and completed a few other projects over the past year, the majority of them have been for my beautiful little girl who has just turned one so I’ll post pictures of these over the coming weeks.
In common with a lot of people I find the Autumn an energising time of year and now I’m into a routine with the little one I have more time for doing embroidery and crochet (the things that keep me sane!) so I’ve spent 15 mins this afternoon writing up my winter list of stuff I want to do and restarting the blog was one of them. Just have to keep the momentum going now! Thanks for reading x