Friday, February 23, 2007

Tast week 8 - Fly stitch

I lurve fly stitch! It is such a lovely and veritile stitch to use. I think I have composed this sample pretty well too, allthough not really planned. I tried to use all the variations I could squeeze onto this small sample. I am really pleased with it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

By george she's got it!

At last I think i have got over one of the last hurdles for my water hanging. I have done loads of sampling but when i scale up bigger than about 10 cm the fabric will not shrink and bubble as in the smaller samples. I thought it was the fact that I had to buy more felt, and that it was too good a quality, but I now know it is about size! So solution - I decided to work up another background, this time working the stitching fromthe middle and doing a bit blasting a bit to try and make it crunch up, with no avail! So I thought I wil do a small smaple to check it's not just me and i have forgot what to do. Well this sample scrunched up a treat, Hubby on investigating why I was squealing asked what was wrong and so I put the small diamond sample on to the big background to show him, this is what I want and this is what I am getting. His reply, "Well sew the bugger on then!!!". I had sat there for 2 hours for Craig to fix it in a minute! And so i did and this is what i got!!!! At last. Should be flying now, will keep you posted. Next job strip a load of electrical wire to make the side pieces.

Quick thank you!

A quick thank you to everyone who has commented such lovely things on my blog lately. I love hearing what you have to say and you can not know what it does to boost my confidence! I come over all shy and retiring!!! (He he he!) but I have serious issues in confidence in general, but even more so about my art. My family don't really get it so glad I can rely on my internet family! love Carol T

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oh my god sit back relax and enjoy the extensive view!

Today has been the best day ever! I had such a lot of mail, and then the postman arrived, just as I thought my heart could take no more with 3 more packages! First came my book order from Amazon the amazing "Collage Unleashed", what a fab book! More reading later! Then came my order from Joggles of silk and medium to try out Sue's silkfusion, and a lovley stamp all swirls and yum! Then I opened the other and it was a lovely large parcel from Gillian, who I had sent some felt to. Most of this fabric was hand dyes and just scrummy and I know what I am going to do with one piece, look out Angela angelcat! The next was two books from Jan, my lovely friend who has kindly donated her doubler books from xmas to my school, Jan you are a treasure. Needless to say the kids pounched on them today and I had to remind them that no sewing was getting done while argueing over which book was best!More on arrival's in a mo! I have finished my art squares and thoght you might like to see them, like pretty maids all in a row! I loved this trade and Sara is a genious! I think lots of other groups are picking up on them on blogs and going to start doing them, I have considered it for my group but am holding off until I am less square eyed!
Next are some ATC's for FiberATC for a trade based on travel. I chose train tracks! I am calling them leaves on the line - a big problem to rail travel in the UK. I painted the background cotton, then stencilled through sequin waste for the gravel on the tracks. I then used a stamp i made and the side of some thick card to print the tracks. The FME over cotton backed interlining, for a quilty feel. Then I added some leaves, some are charms some are sequin type and the last are glue gun with embossing powder. I really like how these have turned out.
And finally, as they say on the news! The last thing in the mail today was my card from Judy Scott for a trade on textile challnges, the felt melt challenge. Now not only was this my total favourite card but look at the way Judy has presented it in a little bag with a fabric tag and lovely threads. I could see it was from Judy and I fell on the envelope like a child on xmas morning. To my delight I found a darling little book in the envelope too! All hand made and stamped with "thread your day with smiles and laughter! To say I love it is an understatment! Judy's is off in the post tomorrow and hopefully my offering wil not be a disappointment to her.

What a day! and I didn't mention the kids smashing work either! Happy pancake day my day of JOY!!!!!

Art Squares tutorial

Firstly let me apologise for the lack of photot's having never done a set for a tutorial I never photographed all the stages, I will have to make a set for me and take piccies.

Step1 - Right, firstly I create a background, now I have just fused plain fabric to a backing of cotton backed interlining, but mainly I like to make a more detailed background.

I used 3D medium to stamp onto red felt for the red one.I then sprinkled gold embossing powder on theo the 3d expanding medium and blasted with the heat gun. This expanded the 3d medium, made the embossing powder metallic and made the lacey bits in the melted felt.
The gold one I put the acrylic felt onto the back of some taffeta (polyester) and free machined. I then melted the felt to make the taffeta shrink and bubble ( you have to be careful not to melt the taffeta, I am producing a hanging at the mo with this techique).

Step2 - Cut the backgrounds up into 9 squares.
Step3 - Embellish. I have sed buttons, beads of all shapes and sizes, Sequin waste, home made and paper beads, Pieces of stitched felt blasted with the heat gun, charms, sequins, hand stitching, hot glue and embossing powder or microbeads etc etc. I have finished some with a buttonhole stitch and others are left raw edged. They are going to be mounted by the recipient and so I have not inished the backs off neat, you can see where i have jumped around while stitching, but I guess they will be sewn or glued down so it doesn't matter. I personally am going to mount mine on canvas and put it up in my lounge.

I hope this helps all the people who have been asking about these squares. Sara Letchner who runs this swap does a great job, but I think is bowing out of these swaps, organisation is a lot of work! I have totally loved doing these, all that is left is to photograph them all together!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Finito! Green art squares

I have finally finished my art squares, and I have to say i will miss the inchies! I have really enjoyed working on these little things and can't wait to get my mitts of my gold squares. I will be sending mine off on Wednesday probably. I have used melted felt, resisted by stitch, sequin waste, beads, buttons, painted angelina.
On another note I am on half term this week, hooray!!!! But I am going into work monday, tues and thurs to work with my GCSE kids on their dresses, coats, cushions and fabric keepsake books! I can't wait to get lots done. I have such a lovely year group, I am really going to miss them when they go.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Last but one art squares - Purple

These are my art squares for the purple. I have loved working these as purple is one of my favourite colours. It is suprising what you can fit on to a one inch square. On these I have melted felt to make laddery type things, Used sequin waste (2types) to make pattern, layers of organza, buttons, beads, sequins, closed feather stitch, Kantha type stitching, Button hole, fly stitch, rolled a kind if organza bead, french knots and used the glue gun to make a heart encrusted with microbeads! Phew! I really love these, will be sorry to send them off, and am gutted that the next ones are my last. Only green to go. I want to do some more illustrative stuff on my last ones as I always seem to do textural instead!

Friday, February 16, 2007

TAST - Feather stitch

Hia all, this is my sample for feather stitch. I really enjoyed this work and it came very quick off the needle it seems. The closed feather stitch was the hardest and took me ages to work out but once the penny dropped I was away! Overall very enjoyable stitch to complete. I want to say a big thank you to Sharon B who runs this project, she workes very hard trying to organise this momoth group of stitchers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Water hanging progress

I am away with the start of my water hanging. I started the central panel today. I layered up the taffeta with kunin felt and then stitched the thread down for the ripple. I then free machined the whole. It is about 50 cm square. I put up the two pictures, one with the flash and one without.The one without the flash shows the ripple well and the one with the flash shows the way the heat gun has made the nice texture I have been working on the last few months. I felt that the felt didn't pull up the fabric as much on this piece. This is the biggest I have doneand perhaps it doesn't work so well on large pieces? I am not sure. I need to embellish this with beads now and then make the gathered pieces that hold this. I also want to make some slips to position around the edge of this piece to integrate it tothe gathered areas. (see model in previous posts)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tast a little late! - Algerian eye or eyelet stitch.

Hia all, I a running a little late for TAST this week, ad part of the problem was I couldn't get excited about this stitch. I thought it was boring to be frank, but ever determined I decided to work extra hard on it, and here it is. I used it to couch sequins and sequin waste and two washers, one metal and one rubber. I changed the scale, the shape and how many "legs" to the stitch. And after all that I actually enjoyed it and am pleased with the results. I will edge this while waiting for Ellie at swiming later.

I got to thinking about it and I have actually used this stitch extensively on piece of work for C+G last year. I did a whole series on trees last year as you will see if you check out This vessel was one i made later for the texere yarns competition in Stitch magazine, it was returned a few weeks ago unsuccessful! But I love it and that's all that counts. I used eyelet stitch prolifically on here, so i am not sure why I didn't want to do a sampler of it.

Felt melt ATC+ smocking experiment

I thought i would show you my multi tasking! I have done

these two samples for other things but am going to use them as my examples of texture for FAF. The first is my ATC for textiles challenges, my group, and this month we looked at felt melting! I stamped the red felt with expanding medium and then sprinkled with embossing powder while still wet. I then blasted with the heat gun, the medium expaned, the embossing powder went metallic and the felt melted where there was no medium! I FME'd the whole thing to a gold background and then stitched an inchie on with button hole, added a red and gold bead and some bugle beads and french knots. I then added some swirled wire also. I have to edge this now before the trade.

The other sample is using the smocking machine at college on thursday. The college has an amazing pre-smocking machine, it runs the stitches through to gather up the fabric ready to bsmocked, but I didn't want it for smocking in the traditional sense, I wanted to use it to manipulate the fabric into ripples. We put in bits of sheer and net as we went and also put it through on the wonk! (technical term!) to make irregular ripples. I love it as a sample.

Friday, February 09, 2007

turquoise and aqua art squares

(Incase your looking back I have deleted the picture if my little one for safety! edited FEB 17th)

Had a snow day today, got sent home from school at 11.50am, but didn't actually get in the house until 12.50! Normally my journey is 10 minutes! So I have had a fun afternoon here of fiddling as Ellie-May has been adjitated to say the least! I have done my turquoise and aqua squares. I have to say there is not much aqua, but I did my best. I used the dance fabric again and this time used the soldering iron to make holes in the turquoise felt and to score lines. I love this it works so well. I couched down the electical cable that I used for the last one, and threads. I used eyelet stitch to hold down holes in the felt, buttons, beads etc. I have used some of Ellie's jewellery "thread", which is like plastic clear tube, it worked nicely and gave a nice contrast to the matt of the cable. Again, i loved doing these. People have been commenting that these must be hard to work on, but they are not at all. They are very enjoyable and short, a lovely feeling to complete something outright, also a good excercise in composition.I am going to be sorry to finish them, i would like to make something usig these on it, i might save it for a birthday, or a friend of mine is pregnant so perhaps something for the new baby.
The other photo's are of my DD in the snow! Ellie was so over excited, if you look closely you can see her wellies are on the wrong feet! Don't you love the snowman's arms! I don't know how Ellie was able to make him look like a kids drawing but she did! And before you say it no i did not let her play in the snow coatless! We went in for the camera, and as usual she stripped off the coat, and then decided she wanted her piccie with the snowman!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Turquoise art squares

Here are my latest art squares for a swap I am in. I am really pleased with these, they have turned out very well. I striped some cable lately to make my hanging, and it was this lovely bright blue so I hve couched it down here, I think it looks really good. Some of the squares don't show so well as they are heavily beaded and the scanner doesn't like this! I also used some creten stitch, some buttonhole stitch and some detatched chain to decorate these. I also gathered up some knitting ribbon for one. This is one of my favourite colours so was a joy to do!
I also wanted to say a big thank you for your comments. The interaction with you all is my favourite part of this process. Everyone is so supportive so thanks very much!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Here is my sample for TAST this week. I have to admit that I was

not looking forward to this one as I didn't think I could do enough variation of it, and i took someone else on TAST's lead and did some drawing first. I used sequin waste again and couched down with different sizes of the stitch. I also liked the circle to do, although it was a bit of a fiddle. I really like the windy band to the right too. It was much nicer to work than I thought. I do love this challenge, it is allowing me to test out lots of things but on a nice small scale. I would like to do what some of the others are doing and do al the stitches on one piece and build it up each week. If I get my act together i will let you know!