Posts Tagged 'embroidery'

Recent makes

I’ve been fairly busy lately, and quite a bit of the busy-ness has been with things that aren’t pretty or bloggable. However here are a few of the things that have emerged from my lair over the past couple of week

Valentine’s Day Card

I spent a couple of hours making this card for Dan. The decoration on the front is what my C&G tutor calls an ‘ooh-aah print’. The technique for creating them is very simple and produces gorgeous, semi-random effects. Take two perspex sheets, the kind you get with cheap clip together photo frames; put some dabs of paint on one of them in various colours and patterns; smush the two sheets together and rub them back and forth to lightly blend the edges of the areas of colour, don’t mix around too much or the colours will get murky. When you peel the perspex sheets apart the paint will pull away into these random veined patterns. You can then use the perspex for printing on to paper.

The envelope is a simple, brown paper, untwisting pocket, similar to the top compartments on the Folded Secrets booklet.

Dan, however, totally outdid me on the Valentine’s Day effort.


This is a piece of assessed work for my course, a panel inspired by a picture of a deep purple leaf with green veins and multitudes of minuscule water droplets on the surface. The colourway skewed towards the blue in construction, mainly due to the materials I was able to source. As a result I found that I had something very similar in colour and fabric construction method to the Dodecahedron Bag that was my first assessed piece. On the plus side this means that my (looming) final exhibition will have a fairly unified colour scheme. On the minus side I was disenchanted with this piece before I was halfway through. Foolishly I had chosen to make it enormous, that is enormous for me – given that I had to cover every bit of that fabric with machine embroidery.

Mounting and displaying

On the subject of that looming exhibition, the other week it was time to take out all of the work I had done over the past year and a half, and take stock of it. While it was interesting remembering all the things I had done, it was worrying the number of unfinished, or in some cases unstarted, things I have to complete before June. This is on top of regular course work, and doing another two assessed pieces.

In addition a lot of that wonderful stuff that I have completed will need to be mounted or otherwise displayed. I spent quite a bit of time mounting small stitched samples in mount board. There are other pieces that I’m planning different methods of display for. The only one I think worthy of showing here is the canvaswork sampler that I decided to mount in a cushion.

Calico shopping bags for Christmas

Niketa bag

Niketa bag

Xine bag

Xine bag

Madii bag

Madii bag

Three more calico bags made as Christmas presents. There were 5 in the set that I made, but unfortunately I had wrapped the first two before I remembered to take pictures.

Couching sample

My City and Guilds in Creative Embroidery is back for the 2nd year. Here’s my first piece of homework.

Calico shopping bags

My most recent project was making shopping bags for some of my friends. Reusable shopping bags are very useful and have a large area for personalisation.

The bag are simple, flat rectangles made from one piece of fabric, double thickness for strength and so that the back of the stitched design is covered to prevent it being damaged by contact with the bag’s contents.

The designs were the fun part. Each design consists of fabric painted text with surrounding decoration, respectively applique, machine stitch, and false flowers and machine stitch.


The fonts I found on and copied by hand to paper. On paper I coloured them in in black pen which made the lettering easy to trace onto the calico in fabric paint with a fine brush.

Quick post

fourpiecesJust a quick one to update on the sorts of things we’ve been doing at City and Guilds in the past few weeks. Clockwise from the top left:

1) Making paper, and paper bowls.

2) Wrapping sticks with fabric and tieing them together into structures (unfinished)

3) Quilting

4) Making structures out of boxes and painting them white.

All of this was for the 3D section of the course. Which wasn’t quite as much fun as I though it would be. Next week we get started on texture.

Prism 2009

On Wednesday I went up to London with a coach trip laid on by college. We went up to see the Prism Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The Prism exhibition is put on by the Opus School of Textile Arts.

I enjoyed it. I was awed, amazed, surprised, left cold and disgusted by turns.

I think I’d better qualify that last word first. I was disgusted mostly by the price that one of the most mediocre pieces was asking – some people are seriously delusional.

As for the other words above. I think I was 45% amazed and awed, 45% left cold, and 5% each surprised and disgusted. A lot of the exhibition was very good: innovative, interesting, aesthetically pleasing. But that said – a lot of it was mediocre, uninspired, unfocused and more of a local craft fair quality than gallery exhibition quality.

My C&G tutor set me three things to look for – as a way of learning more from the exhibition – 1) The piece that I love, 2) The piece I would like to have made, 3) The piece that I hated.

1) The piece(s) that I really loved were the colourful images of bodies by Prinkie Richards. They really appealed to be – so bright and vibrant and lively.

2) The piece that I would like to have made was one by Mary-Anne Morrison called Cosmic Spores. It is a beautifully simple and complex construction of black and white coils.

A lot of the ideas I’ve been having lately have been for 3D forms rather than 2D images which no doubt fed into my make-envy. Fortunately the 3D section of the course is coming up in this half term which means I may get to try out some fun things.

3) The piece that I hated… hmmm. There were a lot of pieces that I disliked or was unimpressed by, but mostly I think that was due to personal taste. There was indeed one piece that I really hated because it just looked like the artist had copied a photo in machine stitch (this was the piece whose pricing struck me as ridiculous) and hadn’t added anything personal or innovative to it. It was totally bland.

Anyway I enjoyed my day in London , both the exhibition and the wandering through Berwick Street fabric stores.

Dodecahedron – Assessed Bag Part 2

So I’ve finally finished my assessed piece for City & Guilds Creative Embroidery.

It’s a dodecahedron bag made from pentagons of constructed fabric attached by herringbone insertion stitch, machine cord, and handmade beads. It’s lined with a silk crepe – chosen for its colour. Though I think if I was making a bag for use rather than display I might have looked a little further for a hardier fabric in the right colour.

I love it. It turned out much pinker than I thought, my initial design was more purple. The buttons are my least favourite part, but I guess I could replace then at a later date.

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