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Monday, 23 July 2018

Final Push #3

Hi Everyone 
I’m still working hard on finishing my Stich Story: Miss Mitchell. Read back on the blog for more detail about this project. I’ve been working on this piece for many weeks and it’s finally coming to an end. I’m certain, I can finish the bag this week (famous last words !).

Having repositioned all the patches several times, I’ve finally decided on the layout. I’ve attached my ribbons in a way to give the patches a defined space and am ready to sew each patch in its final space. As I decided on the final patch placing, it was obvious that I needed a new patch of a specific size. A new idea came to me immediately, so I  set about making the new patch. This is the same green patch I talked about last time. This patch has the words Everything is Possible, another of Miss Mitchell’s standard messages. It’s worked on a piece of the green fabric which balances the range of patches well.


I have been wondering, for a while, about how I would attach each patch and several options seemed to be available. I considered using a fine invisible thread as well as attaching each patch from the second back layer (most patches have a two layer construction). In addition to finding the right technique for sewing the patches in place, I also struggled with access to stitching. The difficulty arose because the bag had been partially constructed. Three sides of the bag had been machine stitched and the only access was from the top. My solution to this problem was to deconstruct the bag slightly. Both sides were unpicked which left me with a flat surface and exactly what I needed.
After several tests, my chosen technique for attaching patches will be to use the original patch edge stitches as a guide and oversew, in the same colour thread. This method results in an almost invisible second stitch and allows for a neat and secure seam.
I’m ready to go and should make good progress today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more to share.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Final Push #2

Hi Everyone 
I’m breaking with tradition today. Usually, I focus on fibre related stuff each Friday. However, I’m determined to keep on track with the Stitch Story : Miss Mitchell final push. I talked about my intentions yesterday and I’ve made progress. You can read all about this project on my blog, just search back for Stitch Story.
I had thought, I was ready to sew my patches in place. But ...... I realised there were a few patches still needing extra embroidery. I’ve had a little break from the project and I seem to be looking with new eyes. As a result, I’ve got a few new ideas. This is a dangerous phase for me! I see lots of extra work stacking up. But that’s OK, I’m not in a race to finish, I simply want progress each day. 

So far, I’ve repositioned the patches (top left photo) and maybe this is my final placing for the patches/embellishments ? I also focused work on two patches which needle extra work. The dragonfly (top right) acquired an embroidered ARABELLA (Miss Mitchell’s name) as well as a line of small Detached chain stitches, simulating little flowers. The dragonfly embroidery had not been completed and the patch looked a little unfinished. I like the finished patch and feel the name is a lovely addition. I also worked on the appliqué Miss Mitchell patch and added some flowers.

The flowers are a three phase embroidered job. I started with a series of Detached chain stitches in a five petal arrangement. Each petal has a worked French knot and a Star stitch finish over the centre. I like how the flowers lift the appliqué doll image and make the patch complete.

That’s about is for progress. I’ve developed a new little green fabric patch next and have started some embroidery. I will share my progress on Monday.

Thanks for calling in today, have a great weekend. Bye for now.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Final Push !

Hi Everyone 
I’m talking about my Stitch Story : Miss Mitchell again .......... This project should have been completed several weeks ago, that said - I have been quite busy. However, I’ve made a commitment to finishing by this time next week. I feel as if there’s not much more to do. Most of the structure is in place and it’s a matter of sewing the patches and other embellishments onto the front panel. I do need to add handles but I’m sure that’s a minor task (famous last words !). Here’s a quick look at the stage of the project:

The left hand photo is the embroidered back of my bag. The bottom right phot shows all the patches, ready to be sewn into place. The photos are showing the outside front and back of the bag. A green fabric lining is also prepared and will fit into the embellished outer skin. I also have green fabric handles cut to size.
I’ve given some thought to the placing of the patches and I think I’m set to go with sewing them in place. Several of the patches have a backing layer so stitching will be straightforward. The challenges will be single layer pieces and working sympathetic stitches, which will be visible. 
This final push for completion is part of my greater determination to finish lots of ongoing projects within my portfolio. After this one, I’m going to organise a list of unfinished projects and order their priority. Hopefully, by the end of the Summer I will have everything completed or binned. Most of the unfinished items are workshop samples, I think ?

Thanks for calling in today. I’m going to record my progress and will share here each day until I’ve completed the bag.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Spinning News

Hi Everyone 
I had a very busy family birthday yesterday. The whole day was lovely. However, my Making time was very limited and only had chance to test out my newly refurbished carder. This machine has been designed and hand built by my husband and son. It’s a very special thing and I love it. Unfortunately, the carder has been waiting for a repair for some considerable time. 
Great news, it’s fixed and better than ever. The design and mechanism  are much improved and it’s perfect for carding very rough bits of fibre (which should probably go to waste). I had a small amount of waste Fils Vert (to be) sitting in my stash, just waiting for this occasion. I wasn’t sure the carder could do the job but no problem. You can read about the original Fils Vert Story here. The original Fils Vert spin was a little job for a Knit Group friend.


I’ve over twisted the ply in this last batch, so will run it through (my wheel) again to loosen up the yarn and will deliver to my friend on Friday. Hopefully, a lovely surprise for her.
I’m now inspired to get my regular three weekly sessions of spinning underway. I had this all organised a few months ago and I’ve lapsed once again !

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Stitch Story #2 Organised

Hi Everyone 
I’ve got my new Stitch Story plan underway (read back on Monday for more on this story). I’ve sourced the green fabric I was looking for and it’s arrived. The fabric is lovely and I’m very excited about working with it. I found the fabric in the amazing Merchant & Mills online shop. I love everything they do, so I knew the fabric would be perfect.


My vague plan (which I’m sure it will change) at this stage is to make a simple gathered or soft pleated skirt with a slightly raised, curved shape at the front hem. I think it will have a side zip and a grown on waistband.
I’d like to incorporate some embroidered patches on the skirt as well as directly embroidered words/ images. The fabric is a beautiful crisp green and I’m hoping to keep the embroidery to various shades of green too. The theme of my garment will be Friendship. The patches, I mention, are part of a lovely birthday gift I received from a friend in March. More on the chosen patches, at a later date.
I’m very exited about this project, it’s going to be my focus for the Summer. Hopefully, I will be able to wear it before the end of the hot Summer weather - always a tricky prediction in the UK !
My job today is to research some more inspirational designs for my skirt. I’m also looking for more ideas to incorporate Friendship stories into the skirt. The range of stories will be carefully chosen as my usual style tends to be very paired down and simple. I don’t want to make something which I find difficult to wear. I think, this will be the most challenging part of my project ie. to choose, just the right amount of addditional embellishment without compromising my idea of a Stitched Story within the skirt. Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.