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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Stitch Story Week 3:2

Hi Everyone 
As suggested yesterday, I’ve now produced a couple of stamped ‘patches’ for my Stitched Story Project. I wanted to test out a number of fabric stamps rather than standard ink stamps (normally used with paper and card). The results are very similar. I think, the only difference seems to be how easily the inked image took to the fabric. I feel the standard ink stamps soaked into the fabric and the fabric stamps formed a layer of ink on the surface. However, the difference is very small and if I wanted to use the stamped image as a simple stitch guide, I’m not sure there is any advantage to using the fabric stamps. Where there is a need for a permanent stamped image, I’m more convinced the fabric stamps would do a better long term job. Both types of stamp still need to be ‘heat set’ onto the fabric. I’ve done this by ironing the back of the fabric patches.
Read back yesterday for details of the story but I’ve made a couple of new patches with my ‘Miss Mitchell’ letters. I hope to develop one of them or even both ? Not sure how, exactly ? I will wait to be inspired when I consider the piece as a whole.


I like both fonts from the patch samples. Perhaps, I will embroid one sample and use the other a simple stamped patch (without any embroidery).

My next patch technique is appliqué. I’m thinking about either a butterfly, a bow or a flower at this stage. For the purposes of developing a tutorial, I’ll probably develop all three ideas and try them out for inclusion in my project.
Check back tomorrow for how the whole Stitched Story is developing and how I plan to start the appliqué element.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Stitch Story Week 3:1

Hi Everyone
The last time I shared my progress of the Stitch Story, I mentioned using a Gelli Plate to develop some printed fabric. Today, I’m sharing the results of the first batch of printing. Read back for background re the project. 


I wanted to include the colour palette from my developed ‘patches’ and mixed acrylic paint for the purpose. I didn’t have a specific surface pattern in mind but wanted to produce something with a small repeat. I’m using quite small pieces of fabric for my patches so the small pattern is essential. I haven’t developed any patches with my printed fabric yet. I’m thinking they will be a great way of ‘filling in’ small areas of my Stitch Story, with a view to pulling the individual patch designs together and forming a whole piece. Here is a view of how they look with some of the patches:


I’ve done a little more embroidery on the Miss Mitchell image transfer patch but that’s about it for progress to date. My next move is to do a little more stamping on fabric. This technique will give me a line guide for making a new patch. I want to make a patch which includes a reference to Miss Mitchell as a name. I have lots going on in my Stitched Story so will probably go for simple stamped letters. I’ve got a few options re the font I can use and will make some test pieces before deciding. I have used this simple stamping  technique already - see the kindness words in my photo (above). However, I do have some fabric stamps which I’ve not tested and would like to check out any advantages. The kindness patch was developed with standard water based ink pads.
There are a number of other patch techniques I’d like to include in this project and will share each over the next week. The techniques will also form a series of workshops I’m leading over the next few weeks. Hopefully, other Makers will test out some of the ideas and we can turn them into tutorials
More tomorrow on the Stitched Story Project.
Thanks for calling in today.. 

Friday, 16 March 2018

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone 
Before getting into my Fibre news for today, I must mention Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It’s underway for 2018 and I’m wondering why I’m not there ? For some reason, I decided not to go this year ? I’m very envious of all the people talking about their travel plans and the excitement of the whole EYF experience. I was there last year and loved it, so why wouldn’t I go ? Well, I’d decided months ago, I would go to Yarnfest in Cumbria this year instead. That’s about it. No other reason. I’m sort of regretting the idea now.
 However, I need to move on and look forward to June (Yarnfest), it will be great too. A few days ago, one of the photos from my 2017 EYF haul appeared in my Facebook memories prompt and it made me review how I’d used my purchases. To my surprise, the only yarn I’d used is some Coop Knits Sock yarn. So, I’ve got a big bag of lovely yarn/fibre just waiting. This has made me slightly embarrassed but partly rather happy too. All the lovely memories from last year have flooded back and Ive decided I will enjoy Edinburgh via lots of vloggers instead and by rediscovering my 2017 haul.
Moving on .....the lovely big bag of yarn from last years EYF is somewhere in my stash cupboard. However, finding it - is another story ! My fibre storage is very poor and I need to do something about it. My plan is to bring the fibre out of the cupboard and store in some stacking storage bins. My thinking is, if I can see and get access to my fibre, I can enjoy it more. I have a wall which will be a perfect place for the bins but no ‘bins’. I’ve sourced the bins at my local Ikea store and will definitely get things organised over the next few days. My plan is to rediscover lots of stuff from my cupboard, most of which I’ve forgotten about. So, perhaps, not going to Edinburgh this year has been a blessing in disguise !
Back to actual fibre news, I’ve been very busy with the same projects as last week. I’ve spent most time on my Coinneach Sweater (Kate Davies) and have completed the body and both sleeves. I’ve got all the stitches on one needle and am starting the yolk. However, I'm using a small gauge needle to hold all the stitches (organised for working) and need to get a long enough circular needle in the right size before I can continue. I got to this point yesterday, so will hopefully acquire the right needle today. I feel the Coinneach has knitted up quite quickly and am looking forward to the best bit ie developing the yolk. I’ll have some photos for next time.
My other knitting time has been taken up with my latest socks project, the Winter Rose Socks by Helen Steward. This is the first pattern in The Handmade Sock Society Club. I’ve chosen a lovely sock yarn from Natural Born Dyers in Seapinks. The yarn is a beautiful colour and a treat to knit. Here’s a quick look at my progress so far :


I love Helens patterns. Each line is so detailed and I gain confidence with a continuous stitch count, especially where lace patterns are concerned. I’ve not done too much but it does look lovely. Both the colour and the lace pattern work so well together.

Again, to my shame - no spinning or crochet. Despite great plans for three spinning sessions, I’ve missed all three. Next week!

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Silver Day and more

Hi Everyone 
I’m having a multi tasking day today. My Silver Project from a few weeks ago is still top of the list. Check out the details here. There’s not much more to report on the Small and Simple Range, it’s almost done ! I'm hoping to wind up the final details of the earring designs this week. There will be some professional images produced at some point over the next few weeks.

My other tasks for today involves La Patisserie Project and the Stitched Story. Both projects are well underway, although I do have a few finishing touches to La Patisserie. The Stitched Story Project will have a couple of months to go, so lots more to be done on that one.
I’ve mentioned (on this blog) the fact that La Patisserie is an old project but I’ve worked on some new samples and completely reworked the project. I have more cakes in the range of charms with some different techniques involved. All has gone well and I’m struggling to identify my favourites. I love most of the charms. I’ve chosen five charms to add to the bracelet but I’ve a large batch which will become stitch markers. Here’s a quick look.


I’ve taken the decision to give the charms a coat of varnish and am happy with the finish. It’s not necessary to varnish these charms and in some cases an unvarnished ‘cake’ looks more convincing. My thoughts are more to do with protecting the charms as samples. The samples get lots of handling in workshops and hopefully, will have a longer life with a varnished finish. I will aim to get a range of ‘close up’ images of the cakes for next week.

The Stitch Story will also get a little attention today. Read back a few weeks for more on this project. I have printed some fabric for the project and am very pleased with the results. I now need to decide exactly how I will use my new fabric. I also need to find some interesting new (to me) stitches for my Story. I’m thinking about a couple of new patches but am rapidly running out of space. The project is restricted in size by the little bags we are using as the ‘stitching base’ . As I’ve mentioned several times recently, I’m really enjoying working on this project. I spend time looking and thinking about the projects each day and will be sad when it’s finished. I will probably start another bag !

Thanks for calling in today. I’ll be back tomorrow with Fibre news.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Stitch Story Week 2 .2

Hi Everyone
I’ve a quick look at the Stitched Story progress today. Read back the last two weeks for the background story. I’ve added a few extra patches to the main piece (bottom of photo story) and the whole patchwork is almost a complete oblong shape. I’ve a little piece to add to the top of this shape as well as connect the dragonfly. More work is required on the dragonfly too. I’m looking for a decorative stitch which could enhance the wings.


The image transfer of Miss Mitchell (centre stage in my photo story) has a fabric frame and I’ve worked some simple Running Stitch lines around the image, five stitches form the frame pattern. I especially like this stitch effect, inspired by Jessie Chorley, my inspiration for the whole project.

Yesterday, I talked about a second fabric printing technique which I’m including in my project. This technique involved using a Gelli Plate. I love this way of printing and could spend my days with a Gelli Plate. Check out this You Tube Video for a great insight into how Gelli Plates can be used for printing on fabric. I’m hoping I can produce some interesting fabric for my patches. 
Today, I’ll play around with colours and patterns. I need a couple of small patterned pieces of printed fabric to act as link patches. I’ve no idea what I’ll come up with  ? but I’m hoping inspiration will come to me at the right moment !  I’ll share my results and process (from today)  next time. 
Generally, I’m happy with how the project is going. I very much enjoy picking up these patches and working on them for 30mins or so. I find these little embroidery sessions give me a huge sense of ‘time out/well-being’. I can’t quite explain why this should be ? but I look forward to finding time for this little self indulgent activity.

Thanks for calling in today.