I have not done very much sustained stitching over the last three or four weeks, so this is a short newsletter to keep in touch.
One of the things I have enjoyed is slowly stitching into some more of my Eco dyed leaves during the evenings, as I am gradually putting together another small book. These particular prints were made a year ago. Janine, a lovely friend who lives in Abu Dhabi, was in England this time last year and she came to stay with me for a few days in September. We had such fun experimenting and “playing” with our Eco printing.
At that time I developed and subsequently stitched a selection of the prints in a totally new direction, which I loved; link below, if you are interested, and you need to scroll down, once you have opened the link.
https://stitchingnews.wordpress.com/2019/10/ They became a “matchbox book”, concertina folded so that it fits inside a matchbox. Mine has 24 pages, and is part of a group challenge, within Textile Plus, which will feature in our Thread of an idea Exhibition now rescheduled for November 2021 at The Poly, in Falmouth.
Just a reminder, that a taster of all the exhibitions that have been rescheduled due to Coronavirus is still open at The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EG until Friday 12th September 2020. So please do visit and support the Gallery if you are able. It may be sensible to ring to check opening times.
To return to the current book I am making, I also made a more traditional style zig-zag book around the same time, which I featured in the September Stitching news last year: https://stitchingnews.wordpress.com/2019/09/
My new small book will be in the same style but crucially it has only 2 valley folds in total, each will have a single fold small page stitched in, so there is not as much work, but it is close and tiny work, very time consuming and emminently portable. It is great to have these small projects that need little space. I find them most enjoyable.
I really should take some “before and after” photos, while I am working on them but my mind doesn’t always connect with that process at the right time, i.e. before I start stitching! Next time perhaps!! I wonder how many times any of us have wished we had taken a photo of “before we started,”….. For me it’s “lots of times!”
I have uploaded a couple of photos of the stages of this new small book, as they are at the moment.
The photo to the left shows the Eco print totally finished, having been stitched and already attached to the front face of the book structure. (As you can see in the following photo, the stitching on the right-hand edge, wraps right around to the other side of that page).
The width of the main book structure is 2.75″ and the height is 3.75″. The cover of any book is usually slightly larger than the interior pages, so the pages of the first single fold unit are 2.25″ wide by 3″ high. You can see the unit lying in position in the second photo, below.
Here you can see single fold attachment lying in position. It will not be secured through to the back until all the stitching on the reverse sides of the attachment, as well as on the front faces is complete. It is unnecessarily awkward to work on the prints after insertion! The two stitched prints are both still in progress. I rarely make definite decisions on how or where to embellish them before I start, but rather prefer to allow those decisions to develop naturally as I go along.
The “outlining” stitch that I use throughout these little studies, is called “split stitch” and makes a fabulous continuous line of hand stitching. From what I read the majority of embroiderers tend to split the previous stitch by coming up through it with the needle, and splitting the thread. As I am using fine machine cotton thread (Aurifil 50wt) I prefer to go down through the previous stitch as I can see exactly where to spit the very fine thread.
I use a fine sharps needle so that I am not puncturing the paper with too big a hole! As always when I am stitching through paper, I make the next few holes before continuing, so that when I bring the needle back to the top of the work, I am not having to guess where to go! From the second photo you can imagine how this single fold will be attached with a simple pamphlet stitch through to the back of the main book structure.
In total there will be 16 little stitched studies contained in this small book. One on each of the main supporting structure pages, a total of 6, plus 8 from the two inserted pages. Many hours of work! The nights are drawing in and this project alongside my mini “Turvy panels” will take me through the winter, I suspect.
I completed another blue mini Turvy house panel a couple of weeks ago. Funnily enough I did not like it at all while I was quilting it. One of the fabrics just seemed a wrong choice, but as soon as I had put the house features on it completely altered! This has happened before, and I should have more faith in my initial decisions!
I have been stitching one of the panels on my first assignment project recently. The photograph shows work in progress.
I have using a mid grey thread for the darker free embroidery stitching
There are only two layers, no wadding but a heavy weight calico underneath the top fabric. I want it to have less depth than the kingfisher unit so that the actual heads and tails of the birds will then lie just proud.
Having completed the darker machine stitching, I have cut another layer of imagery, which I am appliqueing over it,using a white cotton thread in the bobbin and a shiny viscose thread in the needle, this time. I like the complexity and layers of the imagery which occurs with the second layer.
There will be two of these panels; one will be 3″ wide and the other 2″ wide. The kingfishers are almost complete, and will sit on a 1″ wide upright branch, between the two panels. They will give a burst of intense colour, sitting across their branch, and will sit just proud of these two side panels!
I must just mention the stitch ripper which is sitting at the side of the panel on my machine table. It is a Clover product, and one of my favourite tools. As you can see, it has a long narrow handle. I use it such a lot as an extra finger which can get really close up to the needle, without getting my fingers anywhere near the needle! It is fantastic for holding down raw edges when appliqueing, keeping thread ends out of the way, etc etc. I would feel lost without it!
Finally I have made another 4 masks.
We are clearly going to be using masks for a very long time!! All the masks I have made have three layers; the main fabric, lining fabric, with a layer of non-woven interlining between them. Every time I make one I make slight adjustments!
This time, when I was sewing in the nose clip I cut my strip of material (which encloses the plastic covered wire,) folded it in half lengthways and sewed it in place on the inside of the outer main fabric. First I sewed the long raw edges in position, then across the short end and up the long folded edge to the other open end. With the needle still in the work, I then slotted the wire into this now attached tube and finished sewing across the final open end. SO easy! Why I hadn’t thought this through before I don’t know! I had made life very difficult for myself in the past, by preparing the casing and enclosing the wire, then stitching the completed unit in place!!!
Finally, I would just like to say that I am going to have a rest from writing Stitching News during the September, so will look forward to posting again in about a month.
Until then, happy stitching.