Daily Archives: August 26, 2009

Art with my Needle ~ Week 1

Last week in A Collection I promised to move inside the leaves of the book.

Remember it was a first project.  Looking back now it seems very basic.  I was learning a number of new skills.  These included the use of fabrics, stitches, pattern, printing, painting and design. We used fabric paints & pens and natural dyes.  Part of the course for the first year was a module in Design.  It was a new course and the tutors were learning just as we were.

With the inspiration coming from a child’s Rag Book, I wanted it simple and really a container for the items inside.

Today I will turn the pages and then if you are interested give more detail of the contents.  Click on the photos to enlarge for more detail.  Most people when giving a book as a gift, add an inscription inside the cover.  Mine was done with Fabric Pen, this had to be heat sealed.*

At this stage I am sure you realise that the items in the collection are Bookmarks.  I needed a way to hold them in place and the photo above shows two diagonal bars which were made with about five rows of elastic thread which I over-stitched with Blanket stitch.

Book Mark No.1 is made from Sequin waste also called Punchinella.

What is it?  Simple – it is the waste product from making sequins!  It usually comes 90mm wide and sold by the meter or roll. It is lightweight flexible shiny plastic, full of holes.  It is easy to shape and cut. Ribbons look great woven through the holes. It is a perfect medium for crafting. For the bookmark I used it as a base for my interpretation of Hardanger embroidery using satin stitch.

On these pages we see on the left a Tie-dyed bookmark decorated with Suffolk Puffs and added stitching.  On the right is a simple Cross Stitch Letter E on even weave.  Cross stitch was the very first attempt I ever made in embroidery long before this class.  I still to this day find it relaxing.

These are two of my favourites. and worth showing out of the book.

The tree trunk and branches are in a mock leather.  The greenery representing leaves is worked on dissolving fabric and free machine embroidery.  For this the work is put into a taut embroidery hoop, used upside down, like you were working on the back of the fabric.  The teeth of the sewing machine lowered and the work moved freely about being careful to connect each line of thread, otherwise it all falls apart.  The buds were added later using French Knots.

On the right is a bookmark made of Felt.  Yes we made the felt, nothing to the standard of Nicola Brown, I fear, but still it was experimental felt.  In the making we trapped strips of leather, threads, lace and beads.  When we had it completed we added further decoration with stitches and surface beading.

We are half way and the bell has gone for the end of class.  The remainder of the bookmarks will have to wait until next week.  Book your seat now. 😉