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. 😉

26 thoughts on “Art with my Needle ~ Week 1

  1. steph


    Wow! That was great. You are clever!

    I really enjoyed looking at your handiwork. I’ll be back next week.

    Please, Miss

    May I go out to play now? :mrgreen:

  2. Grannymar Post author


    It was fun to try all these techniques. We worked at them over many weeks in the class and again when back at home. It reminds me of blogging in a way. We all begin with the same ingredients, yet produced a wide variety of finished items.

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Chrisb – some of my favourite work was in experiments or to rescue disasters.

    A friend came to see me one day with her new Jumpsuit – remember them? She had splashed it with bleach by accident one morning. I appliquéd a snake from the mock leather above and covered the stains, before trailing the body up the back and ending with the head over the shoulder at breast pocket level. Eyes, tongue and fangs were added from my scrap bag, beads or threads. At the tail we added metal beads to form a rattle. The disaster soon became a unique fashion piece.

  4. Lily

    Enjoyed reading this post describing your needlework. A book of bookmarks was just a great idea. As I said before, you are very creative with both needle and pen, to name but two.

    Definitely want to book seat for next week’s performance.

    Enjoy your day!

  5. Maynard

    Grannymar, it looks fantastic. It reminds me of something that I should not try until I get my wings! There is a needle sticking in my seat.

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Lily – I enjoyed reminiscing on all aspects of the craft, and today I had my haircut and that always makes me feel good. Today life is good!

    Nick – Thank you. I saw a t-shirt recently that made me want to try tie dying all over again.

    Maynard – Needles are dangerous in the wrong hands, they need to be treated with respect.

    Kate – A hippy happy hippy, I hope!

  7. Nancy


    You and I will always be content because it does not take much to make us feel happy and fulfilled.

    You proclaim “Life is good” today because you got a haircut…I am “Over the Moon” this morning because the kids next door brought me a small bouquet of flowers.

    I wonder what the pair of us would do if we ever won Millions in the lottery….

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Maynard – Me? Never, sure I wouldn’t know how to.

    Nancy – In all honesty, I would hate to win Millions on a lottery. It would only bring headaches.

  9. Baino

    I remember doing a lot of that sort of thing at school. Nowhere as intricate mind you but that was in the days when girls did sewing and cooking and the boys did woodwork! I just haven’t the patience these days. I love that you used sequin waste to make some thing useful, really sweet idea.

  10. Grannymar Post author

    Baino, You did fancy stuff at sewing class in school???

    We made elasticated top and bottom knickers. Everyone used the same pattern provided by the nuns and my Granny, mammy and I would have fitted into one leg! The fabric was nice though, everyone was jealous. It was one of my father’s samples. Pity about the size. 😉

  11. Darlene

    My artwork achieved from needles comes from the knitting variety. I think i will take photos of my afghans and sweaters and use them for a post. Thanks for the idea.

  12. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene, the wonderful thing about blogging is the inspiration we give each other. I look forward to your posts.

  13. Maria

    Beautiful Crafting. I loved looking at the differant kinds of book marks. You are indeed talented in many ways. I hope I can still book a spot for the rest of your book.

  14. Grannymar Post author

    Maria – All are welcome. I had forgotten about this work until the Blogging Consortium topic on Creativity brought it back. Going through the book brings back the days when we were elbow deep on dye, playing with fabric or stitches and most of all having fun.

    WWW – I have a few more items up my sleeve for when the book marks are finished.

  15. Grannymar Post author

    Alice – Elly has a box of several hundred book marks that she collected over the years. The only place you won’t find one is in a book!

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