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Posts Tagged ‘embroidery’

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You will probably remember that in 2014 there was a stunning installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, and that most of the poppies were sold to raise money for charity.  What a lot of people don’t know is that part of the installation is now on tour across the UK, and the first stop for the Weeping Window is St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney.  Click here to visit the official website for more information.

I loved the original installation, it was absolutely breathtaking, and we bought one of the poppies to display in our home.  I’m quite gutted that I won’t get a chance to see the Weeping Window in Orkney (doesn’t tie in with our holiday dates, sadly) but felt moved to create a watercolour and embroidery piece.  Watercolour background, and the poppies have been added with embroidery.  They’re rendered in hundreds of French knots, which spill out onto the mount in the frame.  It came out perfectly, and I’m very proud of it. You can see some work in progress photos below.

This piece has already been reserved, but please contact me if you’re interested in commissioning something similar.

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Another Pratchett-inspired piece: this unites my love of embroidery, graffiti, and Sir pTerry in one fell swoop.  Hand embroidery on a watercolour background.  Available in my Etsy shop, click here to view.  As is now traditional, some work in progress shots below (including how I trace my designs onto fabric without having a light box!).

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Another piece of embroidery created in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett.  This one is simple in execution, just black embroidery on plain cloth, but the design process was quite intense.  The image shows a telegram, and the morse code on it spells out GNU Terry Pratchett.  If you’re not a Discworld fan then you might want to click here for more information.

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This piece is now available in my Etsy shop.  Click here to view it.  10% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.  More work in progress photos below.

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I was so pleased with myself for having started and finished this piece over a single bank holiday weekend… it’s a shame it’s taken me over a month to list it on Etsy!  It’s because pricing and listing items is my least favourite part of the creative process.  Designing stuff?  Great fun.  Making stuff?  Can be frustrating but is generally fabulous.  Actually getting round to selling it?  Nope, that’s where I stumble.

ANYWAY.  This piece is now available in my Etsy shop.  As with the lilacs embroidery, 10% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.

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The long bank holiday gave me a chance to both start and finish a project (novel, eh?).  It’s another mixed media embroidery piece and, like last time, I remembered to take some progress shots to show you how it’s done.  The quote is from Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man, and the image is from Pixabay.

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See at this point I thought I was done, but when you look closely you can still see a fine film of paper residue on the surface of the image.

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That’s better!  Onto the embroidery.

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I’m all out of frames so this piece is currently waiting for me to take a trip to the dreaded IKEA (oh how I hate the place) before I can list it in my Etsy shop.

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The Glorious Revolution.  To learn more about how this embroidery piece was made click here.  To purchase this piece, please click here.

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I’ve been wanting to do something linked to Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch for a while, and my first attempt was an embroidered piece (see below) that I was happy with in terms of the text, but really not happy with my poor ability to embroider a lilac blossom.

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I went back to the drawing board and decided to try using a photograph as the background, which gave me the opportunity to try image transfer onto fabric for the first time.  I found a royalty free image that I liked, then I tweaked it digitally to achieve the effect I wanted.  I then obtained a laser print out of the image; this is important as this image transfer method doesn’t work with inkjet print outs.

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If you want to try this yourself then you need to coat the image with gel medium and then press it down onto the fabric of your choice.  Work all the air bubbles out and then leave it to dry.  Once it’s thoroughly dry you wet the paper (with a spray bottle or a sponge) and then rub your finger over the paper to ease it gently off the fabric.

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My first attempt wasn’t entirely successful.  I don’t think I applied enough gel medium, and I also suspect I didn’t leave it to dry long enough.  I started to remove the paper and you can see that the image came off in places, so I abandoned this first attempt and started again.  I was a lot more thorough with the second one, and I let it dry overnight (rather than just for a few hours).

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It went much better!  It did take ages to remove all the paper.  I kept damping it down and rubbing until I thought I’d got it all off, but once the fabric had dried there was still a thin layer of paper left to come off, so I moistened it again and persevered until it had all come off.  It was a very tedious process because I was afraid that the image might come off if I rubbed too hard or vigorously, so it was softly softly and took what felt like forever.  Still, it was well worth the effort because the image looked great when I had finally got the paper residue cleaned off properly!

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The embroidery was the final stage, and that was quite time consuming too.  I wanted an ever-so-slightly weathered look for the text, to be reminiscent of the font used on the front of Night Watch, so I had chosen a finer fabric than I use for my circus letter embroidery and this allowed me to be more precise than usual with the satin stitch…but of course the trade off for precision is that it takes time.  It also gave me strained eyes.  We all suffer for our art.

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I love the finished piece, it turned out beautifully and I’m very proud of it.  It’s now available in my Etsy shop, and 10% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Last year I fell in love with a piece that Katy of Misericordia had made (click here to see her original blog post about it).  I wanted to buy it, but with the festive season looming I had been banned from buying myself anything.  Fine, I put it on my wish list and waited in hope.

No one bought it.  I was quite grumpy about this but thought I’d try again come my birthday in April.  My patience paid off and my brother and sister-in-sin gave it to me.  YAY!  I absolutely adore it, and have spent the past week and a half moving it around the house to various places of honour while I try and decide where to display it permanently.

Katy has plenty of other beautiful things in her Folksy shop (I particularly like her Hashtag Unknown, such a clever idea), and she also takes commissions – please do go and visit her shop and her website.

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I had a hankering for a new tea towel recently (yes, I know, I’m clearly getting old), but couldn’t find one that I liked.  So I bought some plain cotton ones and had a go at embroidering my own.

One way of getting a design onto a piece of fabric is to trace it.  Some people tape their fabric to a window and use the natural light to help the tracing, others use a light box.  I have, in the past, fallen into the first category but this time hit upon the frankly genius idea of bringing up the image I wanted to trace on my computer monitor.  Drape the cloth over the screen and voila, instant light box!  If it’s not clear enough then simply adjust the contrast.

Anyway, I traced the design I liked onto the towel and off I went.  It didn’t take too long, but after I’d finished I felt it lacked something.

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It was a pretty big tea towel so I added some more random bits and pieces, and now I think it looks complete.

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Cost of blank tea towel?  £2.25.  Time taken?  Ok, a good few hours of embroidery, but it was hardly onerous as I was watching telly at the same time.  Cute Totoro tea towel?  Priceless.

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Work in progress…

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