Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Tangled Web

Well I spent an evening with the vintage floss and just about drove myself crazy. The knots were just too much and made it impossible to untangle. So I salvaged maybe 5 colors and the rest I had to throw out. Sad face.

On a happier note , on another blog I found a product with which you can print your design on, adhere it to your fabric, embroider it and then dissolve it away when you are done! It is by sulky and it is called sticky fabri-solvy. It is printable which is how you get your design on it. Very cool. If you want to see a video on it go to "shiny happy world" blog. It is a great tutorial.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finding Treasure

Today I was at a very dear friend's house having lunch. I casually mentioned something about wanting to embroider something on a pillowcase for the grandchild I would one day have. My friend's husband asked if I would have any use for embroidery floss, he had found some while weeding out old things in the basement. I lit up like a Christmas tree and said, " I would love some embroidery floss." He came up the stairs with a very old law book and tucked inside a couple of dozen pages were skeins of silk embroidery floss from the turn of the century. Each page I turned revealed a new brilliant color that had retained its original vibrancy and integrity, or if it had lost any I couldn't tell. I was overwhelmed by the  sensation that some woman a century ago had carefully sorted her colors in a book on the shelf of her home to keep the colors from tangling (although that didn't work too well as I soon found out.) I imagined what she must have made with all those colors and if the work survived somewhere on this earth, I wondered what her family was like; did she have a close knit family that would sit around together in the evenings reading aloud and playing music, was she lonely stealing moments in her busy day to sit by the natural light and get a few stitches in? I felt the beautiful silk strands with the lovely sheen and wondered what project I would use them in. Maybe that pillowcase for my daughter's hope chest  or maybe something more formal and decorative. This is one of the great appeals to me about needlework; the way it ties you to women all over the world in different generations, different socio-economic groups and different cultures. Somewhere, all over the world tonight there are women making beautiful things for a variety of reasons and if you are an insider only you can truly understand the meaning behind the hand made craft. I am painstakingly going through each skein and winding it around my little hand made cardboard form and when I'm finished I'll post a photo or two. Happy embroidering!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

More than a year later

It's been more than a year since I last posted. I gave up embroidery for awhile but I think I am going to pick it up again because I have 30 hours in the car coming up in a few weeks. We are going to Michigan to see my parents in their summer home.  I have started an embroidery that I designed by taking pictures my girls drew when they were little and transferring them onto fabric. I freehanded the drawing onto a sheet of computer paper then transferred them onto a piece of cotton the size  of a small pillow using transfer paper.  I wrote the colors on the paper drawing so I could come as close to the original in the embroidery. It will be a great piece for a child's pillow or as a square in a memory quilt. It would be fun to make a child's quilt using only drawings from a person's childhood. There would be a lot of interesting items for the owner of the quilt to point to and talk about. Another idea that may or may not be accomplished. Well see you soon with pictures of the latest pieces.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Going on vacation

This coming week we are going to Nashville and Savannah on a road trip to look at colleges. This will be my first trip as an embroiderer and I'm really excited. My significant other loves to drive so that leaves me with tons of time to stitch and dream. It will be hard to leave the painting behind because I am deep into it right now but hopefully I will get some good reference photos for future paintings. I've made 3 patterns for the road that I will post shortly. When I return I hope to be able to show them all completed. Have fun over spring break, happy stitching.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Acrylics and Fabric, post 2

I have been doing more experimenting with acrylic and fabric and it has been a lot of fun. I am not letting myself get upset when the paint wanders where I don't want it to, I am just letting myself experiment and have fun. In the latest piece I transferred my design onto my fabric then started painting before doing any stitching. I planned the colors that I would use in my flower and vase picture but there were quite a few spots where the colors blended. I left most of these places as is but a few I tried to cover with other colors. Since acrylic dries quickly I also could have covered over the parts I didn't like. I will definitely paint before stitching from now on because I can now use threads that will pop over the paint colors and make the most of my stitches. I would recommend experimenting with color mixing as it can lead to some beautiful shades you won't get right out of the tube.  I put a small amount of red, orange, yellow , blue and purple on a paper plate and started mixing colors until i liked the shade then I just added a good amount of water and laid it on the fabric. The thinner the paint the prettier the effect I think. It looks like water color and who doesn't like water color.

Monday, February 14, 2011

pacifier tree

I just saw this on camilla engman's site, I had to show you this sweet sweet tree. When babies are trying to give up their binkies, they hang them in this paci tree. Precious

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Acrylics and Fabric

After reading a book about advanced embroidery techniques I decided to experiment with acrylic paints on linen. First I took a large piece of linen and drew all sorts of objects in waterproof ultrafine marker. I wanted to see if the acrylic mixed with water would stay in the lines or if it would spread. At first I tried it without water which gives the most control. The paint stayed put where I applied it. A lot of paint of course left a shiny plasticky coating and a finer layer of paint left the fabric still feeling like linen. Then I tried applying the paint with a little water mixed into the paint. This gave the nicest result, much like water color with some loss of control due to spreading, but not much. I had just finished a small piece of embroidery that didn't take much of my time so I decided to put the paint to the real test and use it on my simple vase filled with flowers. To stay in the lines I refrained from using water but this effect didn't look very pretty. The colors were too sharp because I used them out of the tube so next time I will try mixing my own colors. I was able to keep the paint in the lines for the most part but even so the stitching just kind of disappeared. A couple of times the paint went over the stitch border and even though slight it made the piece look unprofessional. I would highly recommend practicing on the type of fabric you use to embroider on and try different brushes to see what works better. My next experiment will be to paint first and then embroider over it. This will hopefully solve the problem of the stitches disappearing because I can choose colors that will pop over the paint. Also I can be freer with the paint and use a little water since there will be no lines to stay within. Happy Experimenting!