Thursday, 11 February 2016

Fibre and Thread Stitching - Week 4

Theme - Pattern

Mmmmm the possibilities :)  I wanted straight away to do 'something Celtic' .. but I do love zen doodles too..

Sunday morning I had a couple hours free.. so I doodled :)
But I still had a Celtic Beastie in mind begging to be made..

I totally cheated by tracing the beastie out of a Celtic
design source book :)
I sandwiched iridescent organza between the paper and
white felt and pinned.
Free machine embroidering over the lines in the drawing..
All main lines are 'drawn'  just pattern detailing to go..
I carefully pulled the paper away now - the stitches perforate
the paper so it tears away easily.. just need to go round with tweezers
getting tiny bits out afterwards
The back side
Front.  All stitched, organza still intact
Carefully snipping away the excess organza close to the stitch line
Now I'm picturing bags with beasties on the flaps.. or running up and over the straps..  Not just yet though, maybe later in the year.

Monday, 8 February 2016

And now a SHORT Slider :)

As I mentioned the first attempt at a 'Slider Hat' was rather taller than I had planned.  Even though I like how it looks, I wanted something which was a bit less of a vertical dynamo :)  

So, here goes..

1st job.. work out the new resist..
New short resist on top of the one I used for the tall Slider
I used the leftover batts from making the Tall Slider..
1st fibre layer - this is the batt which was 
on the OUTside of the Tall Slider
2nd fibre layer - this was the middle 
layer last time too
3rd fibre layer - this one was on the INside 
of the tall Slider
 I didn't take photos of the felting process.. but you've seen it a few times by now :)

Using the tool I made at pottery class last year 
to firm the brim
I use the edge on the handle of my scissors to 
work the crease between crown and brim.. 
make it nice and crisp.
Drying.. with the brim weighted down 
at front and back
Light blue woollen yarn for simple 
decorative stitching.  A couple of incidental 
daisy flowers on this one
Same finishing touches as last time
(I love these studs :)
Height comparison:
The short one is 2" shorter than the tall
Not feeling photogenic today :)

Dancing in the rain :)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Finishing my 'Slider' Hat

I have finally finished today! Yay :)  As this is my salute to Marc Bolan's Mad Hatter on the cover of The Slider album (which was a stitched together leather hat pictured a few posts back):

I added decorative stitching to echo the functional stitches..
up the back
And around the inside of the crown -
and a little daisy flower .. just because :)
I cut the hat band from a lovely slate blue leather and paired it with
some nickel black stud rivets (screw back)
I love the studs :)
We were just about to have a heavy rainstorm when I took this so the light was weird,
the washed out look to the colours reminds me of how old colour photos look.

If you think I look worried here I was a bit :) the wind kept buffeting my kindle as
I tried to take a photo.. it was strong enough to almost blow it out of my hand!
In the song he says:
'and when I'm sad
I slide'

I did toy with the idea of embroidering the lyric on the hat.. what do you think? Lyric or no?  It's 'Slider' enough without anything that obvious isn't it?  I think I may crumple the crown a little.. see how that looks.

This is a happy hat :)  Short version to follow soon hopefully.

Fibre and Thread Sketching - week 3


I must admit I’m not fond of studying insects up close and personal :)  so this wasn't really a favourite subject for me.   After a couple days thinking about it though I remembered the illustrations in an old Winnie the Pook picture book I used to read with the children when they were little.  Unfortunately I don’t have the book anymore.. but one picture was quite vivid in my memory.. Pooh climbing up a tree looking for honey, with really cute bees flying around him.  SO.. bees.  I started searching the internet looking at bees and a lot of the honey bees looked a bit too waspish for my liking :)- I decided to go for a bumble bee – you can’t not love bumble bees they’re lovely! (apart from when one’s climbing through an air vent next to you.. you can hear the droning buzz and see him wiggling his big legs at you as he clambers through.. ugh - 22 years ago and I still remember how it made me shudder and run lol).
So I sketched him (right).. then traced on to tissue paper.
Onto a piece of black felt I placed pieces of patterned yellow cotton fabric under the 
yellow areas on the tracing and pinned (left).
Using the darning foot on my machine I free motion embroidered around 
the outline, and around the yellow areas securing the fabric there. 
Oh I put some white fabric under the wing area too.
After tearing the tissue paper away I needed to trim the excess fabric away as close 
to the stitching as possible.  I actually forgot to going round the bumble’s ‘beak’ -
didn’t notice this mistake until after I’d cut away the excess black felt.. 
too late to put it right I had to cobble together a solution!
After cutting around the outline of the bumble I had a nice sturdy bee – 
which I forgot to take a photo of unattached!  After stitching some simple 
flowers in the corner I FM stitched the bee in place.. 
It was at this point that I realised my bee had a yellow head.. it should of been black!  
I totally forgot to stitch round the outline of his ‘beak’.  All I could do now 
was reduce the yellow area and give him a smaller head.
Finishing touches were  FM embroidered on.. legs, veins in the wings 
(I used invisible thread for the veins.. never used that in the machine before – I'm really pleased with the effect!)

Measures: 4" x 3"

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A custom built hat :)

This is the other planned hat project I mentioned :)  A custom topper for regular customer / pen-pal Kyle - owner of 2 of my wizard hats.  

This time he wanted a Top Hat.. similar to the Fin wool and Wensleydale locks one - but in GREEN.

I used my 'traditional' resist with the flange at the top
for this one
Layers of natural black, brown and white Fin wool 
(the diagonal band is just sunlight)
With lovely Wensleydale curls in white, grey and brown
Well on it's way to being felted.. throwing it.
You can see how the flat top is forming really well here
'healing' the edges
Checking the shape and size
I was really liking how it looked at this point.. so the next step was a bit scary :) .. I had to take a deep breath before plunging it..

In to the dye pot
It took 2 dye baths to get the colour this deep
First time I struggled to dye it in my smaller pot (pictured) and it just didn't have the room to brew properly.  So second time round I dug my HUGE cauldron out from the garage..  which seemed to work better :)

Colour comparison with sample
This made to measure hat is 1 1/4" bigger than my head
size so I had to keep my head tilted to stop it dropping
down over my eyes :)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - week 2

I'm going to blog about my Sketch a Day group.. but as mine aren't really sketches per se I shall call the blog posts Fibre and Thread - after all that's what I plan to use for them :)

Week 2 - In the Sea

For the last week or 2 I've been fancying doing some fishy picture panels.. a whale (inspired by Hundertwasser's bathroom whale).. some mackerel, starfish, maybe an octopus.  SO I started off with the whale..
Laying out
Finished.. unless I decide to add some F M machine embroidery
Then I ended up getting sidetracked :)  Looking through whale images I found loads of gorgeous whale tail images.. and a lovely video on youtube - 'how to draw a whales tail' ..  I kind of followed it:

using free motion machine embroidery..
and a felting needle and fibre
instead of a sharpie..
3"x 3" stitch on felt 'sketch'
I was really having fun now!  And decided to do an alternative whale tail doodle :)

silk sari appliqué with F M machine embroidery
I always like seeing the back on machine embroidery.
It's a give away that I forgot to put the lever down when doing her 'whale tail'.. it's all loopy :)

I enjoyed playing with this :)  Think this is going to be good for me!