Sunday, 4 March 2018

Things Occuring

Good Morning Chums!! I have so much whirring around in my crazy head that I'm not sure where to start and what to do next! A couple of things have been finished off this week including the latest in my #inthehoop series. I really like this vibrant blue addition to the collection, with its little patches of sunshine in the form of yellow flowers and metallic golden printed swirls. It's a little bit beachy perhaps? I can see the whooshing waves and sand dunes under the cloudy blue sky, in an abstract kind of a way.

This piece took me a while to complete in the end as these past couple of weeks were kind of up and down and all over the place with getting #inthehoop Spring kits ready (which are now in my Etsy shop!), sorting out admin things, craft fairs, snow days... it was all going on!

I am thoroughly enjoying satin stitch at the moment!! The fabric print these stitches are covering is that of giant blue tulips and wherever the print has shading or highlights, I have applied this to the stitches as well, and the patches add gorgeous chunks of touchable texture! Much like the stitches in my recent Northern lights inspired #inthehoop 'scape.
Other stitches in this piece include French knots, straight stitch, colonial knots, running stitch, back stitch and whip stitch, and I have played around with weights of line as well. The swirl print has a delicate single strand back stitch mixing in with the two strand chunkier blue strands, and the chunky DMC Coton Perlé running stitch at the top has been whipped over with a couple of strands of DMC Mouline.

Now, what do you think of these? A little idea struck me very late one night (the best ideas always seem to arrive just before sleep comes); to focus on my favourite bullion knot flowers and make them into little tiny pieces. For Christmas or a birthday I was given a collection of tiny squares of fabric, only about three inches wide, with lots of different patterns in. My thought was to use these and any other offcuts from my bigger pieces to make these tiny little 'pebbles'. I tried a couple out yesterday and am still trying different ways of finishing them off at the back. Currently they are filled with a couple of layers of quilting batting (something I had to hand) and a layer of cardboard, backed with either felt or stiff sew-on vilene, but I have a couple more ideas to try out as I'm not completely happy with the finish. I do still really like the idea though!

And one of my more recent ventures was finished off last night! I came across some tiny little frames in Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available) with a double mount, and thought they would be perfect for some tiny little stitchscapes. The internal measurement is 10cm (4") square so they are quite little- I seem to be focusing on mini things at the moment!

I bought four frames to start off with and this is the first finished one with its glittery threads and Japanese metallic cotton prints. The dahlias are really lovely I think- each little petal has been filled with a sort of rough satin stitch, leaving the border line of metallic gold free to shine through, and the central petals have been stitched in a lighter colour which sort of matches the blue print underneath.

Leaves have been very simply stitched with little straight stitches so as not to hide the gold and the layer has been finished off with matching dark blue crosses at the bottom and dark blue thread couching down my metallic gold embroidery thread. This is the stand out layer so there is a lot of focus here whilst the other fabrics have been less obviously worked.

From the top down we have bullion knots, running stitch, whip stitch, seed stitch, bullion knots, satin stitch mini splodges, bullion knots and straight stitches. Nice and easy! I'm looking forwards to filling the other three frames.

Now my final most recent idea is The Naked Stitchscape Kit. (Something else that had a light bulb moment late at night.) Clearly it was something that had been slowly processing at the back of my mind after my last craft fair where someone was talking to me about how I put fabrics together and being able to take my kits and totally personalise them. My thought is, that if I give you all of the tools necessary to make your stitchscape, you have a lot more free rein to decide where you want to position your fabrics and the 'overall look' you are trying to create. If I provide the calico, strips of matching or colour co-ordinating cotton fabrics, some matching threads and maybe some ribbons or beads to add a bit of something extra, you will be inspired to follow your own path! I have been putting together an inspiration guide with how to make all of my favourite and most used stitches, and diagrams of different ways to treat different kinds of patterns, for example, turning a polka dot into a horizontal stripe or a cross stitch base. 
I don't know when these will be ready to go yet as I still have to finish off the guide, but they are in the near future!!

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