Hot Fruit: update

Following on from the paper piecing in the previous post, I started a series of 8″ by 10″ mini quilts, and I’m using them to practice my free motion stitching.

First, this one:

Strippy background, combining my hand printed fabrics, a green hand dyed fabric and a commercial black and white stripe: 

With focal point lemons:


Echo quilted:

 Then added colour with gelatos, and hand stitch:


And this one, all pinned out:
I then added a ‘McTavishing’ machine stitch, following the video on Leah Day’s website  

With gelatos and hand stitch:


I’ve also stitched into the collage I started yesterday; it just needs gelatos and hand stitch now:


I’m running low on this variegated thread!


I have also finished the paper piecing on this piece, I just need to work out how to stitch it – it is all paper, and I don’t want it to tear:  

So, rather a lot of stitching recently. The concerted practice is paying off. 

New tool: Fabri-cut

I went to the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch and Hobbycrafts show at the NEC, and discovered an intriguing tool, the Fabri-cut by Crafty Products. After watching a demo and having a go, I decided to purchase one. I’ve had a chance to try it out, and I am impressed.

It is a ceramic knife blade, in a swivel mounting, with a pencil like handle:

I backed some fabric with bondaweb, both a piece of pink scrap cotton, and a piece of my own hand printed fabric.

The swivelling blade makes it easy to cut wiggly lines.

I was also able to cut out these circular printed limes with ease, without lifting the blade off the fabric:

All of the sections of this piece were cut out with the Fabri-cut:


This gave me plenty of collage fodder, already backed with bondaweb, so I laid out the below piece, on a backing of hand-dyed fabric from Images of Egypt that I’d also purchased at the show.

The Fabri-cut made it easy to make this collage with plenty of smooth, intricate cuts. I think it will be a useful tool to use in the future, and I think I may also buy the paper cutting tool too. 

Some tips:

  • Ensure the bondaweb backing is well stuck down throughout – any bubbles or poorly adhered patches will cause the blade to skip.
  • Hold the handle and apply an even, medium pressure, allowing it to swivel for curves, rather than trying to drag it to a new position.
  • Crafty Products also sell a glue that you can apply, to the cutting mat to make it sticky. This was handy to help the fabric stay put.

Dye and paper Piecing

I finished dyeing all the papers. I love how the dye mixes and transforms quite simple prints into something beautiful:  

It has also transformed the fabric:  

I started by cutting felt and marking three more 8×10 inch rectangles, which I ironed bondaweb onto.

I sketched out a rough plan for alternating squares of stripes (rail fence quilt inspired) and lemon focal points.  

I divided my papers into backgrounds, middle grounds, and focal points:   


I then cut strips off my background pieces to use as rail fence strips – such yummy colours!


And tonight I paper pieces the background strips, just not in a traditional way:

I’m pleased with the background. Next step is to pick the focal points, get them bonded on, then stitching!

Another Friday Night Collage

Taking lots of strips of torn paper…

Some gelatos and stamping…

To produce another sketchbook spread. I have written the word ‘us’ on the right hand side, but the permanent pen I had to hand  wouldn’t ink over the gelatos, so I need to paint over it tomorrow.

The quote says ‘Life does have a random feature… Us!’

It’s a lot more random than I would normally do, but that is fitting. It  was enjoyable to tear all the strips and fit them into the spiral.

A new sketchbook

I really enjoy working in a very long and thin landscape format, hence all my favourite sketchbooks being this shape. I decided to try to push myself a bit, and start work in a square book.

I have another lovely khadi sketchbook, this time a soft back book about 20cm square.

Last night, I made this collage, the orange page was the first page in the book.

The orange page is a bit narrower than it started out, as I tried to punch a hole in it, but it gummed up my circle punch. Luckily, my husband was on hand to de-gum it, with the suggestion that I avoid punching through khadi paper in future!

 This is under the tag on the left:

And under the tip in on the right:

And tonight, after quite a tiring day at work, I turned three printed lemons into this collage page, with quite a bit of use of gelato silhouettes, some other papers, a bit of colouring with the Pablo pencils and some Neocolour 1s:

Rather enjoyable, and a good way to relax on a weekday evening.


Patching and Piecing

In order to start stitching into the pieces I made on the stitch retreat, I need to first patch up some of the gaps in the background.

When I bonded the background down, I didn’t realise, but I had lots of little gaps, which you can see in the image below, particularly at the bottom left:


The edge of the ruler in this image shows where the edge of the piecing should be; I’m a long way off in some cases.  
I bonded the back of two sheets  paper with bondaweb. The colours are a bit brighter than my original pieces, but I can work into them with crayons if needed.

Here’s the piece finished, with all patches in place – I just tore them to size and ironed them down. I checked it by holding it up to the light – as the backing felt is white, it is easy to see where the ‘holes’ are.  
Next, machine embroidery.