I put together this little practice collage today, so I could work out what patterns to use on the main quilt:
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:
With focal point lemons:
And this one, all pinned out:
I then added a ‘McTavishing’ machine stitch, following the video on Leah Day’s website:
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!
So, rather a lot of stitching recently. The concerted practice is paying off.
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:
The swivelling blade makes it easy to cut wiggly lines.
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.
- 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.
I started by cutting felt and marking three more 8×10 inch rectangles, which I ironed bondaweb onto.
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:
Taking lots of strips of torn paper…
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.
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 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:
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.