Posts Tagged 'embroidery'

The Sock Gardeners get freemotion portraits!

After practicing my freemotion sewing recently by making a freemotion sewing portrait purse of Alan Pitchfork (the foolish sock gardener) – his two pals felt a little bit jealous and wanted their own potraits!

So not to be mean, I had a go. Here are the chaps with their purses…

Percy Grower is quite pleased with his – he thinks he looks rather dashing with his flowery headband!

Bob Flowerpot on the other hand is very hard to please. He thinks he looks too fat and rather like a frog! (Actually, I think he’s right!)

And silly Alan Pitchfork likes everything, so he’s very happy with the way he looks. He’s especially pleased that he’s got two purses and the others only have one!

I might have to re-think the shape of Bob and have another go. And then maybe I’ll try some other freemotion sewing sock creature portrait purses. Sock monkey heads would probably be fun. Any suggestions from the creatures I have in my shop?


Experimenting with Free Motion Sewing

I’ve been wanting to have a go at free motion sewing for ages now, and I finally got around to it recently. I had to improvise with my sewing machine a bit as I don’t have the correct foot for free motion, it involved lowering the feed dogs and working without a foot – a bit scary when your fingers start getting close to the needle! The results are a bit shaky but I think that’s part of the charm of it really – it’s not supposed to be perfect!

It certainly had me absorbed for quite some time trying out different coloured threads, fabrics, paper, shapes and lettering. After I’d done a few I turned a couple of them into little lavender hangers – I’m using the bird one as a pincushion…

And then I decided to make some of these fabric baskets and apply a bird to each one. They’re now sitting on the shelf above my sewing machine stuffed with all kinds of crafty things – threads, buttons, ribbons and felt.

You can probably tell I quite enjoyed making the little birds! I’ll definitely be making more of these baskets, they’re so useful. Now I’m comfortable with the pattern I’m hoping it should be easy enough to adapt it to different sizes.

The pattern for the baskets is from a lovely book called Zakka Sewing (25 Japanese projects for the household) by Therese Laskey & Chika Mori.

I’m experimenting with free motion sewing at a smaller size now and using my badge machine to make fabric badges rather than the usual paper ones. I’ll do another blog with some of the results another day 🙂

Leaf Swap Goodies – almost a treeful!

In October I signed up to take part in a crafty Autumn Leaf Swap, expertly organised by  Giddystuff. These were the items on the swap list:

  • A handmade item inspired by autumn leaves – it could be an Artist Trading Card, an embroidered brooch, a purse, or any other item of your choice.
  • Something in an autumnal colour from your stash – a fat quarter, some buttons or a ball of yarn for instance.
  • A sweet treat to enjoy after an cosy afternoon’s crafting.

My swap partner was Jenny from Winnibriggshouse.  And Oh-My-Gobsmacked-Goodness! What a truly amazing parcel of fabulousness!

I was just about to leave the house to go to the Post Office when the Postman knocked on the door delivering my parcel – so naturally I had to stay and open it! I knew it was the leaf swap parcel because Jenny had decorated the outside and all of the individually wrapped gifts inside with pretty leaves.  I know I should have photographed it all before unwrapping but I just couldn’t wait! Have a look…

Big box of scrumpled up packaging and ribbon!

A pretty selection of autumn toned fabrics and ribbons

Beautifully embroidered tree-lined autumn avenue brooch

Ceramic leaf dish

Ceramic leaf dish with chocolate treats 🙂

'Autumn leaves begin to fall' incredibly detailed embroidered cushion

The Sock Gardeners are rather keen on this - Hands Off boys!

Exoticly scented candles and perfume sachet, mmmm!

...and a most welcome pair of handmade, cosy, embroidered slippers!

Just look at the lovely detail and colours of the leaves - I love them!

A massive thank you to Jenny for her generosity and such thoughtfully put together gifts. Having seen Jenny’s talents first hand I can thoroughly recommend her handiwork. She has a lovely shop on Folksy, so please do pop over and take a look.

I’d also like to thank Victoria from Giddystuff for coming up with a really enjoyable craft swap. I’ll look out for more in the new year!

Right, I think I can eat the chocolate treats now 🙂

Hey Alan! That's mine...

‘THE COUNTRY WIFE’ textile mural

Whilst visiting The Old Chapel Textile Centre at New Greenham Park this week we were treated to a viewing of a spectacular piece of textile work called ‘The Country Wife’.

We were shown around by a charming lady who told us the story behind the work and how it came to be here. She allowed us to take some photographs to share with you.  Here are the pics with story to follow…

The Country Wife’ was designed by acclaimed textile artist Constance Howard in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. It’s 5m wide x 4.5m high and depicts the activities of women in rural communities during this era.

This stunning 3D fabric picture requires cleaning and conservation and is open to the public while the work is in progress.

The National Needlework Archive is a registered charity who work closely with communities, museums, guilds and universities to promote textiles, textile eduation and research.

They need help to conserve this beautiful piece of history – if anyone is interested in this project you can contact the organisation here to find out what you might be able to do:

The Old Chapel Textile Centre
Main Street, Greenham Park, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 6HW.
Tel: 01635 38740

It really is a stunning piece of 3d work, so many amazingly tiny details… if you get a chance do go and see it – it costs £2.50 to get a personal viewing which goes towards the restoration fund – and you can also get a cuppa whilst you’re there!

Please help to publicise this project by hitting the share button below. Thank you 🙂


Stitched Up – Folksy Friday

I’ve been seeing a lot of really interesting embroidery lately. It’s something I’d love to be good at but I’m not sure I’ve got the patience for it. Anyway I thought I’d investigate ’embroidery’ at Folksy… WOW – what a lot of intriguing work there is – here are a few of my favourites so far…

Portrait Brooch

Portrait & Drawing

Freehand Portrait

Fox Brooch

Flock Brooch

Owl Kit Brooch

  1. Portrait Brooch – hand painted, embroidered and embellished – Miss Susan
  2. Pencil drawing printed onto fabric & then embroidered by hand – Gentry Illustration
  3. Freehand machine embroidered portrait from your own photograph – Fruit Juce
  4. Mr Fox brooch, Each calico creature has it’s features ‘sketched’ in stitch by hand – Murgatroyd & Bean
  5. Flock Brooch – Layers of naturally dyed fabric embroidered upon with freehand machine embroidery – Yarn Soup
  6. Owl Kit brooch – a design sheet is included in the kit – Wollies

All of these intricate pieces of work  deserve a much closer look – just click the pic or shop name to visit & view. Thank you for looking and have a good Friday – all comments welcome of course!


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28th & 29th November 2015 - Yew Tree Garden Centre - Ball Hill - Newbury - 10:30am to 4:30pm - FREE ENTRY

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