Silk paper

This is the result of my trying the effects of some fabric medium.   The purpose of the fabric medium is that it mixes with acrylic paint, so that the fabric is coloured as you want it, but is softer.   What I want to acheive is to make ‘silk paper’, so that I can embroider on it without continually catching the silk fibres with a needle point, or my fingers.  I have previously made silk paper with cellulose paste and either throwsters waste of silk hankies.  You can see that the edges of these silk hankies are quite fluffy.  There are about three layers in each of these.
The one on the right was first.  I mixed the fabric medium with water, then tried to spray it onto the silk hanky.   (I  have some small spray bottles which were bought for very little.)   What I did not account for was that the silk would not absorb anything.   I had it on a piece of cling-film, so having sprayed it, I had to roll it up, to try to work the liquid into the fibres.   It does seem to have worked quite well, in that the resulting ‘silk paper’  is soft enough to embroider onto, and the fibres seem to be tamed.
Having learned from the first experience, I wetted the second one first, and used a wide soft brush.  This one was painted with a mixture that was about half fabric medium and half iridescent acrylic paint.  I left it sitting on the cling film to dry.  Again I have an experience to learn from.  The paint drained down onto the smooth surface of the cling film.  One side of the silk hanky is matt, and the other quite shiny, in patches, which is not quite what I had in mind.

Silk paper with iridescent paint

However, they are both nice enough to use for the project I have in mind, so on the whole I am pleased with this.

August 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Embroidery, Silk Paper. Leave a comment.

More Goldwork

Having enjoyed the goldwork workshop so much, I have embarked on another piece.  The materials in the kit for the workshop were generous, so I have been able to start, and the additional wires etc. I ordered have arrived very quickly.  I am still getting to grips with the different threads and wires, and how to get the best effects from them.  However the learning curve seems to be levelling off now that I am getting more familiar with how to handle them.

This time I have found my own design, and have worked out how to proceed with each part of it, so I am feeling pleased with myself.   I am making steady progress, but not enough yet to show you a photograph.

Now I am looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate in November, and thinking about what I want to look at, and what to buy.  I will be travelling there by coach with the other members of our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild.  Although this make for a very long day, I don’t think I would want to be driving home from there after a tiring day on my feet.  I will be looking at last year’s brochure to remind myself of the stalls I particularly enjoyed looking at or buying from, and also any that I think I might have missed, or might be more interested in this year.  I shall have to make a list and set a budget.  I didn’t go far over budget last year, but I still have some items which have not yet been used.  If I see something unusual, I just have to get it, but at least last year I didn’t buy things as soon as I had seen them, but made a note of the stall, and a lot of what I bought were in the same colour scheme, which means that I am much more likely to make something really good with them.

In the next day or two I am going to try out some fabric medium, and will post details of what I acheive.


August 25, 2011. Tags: . Embroidery, Goldwork. Leave a comment.

Goldwork Part 3

After taking out things I was not happy with, and trying  something else, here is the completed piece.  I have really enjoyed doing this, and intend to do some more, and maybe learn some more advanced techniques.


The parts which gave me the most problems were the leaves.  I didn’t want to make them too blingy.  In the end I took off the one on the right, and started again with a piece of silk carrier rod which has a lovely sheen.
At the workshop I bought some Ophir metallic thread, which is made by Coats.  In view of the problems I have had with other netallic threads, I was very careful with it, and I found that it behave much better than any of the others I have tried.
I have been looking at my file of possible designs, to see if any of them lend themselves to Goldwork.  I think I am going to be in design mode for the next  day or two. 
When I had finished I could see a grubby circle, which I have had to deal with.  I sometimes cover what I am embroidering with a piece of cloth with an aperture. so that this doesn’t happen.  Other times I hold the hoop with a piece of kitchen paper or a tissue so that my fingers don’t topuch the fabric.  The best solution might be a stand which holds the hoop, but that might have to be a hint for dear old Santa!

August 19, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery, Goldwork. Leave a comment.

Goldwork Part 2

I had a wonderful time at the Embroiderers’ Guild meeting, and at the workshop the following day.  We all learned five basic techniques using a selection of designs.  It will be interesting to see them finished at the next meeting.  Although the designs are the same, what goes into each section will be different, particularly the bits we didn’t complete on the day.

Five basic techniques

This where I got to on the day.  We did a couched circle, then attached and padded leather pieces.  Next we learned the techniques for attaching Pearl purl, and bright check.  Finally we did some vermicelli.  That was the one I found most testing. We all had such a lovely day.
I have done a bit more.  Everything else has been put away so that I can just concentrate on this piece.  when I have finished this post I will be looking at the work on Golden Hinde’s website, to give me ideas about how to fill the remaining sections.  One or two might need to be left empty, else the whole thing could just look overdone.  This is where I am up to now.
The first photograph was taken with flash, and the second without – amazing what difference it makes to the colours.
I will post part 3 when this is finished and I am happy with it.

August 11, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery, Goldwork. Leave a comment.

Goldwork Part 1

I am getting quite enthusiastic about Goldwork.  I am going to a workshop next week, and have been looking forward to it for some time.   We have a talk on Monday at the Embroiderers’ Guild in Huddersfield, followed by the workshop on Tuesday.  It is being done by the ladies fron Golden Hinde.  They are also bringing goods from their shop, so I have been on their web-site to get an idea of what I might want to buy, apart from the Goldwork scissors (with serrated edges, for cutting wires etc.).

I have been getting together the materials required. I have no idea what we will be producing, but needless to say I will be doing a post next week.  Hence his post is Part 1.

I have also been getting a bit further with stitching small Christmas cards when not in the mood for cross-stitching ‘Melancholy’.

And the pottering is coming along too.  Yesterday I had a lovely time ‘distressing’  some sinamay, and looking at my stash or organza and voile.  There is the embryo of something here, and it is likely to be very different from anything I have done before!

August 6, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery, Goldwork. Leave a comment.

Christmas is coming…..

I’m still stitching  ‘Melancholy’  in the  evenings and pottering during the day.

I went to an Embroiderers’  Guild meeting in Leeds on Saturday, and took my sewing machine so that  I could take part in a Machine Embroidery lesson.  I found this quite hard going.  Yesterday I got back to the machine, and turned a practice piece of machine embroidery into a hanging Christmas Star decoration.

 I suspect that my next project will be fairlly big, so I need  a ‘ handbag project’  for those odd moments that need to be filled.   Nothing had come to mind.  Then today I went to meeting where we decided to hold a Christmas fair to raise funds, and I volunteered to make Christmas cards to be sold.  Problem solved.

A few weeks ago I bought a small filing cabinet with 6 shallow drawers, so I knew where everything was.  The nice surprise when I got out the packs of card blanks there were two cross-stitched cards just ready to be assembled!  There was also another card which I made at a pre-Christmas session a few years ago, and never did anything with.  Even the small pieces of fabric are in the drawers.

Out came the Christmas editions of magazines, and a quick Google followed.  Five cards are designed/planned, and a session with Vilene and Bondaweb got the preparation out of the way.  Now I  just need to decide on threads and embellishments, and into the small box they will go.

August 2, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.