The post I forgot to publish

About this time last year I bought a Su embroidery kit, and posted several updates as I proceeded through the project.  When I had finished I wrote this post, but forgot to publish it

 

Su embroidery kit – review

 

Am I pleased that I did it – Yes

Would I do another – I don’t think so.

Why not?

A kit is a good way of trying something new.

The problem with this one is that I was worried until about a week from the end that I would run out of the three of the palest colours.  I did run out of one green shade, and had very little of two pink shades left.  It would be expensive to buy more thread from China.  It’s reassuring to know that the thread being used in a kit can be bought either over the counter or from an internet shop in the U.K.

I also got annoyed with the fabric. Although it seemed to be a firm enough fabric, holes pulled at the edges of petals as I stitched, and they were not easy to disguise. Maybe I should have had a backing fabric after all.  When I had finished, and pressed the work, I was really disappointed at the amount it had pulled in.

And I have too many other things which I want to try competing in my brain to be my next project

For a first attempt at this kind of embroidery a much simpler design would have been better.  There was not much space in which to stitch and blend from the lightest of the darkest colours.

At least I didn’t get to the point of telling myself that I was crazy to the on this project!

What I might have done differently

Often we try things and they either do not work, or we realise that there is a better way.  These are things I decided not to do, or did, and wished I had not.

1.At the beginning I mounted the fabric on a backing fabric.  Then I decided, because it was not the correct way to do things, to take it off, and mount the silk in the way that I did.  It was not the way that this embroidery should be done.  So I have mixed feelings here – it was correct, but did not work out.

2.  Next I cut the brown silk skein, as recommended.   If I had been able to suspend the thread on some kind of rod, it would have worked.  but I couldn’t, and it didn’t, so I would not do this again. It was much easier to use the silk if it was wound onto toilet roll centres – two shades fit nicely on each.

3.  I commented that the needles provided were not shiny.  One of them snapped in two.  In the past I have bent many needles and pins, but never broken one (except machine needles).  So I would say that if a piece of equipment does not come up to the standard expected, don’t use it.

4.  Although I got out a magnet when I set out, I decided not to use it.  Although magnets can be very useful they do magnetise everything which contains iron.  That means needles, pins and scissors for a start.

5.  I divided the thread in two.  If I were doing a smaller piece I would definitely divide it into at least four, possibly eight, for a better finish.  This would mean that the project would take much longer, and there would be a strong likelihood that  would have to put it way for some reason, and never get it out again.  I already have three UnFinished Objects stored away

And what I would do again.

1. Simplify the petals. It was difficult enough with the simplified version

2. Do the preparatory work.  The drawing with stitch directions was particularly worth doing.

And finally

I am pleased that I did this project. It was a challenge, and I have a sense of achievement now that it is done.

Afterthought

My next project is something really small, and quick.

I still have not framed this piece of work.  I had a frame and mount ready, but they were no longer suitable because the fabric had pulled in too much.

Advertisements

January 26, 2017. Chinese embroidery, Embroidery, Filament silk, Filament silk, silk shading, Su embroidery. Leave a comment.

It’s finished

My Su embroidery was finally finished yesterday. It has been pressed and is ready to be framed.

Peonies

Peonies

 

Before I started I found a mount to fit.  As you can see it doesn’t fit any more. In spite of being stitched on a frame, it has pulled in.  I have a plan B, but may need a plan C…….

May 26, 2016. Embroidery, Filament silk, silk shading, Su embroidery. 2 comments.

Japanese Diversions

Last month at the Embroiderers’ Guild our speaker was Katie Chaplin from Japan Crafts.  This month we followed this up, and she came again to give workshops on Kumihimo Braiding, which I had done before,  and Temari Balls, which I hadn’t.   So Temari balls it was.   I really enjoyed it.

While we sat winding our thread round the balls it occurred to me that this was an excellent way to use up the many reels of thread which I acquired when my Mother died.  So many of them are bright colours which I would otherwise probably never get round to using.   I have since finished my ball, but I am less than happy with it, because of the  colours I  selected.   My fault entirely!

However, I am hooked.   Once I had finished it I was on to Google to see what could find.   The one which interested me was temarimath.info which goes into the mathematics of the designs.  It was all so fascinating.

I have since been working on another one, using scraps of fabric etc. to make the ball in the centre.    I also made two tiny ones fron wool which I felted. However,  I was not too well the weekend I was doing it, and most of the design had to be taken out.  I will get back to it soon.

This brings me nicely to the other diversion.  A few weeks ago I bought ‘Beginner’s Guide to  Traditional Japanese Embroidery’ by Julia D Gray. Like all the other Search Press books I have come across, it was set out very clearly with excellent photgraphs and detailed instructions.  On a sunny afternoon, I sat in the sun and read it all in one go.  Although I don’t think I will tackle this, there was so much to learn about embroidery generally.

Things like,  having the light source coming from the opposite side to your  hand which is  above the fabric, and stitching to to bottom and left to right (if you are right-handed), so that you don’t rub the area already stitched.  I will quote the bit which ties in with having to take work out.

“I discovered that it is impossible to stitch successfully in fine silk if you are unhappy or angry.  To stitch,  peace must first be attained, then the gentle rhythm of the needle and thread flowing throught the silk lowers your rate of breathing as you relax into your work.”

So I think we can include in that, feeling unwell,  and not feeling inclined.   It often takes longer to unpick something than it did to stitch it in the first place!

I have two more new books which I will tell you about soon, but I haven’t looked at them enough yet to do them justice

March 29, 2012. Tags: , . Craft, Embroidery, silk shading. Leave a comment.

Books Part 3 – Types of Embroidery

I could’t decide whichof these to list first,  so I decided that the alphabet has an accepted order for a good reason – so here we go.

Beautiful Bargello,  by Joyce Petschek,  has 20 different charted designs,  with instructions to make a wide range of different items.   Cushions are the more obvious ones,  but there are also other items like a doorstop  (a covered house brick),  a box,  a waistcoat,  and a bag.   I have a stash of tapestry wool and lots of canvas,  and the intention of using them!

Brazilian three-dimensional Embroidery,  by Rosie Montague.  I love working in three dimensions, and some of the designs would lend themselves to other techniques.

New Canvaswork,  by Jill Carter.  Canvas makes me think of tapestry and Bargello.  This book gave me a new insight into the range of things which can be done with canvas.  The book gives many ideas for a differnt approach to using canvas as the base fabric for your work.

Wild Flowers in Cross Stitch, by Jane Iles.  This was a gift from a friend.  Again, apart from the designs, there a many ideas for making things with a cross-stitch design.  I did the cover design to make a cushion – see my post of July 12th, and also adapted a poppy design for another piece.

Goldwork – The Search press book covers the Histoy of Goldwork, and Church Embroidery.  There is a section on Goldwork Techniques, and  page about attaching jewels, glass, beads, and stones.  There are some interesting designs, but you would have to work out for yourself how to execute them.

Goldwork by Hazel Everett.  What can I say?  I am totally knocked out by this book.  I have not got all the way through it yet, but will probably do a review when I have.

Glorious Needlepoint, by Kaffe Fassett.  Again, this was a gift.  I loved Kaffe’s first knitting book, and went to a talk he gave in Halifax (many years ago).  But if I had seen this book first,  I would never have bought it for myself.   It is just not my thing.

A – Z of Stumpwork,  Inspiration Books.   There is agood instructional section, and a lot of varied designs.  All the outlines for the designs are on pages at the back of the book, and the pages are wire-bound.  This means than it is easy to scan a page, then enlarge the design to the rquired size.  I have used bits and pieces of stumpwork, and enjoyed getting that third dimension into some of my projects.

Painting with a Needle, by Young Yang Chung is another favourite.   This is a silk embroidery book.   I find the pieces shown inspiring.   The instructions for the projects are very clear,  literally step by step.  Sometimes I just get this book off my shelf, and look through it.  I found he information about traditional silk embroidery very interesting.

I hope you are enjoying these posts about my books.   Why not let me know which are your favourite books – perhaps the top five.

November 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Bargello, Brazilian Embroidery, Cross stitch, Goldwork, Needle Lace, silk shading, Stumpwork, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Biscornu progress

First side in progress

 
I am pleased with progress made this week.  I have attached silk taffeta to a piece of fine cotton to give more stability, then traced the outline of both  parts of the biscornu.  As yoy can see, the larger petals have been padded with oddments of thread before finally stitching with log-and-short stitch.   I may experiment with some fine felt to pad the sepals and stalks.
 
Also, I am improving with the camera. I will photograph some more pieces and post several at once.
 
this week I have also been thinking ahead about some planned projects.  One is hardanger, which I have not tried before,  so I need to practice on a smaller piece before embarking on the family heirloom.  I was in Germany recently, and found a shop with some lovely Zweigart booklets, including the runner which I am intending to make.   I had better do the practice piece before buying the fabric.  I have found a source for it, but will check the ‘proper’ shops before I send for it. 
 
It is not always easy to get the materials I want/need, so I am always searching eBay and companies that do Mail Order.  However, if I think that a local shop may have an item, I will always check first, else they will all go out of business!  Our local sewing machine shop has just relocated into smaller premises, so their range of stock will be reduced from now on

May 20, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery, silk shading. Leave a comment.