Sunday 30 June 2013

Framed Applique: A Girl Went Walking

A little girl goes for a walk on a sunny autumn or maybe spring day. It's not raining and it's not cold but she loves her new red gumboots and a matching beret, she has to wear them no matter what. She just likes walking around the neighbourhood on her own. It does not matter if the sun is out or if it's raining, there are things to see and explore around.

Here is one more raw edge applique that was done a while ago but was not photographed at the time. The hand stitching of the walking girl with some applique elements was ment for a fabric envelope at first but the piece of fabric was cut too small for the envelope. Then I thought of using it for a bookmark but the girl ended up here instead. The houses were done with free motion machine stitching. If you are interested, you can see the same houses done by hand here.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Work in Progress: Free Motion Machine Stitching

Have you seen my sketches of Clover and Plantago on the Sketches page? Well, I am using them for this quick and easy project. It's a fun way (even addictive I have to say) to practice my newly acquired skill of free motion machine stitching and, yet again, to use up some of the small cuts of fabric.

Using calico and black thread I "sketched" my pictures with ease. It did not take any time at all, and I like the fact that it looks a bit messy compared to hand stitching. I do not have a special free motion foot for my machine and I do not use a hoop or gloves for stitching but still that does not stop me. I just have to be careful and watch my fingers while "sketching".

You must be wondering what is it going to be. Well, you have to wait for a while to see the final result. It won't take long if I manage to find some free time of course.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Work in Progress: Still Thinking...

Today I would like to share with you what is happening in my creative space.

Some spots and dots, and houses with pots.
Embroidery floss and cats of course.
Some trees with swirls and grass with thorns
But what is it? A purse of couse. Or maybe not because...
I am still thinking.

Yes, this is exactly what is happening here at the moment. The hand stitching of houses on stone colour linen has been finished, the fabric for the lining has been chosen but the main question is still the same  - what is it going to be? Right now I am tossing between two ideas, I like them both but I cannot decide which one. So I might as well do one more embroidery of houses and make two different things all together.

Monday 17 June 2013

Kiss Lock Coin Purse

Something small, cute and simply adorable. A kiss lock coin purse. Two to be exact. 

While shopping for some embroidery floss a while ago, I came across kiss lock frames. I thought they were cute, they made me smile because they reminded me of purses both my Grandmas used to have a long long time ago when I was a little girl. The purses were not fancy but rather simple, made of dark brown leather with fabric lining. My Grannies used to keep folded notes, coins and even house keys in these bag-like purses. I wish I kept them.

So after looking at the frames at the shop and smiling, holding them and looking a bit more, and letting the sentiments of my childhood memories fill my mind, I bought the frames. I did not plan on using them, I just bought them, I had to have them. They were lying in a box with some other supplies until last week when I had the urge to make something different, something I never made before. I pulled the frames out, checked out my fabric stash, played a bit with cardboard and pencil while making a pattern, stitched using some old fabric to test the pattern and some time later I had my very own fabric Kiss Lock Purses. Now you can find a FREE TUTORIAL HERE.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Work in Progress: Rainbow or Maybe Not

Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too. Do you know this song? It inspired my current project. 

It all began with an idea of a rainbow applique. Then a few more ideas came to my mind (a little girl, a patch of grass, some clouds...), but after playing around with scraps of fabric on the floor, I ended up with something absolutely different and unexpected, as it happens quite often with me.

The only thing I know at the moment that it's going to be a mini quilt/wall hanging or a framed appliqué picture, have not decided yet which one. Have to see what the end result looks like to help me make up my mind. I love the process of creating, changing things as I go. It gives me more freedom and keeps my imagination going.

Saturday 1 June 2013

Make-Up Bags - Lessons Learnt

This is something I never made in my life before and if someone told me that I would be sewing make-up bags from scratch without a pattern (!), I would not believe that at all. Never! But now, after the bags are finished, the process seems easy enough and a lot of fun as well.

The first make-up bag I made was the one with buzzy bees. I used fusible heavy weight interfacing and was not very happy with the result. No wonder I did not like the look of it. As you can see, applying heavy weight interfacing to thin cotton (mauve) made it look like it was glued to a piece of cardboard. There are too many wrinkles on the flap of the bag and it looks very stiff. Lesson number 1 - never use heavy weight interfacing with light fabric. Find the right balance between the two, ideally the interfacing should be of the same weight or slightly lighter than the fabric you are using for the body.

The pale blue with white polka dot make-up bag is a bit smaller in size and it's soft compare to the first one. I used 100% Bamboo Batting this time around but again I made a mistake, I used a thin soft cotton for the body. Lesson number 2 - use medium weight cotton or linen for make-up bags.

I am in love with running stitch in bright contrasting colours. It gives a lovely finishing touch for the product and points out that it's handmade. I covered a button with the same cotton I used for the lining and stitched it on the flap.

Even though there were quite a few mistakes on the way, I still like the bags. I am happy with the pattern I made and going to use it again some time soon. But I really have to remember the two things I learnt - interfacing and fabric. Have you ever made any make-up bags?