Posts Tagged freehand machine embroidery
It’s not the Fetes de Mères (Mothers’ Day) in France until the end of May but as my Mum is English and in England, today is Mothers’ Day as far as I’m concerned. Also, since Mlle. Tialys the elder lives back in the U.K. now, I only stand a chance of being remembered on Mothers’ Day if we stick to the U.K. one because she will see all the palaver surrounding it beforehand and remind her sister who is still in France and would otherwise be blissfully unaware of it.
Who better than your mother to practice on when indulging your new sewing passion?
Unfortunately, even though my crochet hook has been a blur, I didn’t manage to finish the blanket I was hoping to give her for Mothers’ Day but, being my Mum, I’m sure she’ll forgive me.
Remember the Stitching Santa organised by Sewchet I participated in last Christmas? When I received my goodies from Pippa at Beads and Barnacles she included this turquoise drawstring pouch. I was thinking I could use it to keep my current small crochet project in and saw another opportunity to practice the freehand machine embroidery I’ve become keen on.
Just the right size for keeping my Fusion quilt squares in which, as you can see, is progressing slowly but surely, one square at a time.
The yellow thread started out as a representation of a slip knot. It went a bit awry but you get my drift.
It can hang on my pinboard which I am very happy with as a way of keeping my tools and other bits off the surfaces but within easy reach. I have two of these side by side and painted them duck egg blue to go with the woodwork on the top floor of my house which is where my sewing room is.
I bought my own Mothers’ Day gift – just in case my girls didn’t remember – this cool ‘maker’ pin from Jodie at RicRac. I thought it would be just the thing to wear when I’m selling my wares at the fund raising craft fairs I sometimes do and, in fact, will be doing one next Saturday. (It wasn’t really a Mothers’ Day gift to myself – just an everyday indulgence – but it was an excuse to show it to you)
A craft fair next Saturday? Sounds like another opportunity for some freehand machine embroidery I hear you say – and, of course, being a fund raiser for a retirement home for unwanted old and disabled dogs, it had to have some sort of pooch on it.
Much as I love the effect of the stitches against linen, this was a complete pain to thread the flex frame through at the top due to the linen itself being thick, plus a layer of fusible fleece and a cotton lining. So this will be unique in the true sense of the word and not in the sense of ‘rare’ or ‘unusual’ which seems to be in common usage these days because I really am only making one of them. I am going to rope in Mr. T and see if we can work out a way to make the channel at the top somehow separate from the body so I don’t have to go through all the thicknesses. I’ve seen one done like this but the channel was not the full width of the case, and I prefer it if it is, so maybe I could adapt that.
Meanwhile, so far today – it’s 09.20 – I took Mr. T. a cuppa in bed and said ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ in what I hope was a sarcastic manner, although I know I’m not his mother. There is no sign of a card anywhere nor email nor text from the U.K. nor from the room at the end of the corridor where Mlle. Tialys the Younger will doubtless remain entombed until around 1300h, which is her usual habit of a Sunday.
I’ll let you know if things change.
There was a lot of staggering and muttering ( and very possibly a lot of husband/father involvement) and these appeared. The morning staggering was even more pronounced than usual as we forgot to put the clocks forward last night so time was confused.
They looked better than this before I unwrapped them and then hastily wrapped them back up again for the photo so I could show daughter in the U.K. what she had instructed her dad to get me 😉
I must confess to a nostalgia for the early days when I got a cup of tea and croissant brought up to me in bed, a flower out of the garden on the tray and hand made cards with masterpieces such as this within.
Not the most flattering of images conjured up of me there but I’m guessing the rhyme was the important thing.
Last year I mentioned that Anne Lawson, a talented botanical artist, instigated a sketchbook which would start with her in Australia and make its way around the World to interested parties who signed up for the project and, at each stage of the journey, a new entry would be made. As everybody who signed up for it is a woman, it became known as ‘The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook’. I believe there have been others but this one – our one – began life in the Spring of 2016.
I cannot draw or paint to save my life, nor have I ever attempted to write poetry, but I knew that other media was acceptable so thought I’d join in for fun. Then I started dreading its arrival when I saw the standard of entries as they were added to the book then recorded online. The sketchbook finally arrived in France last week – people have been taking their time enjoying the book and considering what to contribute and, despite having considered other options, I decided to go with my first idea. I have taken photographs of most of the entries but didn’t take the book to pieces – too scared – so apologies to the sisterhood if I’ve cut a piece off or haven’t done their piece justice with my photography.
Click on the name beneath the images to go to the contributor’s website.
The sketchbook started and will end with Anne who set the bar high with her sketch of Kakadu Escarpment along with her garlic and lilies that adorn the front and back covers.
by Anne Lawson
Staying in Australia and up to Queensland to Kate who added this delightful paper pieced patchwork feather together with the lovely words beneath.
Staying in Queensland for a tasty, beautifully illustrated Ratatouille recipe from Sandra.
Moving back down to Victoria, Chas created this brilliant cycling trail map to show us some of the sights to be seen from a bicycle on the way to Melbourne’s National Gallery. This is a long, fold out map so I’ve just included a small detail.
The last stop for the sketchbook in Australia was with Sandi Worrall -Hart who wrote a beautiful poem called ‘ The Explorer’ which you can see included in the collage below cleverly compiled by Alys from all the entries so far in the book at the time it reached her in the United States.
From California to Mount Vernon where Sue added these gorgeous mixed media pieces using fabric, beads, thread and charms.
Over to Ushasree in Indianapolis for an eyecatching and colourful collage of small delights
Then a trip over to Europe and Greece with this take on the naming of Athens.
From Greece to Germany where Constanze produced this lovely textile piece which reflects the snowy landscape around her as she created her entry for the sketchbook.
The sketchbook should have stayed in Germany for another entry but, unfortunately, Annett is struggling with some health problems at the moment and didn’t feel able to contribute – we wish her well and hope she’ll be able to join in next time, should there be one!
So, to France and to me.
I’ve told you I can’t draw or paint. Kate, Sue and Constanze had already done perfectly lovely works in textiles and fabric so what to do? I thought about something knitted or even a bit of crochet but it would have to be something quite tiny and relevant. Back in 2016 I attended a workshop on freehand machine embroidery and my plan was to practice and practice and produce something lovely for when the sketchbook arrived at my door. Time passed – quickly as usual – and I didn’t get to practice as much as I would have liked but freehand embroidery is a forgiving craft and I hope I’ve produced something – though ‘naive’ (polite talk for ‘simple’) – that sort of enters into the spirit of the sketchbook, using thread instead of a pencil.
I know it looks like a kid’s drawing but that is sort of the style – honest! I like using natural linen for freehand embroidery as I think it sets off the fabrics and stitches really well but it frays like a bugger so I have deliberately frayed the edges and run a couple of rows of stay (I hope) stitching around the perimeter. If you’re wondering what the blue lines are they are my interpretation of the map of the World. It is very imprecise! Australia is disappearing up the skirt of the last sister, Europe is frillier than necessary and there appears to be a squished square country north of the barely recognisable British Isles but you get my drift. As I’m an English expat living in France I introduced a bit of entente cordiale by using French linen (the type they produce to make those classic linen t-towels) and the dresses are all in Liberty of London fabric. I didn’t want to make any political statement but, as it was a recent event and as I know one of the sisterhood went along with a pink plastic bag on her head, I’ve included a pink pussyhat wearer just to be topical.
As soon as I’ve worked out how to add this to the book – the linen is backed with calico and card so I’ll probably glue it in – it will be on its way to the United Kingdom for its last two entries, then back to Australia where we have hopes that it will be digitally scanned so we can all have a copy to keep.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the Sketchbook as it stands so far in Tialys blog form .
A great project to be involved with 🙂