From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery: A hand embroidered file cover part 2

Hand embroidered file cover part 2 is part of a series of articles that steps through how I designed and stitched this project. It moves from creating the design, choosing threads etc to the stitches I used, to the finished project. You can find the start of the project From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery: A file cover part 1 here.

I added an edge to the piece working chain stitch using a hand dyed cotton perle#5 thread. I felt I needed to contain the design as I felt my eye and possibly my needle could just drift off into the margins. I also continued to outline the leaves in Stem Stitch and whipped chain stitch.

hand embroidered file cover part 2 work in progress

So with a ‘frame’ of sorts I set about working areas and filling in the negative spaces. The fabric is a 26 count linen that is a oyster/jute/fawn type of colour . I continued working more of the top left hand area that are are stitched using Satin stitch, Padded Satin Stitch.

hand embroidered file cover part 2 detailI added more fine lines of Back Stitch, and Running Stitch. These lines are not so busy as the textured areas of the embroidery and give the eye a rest for the a moment.

hand embroidered file cover part 2 detailI continued building the textured area with surface stitches I am using are Whipped WheelsBullion Knots, French Knots, Buttonhole wheels, Buttonhole Wheel Cups and Cast-on stitch.All of these stitches you can find in my Stitch Dictionary.

 

hand embroidered file cover part 2 studio journalI made a sample card for the threads I am using in order to keep a record. I make the cards as I go otherwise I quickly forget what I have used and it is useful to have the card to refer to if anyone asks me what I used. So far in the project I have used  hand dyed cotton perle #5, linen, stranded cotton floss, hand dyed wool, hand dyed knitting yarn, a wool/tussah silk  mix, and hand dyed silk.

hand embroidered file cover part 4
Click on the image to see a large version of the finished project.
From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery posts in the series are.

 

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Crazy quilt template set 2

Have you seen my Stitchers templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my Stitchers Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 




From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery: A hand embroidered file cover part 1

This is the first in a series of articles illustrating the development of my hand embroidered file cover from its start in my studio journal to its design, and then sharing how I stitched the design and the design decisions made along the way. The project is a hand embroidered file cover for my stitchers worksheets.

 

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal 1The source of the design

The idea for this project started because at the end of our street, we have a green belt that is being re-planted after the bush fires that hit Canberra in 2003. I had thought I might explore working a few little pieces associated with that area of land as it had seen some dramatic changes. The topic of the fires, the environment, global warming, the devastation, then the regrowth and the changes associated with the Canberra fires is large enough to be a series of works. I was not sure I wanted to work a huge series of works but was exploring ideas in my studio journal. I decided I wanted to take it a step further and use my needle to apply the ideas in fabric and thread. Rather than launch into a series of full wall pieces I decided I would first work a sample that could become a file cover. It was a way of testing some of the the ideas I had without commiting to a huge long process of a big work.

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal
I started exploring imagery and patterns drawing summer grasses but after a long period of faffing about with these (not shown) I decided summer grasses did not really catch the mood of what I was thinking about. The fires were not mere little grass fires. They were  forests ablaze  that whipped up such heat they became a firestorm ripping through the suburbs taking nearly 500 homes with it. I decided to focus on a few remaining trees that survived the fires. These are gum trees. At first I had an aversion to using such a cliche of an Australian gum leaf but the more I played with it the more I felt they spoke of Australian summers, heat and in this case survival.
I started with just a few individual leaves then after working about 20 designs the leaf shapes moved together producing the page above. When I saw it I decided that would be the pattern.  I liked the composition so decided to use it.

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal thread and bead choice
I traced the page to produce a line drawing that I could use as a pattern. Next I sorted out the colour scheme and threads. I chose chunky threads as I did not want delicate stitching.  I did choose some cotton perle #5 and #8 but I also chose linen and cotton abroder threads which are dull. They do not have a sheen. I wanted earthy summer colours that felt natural, not threads that had a high sheen to them as they felt too decorative.

I then chose beads that were made of wood and shell. They were unpolished and in some cases a bit rough as once again I wanted a natural feel to the piece. I then scaled up the drawing so it would be the right size for a file cover. I used a window as light box to transfer the design to fabric ( a tutorial on how to do this is here)  and started to stitch.

Hand embroidered File cover design startedThe fabric I chose is a 26 count linen that is a jute fawn type of colour which will sit well the natural theme of the design which is of gum leaves. The colour is nicer in life than in the photograph.

As you can see I have started to stitch. The top left and bottom right hand areas are stitched using Satin stitch, Padded Satin Stitch. The fine lines you can see are made with Back Stitch, and Running Stitch. I have started to outline the top leaf in Stem Stitch and bottom leaf is outlined in a heavier linear stitch, whipped chain stitch. The textured surface stitches I am using are Bullion knots, French knots, Buttonhole wheels, Buttonhole Wheel Cups and Cast-on stitch. All of these stitches you can find in my Stitch Dictionary.

hand embroidered file cover part 4
Click on the image to see a large version of the finished project.
From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery posts in the series are.

 

Don’ want to miss out ? Follow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set! If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.

Crazy quilt template set 2

Have you seen my Stitchers templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my Stitchers Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 




Illustrated instructions on how to work Shisha Stitch

Shisha stitch is wonderful stitch that has a long and rich history associated with Indian embroidery. Most people have seen little mirrors secured to Indian textiles and for this reason it is also known as mirror work. This form of embroidery has travelled and is frequently found in the traditional textiles of not only India, but also Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and throughout Asia.

Today embroiderers around the globe have adopted and adapted this stitch to contemporary techniques. It is most often used to secure not only mirrors but also small flat objects, coins, stones shells etc to their work. I have also seen cut pieces of CD attached to embroidery using shisha stitch. You can cut an old CD into interesting shapes with heavy duty scissors. You can also cut up all sorts of coloured plastics

If you use real shisha do be aware that it is glass. As you stitch take care not to run your fingers along the side as it can cut you.

How to work Shisha Stitch

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 1Commence by securing the glass with two long straight vertical stitches placed at thirds across the disk. If the glass slips get a little piece of double sided sticky tape and stick it to the back of the glass. Make sure the tape is small enough not to poke out from behind the edge of the glass. It does not have to be a big piece just a piece big enough to hold the glass from slipping.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 2Imagine that the disk is the face of a clock. Bring the needle out at the right side of the disk at approximately 4 o’clock.

Take the needle over the first bar stitch and pass it under the thread as illustrated.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 3Pull the needle through. The thread will form a loop around the bar.

Take the needle over the second bar stitch and pass it under the thread as illustrated.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 4Pull the needle through. The thread will form a loop around the bar. Take the needle through the fabric as you have created the section of a frame of stitches that will secure the shisha in place.

Repeat these steps to create the second part of the grid. It looks at this stage a little like a tic-tac-toe grid which is why some people call shisha stitch, anchored tic-tac-toe. You now have the foundation for a frame of stitches that will edge the shisha glass

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 5The next step is to bring the needle out at the point indicated in the photograph.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 6Take the needle over and then thread it under the point where the foundation threads cross. Pull the needle through.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 7Make a small stitch along the side of the disk and wrap the thread under the needle as illustrated. Pull the needle through.

How to work Shisha stitch tutorial step 8Then repeat taking the needle over and then thread it under the point where the foundation threads cross. Move along and repeat this around the disk.

Work your stitches close together as these form a frame that contains the mirror.

You can work in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction. Choose what ever direction you are comfortable with.

 

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

 

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