6 x 4 Lives fabric postcard for January

6 x 4 Lives fabric postcard for January

I am racing through the door waving frantically with is my latest effort for the 6 x 4 lives journal postcard challenge. Phew! She wipes forehead with back of hand in overly dramatic manner.

stumpwork dragonfly

Now to the backstory. In the back yard one hot day early in the month I managed to catch a photo of dragonfly. This image became the design source.

dragonfly photo

As you can see this is a postcard (or will be when I trim it) that could never go through the post as the wings lift away from the card. For me the postcards form a kind of a journal each month so I don’t worry about sending anything through the mail. To be honest I don’t trust the sorting machinery of the mail service to deliver a fabric postcard in good condition.

stumpwork dragonfly

How did I make my fabric postcard?

It was not too difficult to make. I basically traced the photo of the dragon fly to get the shape of the wings. I used Jane Nicholas technique to make the free standing wings. You can find out about the technique in Stumpwork Dragonflies by Jane Nicholas.

dragon fly raised embroidery

Basically I fused 2 pieces of organza together, shaped and couched down fine wire. Next, I over stitched the wire using rayon machine embroidery thread which took me 5 hours. After that was done the rest moved along quite quickly in comparison. I trimmed the wings then stitched them to the fabric before adding the beads for the head and body. The legs and background speckling were added before couching the frame. All up including faffing about designing finding beads etc, I guess it took me about 7 hours work.

Below is a page from my visual journal – as you can see the notes are brief, the source image is there and notes about the threads I used . Also I used two different types of organza one had a real sheen which I used for the back of the wing. Swatches of the fused organza front and back are also included on the page.

studio journal

The 6 x 4 lives journal postcard challenge is shaping up to be a fun challenge. I hope you enjoy what I have done this month!

Thread Twisties!


Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. So I have made up my thread twisties which are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.

These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon, and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape so twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand-dyed by me. And they are all threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.

You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.

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12 Comments

  1. Hello Sharon. πŸ™‚ Hope this finds you well and in good creative spirits. I found your blog via Flickr after seeing my first piece of stumpwork and finding your dragonfly postcard.

    I know that there is a great deal of work involved and that you had made this for a swap but would you consider making another in exchange for a handmade book? My nickname is Dragonfly and the blue in the photo is my favorite color, it couldn’t be more perfect. If not, I hope to see more of your work, it is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing your process!

    Ria πŸ™‚
    http://www.renmeleon.com

  2. Sharon!

    Absolutely gorgeous! I don’t take a lot of time to scope out all the blogs or Flickr pics but did today, in between water changes for the yard. Anywhoo…I love what you did with this dragonfly! I am trying to master the wings of the one in one of Helen Stevens books using the buttonhole stitch. Haven’t spent a ton of time with it…but… may just sidetrack and try your method! Really neat!

  3. This is wonderful! I just bought the Stumpwork dragonfly book to try my hand at this beautiful work. I love stumpwork and received a heart with stumpwork raspberries made by Zandra from the chain of hearts group. After seeing your dragonfly, I can’t wait to try one as soon as my book arrives.

  4. Rose – if you alredy have the book do try theem the techniques are not hard just time consuming and you need to have a persoanlity that likes detail and pays attention to detail. The actual stiches etc are very basic however. Do give it a try

  5. I love this! I am always working on dragonfly designs…and I really like the way you keep track in your visual journal. It is a wonderful idea. I have been sketching more than usual…in fact I started a evening drawing class at a local college. I am seriously considering really early retirement, so I have time for all of the things I love. I am just getting back to being creative post Katrina….and I want to take advantage of that.

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