I am slowly adding some stitching to the needle books. I did a small sheep book. It is about 2 x 3 3/4inches or 5 x 9.5 cm closed.
And a larger one,4 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches or 11 x 14 cm closed. I am not sure it’s done. I was thinking it needed another sheep down in front. I was thinking it should be a black sheep but I am not sure.
and I started my second quarter challenge. I am not going to tell you what it is but you can guess if you want.
And here are the cute little chicks from a couple of weeks ago. They have grown a lot and no longer look alike. The chickens hardly even look at me, maybe they are sad they have reached the ugly stage. In another couple of weeks they will be pretty.
And here are the turkey babies. They are very interested. It was hard to get a picture I had to spook them so they ran away so I could get a picture as they came running back with curiosity. Turkeys are very funny.
And lastly one of my apple trees has started to bloom.
Continuing on from my last post about making felt for needle books, Felt for Needle Books I started sewing them together. Well, first I had to iron them all which always takes much longer than you think it will. Everyone forgets to mention this step or they just say iron your pieces like it’s nothing at all. There are no pictures of ironing, as fascinating as that might have been, I didn’t take any pictures.
I also only took one picture when I was sewing them together. There was much swearing, and unpicking that you didn’t need to see.
After sewing them together I had to think about how to decorate them. I went online and looked for line drawings. You can find them in any theme you like. I looked for sewing. I also used some I had saved from other projects. I traced them onto a nonwoven dissolvable stabilizer. This is great stuff and it doesn’t take much to dissolve it. You can’t use a marker for tracing, it dissolves the stabilizer. I used a thick pencil to trace my designs.
On to the stitching. The first one is a snail. I picked a variegated embroidery floss. I used all 6 threads because I wanted a heavy line.
You will notice that in the first of the snail pictures the book is sewn together but in the other 2 pictures, it is pinned together. After stitching the snail I realized I stitched it so the inside is upside down and so I have unpicked the thread holding it all together and will sew the inside in the right way.
This one I really didn’t know how to embellish, I have another one almost the same. I decided on a backstitched chain stitch using 2 similar colours. I didn’t need the dissolvable stabilizer for this one. It’s a bit wonky, but there you go.
I also did the smallest book.
Closed the little book is only 2.25 inches (5.7cm) square. That is big enough to hold some needles and a thread saver. This book only has one double, needle page. All the others have two, and they all have 2 pockets. I have one more smallish one and the rest are all bigger. The biggest ones are 4.5 inches (11.3 cm) square so big enough for a small pair of scissors. After I get all of the embroidered I will have to add some buttons and ties or elastics to them. Elastics can look messy if you don’t have layers to hide the ends between. How do you deal with cut ends when adding them to a project?
This is what’s new on the farm this week. These are baby chicks.
And these are baby turkeys. There is not much difference between them as day olds. But only a few days on and the turkeys have grown necks.
Five of them got stepped on by there friends and had isolated themselves away from the heat so they had to come inside and live in a box with a heat lamp, in my sewing room for a few days.
Here they are all better, in a bucket for their trip back to the group. this is the safest way for them to traves without getting hurt or too scared. You can see how they have grown in just a few days. Not sure why the look so grubby in the picture because they weren’t, just the light I guess.
I wanted to try stitching some mountains into a felted background. I did a search online for embroidered mountains but they were either very stylized or very detailed large pieces. Neither is what I wanted. I always want to do or use something that is not available. I decided I would find my own way. Part of it was I am working small so you can’t really do to much detail. I picked one of the basic sky and grass picture blanks I made to give it a go.
I forgot to take a picture before starting. I thought I had pictures of the blank but I can’t find it. I found a group shot of the others so this must have been one I did another time. this gives you an idea of what I did.
The one I am using is about 4 inches long and 3 inches high.
I had a nice dark grey in my embroidery box so I gave it a try. I used 3 strands. I used up what was on the little card and then grab the little skein I thought it was the same colour. It wasn’t, it’s good but this one is more greenish and the first more blueish and darker.
I’m sorry about the change in exposure but it was just the change in the light in the time it took me to stitch the second mountain. I like the way the stitches going in different directions give it a rugged mountain look.
I tried 2 more colours. I think I like the two middle colours best.
I decided to add some of the lightest colour to the first two mountains to see if it worked as highlights.
I think I like it better without light stitches. It looks better on the second mountain where there was less contrast. I think there is enough variation with the stitches and the way the light hits them.
Then I thought the mountains are pretty straight across the bottom so I wanted to hide the bases. Trees were next to try. I thought just some inverted V type stitches would look like trees.
That sort of worked. They look better in person than in the pictures. I used 2 threads instead of the 3 I used for the mountains. I thought they should have less weight. It is hard to make small stitches in felt. The stitches seem to get smaller as you pull through. I think it’s because the felt is thicker and more flexible than the regular cloth they use in embroidery. I think if I add more stuff to the foreground the trees might be better. I may add some lighter and darker stitches.
So that’s my WIP at the moment. I have been cleaning my studio too and found the chairs I put in there so I could sit comfortably. They had become tables and storage units somehow. I hope you are all doing well in your isolation and using it as an excuse to felt or stitch or spin or whatever takes your fancy.
I am afraid it has been a busy week and I have mostly been working on getting my Christmas card done for the exchange. I will do a nice post about that after my partner has received it. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
So really the only thing I have done is finish making the background for my 4th quarter piece.
Next, I downloaded some outline drawings of leaves and copied them randomly onto a piece of wash-away stabilizer. they are are all close-ups. The leaves didn’t show on the overall shot.
I wasn’t sure what sort of thread I would use to stitch these, but the other day I stopped into a craft store and they had what I hope will be just the right thread. Of course, it has gone missing so I can’t take a picture of it. Here’s a picture from the web. It’s the one in the front, red and orange and a bit of green. Surprise…. its called autumn.
I finally finished my 3rd quarter challenge. As you recall it was a cityscape. It was much harder then most of us thought it would be. I wanted to do something different. I thought about doing a scifi city on another world but no matter what I tried adding to it I wasn’t happy. So think again. I did think about doing an insect city. I even looked up some pictures of termite towers. That still wasn’t it. then I saw a picture of a city at night from space picture. I liked that so tried to find my city. No, it seems the capital of Canada is just to small to both taking a picture of as you whiz by in space. so I decided to make a map. I scaled it so I could see all of the city in a 5×7 inch frame.
The last time you saw it it was at this stage.
I have slowly been stitching in the smaller roads with thin crochet cotton. The lines were too small to try needling them in. At this magnification, there are may roads missing.
It was almost done so I took it with me to work on at the show. It was very busy and it took me all of Saturday to do the two left-hand, top parts. I did the red outline of the city on Sunday morning. Sunday morning is always slower. Why is stitching a straight line so hard?
Next, I trimmed it up ready for its bath.
It is quite a lightweight stabiliser. I picked it so I could trace the picture through it for the outline rivers and main roads. I thought I might have to wait time for it to dissolve but it was gone as soon as it got wet.
Although many people recognized it as Ottawa I think I will label it. I might try doing some other cities I really enjoyed doing this one. So where to put the name.
I like the right hand one best. I think partly because I know the north side of the river is a city too. The north side of the river is the province of Quebec. Ottawa is in the province of Ontario. I will needlefelt the name using some yarn.
I finally finished felting the new little bags and they are ready to be stitched. Here they are drying along with a book cover.
Here they are all dry
I couldn’t get a good shot of the nuno inside. Either my fingers or shadow or something made it not work. So this is the best of a bad lot. You can just see the nuno inside.
This one I turned inside out.
and the other side
A close up of the silk ball cut open. I did cut the wool hole to large in the felt and it has shrunk away to much so I will need to do somthing to make sure it stays in place. The other thing that happened was the silk blead. The only one it really effected was the pink one. The yellow effected the colour making it orangey around the silk ball and down one side.
This is what they look like closed, I will iron them in the closed position so they stay flatter.
Here are the last batch with thier stitching done.
I am adding a magnet as a closure.
I practiced the shisa stitch and the variations with some cardboard circles.
The two black ones I think the thread was to fine so it looked odd. I went to thicker thread and that was better.
I am going to have to redo the pink one as it stitches were not tight enough. My friend Carleen suggested I use a metal button on the opposite side as it would be easier than the magnet and stitching. I am going to look at what I have. I plan to add grommets on one side but I have misplace them somewhere. I will have to buy new ones to find them.
I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I hope you like them too.
I really like the way stitching looks on felt. I like machine stitching and took Ruths on line class. Machine stitching class It was very good. I need to do lots more practice. I am a little busy around home and farm at the moment for that so I thought I would work on expanding my stitching ability with a regular needle . I can take it with me and do it anywhere.
I do know a few stitches. I am quite good at french knots because I like to make sheep. I did this little bag recently.
On the bottom half I did some flowers. I used french knots and a daisy stitch.
This is what it looks like closed. It still needs ironing to get it flat.
So then I went on to do some practice flowers on a piece of felt I had
and some close ups.
The first leaf, the one at the bottom didn’t work out so well. So for the second one I drew a leaf shape. I used ball point pen because it was what I had in my purse while I was waiting in the van for kids. What do you use that won’t disappear while stitching but will disappear easily after you are done.
At this point I thought I should be more systematic. I thought I would just go back through the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. We did It on the Forum a few years ago. feltandfiberstudio.proboards.com/board/16/challenges unfortunately the links lead you to a new take a stitch Tuesday challenge that started in January. If you are interested follow the link in any of the posts. You can still see all our posts for the challenge we did.
So I went looking for another stitch dictionary to use. I found this one that groups the stitches in to families I like this Idea. stitch dictionary I learn the basic stitch and some interesting variations, so I started. First I drew a wavy pattern and then I clamped it in my new to me embroidery hoop stand and started stitching. Then I took a picture, at least I hadn’t gotten far before I remembered to take a picture.
This is the finished stitching, it is just simple back stitch. I tried some different stitch lengths.
I had hoped to get further than this for you but life keeps interfering. I haven’t decided if I like the hoop stand. It’s a bit strange to use but it’s nice that I can just stick the needle in and walk away. I haven’t made it very far yet but so far I am enjoying it.
I told you in another piece about an art show my guild is having to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday . This is another piece I made for it. It is called connected.
As usual I started with 2 pieces of prefelt with a piece of cheese cloth in the middle for strength without bulk.
Then I added some multi coloured top I had. I didn’t want the path to be a solid colour.
I cut out prefelt pieces to make all the different houses. I tried to get houses from around the world. I didn’t place them in any particular order and every section got an apartment. I tacked all the pieces down using felting needles. I didn’t want them to move.
Then bushes and trees were added.
I started this project back in December. I spend along time hand stitching ( and unpicking and redoiong) the windows and doors. I tried to use different yarns for every house and apartment. Then I signed up for Ruth’s free motion embroidery class. I didn’t have much time to practice before I had to do the trees and bushes so it could go to be made ready for the guild show. The stitching is perhaps not the greatest but I think it goes well with the style of the picture.
Unfortunately Facebook will not let you create a 3 week event so it only shows as a 2 week event. The actual dates to see all 150 12×12 pieces ( many are for sale) are May 9-28. We are having a reception on the last day so if you would like to meet some of the artists join us for refreshments on the 28th between 1:00 and 3:00.
I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t had time to create much. So I thought you might enjoy a few things from around the web. Some of these have been created by or pointed out by forum members, so thanks to those of you who pointed me in the right direction!
I really challenged myself the beginning of 2015. I was determined to try free motion embroidery and used Rosiepinks (Lyn’s) instructions for making a round bowl. It turned out nice, but it was a little tense going round and round.
My fan has to be the hardest felt project I’ve done so far. Getting and keeping all those fan blades in place was maddening.
Then I began work on making batts and bootie favors for my daughter in law Mari’s baby shower. 60 of them!
I attempted a felted box.
A clutch/makeup bag for a new Grandma.
I gave my drum carder a workout blending colors and making a color wheel for the 1st Quarter Color Challenge.
Still in baby mode, I felted over a wire baby buggy.
Cathy and I received our first order from WOW, so the sample making began using wools I hadn’t used before.
A wine bottle cozy.
Going back to my roots, I made denim paper, then felted it, and later made a glass case.
Stepping out of my comfort zone, I started using neutral colors and some wildly bold combos.
Some wooly fun with my Grandson Luke.
For a short period, Cathy and had a fish off.
For the 3rd Quarter Challenge I used a color generator, dyed, carded some batts using those colors, then made in Ipad cover.
My sister invited me to her quilt group for a Trunk Show.
To keep my earrings organized while I travel I made a jewelry roll.
I tried getting my work space organized.
Cathy and I attended the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.
Dyeing for special projects. Some yet to be seen.
A nuno wall hanging for my daughter in law Lia.
A challenge in combining techniques to make an elephant pic for my Sister.
The 4th Quarter Challenge – monochrome panda with dimension.
Odds and ends.
Making ornaments with my Grandsons.
I had a lot of help this year and want to thank Cathy Wycliff for posting about making arm warmers, learning to make batts, her artist residency in Breckenridge CO, dyeing with natural plants, and Bengala dyes; Zara Tuulikki Rooke for showing us her process for making batts from raw fleece, shearing sheep, lambing in Sweden, making a rug from raw fleece and sampling different Swedish wool breeds; Leonor Calaca for giving us a virtual tour of the Knitting and Stitching Show in London; Carol Gascoigne (Craftywoman) for submitting her 3rd Quarter Challenge; Lyn (Rosiepink) for her 3rd Quarter Challenge submission; Mary Stori for her advice on beading; and Jill Chadek for sharing her journey to becoming a felt artist.
Happy New Year! On to new felting journeys for 2016!