Monday, 11 November 2013

Learning New Things

 My needlework focus this week has been mostly towards completing all the words on the May Your Hands. I have the pillow book to finish. Takes ages as it is tent over one and slow going but the script is lovely.

May Your Hands - Thistle Threads

I made what feels like unsatisfactory progress on completing the snail tape measure from the Mermaids Treasures. I got it all constructed and laced up but everything seemed to interfere with finishing this so it's still showing it's skeleton! Hopefully I can get it done this week before Amy posts the mirror finishing instructions.

Snail tape Measure - Amy Mitten

 I ended the week with a trip down to Cottage Flair in Ngongotaha, Rotorua to participate in an art quilt course over the Saturday/Sunday. Dianne the tutor is lovely as is Jill who owns the shop. Dianne works for Pfaff which is great as I have the Quilt Expression 4.0 and with all these new techniques it was great to have someone on hand who knows your machine as features get used doing this that you never knew you had. I did the course with my Mum this time as she was keen and only lives about 10 minutes down the road.

The quilt is a 3D art quilt featuring five Kereru (native wild pigeon), Cabbage tree (native with white flowers, Puriri tree (native with red berries) and Karaka tree (native with yellow berries). There were so many new techniques in this class it was really rather mind blowing and I didn't finish even one pigeon. We kinda jumped around learning all the technique. We have scheduled a finishing class at the end of March to give us all an incentive to finish all the bits and to not let this become a very expensive WIP. The background needs to be pieced together and quilted before all the applique is applied.  

This is what the finished quilt looks like - the goal!
This is my partially machine embroidered first pigeon. To start the process a photo is obtained and then it is printed onto iron on transfer paper. It is then ironed onto Gygli stabiliser and a sandwich made including a piece of polyester, calico or quilter's muslin etc along with a piece of tearaway which means you don't need a hoop. Then whip your rayon embroidery threads into you machine and start embroidering in free motion. Most definitely need to practice, practice, practice to get this looking authentic and pay close attention to shading. After the embroidery is finished you cut out and seal with tiny amounts of fabric glue and shade the white edges with dye pens and stitch on with straight stitch.
We also worked on creating the authentic looking moss covered Puriri tree branch in the lower right corner. First you use a double layer of fabric with vlisofix or heat n bond in between so it sticks. Then you start layering up one side with all sorts of random greeny type wool fibres. Then you sprinkle the tiniest amount of bond powder over the wools and place a hot water soluble bag over this and iron under a heat proof sheet for a while until it semi sticks. Then you free motion randomly all over the bag. I haven't done it yet which is why the photo is shiny but you need to then dissolve the bag in super hot water and it will come away and voila you have a mossy/lichen tree branch.
The cabbage tree branch in the lower left uses a different technique. You place a piece of fabric magic on the back of the fabric loose and free motion in this case a random brick pattern all over the fabric magic. The take it over to your iron with steam on and hover over the fabric magic and watch it shrink into this amazing bark like!
We also had some instruction on the leaves but I didn't actually make any to photograph. What you do is trace them onto vliso, iron on to fabric and cutout. Place the cutout onto a doubled piece of washaway which holds it steady. Then stitch down the vein which will then hold it in place before satin stitching the edges etc. After that you can cutout and some will be vlisod onto the quilt and others left semi attached. Apparently the vliso stays sticky enough even after washing out the washaway.
The red berries are little felt balls cut in half and stitched on and the yellow ones are machine embroidered onto either a transfer like the pigeon or fabric and then attached. The white flowers are wool/silk fibres placed between two layers of a hot water soluble bag and free motioned into circles then cut out and stitch on to the branches which are made like the leaves and detached.
Whew - what a lot of info to take in - need to do some to stay fresh!

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time out to look at my blog and to partake of my creative pursuits. Creating with textiles and fibres is a passion I embrace with abandon. Comments from those who understand this joy are food for the soul.
You can catch me at

Have a great day!


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