Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Plan B.

Plan B. Eeeek! I didn't have a plan B.
Right at the beginning of this project I thought I had the front cover sussed.
The floor polish came out again to stiffen up this piece of calico I'd saved for the front cover.
Then I cut out my picture from the 'Oasis' bag and attempted to fuse it on to the fabric with Bondaweb. Well it worked back then but I'd only sampled with small cut-outs of flowers and butterflies.

A wrinkled up disaster, not quite what I wanted, although it has it's merits.
Maybe the iron was too hot, 'tho I had it on the wool setting.
I still had plenty of the 'Oasis' bag left. I could cut out and apply the flowers and butterflies individually. No luck - I spent a bit of time working at it but felt like this wasn't going to work.

So I had to come up with a plan B.  I still wanted a flowery scene with a butterfly.
Once again, I had a look at Frances P's book for inspiration. There's a snowdrop there that gave me a starter. I had a flower left over from the 'blue tit' page I thought I could use.

I back stitched on the flower and added some chain stitch in different threads.

I found this Cartier-Bresson thread in amongst my stuff. I  knew I'd heard my husband talking about Cartier Bresson, a famous french photographer. I found out from Google that his father was a wealthy textile manufacturer. I don't know where I got my thread from but I think it must be quite old.

So not the cover I'd envisaged for my book but it's ok.

Now for the butterfly - at the front of my pic is a failed machine embroidered fish.

I used it for one set of wings and a piece of stitched organza for the other. I stitched in a fine wire.

Ready to stitch the cover now and I added a plain lining with a couple of envelopes.

I  used a variegated thread and topstitched the cover by machine. It held the lining in and decorated the outer edges.

Now I just have to find a way to hold in the pages. Bring on the Five Hole Pamphlet Stitch!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Pressed flowers.

I've always liked pressing flowers. I would love to put some into the book but somehow they don't work on the fabric, they're much too delicate and need a firm backing.
This buttercup looked like it might be the best bet. I used PVA glue and stuck it to a piece of wallpaper.

It has an old- fashioned look about it. I thought I could stick it in with the frame but it covered up the butterfly. I cut it out and back stitched it to the fabric.
I never think they look that nice, once you start trying to make pictures out of them. 

I've got a pressed flower book and I don't like anything in it!
That's an old postcard of the village where I used to live. It's machine stitched on and the buttercup seemed to fit with it.

 This is a page from one of Frances Pickering's books below . Lovely butterflies, she's very good at drawing.

I'm adding in some detail to all my printed butterflies with a Staedtler permanent pen.
 And after watching Ann on 'The Great British Sewing Bee' I'm mindful of good preparation. I tacked all my pages together before machining!

 They are machined and ready for the cover and my butterflies are done.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A problem page.

A problem bird.

I'm getting closer to finishing the pages of my book, believe it or not!  Still a bit to go.
I've had 1/2 bird hanging around a while and somehow I couldn't get him fitted in anywhere.
The day the 'Big Shot' came to my craft group I cut out some leaves from my painted papers and also tried cutting leaves from a piece of silk batik I did at college a while ago. Cutting the silk wasn't that successful but the machine made a mark -  enough to cut out leaf shapes.

I cut some leaf shapes from these papers.

Some of my first  machine embroidery. I gave this leaf a makeover.

So I got myself started by stitching on the silk leaves and then things started to fall into place.
I made a little hedgehog. 

In Frances Pickering's  books the pages are filled with text, stitching and drawings.
I've never been sure if I have enough on my pages but I don't like it too cluttered either.
I would have preferred that bird on an inside edge, just because of his weight when you are turning the page!  
I made the hedgehog from an old piece of needle felting and chain stitched his spines on.
He's hiding under the leaf. 
Now I'm putting in the detail on all the butterflies, and filling in the writing, before I stitch the pages together.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Summer flowers.

 I don't mind this kind of ironing!  Lovely bright cottons and Bondaweb.

The colours of summer flowers. 

I used my £1 shop flower shapes to draw around on to the fabrics, then cut them out and ironed them on to my fabric page.

I cut out the stems and leaf shapes freehand. It reminded me of patchwork days, when I was getting back into sewing.

I liked this as it was and didn't want to stitch on it.

I used a cotton bud and some white acrylic paint and added some centres to the flowers.
Then I took some advice from my craft group pals. They thought the pieces might eventually lift when the pages are being turned. 
So now I'm holding the shapes down with a simple running stitch.
More work - but this is going to be a quick piece.

I though these embossed paper butterflies might look nice at the top of my picture. I made them with the Big Shot machine. I tried stitching on them and colouring them with metallic pens but not sure if they look right.  

I think I'll leave it as it is.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

'Blue Tits' pattern tile.

I saw a picture and article on this lovely 'Blue Tits' pattern tile in a magazine.
It was designed by a Dr Christopher Dresser and registered in 1870 by Minton & Co.

I used my Ikea bird fabric again and stitched the blue tit with scraps of fabric, in the same way as I had made the 'woodland bird'.

I cut him out, then turned and tacked the edges to the wrong side.

Then he needed a branch to sit on. I used a piece of linen from a soft furnishings sample book.

I fused a lighter piece of linen on to the back and then cut out the branch and leaves.

I painted the branch with acrylic inks.

 Frances Pickering outlines most of the work in her books with a black pen so I tried it out on my branch. It definitely 'lifted' it. 

Time to perch the blue tit on his branch.

Last night I watched a programme on tv called  'The hoarder next door.'
It featured two women, one who hoarded everything imagineable and the other who just liked hoarding anything and everything to do with ladybirds!  You couldn't have moved in their houses.
Well my pile of stuff didn't look so bad after that!

The 'Blue Tits' tile, along with two others, was auctioned at Christie's in London in 2004 for £836.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Signs of Spring.

We went for a walk along the Lagan towpath today and parked in the carpark at Drumbeg.
I saw this beech tree hanging on to it's winter leaves and it reminded me of the paper tree I've just about finished stitching.

There were marsh marigolds growing and flowering in this swampy ground. I couldn't get close enough to them to get a good photo.

The celandines were out at last.

I saw this scalloped shaped fungus....

....and wood anemone..

...and deep red catkins on the willow trees...

...buds about to open...

but I'm already thinking of summer flowers.