Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Turn a Paper Mache Ornament into a Felt Embroidery
One of my recent embroidery projects started out simple and certainly didn’t end that way! I had a cute papermache Christmas ornament blank that was curved on the top and squarish on the base. I planned to cover it with felt embroidery so I made patterns for the base and top – four pieces in each and cut them from wool felt – I cut two pink tops and bottoms and the same in blue so they could be alternated. I then cut out some small paisley shapes in the same pink and blue and some dark blue felt – there were two sizes of paisleys so they stack.
So, with pieces in hand I embroidered the paisleys and stitched them to each piece. I also added some small glass beads with silver lining which I had recovered from a sweater I bought from St Vincent de Paul.
Then I sewed up the bottoms using more beads on the edges and I did the same for the tops. I put them over the basic shape, added some fiberfill padding between the paper mache and the felt and sewed the two halves together over the papermache shape.
It ended up being a huge project – something simple just took off and grew and grew and grew! Then it got more glittery and more over the top with the beads. The thread I used for some of the embroidery was variegated color so that made it look more colorful too.
It was a fun project and the result is pretty cute, if well over the top.
If you find paper mache shapes in the shops before Christmas – check them out – as a base for embroidery they are a great idea. Make them simple or go for broke, just have fun!
Labels: chain stitch, covered ornament, DMC thread, embroidery stitches, felt, glass beads, ornament, paper mache, papermache, variegated thread, wool felt
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Friday, February 20th, 2015
How to make this cute elongated star shaped stitch
There is a lot of confusion about what this stitch is actually called and many instructions for making it are somewhat unclear. So, to help out, because it is such a wonderful stitch, here’s how to make it:
You should work this stitch over a grid of 9 x 6 threads or some multiple of this – in the photos I used an 18 x 12 grid because the linen is so fine.
The first step is the left side of the star – the first long stitch:
Next you make part of the left point of the star, coming up at 3, down at 4 (and then heading back up to come out again at 3):
Next the bar across the star:
Now back to make the long right side of the star shape, it is always fun to do this side as you know you’re about half way through the stitch:
Next we’re back in the middle of the star finishing off the final point:
Now we’re headed away from this first star and onto the next one:
Since we are now just repeating the previous steps, let’s switch to just photos:
One of the wonderful parts of this stitch is that the back of your embroidery looks as good as the front – the stitch makes this lovely grid format (it’s also a way to know you’ve been doing it right!):
Labels: double sided insertion stitch, elongated star stitch, embroidery stitches, how to embroider, star stitch, two sided insertion stitch
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Monday, October 8th, 2012
This color scheme is one I love, a mix of pale blue, sand, blue grey and grey. I think I love grey because our school uniforms were grey when we were growing up and I learned to love its possibilities – it’s a soft and warm color for me and this wool felt is beautiful to sew – the dark grey color felt is very textured with light fibres in it – like the wool hasn’t taken the dye so it has more interest than just plain felt.
Here I sewed a wheel of stitches to fix the bead – each was finished with a french knot.
Row 1: This is (I think) blanket stitch done not on the edge but stretching over the edge and arranged so the ‘bar’ is n the middle. Well, I think it is this but I’ll have to try it again to see if I can duplicate it. If it is not that, then it is probably Open Cretan Stitch – need to sort this one…
Row 2: Blanket stitch – an old standby stitch which never loses its attraction – though I did read a post recently which suggests you use it on bigger pieces and not on small ones because it doesn’t do sharp corners very well – a plain straight stitch is actually better around corners – I think I agree, but here it works just fine.
From here I added some chain stitching as a filler. I think it’s nice and in future I will probably do one with more chain stitching still in varied colors and perhaps even lace it.
Row 3: This is feather stitch, arranged so most of the stitch is on the outside with only one of the stitches catching the inside piece. I haven’t used Feather stitch much as it isn’t technically a stitch you would use to join two pieces of fabric butI think it makes a nice edge stitch here.
Labels: blanket stitch, chain stitch, embroidery, embroidery stitches, feather stitch, french knot, open cretan stitch
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Sunday, September 30th, 2012
This is another of the color schemes I put together after my holiday and it combines fluffy grey felt with a dark turquoise, straw and light blue. I added a red bead – the bead supply is dwindling – there are 2 times as many plain beads as colored ones and only a few red ones so I sort of save them up and only use them when I am inspired.
Actually this project failed on so many levels! The hardest circle to embroider yet. I started off trying to stitch the bead on as if it were a small mirror like you see on some fabrics from India. The stitch is called shisha but I call it Big fail stitch! I had lots of stitches, holes everywhere and the more the stitches I made, the more the bead fell off. I finally undid it all and just did a simple spoke style stitch.
Row 1 – this is a cable chain stitch – it ends up looking like a chain so it is pretty but takes some time to get it looking even.
Row 2 – Laced running stitch – this one is easy peasy, just do one row of running stitch then lace a contrasting thread in and out of it. Biggest thing to be careful of is sticking your finger with the needle if you do as I do and use the wrong end of the needle to work it.
The next ‘row’ is just three sets of partial lazy daisy stitches – always a great way to add some detail to a piece.
Row 3 was horrible. It is a knotted blanket stitch. Instead of wrapping the thread around my finger I just made a loop to make the knot – but the problem with this stitch is that the knot is in the thread and has to be just in the right place – if the knot were made in the fabric it would be so much easier. I had to handcraft each stitch and pullout a few of them and undo some knots that had pulled tight to fix them. Never again, the result might look nice but they are way too difficult and it doesn’t really feel like embroidery when you are making the stitches so I’ll find some other way of making more interesting blanket stitches in future – I am thinking picot edging might be cute?
Labels: cable chain stitch, embroidery, embroidery stitches, knotted blanket stitch, laced running stitch, lazy daisy, shisha
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