Did anyone notice this dress on the front page of Brisbane's Sunday Mail 'event' liftout? It's made completely out of suffolk puffs or yo-yos.
It was part of a fashion shoot for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival. The photographer is Ian Golding. Unfortunately I can't tell you who designed the dress. They either don't give credit or I couldn't find it. I have emailed the paper so I might have some news later.
The photos were all taken at the Tangalooma wrecks on Moreton Island, practically my backyard. Check out the other designs at the Sunday Mail
This post was first published here on 29th June, 2009.
This is truly pathetic. We are closed for the next 2 weeks, except Sundays. Saturday afternoon I began to panic. Do I have enough 'stuff' at home to keep me occupied. I created a list of all the things I wanted to at least start. Then another list of what I would need to do this. All very methodical.
I brought home 2 bags.
Sunday after lunch was when the panic set in
But what if I wanted to do this. What about this idea that has been floating around for a couple of weeks?
These supplies have been spread out on my large corner lounge. I've tried to make tidy piles for the photos but you just know that it going to spread out all over the place. I have now prioritised the projects but I can see that going out the window the first time I have another whim.
The stuff can't stay in the lounge, better go and make room for it in the studio... with the rest of my stuff.
This post was first published here on the 22nd December, 2008.
I've had one of those weeks when things don't go to plan. Not on the Dyeing front. Thank Goodness!
I've been doing School Holiday Activities for the Council. Its organised by one department and then run out of libraries and community rooms- a different department. Guess what? They don't talk to each other. So I've been dealing with people who don't seem very happy with their jobs. Makes me feel very lucky. On the last day, the activity time was changed from 10am - 12n to 12n - 2 pm. But they forgot to tell me. So I lost a whole day for 2 hours. Hardly seemed worth it.
On the upside, the actual activities and the kids were great fun. Anyway, I'm writing this while I wait for some fabric paint to dry. I finally got around to finishing the cotton skirts with the lace underskirts.
The colours blend more than it seems in the photo.
The suffolk puffs add a nice touch.
This shirt has been ECO DYED, but I don't think the method works very well for multiple motifs. I'll keep trying though as the alternative is stitching which is way too time consuming.
I really liked this man's T-Shirt.
This is the paint that I'm waiting to dry. I mixed up the colour and started stamping. I forgot to add the textile medium. I quickly added the medium then painted over each motif . Hope that's enough. I'm actually making the pants for me so it won't be a complete disaster. I'll post a photo when they're complete. That paint should be dry now.
This post was first published here on 27th September, 2008
By the time you read this I will have flown to Melbourne to watch this year’s Formula One Race. As usual when I travel I take along craftwork. My husband calls it my security craft. I never leave home without it. Security restrictions on aircraft have limited the choices available however there are still a few ways to while those hours. Traveling on buses, trains and cars can also challenge crafters. Portable, lightweight and uncomplicated crafts are essential for a carefree break. Here are a few ideas.
Bead Making: Last year when I traveled to Japan this was my activity on the flights there. I precut my fabric and paper strips. Very long narrow triangles work well. My winding tool is a plastic straw. Cut the straw in half. Take one half and fold it flat along its length. Insert this inside the other half. I also took along a piece of Baking Paper and a Snap Lock Bag to store them in. I use clear paper glue in a see through pen shape bottle. Some airlines specify that no adhesives be taken on board. I popped my glue in the Liquid, Aerosol and Gel bag and declared it. I further checked with the airline staff on boarding. It didn’t prove to be a problem.
Kumihimo: This art becomes portable when you use one of the hand held discs available. I prepare my threads prior to traveling to avoid the scissor dilemma. If you want to take along long threads try winding them around the little tags that come with your bread. This will prevent tangling. I find that they work better than embroidery tags.
Suffolk Puffs: Not suitable for planes, but still great for traveling. They are portable, lightweight and with the use of the templates available become uncomplicated. I take these with me to the actual race days. I love my motor racing but find the down time between races a bit of a snooze. I precut my fabric squares to the required size before leaving. I find the ticket pouch doubles as a scissor and thread holder. Tip: take along extra needles, if you drop one you will never find it.
Friendship Bracelets: If traveling with children this will keep them amused. The threads can be secured to the airline table or the back of a car seat with a strip of sticky tape. Let the children choose their thread colour and precut them. There are many bracelet patterns available however I would avoid the ones where you insert a bead. You just know that little hands will spill them and who wants to be picking them up off the floor.
This post was first published here on 19th March, 2008.
Its just gone 5pm on a Friday afternoon. I'm still waiting for fabric to dry.
It's hanging on the line and I'm hanging on hoping we don't get hit with another summer storm.
In between storms I have managed to get some dyeing and drying done. These are some silk scarves.
And I dyed this shirt for a customer. The colours were just what she was after.
When I went to iron it I discovered this hole. I've never had a dud one before from my supplier. I'll check them in future. Being one to turn failures into opportunities I've been playing around with options.
The colours of the suffolk puffs are wrong but I don't mind the look. I'm dyeing some silk as I write. Lucky the shirt is my size.
And to finish on a sweet note; I had just had a young couple come in a want to buy matching heart braided bracelets. they chose the purple and green (second & sixth from your right). Young love's grand, isn't it?
This post was first published here on 5th December, 2008.
It's very blowy and wet outside, courtesy of Cyclone Olga. Good day to stay inside. I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to get my head around the book I'm planning. The home computer wasn't in the mood for starting. I think that it was just having a hissy fit because I haven't been on it much lately. While I was waiting, waiting I started cutting some more junk mail up for beads. I needed to replace all the ones I sold on the weekend plus create some longer ones for a project.
Did a good couple of hours on the book. Started to feel a little confused so I thought I needed a little fun. These are Suffolk Puffs in the traditional manner, made from preloved clothes. Any ideas what the necklace cord is made of. Hint: it's preloved clothing too. And then onto experimenting. Could I make Dorset Buttons from the plastic rings around plastic bottle caps. Yes I think I can. I've just done the outside buttonholing but they certainly seem to be working.
And now for the exciting news. Motor Racing season has started again. Well sort of.It's the 24 hour race from Daytona. It is not V8s, Nascar or Indy but as Alan said they are going round in circles. Me? I can drive in circles. I want them driving fast. I think I will wind a few more beads while watching the last 3 hours.
This post was first published here on 1st February, 2010.
I'm going to say it right off the top. I'm really proud of myself with this braid from the Comprehensive Treatise of Braids III. This is number 28 which is ironic as the braid has 28 different moves in each sequence.
I really struggled initially getting into a rhythm. The braid moves did not alternate between right hand then left hand. There were multiple moves on each side before alternating.
My first attempt on Christmas Eve needed to be undone. By mid morning Christmas Day I was able to braid the sequence without looking at the instructions. I have used the same mercerised cotton as the last braid.
A Cultural Journey Through Cross Stitch
Whoever would have thought that the simple notion of crossing two threads to create a picture would create one of the world’s most popular crafts? Well apparently the Ancient Egyptians! The earliest piece of cloth found to include cross-stitch has been dated to the 6th century.
It wasn’t until the early 1800’s that Cross Stitch started to become recognised as a craft in itself. A
German printer named Phillipson started to create blocked and coloured patterns for mass production. By 1840, over 14,000 designs were printed yearly! The intervening years have seen cross stitching’s popularity seesaw. Today, as with many other embroidery techniques, Cross Stitch is again enjoying resurgence.
Cross-stitch is a form of counted thread embroidery that can be quite inexpensive to start. I can recall my Grandmother giving us napkin sized pieces of checked gingham to Cross Stitch. My mother still uses these today. To easily count the threads most stitches choose to use evenweave fabrics such as Linen,
Cotton or Aida. Aida Cloth is available in 11, 14, 16, 18, and 22 count sizes and many different colours. The sizes of Aida and Evenweave types denote the approximate number of threads woven per inch. The count of the fabric will affect the finished size of the picture.
Stitchers work from charts with colours and symbols identifying the correct colour placement. The chart will also identify the preferred fabric. This form of cross-stitch is called Counted Cross-Stitch. Cross Stitch can also be completed on aida or canvas where the design has been pre-printed. This is referred to as
Stamped Cross Stitch. This is very popular with Children’s starter kits.
Today’s Cross Stitchers have lots of new development to enjoy within their chosen craft. Stitchers are exploring the uses of creative stitchers in order to create new visual effects and are often choosing to embellish their finished work with beads, buttons and charms. Cross Stitch design computer software is
readily available and simple to use, even for the most computer challenged amongst us. These software programs have allowed the stitcher to create their own charts rather than simply recreating a commercial pattern.
Cross stitching is simple and relaxing. You won’t complete a piece in one sitting so don’t try. Just start counting!
This post was first published here on the 21st August, 2007.
I'm on a mission. I want to make some bags from 1-2 Fat Quarters. I've been drawing patterns and cutting out fabric.
The blue floral fabric is hopefully going to be one of the Japanese Knot Bags. I don't have a pattern except the sketch I did while in Japan. The exact measurements are going to be a bit of a guess.
The blue hand dyed fabric is going to be a small pouch bag. A little while a go I tried to make one similar to sweet bag from Stitches mag. I used some left over sampler fabric. I could never get the drawstring to work. The bag has been pinned to my cork board ever since.
I really like the shape so I've drafted off a pattern from the bag and I'm going to have another go. This one will have handles.
The pink/brown hand dyed fabric is to be a small shoulder bag, I'm going to some embellishing before stitching together.
A Cultural Journey Through Blackwork.
Blackwork is one of the most popular forms of embroidery. Worked with black thread on white evenweave fabric it also one of the most striking. The popularity of Blackwork can be traced back to the reign of Henry VIII. Henry’s wife, Catherine of Aragon (the first wife) was an accomplished embroiderer and
is believed to have embellished her clothes with this work.
Blackwork is a counted method of embroidery using geometric alignment of stitches to create the pattern. It is considered a forerunner to cross-stitch. The use of Aida cloth is an ideal evenweave fabric for a beginner. Traditionally Holbein Stitch was used to create straight lines. Holbein stitch is a double running
stitch similar to back stitch. In this case the needle is brought up between the previously stitched thread to ensure that finished stitch lies flat. Today most Blackwork stitches use backstitch. Other stitches were used to create shading. They include Split Stitch, Stem Stitch, Chain Stitch and Coral Stitch.
Three styles of Blackwork developed. Linear, Reversible Blackwork, this is the style most of us associate with Blackwork. Traditionally worked on collars and cuffs this style was worked in bands to looks the same from the front and back. The Holbein Stitch was used to create this style due to its flatness and ability to hide the starting and finishing thread.
This image is of one of Trishalan Designs Blackwork Designs on Aida Cloth.
The second style was Free Form with Geometric Fill patterns. This style developed a little later and incorporated shapes resembling leaves, flowers, etc. The fill patterns were stitched with chain stitch, coral stitch and stem stitch. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st this style of Blackwork was found on household items and the large billowy sleeves favoured at this time. The last style was the use of Outlined Motifs. The outlined motifs were found stitched in a random manner and also within a lattice pattern.
In my opinion, Blackwork is a little more challenging than cross stitch and a little less time consuming than fancywork. Start with a simple pattern and have a go, you will be very happy with the result.
This post was first published here on 28th April, 2008.