Coral Reef Hat Needle Felt and Embroidery

Good evening. This is my first try at making a hat and I had an adventure.

AW Reef Hat 1

 

I created the fabric using needle felting with green and blue wool fibres onto a loose woven fabric base (leftover curtain interlining for a bit of body). I made up the hat pattern as I went and reinforced the outer rim section using steel memory wire (encased in the fabric rim and covered with cord braid to neaten).

 

AW Reef Hat 3

Silk fibres and fabric scraps were needle felted onto the background for added texture.

 

AW Reef Hat 4

 

Some free machine embroidery and quilting was also worked into the background.

 

AW Reef Hat 5

3D pearlescent fabric paint added more texture. I made a little rock pool in the top.

 

AW Reef Hat 6 

Then I went mad with the embellishing. The machine embroidered elements were created as embroidery slips onto old cotton bed sheets. These were then cut out and stitched in place. Extra padding was added to some of the embroidered elements (snipping through from the back and stuffing with a little wadding) to give a more 3D look.

 

AW Reef Hat 7

Sorry – dreadful pic!  The hat inner was made with blue taffeta and stitched to an outer layer of recycled curtain interlining, a strip of stiffer interfacing used for the inner brim (fitted to head). Free machine and decorative machine embroidery were added around the rim to give it structure. A few sequins were also added for bling. The outer decorated hat was then slotted on top, everything held together around the inner and outer rim sections.

 

AW Reef Hat 8

I also embellished with real shells and sea urchins too.

 

AW Reef Hat 9

 

AW Reef Hat 10

 

AW Reef Hat 11

 

I also created some coral made by wrapping recycled plastic beads with organza, further embellished with little pink seed beaded branches.

 

AW Reef Hat 12

 

AW Reef Hat 13

 

Strips of the blue organza were gathered and twirled to give the spongy coral effect. The edges were frayed to enhance.

 

AW Reef Hat 14

The starfish was created with shell sticks, texture added using tiny glass microbeads.

 

AW Reef Hat 15

 

AW Reef Hat 16

AW Reef Hat 17

AW Reef Hat 18

AW Reef Hat 19

 

I hope that you have enjoyed looking through my coral reef creation. I certainly had a lot of fun creating this one and got totally lost in my own little fantasy sea world xxx.

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Woven Bangle created for Gina B Silkworks

Good afternoon. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Woven Floral Bangle

To create the woven bangle I used the Beadalon Bangle Weaver Tool (Beads Direct), recycled sari silk strips, monofilament and a few beads.

AW Flower Bangle 1

I have already blogged full instructions on using the bangle weaver tool.

AW Flower Bangle 2

I used the Rococo Flower Comb set (Gina B Silkworks) to create the satin ribbon flower embellishment; ribbons varying in width from 15mm to 3.5cm. The flower centre was finished with microbeads and a pearl cabochon, glued in place with Fevicryl (glue designed to stick beads and gems to fabric).

Off to write up blogs for my other samples. Back soon xxx.

Gina Barrett is on Create & Craft TV with new Flower Combs

Gina is bringing brand new flower making combs to Create & Craft TV Monday 5pm (Freeview Channel 23 – or watch online from their website). Here is a peek of what I have been making with mine x.

AW Flower Bag 4

AW Flower Bangle 2

AW Wedding Pillow 13

Creating flowers from ribbons or fabric strips is really easy using the new combs – I will blog more details of my samples soon.

Mini Textile Macramé Hangers from Gina B Silkworks

Gina Barret is on Create & Craft TV tomorrow at 11am (Freeview Channel 23 or watch live online from their website). Gina will be launching her fabulous new book – Total Trimmings 2 featuring decorative knotting. She is also going to be bringing lots of other goodies and tools including a Monkey Fist Jig, small frames for making Filet Lace, a fine Macramé Board and fabulous little textile hangers (approx 10cm wide) which are perfect for micro macramé or hanging other small textile art works. In addition she will be bringing back some old favourites including her Tassel Making DVD’s and tools.

I cannot wait to see the show.

I have been decorating my little textile hangers ready to work. I coated them with gesso to provide a surface for colouring and stamping. After decorating and colouring I added a final layer of clear heat embossing powder to add protection and shine. I will share some of my finished projects soon xxx.

AW Macrame Hangers 1

AW Macrame Hangers 2

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AW Macrame Hangers 4

Free Machine Embroidery Experiments using colouring pages from Chocolate Baroque

If you love colouring there is a wonderful colouring page kit available from Chocolate Baroque. These are great for making finished pieces for framing or simply to have fun colouring. The kits also contain a colour wheel and tips for colour mixing too. The kit is limited edition (so when they sell out they are gone) and was created using gorgeous hand drawn images from Sue Page. There are 7 fabulous designs (2 copies of each) plus a couple of practice pages to test out colouring methods etc.

AW Colouring page 2

This is one of the pages that I coloured with alcohol ink pens plus a bit of sparkle pen. The paper is super smooth and a lovely quality and the images a joy to colour.

I thought that the designs would be perfect for embroidery. I first checked the copyright policy on using these designs and provided that the images are not scanned or photocopied we are permitted to physically hand trace them onto fabric. I therefore kept my second image as a template for tracing.

I found that the best method for tracing onto my fabric was using a light box and a soft pencil. I chose a small motif to try out my experiments.

I first did an experiment on a scrap piece of fabric and tried to follow the drawn outlines using free machine embroidery. This is where the sewing machine feed dogs are disengaged and the fabric is moved and guided under the needle by hand. This method also requires a special free machine embroidery or darning foot. Generally the machine is run fairly fast with this technique and the rate at which you move the fabric beneath the stitching needle determines the length of stitches achieved (i.e. slowly moving the fabric beneath the needle gives small close together stitches, fast movements provides longer stitches).

AW Embroidery trial 1

Well what a disaster! I admit that I am a little out of practice with free machining but I didn’t expect the results to be this bad – tee hee.

AW Embroidery Foot

My darning foot has a clear acrylic end but I really could not see the outlines of the design well enough to stay on track at all while stitching. Eeek! There are other types of darning foot available, thin metal circular ends or ones where the front is open or cut away. However, for my high shank machine they are all pretty expensive at around £30 (there are more options for standard shank machines and they can be obtained fairly cheaply via China through EBay).

I really didn’t want to spend out a lot of pennies on something that I wouldn’t be sure would work for me until I actually got it home to try. My ideal would be no foot getting in the way at all so that I would have a complete clear view of the needle. I tried stitching with the foot removed (NB. Even with no actual foot in place the presser foot mechanism must be lowered in order to engage the tension discs on the needle thread). This was perfect for aligning my stitching along the design but caused bad stitch quality and skipped stitches. While operating the fabric bounced around too much (even though in an embroidery hoop) as there was no foot to hold the fabric while the needle pushed through and pulled out of the layers.

AW Embroidey Needle

I then investigated further and found that there is such a thing as a free machine spring needle that can be used without a foot. These are not all that cheap either (£5), considering that like any needle they do wear out with use. However, it was a much cheaper option for me and gave perfect vision of my stitching outlines while working. It should last me a while too if I keep it just for projects that need detailed and accurate stitching.

AW Embroidery 1

AW Embroidery 2

I chose 2 layers of hand dyed cotton fabric with a layer of thin polyester wadding between (to give a little quilting texture). I used a small spring hoop to hold it all in place and stabilise my fabric layers. I chose a variegated embroidery thread for stitching and I was delighted with the results. Yay!

AW Embroidery 3

I didn’t really have a plan of what I was going to make but decided to turn it into a small padded pouch for my mobile phone.

AW Embroidery 4

Finally I decided to add a little colouring to the quilted design. I used Inktense pencils to add shading and then dragged out the colour using a damp brush (this makes the pigment permanent).

AW Embroidery 6

I learned a lot making this project and I love my little phone pouch. I have written a bit of an essay but I hope this helps anyone else trying out some free machine embroidery x.

New Teneriffe Lace Looms coming from Gina B Silkworks

A peek at what I have been making with the new Teneriffe Lace Square and Vandyke border looms. Watch the show on Create & Craft TV tomorrow to see more looms and demos from Gina (Sat 4pm Freeview Channel 23).

AW Biscourni Pincushion

AW Lace 14

I will blog more info on how I created these soon x.

A sneaky peek of some of my samples for Gina-B Silkworks

Good afternoon. Here is a sneaky peek at some of my samples created for the show on Create & Craft TV tomorrow at 9am (Freeview Channel 23 – or watch live online from their website).

 

I will share more samples plus details of materials and instructions used soon.

 

Gina will be bringing fabulous Kanzashi flower kits as well as some Japanese techniques for creating  Yubinuki and Hashikazari.

 

AW Giant Yubinuki

 

I super enlarged the Japanese thimble design (Yubinuki design) to make a trinket box.

 

AW Kanzashi

 

Designs with Kanzashi Flowers

 

AW more Kanzashi

 

Photography courtesy of Gina Barrett.