Often with my embroidery I work very precisely, either using counted thread methods or other traditional surface embroidery methods trying to achieve super neat and precisely placed stitches as I work. I saw this lovely Red Camions and Daisies Kit from Rowandean and just had to treat myself.
The kit comes with a lovely easy to stich background fabric with basic printed guidelines and a gorgeous selection threads (stranded cotton, perle, wool, knitting yarns and metallic). The kit also includes organza, sequins and beads to further embellish your design and add more interest and texture. A selection of simple stitches are used including straight, fern, lazy daisy and french knots (for absolute beginners there is a guide on how to work these). The instructions give a guide as to where to place the various stitches and which threads and colours to use but these are worked freely. There is no stress over exact placement of stitches or using the exact threads etc. but you are encouraged to just ‘go for it’ and enjoy the process.
I did feel a little out of my comfort zone working in this way but as soon as I got started I just relaxed into it. I almost got the jitters snipping and distressing the bits of organza and adding them in along with random sequins and beads (ha ha ha) but adding them actually ‘worked’ and gave a lovely added component of shimmer and texture.
I really enjoyed stitching this kit and was surprised at just how quickly it came together. I think that I need to incorporate more of this free style embroidery into some of my future projects – so liberating and relaxing to work.
Delighted with the results – hope that you enjoy seeing it too.
Tonight I am sharing a shawl embellished with Teneriffe Lace and block printing that I made using the Vandyke Border Loom from Gina B Silkworks. I made this a couple of years ago for one of Gina’s TV shows demonstrating the technique. Gina has another lace show on Create and Craft TV tomorrow at 1pm (26th April on Freeview Channel 85 or watch catch up online via their website) featuring many looms for creating round, various mandala style shapes and the border looms.
I hope that you enjoy seeing this project. I really enjoyed making this.
Lime green crochet cotton no.3 (Delfino – Filo Di Scozia)
Lilac DMC Mouline Cotton (like a standard 6 strand embroidery floss but on a large spool)
Sewing thread and needle (lime green)
Lime green cotton triangular shawl (made from quilting cotton) with sides measuring approx. 1m (I overlocked the edges using matching thread to prevent fraying)
Thick dense foam mat (such as provided with Gina’s Total Trimmings Table) or upholstery foam (optional if wanting to use pins for stretching the web)
Decorative Indian wooden printing block and foam printing mat (Colouricious). The one I chose from my stash was approx. 9.5cm square with space in the centre to add the lace floral motifs
Setacolor Opaque (Spring Green, Raspberry and Parma Violet) and Deka Perm (Opaque White) fabric paints
Kitchen sponge and paint tray
How to do it:
Gina’s loom kits provide general instructions for stretching the web, darning, reverse backstitch and knotting etc.
Note: The hardest part to get right is the Teneriffe Lace Knot which holds it all together. Get this wrong and your lace won’t hold together properly when you remove it from the loom. Should this happen, don’t despair, do what I did with my first lace attempts and glue it to a card or a mixed media canvas. Ha ha.
I spent quite some time developing the lace pattern by quite a lot of experimenting, undoing and redoing until I was happy with the result. Don’t be afraid to play. Gina has also provided some easy starter lace borders in the instructions so you could try these first and make up a couple of smaller projects first.
The Border Lace:
Whenever thread ends were tied and finished, or working threads joined with knots, I added a small dab of clear drying fabric glue for extra security. This is optional but I thought it would ensure no loosening of thread ends, particularly during lots of wear and washing etc.
Starting: I stretched the web on the Vandyke Border Loom leaving a long end at the start and keeping the ball in place on the left hand side (to avoid making joins as the border is continued). Here I have wrapped the thread end a couple of times around the loom end to hold the tension in place.
I made an angle on the first end so that it would continue on the shape of the shawl corner. The pins were placed on a diagonal and threads held together by K 2e (knotting 2 threads to hold).
Note: When working some of the bigger projects I prefer to use pins to hold the web rather than lacing with waste thread. It is a little less portable in this method but much quicker to stretch the web.
Row 1: I worked a row of sc (scalloped edge by k 2e to create small anchored loops) along the bottom edge, joining in a new thread as required.
Row 2: Next I worked a row of K 2e (keeping the pairs of threads in alignment with the first bottom row of knots) along the centre of the lace band.
Note: For each row I joined a new length of yarn. Once worked this was loosely wrapped and tied (to prevent tangling) and kept on the left hand side, ready to work the next section of the lace as the lace is moved on along the loom.
Row 3: I then worked a row of sc along the top edge. See how the threads now separate to give a lacy effect. Again I joined a new thread for this row.
Row 4: A row of k 4e (4 threads knotted together such that the groups of knotted threads aligned with the peaks and troughs of the top edge) was worked in the centre of the bottom straight border section. This opened out the threads into a pretty lace design.
Row 5: A row of *k 2e (x3), k 4e (x1), K 2e (x3)* was repeated along the top border. The 2e knots were worked just below the knots on the sc edge and the 4e knots were worked about half way down the space. This created a nice section with 7 little spaces, ideal for darning (weaving) in the next row.
Row 6: Next I joined in the lilac thread. To start I knotted just under the threads of the previous row until reaching the centre of the 7 space section.
Row 6 continued: The 7 space section was progressively darned (pdt) for 8 rounds. The thread was taken under 1, over 2, under 2, over 1, under 1, then over 2 and under 1 to complete the first round (starting at the top left hand side single thread). As the rounds are worked the weave goes in the opposing over/under direction naturally (as there is an odd number of thread groups/spaces).
When 8 rounds were complete the thread was taken under the first thread bar again before moving along to the left with knotting.
Full row 6 repeat: *k 2e (x3), k 4e (x1), pdt (x8) in the round, u 1e, K 2e (x3)* repeated along the top border.
These 6 rows form the pattern repeat for the straight border sections. The straight knotting rows are quite quick to work but the darning does take a little longer. Well worth it though I think.
The lace was then removed from the loom ready to work the next section.
The first few loops were replaced onto the end of the loom and the next section of web was stretched ready to work. Here you can see the ball kept in place (keeping the web continuous without thread joins). The working threads were loosely tied for each row (keeping them separate, tying in a new length as required).
The next section of lace was then worked as given above.
Again the lace was moved along as each section was completed. I was so excited to see it grow.
I had calculated that I would need 25 little peaks to fit along the sides of my scarf before needing to turn the corner (the space between each peak being approx. 4cm and the sides of my scarf being approx. 1m).
Note: The lace does pull in slightly when removed from the loom (the amount will vary depending on stitches used). Bear this in mind and check that the length of your lace is OK before turning the corner (particularly on a large project).
As with the straight border I pinned the first few loops of lace onto the corner loom and laid out the pins ready to stretch the web.
I stretched the web on the first half of the corner then spent some time thinking – how was I to make a corner pattern that would continue the straight sections nicely? This took me some time – ha ha.
The threads on the corner diagonal of the web need to be interlocked. I therefore broke the thread and stretched the next section of the web, threading up the needle and passing through the loops of web on the diagonal (Gina explains this in her instructions). I then tied the thread end back to the ball end of thread.
I had a lot more thinking here about where to go next – tee hee.
I worked rows 1-4 as previously adding extra knots where the diagonal threads crossed to make sure that the intersection was well anchored.
I then started row 5 and had a lot more thinking on the corner section. The full peak sections on either side were to be completed in the same pattern but I wasn’t sure what to put in the corner. I liked how I had continued the bottom border section keeping the design cohesive.
Continuing row 5: After the first 3 knots (worked as per the normal pattern) I then moved to the centre and knotted up one side of the diagonal and back down the other (k 2e). This anchored all the threads well on the upper part of the diagonal. Note that I split the thread groups (see above where the outer threads are grouped together on the web) to make a lacy effect. I hope that this makes sense. It is difficult to explain – sorry.
Continuing row 6: I worked the first peak in the same way as usual then worked 3 knots up the outer edge (as in a normal row start). See picture below.
The corner was completed by weaving 2 little ‘leaf’ sections across the diagonal threads. Starting at the tip I wove down to the middle (filling the space), then up the other side and then 3 knots were worked down to the trough section as normal. The next section being worked as per the normal pattern.
The lace was then removed from the corner loom and replaced back onto the border loom ready to work up the other side (as shown above).
Here you can see the full length of one border and the corner turned ready to work the other side. I got very excited here – ha ha.
Here is a close up where you can see the corner more clearly.
Although fairly pleased I still wasn’t completely happy with it (more thinking! Ha ha).
I took the lace back off the border loom and quickly anchored it back onto the corner. With a new length of thread I added a little circle of weaving (over 5 groups of thread). I was happier with the result now.
I continued with the usual pattern until the last section. Here I again wanted a diagonal finish on the end.
Here I have shown the corner of the scarf so you can see what I mean. The loom is not designed to make diagonal ends as I am wanting so you can see one of the pins is slightly out of alignment here. This loop is adjusted when knotting (see below).
You can see here that the misaligned pin is removed as the last knot is worked on row 2 (the ball thread end then being tightened up). The other pins sit on the diagonal path OK.
Happy with my finished corner – finally – ha ha.
Next I wanted to create a pretty block printed border.
I used the lime green paint on the outer part of the block (applying with kitchen sponge).
I mixed a little of the Raspberry and Violet with quite a lot of White to create a colour that matched well with my lilac thread. This mix was sponged onto the inner section of the block for printing.
The scarf was laid onto the foam base for printing. This provides a little cushioning against the solid wood block ensuring that the detail prints well.
Oooh yummy print.
Oooh – I was a happy bunny. I left the paint to fully dry overnight then heat fixed by ironing on the reverse on a cotton setting.
I then hand stitched on the lace border easing it to fit. In order to provide a little stretch and ease I used a slight zig zag when stitching (this allows a little stretch without popping of the thread). Next I sprayed with starch and ironed. This smoothed any slight lumps & waves that formed after attaching the lace and also stabilised the lace nicely.
I was so chuffed with how the lace border and printing looked.
The Floral Daisy Motifs:
Next I worked 16 small daisy motifs on loom 3.
I stretched the web on the smallest circle and lime thread to create 16 edge loops (i.e. total of 32 threads crossing the central section).
I then worked DD (double darning 2e) for 2 rows in the centre to neaten up the crossing threads etc. On the second row I offset the threads darned in the first row (as in weaving).
I then worked Revs (2) for 3 rows: Reverse backstitch over 2 threads. Ensuring that the threads from adjacent ‘loops’ were grouped together to form the outer ‘petal’ loops. Note: The side facing you is the back of the work.
Then I worked K 2e for 1 row: Knotting 2 threads together to secure groups of threads creating the long scalloped edge loops that make the petals.
These little flowers would make great earrings or could be joined to make a lovely necklace. In fact it was these that gave me the idea for my black lace earrings blogged in my previous post earlier today.
Finally I finished the shawl by sewing the little daisies into the centre of the block printed motifs.
I hope that you like my lace shawl. Teneriffe Lace is definitely a ‘slow craft’ akin to knitting or cross stitch, don’t expect quick results. This project took me around 25 hours to make! Take your time and enjoy the process xxxx.
Today I am sharing my project created with the new MDF Button Display Clock Set from Gina B Silkworks. My design was inspired by Gina’s lovely 4 Seasons Mirror Button Brooches Kit. I used the same freestyle ‘lace’ embroidery technique to create the embroidered trees into the central section of the clock, adding depth to a painted scenic background.
I first created the 4 Seasons Mirror Buttons as given in Gina’s kit instructions. The kit contains enough materials to create 8 buttons; 2 of each of the 4 seasons. It also contains all the components, threads and needles required.
With one set of buttons I created 4 pendants (they are intended for making a necklace or brooch).
My second set of buttons were used for my clock display to place on each of the 4 main quadrants.
Four buttons were made on fabric covered slightly domed wooden moulds from my stash. You can use the 25mm flat button moulds included in the clock kit instead. Just cut some felt circles to place on the button front before covering to give a bit of padding and shape.
To cover my buttons I cut fabric circles approx. 45mm in diameter (i.e. enough to cover front and wrap around back of button). I then worked a row of running stitch to gather up and pull in the fabric over the button back.
Top Left – Spring Button: Woven Button Flower Sprig design in off white, green and orange perle cotton.
Top Right – Autumn Button: Woven Button Leaf Style 3 design in brown & orange perle cotton for the base wrap and green for leaves.
Bottom Left – Summer Button: Woven Button Lavender Flower design in pale yellow perle cotton for base and green & orange for woven flower.
Bottom Right – Winter Button: I worked a 6 point wrap with perle No.8 pale green thread and worked the Snowflake Pattern B with white perle No.8 thread.
Decorating the clock:
I first covered my clock base with white Gesso. This step is not essential but it provides a good base for painting. A clean bright base will show acrylic colours to their best. Particularly if using semi transparent acrylic colours (different paints vary in opacity) where the MDF base colour would affect the overall colour of subsequent painted layers). It also saves acrylic paint as it stops paint absorbing into the porous MDF.
The clock was then painted with acrylics to create a background scene on which to work the embroidery.
In keeping with the 4 seasons theme I painted a background sky with clouds on the top half of the clock (which will be my Spring and Summer clock quadrants). In the lower right foreground I introduced greens, browns and red to represent the Autumn colours. In the lower left I used pale and white colours for my Winter quadrant.
I introduced texture by ‘stamping’ paint onto the surface using the sea sponge. This was worked really quickly and randomly, just to give the impression of foliage. It is important to rinse paint out of the sponge quickly when done (acrylics dry very quickly and will ruin the sponge if left to dry).
Once the paints were dry I used alcohol markers around the clock edges to neaten and to frame.
I laid out the buttons into their positions to check how they looked (not stuck down yet).
Dark green perle 8 cotton was used to wrap around the thread spokes. This was to create an outer frame on which to anchor the tree embroidery.
I wrapped around the edge of the clock 3 times to create a neat frame. I used a little Transparent Powertex on the back of the clock (behind the spokes) to anchor and glue the threads down securely and prevent them working loose (leaving the front threads free).
Next the main tree trunks, branches and roots were created using similar techniques as used in Gina’s 4 Seasons Mirror Buttons – only on a much larger scale. I didn’t take a lot of step by step pictures here (sorry) but will try and talk through how I went about it with tips to help you create similar.
While working this embroidery it is really important not to add too much thickness or depth which would impede movement or catch on the clock hands. I tried on the hands to work out the clearance needed, paying particular attention to the short hand which fits closest to the clock base (subsequent hands fit slightly further outward). The clock hands are fairly soft metal so can be very gently eased upward slightly if needed (if you do this you would need to adjust the angle of all the hands so that they don’t catch on each other). The tightest depth area is in the very centre of the clock so I kept this area free of embroidery.
Should you have a bit of a disaster don’t fret. After all that hard work, all is not lost. Clock fittings are easily available from various online sources with different spindle depths, so a fitting with a longer spindle could be substituted if needed.
To work the trunks, branches and roots I used a mix of perle 5 and 8 threads in browns, greys, and creams. Stranded cotton threads could also be used, splitting them down and working with 3 or 4 individual strands together.
To start I tied thread onto the outer frame and worked back and forth laying threads loosely across the clock, tying top and bottom to make the main trunk foundation. Next I started weaving and wrapping threads, working up and down the trunk and taking branches and roots off to the edge. As the extra branches were worked the embroidery was pulled more tightly to hold it flatter. This tightened up the main trunks. Weaving and wrapping also tightened things up.
I first worked the right hand tree using warmer, deeper and richer browns and creams. This half represents the Summer and Autumn quadrants. I then worked the left hand tree in cooler colours to represent Spring and Winter sections. Where the branches intersected I was careful not to increase the embroidery depth, working branches that intersect in sections (rather than creating a double thickness where branches crossed).
Here is a closer view showing the colour contrasts and stitching detail. I tried to create the effect of light coming through the centre by using lighter colours on the inner tree trunks. I also added extra texture using occasional French knots.
I again laid out the buttons to see how they looked (not stuck down yet). Woohooo – I so enjoyed making this. Next for the foliage.
Before gluing down the buttons I worked the foliage and blossoms. I used stranded cottons (working with 3 individual strands) in a variety of greens and lemon for the foliage, worked in random French knots. Again I used deeper, warmer colours on the right hand tree. Variegated threads are nice to use as you automatically get a mix of colours while working.
I then added pink blossoms to the left hand tree.
Finally I worked more French knots along the root sections; warm Autumnal colours on the right and Winter colours on the left. Little grassy tufts were worked by tying on wisps of thread.
Next I stamped the sentiment using Stazon Ink. I thought that the ‘time flies’ sentiment suited the time going through 4 seasons theme.
Before gluing down the buttons I treated them, and the embroidery, with Transparent Powertex in order to seal everything. Powertex is primarily a fabric stiffening medium. It also acts as a glue so helps to hold down all the embroidery onto the clock face so it keeps it all flat and less likely to lift and catch on the clock hands. A damp cloth can also be used for cleaning as Powertex provides a waterproof seal. It also does not discolour with time (whereas some glues certainly would).
To get a nice finish with Transparent Powertex you need to take care not to over flood it. Too much could leave a ‘gloopy’ looking finish. I use a paint brush to work the medium well into the fibres, working small sections at a time. I then quickly remove any excess from the surface quickly (before it starts drying and going tacky) by dabbing with a clean cotton rag (e.g. old tea towel). I find that this method works really well and makes the finish hardly noticeable.
Finally I glued down all my buttons using clear drying thick acrylic gel medium (other 3D glue gels would work too). If you would rather be able to change your buttons around then use Gina’s recommended method and make a button shank to hold your buttons on with pins.
Delighted with my finished clock and I had so much fun creating it. It was definitely a labour of love, not a quick make, but well worth it.
Hoping that you are all keeping well during this difficult time. Let’s hope that time does fly for us all and that we are back to some sort of ‘normal’ living very soon. Take care.
I am so excited to have been chosen as a finalist to receive a Bursary to study with the School of Stitched Textiles.
Finalists are now needing votes – winners will receive a Bursary which will cover the study fees. To be awarded a Bursary would mean so much to me as unfortunately I am not in the position to afford the course fees.
Please could you spend just a minute to place a vote for your favourite finalist (I am under my full name – Heather Anne Waller). There are some fabulous entries, all deserving of a Bursary Award. Voting is simple, no name or personal details etc. required. Click this link to vote for your favourite finalist.
Thank you so much xxx.
The projects that I entered were my felted, quilted and embroidered coral reef hat
and my patchwork hanging embellished with hand made ribbon flowers.
Gina Barrett is back on Hochanda TV tomorrow at 10am (Freeview Channel 85 or watch live via their website www.hochanda.com) bringing more of her marvellous button kits, book and DVDs.
Here is a sneaky peek of my button display. I used Tonic Kaleidoscope Box dies to create the box and adapted the sides to drop down and display the buttons. I used a variety of Gina’s instructions for the buttons (Macclefield & Leek Button Journal Kit, Button Workshop Manual and Making Buttons DVDs). There are brilliant Hochanda Freedom member prices on the show!
The mannequin die is from La Blanche.
I used a variety of papers to decorate (Crafters Companion).
I used plenty of glitter glue to enhance the flowers (got to have some sparkle – tee hee) and PVA pearls for texture.
The sentiment die was quite appropriate (Tonic Kaleidoscope Box set).
When the lid is removed 5 of the 8 sides drop down to display my selection of thread wrapped buttons. I used a honeycomb die (Tattered Lace) and various button dies (mixed source from my die stash). Lettering was cut using a font die set from Tim Holtz.
The mini flower dies are from the Susan’s Garden Hydrangea set (Elizabeth Craft Designs).
Death’s Head is the name of the historical wrapped button – name used here (England) and the USA in the 18th Century.
Death’s Head buttons using a variety of threads.
More Death’s Head buttons using a variety of threads and different shapes of button mould.
The buttons on the right are my variants of Gina’s Union Jack Button (Button Workshop Manual). The far left shows an over wrapped fabric covered button (Open Square with Soutache Braid). The pink and blue buttons are my interpretation of a 17th Century button that I saw on Pinterest (Death’s Head base overwrapped with cord and bound with silky thread).
More of Gina’s yummy buttons (Peace and Maze).
Various square wrap buttons (Silver, Decorative and Gimp Squares).
Square wraps and Leek Square.
Spiral and Wide Wraps.
I have had so much fun learning how to create all these but have barely scratched the surface of the huge variety that Gina covers in her books and DVD’s. It is also wonderful to contribute towards keeping knowledge of these techniques alive. Especially as many of these Passementerie techniques are now in danger of being lost completely.
I really love Gina’s new 4 Seasons Mirror Button Kit recently demonstrated on Hochanda TV. Here is my version of the Spring button. I made my tree branches extend behind and over the outer ring. I really did get lost in a tiny fantasy world while creating this one. Off to make more soon.
Well I have finally done it – my first video demo on YouTube – eek. I am showing the new tool from Gina which enables you to create the little Japanese hanging decorations (Hishikazari – Dragon Boats). I have shown how to wrap them with thread and also how to treat them with Powertex if you want to make them more robust and use them in key rings, jewellery or bag charms etc.
Good evening. This is my first try at making a hat and I had an adventure.
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).
Silk fibres and fabric scraps were needle felted onto the background for added texture.
Some free machine embroidery and quilting was also worked into the background.
3D pearlescent fabric paint added more texture. I made a little rock pool in the top.
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.
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.
I also embellished with real shells and sea urchins too.
I also created some coral made by wrapping recycled plastic beads with organza, further embellished with little pink seed beaded branches.
Strips of the blue organza were gathered and twirled to give the spongy coral effect. The edges were frayed to enhance.
The starfish was created with shell sticks, texture added using tiny glass microbeads.
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.
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.
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.