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

AW Macrame Hangers 3

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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.

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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

 

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Photography courtesy of Gina Barrett.

Teneriffe Lace TV show samples for Gina-B Silkworks

Good afternoon. Here is a quick peek at my samples for the Teneriffe Lace show on Create & Craft today at 5pm. Freeview Channel 23 (UK) or watch online from the website (they keep videos online for a week if you miss it).

 

AW Lace pincushion 1

AW Lace pincushion 2

Clover Motif worked on Loom 1 – from Total Trimmings book 1 (Teneriffe Lace)

 

AW Lace xmas card 3

Christmas Motif – worked on Loom 1

 

AW Oriental lace canvas

Mixed media canvas – Large and small circular lace motifs from Total Trimmings book – Loom 1. The butterfly was one of my experiments on Loom 3.

I will blog more details soon.

Printing onto Fabric using Bubble Jet Set

I have been meaning to try this stuff out for ages and have finally got around to testing out Bubble Jet Set for printing directly onto fabric from an inkjet printer. I have an Epson printer with compatible archival type pigment inks but this works with inkjet dye based inks too (although I haven’t personally assessed those).

 

AW Bubble Jet Set 1

  1. I used 100% cotton fabric prewashed to remove any starch or sizing etc. Soaked in the solution for 5 mins and then air dried (excess solution can be returned to the bottle).
  2. I left it to air dry then ironed to remove any creasing. Then ironed onto the shiny side of freezer paper (available from grocers).
  3. I had a lot of trouble initially getting my printer to accept the sheets! Freezer papers do vary in thickness and stiffness and mine was a bit limp and my printer just wasn’t having it. To get around this I slightly trimmed back my sheet and used a glue stick to apply the sheet to a piece of standard copy paper. Hey presto – my printer accepted it perfectly.
  4. I printed some butterflies from a Copyright Free image set from Dover Publications – using standard paper print settings. They printed out perfectly.
  5. After 30 mins I wash tested the images (hand hot wash with detergent – washing up liquid) and they washed perfectly with no loss of image. Yay!
  6. I ironed on some interfacing and embellished some of these with free machine embroidery before cutting out and using for applique. Delighted with the results and it works out so much cheaper than the ready to print fabric sheets that are available (they are very good but far too expensive for me).

AW Bubble Jet Set 2

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Fabric design created from my art work

I created this fabric design using photographs of several different pieces of my own art work. I included autumn and summer elements together – why not – with a little fantasy art.

I cut out elements using Serif Craft Artist and collaged them together to make a repeat pattern for digital printing onto fabric. I was lucky enough to win a competition and get 3m of this printed for free – Yay! Unfortunately the Company has gone now but they made a great job of printing this for me onto lovely cotton twill. I haven’t dared to cut into it yet but now I am planning a special outfit to make from it soon.

fabric design

This is the part design ready to create a repeat tile. This was all done in Serif cutting out elements from various of my paintings and textile pieces (see below). This was then cut into quarters and rearranged with outer edges to the inside. Extra elements were used to fill the gaps.

fabric design 3

Here is my design tile to create an all over repeat design.

fabric tiled

Here is the tiled repeat. I was happy that there were no obvious ‘patchwork’ edges.

Fabric

This is the printed fabric – wonderful!

The following pieces show the artwork that I ‘cut’ out the design elements from.

Autumn Leaves 2

I cut the autumn leaves from the watercolour painting.

AW1web

Some of the trees and foliage were cut from this watercolour painting.

AFairyWoodland

The owl was cut from my fantasy textile art piece. Some of the design elements in this piece were inspired by the Serif Craft Artist Digikits from the Fantasy and Medieval collections.

Floral Fantasy4c

Needle felted and embroidered flower.