Quilted Floral Tote Bag created for Gina B Silkworks

Good evening. 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.

Floral Tote Bag

AW Flower Bag 4

I made this floral tote bag using recycled cream curtain lining, curtain interlining and old bed sheets. I love to recycle.

AW Bag 1

I dyed the lining using purple machine dye (Dylon). The fabric for the outer was first painted with dilute pink and purple fabric paints, letting the colours bleed together to create a mottled background (Vajello paints from Colouricious).

I then block printed with leaves and flowers (Colouricious blocks) using Vajello paints (purple and deep pink) and Starlight fabric paint (metallic gold). Tip: When block printing it is essential to use a foam pad underneath – the wooden blocks need a cushion to print properly.

Fabics were then heat set with ironing and washed to remove any excess colour.

AW Flower Bag 2

The outer panels were laid over curtain interlining (cotton interlining is like a thin wadding/batting) and free machine quilted with beige cotton thread.

AW Flower Bag 3

Handles were created by stitching strips together. I used a machine decorative stitch to embellish.

Recycled pink and yellow cotton strips were torn from old bed sheets and further colouring added using pink and purple alcohol ink markers. An alcohol blender pen was used to blend the colour. Colour was fixed with ironing. I enhanced the soft frayed edges by pulling away strands.

I used the Rococo Flower Comb set to create the ribbon flowers and ruched strips. I added a felt circle and seed beads to the centre of the flatter flower. The bell flowers were created by wrapping ruched strips around stamens making a cone shape. Note: the stamens are not really washable but I did check that they did not run colour if dunked in soapy water and wet under a tap. There would be nothing worse than colour running everywhere or transferring to clothes if caught out in a rain shower.

AW Flower Bag 5

Finally I stitched it all together. I made the lining panels slightly taller than the outer so that the lining created a border along the top, then top stitched through all the layers to hold neatly in place.

I have one more ribbon flower sample to blog later and it’s a wowzer – even if I say so myself. Back soon xxx

Advertisements

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.

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.

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

AW Bubble Jet Set 3

AW Delphiniums 2

Got my table cloths made for the show

I got my table cloths made and ready for my show (Art on the Common, Harpenden, 10th and 11th June).

 

I tie dyed some polycotton sheeting. Really quick method using elastic bands. I edged with an overlocked hem stitch so that was quick & easy too.

Table Cloths

Less than 2 weeks to go……… panic ….. eeek!

Nearly finished all my silks and some cotton shopping bags as ‘fillers’ for my stall. All paintings about finished. Next is to sort and finish jewellery. Gosh – it takes so long to label and price everything!

Will share more soon x

Tie dyed and block printed skirt and top

 

AW Tie Dye Skirt 3

AW Tie Dye Top 2

AW Tie Dye Skirt 4

 

I had been meaning to dye and decorate these for ages – a white T shirt and very pale denim skirt (white to pale blue dip die effect).

I used one of the old multipurpose Dylon dies in the washing machine (they now have an alternative formulation for natural fabrics such as cotton). I really didn’t spend a lot of time. I decided where I wanted the motifs and made a small mark with chalk. I placed a chop stick tip behind the placement mark and made a sort of tent shape. Then I simply wrapped it with elastic bands and pulled out the stick. I found this a really quick and easy method. I then dyed in the washing machine with salt (according to packet directions). I love the way that the polyester stitching didn’t pick up the die – nice design detail.

AW Tie Die Skirt 1

AW Tie Dye Top 1

Looking at the results the rings reminded my somewhat of floating jelly fish so I decided to block print and create a sort of ‘under the sea’ theme.

I over printed the design using iron fix fabric paints and printing blocks from Colouricious.

Upcycled skirt and top, dyed and block printed ready for summer

AW Upcycled printed skirt 1AW Upcycled printed skirt 2

Good morning. I have been doing a little more fabric dyeing and block printing of my clothes ready for summer. This one started off as a plain white skirt. It was a bargain charity shop buy at just £2 – but white is simply not me.

The fabric is 100% cotton with a fine metallic thread running through it at intervals – perfect for dyeing. I dyed it Flamingo Pink (Dylon) using the washing machine. Then I block printed with fabric paint and wooden print blocks (Blockwallah and Colouricious). Ta Da – a lovely revamped skirt ready for summer.

 

I also picked up another £2 bargain which started off as a pale pink knitted top. I dyed it in the same batch and it turned out fabulous. It was mainly viscose but also had a synthetic fibre component. You can see in the close up that it came out with a lovely mottled effect as the synthetic fibre remained undyed.

AW Dyed pink top

AW Dyed top pink 1