Monday, September 1, 2014

Finished object :: Blue blackwork brooch

Little Blackwork Brooch
I used the blackwork sample from last week's waste canvas tutorial to make myself a brooch.

It was simple to make. Cut a piece of felt a bit bigger than the embroidery. Then I sewed around the embroidery on the wrong side, leaving a wee turning gap at the bottom. Cut away the excess fabric and 'pinked' around the curves. Then turned it inside out and sewed together the turning gap. Attached a brooch pin on the back and it was ready to wear. :-)

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interlude :: Cat in the studio

Cat in the studio

Cat in the studio

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pink and yellow

Pink and yellow roses
Last week Tony came back from the shops with two bunches of roses for me. For no reason in particular. Other than he's the bestest husband ever. ;-)

The roses kinda remind me of some that were in my wedding bouquet...

Pink and yellow roses

Pink and yellow roses

Pink and yellow roses

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Friday, August 29, 2014

London :: Tower Poppies

Tower Poppies
I was in London last week and on my way home I went by the Tower of London to see the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red art installation, aka Tower Poppies. It is 888,246 ceramic poppies that will fill the Tower moat between August 5 and November 11. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during WWI.

Tower Poppies
It was quite moving to see these... I don't know if it's possible to get into the moat and get close up. That would have been interesting. And even more moving I think. One poppy, one life...

Tower Poppies
I'm glad I had brought my big camera so I could take some nice photos and not rely on my mobile.

Tower Poppies
Have you been to see the poppies?

Tower Poppies
That tall building there in the background is the Shard. I walked past that too. It's scarily tall!
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Embroidery Tutorial :: Waste Canvas

Waste Canvas Tutorial
I don't know if you have tried waste canvas yet? It is very handy when you want to do counted work, cross stitch or blackwork e.g., on fabric that isn't very good for this kind of work. For example, felt or jersey fabric, like you find in t-shirts.

Waste canvas comes in different counts, like you find for regular cross stitch fabric. The count refers to how many threads or blocks are in an inch of the fabric. 14 count means there are 14 threads, 18 count means there are 18 and so on. The higher the number, the smaller the stitches basically.

To try this, you will need the following:

• Waste canvas, you should be able to find this with cross stitch fabric in your local craft shop. Otherwise, have a look online. I used 14 count, I like that it's still fairly large, but maybe you want to give 18 count a go.

• Fabric, try it with felt, for example. Or maybe some quilting cotton as I have used in my example.
• A normal embroidery needle, not a cross stitch needle. You need to pierce through the fabric.
• Embroidery floss, I used DMC, but use whatever you have in your stash.
• Sewing thread in a colour that isn't white.
• Water soluble pen or a regular pencil.
• Embroidery scissors and small tweezers.

First, prep your embroidery.
Cut a piece of waste canvas, mine was about 4"x4" square (10 x 10cm), but the size isn't terribly important, it just needs to be large enough for your embroidery.

Cut a piece of fabric that is a little bit larger than the waste canvas.

Baste the waste canvas on the right side of the fabric.

If you are stitching a cross stitch pattern, simply start stitching. I prefer starting in the middle, but start wherever feels most comfortable for you.

If you are filling a shape with blackwork (could be cross stitch, too, I guess!), draw the shape with the soluble pen.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 1
Fill the shape with stitches.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 2
When the stitching is done, cut away as much of the waste canvas as you can without actually cutting into it. Also cut away as much of the basting thread as you can.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 3
With the tweezers, start carefully pulling away some of the waste canvas threads.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 4
Once you have loosened some in one direction, it will be easier to pull them out in the other direction.

Pull at the threads gingerly, yes you can do that. But do experiment, Be careful at first and then gradually apply more force. Obviously you don't want to pull so hard that you ruin your embroidery.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 5
If you have fairly long threads of waste canvas it can be a good idea to cut through them here and there to make it easier to pull them out. But be careful that you don't cut into your embroidery of course.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 7
The more threads you pull out, the easier and quicker it will be to pull out the rest.

Waste Canvas Tutorial 8
That's why it's called waste canvas; you can't reuse this stuff, sorry. ;-)

Waste Canvas Tutorial 9
Waste canvas all removed, awesome! If you used a water soluble pen, you might want to give the fabric a quick rinse. Especially if you're using a light colour fabric where the pen may have seeped through the waste canvas.

And then you can use the embroidery for your intended project.

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Please write comments in English - or any of the languages below. For other languages than these I won't be able to tell if the comment is nasty or spam, so I'll have to delete it. I don't want to delete legitimate comments! Thank you for understanding! xo, Carina

Languages I can read: Danish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch.
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