Tag Archives: The Stitchbook Collective

Scrap Happy: Weaving

It is the last month of The Stitchbook Collective and this month’s box of goodies is all about weaving. handmade loom on old fence wire

Helen has sent us a kit to create a loom on cardboard but, you must know by now, it’s all about rust for me! So what better than some old rusty sheep wire to create my own little loom.

rusty old wire, rustophile

and as if by magic

weaving on wire

it fits perfectly on the Stitchbook page.

slow stitch withe weave

It needs a backing to cushion the spikes of the rusty barbed wire.

As I was doing the weaving with yarn, I wondered whether it would work with just bits of metal woven through linen thread. I have to admit, I am thrilled with this one.

woven wire sculpture

I am not quite sure how to mount it, but I am just enjoying it as is for now.

When Little Miss M (8) saw my weaving she asked if she could have a go, so I made two more looms for our afternoon by the lake.

wire loom and linen thread

We collected reeds and other bits and pieces, and she sat on her paddle board to weaveweaving with reeds

and together we made our diptych entitled ‘An afternoon by the lake’

art with natural objects

I am planning to mount them in a box frame when they have fully dried.

Joining Kate and her merry band of scrappers for Scrap Happy Day

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

 

Textile Tuesday: July

couchingWe are edging towards the end of The Stitchbook Collective year, in August we will receive our last kit. Was there ever a better timed project! There are 150 of us in the Collective and it has been a wonderful creative community to be part of over the last few months.

Our June box was all about Laid Work and Couching, including how to couch lettering.

Of course I had to include a bit of rust dyed fabric – Rust Dyeing has been my favourite process of the whole course – I love the magic, alchemy and serendipity of it.

The Laid Work was a real challenge for me

stem stitch outline

I like to be messy and abstract and fairly free with my stitching

pineapple design

but Bayeux stitch is not any of those things – keeping within the lines is what is required, (and as I am writing this, I am already creating a design in my head of a messy, borderless piece, but still using some of the Bayeux stitch technique…. ooo .. but no … I have to finish writing this post first – ‘inspiration’, a blessing or the opposite?! sometimes both)

embroidery, Bayeux stitch

I searched online for an Art Deco pineapple design (you might already know how much I like pineapples, here is just one post about them, but there are loads more and if you want to see them, just type Pineapple into the Search Box top right) and created the above from a wallpaper pattern.

After all that control, my inner rebel needed to get messy again so time to experiment with some eco-dyeing

eco-dyeing

An old calico curtain pickled with mould spots has found it’s time to shine. Soaked in soya milk, and then wrapped round a rusty nail, encasing leaves soaked in rusty water.

steam dyeing

In they all go to be steamed

I like the look of the bundles as much as I like the dyed fabric. There is something intriguing about the mystery they hold. (Argghhh! another idea …. project of bundles as the art work themselves, on a theme, so wrapping pertinent pieces of memorabilia in a bundle and then working on the outside to hint at what it holds ……. noooo … get back to writing this post!)

To speed up the process of drying, I sat them on a wheat-filled heat pad that is heated in the microwave

drying bundles

But even that wasn’t quick enough for me, so I later put them under the grill on a very low heat.

I also tried printing the leaves onto paper

eco-dyeing

I was a bit disappointed with the results at first, but there are definitely marks to work with …. I wonder where inspiration will take me.

Although there is a tinge of sadness that The Stitchbook Collective is coming to a close, there is also celebration as our books are going to be exhibited at the Kniiting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November.

Even better news! Anyone who would like to be part of the next Stitchbook Collective can be. Helen is running another one next year – I can highly recommend it! Suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. You can subscribe for a whole year or buy the individual kits.

Must go, I have messy Bayeux stitch to figure out and a few bundles to make.

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If you would like to share any textile related posts in July, just pop a link in the comments below, current or archive, anything textile related,  are all welcome.

 

Textile Tuesday: Kunin Felt

Kunin Felt, the Stitchbook CollectiveThe Stitchbook Collective, organised by Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads couldn’t have happened at a better time. Each month a box of delights pops through my letterbox and new little textile project is born, full of learning, peaceful stitching and an opportuity to share it with the others in the Collective.

If you are looking for a small slow stitching project, I can highly recommend Helen’s kits, which come with full tutorials and all the materials needed to produce a piece of textile art.

May’s box of goodies was all about Kunin Felt and playing around with candles and heating the felt to form flowers or other shapes that took your fancy.

I was a bit stumped to start with and could not work out a design I wanted to create, so I turned to Pinterest and found this post which inspired my design.pinterest, felt, B Zwickler

I laid out some pieces of shiny cord included in the kit an added my own Sari waste cord which I got from YarnYarn, and couched them onto the black backing felt.Yarn Yarn, felt

and gradually built up the design.

felt design

A fun month with bright colours and playing with fire, fabulous!

Have you been playing with textiles this month, or maybe you have some archive posts about textiles you would like to share. Just pop a link in the comments, I would love to see them.

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month.

Textile Tuesday: Tyvek

Is anyone else losing track of the days, weeks, months?!

Here just one week late is Textile Tuesday

Tyvek

In The Stitchbook Collective we have been having fun with Tyvek.

Each month we get a pack of goodies to experiment with

The Stitchbook Collective

It is always a wonderfully exciting moment to open the parcel to see what is inside

IMG_8886

Colours I would not usually choose to work with, all carefully chosen and lovingly put together. The kits are still available if you go to the Untangled Threads website, and a pound from the sale of each kit goes to the mental health charity, Mind. So far Helen has raised and donated £2,489.50.

Tyvek is a synthetic fabric that reacts to heat

IMG_8878

IMG_8879

Creating great bobbly textures

This one was painted with a tester pot of Dulux emulsion before hitting it with the heat gun

painted tyvek and heat gun

Here is the piece of fabric collage I will put on a page in my stitchbook

textile collage

Now onto the next parcel to open, which is all about felt.

Have you been working with textiles or found any interesting textiles or textile art recently? If so it would be fun to see what has caught your eye in the world of textiles. Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

Textile Tuesday: Chindi

slow stitching on chindi rags

This is one of my samples to go on April’s page of the Stitchbook I am making, as I follow Helen Birmingham’s wonderful guidelines.

This month’s kit is a particular delight.The Stitchbook Collective, April

And includes a small piece of Chindi rugchindi rug, rags

Pulling out the fabric pieces and ironing them is like finding treasure

rags

all those disparate patterns, all harmonising together

tacking

The serendipity of finding the patterns within the rug intrigued me so much I bought another by mail order

chindi rug

and found these patterns inside

chindi rug scraps

Very different but no less exciting. I am going to have fun stitching on these.

I am loving this 12 month course, each month offers new techniques and ideas. Each kit is still available in Helen’s shop.

Do you have any textile adventures to share with us this month?

Please leave a link in the comments to your Textile posts – current posts or archive are all welcome.

Joomchi

Our deliciously delectable December box of goodies from The Stitchbook Collective is all about experimenting with mulberry paper – a technique known as Joomchi.

Helen has sent us some sheets of paper in a variety of colours and has devised a cunningly clever way of felting them together in various ways to produce a fabulous textured surface that can then be stitched.

These are the pieces I have created – before adding any stitchingjoomchi

the one top left is much more see-through held against the light

paper felting

I haven’t been able to completely wrench myself away from rust dyeing

rust dyeing, keys

and found some more goodies in the hardware shop to play with.

nails, washers

This piece of felted paper seemed to go really well with the rust and red wine dyed cotton curtain lining

joomchi and rust dyed fabric

I discovered that the wet paper can be moulded over textured objects to add surface interest.

This one was moulded over the top of the radiator moulding joomchiand looks at home on this piece rust dyed calico

rust dyed fabric and joomchi, textile art

I added some simulated rust staining to the green paper by painting with Koh-i-noor inks.

Just a few stitches to hold it all together and I have this month’s page of the Stitchbook done.

There is more to explore with this technique so I have just ordered some more mulberry paper from Calder Art Supplies in Huddersfield.

I might try rust dyeing the paper when it comes ……..

Scrap Happy Stitchbook

This month’s Goody Pack from The Stitchbook Collective, is all about dyeing and staining.

beach finds

It probably comes as no surprise that I have a Rust Collection. These are all pieces I have gathered over the last 5 or 6 years whilst beachcombing.

I have been waiting to use them for dyeing fabric, but every time I looked online for instructions, I came across confusing information, so didn’t have a go …. until now!

Helen Birmingham’s written instructions are clear and run alongside a helpful video tutorial. This gave me the perfect kickstart. You can still buy the kit in her online shop.

I relished getting each rusty piece out and arranging them.

flat lay

enjoying the texture and colours.rusty nails

Then the happy task of wrapping them in white-vinegar-soaked fabric.

fabric dyeing with rust

Leaving them overnight was a challenge – I’m SO impatient

Some were stacked on a trivet above my cooling wood-burning stove to speed up the process

rust dyeing stack

I also stained a few bits of paper for collage at the same time.

oven rust

The larger pieces were put on top of vinegar-soaked fabric and put it in the oven.dyeing with rust

I put the oven on the lowest temperature for just five minutes and left for a while, repeating this several times, sprinkling with white vinegar to keep it moist.

rust stain

The grid effect came from a disposable barbeque mesh, that had been left on the beach.

rust dyeing

Fun!nails in calico and curtain lining

Nails wrapped in strips of an old calico curtain and the lining were my favourite little experiments

IMG_6857

My intention was to dye strips of fabric and embroidery thread to use in textile artIMG_6874

– but I loved the look of the wrapped nails so much I have kept some of them wrapped

wrapped and rusted

and will use them as they are.

To preserve them, I have painted them with some old acrylic varnish found in the garage, left by the previous owner – it must be at least 15 years old, but it did the trick.

varnish

So exciting.

This is a little stitched sampler that will go in my Stitchbook.

textile art for The Stitchbook Collective

I am enjoying this so much!

Joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy get together.

There are lots more Happy Scrappers to check out as well.

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have you been creative with things destined for the scrap heap? If so, leave a link in the comments of Kate’s post and join in the fun.

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas ……..  each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well  ……. hmmm ……..  I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Stitchbook Collective: Texture

The Stitchbook Collective is off and running! Our first pack arrived a day early – wow! I was jumping up and down with excitement. Little packages of delight.

The Stitchbook Collective, texture pack

A present I have given myself, each month for a whole year – it feels so good.

Then the joy of opening them all up and seeing what is inside …. all there waiting to be played with….

Helen Birmingham's Tecture pack

The Texture and Starter Packs are available to buy individually, with unlimited access to the video tutorials.

As a child, I used to go and stay with my step-grandmother, I called her Dabbity, and she would have little embroidery projects ready for me to make – it reminds me of that – Helen and Dabbity have merged together in my mind, it is warmly comforting to have those memories revived.

Once again (like in the Starter Pack) there are 9 tiny samples to create – this is the first one I did

calico squares, texture sample

It inspired me to think about making a larger one, with just the large cross-stitches to hold the fabric pieces to the back ground – so I’m off to get some more calico.

The next was a loopy one – I love these loops

calico loops, embroidery sample, Stitchbook Collective

and then a spider’s web inspired piece, weaving the textured thread through the spokes

surface embroidery, woven web

I am having fun with these.

One of the best things about this ongoing project is the Facebook Group that nearly all of the 150 in the Stitchbook Collective are members off. We share pictures of our work and aspects of the processes we go through. It amazes me to see the rich variety created from much the same materials and what gems are created on tiny areas of calico.

Do you have any embroidery on the go at the moment?

Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to see what you are up to.