Saturday, January 29, 2022

Embellished Tags

My shoulders, arms, and hands are finally feeling better. Not what they once were, but at my age I don't guess I can expect anything to be what it once was. The trick now will be to ease back into my needlework and quilt making activities without going overboard. To that end I have chosen to make a few more textile collages that I can mount on tags. The tags I have were bought several years ago from our local Office Depot. They were labelled as shipping tags. They measure 2.25" wide and are 4.75" high. That gives me about 2" x 4" to play in. I have two to show you. This first one began with a cloth napkin that had a rose bud stitched in one corner. It was awfully neutral so to give it some color  I wrapped the stitches of the rose bud with a silk floss and the leaves with cotton. 

I love to play with charms and beads in my work so I have quite a collection to choose from.

I also had a play with a skinny strip of some mysterious striped fabric, creating a ruffle with some of it and just stitching the rest down flat.

That tag has layers of textiles but they are all secured to the napkin base. This second tag developed in a whole different way.

 I actually started with the scrap of lace and built downwards. I liked the lace over the William Morris repro print that ended up being the bottom layer but it blended in too much. I needed a bit of contrast. That's when the chambray scrap turned up. I decided to do a bit of feather stitching to dress it up a bit, with size 12 perle cottons.

Then I felt the Wm. Morris print needed dressing up too.

The script print, button, and dangling fibers at the top were added at the end to hold everything together. I've used Scotch brand double sided tape in strips to mount the textiles to the tags. I find it interesting that I've been able to embrace raw edges at last. The perfectionist in me would not have allowed that in the past. 😉 

These will be sent to the Disabled Artists Foundation Inc. for an upcoming fund raising auction. I may even get one or two more made before I send anything off! 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Itty-Bitty Scrap Happy Day in January

 Kate (in Australia) and Gun (in Sweden) host Scrap Happy Day on the 15th of each month. It has been my habit to participate with quilt blocks or quilts made out of scraps, with a few exceptions. This month will be an exception. I've been really good, not using my hand and arm that seem to be suffering from carpal tunnel or something, for what feels like forever now. It's actually only been weeks, but possibly as many as six. I have not been a happy bunny. I feel bad for the members of our household; they've had to endure my short temper and nervous energy. 

To help pass the time I've been watching crafters on YouTube with an eye to what I might be able to do when my arm is more fully healed. Not quilts, but small projects. Embroidery, if I can manage it. One thing I've learned about is clusters. Journal makers assemble them from the smallest of their paper scraps and then use them to decorate the pages of the books they make. Some folks combine fabric, lace, and paper. Thought I would give that a try with a few of my smaller scraps. 

I layered a strip of quilter's cotton on top of a chunk of homespun cotton and then layered them onto the remnant corner of a vintage table linen. A few rows of running stitches didn't seem to bother my hand - what a relief! Then I found the slip of polyester and a button I thought would work well to top it all off. I was concerned about giving the button something sturdy to support it.

A scrap of denim from my husband's really old Levi's worked well. I sewed it with the back of the denim facing the front. I'm thinking I want to have the option to have this be visible from both sides in whatever it ends up in. Overall it measures roughly the same size as an ATC (2.5" x 3.5"). I can't even describe how happy it made me to be able to do this little bit of play with fabric and thread. 😊

There are participants in Scrap Happy Day all over the world, and everyone publishes at some point on the 15th in their own time zone. I'm generally one of the last to get a post up. If you haven't been to see what others may have done with their scrap materials (not all play with fabric primarily) now would probably be a good time to do so! 

KateGun, Eva, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith, Debbierose

Friday, January 7, 2022

Slow Stitching

 There are all sorts of new community projects popping up with the start of a new year. I'm talking about online communities like YouTube and Facebook. I've never been one for New Year's resolutions but I do enjoy suggestions for new creative endeavors. It's being very hard this year to be laid up and unable to play along, at least not yet. I wasn't able to finish the #52tagshannemade project by the end of last year either. Hopefully when things improve for me physically I'll still be interested in completing my set of ATC's for that project. In the meantime I thought I would share some small pieces of slow stitching I did late last year that I don't think I've shown here.

My understanding of "slow stitch" is that it's meant to be a meditative endeavor with needle and thread. Some people doodle with a pen or pencil for mindless relaxation. I think of this as doodling with thread. And I do find it very soothing. I'm missing it terribly at the moment. 

This strip is a piece of muslin over scrap batting. It's about 2.5" high and 10" long. At first it was difficult for me to stitch without a specific purpose or end product in mind for the work. Gradually it became a place to practice or play with embroidery stitches. There's chain stitch, lots of feather stitching, blanket stitches, some fly stitches, French and Colonial knots, and just plain straight stitches. I'm not sure this is actually done yet. There's a blank space on the left I could fill in. Or I may not. 

This square was done on a mottled yellow cotton, again over a scrap of batting. I really like the texture that the stitches over batting create. This one and the others I'll show you are all about four inches square. Basically the same stitches throughout.

Same yellow ground on this one. Can you tell I like feather stitching? And variegated thread!

I used tiny scraps to create the foundation for the one above and below.

It's this sort of work I want to get back to more than quilt making at the moment. I did try to do some machine piecing after the onset of this current affliction but it didn't go well. Maybe after a bit more time I can ease back into my textile projects. 🤞