Thursday, 19 January 2012

Hoorah for bunting!

There was a flurry of activity at yesterday's gathering of The Wednesday Group.

We like to think that we can turn our hands to all sorts of stitch-related projects, so we were more than keen to help Lindsay with the bunting she's currently making for her son's upcoming wedding. What fun we had!

After much chitter chatter and cake eating (both favourite pastimes of the group), we set to work...

First of all we were divided into sub teams (we're nothing if not organised and efficient!). Then came 'the briefing'.

Our mission: to turn metres of pretty fabric into as many bunting shaped pieces as we could (Lindsay needs 1000 in total!)

Anni and Judy got straight down to it and had their marking up and cutting down to a fine art in a very speedy fashion.

Lindsay, as Mother of the Groom and Chief Bunting Maker, was our supervisor - keeping us in check and lending a helping hand wherever it was needed!

By the end of the afternoon, Lois was an expert at rotary cutting.

Kathleen and Ann were great advocates of the 'measure three times, cut once' school of working (I very good life skill...take note one and all!)

Anni, Judy and Lindsay hard at work.

When we finally gave in to the temptation of more tea and cake, we were very pleased to see that not only had we ended up with a satisfyingly large pile of bunting triangles at the end of it, we also had a very small pile of waste fabric bits. Perhaps we should see if we could fashion them into something else wedding-related next time we all meet up?!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Made For Each Other

My recent contributions to this blog have been slim - I do apologise. I admit my stitchy fingers have been busy elsewhere! To make up for this I thought I'd give the low down on my efforts on a recent group challenge.  

Way-y-y-y-y-y back in early Autumn 2011, following the 'Sew-to-Speak' exhibition, we set about making brooches for each other. Names were pulled from the proverbial 'hat' and we scurried off to begin making our brooches in secret for the recipient. There were no rules or directions as such to the style, size or format the brooch might take...
(Click HERE for Anni's post on the subject)

My recipient was Judy, who does the most amazing, fine, hand detailed work with a slender needle. I knew that I wanted to create a small, wearable piece based on British wildlife - this being a motif Judy has used in previous work.
I limited my colour choices to browns and blues, colours which I thought Judy would find wearable with a creamy calico base to give a nod towards materials which I've seen Judy use too.

I originally began by trying to adopt Judy's method of splitting her yarn into such a fine thread that she has to tie it onto her needle to keep it in place whilst stitching. After much faffing with unsuccessful thread splitting, failing to find a suitably fine needle and the unexpected acquisition of sausages for fingers (!) I had to give up on the idea. The urge to contact Judy for more details of her technique was strong but I thought it might give the game away if I did.

I choose to stitch an owl because I had overheard Judy talking about her interest in them and they are creatures which pop up regularly in my work too. A marriage of interests! I began by couching the outline for the owl and surrounding border with a single embroidery thread before filling in detail with mostly satin stitch and a shower of stars.

I didn't mark the calico before I began, prefering to work free-hand to see where the stitches would take me. I finished the brooch with a double band of blanket stitch and some pearly glass beads.
The brooch was presented to Judy at our Christmas knees up meeting...