It’s a busy time here at Clasheen but I do seem to be managing my time a little better than usual, thankfully!
As promised here is a picture of the two dry stone wall inspired felt bracelets I made at Niki’s last week, the bracelet on the right I kept for myself and the one on the left has just been added to my Big Cartel shop. It has been interesting hearing the reaction of everyone who has seen these two pieces together, with the exception of one friend and myself, everyone has choosen the one on the left hand side as their favourite. This leads me to believe people find the larger white surround of the stones appealing, whatever, I love them both!!!
I spent a wonderful two days over the weekend participating in a workshop with the South East Textile Group. Our main focus for the workshop was free machine embroidery on various types of dissolvable fabric or paper but for me the biggest result was getting to grips with my Janome straight stitch machine and feeling comfortable with the results! Our tutor was Arelene Shawcross, an English lady now living and working from Macroom in Co. Cork. Arelene was an excellent teacher, I would highly recommend sessions with her for anyone interested in exploring free machining further, her manner is informed, relaxing and highly productive. There were loads of interesting samples for everyone to examine and exclaim over. For me the beauty of Arlene’s embroidery was most visable in some subtle tone on tone work, I don’t find highly coloured pieces as attractive to my eye but definitely there was something to suit everyone in the work on display and we all got inspired and ready to get down to business quickly.
The first sort of soluble fabric that I decided to experiment with was a thickish plastic kind of one called ‘Romeo’. Following on with my dry stone wall obsession I wanted to keep my work subtle and elected to stitch a bracelet (after a couple of small sample pieces!) using soft shades of silver, grey and blue machine embroidery threads. The top two tips that I learnt over the weekend were that it is important not to have the presser foot (free machine or darning) down against the fabric you are stitching on and that you can use machine embroidery and metallic threads on top and in your bobbin if you follow this rule, magic!!! You may remember I was having problems with my metallic thread breaking constantly when I last stitched into felt, changing to a new needle and following the above tips worked like a dream, I tried stitching into some very thick felt after I had finished the bracelet and no problems. Following is a picture of the bracelet pinned to some polystyrene prior to dissolving the plastic, images of the finished piece tomorrow!
Finally a big thanks to Cathy for nominating this blog for a 2011 Irish Web Award, YAY!