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Winter’s Day

Winter’s Day

I started this project after a walk on a beautiful sunny day.  Using white fabric, I machine stitched shapes using a twin needle and then cut out parts.  I coloured a second piece of white fabric using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels and Derwent Inktense Pencils.  The plan for the piece evolved as the weather changed.  An ice-storm brought down many branches from my pine trees and then froze them to the ground and covered them with snow.

Detail – hand embroidery and weaving

I stitched the pine branches onto water-soluble stabilizer with the sewing machine and once the stabilizer was washed out I sewed them onto the back side of the cutouts.

Detail: Winter’sDay

This will be one of the pieces I will be entering in Out of the Box‘s Fibre Fling 6 show in April.

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Prudence

Prudence is another doll whose shape was inspired by a bottle. (See Making a Pattern from a Bottle here.)

I used the same pattern as for Portia and Passion ( see here and here)  except that I made the pattern slightly smaller.

Sewing Embroidered Parts together

The front and one side are sewn together half way

I used the sewing machine to make  the hair.  Using the same  green thread  I used in the body, I sewed straight lines on water soluble stabilizer and then sewed over it with a decorative stitch that caught both straight lines.

Sewing hair by machine

Sewing decorative stitch over the two lines of straight stitch

After washing out the stabilizer and letting it dry, I cut it up and used Fray Check to seal the ends before sewing it on the doll’s head.  I marked dots on the head with a pencil as a guide.

Sewing on the hair

Sewing on the hair

The face was painted with pastel pencils.

Here is the completed doll.

Art doll made from bottle pattern

Prudence

Detail of art doll

Detail – Prudence

Do You Wanna Dance?

I love So You Think You Can Dance.  This season I have been trying to sketch while watching it on TV.  I have no way to record the program and stop the action, so I make very crude stick figures in various positions all over the page of my sketchbook.  Afterwards, I use my little artist’s manikin and put it in the position of one of my stick figures and draw a slightly better sketch of the dancer.

Once I have a sketch I like I trace it onto water soluble stabilizer.  I use  free motion embroidery  to fill in the figure and then add a lacy grid pattern around it to  make a rectangle.  In my first embroidery, I filled the background in a little more than I intended so I  added some gold metallic thread to the figure to help it stand out.embroidery on pink background

I left it for a time while I decided what to do about it.  It needs a back ground in order to see the figure.  Hanging it in a window also works, but the sun would not be good for it.

Meanwhile I had done some more sketches and was ready to try again. I figured, as long as I have to add a background I might as well embroider it on a background and then I don’t have to make sure all the bits of the background lace is attached to other stitches.  So I went off to my favourite sewing store, Yarn Forward & Sew On, to get some suitable stabilizer.   Well, I did buy a little bit of stabilizer, just in case, but Jo-Ann Raven persuaded me that I should frame it in a deep frame with the fabric close to the glass leaving space behind the embroidery for light. So that is what I did.  Thanks Jo-Ann.

framed embroidery on blue wall

At the moment  I have not put any backing on the frame.  I have photographed it hanging on a blue wall (at an angle to avoid reflections) and again out in the garden.

embroidery, matted, outside

For my second embroidery, also on water soluble stabilizer,  I did less background stitches.  I think too few.  In future, I will do something in between, less than the first attempt and more stitches than the second.

second embroidery on green fabric

Free motion embroidery laid on fabric

Come Swim with the Fishes

I made some more fish.

I made three bodies and then embroidered the eyes and fins.

Fin-less Blind Fish

I’m still having trouble with the stabilizer scrunching up as I sew but it’s a little better after putting it in the freezer for a while before I start embroidering on it.

Free Motion embroidery fins and eyes on water-soluble stabilizer

Dorsal fins and a new eye

When I started to sew on the  fins , I realized that I had forgotten to embroider the dorsal fins.  I also didn’t like one of set of eyes, so I decided to redo it in a different colour.

Detail of Fish Tail

School of Fish

The tail fin of the green and purple fish was a little floppy so I coated both sides with Acrylic Matte Medium.  When I finished the fish I hung them outside to photograph.

Soft Sculpture Fish

This piece was inspired by my March trip to the Biodome in Montreal.  There were fish in 2 of the ecosystems, but the ones in the Gulf of St Lawrence held our attention for the longest time.

I eventually want to do a  fish with an embroidered body, but for now I thought I’d do a few in fabric with free motion embroidered fins.

Free motion Embroidery on Ultra Solvy, water-soluble stabilizer

So far I’ve only done this one in black and white with red fins.

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