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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Practice pieces

I think I've got the hang of this now. The weather has been awful, so another day in the crafting studio, aka my living room. I haven't got one of those wooden embroidery hoops so a bit of imagination was needed to find something else which would do the job. Take one wooden picture frame, remove the backing, picture, and glass. Then stretch the fabric and net over it and secure around the edges with plastic clips. I used a piece of curtain lining fabric for the first practice piece.
The mesh I used was very fine. I found that stretching it can alter the shape of the squares, these are more like diamonds. It is important to stop the mesh from moving while working on the piece by securing it tightly around the edges.
The mesh is removed. These stars are quite tiny and not all exactly the same. I don't think it matters. 
The second one I did was on a piece of orange silk, using two colours of cotton. The silk was slipping a bit and I had to adjust the clips as I was working on it. Some of the lines are a bit wavy. It would probably be better to use a hoop for slippery fabrics, to stop it moving about. 
This reminds me a bit of cross stitch, each star is two crosses, one on top of the other. I needed to get quite close to it when I was stitching, because it's important to push the needle through in precisely the right place. This meant bending forward, and suspending it between my knees and the table. I had to keep stopping to straighten up as I was quite uncomfortable. It would be better to find a way of lifting the work to eye level, perhaps using a free standing embroidery frame, or using a magnifying glass which hangs around your neck. That would stop the need to lean forward and scrunch your body up. I need to get more organised before I do any more of this. Sitting hunched up is no good for my stomach. Back to the rag rug tomorrow.
Toodle pip.  


  1. What a great effect .. I really like it, reminds me of Christmassy embroidery things .. very nice indeed..looking forward to an update on the rag rug AFM xx

  2. The plastic clips look interesting. I managed to acquire a freestanding embroidery frame on Freegle and I'm using it for hand quilting a single bed quilt. I wonder if the clips would hold it as well as the long pins I'm using...they certainly would be easier on the fingers!!

  3. Fantastic. Very creative. I will also have a go. Great blog.
    Dianne - Hereford

  4. It looks very good for a first attempt. You really are very "crafty"! I shall be looking for inside jobs to do as we are having another week of 40 deg. I wish you could send us some of your rain.

  5. Very,very pretty Ilona, after all that work you've got to find something to make with it, its too nice to not use.

  6. That's ingenious Ilona and your stitches are wonderfully neat.

  7. Love your "stars"! I get embroidery hoops really cheaply at the charity shops could also go to Boyes. Easier than killing your back! I believe strongly in using the right tools for the job, and you will have it always to use over and over...

  8. Really pretty,Ilona! I was thinking about this technique today, and it's really clever! I do think an embroidery hoop would be helpful as it holds the fabric with even tension all around the perimeter. The one I used to use was also smaller than your frame, I think, which probably helps limit the stretching as well. Can't wait to see what you do with this next!

  9. Very nice! You must have that artist touch; everything you do is fabulous!

  10. That's so pretty, it reminds me of the stuff that you got in Switzerland or Czech republic etc, red on white.

  11. You did a wonderful job! I love that it isn't perfect. You can tell it was handmade. If you need perfect, use a machine. That mesh is a great idea. Silk can be difficult to work with and don't even get me started on velvet. Have fun in your studio!

  12. What a great idea! I am going to try this after I finish the rag rug!


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