#52 Handmade tags- Couching

I really quite enjoy couching- this tag is couching with a difference- the challenge to couch rolls of fabric. Harder than it sounds! We were also challenged to use a colour we don’t/haven’t used much of. For me this would be green, brown or orange. I don’t have a great deal of fabric in any of these colours, but what I do have is a pack of green threads bought many years ago- i.e. at least 20 years ago from a now defunct embroidery shop. They cost well over £4 at the time, which for a few lengths of mainly wool, I consider it a bit of a rip off, and so never used them. The time had come!

Base fabric is actually a t towel.

Even that has a story behind it. I bought it as part of a pack of two, having found a project at least 20 years ago to make aprons from t-towels. I made the first one and lost heart- it looked like an apron made from a t-towel. Anyway there it sat in my fabric box. Time to do something with it. I used it as the base for my tag and for one of the fabric rolls.

Exceedingly fiddly

But quite enjoyable to stitch. What’s next I wonder?

#52 Handmade tags

The latest tag 16 is about seed stitch and negative space. First task create the negative space with buttons or washers.

The fabric is purple in case the colour doesn’t appear properly. I choose three yellow embroidery flosses. I love the yellows and purples of Spring time crocuses.

And start to stitch

One tag

I like the way the colours blend, but mine didn’t puff up as much as others I have seen. Should have used the cheaper wadding not off cuts of batting. Learning all the time.

The landscape tag

Tag 15 was to create a landscape. Imagination ran riot for a while, until I calmed down a bit and looked through my fabrics- would I do another sunset- really so old hat from me, or maybe a snowy scene- brrr, wrong season. So in the end this is what happened.

Ooh what can I do with this selection?

The advice was to draw a picture- turned out to be invaluable advice.

pinned out ready to stitch.

Fabric pieces far too fiddly and the hills didn’t look like hills.

At this point my inabailty to translate things into shapes that work needed a great deal of effort from me, and the sketch proved really helpful.

That’s much better.


#52 handmade tags-14

A memory, a pocket and a treasure! The brief for this tag was to think of somewhere or something we had missed during lockdown, make a tag with a pocket and add a treasure to go in the pocket.

One thing I really wanted to do last Summer and didn’t because our house move was delayed in lockdown one, and then we were occupied with just settling in with limited open shops for things like curtain rails, was strawberry picking. There is a particularly good strawberry farm in Swindon that I really wanted to go to and just didn’t. This year I will. I also missed going round beautiful gardens , mostly due to needing to book slots. So my tag was going to reflect both of these dreams.

Assembling the bits and bobs

I had no idea what to do about a treasure to do with picking strawberries, but a rummage through my jewellery boxes yielded up the smiley badge. No idea where it came from, but a smiley badge seemed to reflect what the strawberry picking and garden visiting made me feel.

Starting to stitch

The green bias binding at the top was leftover from the Stitchbook. Took care of fraying edges.

Strawberry beads and rambling roses
Smiley face going in the pocket

Loved stitching this tag. I can just taste those strawberries warm from the plant.

#52 Handmade tags, 12&13

Tag 12 is about exploring buttonhole stitch, which happens to be one of my favourite stitches. I wanted to make this one in celebration of my friendship with J whom I have known since I was 6 years old. It was her birthday this month. She loves, Scotland, dancing and geology. I couldn’t think of anything to stitch which fitted her first two passions, so I opted for geology.

rock layers maybe or rock pools?

Tag 13- was called Golden Layers. Time for some fun.

Turns out I am not big on gold or even yellow fabrics, but I did have this piece of orange fabric. I had used it for the sun in a piece of applique on a quilt, and it seemed to lend itself to the basis of my golden layers. Find a piece of contrasting fabric to go under it, add some lace.

Throw in a piece of Tyvek fabric and button hole the circle.
Add some more layers- covers the join quite nicely I think.
Add some bling

I really enjoyed making both these tags, and I am quite pleased with them both.

The Floral Page

I had joyfully volunteered to make a page for Wild Daffoil’s floral book, to raise money for charity. I was sent a page on which a floral picture had been applied to side one- I was to do side two. Oh it was so very very pretty- all in pink with real twigs down the side- I was going to have to up my game.

Time for some thinking- time for my big girl’s pants. I thought of foxgloves and delphiniums and lupins and daffodils and none seemed right to me. I slept on it. Now I don’t think it is a coincidence but at the time I was reading Birdsong about WW1. When I woke in the morning it was obvious that I had to do a poppy field in a heart- this whole project had begun a few years ago with Sawdust Hearts, a project by Helen Birmingham, in which both Sandra (aka Wild Daffodil) and I had both made hearts, as had many others who went onto make a stitchbook and join Sandra in the extra pages books.

So off I went

First steps

Blue fabric from a piece I had bought from wherever, and some green which I had made well at sometime in the dim and distant. Anchor with bondaweb and some random stitches.

French knots galore

Satin stitches for bigger poppies in the foreground and for the trees on the skyline, some beads for a bit of glitz and a bird- hope it look s a bit dove like to symbolise peace.

I added a tag, using leftover fabric from the sawdust heart I had made and a postcard which I had made a few years back which seemed to fit in perfectly.

And I added these lines to the tag, which had inspired my sawdust heart.

For once I am actually pleased with how it all turned out, and I was delighted that Sandra liked it too. Have to wear the big girls pants more often I guess!

#52 handmade tags

I’ve already forgotten which number I am on, but here are my latest two tags.

The brief was for Suffolk puffs- I love making these.

I did a lot of playing around with getting my placement how I liked it- lace at the bottom

or lace at the top? It needed something more- but there wasn’t enough space for a third Suffolk puff.

When in doubt add a button!

I’ve been and looked that was tag 10, so the next must be 11. So this time it was all about rings and circles- and basically make half a Dorset button- i.e. button hole stitch around a circle. I had just one curtain ring at home and try as I might couldn’t find any more in the shops that are allowed to open at the moment so I had to make do and I wasn’t really happy with the outcome.

Anne suggested that we used fabric with circles or dots for the background. That I could do.

Green fabric from a toy giraffe I made and red and white fabric from a dress I made Little Miss F, and a bit of lace for some frough frough. However you spell that.

I used white thread round the curtain ring and managed to get the blue ring off a bottle and that other is a key ring.

Neither really looks good, not terribly happy.

I expect in six months time it won’t look as disappointing as it does at the moment.

I wonder what comes next?

#52 handmade tags- 9

The brief for tag 9 was to back the tag with a letter/ handwriting, then add fabric and something that had been gifted to you.

Bits and pieces assembled in my tin ready for work.

I love the thinking and planning stage so much. This tag really began with the fragment of a letter from a friend. The letter was on very pretty paper with a floral design down the right hand side. The segment I choose was where she was writing about her dog Trufffle and all the walks she took him every day- this put me in mind of a button which I think I had been gifted, or I may have bought it myself from the Knitting and Stitching show, as I am push over for any purveyor of buttons.

The fabric includes a couple of pieces I was certainly given by a lady I once worked with, and some leftover from the stitchbook and some off cuts of the mountain block I sent to Kate for her Teal it to the Mountains quilt.

So even if the button doesn’t count as gifted the fabric does for sure.

Stitched and looking ok.
Lace ( from a charity shop) and button added.
Little dog in place.

I dedicated this tag to all the dogs that I meet on my walks, and all the owners who let me stroke them and have a chat- they have made Lockdown so much better.

Coastal Stitchbook

The wonderful Wild Daffodil who blogs here https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com

has organised some of us who created stitchbooks to use our spare pages ( 13 were supplied but only 12 required) to create more stitchbooks which can be used to raise money for the charity Mind. Hopefully there will be three books on three different themes- floral, coastal and woodland. I volunteered for all books if there were enough pages going and started with two sides ( my own spare) for the coastal one.

The first side was very easy as I had one of my geli printed pieces which fitted the theme perfectly- it very nearly made my own book as I loved it so much, so I am really delighted to have the chance to put it to good use. All I needed to do was add two stitches for seagulls.

Side two required more thought- I was very struck on the idea of deckchairs but felt that the page was rather small for what I had in mind. And then having slept on the issue for a couple of nights , the whole thing was obvious. What does Sandra crochet- well amongst other things sea horses, what’s one of her favourite colours, turqouise and what does she often do with her grandchildren- she cleans beaches .

I had the fabric- all dyed by myself many moons ago. Pieces all pinned together.

Commence stitching.

Liking the look of this.

Sandra suggested to the group that those of us in the grips of tag mania might like to add a tag. Now Sandra had earlier gifted me one of her dried tea bags. I was slightly wary of colouring it- so I used watercolour crayons and stitching into it- fear of it ripping it- actually much stronger than one might think- I decided it really would make the perfect tag for this page.

So there we have it- coastal page with seahorse and tag- now safely with Sandra.

My floral page is on its way here as I type- only one page to do this time- rather excited to see what is on side one for me to follow.