Stitchbook Covers

This has been a long project and I finally got to making the covers and putting the whole book together. This was one of the hardest parts of the whole enterprise , and includes quite a few things that one should not do..

Both sides of the back cover

First I made the pieces which were to form the back cover, then it was quite straightforward to stitch these together and turn to the right side. The words were chosen to reflect that in stitch I had created, shared with others also making a stitchbook and had learnt a lot along the way.

Close up of the back cover.

Next it was onto the front and a few lessons on what not to do.

Do not draw the line that clearly states pin or tack the tab line.

The reason being it will show on the front- solution, make sure this became the inside of the cover.

Do not cut your tabs at 4.5cm length when the instructions clearly say they are 9cm until folded to be 4cm.

What can I say but nincompoop.

The pictures clearly show the tabs with the fold on the outer edge of the fabric, not as I did here.

AS I said nincompoop!

Finally she has got it- tabs according to the Paddington Bear ruler are now correctly 3 cms long.

HURRAH, she got it.

Tadhah- all done.

I’m going to do a review of the whole stitchbook, and reflect on the whole book in my next post. For now I’m just relieved it’s finished!

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So onto the last box for the Stitchbook project. Having followed the progress of others on the facebook page I knew that it seemed to be universally loved. I had done weaving on my City and Guilds creative embroidery course using a box for a loom so I was pretty confident about this .

The weaving project box from Untangled Threads.

I loved the colours of the materials- one thing I have learned in this Stitchbook project is that loving the colours makes a task so much more enjoyable- I have really struggled when I disliked them.

First task was to turn a box into a loom and make the warp- then start weaving.

Loom in action.
Adding in fabric.

I found it hard to keep the warp taut and had to keep pushing the sides of the box away from me. I was pleased that I managed to keep it relatively straight at the edges.

Off the loom now, and adding beads at the bottom.
I backed it onto some hand dyed felt.
The finished page.

The final project was pin weaving- this was new to me. You mark up a piece of card, draw a shape, add pins and there’s a loom.

The pin loom.
on the loom

It was obvious to me that I had made my piece rather on the big side- there would not be sufficient warp thread to do more little shapes as others had done- never mind.

Onto the backing fabric.

If I could only make one shape which would be the last page in the stitchbook and the first that anyone would see if we ever do have the chance to exhibit them, I tried to make it as impactful as I could. It’s backed onto another piece of hand dyed felt.

And there it is- my last box completed- just four more pieces need for the covers- quite looking forward to having total free rein on these and revisiting some techniques from previous boxes.

Faux Chenille

Only one more box to go from Untangled Threads Stitchbook project after this one. Faux chenille is all about creating a wonderful textured piece of fabric. You begin with a sandwich of denim as the bread and brightly coloured faric as the filler, then you carefully cut through all layers apart from the bottom piece of denim.

then you fray the fabric with a wire brush.

taking great care not to stab yourself with said wire brush ‘cos it hurts!

It is extremely satisfying to do.

It doesn’t have to just be straight lines- you can do wavy ones and circles (NB not spirals)

you have to remove the loose treads as you go.

keep going till you are happy with the result.

Mounted and ready to go in my stitchbook

Side by side.

The second piece we made looks a bit different

Calico and creams, I added buttons and beads for interest

A very satisfying box to do- I quite like the idea of doing more, especially as I have some black denim scraps in need of project!

Now onto the weaving box, oh and the covers!

Couching and Laid Work

The first part of this box was couching, and the task was to couch words and create a sampler. We were given a list of suggested words that we could trace on to fabric- but these seemed a bit trite to me- good words like Love and Family but rather hackneyed. I wanted to come up with my own. It took me ages to find some I was happy with.

In the end I decided to create a background and see if anything suggested itself to me , and fortunately it did.

The colours made me think of sunsets ( too obvious a word), and so twilight suggested itself to me. And I suppose because we are still busy renovating the garden, gardens suggested themselves to me. From there came the idea of a secret assignation. Secret was fine but assignation would have been a lot of couching, and so I thought of tryst which is a much better word.

The left hand side looked a little bare till I came across some fabric scraps.

Quite pleased with how it turned out.

The second task was laid work- but not the kind I was used to. We were going to do Bayeux stitch, based on the Bayeux tapestry, which of course is an embroidery and not a tapestry.

Helen suggested we drew a tree like these in the leaflet which were used as full stops in the narrative of the tapestry. I wasn’t keen on them, looked like bonsai trees which look as unnatural as can be. I would draw an ordinary tree trunk and branches.

Then came the dilemna of how to frame it on the page. I was watching TV one night and one of the scenes had a mirror which had a lovely blue and yellow border. But I had insufficient thread left to do this, so I compromised with what remained.

I quite like this, it reminds me a little of a stained glass window.

I enjoyed doing this box a lot as it was all stitching. But I am not keen on using couching for words- back stitch is much neater, nor did I like this laid work which seems quite clumpy. However it’s all a learning experience.

The Stitchbook- Kunin Felt

I am still very much in catch up with the stitchbook project. Whilst others are putting the finishing touches to the covers, I am slowly working my way through the last boxes and having fun. The pressure to be done by October is off as is the Knitting and Sticthing Show in November where they were going to be displayed. 2021 here they come.

This is the next box I tackled.

It’s all about making flowers by melting felt over a tea light. First cut a circle then cut into it to create petals, hover over a flame, moving it all the time.

A mock up of how the page will be .

All melted.

You can also melt holes. Not sure what to do with those now. I tried to melt the off cuts, it didn’t work. And if by any chance you drop one into the flame all that happens is you get a piece of felt covered in wax and the flame goes out.

So that’s my first sample all ready to be stitched on the page.

Sample two is to make a collage

I saw a garden gate and a cottage garden.

Not quite sure what I make of this- I did enjoy it a lot, but the felt is hard to come by as it has apparently become very popular, so I won’t be using it gain for a while at least.

Twinchies by Moonlight.

I was lucky enough to be sent two twinchies by  Wild Daffodil

This was the first one


I saw a garden by moonlight in this one and really enjoyed stitching it. I hope you can make out the tree.

And this the second.

A shooting star appeared in my midnight garden.

Really had fun with this project- I may do more under my own steam. Meantime these are safely back with the others, I wonder what will happen to them?



Blue Wonkies

I have joined with Wild Daffodil with her Twinchies project to make some little pieces of art.

I was thrilled to receive my twinchie through the post and commence work.

I didn’t know what to do with the flower, so I added another piece of material and set about stitching with no clear idea what I was going to do except go where the piece sent me. I began with running and stab stitches, and really enjoyed myself. I should have stopped there,

really I should, what a mess. Some unpicking later and two days away from it, I began again.

Much better. I have two more to stitch then they will be on their way back to Wild Daffodil.

Stitchbook- Tyvek

Next up in the Untangled Threads Stitchbook is the Tyvek box. I had mixed feelings as I opened this box and saw that the paints/inks needed were not included this time. We had just taken all our old tins of emulsion paint to the tip for re-cycling as we did not want to move with them, and all my crafty paints and inks were packed away in boxes. I put the box  away. We moved. I still had no emulsion paints but after a great deal of thought realised I had enough of rather limited other substances- I could make do.

So Tyvek is the material- paper and fabric  that  protective white suits are made of , used in crime scenes, and it turns out if you heat it with an iron it bubbles.

First task was to cut out the tyvek paper and fabric into four pieces then colour it, mop up the surplus, leave to dry overnight then heat beneath two sheets of greaseproof paper with an iron set to low.

Nothing happened- I increased the heat to medium, nothing happened.

I increased the heat and and added water to the iron for steam, and hey up it began to bubble at last.

So next task create a sample and stitch

And at this point I started to fall in love with the stuff. My mind just drifted away as I slowly stitched, pictures began to form in my mind, I could see rivers and sea, and pebbles, and then other sensations occured, I could feel the stones beneath my feet and the cool of a moorland stream. Honestly it was quite a blissful experience.

For the second sample we were given another larger sheet of paper tyvek which was thicker and needed a craft heating tool- I have one, but instead of greaseproof paper you need teflon sheets- I don’t have any and am pretty unclear what the stuff is- again none included in the box.

I looked at the first samples I’d made and the fabric and thread provided in the box and decided to go with what I had already as one of the fabrics was rather lovely with gold flowers. I reckoned I could cut a bit of a flower shape. I couldn’t as it happens.

But I pinned it in place and began to stitch, going with the fabric, relaxing into it, and once again a dreamy trance like state overcame me. No cool streams this time, nor even flowers, but heat, intense heat.

and fire, a volcano, I kept going.

and I think I have finished. I ended up really enjoying this box, and maybe one day if I need bubbles adding to an embroidery I will know what to use.



Stitchbook- darning

We were packing to move house when this box arrived and try as I might I wasn’t relaxed enough to enjoy stitching this. I found the fabrics very hard to handle. I finished the box this week.

Part one was darning- making holes and repairing them. I quite like darning so had been looking forward to this project.

It’s adequate, but I’m not thrilled with it.

The second part of the box was to unravel some sari silk and piece togther with running stitch. Now I had been really looking forward to this – I love taking fabric scraps and joining them with stitch. But once again I wasn’t happy. The scraps were minute and very very frayed. Now frayed edges are again something I normally love but these drove me crazy, added to which I wasn’t that keen on the colours.

All I can say is I did my best, and I’ll put it down to house moving stress. I now have three more boxes to tackle and hope I enjoy them more.

Photo Challenge- Textiles

We were lucky enough to have two wonderful holidays a number of years ago in California. On both occassions we visited San Jan Bautista, because it was used by Hitchcock as a location in his film Vertigo, of which Mr E is very fond indeed. Fortunately for me it also houses some rather wonderful textiles, which I thought I would share for this challenge this month.

Museum within this hotel, you can play spot the difference!

Two different visits a few years apart, so there is a move round and a change in the exhibitions.

Subtle change in the bedrooms

Lovely quilt.

Sewing apparatus.

Another lovely quilt

We have such fond memories of both these holidays and I hope you have enjoyed the textiles.

Linking to Wild daffodil for some more textile posts-here