Last Saturday I set off early to negotiate a two bus journey over to Halifax, it took over one and a half hours, it would have been much quicker by train I think if they hadn’t been on strike! It was worth the journey though as I was attending a workshop at The Fabbadashery by Emma Frith.
The Fabbadashery is a lovely shop just up from Piece Hall in Halifax, they have a great range of quilting fabrics, trims, and generally lovely sewing stuff. Very friendly and helpful too, they have regular workshops both on embroidery and quilting.
Emma was running a workshop on embroidering a butterfly brooch. As soon as I saw a photo of the project I booked a place as I knew it would help with an embroidery project I’ve been mulling around in my head for a while. I want to make four (or more, if I get carried away!) butterflies and mount them in a frame like a traditional display.
Emma is a great tutor, she describes herself as an Artistic Hand Embroiderer on her card, her work is beautiful and she’s a very patient teacher and she also managed to create a lovely friendly ambiance in her class, there were seven or eight of us around a big old table, chatting away!
We had the choice of making a common blue butterfly or a red admiral. It was a close thing as the common blues are beautiful, but I decided on the red admiral.
The first thing we made was the body, by weaving wool around a cake-decorating wire. She had already kindly made the antenna for us to save time but she did show us how to make one with a pair of beads, a length of wire and Gutermann thread. With the antenna attached to the body, we were ready to start the wings.
The butterfly wings start off with silk painting, that’s where the background vibrant colours come from, this suits me to the ground as I have a box of silk paints at home! The silk is then bondawebbed onto some calico / cotton to do the embroidery.
We could stitch and embellish as much or as little as we wanted, I stitched the veins in stem-stitch, made some black spots with satin stitch and french knots and added colour along the top with herringbone and straight stitches. I added a little curly doodle along the inside of the top wing and sequins along the outer edge.
Once we were happy with our wings we used bondaweb to attach shot silk to the back. With the back in place we then had to couch a coloured length of wire around the edge of each pair of wings.This was a bit fiddly, but next came the scary bit, cutting out the wings right next to the couching stitches! Once they were cut out We could blanket-stitch around the edge, covering all the wire and couching stitches. It did take rather a long time to stitch round the two wings.
Once all the pieces were ready, all I had to do was stitch the wings together and then the body onto the wings and my butterfly was complete.
I had great fun posing him (or her??) in the garden…
I think Emma does quite a few different embroidery courses at The Fabbadashery, I shall certainly be keeping my eye on their workshops as I’d love to do another with Emma. I had to make a hasty exit to catch the buses home, so I didn’t even have chance to mooch around the shop!
Linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday and entering in her photo competition for stitching in your favourite place, my garden! Why not follow the link and see where everyone else has been stitching.