This week I turned my attention back to my #stitching4thesoul book. I started this in the summer, already late to the party and then got waylaid. Luckily it’s all on YouTube. It’s a stitch-a-long organised by Anne Brooke who lives not that far away and her videos on what to stitch for each page are delightful, it’s like having your best friend sitting there sharing an afternoon’s stitching.
We’re making a book with a colour of our choice running through it, not a dominating colour, just something to link the pages, mine is ecru, so it nicely includes lace and mother of pearl buttons, of which I’m rather fond!
For this third double page spread Anne suggested we use a colour we don’t particularly like, which isn’t easy as you don’t tend to buy fabrics you don’t like!! I’m using a fabric sample book as a base for all these pages, I flicked through the different colour ways and decided on red, mainly the orange end of red. In the book there was a page of furnishing weight silk with a gorgeous embroidered silk honey suckle flower in flame red, it was a perfect starting point. As an aside, I was flicking through the sample book when I found a price list at the back….Gosh!!…they’re between £100 and £200/metre!!!
I cut various squares and strips of different weights of fabric from the sample book, frayed some edges and started playing with them, I pulled out some lace and various trims and started to play with potential layouts. I find it difficult not to follow Annes design closely, it’s always interesting to see at which point you veer off and make it your own.
The brief from Anne also called for Suffolk puffs, otherwise known as yo-yo’s across the pond. I love the term Suffolk puffs, so that’s what I made. They are simple to make but tricky to get to look as neat as teachers!! It’s just a circle turned under and gathered round to make a fabric disc, gathers on one side and plain on the other. I decided for lightness to use scraps of Liberty tana lawn. My daughter has been making Liberty masks to sell on Etsy (Handstitched by Helen) and I get her scraps!! I made seven altogether in slightly differing sizes. I also used a couple of plain fabrics from a company who used to make fabric for Liberty so it’s a similar weight.
Once I’d stitched the pieces down with a simple running stitch in an orange/red variegated thread, I decided to continue to stitch lines of running stitch to make like a wave formation, the idea being that this would be the line that the Suffolk puffs followed.
I stitched the lace on next, the one on the left is in about three pieces as the flowers actually go across the lace, not down it’s length, so I pieced them together to get the effect I wanted.
Once I’d stitched the lines, I rather liked them, so I didn’t want to completely cover them with puffs. Instead I positioned the puffs slightly higher, overlapping the lines in places, but not obscuring them.I stitched a red bead over the hole in the middle.
It still needed a bit more, so I found my pot of random red buttons and started to play…
…the bottom right hand corner looked a bit bare, so I played around with a few buttons and fabrics and in the end found a frayed, simple square of red was sufficient.
I still haven’t decided if this one is finished yet, I’m tempted to do a few more lines of embroidery, maybe with some different stitches,but I might put it on my design wall for a couple of days, see how I feel then, otherwise I just need to stitch it onto the calico pages of my book.
This stitch-a-long is organised by Avis from Stitching by the Sea. We post our progress on our chosen project every three weeks, just long enough to keep us motivated. Please follow the links to see what everyone else is stitching.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Helen