At the end of last year I promised myself I wasn’t going to do any stitch-a-long projects, I was just going to stitch whatever I wanted…so how come just three months in I’m doing not one, but three weekly stitch-a-longs! In my defence only one of them is lasting all year!
Each Monday a new workshop video is released by Textile Artist for their free Community Stitch Challenge. So far it has certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone and week 3 was no exception.
This time it was Jennifer Collier who was presenting the workshop cum challenge. Jennifer works with paper rather than fabric but stitches it together much like you would do fabric, she showed us how to do Cathedral windows ( a classic quilting technique), Suffolk puffs, a pocket, rouleau loops and a rose, all made from paper. I really wasn’t sure about this challenge by the end of the workshop, but then I had an idea and ran with it…
I don’t have much of a stash of papers, I’ve never been into paper crafts really. However I do have a large number of paper patterns which I am very unlikely to use again. I had a flick through my patterns and came across the pattern I used for my wedding dress, which I’d just kept for sentimental reasons. I also came across an old design book of mine from my twenties when I used to make wedding dresses and ball gowns for friends and family. I used to draw a sketch of what they wanted, so we both knew what was in their mind. I pulled out one of the sketches which is particularly pretty.
I used one of the instruction sheets to try the cathedral windows, they’re stitched down in the middle and then a button can be added, I found some odd pearl ones in my stash. I also used the pattern envelope to make another square to add a different weight.
I made three Suffolk puffs from the actual pattern tissue paper. I thought it might be too thin and tear, but I followed Jennifer’s instructions about folding the edge under and it made the puffs without problems. By this time I’d forgotten all about the pockets, the rouleau loops and the rose!
I then pulled out from behind a cupboard an Ikea box frame, I used to use it with lights in as a light box until I splashed out and bought a proper one. My ideas started to take shape.
I lined the back with the first page of pattern instructions, the bit with the line drawing on. I cut a square of my wedding dress lace and some vintage lace which just looked pretty.
I went through the fabric labels my friend prints and found one saying ‘Discover your passion’, so that went in the melee too, together with an old Vogue pattern label and one of my Crafty Creek labels.
I rummaged in a little drawer of vintage haberdashery which a friend gave me when her mum died. To my surprise the needles were all in perfect condition, so I just added the empty packets to my box. I picked the Merchant and Mills box off the window sill together with an old pair of scissors, a wooden cotton reel and three pins with ivory coloured heads.
In true Blue Peter fashion I stuck it all down with a bit of double-sided sellotape. This is something I’ve never thought to buy but I found rolls of the stuff when clearing my mum’s house…and it does come in useful! As it’s a box frame things like the pins, cotton reel and scissors are just propped up against the back.
So I have a display box for my sewing room, I’m really quite chuffed with it.