Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wool(l?)y Coos

Or as they are properly called, Highland cattle, from the Scottish Highland have always intrigued me.  I just adore their furry faces!  

I grew up with farm fresh milk from a family friend's Jersey farm, and got to love these gentle giants, while visiting them on 'milk collection Saturdays'.    Have you seen a Jersey Cow?  Think Norman in City Slickers, cute doesn't even start.  Even the adults are beautiful, big, expressive eyes, long eyelashes, beautiful colouring, sweet natures oh if I had a farm!

So, all this to tell you about my latest work

My hubby, knowing my love of Wooly Coos, brought back a postcard of one from 'our' Scottish trip I couldn't go on, and it has become the inspiration for a new FW ink & thread piece…

Here he is ink only, pre thread painting:

I'm busy with the thread painting part, will add photos once done.

I have started using my Brother Innovis 4000 for FME, and now I cannot figure out why I didn't do so years ago!  It is perfectly suited.  I simply changed over to my usual modified free motion foot.  With the Brother Innovis 4000 you can save exact stitch settings, so I now have some set up for FME EXACTLY as I want them, tension, width, everything.  As everything is electronic on this machine, I can even store the foot height I desire!  And to think, I have been using it solely for machine embroidery!  What a waste!!!!!!

Want to modify your foot?  Watch this video:

Brilliant advice!
Works a treat.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Crayola on Fabric

I am rather in love with 'painting' backgrounds for FME with Crayola - REGULAR Crayola, not the fabric ones.  This is where I first learned about it:

You can also heat your fabric with an iron, and colour directly onto your fabric - great for background.

I have ordered a new book on this topic:
You can get a peek inside on Amazon
Great weather to get out your art supplies :)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Transferring images for Free Motion Embroidery

Sometimes I am ingenious!
Okay, not often, and it ALWAYS involves crafty stuff, not with anything like complex maths problems, rocket science etc!

So, in my last post, I mentioned that I was inspired to stitch out my favorite sketches from my life drawing class, and I was playing around with this idea, when inspiration hit…

I had been talking, in my latest FME class at Bobbin Sewing School, about drawing on stabilizer and then using this as your template for designs, making the bobbin thread your visible work as you thread paint over the design you have drawn on your stabilizer that is ironed onto the back of your fabric, and as I set about my sketches, it hit me…

Stiff stabilizer can go through your printer!!!

So, I took a photo of one of my sketches, cut a piece of stabilizer A4 size, and, hey presto…

What you are looking at here is a photo of my sketch printed onto the non-iron-on side of the stabilizer!
I adore this particular stabilizer for FME as it is so thick and stable, you don't actually need to hoop when using this.  It is from Ceka - I have mentioned Ceka before - and really great!  This and the felt stabilizer (also from Ceka) are the two I use ALL the time for free machine stitching/ free motion embroidery.
You could possibly also use tear away stabilizer for projects that cannot have stabilizer remaining behind, but then I would MOST definitely hoop it!  Let's see if you can print on it, I don't see why not…

Bonus round… my roll of tear away is A4 height!
Now… Linen or cotton….??

Free Motion Embroidery Inspiration

Nicola Henley - Plover Movements, printed, painted, embroidered

I have been completely wrapped up in free motion embroidery lately.  I have been having so much fun incorporating new techniques.  With FME, you never stop learning. It is great to peruse the work of amazing textile artists and be inspired by their work, like the work above that is featured in Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating's book Machine Stitch, which is well worth a read!
Alice Kettle's mammoth work Looking Forwards to the Past adorns the walls of the Winchester Discovery Center, at over 3m long, you then see why I describe it as a mammoth!  It is a wonder to behold, and you can walk right up to it to see how she has worked her fabric.  Next time I am there, I will have to be courageous and ask if photos are permitted!  I am in love with Alice Kettle's Head II Cele - you can surely see why, right?

The book came about as a group of textile artists met and discussed their art on a regular basis, encouraging each other and sharing ideas and inspiration.  What a lovely way for a book to grow!  Each artist wrote a chapter that is as unique as their work, offering different perspectives to consider.

It has inspired me to stitch out my favorite sketches from my life drawing class, photos to follow…


Be sure to see "Endangered" Mechanical Drawing – the Schiffli project Manchester Metropolitan University 2007 

I adore his Two Gods Are Chosen, read about it here

need I say more?

This is a close up of a dress!

Her website opens with close-ups of some of her work, beautiful!!

Have a look at my Pinterest Board Free Machine Stitch for further inspiration, I have pinned loads of my fav textile artists' works that I drool over and find inspiration from.