At the moment I'm really enjoying spending my evenings sat on the sofa with a bit of hand sewing, and my poison of choice is embroidery. I've got three projects on the go and I've been experimenting with some different techniques for transferring the embroidery.
Firstly, inspired by some of the mosaics and stitching in the Big Stitch Swap, and having made some mug rugs for my brother and his new wife, I'm still playing with the periodic table. We've recently moved the furniture round in our living room and hung the TV above the fire place. This meant we had to remove the pictures that were hanging above the fireplace, and we have a rawl plug now on view. And it's bugging my husband. But we're lazy. Rather than removing it, filling the hole with polyfilla and then touching up the paintwork, I'm making a small quilt. But the Periodic Table is limiting, and many of the words and phrases you can create are totally inappropriate....there are lists of them if you google! We've picked "Slainte" the Gaelic word for health and used like "cheers!".
The larger letters are raw edge appliqued using a blanket stitch on my machine, but the words and numbers are hand embroidery. I wrote the words free hand using a Frixion pen (after I'd fused the letters with the iron!) Two more letters to go then some peeped seams.
The second project is a Christmas present for my brother and his wife (I don't think they read this blog - if you do, act surprised). They got married earlier this month and had hydrangeas at the wedding. Inspired by this pin, I'm making a small reminder of the day. I'm hoping the colours work out, though there's still a chance I'll unpick the peach section.
They are based on this photo of her bouquet.
And finally: the Lilipopo stitch-along. I'd seen these whimsy designs pop up on my Instagram feed and then tripped over a little stitch along with a free pattern on her blog. I decided that I would follow her technique for transferring the design. Normally I use a lightweight, very soft, fusible interfacing on the back of all my embroideries to help stabilise it and prevent threads showing through. Before fusing this, I transfer the embroidery design by tracing it with a sew-line pencil. The advantages are that it doesn't iron off when I fuse the interfacing. The disadvantages are that it never comes off and is quite a thick line, so I have to be careful to follow the design exactly to hide the pencil marks. The stitch-along used Essex Linen, no stabiliser and a Frixion pen. As chance would have it I have a fat quarter of Essex Linen bought 18 months ago and never used. So I dug it out and followed the instructions. The Essex Linen has a bit more body to it than my normal cotton/calico so the stabiliser isn't necessary and I love how fine the line created by the Frixion pen is, and that I can change my mind half way through and go off the line, or leave something out, and at the end the lines will simply disappear.
I'm not sure I would work without stabiliser on cotton, so I'm planning on having a bit of a play with sew-in interfacing and spray basting, so I can still use the Frixion pen. So far we're half way through the stitch-along (so still time to join in if you'd like) and at the end I'll come back and talk more about some new stitches I'm joining in with! There are definitely more of these design in my future - I'm thinking the pirates!
One last thing to share today - yesterday I made a zippy pouch - lots of purple, sew-in interfacing which I found in the bottom of the cupboard and some scraps of wadding and I have a lovely birthday present for a friend! I followed this tutorial for some lovely boxy corners and covered zip ends.
I did lots of fabric cutting yesterday - hopefully I'll have time to do some piecing today!