Monday, March 25, 2019

On Cloud Nine

Sunday morning is my usual Japanese embroidery day at home. I bit the bullet and started on those cords. I'd been dreading them for so long, but it went surprisingly well. Since the section I started working on was harder (it's a full loop with lots of adjustments for the angle), I decided to try and stitch the cords on the left side.

It went so well, I decided to try that loop again. It's not 100% perfect, but to me it looks fabulous. I only wish the cords on the wrapping paper were better. But I'm going to let that go.

Crossing my fingers I'll have a full uninterrupted day next Sunday to work on it and I will (hopefully) have the cords all finished. The end is near!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Japanese Embroidery Phase 1 - Wrapping Paper

Since my homework is done, I can finally go back to working on my bouquet. Over the weekend we had a group meeting. It was great to see them as our meetings kept getting cancelled because of weather.

I took my phase 1 piece Bouquet from the Heart of Japan. My goal this time is to put in the final touch on my wrapping paper. The paper is outlined with a thick thread called karayori which can only be couched. I've been putting this off for a while now but I couldn't anymore as all the veins and stems in the piece are stitched using the same threads.

After getting a demonstration, I was able to successfully make my threads and couch it. With my wrapping paper complete, I can go back and finish all the leaf blades and start working on the stems. Not to forget the cords. I'm thinking I should tackle the cords first as I don't want it to be the last thing to do on this piece. I could see it dragging as I avoid it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Japanese Embroidery Phase 2-3 - Homework part 3

Over the weekend, I was determined to finish my peach cloud. I'm a little behind on other projects and made a commitment on a new project that has a deadline. So this became a priority. I didn't have a lot left of space left to cover but it's still at least 3-4 hours of work there.

I had to crack open a second reel of silk to finish, as it really eats up a lot of silk.

This cloud has the same temporary holding stitch as the purple cloud sayagata. It didn't take long to put in as I've already had practice having had to do it twice previously.

Here is my piece as it stands. It's now stowed away in it's case until our class in April. Four weeks left. I've been following another stitcher on Instagram as she finishes her piece, so I'm really looking forward to learning the different elements.

Since my homework is done, I will be splitting my time between finishing phase 1 and my new project. I've already started the new project but haven't had time to write a post. In the meantime you can follow along on my Instagram account here. You can also check out my un-boxing of the kit here. I've been playing around more with videos through Instagram stories. I'm hoping to do more of those in the future.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Golden Snitch

Before I went on vacation I shared a peek of this brooch I made for my trip and shared a reveal on my Instagram.

Here it is. It's a little golden snitch. I spent last week with friends in Orlando visiting the Wizarding World at Universal Studios. We were there to celebrate my friend's 9 3/4 birthday as she was born on February 29. We made t-shirts for the occasion which we wore on February 28. I also wanted to make her a little something special for the trip.

I looked around Pinterest for a nice shape and settled on this one. I liked the mechanical look of it. From there, I re-sized the drawing till I got a size I liked and determined what would have a felt padding.

The snitch itself has a single layer, while the wings have two. I guesstimated the shape of the bottom layer of the wing.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Since this piece was so small, I decided to use up leftover materials from previous goldwork kits.

First step was outlining the shape in pearl purl.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

It took a while for me to figure out how I wanted to fill the snitch's body. I ended up going with chipping.

I wanted a different texture for the rest of the body and went with cutwork using smooth purl. For the knobs (where the wings met), I changed the direction of the cutwork so they would be more distinct.

The wings were tricky as I liked the lines that were inside. I ended up using two types of purl: wire check and rough purl.

For the finishing, I looked in the fabric shop for suede or leather and the closest I could find were suede elbow patches.

To give it a bit of sturdiness I used a piece of soft cardboard, the kind that comes with tights, that I save for such occasions.

The first step is to cut around the snitch getting close to the edge but not too much so as to accidentally cut the stitching at the back.

I used the cut snitch to create an outline for my cardboard. The cardboard needs to be smaller than the actual finished piece so I did a rough outline and trimmed it.

For this pin, I bought some tie tack pins from Amazon.

When I decided to use tie tack pins, I didn't expect the suede to be so tick. I ended up using an awl to pierce the suede so I can get the tie tack through it.

Once the tie tack is in, I put in the clutch back to keep them in place (and protect my fingers).

The next step involves glue. I spread glue on the back of the embroidery and then placed my snitch on top of the suede making sure it was laying properly over the cardboard. At this point, I left it to dry.

Once it was dry, I cut out the piece. I tried not to have too much of the suede showing on the back but it was very hard to cut it with my embroidery scissors. If I do this often, I might need to invest in a pair of scissors made especially for cutting leather.

From there I whipped stitched the two layers together, going all around. It was very hard to pierce the suede. I was using an embroidery needle with a thimble, but again the right tools would have made this easier. I will be looking for needles made for leather embroidery.

Here it is all done. I really enjoyed stitching this piece. It was a nice quick project to make before my trip and my friend really loved receiving it. I hope I will be able to make more pieces like this in the future.

(click on the post to see the video below)