Firstly Zena and Carolynne have finished their boxes from the Box Making day school with Marguerita Mcbride.
Zena said, “The flower on the top I designed myself with my computer program, then converted the design into a stitch file to embroider it out on my sewing machine. I used 2 pieces of organza in my hoop and this was stiffened with spray starch instead of using water-soluble sheets. The leaf was from a free standing lace pattern.”
Carolynne made hers using a hinge when it opened and a tab at the front.
Edwina added, “It is work in progress. The book will be used for recording the books I read.”
Amazing what can be made from things that could so easily end up in the rubbish bin!
Not all of us have been furloughed, isolating or retired. Some like Carolynne have been working throughout this time. She has written a piece about her experience during lockdown. I am sure many of us will have empathy with her experience.
Here is what she said:
During lockdown I have been working extremely long hours but during week-ends I have thankfully been able to take to the solace of my sewing room and de-stress.
I wanted to share something with you all that I have found very productive. Every year I clear out my drawers and cupboards in my sewing room, but never quite achieve a really tidy space. Early on in lockdown, the isolation made me feel quite alone, and I had no inclination whatsoever to sew.
One weekend, I decided to face my sewing room head on. I meticulously went through every drawer, cupboard, boxes and spaces under things, to have a complete clear out of any clutter. I looked at things that I had owned for years and never used, and made the decision they would go.
All of a sudden after just two days of hard work, my room was like a brand new work space. I felt invigorated and couldn’t wait to start sewing. I made a list of all the things I had started and not yet completed, and made a start on them, so that I could get them all out of the way. As I completed something it was ticked off the list, until eventually I could get to the point of making new things and had spaces left where the incomplete things had resided. I again felt excited to sew and haven’t stopped since.
I have had a pattern for a prairie charm pin cushion for two years, when I bought some Lynette Anderson fabric at the August NEC Festival of Quilts (a distant memory for this year). During the lockdown, I managed to get to it and as you can see, I made hexagons by paper piecing and then hand stitching together before quilting on the machine. It has a circumference of six inches and I have found that the different hexagons have enabled me to put the quilting pins together in one hexagon, and the glass head pins in another, to keep them altogether.
Liz has been on – line once again. How brilliant is that!
I don't know if anybody else has been doing the 'zoom' course through Huddersfield University sponsored by the Embroiderers’ Guild. The course was from 10 to 12 Monday to Friday and was an ‘All beginner’ level course. I am hoping to pass on the skills to my nieces!
On Tuesday I experienced a whole session on experimental beading: this included using seed beads individually and couched in 'strings' and then bugle beads, sequins individually and in rows before mixing up each type of bead. We then went on to couching paper clips, cord split rings, ’Loom’ bands and paper straws using herringbone stitch.
Using dark green felt I started with raw edge appliqué using running stitch then backstitch. The next one was straight stitch done at right angles to the edge and the third was with running stitch across the patch and then off the edge.
And finally on Friday the theme was fabric manipulation. The first part of the session was adding fabric to the surface. We cut out 2" Blue circles, folded them into quarters and threaded them together to look like a caterpillar/flower lei before couching down onto the fabric. Secondly we used 1" blue circles folded into quarters and stitched them individually to fabric in circles. Thirdly using pink fabric cut into squares, we folded a third over and stitched it down, overlapping each square to cover the previous squares stitches.
Irene has been busy as usual and has finished her embroidery of her rabbits. She embroidered most of her rabbits and their dates but left out Baby's 5 other brothers and sisters because they all died quickly after their birth sadly.
She added, “I am pleased that it will be a reminder of all the happy years I spent with my rabbits. The work will serve as an 'era' example for next year's exhibition.”
Here is what she said:
“The footstool is something my Dad made for me many years ago when I moved into my first flat. It‘s been re-covered professionally once, but this time I thought I’d have a go. I’m pleased with my pattern matching and like to think Sewing-Bee Patrick would be thrilled by it.
The committee’s next challenge is to complete the Savick Library Bunting. Pieces are coming in thick and fast and again this should be completed very soon.
Thanks to everyone who has sent in articles and photographs for our blog page. It really helps everyone to feel less alone I am sure and awaiting the time we can meet up once again.
Keep safe, keep well, keep calm and keep stitching.