Review of 2016 highlights and lessons

It's nice to pause and reflect back over the year before looking forward to the new year, so here are my highlights and lessons from 2016: Highlights Ceramic buttons! I don't have any plans to continue ceramics at the moment, but a highlight for me has been making ceramic buttons!  So far, I have only used one (which may be part of the reason I have decided to leave ceramics for the moment from my stream of hobbies) but I have plans in the new year to use more of them. Free machine embroidery Free machine embroidery has increased the…

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#pic2stitch #1 The Man Engine

For my first #pic2stitch challenge, I decided to focus on The man Engine. For anyone who missed it, The Man Engine is a mechanical puppet of a miner which is 4.5 metres tall when crawling and 10 metres tall when standing. We were lucky to be able to travel to St Austell during one of the puppet's transformations.  There was a big crowd, so we couldn't see at first, but the organisers were really good in encouraging the crowd to keep moving to let people further back view it too.  Phill managed to take some pictures and it was from…

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Recording a card design – the stag card

This week I've been quite industrious (well, more than I have been anyway!) and have managed to complete quite a few things for Clobber Creations ranging from fruit protectors to bath hats!  However, I want to reflect on the process of recording my free machine embroidery. I find recordings of free machine embroidery quite mesmerising, and I'd voiced an interest in having a go at some point.  My dad pointed out that my camera could record video as well as take pictures, so the lack of video camera was not an issue.  I just needed to think about what I…

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Comic Strip Stitched

Recently I decided to revisit my doodles through free motion stitching. Doodling can happen in all sorts of circumstances.  You could be on hold chasing up an order over the phone (or in the case of my first job, being the advisor on the other side of the line), waiting for a meeting to commence, sitting in the audience of a presentation or passing the time on the train.  Sometimes the doodling is abstract, and sometimes it turns into a miniature piece of artwork. Many of the doodles I made when I worked as a customer advisor in a call…

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Stitching Cats

I haven't made a lot recently, as I have been finishing up a couple of craft courses I took this year.  However, I have got around to practising free machine embroidery again. I'm very fond of pets, and regularly doodle my cats, Harry and Fizz.  I decided to have a go at designing some more cat images to frame or turn into cards. I like the use of appliqué to add another dimension to the stitched cat, as shown on the far right.  However, I like the simple line drawing on the left, and am reluctant to add any shading…

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Personalised Cards!

Last month, I made a couple of individualised cards - one for father's day and one for someone to give as a leaving card. The leaving card was personalised by adding the name of the perosn leaving the workplace.  I used those fabric felt tip pens to colour it in. The father's day card was personalised because it's always been an ongoing joke that my dad is good at Tetris.  We would bring tons of stuff on holiday as kids and he would meticulously work out how to use the space in the car effectively to fit it all in!…

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Recent inspiration – Jane Hunter’s ‘Haud Oan’

Since learning some free machine embroidery this year and combining it with appliqué, I have found it to be a great outlet of creativity.  However, when I heard the news on 24 June regarding the EU referendum, I found it very difficult to produce anything. Jane Hunter's new piece 'Haud Oan' is a great inspiration as a result.  She created it as a form of therapy to deal with the news that day. I like how all of the yellow "remain" threads are held taut as they hold on in the direction of the centre of the EU.  The blue…

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Free Motion Embroidery – drawing and writing with my sewing machine

Got your eye on an expensive yet impressive embroidery sewing machine?  Think again! I've been admiring the lovely embroidery machines with their numerous stitch options and the possibility of embellishing handmade gifts with a name at the touch of a button (or a few).  I remember watching a demonstration of someone programming in a word and then watching in awe as the machine punched out the letters perfectly.  All I wanted to do was justify the cost of buying a sewing machine which did this! Well, my bank budget (and boyfriend) will be relieved to know that I no longer have this impulse!…

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Mother’s Day gift making – bath hats and bags

It didn't take long to come up with this year's mother's day gift - mainly because I knew she wanted a new bath hat! I made her one years ago from the Cath Kidston "Sew!" book.  Unfortunately, the waterproof fabric I chose for inside the hat was quite thick and stiff.  Also, we have big heads so I think the pattern was designed for a smaller circumference head! I'd made my nan this green bath hat above using material I got online which I think is used for making tents.  It was much more versatile than the thick waterproof plastic…

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