Monday, February 21, 2011

Making fabric - completion

This is the next stage of working on the fabric pieces I constructed last time. I am oversewing, doodling with my machine. This is FME - free machine embroidery. It is good fun. If you have never tried it for yourself - try this:

Start doodling on a scrap of paper. Here, I have started in the centre and swung round in a spiral.

Then I have added loops like petals.

The loops have then lead on to heart-shaped leaves which link to each other.

Thats all it is. Just drop the feed-dogs on your sewing machine, get out the darning foot and try it for yourself. Don't just try copying my patterns. Why not try using the patterns left on the scribble pad beside the telephone. (If you doodle like I do there should be plenty of inspriration there.)

The photo above shows the completed piece, well part of it. I use a size 14 (90) Universal needle with a slightly looser tension than usual. The thread being used here is YLI machine quilting thread in the colourway V70 Red Hat Club, by Luana Rubin. The bobbin thread is Coats Duet 1033, a cream colour. Yes, I should be using cotton, but didn't have any in the right sort of colour.

My sewing machine allows me to set the sewing speed. I usually set this to medium, not too fast but then not too slow either.

The picture above shows the underside of the finished fabric. I shall be lining this before using it, but it does show the stitching quite nicely.

All you need to bear in mind with FME is that the patterns need to link into each other in a continuous line. This isn't hard, and it avoids having to weave in any ends................... and there is no stopping and starting either. If you should find yourself stuck in a corner and not easily able to get out of it just stop, cut the thread and start again somewhere else. I often need to do this. It isn't obvious once you have completed the piece.

Do let me know how you get on.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Making fabric using scraps - a short tutorial.

First collect all the scraps.

Sort them into colour groups - blues and greys, purples and lilacs, reds and pinks, browns with orange, yellow and cream, then the greens. Well, those are the colour groups I sort them into. I also have a bag for multicolour fabrics.

This is the base fabric I shall be using. This time I am using HeatnBond, though quite often I use Bondaweb.
I cut the base fabric to the size I need before ironing on the HeatnBond. Then play around with placing the fabric scraps. This time I am using greens and reds with some purple.

This way I can use up those tiny pieces left over from applique as well as offcuts from various projects. What is so useful is that the oddly shaped pieces from the applique usually still have the Bondaweb adhered to the back. So useful to break up too-large areas of solid colour.

A warning, though. Do make sure the plastic bags get put well out of the way of the iron. This is what I had to get off my poor iron.......... scraps of plastic self-seal bag. Ooops!
You will be pleased to hear that my iron is now perfectly clean and no fabric was damaged in the incident.

A quick post script to the post - I found the HeatnBond I used far too thick for the stitching I intended to do. In the end, I restarted the whole piece using Bondaweb. This produces a much thinner fabric which is easy to stitch through.