Friday, 18 May 2012

something for Her Majesty

Our regional challenge - note how I just casually drop in the "our", when in reality I'm such a new girl! Anyway, the regional challenge for the local Guild is to produce a piece of wearable art for the Queen's Jubilee. We, that is the members, are creating a series of  sort of "slips"; separate bits of embroidery, on a street party theme, to be carefully stitched to a dress that is being loaned to us for the project. In the past slips were on canvas, usually on a horticultural theme and made to be applied to hangings. We'll display our contribution, along with those of the other groups in the south east, and will be judged on the grand regional jamboree day out.You'll remember last year's was my somewhat whimsical Beezeyeview which does at least mean I've been a member for nearly a year, since that was for last year's challenge. I have been tasked with producing an ice cream dish with three scoops, some wafers and a cherry on top! The design has been provided along with clear instructions on how to proceed.

I've hunted down some fabrics in the right colours, and made a start with the dish. I did a couple of trials on some spare fabric - very useful as they helped me understand how the stitching would react with the fabric and allowed me to adapt the way I was going to work..

Talking of being helped to understand - my advice - please take it - don't include your finger in the piece you're stitching on the sewing machine, it's very unhelpful!

Anyway, inspired by the glitzy piece I did for Brodie, I thought a little celebratory sparkle might be in order since this is for a Jubilee celebration, so I've very carefully done a bit of reverse applique. First I got the fabric all pinned down, marked and tacked so I knew where I was going.

Then I stitched round the lines, first with straight stitch to stabilise the fabric, then with zig zag satin stitch to create an edge to cut against. Then I cut away the green fabric from the front, inside the diamond stitching.

Then I needed something to back the organza and bring our its glamour, a bit of a scrap I found while rummaging in Hastings Old Town recently - the best place to rummage I have to say. I stumbled upon a delightful shop, run by a delightful lady, with all sorts of scraps and bits of lovely fabric. She asked me what I was going to do, when I got home, with the little hoard I was clutching to my chest. "Probably take it out and stroke it" was my reply! I'll have to go back and tell her that a little bit became part of a Jubilee embroidery.

Anyway, where was I? Yes, I tacked this to the back of the piece, turned it over and stitched round the diamonds again and voila! A diamond cut green glass sundae dish ..... if you squint carefully!

I think I'll go round the outline with buttonhole stitch - I can almost recall Ganna teaching me how to do it - very useful for cutwork table runners, tray cloths, napkins and "dressing table doilies" ! It will allow me to cut the pieces out, so they can be assembled and fixed in pace with vilene on the back.

I'm also going to add some more embroidery to the stem and base, with perhaps a bit more of that exciting turquoise that reminds me of peacocks feathers.

Then there's the blobs of ice cream to do! Oh, and the wafers, and the cherries which I am going to try and do with free machine embroidery over soluble film to see if I can achieve something like a stitched badge, with perhaps a couple of silver beads of dew on the surface, and scattered across the ice cream. I'll use a scrap of salvaged silk to fill the in betweens. Hope I get it finished in time - it is jolly good fun doing something to a brief.
As I work, I sit at Mum's little kneehole desk, which she bought in her just post war youth. It used to house her typewriter, the source of countless letters to friends and loved ones; letters full of good humour, little rhymes, concern for and interest in all the various people around her. The ratatat tat of her fingers as they flew over the keys were the backdrop to my childhood. She bought it with wages earned shorthand typing in a dingy London Office, all the while longing to study music and play her beloved piano.

1 comment:

  1. Well done for getting into the Jubilee spirit, look forward to seeing the finished result. Lovely to work at your Mum's desk.

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