Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Anyone Help?

I'm still having problems but it seems to be quite random can anyone help or advise? I'm getting really upset now, I just want to get stuck in to catching up after being without machine for so long but it's one problem after another.

This is the back of my stitching. I'm now seemingly having really random tension problems. I go along nicely for a while, then all of a sudden without me changing anything the tension messes up again.
I've started several samples and they're all the same. I've tried once again changing the tension settings, I've changed top thread, bobbin thread, needle but nothing seems to be working I still get these random changes.

Any help/suggestions gratefully received I feel like throwing in the towel right now!!

Party is over

Last night I sat down to get stitching on my 'Taking like for a walk' sample, and would anything go right? No. I don't think it helped that I'd had a long and stressful day at work so didn't really have the patience I usually have.

This is the back of my work.......
..... check out all these tension problems. I just had to give up.

However I jumped back on the machine for 5 minutes this morning and cross fingers managed to get it sorted just like that. So I'm ready to get my butt out from in front of the computer and go stick it in front of Jemimah instead. Wish me luck ........

Monday, 25 July 2011

Party time

Jemimah is back! I'm so excited to have her again. I thought that Beatrice might be a bit jealous as she is likely to take a back seat in my sewing exploits now, but she is being the perfect lady about the whole thing and decided to throw Jemimah a welcome home party complete with balloons :)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

lines, lines, and more lines

I've been making a few random notes as thoughts pop in to my head about 'line'I've also made a start on the first exercise of chapter eight......... the marks have been made on paper so it's now time to put them in to stitch.I'm also loving these random, spikey, colourful lines in this close up picture of a thistle flower that I took while out on a wander in my lunch break yesterday.

BREAKING NEWS - All going well Jemimah should be coming home tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Chapter Eight Begins

Am just starting to have a look at the work for module one, chapter eight and it's all about line.

Haven't gotten very far yet, but am having fun revisiting some of the 'line' images that I collected in my book back at the beginning of the module.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Goodbye Chapter Seven

After a busy weekend with family I finally got some time this evening to get this final chapter seven sample stitched up. And boy am I happy to see the back of this one.Right up until the end I kept having problems with tension and thread breakage even though I thought I'd cracked the settings. Still it's done now. I just have to get it all written up and I'll be ready to start on chapter 8.

Apart from this last sample I've really enjoyed this first foray into free motion.

I won't be doing a formal submission post yet as I need to go back and do the work for chapter 6 in my sketchbook before I can put these samples and notes in. I left a message with the repairs shop today to find out what is going on with Jemimah, so hopefully I'll have news soon.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I had a really good play around on my machine last night and finally I think I got to the eureka moment and have figured out a way to get past the problems I was having with the free machine zig zag.

First up I switched on to a new piece of fabric and put a heavier stabilizer behind. Janet suggest pelmet vilene but as I didn't have any of that I went for a bit of TimTex that I had around for postcard making.This did seem to help and I certainly didn't get as much puckering and pulling but I was still having problems when stitching the big razzle dazzle cross down the middle, I couldn't seem to get the tension right and still had some thread breaks. So I switched out the thread and changed the stitch size and the second set of stitching across the bottom came out like a dream.

I then had a few more problems when I switched thread and stitch setting again for the lettering I started at the top. Anyway to cut a long story short after a process of elimination I figured that Beatrice can only handle the free machining on one of her zig zag settings.
Just out of interest I went back to the first sample with the nappy liner stabiliser and stitched out a few letters, and there is a lot less puckering now I've got the stitch setting right.
These two pieces will go in my sketch book as they are, but now I'm going to start a third which will hopefully be my final sample. My original idea for this was to use only threads in red and orange shades to provide a contrast to the blue and greens in the backing fabric. But now that I have figured that I can only use one stitch width I think I am going to make the stitching a rainbow of colours to add interest to the piece that way. Lets hope I really have got to the bottom of the problems and the next piece works!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sometimes you just have to get up and walk away

To really appreciate the happiness of success I think you have to go through the frustration of failure once in a while. Last night I started on the final sample for chapter seven, and oh dear what a disaster. Nothing was going right for me last night.

I had thread snaps galore, my machine was doing random jumps here there and everywhere, something was just not working and I couldn't figure out what it was. I persisted for 2 hours - yes you read that right! - and all I ended up with was this awful mess.
It's so tempting to start all over again, but I won't that's not what this course is about. Documenting the things that go wrong is as important as the ones that go right.

Still I'm telling myself today is another day and there is still lots more stitching to be done until this one is finished so maybe things will improve. :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Razzle Dazzle One Done

My sample is finished and lets just say I won't be winning any school prizes for neat handwriting for this one :) It was a fun exercise though, I don't think I've ever tried writing with my sewing machine needle before.

Some of the colours pop out from the black background more than others. I like that it looks a bit like a whole mess of graffiti.
But I think my favourite thing is how some of the letters and words get lost and become obscured when they over lap. Phrases like 'hidden meaning' and 'reading between the lines' kept popping in to my head while I was stitching .....this could be an idea to think about in the future.

I have one more 'Razzle Dazzle' sample to do and chapter seven will be complete, so I hope to get it done this week before I take off to see family this weekend.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Waste not want not

I have been enjoying stitching on to the lovely black wool felt that you might have seen me using for some of the samples here (sadly my local store has stopped carrying it now so I might have to search out another source).

I'm working in an A4 sketchbook, so to be able to fit my pieces in, once stitching comes out of the hoop I have to trim it all down so I'm getting left with lots of odd sized little stripsThe latest sample I'm working all calls for working outside the hoop. So being a waste not want not kind of person I have been tacking these little strips to the back of my main piece of fabric to make my second stabilising layer.It's only a small piece so I'm hand stitching it on in strips, taking some really long stitches on the back which you might be able to make out here and just using really tiny stitches through to the front - they are practically invisible.

I've also been scouting out the local charity shops where I found this lovely little shallow wicker basket, perfect for keeping on my desk to store whatever threads I'm currently working with. This stops the reels rolling around the desk and becoming tempting play things for the cats!Don't these threads look delicious all snuggled up together?Of course these aren't the only threads in my collection. When they are not being used all my threads are stored by colour in boxes on the shelf.Somehow though no matter how many you have there are always more you need or when it comes to it you don't have quite the right shade of blue, even though you have at least 30 reels :)

Anyhow before I go here is a quick peek at the latest sample.There will be more to follow on this soon I'm sure.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Creating a design sample is done

Last night I finished up the sample that I have been working on the last few days.I changed up my idea one last time by combining elements of the two previous sections. So for the third I kept the randomness of the circles which is what I loved about the second section, but went back to the idea in the first section of putting the spirals back inside the circles. I just think this has a lot more impact than leaving the spirals as a separate element.

Anyhow this was a really fun exercise probably my favourite of the course so far, and I'm pleased with how my stitching panned out.

At the moment, having skipped chapter six for the time being I can't write up notes straight into my sketchbook so I'm keeping them all neatly collated so they are ready to go in just as soon as I'm able to get back on track.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Freemotion fun

What a glorious weekend we had, the weather was amazing. I managed to get along to the Urchfont open day yesterday which was brilliant. I got to meet Janet in person - thanks for taking the time to have a look through my work Janet! :) I also got to see some amazing work by some really talented ladies who have been working on the Level Two course. There were also lots of others showcasing their work so much talent and inspiration. I came straight back home and got working on my machine for a while.I'm still working on the same piece as last time. I've changed things up slightly as I thought the circles and spirals inside the curved lines looked a bit regimented, so I've started with the same central design but I'm going random with the circles and spirals. Still not sure about it, I like this design better than the first but I might try one more incarnation before I finish, as I like the randomness but I also like the spirals inside the circles so I might go back to that.