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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stitch magazine Tribal Cloth Panel

My daughter gave me a subscription to Stitch, the magazine of the UK Embroiderers' Guild, for Christmas. Issue 75 of has some terrific projects that I couldn't wait to make. The first of these was a small sampler piece on black felt, called 'Tribal Cloth'.

I loved the look of it and the variety of work involved - beading, needle felting, machine stitching with metallics and some simple embroidery. There was a kit available from the UK designer, Chris Gray. The cost of the kit and the postage was very reasonable, and the effort of gathering the necessary array of bits and pieces was off-putting, so I sent for one.

When it arrived, the first task was to cut and stitch the stamped fabric to the felt using a metallic thread. I am not experienced in using metallics but have been wanting to try. This was suitably simple and worked well enough to give me confidence.

The design was very simple - vertical rows separated by a line of running stitches using a variety of Anchor Marlitt (stranded rayon) threads and embellished in different ways. It would be easy to replace the stamped design with embroidery.

The next step was needle-felting five pieces of hand-dyed wool. I dug out the needle felter I had bought for the Kokeshi spectacle case last October - much satisfaction in using it again. I love the sensation of plunging the needles into the fabric and I like to see the soft fluffy bits emerge like a shadow on the other side.
Once in place, and couched,  the wool acts as a guide for the rows of embellishment.

I also like the variety and timeliness of the rows - enough to get a bit of practice and get the hang of it, without being overly repetitious.

The kits were available in three tones, pink-red, purple or green-gold. I had chosen the green-gold after a lot of prevaricating. I had no regrets. I really liked the colours of the beads - the fabulous mix of seed beads in particular.

The little squares are card and in the kit come pre-coated with acrylic paint and 'cosmic shimmer mist'.

The circles are washers, buttonholed using variegated silk thread. The centres are sequins, giving a mirrored effect.

The top and bottom edges are machine stitched using variegated quilting cotton - another first for me and a lot of fun.

The corners are tied off with beads and tassels.

I am considering mounting the finished piece on a bag, but for the moment it is pinned on the noticeboard beside my computer where I am getting  pleasure from it - and a lot of ideas about possibilities for these techniques.


Karyn said...

I think that it is often easier to get a kit, instead of having to source the bits and bobs, especially for those of us living in the country.
i love this panel that you have made. It would be lovely made into a bag. I like the idea of using things i have made instead of just looking at them.

Jillian said...

Me too, Karyn!