20 November 2014

Breast Pockets Revisited

Two years ago I participated in Melanie Testa's Breast Pocket Project, together with a group of  students at the adult education centre where I worked at the time. If you want to revisit the blog posts I wrote then, you can check this link for information about the project and this link for an image of the breast pockets we created and sent to Melanie.

The reason I mention this is that in the October/November 2014 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine there is a Reader Challenge that calls for breast pockets in honor and support of all who are or have been touched by breast cancer. The challenge is connected to Melanie and the earlier Breast Pocket Project, as all the pockets that are submitted will be donated to her project. Every pocket will also be published either in the April/May 2015 issue of the magazine or online. The deadline is 9 December, so there's still time to join the challenge! You can find the instructions if you follow this link and some more information here.

A week ago I went on a bus trip to Tampere for the Finnish Handicrafts 2014 Fair, and as I was going to spend several hours travelling to and from the fair, I felt that a small embroidery project such as a breast pocket would be the perfect way to keep myself busy. I found a piece of fabric that I'd saved from a stamping and stencil printing demo I did earlier this autumn, and picked out some embroidery thread. I wanted a subtle effect, and went for pink and white. I also added green after I took the photograph, to create a bit of interest.

I don't have any process images this time, but I can tell you a little about the process in words instead. To be perfectly honest, it was something of a struggle for me. I soon realised that the threads I'd chosen were not just a bit too subtle, but there wasn't much I could do about that, sitting on a bus in the middle of nowhere, so I decided that I was going to have to make it work. I stitched, and tore out stitches for hours before I felt that I was on the right track. Even so, when the stitching was complete, I still felt that there wasn't enough contrast. So I got out a jar of white pearlescent fabric paint and painted a glimmering layer all over the background, stitches and all. I then took some beads to make a beaded edge, and some glitter paint to add a bit of shimmer to the countours of the main motif. Then, at last, I found my peace, and the piece was declared finished. Here's the result:

The breast pocket

I love these beaded edges

I made it to the post office just in time today, so the little pocket is already on its big journey to Massachusetts, USA. Yay!

Thanks for visiting for my blog!

1 November 2014

Still Away With The Mermaids... but...

there are also new winds blowing. Yay!

I've been very busy all autumn, working, painting, teaching, and I have hardly touched a single piece of fabric, but now that the more active part of The Mermaid Circus workshop is over (has it been 8 weeks already?!), I suddenly felt a little craving for fabric. And there happens to be something fun going on chez Melanie Testa. She has started a Sew Along for her Gather Your Sew-Plies Project Bag, which is a nifty little purse that you can strap to your body, and that will hold the stuff that you need when you are sewing on-the-go, or wherever. I want one!

The pattern is available in the Quilting Arts Holiday 2014 magazine, which is downloadable at Interweave (link), and on Melanie's blog you can follow the sew-along. Just click the tag 'Sew Along', and you'll get all the blog posts that she's written on the subject. I just had a rummage through my stash and found the perfect fabrics. I've saved them for something else, but a girl can change her mind, right?

So stay tuned for Sew Along news, or even better: JOIN IN !

Here are more mermaids that I've created in the Mermaid Circus workshop. It's been so much fun, and I've learned so much. Having a theme to work with makes such a big difference to me, as it helps me to actually get started. And of course, with a such a fun theme as mermaids, it's impossible not to be inspired!

Thanks for visiting my blog!