The old techniques are still fun

Painted Bondaweb has been a favourite technique for many for almost as long as I can remember. I first saw it demonstrated about 30 ago (goodness, that’s a bit scary) but there are still occasions when nothing else will do. Another technique from about the same time is one that uses up scraps of threads, and I recently found myself returning to it to make some quick cards. I actually remembered to take some photographs, so I thought I’d share them with you to either bring back memories – or show you something new. It’s quickly started on the sewing machine.

You need:

A backing fabric (I used a space dyed one, but almost anything will do), hand threads of almost any description (maybe this is an ideal opportunity to use all those odd ends that you can’t bear to throw away), a chiffon scarf in a suitable colour, an embroidery hoop and a toning multicoloured machine embroidery thread

stitched chiffon

I’ve already started to prepare in the above picture. I’ve chopped up a mix of hand threads and scraps of machine embroidery thread. You can see them on my background fabric. A red chiffon seemed the best for this mix, but always audition several to make sure you are achieving the right effect.


Spread the chopped bits out onto your backing. If it’s space dyed you can leave a few small gaps, but you will probably want to covei the whole area. Next cover with a single layer of chiffon and place into the embroidery hoop.

I dropped the feed dogs of my machine, set it for the widest zigzag but made sure that the stitch length was zero. It isn’t essential to use free machine stitching, you could always stitch a grid using ordinary straight stitch.

Stitch at random, moving the hoop fairly quickly. The idea is to secure the edge and the threads so that they don’t escape during the next step.

Once everything is safe you can remove the fabric from the hoop and trim it. I used a Madeira Polyneon, it’s ideal for something like this. This is just one of the colours available – and they are all yummy.


Now audition some hand threads

Mix and match. Your choice will change the character of the finished item.

Cover the surface with areas of stitching. French knots, seeding, little woven wheels, they are all good – and create very interesting effects

Add beads, cords, whatever takes your fancy. I can’t show you the finished item yet as it’s for a special card that’s still a secret. The technique, however, is suitable for a number of other items including little bags or book covers. Let me know if you give it a try – sometimes the ‘old’ techniques are worth remembering!

A bit of this…. a little of that….. and..

I’m sure you know the sort of thing I mean. Our workrooms are full of all sorts of fibres, materials, threads, etc. Mine definitely qualifies to be the MOST full, however,¬† and of that my DH is absolutely convinced! Whether or not it is true is beside the point, however, and I’m pleased to say that all requirements are on hand for my next little project.


You’ll have to wait a few days to see the results, but above are some silk fibres, a couple of chiffon scarves and, currently one of my favourite ‘ingredients’, Vegetarian Silk. I often use the latter with my embellisher machine, but this time I’m using it for something different.

What’s your current favourite ingredient? Is it something you return to time and time again? Is it the new ‘flavour of the month? I’m interested to know – so please either leave a comment, or if you are shy, you can always complete the comment form. No details are revealed to anyone except me!


Catching up and updates.

A few bits of information for you. Firstly, I have started to add the new batch of hand-dyed felt to the site.

felt 001

If you can’t wait for the others to be added either send me an email or complete the contact form below. The prices include postage – if you buy more than one your excess postage will be refunded. If you subscribe to the Creative Diary at the same time you will save on postage. The link does not take you to the diary but to information.

The dates for the next Be Creative weekend have been announced. The last one was a great success and there has been much action since which is wonderful. I have to say that the felt will be perfect for one or more of the prompts that I have planned for the next ¬†event. Keep the last weekend of February free for some creative fun. You don’t need to be around for the whole time – just commit to a minimum of 15 minutes! Yes, it IS possible to be creative in that amount of time. Some people have continued to use the prompts, others ignored them and just continued with something on which they were working. It was an inspiring advert -free event – no promoting or blatant self-promotion is allowed. If I can do it – so can everyone else…… Yes?

However, here is an advert! The next round of online workshops is coming soon and will include another dyeing workshop and one on using paper. If you are interested in having more information you can also let me know via the contact form.

I’m continuing to give a flavour of the things on which I’m working here, but it doesn’t tell the whole story by any means. I hope you will join me somewhere in making 2014 the best creative year yet!

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