It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I have been very busy making over the last few weeks. My wire hearts were very popular . Here’s one custom order I made:image

And then there was my two Secret Santas to make and buy for. I really liked making these but it is quiet nerve racking to wait to see if they like their presents. I have one of mine so far and can’t wait to open them on Christmas Day. Thank you Sewchet for organising this. Photos to follow.

I also thought I would share with you my Poppies picture that I blogged about previously. A friend bought it and has framed it making it look amazing. image

It has convinced me to make more and to frame my finished art pieces. It really boosted my confidence too.

Now time to decorate my tree. Yes it’s the 22nd and my tree is bare! We had essential work to our son’s room and that meant all their stuff was moved to any spare space. So no room for a tree until yesterday. Now it’s returning to normal, I can get on with making my house a bit more festive and enjoying Christmas with my family.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas x

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Textile Art my first try

I recently discovered the work of Richard Box through an article in Creative Workbox Magazine. There was a step by step guide in an issue and I have always wanted to try free style machine embroidery.  This was the perfect chance for me to try mixing machine and hand embroidery.

The first step was to stick fabric in selected places as the base of the flowers. I used normal dabs of pva glue to hold it all in place. This is then layered up with shades of pink red fabric and the background is added. You also add the centre of the flowers before gluing wool on for stems.

The whole piece is zig zag stitched over the top in appropriate colours. Drop the dog feed, add your free motion foot and go for it. I loved this part and be warned – don’t zig zag too much!

I then hand stitched over the flowers in colours that were tonal and radiated the stitches out from the centres of the flowers. I also added moderne running stitch detail on the background, adding some blue and purple to the green stitches in wool and variegated threads.

The final step was to straight stitch over the hand stitching to enhance it not hide your stitches. Again less is more and know when to stop.

I really enjoyed producing this and using Richard Box’s step by step guide helped me to finally try free style embroidery on my machine. I have another project I bought from Richard’s website, a blackberry picture to try next. Can’t wait!

The beginning of a new hobby?

I began sewing along time ago with cross stitch and over the years have self taught myself to embroider using different techniques – beads, ribbon, black work, stump work and drawn thread work to name a few – and also conquered using a sewing machine to quilt, patchwork and make a dress or two. I recently discovered a brilliant creative magazine called Be Creative with Workbox. I have always loved learning new crafts and sell some of my makes now and then, but never had the nerve to try free style embroidery on my sewing machine. Crazy considering my love of sewing, crafting and using sewing machines!

Richard Box has an article in the latest edition of  Be Creative with Workbox  and takes you step by step – see here http://www.creativewithworkbox.com, to make your own textile art Poppies picture. I have to say I am hooked! Why did I wait so long? I love the fact I get to combine machine and hand sewing in such a free way. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to dress make and embroider boxes using lots of different media to produce 3D pieces but free style textile art has definitely found away to draw me in.

Now how do I fit my new hobby in with my existing hobbies, cocktails at my favourite bar, work, kids, a husband, a cat and a dog? At least my fabric stash may decrease a little!

Step one - first material pieces
Step one – first material pieces
Step two - second material
Step two – second material
Step three - Background materials
Step three – Background materials
Step 4-5 - machine stitched over the materials and beginning to add hand stitching
Step 4-5 – machine stitched over the materials and beginning to add hand stitching

Here is my project step by step so far. What do you think? I will post the finished article soon – hopefully…….

If you would like a look at what else I make please visit https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SewingNikki .