Tuesday 7 February 2017

Ideas ** Doodle & Collate ** Needle, Fabric & Thread.

“Simplicity is not the goal.

 It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

 Paul Rand.

I see ideas for stitchery in everything, a word, in the garden, in the clouds, walking along by the beach or indeed in the markings on the bark of a tree as I have said before.  The trick is to believe in your ideas and then to doodle.  I have been asked recently how I work and the methods I adopt so here is a little insight to my working world....

Firstly I jot down the idea, then I get a scrap of paper and have a little doodle.  In the margin I jot down colours I feel it would be best in and the thread colours I am thinking of.   Then it is about doing a bit better sketch ( not a Monet but a bit more detail) .... The fun then begins when you look at your notes saying you feel that maybe blues, reds or say greens would be most fitting for the project - it is then going through your fabric stash to find the fabrics in your chosen colourways would fit the picture you are creating.  This happens to not only be the longer of the processes I go through because I get caught up in all the fabric beauty but there is always a dilemma when you have to whittle down your choices.  Sometimes I have say eight choices because I love them all.

Whittle down by size of pattern ( if there are small components to cut out, a large print will be lost in smaller bits of the fabric) so that will normally make the pile to choose from a little smaller.  Then it is the shade of the colour you have chosen so you can then think actually this is too dark a red, green etc .... and so it goes on until your choice has been made.

Then it is the threads that will be used so you can get them out to match in or indeed stand out depending on what you have in your mind on how it might look as  finished product.

Buttons are a must for me as you all know and I like to go through and pick out some possibilities and of course it is always the last thing I stitch on and you can keep changing the button and just placing it around your stitched piece and see where it looks best and which one or ones look best on the finished piece.

If ribbons are part of your vision or lace then it is a good idea to have a look through what you have and have an idea before you start stitching away as I really feel strongly about not unpicking vintage fabrics because they are more delicate and little hole could appear if not careful.

If I am creating a picture/sampler then I sometimes add vintage paper to it and stitch it on because it will be behind glass and framed and therefore it will not be washed so you can go ahead with that without worry.  If you would like to add a sewing trade card for instance but it is on something that will need to washed at sometime in its life ( a cushion say) then you can buy the printable fabric and you can copy the image onto it that is washable, which is a fabulous invention!  Indeed if you want to keep the original then you can do the same to add it to a picture.

The other day I photo copied a big bunch of old tickets so that I could stitch the odd one onto things as I wanted to keep the originals.... I love the fabric photocopy
paper and indeed it was one of my lovely readers Dawn who put me onto my preferred product of choice.  If you are careful when you place the items on the photocopier, you can get a lot on one piece to cut out properly to be able to stitch into a project.

I have a set of these gorgeous flower cards and with the size of them I can easily get six on each piece of the copier fabric with plenty of room around each to cut them out separately with a good border to stitch... these are my next photo copying project there are around thirty of them and I would like to be able to get them ready for future projects ....  I normally do this sort of work later in the day or early morning when the light is not so good for sewing.  I love getting things like this ready to use.

Finally, for me at least, I like to get things sorted and in some sort of order.  Boxes or drawer for just buttons or fabrics, lace or ribbons this way you know where you are and it is easier to see what you are looking for even if you are not really sure.  I like paisleys together ( yes my precious paisley draw!!) and all the vintage French linens that I have are all folded and in a big clear box so that I can see at a glance what I would like to use and helps when I am planning a project ...

Well that is it for today I hope you all have a great day and I will be back here on Thursday as tomorrow is my precious design day .. My cold has taken a real hold so I may even have a day off tomorrow ... we will see.

Happy Stitching! XX


  1. I love using printable b. It has so many uses.

    Julie xxxxxx

  2. Don't know what happened, it was meant to read printable fabric, and yes its addictive!

    Julie xxxx

  3. Hello, I love the idea of printable fabric, but which make is your choice? I have tried one before where you iron the image onto the fabric, but it has a sheen to it which I don't really like.
    Thanks, Sharon