Encrusted CQ class project

Encrusted CQ class project

Thursday, 25 August 2011

What Do I Do With It? - A Tutorial (Part 2)

And now, on to part two.

Here is an example of what you will get in one of the 100 piece vintage embellishment packs - available at reclamationtextiles.etsy.com   I think you will agree they are a great deal at $10. plus shipping per pack!

Remember that every pack is different, so you can't order this exact pack, but you can order something similar in the lilac/purple/silver colorway.  This pack contains a crocheted doily and a cotton napkin with lace edging, both of which I hand-dyed.  There is a piece of wired taffeta ribbon, lots of beads and buttons and sequins, some embroidery threads, 3 artificial flowers, and a piece of silver satin trim, which was the placket of a thrift-store blouse.  

And here's a closer look at the beads, buttons and sequins:

Most of the items in these packs are vintage, and I only include items that have the vintage look - no contemporary-looking fabrics, pony beads, etc.  I have seen crazy quilt pieces that look Shabby Chic/Victorian - EXCEPT for the shiny plastic buttons or one unfortunate fabric choice.  It can ruin the whole aged, vintage look.  

Here is the pieced block from my last post, and you can see I have already added a corner of the cotton napkin.

Just a quick aside here:  I love vintage linens and respect the work that went into them.  You may think it's rather cruel of me to cut up these lovely old things.  First of all, I wouldn't cut up something truly old and valuable.  But most of the items I find are in garage sales and thrift stores, and not always in perfect shape.  I buy the napkin with stains, the tablecloth with holes and tears in it, the small pieces of hand-made lace and prevent them from going to a landfill.  Some items can be repaired or dyed to cover small imperfections, other times, I just cut away the damage and keep the useful part.  So, I know it seems harsh the first time you cut into a crocheted doily - but press on, and soon you will be hacking apart old wedding dresses, since they won't we worn again anyway, and you can make one or several beautiful works of art from the salvaged material.

Back to the block - I find it best to piece the block, embroider the seams (I usually embroider every seam) and add the beads, buttons and charms last.  If you add buttons and try to embroider afterwards, you will inevitably catch your thread on the buttons, which caused tangled thread and a wee bit of bad language.

So, I embroider the seams first, using the threads in the embellishment pack.  There are lots of hand embroidery resources at the library and online - I have an embroidery app for my iPhone and I also use the stitch dictionary at inaminuteago.com  Oops, almost forgot to tell you.....before I begin embellishing, I measure out the design area of 6", mark it with chalk and then baste a contrasting color thread around it.  This will help me keep the stitching, buttons and beads away from the seam line, which will prevent more of the aforementioned bad language when I finish the block.

And here's how it looks with embroidered seams and some added ribbon and parts of the doily:

It's starting to look quite different now, isn't it?

Lastly, I add buttons, beads, sequins, charms - the sky's the limit on what you can add.  For this example, I'm using only items from the embellishment pack, with the exception of a bit of variegated purple DMC floss I already had.

To use the fabric flower, just remove the plastic piece from the middle and stitch the petals down.  I added seed beads for the centre of the flower.  Just to the left of center, with a lovely silvery purple button on it, is the original 5-sided shape that started the whole process.

And here's everything that's left over from the embellishment pack:

And with that, I am taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks.  My Etsy shop will be closed September 1 to 9;  then I'll be back creating, photographing, listing and blogging.  See you in a couple of weeks!

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