Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson on using Crinkle Chiffon

A lesson from Robyn Alexander of Colour Streams on how she works with her beautiful crinkle chiffon.

Preparing crinkle silk chiffon for ruching.
Most times I zigzag the edge of the chiffon with a metallic
thread in the bobbin and regular contrasting coloured machine thread on top. Tear a strip of chiffon across the crinkles. Set your machine to '3' stitch width and just under '1' stitch length. Do not set it to satin stitch as it will all go down the hole in the presser plate. Allow the the feed dogs (teeth) of the machine to draw the chiffon out of your fingers. The stitching will entrap the edge in a very fine zigzag and begin to flute the edge. If you want to use the chiffon as in the samples above repeat to the other edge. To apply to your project thread up a crewel needle with a matching colour sewing thread. Bring the thread up through your project gather a little of the edge chiffon onto the needle and take the needle to the back of the project. Bring the needle up again through the project and the chiffon and gather a little more and take the needle back down through your work. Continue in this way meandering across your work. The chiffon should automatically twist and turn creating a fantastic place to nestle those embroidered flowers, beads and more.

Sample pieces by Laraine
 These are some of the pieces I have worked using the Gellato threads ruched on a cord and nestled in and around the gathered chiffon. I have torn the chiffon across the crinkles and left it raw. You can pull out any stray threads from the edges. This sample was worked on Artist Trading Card with a variety of threads in a cross stitch theme then Gellato thread chiffon , beads and sequins. It was then applied to a co-ordinating hand dyed Wool Felt book cover.
The second sample is from a crazy patchwork picture with a similar treatment.
There are lots of beads, pearls and tiny sequins meshing the whole work together.
This chiffon is available in over-dyed colours that match the Colour Streams Silk Velvet, Wool Felt and Organza and bring a marvellous colour play to your work.  Look under Hand Dyed Fabrics for Stitch on my Website                              www.larainesoncapri.com.au

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crazy Patchwork

I like to use plain silks or subtly printed fabrics for the background of my crazy patchwork because I want the embellishments to be the main feature. It is best if the fabrics are of the same density in colour - as too much contrast will draw the eye away from the work as a whole.

The background fabrics in the sample, (in the top picture) were antique dusty beige/pinks and I chose the colours for the embellishments from a Mokuba flower tape. The rich lime, purple, green and magenta colours lifted away from the background and gave more drama to the fabrics and lots of inspiration for the added textures. Hand dyed ribbons and threads can also give you wonderful colour suggestions that you may not have thought of.
I usually work the base stitches (which meander over the seams) in a heavier thread than the decorative stitches, so I like to use Colour Streams Ophir - a hand dyed perle silk thread.

 I then looked again at the colours in the flower tape and chose the threads for the embellishing stitches from the Au Ver A Soie perlee range which is my favourite. On the website I have organized these in colour cominations to help with your sellection. They are French and come on charming little wooden reels.

I love to ruch ribbons to build up the texture so next was the hand dyed silk ribbon. This also echoed the Mokuba flower tape. Sometimes it is best if it doesn't match exactly as that can become boring or too much colour change. You may choose one or two single colour ribbons instead.
Nestle beads, crystals, charms, ribbon flowers and lace into the ruched ribbons to add some zing. 
Ash me any questions and I'll try to help you.