Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A pier on a lampshade

My friend Tash and I went to a machine embroidery course a couple of weekends ago.  Burnice was supposed to come too, but unfortunately she had a fall and broke her shoulder so can’t sew at the moment.  We went to Lara Sparks Embroidery just a few miles from me.  Lara makes lampshades and cushions with her distinctive coastal, meadow and homely scenes.  We had seen her at a craft fair back in the Spring and decided to spend the money we would usually have spent at Sandown Quilt Show on the course.


Lara’s workshop is in her lovely home and is filled with lampshades, pictures and cushions that she has made and shelves overflowing with fabric!  After a bit of practise we were encouraged to decide on whether we wanted to make a lampshade or cushion, and to look at her stencils to decide what scene we would like to embroider.

I chose the pier scene.  First I drew round the stencil onto my linen to get the basics of the pier, then began to embroider!  It is such fun!  It doesn’t matter if you go a bit wobbly – in fact, it looks better if you do!  I  did each section of the pier at a time, embroidering the shape of the buildings, and then the understructure and legs of the pier.  Next, I chose some fabric to make the domes of the buildings.  They were fused on to the linen and then embroidered to make the lines of the roofs and to keep them on!  Lara is a fantastic teacher, keeping a watchful eye on us at all times!  She drew the big wheel and roller coaster for me, which I then embroidered.  Final touches were the blue lines of the sea and a few seagulls.

Tash chose to do a lampshade with foxgloves and bluebells, and she did more applique that me.  There were 2 other students there, one of whom made a lampshade with grasses, and the other made a cushion with flowers and seed heads.  Lara was really keen that we had a finished product to take home so spent extra time with us showing us how to make up our lampshades and cushion.

Here is Tash’s lampshade being tested with a lamp.


And here’s mine, in pride of place on the sideboard in my hall. I am so thrilled with it!  I think it is the best thing I have ever made!  I absolutely love it, and have to keep looking at it!!


Tash and I can’t wait to go back for another go!  We are looking forward to when Burnice can sew again to take her.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Silk Screen Printing

A few weeks ago, I went with my crafty friends Burnice and Tash to a silk screen printing course in Brighton.


The course was held in a shop called MADE – Make, Art, Drink, Eat.  At street level it is a very nice cafe and gallery, but go downstairs to the basement and there you will find classrooms for all sorts of art and crafts!

Have you ever done silk screen printing?  I hadn’t and had no idea what it entailed! 

First we drew our design on paper, being careful not to make it too small or draw a shape within a shape, such as an ‘O’.

Next we cut out the design with a scalpel.  Here’s mine.  It is supposed to be grasses and seed heads, but I think I took her advice not to make it too small too literally and made the cut out bits too big!  I think it looks like fireworks now.


Then came the fun bit!  Place the fabric down on plenty of paper, then the stencil, then the silk screen.  Pour some paint on at the top of the screen, and draw it down over the screen with a window wiper.  Great fun!

Here’s Burnice doing her pink heart.


And mine as I lifted up the screen and stencil.


Tash did a chicken.


We decorated a tea towel and a linen bag.