Sunday, 31 December 2006

Black & White Fabric Book Progress...

...or lack of it

visitors, visiting and Baby Girl's sore gums haven't left much time this week for my fabric book.

I've done more stitching on the applique page (no photo yet) but I'm not happy with it. I used some black gingham circles, and although I'm happy with the stitching - zig-zag, stab, backstitch and blanket stitch - the fabric is annoying me....

I've also agonised over the crazy quilt page. Yes, still!

Anyway. A new To Do list:-

*Prepare inserts for the stacked pocket page. I've decided to keep the pockets plain and simple and just in white. But I'm going to prepare heavily embellised inserts in black that can be pulled from the pockets. However the pockets are currently too transparent. I may have to unstitch them and iron on more vilene!
*Crazy quilt page will be a double page with foldouts on each side. It will be made with white fabric and black and white threads and beads. It will be a showcase of seam treatments. However there won't be any patterned fabric to inspire the stitching so I'm sure not if it can be called crazy quilting... I think there will be 9 seams - 2 of them will need to fold inwards.
Does any of that make sense?

*Complete the applique page and line page and hand page so that I can stitch the two sides together (sandwiching some wadding) and have 4 completed pages!!!!

Take a Stitch Tuesday Prep

I've started thinking about the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge which starts on 2nd January. I've decided to use a 6"x4" postcard size and I've looked out some fabric to prepare. I'm including handmade felt and dyed fabric from previous projects. I think the emphasis should be on the actual stitch but it would be interesting to see what can be achieved on different backgrounds. I especially like stitching on thick handmade felt. I also looked out my stash of threads. All neatly colour coded!

I had planned to use eyelets to thread my samples together to make a book but knowing me I'll probably get hung up on how to thread the book together!

And I don't have an eyelet tool!

So I've decided to use a book I already have. It has 17 pages (7.5"x6.25") and I can add more pages relatively easily.

I'm not going to get to ahead of myself though as no doubt I'll be inspired by the way the other participants approach this challenge. So, I reserve the right to change my mind!

Monday, 25 December 2006


Santa brought 2 books (well... I ordered from Amazon, but where is the magic in that?)

* Creative Recycling in Embroidery by Val Holmes
* Mixed Media Explorations by Beryl Taylor

I'll try and give a full review at some point, I've only managed a glance through them. They look quite interesting. I wasn't sure if I should buy more books. I'm not looking for yet another new technique or even more eye candy. I'm looking for inspiration. Something that will spark an idea and get me going. Something that will inspire me so much I'll actually finish a piece. Does such a thing exist?

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Oh my god its Christmas Eve

must go to bed.....

Stitch ATCs

I would like to fill the 3 layered pockets page with ATCs of stitch diagrams. This is a mock up of an idea using black handmade felt

Photo transfer fabric

photo transfer fabric, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

These are the fabrics from my photo tranfer experiement. I used the Tyvek photo manipulations. Not entirely happy with them. I didn't prewash the fabric before ironing so the transfer didn't 'take' completely. Its also quite plastic too. I think all transfer papers will give this effect... not just the cheapo ones from Tesco!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

No french knots!

b&w fabric journal - WIP, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

This is the line page with no french knots. Think I'll replace them with more seeding. I've also added more chain stitching and a couched line at the bottom.

I have been busy, honest!

3 stacked pockets v1, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

I haven't managed to do as much as I wanted but I'm still moving forward with my fabric book project.


I'm started my 3 stacked pockets page. The original idea was to do an all white page but I think I'll need to work harder to add the wow factor through threads and stitching. Its just too plain at the moment.

I like the idea of a pull out from each pocket (I've shown my ATC envelope template in the photo) but I think it would be more interesting and interactive to invite the reader to PULL something out of the pockets.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Paper Dolls

Just saw this on Kiddley. Must download and save for future reference!

quick update and new to do list

What I've done:-
*Printed and ironed some photo transfer papers. I'm pleased with the results. I used the B&W manipulated photos of the tyvek sample close ups. The fabric does have a plastic quality which is appealing but I haven't tried stitching through it yet!
*Prepared some white calico with vilene to make the second pocket page (3 stacked pockets).
*Added some more circles to the applique page.
*Added more stitching to the line page. I unpicked the french knots too, not as time consuming as it sounds!
*Written over 40 Christmas cards and Thank-you letters (for my baby's gifts)... my hand hurts.

What I'm hoping to do:-
*Finish the applique page and 3 stacked pockets page.
*Draw some seam treatments (now I have the fabric as inspiration).
*Prepare the base of the crazy quilt page.
*Paint some bondaweb to add texture to the texture page.
*Compose an introduction.
*Create an ATC template and some envelopes.
*Print off stitch diagrams on photo transfer paper.
*Look out some waste canvas and blackwork patterns to decorate my hand print.
*Visit Santa.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

seam treatments - part 1

I'm looking through some bookmarks for ideas on seam treatments on my crazy quilt page. I'm not sure how the fabric will turn out (manipulated B&W photos printed onto transfer paper then ironed onto calico). I'll probably end up making up combinations as I stitch. Even though I LOVE to research I usually end up making it up as I go along! There a two interesting pages on the Caron Collection page, here and here. I also like these examples at

There are LOADS and LOADS of other sites but I'm trying not to get sidetracked, procrastinate or phaff about too much

I'm quite excited about my crazy quilt page as I've never seen a black and white one before.

knitting v's darning

Have decided not to do a knitted sample for my fabric book. Messed about with some different wools yesterday and it all looked a bit blah. Instead I'm going to use a darning technique which has been kicking about my ideas file for a while. All in black and white of course. I'll hopefully be able to make a start on it tomorrow. Mind you I still have ALL the christmas presents to wrap and cards to write...and there is still a moose loose aboot this hoose!

Take a Stitch Tuesday

As mentioned before I've signed up for Take a Stitch Tuesday. Details on Sharon B's inaminuteago site. It starts on 2nd Jan 2007. Spread the word!

Monday, 11 December 2006

3 straight pockets page 'complete'

This is one of the 'completed' pocket pages of my fabric book. I think it looks very glam. I particularly like the fuzzy thread on the top pocket and the multiple lines of blanket stitch on the bottom pocket. I may add some text to the top and/or bottom pocket.

The middle pocket will be filled with fabric ATCs dipicting stitch diagrams of the stitches used on the line page.

This photo is my first 'composite' design using Picture It! Publishing. I took several photos (before and after) and cut and pasted them together, adding some text. Quite pleased with it.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

some texture inspiration in black

black page, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

like the white page but done in black. I love the square 'sequins' on these pages. They were made using a rough, thick handmade paper painted black and cut into small squares. very simple!

some texture inspiration in white

white page, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

I created these pages as part of a study of black and white for my C&G accessories project. Its a page of white stuff, glued and stitched into my workbook then sketched in B&W on the right hand side. I think it will again prove useful in creating a page of texture in my B&W fabric book

some ideas and notes on my fabric book

I managed to get 10 minutes today to jot down my new ideas for my black and white fabric book.

Firstly let me show you my original doodles:-

and now the new ideas:-

so my new to do list:-
* research some seam treatments for the 'crazy quilting' page
* print some of photo manipulations onto transfer paper to create unique fabric for 'crazy quilting' page
* finish applique and lines pages
* knit 5.5inch square using variety of black fibres
* prepare white calico for layered pockets page
* start to compose introduction page and experiment with fonts

think thats enough to be getting on with!

Saturday, 9 December 2006

endless possibilities! part 3

another one

endless possibilities! part 2

here I used a close up of a Tyvek sample I made for my green fields throw

endless possibilities! part 1

A photograph of a piece of knitting I did for my green fields throw manipulated using Microsoft Picture It Publishing

best laid plans

Unfortunately I've done no stitching in past few days. Various reasons - coffee mornings, ENORMOUS christmas tree, santa parade and possible mice infestion.

Had some thoughts on my fabric book which I'll get down on paper and scan in. In short I'm going to approach it like a conventional book. with content page, introduction and chapters. There will be 3 chapters - one on linear stitching, one on adding fabric to fabric and another on texture.

I'm feeling inspired by:-

*Purple Missus' experiments with her ink and bleach samples. I'm going to look through some of my photos of texture and mess about in a photo editor.
*scrunchy pages of my daughters fabric books. I think I can achieve a similar effect by making a greaseproof paper sandwich.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Goals for 2007

Sharon B at inaminuteago is launching another stitch challenge on 2nd Jan 2007. Its called Take a Stitch Tuesday. Think I'll "sign up".

thank you Purple Missus!

Just noticed I have a comment on yesterday's post. So happy! thank you Purple Missus.

I have the biggest displacement activity - a 3 month old totally adorable daughter. Am I mad to even think I'll get any stitching done?


rosy cheeks

No stitching again but I did manage to tidy up both the front and back gardens. Dead summer flowers (and even weeds) have been mocking me for months now. It was a lovely sunny day today and it was very pleasant being outside, not too bracing. The garden almost looks respectable (but bare without the weeds!).

Have decided to rejig the pages of my journal. The first page (on opening) will be a introduction, like the mission statement for my bracelets project. I like the font. Its called -

Disgusting Behavior

but I plan to print onto transfer paper and then iron onto fabric. It may not give a clear print, will have to experiment....

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

its christmas

I've done no stitching but I have managed to decorate one room in the house. Christmas baubles and fairy lights in the conservatory. Hopefully get some stitching done tomorrow. If I can get time on PC tomorrow I'll try and do some printing on transfer paper. Must remember to reverse the print so I can iron onto fabric!

Sunday, 3 December 2006


One of the objectives of the black and white journal is for it to be handstitched and therefore easy to pick up and put down. All my craft stuff is packed away at the moment and the project fits in one large box (materials) and one folder (pages I'm working on). I've been designing some pages this weekend and I'm keen to do some crazy quilting, in particular seam treatments. However the initial fabric base will require a sewing machine (or alot of backstitching). Can I be bothered to unpack it? Would also like to do some trapunto for the journal cover...this too would require a sewing machine (or alot of patience)... maybe my first page won't apply to the WHOLE journal!

Friday, 1 December 2006

collection of materials for Black & White Fabric Journal

materials, originally uploaded by fionacupcake.

to kick start this project again I laid out all the materials I had collected for my Black & White fabric journal. It reminded me of some ideas I had in the begining (Aug 06), like creating ATCs in envelopes to go in pockets. Also plan to do a crazy quilt effect over a double page. Really like the letter beads and my polka dot ribbon.

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