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Topics - BrendaP

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Embroidery and Embellishment / Sunflowers I, II, III and IV
« on: September 12, 2021, 17:43:08 PM »
I am enrolled on the  Fibre Arts Take Two course Making Connections tutored by Cas Holmes.  FATT is an Australian company, I paid the course fee in US dollars, but Cas lives just a few miles away in Maidstone!

The course is really about how the tutor works; and exercises to try for ourselves.  Sketchbook work every day is encouraged and then a disparate mix of fabrics and papers, often printed or drawn on are collaged onto fabric and held together with a mix of machine and hand embroidery

I found the hardest part was laying out the collages, and despite watching it through twice I didn't see that the samples she was making were small, maybe 6"x6" or 8"x8" at most.  I jumped in and cut substrate (backing fabric) 15"x11" for two and similarly big pieces for the other two. ><  I also kept everything neatly within the 'frame' and haven't let bits overlap.

But, I have now have the makings of four small wallhangings which just need to be backed and finished; I'm going to do traditional quilt bindings and I'll have something a bit different to offer for this year's art group exhibition in November.  Then I'll go back and watch the course videos again and have a go at doing some samples more like the ones demonstrated.

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Vintage Machines / Singer 367
« on: May 25, 2021, 00:17:48 AM »
Ihave been given a Singer 367 which a friend rescued from a skip.  Dates from 1974 I think, and made in Italy.

I've oiled and de-fluffed it, though it wasn't that bad, replaced the 13amp fuse with a 3amp one! and given it a new needle.

It sort of sews, but misses more stitches than it catches. :'( 
I'm using Guetermann Sew All.  The top tension feels very tight and has to be at about 0-1 to sew at all.

is it worth fiddling with or shall I return it to the skip?

Tech Know How / Are the gremlins getting in again?
« on: May 13, 2021, 09:50:22 AM »
For the last couple of days TSP has been running slowly again and I've had timed out error messages, but by clicking again the required page has opened OK.

This morning I had a different error, which I took a screen shot of:
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Does this mean anything to the gurus?  @Acorn  @Mr Twingo

eta - on my screen only the top half of the screen shot is displaying.

A Good Yarn / Varigated yarn pooling
« on: December 28, 2020, 12:46:47 PM »
My parcel from Secret Santa aka @CraftyIrish  included a 200gm ball of Aldi's Cotton Candy Rainbow Aran weight yarn which I have knitted into a hat, and added one of the pom-poms from the parcel.

I didn't plan it but have been pleasantly surprised with how the (unplanned) pooling of the colours worked out.
Colour sequence is:
Lilac, white, yellow, peach, lilac, peach, yellow, white, lilac.

96 stitches used just over one and a half repeats so lilac and yellow stacking with peach and white alternating.

On the ribbing this 'half repeat' moved to the left by  2 -3 stitches each round and resulted in diagonal stripes.  When I changed to a bigger needle and different rib pattern I though that maybe the stripes would go in the other direction but actually the colours stacked vertically without any effort.  :loveit:

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The colours in the pic of it on my head are truest - and there is plenty left to make a pair of mittens; Aran weight is much too heavy for gloves.  It will be interesting to see how the pooling goes with fewer stitches.

Embroidery and Embellishment / Christmas knitting with LEDs
« on: November 09, 2020, 12:53:02 PM »
Having taken inspiration from the spectacular lighted dress which @Manuela  made a while ago I have just finished knitting four hats for the younger GC.  The boys 13 and 9 will get the plain ones and the girls 15 and 13 will have the bobbles.
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They all have a button battery and two LEDs from a kit bought from Kitronik.  White LED in the red and light grey hats, blue LEDs in the charcoal and purple hats.
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It's not particularly difficult to.  You have to use the special conductive thread and with knitted fabric it was important not to pull the thread tight between connections, although the connections themselves need to be secure to get a good circuit.
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The hardest part was sorting out the path of the threads; it has to be +ve to -ve and the threads must not cross.  This turned out to be the simplest for what I wanted.
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As I haven't included switches it will be necessary to insert and remove the batteries to turn the LEDs on and off so I need to source a means of easily pushing the battery out, plastic or wooden.  Terry suggests the wooden stirrers which come with take-away coffees.  I just need to source them!

Current Projects / Cherry Blossom in Lockdown
« on: August 31, 2020, 22:41:50 PM »
Back in April, at the height of lockdown Terry thought he shouldn't be taking George :woof: for two walks a day so I was taking him out in the afternoons - a youngish labrador needs his exercise.  Half way along the road, before it turns into a country lane and fields, there is a front garden with a flowering cherry tree. By the end of April the tree was in full bloom and I wanted to try and capture it as a textile picture. 
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I got the background fabrics sorted, with poetic licence to edit out the houses, and was pleased with the way the I did the 'blossom' with eyelash yarn and a very loose sort-of 'blanket stitch'  made up as I went along.  The rainbow is there because there was one chalked onto the pavement about 10m away from the tree.

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About a week later after some wet and windy weather the ground was covered in pink petals and the tree was back to its dark red foliage.  I did a tiny bit of hand embroidery to the picture but I just didn't know how to finish it so I put it aside for four months.

Yesterday I looked at it again, and I could see that the stark emptiness of the background reflects the way I was feeling during lockdown.  On some days I didn't see another person for the entire walk and when I did I felt that they were invading 'my' space.   The picture with its emptiness was complete and only needed to be backed and bound.

Through lockdown I sewed at least twenty sets of scrubs, through the FB group Medway Scrubbers.  The first batch was with the preferred 80-20 poly cotton but after a few days all the online supplies of that had sold out and heavier 50-50 was used and then it went down to donated new or lightly used bed sheets and duvet covers.  I used some left over sheet in a rather nasty shade of green for the backing, fused to the support with Bondaweb and the last scraps of the original 80-20 for the binding.

Not a particularly attractive picture but it is what it is; my memories of lockdown 2020.
13" x 16.5"
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ETA - the colours in the first two pictures are much better than the finished one, taken just now under artificial light.

The Haberdashery / Special Buttons
« on: August 02, 2020, 22:51:21 PM »
If anyone is looking for some really special buttons how about these?

I like the third set down, but they would need to be sewn on very securely!

Vintage Machines / Rescued Singer 201
« on: May 16, 2020, 12:18:09 PM »
My husband's friend who lives at the other end of the village phoned to say this his neighbour had put an old black sewing machine out for the scrap man - but I got there before the scrap man  and found this  0_0 0_0
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It's a 1952 Singer 201K,  one of 4000 released in April 1952

All I've done so far is wipe it all over with anti-bac handwipes and give it a good dollop of oil.  It turns OK but is a bit stiff.  The stitch length lever and presser foot lift were both "seized' but the oil has already freed them.  The bobbin winder looks good but I can't release the clutch.

It has a Singer motor and the usual three pin plug but no foot pedal.  There is an additional lead connected between the motor and the socket and the cut on that matches the cut on the short piece of lead coming from a separate Singer motor attached to the back of the treadle.  Looks as though the treadle footplate had been used instead of a regular foot pedal. >:)

Sewing Machines / 5 needle machine in 1923
« on: January 21, 2020, 22:50:01 PM »
I have just watched this on Facebook

I'd love that  :vintage: with five needles used for the 'padding'.  I bet it could do some wonderful quilting 0_0

Access All Accessories / My Christmas hat
« on: December 10, 2019, 10:38:59 AM »
I made this several years ago for a craft club party where we were all asked to wear Christmas hats.

The  hat must be about 40+ years old, bought to wear to a wedding I think, and originally had a stiff felt bow which I refashioned into a bezel to hold the tree in place - it's just a little free-standing fibre optic ornament, M&S I think.  With new batteries it's good to go again this year.

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It will be worn with last year's version of this.  The sequins spell out Jingle Bells and there are several attached bells which do jingle.

A Good Yarn / Two baby capes
« on: November 20, 2019, 10:50:58 AM »
 Two baby carry capes made for the expected GGC due in February.

The doll models are the only surviving toys from my own children, so are about 40 years old now.  My Mum bought them for my twins one Christmas when they were toddlers and I know that they are new-born baby size because the day they received them my sister's friends called in with their new baby, only a few days old, and the dollies' heads were exactly the same size as the baby's head!

Edited to include the photo!

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For Sale, Wanted & Free to a good home / Pre-wound bobbins Style F
« on: September 07, 2019, 09:17:55 AM »
If anyone has a machine which takes Style F pre-wound bobbins I have part used boxes of them.  About 50 white and 60 black.  Yours for the postage.

Patterns Discussion / Jersey and lace top
« on: August 18, 2019, 09:47:31 AM »
I've seen this, which I love, on the Klasse website.

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It looks to be a fairly ordinary plain jersey with a lace overlay.  Suggestons please for a suitable base pattern.  I daresay I'll have to fiddle with the overlay whatever I use.

The Haberdashery / Coats Moon Thread v Gütermann Sew All
« on: April 22, 2019, 11:26:04 AM »
Following on from the discussion about using overlocker cones on a regular machine which turned into discusson about Moon thread.

Moon is made by Coats but it's not found on their main website under products -> threads

But I did find
and from the full product specification sheet.pdf I get the info that it's a staple spun polyester thread and comes in four sizes:
Ticket 30 = 80 Tex
Ticket 50 = 60 Tex
Ticket 75 = 40 Tex
Ticket 120 = 27 Tex.

A lot of retailers just say "Moon" with no indication of the size, but those who do give a size say 120, which is the finest in the Moon range.

Going back to the Coats website  and selecting staple spun polyester from the substrate tab  the only products are Astra, which comes in seventeen different thicknesses, also Astra FH (which is anti-wicking for tampon removal) and Astra Rugged for sewing denim.

So I suspect that Moon is actually Astra in a special put-up for the domestic market.

Güterman SewAll is the domestic put-up of Gütermann Mara 100.

Mara is also a staple spun polyester thread and comes in a dozen different sizes from 8 - 220 all with a choice of regular, silicone free or water repellant.

Size 100 is Tex 30

The commonly available Moon size 120 is Tex 27. 
Gütermann SewAll is Tex 30

With my tension on thread windings, Moon measures 30 wraps per cm and Gütermann Sew All  measures as 31 wraps per cm the Moon thread is marginally thicker, but a visual inspection definitely shows it to be fluffier. 

Overall conclusion:
1000 m of Moon should weigh 27 gms
1000M of SewAll should weigh 30 gms
The Moon is less firmly spun and therefore incorporates more air to make it appear thicker.  That will be the reason why it is fluffier than Sew All. 
The higher twist, and more fibre per metre, of Sew All should also make it slightly stronger than Moon.

Disclaimer - there are lots of other good threads are out there too, but also a lot of not so good threads too. 

Events / Doughty's Roadshow
« on: April 14, 2019, 21:59:34 PM »
I've just seen confirmation on FB that Doughty's will be going to Gravesend next Saturday 0_0
Different venue to the one provisionally booked; it's now
St Aidan’s Church Hall,
St Gregory’s Crescent,
DA12 4JL

Now, do I need any fabric -< ;) 

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