Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rock carvings: A second glimpse ...

... of the rock carving 'comic strip', this picture showing Regin's horse, holding the treasure of the dragon Fafne on its back.

It takes quite a bit of concentration embroidering these small motifs on the sewing machine - this horse, for example, is only about 8 x 5 cm/3 x 2 ", and Sigurd himself (in my latest posting), was even smaller than that.

So I'm regarding this first approach as a kind of sketch, to get more acquainted with the motifs - I'm thinking of enlarging it further later on, maybe embroidering it by hand next time or even painting it on a wall ...

But I'm very happy to finally having started exercising the free motion machine embroidery - there are so many possibilites in that technique - and it's great fun!

(German summary: Hier kommt das zweite Motiv der Felsenritzung, und die Bilderchen erfordern schon einiges an Konzentration beim Nähen, weil sie so klein sind, dieses etwa 8 x 5 cm. Vielleicht werde ich die Vorlage später weiter vergrößern - ich denke da an einen handgestickten Wandbehang oder vielleicht an eine Wandmalerei ...)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rock carvings: A small glimpse ...

... of a new project: The story of Sigurd Fafnesbane, carved about 1000 years ago - sometimes disrespectfully called 'the world's oldest comic strip' - this is a rock carving I've been wanting to translate into textile for about 30 years.

And now I've begun, with a small free-motion machine sketch - here's a first glimpse:

... and regarding the background, you can read more here at Wikipedia.

(German summary: Seit 30 Jahren liebäugele ich schon mit dem Gedanken, diese herrliche, tausendjährige Felsritzung ins Textile umzuwandeln ... und fange jetzt mit einer kleinen, frei maschinengestickten Skizze an. Zum Hintergrund gibt es hier in Wikipedia mehr darüber zu lesen.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Joint venture: Cell phone cover

A little while ago, my friend Gabi was visiting me for the weekend - and while sitting out in the garden talking, we made a colourful cover for her new cell phone together.

First, she knitted a double overlapping strip in garter stitch, with some red crochet cotton and some variegated sock yarn, decreasing the number of stitches in the end - and then I showed her how to punch the knitting with the embellisher to densify the wool and make the cover stiffer.

At this point, we both saw the face of the snake taking form - Gabi embroidered the eyes, I punched the tongue and added a strip of punched glitzy neon fabric to the back, decorating it with a black zig-zag free-motion embroidery - she sew the cover together with the sockwool and added the glasses, which she made out of a piece of wire and some button hole stitches. Finally, we found a bit of red Velcro-tape in my stash and sew it on for closure.

It was ready in no time and we had quite some fun with this joint-venture!

(German summary: Ein kleines, buntes Handytascherl, daß meine Freundin Gabi und ich beim Plaudern im Garten eigentlich so nebenbei gemeinsam gemacht haben - witzig, oder?)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rock carvings: The tattooed deer

And what if I was to use the pattern program on my sewing machine to do the filling up on these Wiking symbols? Although I've chosen a rather simple Bernina model, there is still quite a selection of automatic patterns available on it -

I tried out three of them on this deer, along with some free-motion sewing - and the drawing was delightfully filled in no time! (Argh! Why is there such a thing as preparing dinner and cleaning up and all those other chores - I'd rather be playing all day long!)

When tracing my drawing with the parchment paper and pencil method, I always get a reverse version as well - this time I used it on the backside of an ice-cream paper box, to get a cardboard template to use for another project -

and look, how funny it happened to turn out from the printed side - maybe you can call this some sort of 'tattoo' as well!

(German summary: Und was wäre wenn ich eines der vorgegebenen Muster der Nähmaschine zum Ausfüllen verwenden würde - auch bei meinem einfacheren Bernina-Modell gibt es da so einige zur Auswahl ...

Und als 'Nebenprodukt' habe ich beim Durchpausen auf einem Eiscreme-Karton noch ein buntes 'Tattoo' dazubekommen!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A little leisure: Sweet mushroom

While sewing and cutting and stitching, I realize I'm suffering from a constant lack of pin cushions - not a single one in sight when I need them! The small ones I did last year always seem to have disappeared without a trace ...

And from time to time it's nice just to play around and do some little thingy, nothing serious, just a spontaneous malfatto project in between!

And so I took a break and made myself a sweet mushroom by recycling a small plastic container which had held some screws. For the filling I used a handful or two of all those threads and fabric scraps laying around on my working table, but first I did put in a couple of small pebbles from the garden as a bottom weight, as this mushroom is a bit taller than usual and I didn't want it to tumble.

Every part of this pin cushion is recycled - some small leftovers from earlier embellishing projects, which I punched together with the embellisher along with some coloured scrim (used for cleaning up while dyeing!) to get a slightly larger piece - then a bit of free motion machine stitching - and a few centimeters of a really kitschy ribbon and some plastic confetti (!) which were easy to poke a hole into with the needle and to use as flower sequins.

It even fits into my little mobile sewing kit!

(German summary: Anscheinend leide ich an ständiger Nadelkissen-Not - auf jeden Fall macht es Spaß, zwischendurch so ein kleines Dingsbums aus den Resten zu fertigen, die da am Arbeitstisch herumliegen ... Ein Plastikdöschen, ein paar Zentimeter kitschige Borte, ein paar Filzfuzelchen, am Embellisher zusammengepuncht, zur Füllung einige Steinchen aus dem Garten und eine Handvoll Woll- und Stoffschnippelchen vom Arbeitstisch - und fertig ist das Schwammerl!)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rock carvings: The solar horse

Now I've coloured the elegant solar horse too - using simple satin stitches and broadened chain stitches - the material is darning wool and sock wool.

While working on these little pieces, I'm pondering over how to assemble them in the end. They remind me a lot of comic strips, actually - maybe I can find a way to mount them in that manner, like a pictural collage or so ...

So far, I've preferred the classic tracing and transferring method using sandwich or parchment paper and a soft pencil. I do have an iron-on-transfer pen and dressmakers' carbon paper at home too, but I find the lines which I get from these too dominant for this kind of embroidery - and as I'm not going to wash it, the lines won't wash out either.

How do you transfer your motifs from paper to cloth?

(German summary: Das Sonnenpferd ist jetzt fertig; teilweise bunt bestickt, mit einfachen Spannstichen und breitem Kettenstich - als Material habe ich teils Stopfwolle, teils Sockenwolle verwendet.

Als Paus- und Übertragungstechnik verwende ich das altbewährte Butterbrotpapier und einen weichen Bleistift - Bügelstift und Schneiderkopierpapier machen mir hier zu kräftige Linien, und waschen möchte ich die Stickerei eigentlich auch nicht. Wie macht ihr das in so einem Fall?)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rock carvings: The majestic boat woman

And so I've filled up the empty space between the contours with some handstitches - simple ones, like satin stitch and bound threads, red and multi-coloured for the woman, black-grey-white for the boat.

To me, this is a picture of a calm, majestic person - a grown-up woman - standing upright in her boat, looking out over the sea, facing the journey she is on, whatever will come, until she reaches the shore she is heading for.

(German summary: Ich habe die maschinengenähten Konturen jetzt mit einfachen Handstichen ausgefüllt - und über diese majestätische Frau nachgedacht, die so ruhig und aufrecht in ihrem Boot steht, und nach vorne schaut.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Re-start with rock carvings

Oh girls - it's been a while ... Not that I have been too idle, but when you once stop posting regularly - due to the heat and all those summer holiday activities, for example - it's real hard finding a good access again ... Guess this happens to us all once in a while.

I know, it's still summer, but as my blog-friend Elizabeth/Landanna is now making a new start with a whole bunch of fresh photos on Viking rock carvings from her recent holiday in Sweden, I will hang on there and join her in mutual inspiration.

Yesterday I found these two pictures in a tourist folder regarding the rock carvings in Bohuslän, which she sent me in a mail - and today I 'drew' the outlines by free-motion stitching on my sewing machine.

A 'solar horse', the text in the folder said - I think it's a very elegant design, as modern as ever!

I like this second one very much too - makes me think of a woman on her way in a boat.

I've been doing some other free-motion embroidery on the sewing machine lately, noticing that practice really is the only thing taking you further on this matter ... I'm drawing the lines with the needle in a kind of 'Navajo technique' - sewing a couple of inches, then moving backwards again, forwards - slightly more than before - backwards, a bit less - until I'm happy with the thickness of the line.

I prefer this to going round the whole piece several times - the small motions make me feel that I have the line more under control.

My thread is very thin too - normal polyester or cotton sewing thread - therefore it's even more important to sew several times to get the outlines clearly visible.

I've also discovered that it's possible to fill the under thread bobbin with cheap overlock thread from a big thread spool - just put the spool on the table, close to your sewing machine and use your fingers to lead the thread on to the usual bobbin spooling gear.

Tomorrow I will proceed giving these two rock carvings some colour - and I will be back regularly now again, it's a promise.

(German summary: Oh Mädels - wie die Zeit vergeht ... Und eigenartigerweise, wenn man einmal eine Blog-Pause eingelegt hat, ist es verflixt schwer, wieder einen Anfang zu finden - geht es euch auch so?

Ich packe jetzt auf jeden Fall die Gelegenheit beim Schopf, da meine Blogfreundin Elizabeth/Landanna einen Neustart mit frischen Fotos von Felsenbildern aus dem Schweden-Urlaub wagt, und schließe mich gleich an.

Ich habe mit vielen Vor- und Zurückstichen, mit einem dünnen, schwarzen Faden freie Maschinenstickerei ausprobiert - und dazu den Unterfaden gleich mit günstigem Overlock-Garn gefüllt.

Und noch etwas: ab jetzt schreib' ich wieder öfter - versprochen.)