Tuesday, 19 August 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - the base of the building

Time for some goldwork.  For the building motif that forms a frame for the main design in the centre, I'm couching imitation Japanese gold thread no. 8, using bright colours for the couching thread.

Starting at the bottom, I'm using a nice bright blue - Madeira stranded cotton no. 1102 - for the couching:

Here's the bottom section:

The next level up is in red, no. 0211:

And done:

The couching stitches are enough to give a hint of colour without taking away from the gold.

Friday, 15 August 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - getting set up

With the design drawn up, time to get started.  First, and as usual, I made a transfer of the design, ironed this onto some fine linen, and used this to line the fabric that I'm using for the front:

I'm using a silk dupion in a shade called 'Laurel Leaf' from Hansson of Guildford.  They also had a 'Jungle Green', which sounded more appropriate, but sadly was too dark.

I'm doing the embroidery for this in two stages; here's the first in little running stitches:

Some of these stitches are a bit wobbly, but never mind - is any are still showing once I've stitched over them properly they can be picked out easily enough.

Monday, 11 August 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case

I love books.  I also love book illustration, and over the years have collected quite a few illustrated books.  These are often children's books, though not always, but they're beautiful objects whoever their intended audience.

I've made a few slip cases - a cover to protect a book that it can slide in and out of, rather than something attached to the book itself - for books for myself and others in the past, but I haven't made one in ages.  Time to change that!

I'm going to make a slip case for The Jungle Book, illustrated by one of my favourite illustration artists, Nicola Bayley. As usual for a slip case, I want something that reflects the book it's for, and in this case I'm basing the design on the cover art.

Here's the front of the book:

(it's a bit greener than that in reality)

And the back:

It's not all that big (about 20cm by 24cm, or 8" x 9.5"), so there's not really room to get a great deal of detail on.  As such, I've taken the building (temple? palace?) from the front and Mowgli sitting under a palm tree from the back, and added them together:

I don't know about you, but that says 'goldwork' to me!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Red bat - stretching and mounting the embroidery

I want to get this framed, but I'll mount it onto card myself before taking it to the framer.  No surprises here but the usual routine.

Damp stretching:

Cutting some mount board to the right size (20cm x 20cm, or 8" x 8"):

Sticking some wadding to it with 505 fabric spray glue:

Stretching the embroidery round it and lacing the back (complete with name tape):


My usual picture framer is on holiday at the moment so I won't be able to get it framed for a couple of weeks, but once he's done it I'll show you how it turned out.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Red bat - stitching finished

The lower half of the background stitched through from the back:

And stitched properly:


Well, the sewing is, anyway.  I need to mount it on some board ready for framing next.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Red bat - half the background

Pressing on, it's the background next.  The top half of it marked through from the back:

And over-stitched:

As the background design is quite fiddly (the whole thing is quite small) I've gone for one strand of stranded cotton and two of the machine embroidery thread, to make the lines a bit finer.  It's still awkward to work with, though.

Still, over half way already - just the bottom half of the background design to do.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Red bat - the bat itself

As I mentioned last time, to make a do-it-yourself metallic thread, I intended to stitch the outline of the bat using two strands of stranded cotton and two lengths of a glittery 'holographic' machine embroidery thread.

And I'm pleased to say, it worked:

That's worked in chain stitch, and gives exactly the effect I was working for.  On the downside, it's not much fun to stitch with!  Even threading the needle is a pain, and the two different types of thread are determined to go their own way.

Still, it's looking like I want it to, and that's the main thing, so I'll persevere.