Friday, February 24, 2012

Painting with thread!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I've made some progress on the beaded collar, formerly known as the Mystery Project, but I'm saving that for Monday. Let's just say, I have a fun post planned, and it's going to need a little more time.

Instead, I thought I'd share another interest of mine, and another fantastic way to use sequins. Embroidery. As in, the kind that uses more thread than beads.

(Here's a piece I made a few years ago. It's my absolute favorite!)

If you've read my About page, you'll know that I started making jewelry when I hadn't even reached the double digits. Well, five years after that, on a weekend trip to Lake Champlain, Vermont, I saw a book on thread embroidery. It captured my interest with the kind of grip that would make a wrestler cry Uncle, and that evening, I read it from cover to cover.

(In case you're interested, the book is Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches by Mary Nichols. It's awesome!)

I've embroidered on and off over the years. Sketching my own designs on fabric and adding little extras like beads and sequins and even sparkly tulle. To be honest, I spent an entire semester in college studying satin stitch when I should have been studying my linguistics course! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

(A piece I made a little over a year ago. My first experiment trapping sequins and metallic thread under tulle.)


(My second experiment with tulle. This time I heavily embroidered the edges and tacked it down with a few beads.)

I never know what to do with pieces when I'm finished with them, though. I love embroidery, but I'm totally clueless about sewing! So these pieces tend to sit in a drawer until I let them out to play.

If I had to pick a favorite thing about this type of embroidery, besides the way it goes so well with sequins, it would be all the color involved. There are a bazillion colors of embroidery floss, and it feels like I'm painting with thread. Looking at my old work, I start to think... hmm. Maybe I'll do a multimedia jewelry piece. I'm especially motivated after reading one of Cyndi Lavin's eBooks on that topic.

(My most recent piece, and my first time using felt and quilting techniques.)

And that concludes today's post! I hope you'll join me on Monday, and I hope you'll share your own thoughts about thread embroidery. Have you tried it? Do you like it? What other mediums do you like to combine with it?

Have a sequintastic day!

20 comments:

  1. I love your pieces, Sarah! I, too, LOVE embroidery- esp crewel- and did it for decades until my eyes and hands got too bad. But, I have always loved it.

    If I were you, I'd just frame some of your favorites and put them together on a wall. :)

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    1. Thanks, Tela!

      I'd love to see some of the pieces you made! I have to say, once my eyesight gets weaker, I'm going to get one of those magnifying visors. Or a microscope, depending.

      Framing is a good idea. I don't see any sewing involved with that, so I'll seriously consider it!

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  2. Very pretty! No worries, I don't sew either. Last weekend I teamed up with a friend of mine who does. I was needing some little custom curtains made for my living room. She sewed up the material I gave her in exchange for some jewelry. It was a win/win. Maybe a sewing friend could help you out. Another idea would be to frame them up, maybe with some found objects in a shadow box?

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    1. I like this idea of having a sewing friend do sewing in exchange for jewelry. A very good example of bartering! I know a few people who are quite handy with a sewing machine, including Mama Sequin, in case I need anything made.

      I like the framing with objects idea. Thanks for that! I could always turn the piece into more of a sculpture/diorama that way. Kind of like Cornell meets Liberace. ;)

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  3. I agree, the first piece is my fave, but I love all of them! SOOOO pretty. I've never done embroidery (besides the backstitch, which doesn't seem that fancy) but I would eventually like to get into it. And I know JUST the person to show me! :)

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    1. Thanks, Audrey!

      Dude, when you're ready to do embroidery, I'll be more than happy to give you a lesson. Embroidery would be such an awesome addition to quilting!

      My rates are cheap, too -- I work for cupcakes and enchiladas. ;)

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  4. There must be no limit to your skills! Your embroidery is beautiful. It's the one creative thing my mother taught me as a child. I don't do much with it anymore but I still keep a box of threads just in case I get the urge.

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    1. Aww, Janet! Thanks so much. As long as nobody asks me to sew a pair of pants, I'm willing to say it's true....

      How cool that your mom taught you to embroider! I actually taught mine. :)

      One thing I like to do is embroider on abstract paintings. Especially with those sheets of pre-gessoed canvas. It's a lot of fun to sew little painty patches on -- which is about as sophisticated as my sewing gets!

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! *Hugs.*

      One of these days, I'll have to show you the prom dress I started to embroider ages ago. :)

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  6. I know nothing about embroidery or sewing but think these are mighty fine and would look sweet as pillow covers or framed art. Love seeing your creativity and projects evolve! Hope you are enjoying your weekend :D

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    1. Thanks!

      I'm such a pillow nut, so that's a great idea. Maybe Mama Sequin can help me with that when she visits this summer.

      I hope you're enjoying your weekend, too! Snuggle the pups for me. :)

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  7. I love love love those hearts with the tulle! What a clever idea...it just sets my mind spinning with the possibilities of what all could end up trapped under there :-)

    Thanks for the shout-out about the Bead book...I'm so happy that you're enjoying it. xoxo Cyndi

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    1. Thanks, Cyndi!

      One thing I might try, for added strength, is putting a layer of clear vinyl over the tulle. It's pretty easy to sew through and would keep the tulle from snagging!

      You're very welcome! I'm really having fun with it. Started painting my own fabric, and I came up with a technique I'll have to share. :)

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  8. Very cool, so talented! And, I'd love to see mr. sequin's pompom necklace!!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! <3

      Oh, awesome! I've asked him to be a featured artist sometime soon, so I'll see if he'll let me post it then. :)

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  9. These are so very pretty. I am impressed.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! I can't wait to mix thread and bead embroidery in jewelry -- I think it'll be loads of fun. :)

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