Tuesday 17 June 2014
Sewing on paper…
I've been procrastinating far too much lately. Instead of getting on with hand sewing all the stars on my white quilt, I've been entertaining myself with sewing that's more about doodling and messing about than achieving an actual result. I hadn't realised quite how many stars I needed to sew (at least a couple of galaxies worth) and the sense of monotony has really set in now. So, imagine how I felt when I read Catherine's blog, and that she has quilted her beautiful soy amado quilt with stars, by machine, and they look fantastic!
Hand stitching does have its advantages though. It means I avoid hissy fits with my sewing machine. Also, I make sure I plan everything properly first time round, as unpicking hand sewing, and doing it all over again, not only makes me weep but it takes for ever! And, unlike my 1960s Bernina, which weighs a tonne, hand sewing is portable.
I've said before how particularly portable I find EPP–it's the kind of discreet sewing you can take to the pub without everyone staring at you. Although, I'm wondering if I need to be quite so discreet, since a couple of our locals use old fashioned treadle sewing machines as tables (murder on your shins if you try to cross your legs) which seems to me like a deliberate attempt to lure crafty female tipplers like myself into their establishments?
Part of my sewing procrastination has involved sewing on paper. I did some of this a while back when first trying out shashiko, and really liked the effect. With cloth, threads merge into the background, but with paper–which provides a beautifully flat canvas–the threads really stand out.
Firstly, I used a machine to sew on to card (a sure fire way to blunt a needle fast). Then I tore off strips of the card and sewed over them on to the first piece of card with zig zag stitch (the tension went a bit skewiff in places).
On another piece of card I machine sewed with an unthreaded needle and used the holes as a grid for some hand sewing. It struck me that this might be a good way to practice hand quilting. The holes are already at an evenly spaced distance so you can practice weaving your needle between them until you memorise the rhythm.
My favourite bit of procrastination is the string doodle at the top of this post. Given the time I would love to make more of these–only bigger and better, with proper thought and planning put into them. Something as spectacular as one of Naum Gabo's amazing string sculptures would be a stretch too far, but a simple wall hanging might be achievable.