January 14, 2009

Paper Embroidery Anyone?

I told Loz at Bizarre Quilter a few days ago that I was the worst, bar none, embroiderer in the world. I got to thinking about it because I abhor negativity and realized I can say I do paper embroidery very well. Heaves big sigh...saved from the negative boogerman again.

I was in a 12 person card exchange for two years while I took hiatus from quilting. But you can't keep a stitcher away from thread! The first paper embroidery I did was a blue willow scene. It only took me 11 hours to complete the first one. By the time I finished 14 of them I had it down to a swift 7 hours per card. You can see the first blue willow effort in my quilt journals entry...I co-opted it into a journal cover because I had a big mistake on it. Not being sure what I was doing yet, the 3rd gentleman crossing the bridge looks like he is taking a leak rather than lifting his leg to the next step. Oops...I left the men off the rest of them. I have done many many cards and bookmarks since then, here are a couple of samples.

I just googled paper embroidery and I see there are a few free samples to download now so do that if you want to try it. I order all my patterns from the U.K., a lovely company called Creative Expressions. The first set I had snail-mailed, but the rest I have downloaded to PDF and printed out myself. Very easy transaction and instant buyers gratification!

Here are a couple of the Christmas cards I did then laid them in the bottom of a box and sprayed lightly with aerosol glue and sprinkled artificial snow on them. They were very cool looking.
The tools needed are pretty simple.
A sheet of thick fun foam (I think it is 1/2") to do the punching on.
Low tack tape to hold the pattern in place on the card stock.
card stock.
Fine needle like a size 11 appliqué. You don't want big holes in the card stock.
I talked a gentleman who makes tools for lace makers into making me a lovely punch, but for just trying it, stick a cork in the top of your needle so you have something to hang onto and start punching.
I covered my punch patterns with clear contact because I always made 14 copies. 3 layers of card stock at a time is about all your hand will want to punch, so using my pattern 4 times in a row I found covering it made it hold up well.

For natural scenes like the lighthouse I used 60 weight Mettler embroidery spool thread, but for patterns like the ones above I used my Mettler metallics...yum yum. Great carry along project if you have a stack punched, everything fits in a sandwich baggie.
This whole post is revenge on Jo over at Pieceful Afternoon for sidetracking me from Kudzu baskets and test driving free wheeling star blocks. So there Jo, bet you can't do just one paper embroidery...

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Kudzu baskets top should be finished today
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Pieceful Afternoon said...

Oh noooooooooooo - Sharyn - why did you go and do that? Now I am looking all over the place for paper embroidery. I can embroider with fabric and thread very very nicely, I make dish towels like from the 50s - I love it - but now I will have to try this - and while I'm busy doing the paper embroidery - you can go and make more of those little stars - I have 14 done so far - some are 4" and some are 3" - the 3" ones are the cutest things. Next I'm going to make some cute potholders - so watch out!!!

Bizarre Quilter said...

Wow! I went and looked at your journals. They really are works of art. That is what I call a scrapbook! I've got some that I have scribbled ideas in over the years, and torn out pictures and glued them in. They are not acid-free papers or anything. Are yours?? My covers aren't as grand as yours. Hmm.. I think I just found a good excuse to make myself some more book covers!! LOL!!

I had never seen paper embroidery before. It really is fantastic. It reminds me of the patterns we drew in year 7 Maths. Our teacher wasn't good at class control, but these drawings kept up happy. I think we did quite a lot of them!!

Thanks for the mention, but you know, you are most obviously NOT the world's worst embroiderer. Although, if you want to say that it is not your preferred craft outlet, I will let you say that... (no putting yourself down!!)


Sharyn said...

Jo, I took a break from long seams and made one star from some 2" squares I had on my cutting table already. Easy and cute! Just one though, I WILL get Kudzu Baskets done today.

Loz, the covers of my journals are just reject materials from projects, truly nothing special as a specific project.
Scrapbooking to too much work and too wasteful and too expensive for my taste. My friend Joan gave me 12 of these blank books that I'm using and I just cut and glue and write, no artist intent, just memory aids. But the finished books are a lot of fun to look through if I'm laid up in bed or something.
Thank you both for stopping by! Sharyn, back to Kudzu.