Finally I now have Windows installed within my Mac so I can now use all the software which isn't compatible with Mac. My embroidery machine software isn't compatible with the Mas so needs Windows installed to run. I installed all the embroidery machine software and connected everything - switched on the machine and then opened the module which enables the computer to talk to the machine. They weren't talking! Horror, fear, panic, despair, sinking feeling in the stomach. After much checking and even swapping machines over with no success, I decided to contact a friend for help and even put out a plea for help on the Pfaffie site. I lay pondering in bed instead of sleeping - hate going to bed with a problem unsolved - and as a result decided to try one of the installations on the disc which I had ignored as I didn't think it was relevant. The next morning, I took out the start up manual and the disc and yes, I should have installed this driver as per the manual. Once installed, the machine and computer were talking. Moral - read the instructions and follow them. I was thrown because I had been connected by serial port previously and so didn't need the driver but now I am connected by USB I needed to install the driver. Grrrrr. I had to then quickly get in touch and cancel my requests for help and own up to my mistake. I have now transferred some machine patterns over to the machine which I have used on one of the pieces in this blog. Phew!!! All back to normal now thank goodness.
Following on from the butterfly book I went in search of some more suitable lace to use for relief work - preferably offcuts or samples. I found the kind of lace I wanted on the web listed as Venice lace much of which comes as motifs - the kind that is applied onto wedding dresses - and is of course, expensive. I tried to find heavy lace net curtaining which is where the butterflies came from but again nothing. It must be out of fashion now. I did find one suitable heavy lace curtain in a local curtain warehouse - the shallow kind which hangs from poles half way up the window. I bought a metre of this and have used it to make a number of pieces. I will have to resort to designing and digitising my own heavy reliefs.
The first piece I made was a notelet folder. I used the same technique as for the butterfly book cover - pelmet Vilene and crumpled tissue paper. Again I painted the tissue surface with black gesso. Next I cut one of the motifs from the curtain and stained it with a burgundy Starburst stain. This was stitched onto the gessoed surface and then I painted the whole surface with a coat of burgundy metallic acrylic paint. When this was dry I brushed a light coat of black orchid silver Starburst Stain which toned down the shine slightly.
This net curtain had lace loops for hanging so I used one of these loops for the fastener of the folder. I used a silver leafing pen to highlight the relief of the motif and the fastener. The edges were over sewn, the bottom 5cms were turned up to create the note holder and stitched in place. I used a black press stud to fasten.
A very easy and simple folder.
The next piece I made used the bottom half of one full panel of the lace. I stitched it to some stabilising backing first. I stained it with some dye, then painted it while wet so that the different colours would blend. It was highlighted with a gold leafing pen and finally embellished with sequins and beads.
The next piece was very much a 'go with the flow'. The size was determined by the size of the piece of calico I had. I cut three of the motif and arranged them on the piece of calico. Not wanting to waste the squared part of the net (see above) , I cut them up and arranged them on the calico. A design was beginning to emerge. Now I needed to colour and texture the background calico. I decided to use painted Bondaweb. I chose my colour scheme and with the help of my grandson, wetted then painted the Bondaweb. I had a narrow length of Bondaweb which I wanted to use up so I used this piece and made up the difference with a newly cut piece from the roll. Only after it was painted did I see that the two pieces were not in the same direction. When Bondaweb is wet and painted it ruckles in the direction of the roll. Th two pieces were not in the same direction so when they were dry, I cut the two pieces in half and rearranged them into a quartered pattern. The Bondaweb was then ironed onto the calico. I arranged all the pieces of cut lace over the surface again and decided it still needed something else. It needed stamping. I sorted out a string stamp I made a few years ago and had still not used.
I used the same colours as for the background and stamped the string daisies over the background. Later that night I used this stamp as my image for the day and I played with it in Photoshop and created this digital image. (Two birds with one stone!!!)
Back to the piece.
Next I stained and painted all the lace pieces, arranged them onto the backgound and pinned them in place. The ladder pieces were stitched in place first using machine patterns. I cut petal shapes from synthetic web - angel fabric I think it is called - and stitched one petal of each flower. Then I made up a quilt sandwich and free machined the large motifs in place followed by outlining all the flowers. I used dyed and painted baby pasta for the flower centres. I pondered for quite some time about quilting in between the flowers and which colour to use. Eventually I decided to do the quilting.
Not wasting any part of this lace curtaining which wasn't cheap - I stained and painted the off cut zigzag edges and machined them around the edges of the quilt. The loops from the lace were stained and painted and attached to the top edge. Last of all I cut and painted a length of dowel for the hanger.
This is a better representation of the colour palette.
I did complete another piece today but I will keep that for a future blog.
It was the most glorious warm and sunny day today so we went for a walk through Kildale woods and did some photography. I have spent much of this evening processing all the photos we took. Thought I would share a few with everyone.
There had been a lot of tree clearance on the hillside but they have left all the cherry trees which were standing on the top of the hill against the blue sky.
Lots of new born lambs around too. Ahhh!!!
I am ready to begin designing some new pieces and I am also looking forward to a delivery of goodies.
So cheers for now everyone.