Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sittin' stitchin'

We've had a weekend of recovery - restoring the house to a semblance of order and continuing the spring clean we began oh, back in Spring!  We sorted the office which was most necessary - all that work-work had just piled upon the floor; on desks and all over; so now we can start the work-work year in a tidier frame of mind.

I did a few wee bits and pieces - nothing major, mostly fiddling (non-musical) and playing which is wonderful. I have been too long away from the studio space.

I started stitching on paper, machine-stitching on paper, and discovered the many joys of bobbin tension and paper and keeping the machine clean. If anybody has any particular tips about stitching thru paper (its quite heavy, 200gsm) feel free to share!

Of course I kind of loved the mess I made...

With all the mistakes and cut threads left dangling...

Here I am writing notes to myself again as I go - keeping a bit of a record on the actual trial piece, but in classic Fiona style, actually stitching over some of my notes to self. Laugh!

And this is kind of where I'm going with this piece. Like the pages I burn holes in and leave particular words; I'm trying to stitch away the words.  Will see where this leads.


  1. Any tips? Well, a heavier needle than "normal" and for medium cardboard a denim presser foot helps.

  2. absolutely what dinah says - leather or denim machine needle for heavier papers and change them often!

    also the heavier the paper, the more you need to think about what thread to use.... I've used quilting cottons/linen thread on heavier papers, but lighter weight threads (and needles) for lighter paper

    (ps backing the paper helps to stop rips from occurring without adding too much bulk)

    oooo and I love the red and white and black - 'three chords and the truth' eh (hee hee heee)

  3. I like the red on read! looking forward to seeing how it progresses, great to turn spring cleaning into such a creative exercise! enjoyed the burning post too - thanks Fiona

  4. Thanks Dinah - we have a lovely sewing shop in town and she might be able to help me decipher my sewing 'feet'!

    Thanks too Ronnie I shall get me some stronger needles as I expect there's a book's worth of stitching to go! I think I'm somewhere in the middle re thread and paper; but will have a few experiments. It's been an exhilarating discovery.

    Hi Rosie - I love your 'red on read' thought! I did so enjoy playing today - started out thinking hand stitching and then just went for it on the machine - fab fun!

  5. F-love the loose threads - like the story has not ended. B

  6. So many exciting possibilities! I havn't had much experience with sewing paper but the great thing about the blog world is, you know that someone will share good tips.

  7. As Barry said 'loose threads' relates to storytelling well. Great concept and no doubt will lead to some wonderful pieces.

  8. I like the messiness of it very much.

  9. Very exciting Fiona!!! I did buy that sewing machine last spring, but after my initial not-so-successful attempts at sewing on paper, I lost my I'm excited to see what you do and maybe I'll take the cover off my machine again and give it a go. I'm sure your readers will be giving even more great advice (already picked up some tips in the comments!) Love what you've got's to all manner of finery in the making and enjoying for 2012!

  10. Thanks B - there is so much that can be red/read into it I think; it leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

    Hi Robyn - I felt the same - lots of opportunities opened up before my very eyes! And yes, helpful hints have appeared.

    Thanks Jo LOTS of loose threads! And I thinkI will follow wherever it may go...

    Leslie - me too!

    Thanks Velma

    Hi Patti - it's one big global experiment I think! The heavier paper has worked well - I think lighter would be disastrous without some form of backing like Ronnie suggests. We shall see might be my motto!

  11. The best advice came right at the beginning here. Frequent needle changes are key I think but you could wind thicker threads onto the bobbin and play with the tensions to give some interesting textural effects, although I suspect it's what you stitch onto and what you leave out that will be the most interesting thing to consider.

  12. Thanks Lesley - I think I need to change my needle today - altho that might not be all. I have never seen smoke come from a sewing machine before...wishI'd taken a picture!


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