Sunday, 19 September 2010

I Don't Wanna Be Friends... (Free Embroidery Pattern!)

Bad Romance 5

Another quilt square finished! This one is based on a doodle I did during rehearsal one day. I thought it would work well with a Lady Gaga quote so added it in. I had to add Lady Gaga to my quilt as she is the representation of personal style and theatrical fashion... plus she's a woman who doesn't give a damn what you think!

Bad Romance 1

I sketched out the pattern and added the wording in Photoshop. I wanted to use a variety of stitches on this piece. Backstitch would highlight the wording and outline of the flames nicely, but I needed something feathery for the wings and something stronger for the heart.

Bad Romance 2

I decided to limit the colour palette to purple black and silver to harmonise with the background fabric. I used a whipped chain stitch for the heart and long and short stitch for the wing feathers. It was my first time doing long and short stitch and it was a little difficult within the shapes of the feathers, but I think it came out pretty well!!

Bad Romance 3

To fill the flames I used seed stitch in purple metallic thread. I found Thread Heaven very useful with the metallic threads! My only deviation from the colour scheme was on the crown, which needed to be gold :-)

Bad Romance 4

This piece came out exactly as I pictured it in my head. I had a little accident with it when my room steward (that's a ship thing!) managed to bleach some bits of it with cleaner.... luckily the fine pink speckles are only visible to me....

bad romance Pattern

Gaga is going to make a great edition to my quilt - why don't you give it a go? I've turned to doodle into an embroidery pattern which you can find in
my Flickr photostream here - enjoy!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

I Promise That I Will Do My Best...


I was reading a blog post on the BUST website the other day and felt that I needed to comment on it.

Hans Zeiger, a Republican candidate for Washington’s House of Representatives (yes, I know I'm British and have no idea what that means, but I do understand that he feels he has influence) had this comment to make about Girl Scouts:

"the Girl Scouts allow homosexuals and atheists to join their ranks, and they have become a pro-abortion, feminist training corps"

At home, we have Brownies and Girl Guides instead of Girl Scouts, but it's the same thing. I am a Girl Guide. I started as a Brownie and was a Seconder (the only reason I wasn't a Sixer was because I joined late), then went into Girl Guides and was Patrol Leader of the Kingfishers for a long time. We didn't have a Rangers company at that time so I went on to be a Young Leader and Pack Leader of the Brownies I had formerly attended. At the age of 17 I started work on my Leader program and as soon as I turned 18 I became a full fledged Leader. I now also have my Pack Holiday Licence, which means I can legally take a Brownie Pack on holiday.


Being part of Guiding has influenced my life. It has made me the strong, independent woman that I am today. It has taught me leadership skills, how to care for and support others and how to be organised and prepared. These are all things that are essential to my career and my life. In my eyes this is not 'feminist training', it is teaching young women how to be themselves and giving them the essential skills to be successful in their lives. If that scares you, Mr. Zeiger, then so be it.

More to the point, Guiding is fun! How dare you diminish that!

I had already decided to make a Girl Guiding square for my feminist quilt, now I am even more committed to it :-)

If you would like to know more about Girl Guiding UK or the Girl Scouts of America, visit these sites:

Girlguiding UK

Girl Scouts of America

trefoil girl-scouts-logo-2

Monday, 13 September 2010

Any Which Way You Can

Scissor Sisters 2

I finished another embroidered square for my quilt! This one is based on a lyric from the Scissor Sisters song 'Any Which Way' off of their new album 'Night Work':

"I'm gonna find that man the right shade of bottle tan, who smells like cocoa butter and cash"

I really liked the statement, a woman can go find whatever man she wants, be it a millionaire or a nuclear physicist :-)

Scissor Sisters 1

I decided that I wanted the bronzed torso of a man in sunglasses to be the image to go with this lyric. I used orange cotton for the background to emphasise the image of a 'bottle tan'. I embroidered the lyric in complimentary metallic blue thread.

Scissor Sisters 3

I stayed quite simple with my stitches to emphasise the lines of the body. I used an off-kilter font for the lyric to add some personality to the speaker. Satin stitching the sunglasses was the most difficult part as I needed the thread to be thin enough that it didn't overwhelm the shape, but thick enough that it filled it. I think it came out pretty well! Let me know what you think...

From Vegkat

On another embroidery note, my Phat Quarter swap piece from Vegkat came in the mail today!! It's a quote from Pee Wee's Big Adventure and I love it!! Thanks Vegkat!!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Enter the Labyrinth

Movies Swap 5

Last month I took part in another swap on the Flickr group Phat Quarter. This time the theme was movies and straight away I knew I needed to do a piece based on Labyrinth. Labyrinth is my favourite movie OF ALL TIME!! I love David Bowie and always have because of this movie. I even realised in my early 20s that my fashion sense had been influenced by Sarah, the lead female character!

Movies Swap 1

Luckily, my swap partner Lisa's Tea Time was open to me doing whatever I wanted so here is the result. I wanted to experiment with crayon tinting in this piece so created the background using crayons. If you look really closely you can see the labyrinth within the background. The colours were inspired by the movie poster and the sepia tones used for the labyrinth in the movie.

Movies Swap 2

I wanted to express the power of David Bowie's character in the movie, Jareth the Goblin King, so thought very hard about what the main image would be. I chose to do a simple embroidery of just his eyes and the well known shape of his hair. His eyes and hair are really what make Jareth so recognisable. I embroidered this in simple black back stitch. I then embroidered the title of the movie in the font used on all the imagery associated with the movie. I used a harmonious beige to fit with the sepia tones of the labyrinth background.

Movies Swap 4

The piece is backed on beige felt so it can be framed or stand alone. I'm really pleased with how it came out. At first I felt that it might have been too simple, but I think the simplicity aids the impact of the image.

Movies Swap 3

I think I might have to sew a variation of this for myself soon, I love it so much and I know Lisa loved it too :-) Here's the photo she took when she received it:

Movies Swap 6


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Urban Style, New York City Fashion

My current cruise ship is out of NYC and while running errands and wandering around I get the chance to see some interesting stuff. Here are a few photos I took while on a walk a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to share.

glee window 1

Macy's has some of the best window displays I've ever seen. Often they have displays in tribute the Broadway shows, but on this day they had Glee windows! The Nationals display above was my fave but I also liked how they were promoting regular clothing by showing it as the costumes from the show below:

glee window 2

After Macy's I went to Mood fabrics, my favourite fabric store in NYC. It's quite hard to find but well worth it if you're in the city. On the way I found this painting on the side of a building and thought it apt:

NYC fashion 1

I like finding old signage particularly in cities like New York. I was having a costume and fashion filled day when finally I stumbled upon this display along Broadway:

NYC Fashion_sign

Sidewalk Catwalk is an exhibition of fashion all the way along Broadway for all to see. Some pieces are more sculptural:

NYC fashion 2NYC fashion 3NYC fashion 4

While others show actual clothing:

NYC fashion 5NYC fashion 6NYC Fashion 7NYC Fashion 8

And others are just plain interesting:

NYC Fashion 9NYC Fashion 10NYC Fashion 12NYC Fashion 13

I had three stand-out favourites of the pieces I came across. The first was a combination of natural fibres and traditional African style:

NYC Fashion 14

I like the odd use of materials and the exposure of the understructure. Though not necessarily actual fashion, Kenneth Cole's contribution is my second favourite:

NYC Fashion 15

Profound statement in the traditional black! Finally, my favourite of them all was this piece by Naeem Khan:

NYC Fashion 16

It is made from chain mail style metal links juxtaposed with an intricately embroidered body. The simple silver contrasts with the brightly coloured stitching on fine net:

NYC Fashion 17

I found the combination of soft and hard working together in this piece very interesting and was particularly taken with the pattern embroidered on the body. The colours are bright but not overpowering and work well with the silver of the metal.