Monday, 5 June 2017

Blackwork Butterflies - part 1

From whitework to blackwork and much safer ground for me – an online workshop. Tanja Berlin’s Butterfly is an introductory course aimed at beginners. That’s me. I have not done any blackwork before so I rank myself a beginner in this technique. Second to a workshop with a real live tutor, an online workshop is my favourite way to learn. It allows me to work through each stage at my own pace. I know from previous experience that Tanja’s online workshops are excellent; her supplies and instructions are first rate. For the duration of the course, Tanja is available electronically to answer any queries or critique your work if you would like her to. On a previous course I have found her advice to be not only helpful but very encouraging.

For this project, I decided to use a Siesta frame. These are fast becoming my favourite frame for smallish projects that require good tension but will not be on the frame for too long.

Siesta frames come in pairs of bars of various lengths, from 3 – 30 inches. Two pairs are required to make a frame. All sizes interlock with each other so it is possible to make a frame exactly the right size for your project. I particularly like these frames because they are light weight and easily accommodated by my Stitch Craft floor stand.

I have one pet peeve about these frames – the fabric is attached to the frame using silk pins.

That in itself is not a problem but pushing the pins into the frame make my thumb sore. To overcome this minor irritation, I put a sticking plaster over the ball of my thumb to act as a protective pad.

© Carol-Anne Conway

© Carol-Anne Conway

Whenever possible, I wrap the fabric around and secure it to the bottom side of the frame but, if I don’t have enough fabric to do that, the pins can go on the side or even the top edge.

© Carol-Anne Conway

The pins can pop out if not fully pushed in so once I have all the pins in place, I go give them all a firm whack with a small hammer. Wherever the pins are, my thread will occasionally get caught on a pin while I am working. To prevent this I bind the edges of the frame with a creep bandage and secure that with a single pin on the side of the frame.

© Carol-Anne Conway

© Carol-Anne Conway

Preparation is probably my least favourite part of any project but I know that good preparation will make the rest of the project more enjoyable.

Happy Stitching


Jessica Grimm said...

It will be fun to follow you along on this project!

D1-D2 said...

I've never seen these pins before? They look like one end of a snap. There is this tool that is very handy to push in tacks The tool has a very comfortable handle and the tip is magnetic so you don't have to struggle with the tack. It even comes with a tool to remove the tack.

Rachel said...

I have the same problem with the pins on Siesta frames, but never thought of the solution. *makes note*