Sunday, July 12, 2015

UPDATE: Testing BIC Markers on Fabric

I had to try more testing of the BIC Mark It 36 pack of markers because I love the colours. Tested on unwashed cotton muslin and silk organza.

The sizing on the unwashed muslin makes a BIG difference.  I'm thrilled!  I can create precision lines and shapes without any bleeding.  The only problem was a dark ring showed up when filling in shapes (see arrows on the first picture).  It didn't happen when I worked very quickly by outlining and filling in the shape all in one go so I was working wet-on-wet.  When I outlined the shape first then went back and filled it in, the ring appeared because the outline was dry by then.

Same result on the silk organza regarding the ring.  But no precision is possible on the silk; they bleed and spread intensely. 

I'm excited by the watercolour effect on the silk!  And I'm thrilled that I can use these on cotton!  Other than the ring issue I like these more than the Zig 'Writer' Memory System markers because these colours are far more saturated on fabric, they act like ink.

Permanent when heat set with an iron. 

BIC Mark It markers on unwashed cotton muslin.  Note the arrows pointing out the dark ring


BIC Mark It markers on silk organza.  Note the arrows pointing out the dark ring

Fabric Haul

This is a small fabric haul from a South Asian sari shop.  I was so tempted by all the gorgeous colours and prints!!  But I needed whites so I stuck to whites (and my budget!).  I got small cuts - some 1/4 yard, some 1/2 yard.

Top - very fine cotton with subtle machine broderie anglaise

Left - machine embroidered poly cotton drapery fabrics

Right - silk chiffon and silk organza

Design Sheets - Pocket Squares


Another idea for the 'pockets' theme of the Embroidered Pockets class - pocket squares on men's jackets.

For the figure sketch I used my usual method of tracing the major outlines from a picture in a magazine.  I tried and tried but just couldn't get the facial features to look right (hence why he has no nose and the lips are wonky).  I'm pleased with these sheets but I need to practice faces.


Design Sheets - Pocket Squares

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Testing BIC Markers on Fabric and Paper

UPDATE:  See updated testing on unwashed cotton muslin and silk organza in this post

Testing a 36 pack of BIC brand 'Mark It' markers on cotton and paper.  They're permanent and acid free. 

BIC Mark It set of 36 markers




Fabric test results:

Top - Very thin cotton.  Top two lines using a ruler bled badly.  Diagonal lines were quickly and very lightly drawn, a bit of bleeding, and stop and start points look bad.  The doodles bled very badly.  The dots are huge and I barely touched the tip to the fabric

Middle - Quilters cotton.  Diagonal and squiggly lines were drawn quickly and lightly, hardly any bleeding but the stop and start points look bad.  The box shape and the doodles bled badly.  Once again the dots are awful.

Bottom - Quilters cotton.  Lines using a ruler.  Bleeding on the stop and start points but the lines are smooth.

Verdict - Terrible for doodles on fabric.  Okay for basic lines on quilters cotton as long as you're careful with the stop and start points.  Could be nice for watercolour effects on fabric, I'll have to test that.



 Paper test results:

Saturated colours, no bleeding.

One major caveat - they're marked as fine tip but they're not.  For comparison, the tip is similar to a Sharpie tip.   The line ends up at least twice as thick as Stabilo Point 88 fine liners.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Design Sheet - Paisley

This design sheet is the first piece of work using the cut up cloth.  I am SO PLEASED with this!  I'm grateful to the class group for encouraging me to cut up that fabric and move in other directions.

We learned how to make the gathered pocket in Karen's class; it's a very versatile technique.  You can see some stunningly beautiful examples on Karen's blog here and here.  That's the type of embroidery I aspire to create one day.

Design sheet with paisley motif.  Fabric, stitch and markers on watercolour paper
This was the first time I stitched on paper; I used a 185 gsm watercolour paper.

Needlebook - change of plans

I added buttonhole wheels and french knots.  Not digging the results - I want something more delicate looking as a needlebook.  It feels like my taste is changing; I've been exposed to some beautifully elegant embroidery in the Embroidered Pockets class and I'd like to move in that direction.

But this fabric won't go to waste!  I've already started cutting it up and using it in other ways.

I was initially conflicted about not using it as intended and cutting it up, but then I re-read Elaine Lipson's 'Slow Cloth Manifesto' and the first point jumped right out at me - we should take joy in the process.  Using this as intended would not give me joy, and the class group encouraged me to follow my instincts.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cutwork embroidery on my needlebook

This is my first attempt at cutwork embroidery.  I love it!!  The fabric insert behind each circle was added after the buttonholing was finished, secured with backstitch right along the edge of the buttonholing.

The first few circles are VERY wonky.  I considered re-doing them but I'm learning to let go of 'perfection' and enjoy the learning process, so I'm sharing these pictures because they may help other cutwork newbies.  I wasn't keeping a good tension on the thread, and I wasn't packing the stitches close enough together.

I added blue marker to the seam allowance of each circle so the pink fabric wouldn't show through. The doodles are Zig Memory System 'Writer' markers, heat set with an iron.

Some very wonky buttonhole cutwork!  But practice makes perfect.....

Much better!  There's still room to pack my stitches even closer.  I'm learning as I go along.


This is a cropped picture of my kitchen table with some of my sewing stuff spread out.  The cutwork is finished, the next step is adding more embroidery.  I'm planning my next project around these hankies that my grandma gave me years ago (they're not vintage - they're from the 80s - but I love them).  I think I can incorporate these leftover triangle patches from an old quilt project; I adore this turquoise fabric. 

The cutwork is finished, ready to add embroidery to the open areas.