More fabric postcards

I made some more fabric postcards last week and this time I chose plam trees as my theme as I wanted to practice my free motion embroidery and also I had some more of my hand painted fabric scraps that I wanted to use.


To make the palm tree I first drew out the basic shape on a piece of water soluble stabilizer and then assembled a sandwich consisting of a layer of water soluble stabilzer on the bottom, a piece of fine tulle and then another layer of stabilizer on top with the image drawn on it. I used a fine polyester thread in the bobbin and then a thicker thread in the needle with a free motion foot and the feed dogs down. I sketched a basic outline first and then went back filling in the detail and using different threads for detail in the palm fronds and trunk.


I used the same method for the palm tree above but just using black threads for the sunset silhuette. These cards are such a good way of using various bits of leftover fabric. This is from a piece I painted some time ago and didn’t really like but it works well in this small design.

For the third card I stitched directly onto the fabric using stabilizer and a hoop but this one didn’t turn out so well because there was a bit of puckering around the edges of the palm fronds.


I was going to discard it, but then I wondered what would happen if I quilted it, no harm in practising some free motion quilting. I layered it up with some thin batting and using invisible thread I did some fairly fine stippling in the sky area and I was pleased to find that all the puckering disappeared.sunset-palm-quilted

Autumn Geckos

This week I have been working on this gecko wall hanging, using the same fabrics as I used in my  a previous design but this time the wall hanging is embellished with needle lace leaves and the geckos are machine satin stitched with a hand dyed variegated cotton thread.

I made the needle lace leaves using a technique I learnt in an online course at Quilt University: ‘Machine Embellished Surfaces’ with  Susan Brittingham.


The leaves are first drawn out onto dissolving stabilizer with a permanent pen and then layered in an embroidery hoop with organza. Then using a free motion foot and the feed dogs lowered you stitch round the outline of the leaves and veins using a straight stitch. For these leaves I used a variegated rayon thread in both the bobbin and needle.

Detail showing the veins stitched first.

Detail showing the veins stitched and then the outline of the leaf. After the outlines are stitched you remove the fabric and stabilizer from the hoop and trim away the organza being careful to trim closely but not so close that the fabric will fray when you do the next stitching.

Next using a free motion zig zag stitch and the organza on top you stitch over the straight stitch outlines using a narrower stitch for the veins and a wider one for the outlines.

Once all the leaves are stitched you trim away the excess stabilizer and then rinse the leaves to remove the rest.

The completed leaf ready to be stitched onto the design.

 The finished design.