Bowie was one of those artists who has been there throughout my life. One of my earliest vivid memories is of sitting on the lounge floor watching Space Oddity on Top of the Pops. I think that must have been on it's re-release in 1975 - I would have been 5 years old. I've loved his music ever since then.
Then yesterday we heard the news that Alan Rickman had also passed away at the same age. He was one of my favourite actors, versatile, believable and eminently watchable. Who can forget his wonderful portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, where as far as I am concerned he acted Kevin Costner off the screen? I really fell in love with Alan when he played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, which is still one of my favourite films. Of course to many younger people he will be best known as Professor Snape from Harry Potter, more brilliant, over the top yet restrained performances.
Both these wonderful men will be sadly missed.
I didn't actually intend to write that much about this weeks sad events, I intended to show you some free motion embroidery pieces I've made recently. They're all little bits and pieces for myself, and a bit of an experiment.
Firstly I made a little wallet to pop into my handbag and carry my herbal teabags around in. So much prettier than the plastic pot I was using, and takes up far less space too.
I used a tutorial I found on line for a business card wallet, I think it was this one. I just had to make it a little bit wider to fit the teabags in. Of course I had to embroider a cup and saucer on the front.
Then I made a case for my new Kindle Fire. This one I made up as I went along, and probably made things far more complicated than they needed to be. I used some heavy-ish wool fabric for the outside and lined it with fleece and some quilting cotton. Again, I couldn't resist doing some free motion embroidery on the front.
Here are the steps I went through to get to the end result.
As you can see I traced the main elements onto thin tracing paper and stitched through the drawing onto the backing fabric. Once I'd got an outline in place I tore away the paper and added more stitching and details by following a photograph and the outlines I'd already sewn.
Here's the final result mounted on a canvas.
And here's the original photo I was working from.
Comparing the two now I can see I haven't got it quite right, the angle of the head is wrong. I think my technique needs refining a bit, but for a first attempt I'm pretty pleased with it.
I'm teaching a free motion embroidery class tomorrow morning at Fabric HQ and I can't wait! It's my favourite class to teach, everyone always loves it and leaves with something amazing they've created.