Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Fans for Alison

I have been working on Alison's Fan Block. It is not a large block, so I have been very restrained, and have only worked on it in two places, so as to allow others plenty of opportunity to put on fans if they want to. This is my first piece of work:

Linda for Alison2

Alison has made a very oriental block, and is asking us to work only in blacks, dark reds and gold/bronze. So first I worked the gold and bronze seam - in threads that I have found in my stash - I suspect they came from the 1970s, which is sad - I want more of them, and they are totally un-named. :(

Then I thought I would try putting a bronze button half under the organza wire-edged ribbon, to see if you could see through to what I am calling bamboo on the button. I then added a restrained bead dangle in red and gold, with the miniature Chinese coin.

After that, I went to work on the fan. I have made a number of small fan templates - I have been wanting to experiment with fans that are more "open" (ie the angle at the point is larger), than ones I had previously worked. So I got a few different sizes (a glass, the top of the rice container etc) and made some templates. This is the result:


For these, the angle always is in the centre of the circle - I still have to experiment with a few where the fan is flatter, a bit like THIS ONE.

In the meantime, I drew around one template with Tailor's Chalk, and went to work. This is the result:

Linda for Alison

For this fan, first I worked the outside rays/sides in bronze metallic chain stitch. Then I worked the centre ray, and a ray in the middle of each segment. Then the curve across the fan, down towards the bottom. Next I worked the Feather stitch (in Presencia #12 crochet/tatting cotton - I bought this especially as it was so dark red/black). After that I added the tatting (in the same thread), which I had worked especially for this fan. And then it should have been finished.

But I wasn't happy. When I work this section of tatting for swaps, I always start and end with the single ring, to sort of blend the start and finish gradually. It doesn't work with fans - each end needed to be a cloverleaf. But the fan had been embroidered to size, so I couldn't rework it.

When you have a fault - make a feature of it.

I then took some deep red metallic thread (Madiera Metallics), which is supposed to be stranded - but I just used the whole lot, and worked the outline above the tatting. Voila! That is what I wanted.

Finally, I tied a bow in the same metallics and added a few beads at the base. In other fans I would have extended the vanes of the fan down beyond the point to make a smaller fan pointing the opposite direction. But I was too near the seam marking the edge of the block.

Maybe on the next one I will extend the vanes.


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