Module 10: Braids

Hello again.  Well I finally feel that I’m nearing the end of my City and Guilds and I’m actually hoping that I might be able to submit for assessment in June this year – yay!  I had started on Module 10 over the Christmas period – making beads, buttons and wrapping cords.  I still had the braids to make for this section before I could submit it so I got to work over the weekend.

I found a couple of books really helpful in this module:  Stitches, straps and layers by Maggie Grey and Edges and Finishes in Machine Embroidery by Valerie Campbell- Harding.  They are both pretty expensive but I managed to borrow one from my Local Embroiderer’s Guild which has a brilliant library.  By the way, I would heartily recommend joining the Embroiderer’s Guild if you haven’t already done so – I’ve already taken part in Hardanger and Crewel workshops, attended a talk on making fabric vessels from coiled fabric and generally really enjoyed talking to lots of enthusiastic embroiderers!  You can find your nearest one here.

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite braids…

To make this, satin stitch shapes onto felt and then cut out the outline.  Applying to another piece of felt and then stitch the middle in whatever pattern you like.  Finally, cut out again and apply to a background of fabric – in this sample I used ribbon on felt, but you could choose any fabric that would withstand the weight of the applique without buckling.

Braid Sample-Applique

The next one is very simple – felt with ribbon and embroidery floss stitched on using utility and decorative stitches on the machine.  It is edged in knitting wool attached with zigzag stitch and reminds me of folk costumes.

Braid Sample- Folk

In this one I used the inside of a tube of tomato puree for the metal elements – it’s a lovely gold colour and can be embossed by drawing on it on a soft surface (on the back!) with a Biro.  You could then tone the gold down if you wanted to by applying acrylic paint and wiping off so it stays in the ridges and gives an antique look.  The background is made from felt and sari ribbon, stitched from the wrong side using embroidery floss in the bobbin (cable stitch).

Braid Sample - Metal

Finally, I really simply embroidered squares on cotton using satin stitch, then appliqued them to felt and joined with embroidery floss.  This is not very stable as it is but could be used to edge something or be appliqued onto a book cover or bag.
Braid Sample-Joined Squares

There are many more ways of making braids but hopefully this post has shown a few of the more unusual methods…  Hope it helps.  When I looked for “Braids” on Google and Pinterest all I found was lots of stuff on plaiting hair!

Bye for now

Kate 🙂