Monday, 24 March 2014

Teabag Art–Further Progress

Last week I was able to do a bit more with the teabag art. I have started asking the kind ladies at church who provide tea and coffee after the Sunday service if they will keep the teabags for me – I collected about a dozen at the end of the Barn Dance on the Saturday, and a further dozen after  the service the next morning. However, last Sunday when I asked for them, they turned out to be pyramid teabags which aren’t a lot of use for my purpose, although they would probably make some interesting patterns on the drying papers! The tea lady said she would have a word with the lady who buys the supplies and ask if she could get ordinary flat teabags in future! (They probably think their new member is totally weird… I’d better make something with the teabags soon, as evidence that I am at least only partially weird!!)

I am very pleased with the latest drying paper – I decided to arrange the teabags in a diamond pattern this time, and initially there were diamond-shaped gaps between the marks, but I filled these with more drying teabags and am more than happy with the result.

31 Diamond Design Drying Paper

The next photos show the pressing of some of the tea-dyed fabric, and some teabags. I am using my hubby’s little travel iron, but have finally decided that it is useless – it isn’t nearly beefy enough and doesn’t get very hot, so until I can get myself a decent craft iron, I am using my regular domestic iron from now on.

28 Pressing the Tea-Dyed Fabric

29 Pressing the Teabags

I pinned these teabags onto some of the tea-dyed fabric in preparation for stitching them on the machine.

30 Pinning the Teabags to the Fabric

It was at this point, when I opened up the sewing machine, that I realised that there was a problem. The feed dogs were down, and I could not raise them. The lever is loose. Removing the top cover from the machine, I was able to peer down inside and as I turned the flywheel, and then the feed dog control lever, I could see that the small cam was not moving – obviously the spring has broken. This was beyond my ability to repair it, so the machine has gone off to Sewing Machine Hospital and I won’t get it back for about a fortnight… I am hoping they will be able to fix it, and that parts are still available for this now pretty ancient sewing machine – almost as ancient as me! I had it for my 21st birthday and I am now nearly 61 so you can do the maths. It is pre-electronic. It is a Pfaff and is extremely robust, and I have used it intensively at times, and it has served me well, only having to go in for repairs about twice during its lifetime. I haven’t used it for quite a while, and we have moved house during that time, too, and it may have got damaged in transit… who knows? Anyway, all stitching is now off for the time being, so I have to concentrate on other areas.

In addition to the sample page in my small leather art journal, I also have plans for making a small pouch or neck purse (a tea bag!) made from teabags backed onto the tea-dyed fabric, and embellished with machine embroidery using metallic threads. On the flap I am planning to make further embellishments using Tyvek or similar, painted with acrylics and decorated with hand embroidery and possibly some bead work.

To this end, this evening I did some experimenting with Tyvek and related materials, and this is the subject of my next post.

I have also been taking advantage of some days when I haven’t felt up to much health-wise, to continue working on my knitting. (Looking at the date of that link, I see to my horror that it’s two years ago! High time I got this project finished!!!) The front is complete, and this evening, I have almost finished the back. Once complete, I can join the two parts at the shoulders and begin picking up the stitches for the sleeves. So far I am loving how it looks! Photos to come.


  1. Love your creativity! Hope you get the machine fixed-they are like old friends - you miss them when they aren't around!

  2. I'm exhausted listening to you with all your things going on. You put us all to shame.
    Keep on creating Shoshi. You are very motivational for us all
    Lynn x

  3. Awesome - another page earmarked for my students - can't wait to see what you do with the diamond shaped tea stain!! Diane

  4. So much happened in your world, lots to do with teabags. Who knew they had so much potential?! Well, you did obviously! I hope they get your sewing machine fixed up right soon. They don't make them like they used to.


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