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Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is a toe wrap?. OH please let me explain...


Hi!! just give me a minute to compose myself....I am so honoured to be here. I hope I don't  just babble, apologies now just in case because it has been known! I'm Karen, from England, from
Contemporary Embroidery, the blog with a lot of babble and a little bit of embroidery.
I don't have any a, b, c or 1, 2, 3 step instructions for you today. It's more of a little chat about my ''toe wrap'' and how if you just let go, take things as they come without plan or restriction then it is possible to create something truly unique.
First of all though I should probably explain what a ''toe wrap'' is.....basically it's a throw, a blanket, a comforter. I call mine a toe wrap because I happened to mention on my blog that I would use this piece to warm my feet in a morning, when I first get up and am curled up on the sofa drinking my first cup of coffee. I then got lots of comments with people shrieking, ''no!!! it's far too lovely to be wrapped around toes!!''...so toe wrap it is.....
This cloth started life because as I sat one day packing sold things from my shop, saying goodbye to more embroidery, I had a sudden realisation that I actually didn't have any embroidery for myself. I was the embroiderer with no embroidery......this special piece was then born. No plan, no image of a finished piece in mind, nothing except the desire to embroider and embellish and to have a piece of cloth to hold close.
The construction could be loosely equated to crazy patchwork, irregular size pieces, decorative seams, lace ruffs. A strip of buttons from a vintage blouse used to join two sections of embroidered gingham, rouleau loops at an edge and a seam...the possibilities were endless. It didn't matter if it didn't work, it was for me. There wouldn't be any chance of the customer complaining that a seam didn't match. The freedom of working in that way is truly liberating,, only having yourself to answer to.

I gathered old pieces of lace trim along with torn doilies. Special little scraps of fabric that I had been keeping for something special. I appliqued tiny clippings of fabric. I explored almost every embroidery stitch I know. Backstitch, chain stitch, spiders web stitch, cross stitch. I had so much pleasure making tiny one inchhexagons and joining them haphazardly.
Minute pieces of fabric were stuffed with wadding and tied up into little balls to create a delicate trim, funky puffs I call them. I agonised over how to back it finally settling for gingham to comtinue the feeling of ''home'' that I get from this piece. My ''toe wrap'' has now spent many mornings comforting my feet and a few evenings too. It is cherished.
Once again I would just like to say that it has been an absolute honour to be here...I am truly grateful to Madame Samm for giving me this opportunity. Please do try and stop by my blog and say hi. We are very friendly and you may just have a nice time if you ignore the waffle that goes on over there!!

54 comments:

  1. impressive! I've not seen anything like it. Thank you.

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  2. Great to see it having another outing, just like seeing it for the first time again

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  3. What fun - love the light colors, textures abound, lovely little stitches peeking here and there,combinations of pieces, lace, tabs, buttons - an ecclectic impressional piece that represents you. Love it!

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  4. Please continue your "babbling" here anytime! The idea of just wandering wherever your thoughts and whims take you is lovely. Such freedom and such a nice result...just for you. Thanks.

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  5. Darling colors and lovely texture!

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  6. I have never heard of a toe warmer. It's beautiful. So many beautiful pieces of lace, fabrics and stitches. Thank you for your post.

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  7. It reminds me of a darling, gorgeous doll quilt wrapped around a well loved antique baby.......beautiful and truly unique!

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  8. thanks for suggesting I visit here. Lots to read: I enjoyed the story of the toe warmer.

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  9. Good Morning Karen...I am tearing this is sew beautiful...I never imagined a toe wrap could be sew beautiful. Kidding aside your delicate stitches, your use of color, your blending of it all together makes this a masterpiece.. A masterpiece toe wrap. I certainly want more...yes more...

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  10. Fascinating. I admire someone who can take bits and pieces, tiny this and ruffly that and create a wonderful piece like you have. The gingham and lace reminds me of dresses my Mom made for me when I was little. Thank you!

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  11. Its lovely! thanks for sharing.

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  12. I can see sassy feet wrapped up in toe warmers all over the quilting/embroidery world soon. Great idea, Great post! Didn't notice any babble!

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  13. Oh my, this is the sweetest, most darling little stitched item I have ever seen! What great fun! I can see the shift in a trend here from "mug rug" to "toe wrap" in the future! I'd better make a "mug rug" before this happens!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  14. How lovely. Warms my heart! Now I know what I could do with Nana's laces and all the bits and pieces I've inherited in her sewing basket. Thanks for sharing today.

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  15. Oh it's just beautiful! I love it. The gingham and lace and white... perfect!

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  16. As always I LOVE everything you do! Your work always is so inspiring.
    It is great to see you over here at Stash Manicure dearie!

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  17. Bom dia!
    Aqui no Brasil é sábado de carnaval, há alguns anos atrás, estaria na folia carnavalesca e jamais me imaginaria sentada em frente ao computador... o mundo dá voltas...
    Sempre venho aqui ver as coisas lindas que todas essas artesãs fazem com tanto carinho e sempre me encanto com as novidades. Parabéns à todas em especial à Madame Samm.
    Atenciosamente,
    Helck
    arteandprosa.blogspot.com

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  18. Karen I'm so tickled to see your toe wrap in it's entirety! I've seen a bit here and there on your blog but not the whole thing. I love embroidery so I really must try this. I have old doilies and vintage lace bits and buttons from my grandmother so I'm all set! blessings, marlene

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  19. Even though Karen INSISTS on this 'toe wrap' moniker for what should be called 'a warm cloud of soft cotton and lace with cunning stitchery' (or something along those lines)...

    ...we love her anyway. Giggle.

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  20. thanks everyone, new friends and ''old'' for these amazing comments...you have made me very happy!!

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  21. This is a very unique (that's a good thing) toe wrap. I love all the 'everything' you put together to make it. Thank you for sharing.

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  22. Love your toe wrap... what a joyful item that is! I'm sure that it is a spirit-lifter and day-brightener!

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  23. My feet are ALWAYS cold.. this is a great idea.. wonder if I could make a walking version??

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  24. It's good to see the whole thing, and especially to know that you at last have some of your own embroidery to keep!

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  25. Your toe wrap is beautiful and so unique! It just shows there are no rules as to how we put things together. It is so special!

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  26. Thank you for sharing your lovely toe wrap with us. It's great fun to see all of the different types of embroidery you included. Perhaps there is one in my future. I have size 11 feet so it might take me a little longer to make one.

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  27. What fun this is! I love that you followed your instincts and did what felt right for this quilt. Beautiful toe warmer.

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  28. Every since I found your blog thanks to the Stash Manicure blog list, I have been admiring your embroidery. It is so nice to see the "toe wrap" in full. Can you share what size it is? I've been thinking small but from your description here, it sounds like it is the size of a lap quilt. I've started pulling together some of my vintage pieces I've inherited with the idea of making something like this in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Good use of fabric! I have sometimes seen something similar called a Kitchen Sink Quilt (Because it has everything except the sink in it). I have been considering one myself. Maybe this will be the nudge to get me started.

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  30. I just love the idea of working on a little personal project full of wonky little bits that make you so happy! How fun to just sit and do whatever stikes your fancy! I especially like the little puffy, stuffy balls! What a perfect way to TOTALLY express how you are feeling at a given time in space. Thanks for sharing!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  31. Thank you Karen for a detailed look at your amazing "toe wrap." As always, your embroidery is absolutely exquisite and you've created an amazing work of art.

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  32. Terri, the actual size is 27 x 34 inches.

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  33. I had trouble leaving my comment last night and see this morning that, in fact, it did not work. So I'll try again. :-) I just want you to know that is the prettiest "Toe Wrap" I've ever seen. :-)

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  34. Thanks for sharing your lovely creation...I am in awe of all the different stitches you incorporated into your masterpiece. Such a pretty way to warm your toes in the mornings or evenings!
    Jacque in SC

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  35. Toe Wrap is a cute name - my sister uses "toe wraps" too. I had noticed your blog listed in the sidebar and visited it to see the lovely wedding items you were making. You do amazing work. Thanks for your post.

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  36. Really beautiful. Well done! It is lovely to do something just for yourself every once in a while.

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  37. another gorgeous post, overflowing with your magical wonders!!

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  38. This is sooo pretty and feminine. I would enjoy wrapping it around my feet in the morning while having my cup of coffee also. Coming over for a visit!

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  39. What a lovely compostion of textures and eye candy you have created and with so much appeal. I have learned something new today. I am thinking I just might need me one of those toe wrappers. Beautiful work. Judy C

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  40. Great post Karen - I WAS wondering what a toe wrap is - altho' I kind of figured it out! Gilly

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  41. Be it a toe wrap, a throw, or one of the many other monikers, it is lovely and inspiring. I must go dig in my stash and...

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  42. Wow, that is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  43. Absolutely beautiful - and now I know what a toe wrap is!

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  44. Wonderful post and lovely story about your toe wrap :)

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  45. Luv this FUN new-fangled embroidery/stitch workingz!!

    hugZ,
    annie
    rubyslipperz106.blogspot.com

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  46. Love seeing the entire Toe Wrap in "Person"

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  47. Love it! And can't wait to head over to your blog. I am very very hooked on embroidery lately.

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  48. I love this, i could see it starting out as a "sampler" to try out new techniques and stitches, but the addition of vintage lace and buttons and trims takes it to a whole other level of loveliness

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  49. Ooh Karen, thanks for showing the entire piece - it's fab. You'll have masses of followers back home now!

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