Blogging may be no-big-deal ordinary for you, but this is my first jump into the technological complexities of the blogosphere. Still not sure that my SUBSCRIPTION button is working correctly. UPDATE: YES! IT'S WORKING! THANK YOU, ANDY!Don't know if anyone is actually reading this yet. But I do know, now, that there's a good reason most blogs are not daily: impossible to keep up, unless it's a full-time job (and I have all this sewing to do...). So, after today, this will be a Monday-Wednesday-Friday blog. Three times a week. Which should still tell you more than anyone needs to know about archaeological quilting....
Embedding objects under a top layer of cloth is a technique that I've been using for many years now. Quilting Arts Magazine ran a nice article explaining how I do this in their Aug/Sept 2012 issue. Here's how it works:
This is really just an extreme version of trapunto. Instead of a cord sewn between cloth, I sew objects. Small, flat objects are easiest, but I can use a saw or Exacto knives to cut things down. On this piece, the white round object is the end of a plastic thread spool. Objects can be glued to the wool backing, or basted on.
I sew around each object, pulling the cloth to tightly fit.
Sometimes, I 'loot' the objects - take them out of their embedding. I cut very carefully with a razor blade, remove the object, and trim the edges.
If I'm planning on 'looting' my work, I cover the objects with 2 layers of contrasting cloth (white and rust here) so the cuts have a sharp, crisp edges.
As you can see, it's a technique that can be learned easily. I teach this at a one day workshop, and by the end of the day, everyone knows the technique and has a just-about-finished piece. If you're trying this on your own, start small - glue a couple of buttons to a piece of felt, and cover them with a transparent fabric, so you can see what you're doing. Then try it a second time, with a opaque cloth - what my students call "sewing in Braille". I use damask cloth, which has a slightly stretchable weave - use a T-shirt knit for even easier sewing. Good Luck!