Sunday, 20 November 2011

Why is it so hard to make progress on some pieces?

Do you ever reach the point in a project when your ability to complete it seems to elude you? I have regularly embarked upon a project, done preparatory work, thought about the effect I want to achieve and embarked on the making phase only to feel a sense of disappointment. Recently I was introduced to a debate on line which explored just this issue. The initial starter to discussion came as link to a website: Tien Chiu discusses the "Gap" which affects most creative people when their ideas, aspirations for a piece are not matched by the the reality of your work so far. She argues that this is the primary reason so many people give up attempts and that we need to educate ourselves and others to recognise that if you are smitten by a craft, you'll invest in the time and disappointment getting to be proficient requires. If you are never taught that the gap exists and that ALL artists have to breach the gulf at some time you can't appreciate that the process requires one to be hooked by the craft and what it is capable of producing before one will be prepared to make the investment needed to achieve results one can be proud of. On the way one will produce work not up to expectation, and here one needs to be encouraged and tutored on ways to make it better. So important that when people begin to take an interest we foster, encourage, tutor and add a pinch of realism to the pot. I realise now that this is exactly what my Mum did, and was so brave to let me go out in garments I had made which were far from well made in the interests of ensuring that I kept motivated and improving. I really wish I had got into this debate many years ago so that I could understand the issues I was experiencing. Do read her blog in full, link on my list of blogs and websites.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Bletchley Park 3

Things have not been going entirely according to plan! Having quilted the searchlight beams through the quilt and adding some bursts of flack the piece has distorted and gone very baggy in places.
I was almost ready to consign it to the bin,a failed project is sooo disappointing, all that effort coming to nothing. However, one of my ISG fellow students suggested that I try small, very stipple quilting, as it might "tighten" the whole thing up. I was a tad sceptical, but, hey, it was destined for the bin if I did nothing! It really has made a difference!
Now I will work towards it completion! It will need blocking and very careful binding to ensure that its not a wavy edged piece, but at least its worth going on. Sometimes one gets so bogged down one can't see a way out and you need another's input. Thats one of the reasons I so love being part of the ISG.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Embroidered book covers

At this time of year there are lots of demands for money raising items. Our Embroiderers' guild hold a coffee morning each year at the beginning of December. As a little light relief from my Bletchley Park quilt, which has been causing me problems, I have been making embroidered book covers as these seem to sell well.
For these little books I used some off cuts from earlier Petra quilt samples and added some beads, made braids and a button fastening. Quite a good way of using up bits of quilted samples or even pieces that have lain fallow for some time and can be recycled in this easy way.
The larger book cover was made using a technique taught by Sue Turner at FoQ last year, they sold well last year so I'll do them again. They don't take long, look much more complex than they are!! A friend has been making felt poppies for British Legion, with beaded centres, they are more attractive than the paper ones and a donation of £5 is for a good cause. Next year I'll make my own with the twist of organza petals over the felt and even more beads - make a statement of it!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Naseem Darbey

Just back from Yorkshire Dales, lots of walking in lovely weather but the highlight of the trip was Naseem Darbey's exhibition at The Bowes Museum. Darbey draws with a sewing machine on "Romeo" soluble film and then forms her work over a Styrofoam base to create magical 3D structures which she describes as "hollow drawings". All the work on show at Bowes is titled "Between the Lines" and is based on a years residency at Cliffe Castle Museum and the letters of Mary Louise Roosevelt. Quite stunning work. Look at her website for more of her work.