Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Stitches for Appliqué

Another two weeks have gone by and I've returned from another glorious day hand stitching!
Felt and felted and dyed blankets were the raw materials for our Appliqué and we explored the stitches that could be used decoratively to appliqué the felt to a background fabric.
We also used a limited palette of colours. My colours were Golden Yellow / Salmon pink / Deep Blue and purple and I used, Stranded cottons, Perle and stranded wools.

Our initial task was to stitch a felt circle to the background to evenly divide the circle into segments.
This circle is cut from dyed and felted wool blanket.
Next we took time to master Indian Edging Stitch - both facing out of the circle and inwards.
Working in larger scale than one would normally to enable easy stitch practice and to show clearly how the stitch was worked.
This is a second sample  with different colours and detached chain stitch used to fasten the pink felt to the background.
Using stranded wool yarns made the Indian Edging Stitch fit better with the texture of the wool felt.
This technique will have real spin-off for my Textiles work, perhaps not as "fancy" as this this but with shapes that need to be surface applied and decorative.
I feel energised and ready to embark on some new work, just as well, as my Easter Exhibition quilt is almost finished and I will need a new project!!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Lutterworth Piecemakers welcomed Alison Brimley to their monthly meeting this week and we were instantly aware of the feast of colour her quilts presented. Hanging either side at the front were 2 tryptics in a glorious riot of colour!  "Italy" and "York"We really enjoyed her talk and were fascinated by the many samples she sent round the room for us to handle and see in detail how she achieves her effects.
The York tryptic had been made for the York 800 celebrations and had been hung in the York City Art Gallery 1st to 16th November 2012. The 3 panels depicting York's iconic buildings in a riot of colourful silk. Stunning!

This is the link to her website and a gallery of her work

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Artistic in-puts.....

At this time of year my creative powers wane, not enough light, the wet and post Christmas blues. So, in need to some artistic in-put I've just got back from 2 days of re-charging the batteries in London!
We saw the "Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition winners at the Natural History Museum - a complete antidote to the blues - such amazingly talented photographers with such an eye for detail, image, texture. Some taken in far flung places and having spent days and days waiting for just the right juxtaposition of wildlife and weather and light but others, just as powerful, taken here in the UK and the result of happy accident as well as long patient waits.  As always, the most amazing images are from the photographs by youngsters. These young people already display the skills and eye that many of us more long toothed photographers still aspire to! In the 15-17yr old category my eye really appreciated a composition by Eve Tucker taken at Canary Wharf where the picture captures the really amazing patterning on the water - it would make a stunning piece of textile art!! Have a look at her work on the website below. One to watch for the future!Her winning image is in Wildlife gallery -
Eve has kindly given permission for me re[produce her image here. Thanks Eve.

The second re-charging was also photography, this time at the Alselm Adams exhibition at the Greenwich Maritime Museum. I have always loved his images of the great wide open spaces in the western USA so it was a real treat to see so many original photographs together and some in huge, whole wall size! One very minimalist picture has inspired me to make a small piece of machine embroidery, which I'll get to once I've sourced some grey silk! Looking at the Eve Tucker image again the grey silk might end up in 2 pieces of stitched art!

Just for fun we also saw "One Man two Govnors" at The Haymarket, I've not laughed so much in absolutely ages!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Stitching again!

Another lovely day learning about using stitches in a more creative way. We used a template to aid the selection of our stitches and manner of using them. It took the panic out of working out what to try out on a blank length of fabric!
The order was:
  • Choose a stitch
  • Select a size of stitch
  • Choose a style - uneven, graduated, regular etc
  • Choose a pattern: wavy, spiral, loopy, radiating etc
  • Relationship to previous stitched eg. overlapping, single, grouped, scattered etc
  • Embellishment : wrapped, whipped, threaded, unembellished.
We did this as a group like a game of consequences, each adding a choice and then randomly selecting a list to work from.
I got: Buttonhole stitch / Variable / uneven / wavy / overlapping / whipped
This is what I managed to achieve:

Then given a second stitch, Cross Stitch and tried the same exercise.
Its a small beginning but I feel more confident now in using multiples of one stitch and allowing them to spill over each other.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Using up scraps

I spent yesterday making another Bookwrap. Using up scraps of fabric from offcuts and the ends of fat quarters. Cutting narrow strips and stitching them to felt and a lining by the stitch and fold method.
The basic fabric grows really quickly and the quilting gets done as the strips are attached! You can then add further embellishment is you want or have time, but my fabrics are quite busy so I am leaving them plane.
On this one I have made a pocket for the front book cover to sit in but the rest is a flap that fastens on the front of the cover. I then found a use for a giant ceramic button that was far too heavy for use on the cardigan I bought it for!!
Quite pleased with the result, will now repeat the design as and when I have time.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Making an envelope book

Oh what a sheltered life I have led to get to this great age without knowing how to make my own books! Its a bit of a seductive sidetrack..... Takes me away from the "real" work but has been fun. This one is no great shakes, but as a first attempt I've learned alot and would do some things differently next time!
I have learned:
  • To make good use of bits in my stash - like heavy paper store carrier bags. old maps and my samples for the cover etc
  • Accuracy, accuracy and accuracy!
  • As a displacement activity it certainly beats housework
My book cover is one of the very first stitch samples I made in September. I used a linen sheet of my Grandmother's and dyed in a plastic bag, It was meant to be black but I clearly got the recipe wrong!
 The pages are papers I've had for ages, a map of the Grand Canyon,and wrapping paper from Thailand and  a carrier bag from Joules.
I have used some left over linen to create the stitched spines.
Now I just have to master the tricky bit of getting the spines attached. Then I can post a picture of the finished article!