Tuesday, 30 September 2008

One Finished ............

I'm very pleased with the bowl ............

but I'm not sure that I'm happy with the pot as a "finished" item ..............

All/any criticism welcome please. This is the second attempt at adornment - the first was button beads all around the top which didn't work out either. I quite liked the idea of machined cords but needed something to "tie" them together and now I'm not sure about it at all - I was really hoping to put these two "to bed" before starting on another. Not being in a class situation or in touch with like minded artists does have it's disadvantages at times.

On a different, more positive note, I am delighted to see that I've got a mention on Sharonb's "In a Minute ago" - that is exciting!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Couple More Bowls

Continuing to play around with shapes, quite a large bowl which I am really quite pleased with. My husband has tried claiming it as a fruit bowl this morning but it's not really my colours so we shall see!

I tried experimenting with a different sized stitch for the smaller pink/purple batik one but it's a mess and wish I hadn't used that fabric up now - still you don't know until you try do you?

Aside from these two bowls I don't really know what I've been doing since my last post. I did spend nearly a day wrestling with the sewing machine and cheap thread before finally admitting defeat and a day helping my mum with housework since she is recovering from a major operation but apart from that ............. time management springs to mind!

That chicken fabric that I bought the other week had a little too much print to wrap easily - still it's a bit too pretty to cut into strips really!

Thanks for taking the trouble in look in the chandlers for me Chris, I shall keep a lookout for other suitable materials whilst out and about and perhaps do a bit more experimenting!

Friday, 19 September 2008

A Pot!

Working inside the vessel to try and achieve the kind of shape I wanted was quite hard but (one very sore finger and a blunt rotary cutter later) worth it ...................

Embellishment was the plan although I quite like it how it is (apart from the scruffy stitching due to the awkwardness of the positioning).

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


The finished bowl ........

I'm impressed too (it is actually more circular than the angle of the photograph shows) considering that I never removed it from the machine from start to finish - so much so that I've been and got some more "line" (+ a small wallpaper seam roller that will be handy for working sprinkles of dye into fibres for microwave dyeing) .............

I've invested some of the Christmas present fund in some fabrics so I will now have to justify my purchase of them!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Coiled Fabric Vessels

In a round about way, I came up with the idea to make some coiled vessels as Christmas presents. Being unable to source the cotton clothesline recommended in the book locally, I thought about experimenting with some cheap poly. stuff .........

Even though I haven't used anything else to compare it with I think it works really well - the bowl is well formed and not at all floppy (only problem being I broke one of the little pegs which attaches the extension table by leaning on it - still it's not the first time and they don't cost much thank goodness) ..........

As this one is something of a trial piece to see how things work and to estimate the lengths of cord and fabric required etc., I may just do a row or two more to finish it off - it would be a handy little bowl to keep by the side of the machine to house threads/feet etc. to save them falling to the floor during projects.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

From the Depths of Beyond

This morning we have been into the depths of beyond (well the cupboard under the stairs actually) and look what I've found ................. the hedgehog by Grace Christie! It is a photo I took with our 35mm camera at the V&A and had used for my History of English Embroidery

From my Indian research book, I spotted this little fish that I sketched (sourced from an old pen & ink drawing of Matsya, the fish avatar of Vishnu)


and also this illustration of a Kalamkari painting depicting the incarnations of Vishnu

Eager to get started on something, I'm thinking that these 10 images would interpret into textiles (perhaps pages) really well. I can see a pattern continuing here - too much thinking, zillions of ideas and not enough "doing"!

We didn't find my missing "Q Snap" frame though and have run out of places to look!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The Road to Nowhere

This post is not really textile related and rather morbid so please don't read on if you'd prefer.

My grandad died suddenly on Wednesday and I've been reminiscing, like you do. As a child, many a Sunday would be spent fishing or rather "watching" grandad fish and, much to my despair at the time, his preferred location was "Dungey". Now Dungeness can be a delight to any adult, particularly those interested in the arts with wonderous photographic opportunities including extraordinary skies and lighting at times but, as anybody familiar with the place would know, for little girls there is nothing! For me then, unlike now, it was the "Road to Nowhere" - strong currents and steep shingle banks meant it wasn't even safe to swim! These photographs just seem so apt for this present time - The Road to Nowhere

Only the other day I was thinking about postcards or pages as some kind of journal but couldn't think of anything particularly significant to portray the current time in my life ................. now I have heaps of ideas.

I gave the postcard to my mum to help cheer her a little - she thought it was lovely so there was a purpose after all!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Evaluating a Postcard

In my last post, I mentioned a fabric postcard swap over on "Stitchin Fingers" but I'm really not sure where I'm going with that now as there appears to be something of a split group and a choice as to whether to make one postcard or one for everybody in the group. I don't do grey very much and prefer to have some things black and white so I'm going to blog about this one whilst I think about it.


Colour - Earth tones are not really my thing but there are some wonderfully vibrant colours around us in Autumn.

Leaves and Trees - It's not quite here yet in South East England so no leaves outside for immediate inspiration. Acorns and conkers. Acorns in textiles to me immediately relates to 3 dimensional so that is out for a postcard.

Flowers that last until the autumn frosts - that would count wouldn't it?

Mushroom Picking

Hedgehogs - Googling autumn leaves finds a lovely pic of a hedgehog nestling in autumn leaves and then I recall the "pet" hedgehog I had as a child and a stitched hedgehog by Grace Christie. Regarding the latter, I thought it was a photo I took at the V & A but can't find one nor is it in "Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving" so I don't know where it is but I have seen one - haven't I?

Still thinking about childhood brings memories of the strings of onions hanging in our elderly neighbours lean-to. I have some onions in the fridge so onions it is!

Cut onions in half, draw round them to get a rough shape and then chop them up for a chilli before sketching any inner lines - artistic license for that bit then!

Machine embroidered reverse applique - metallic thread on twinkle organza burnt back to reveal gold foiled fabric below.

Bonded the gold fabric to pelmet vilene. Layering the organza over the gold fabric wasn't looking very pretty (I don't do murky) until I had four layers so four layers it was pinned to the backing (my Bernina prefers to work on a solid ground!). Thought about changing the needle before starting but decided to see how it went - the needle puckered the fabric so a new needle it was. Have I done this before - yes and will I do it again - probably!

Machining the outlines once, twice and then four times no problem. Then I decided to start machining more heavily in parts thinking that, given the size and what with the pelmet vilene, it wouldn't contour - wrong! Ok, carry on and see what happens. Started burning the organza out on one edge - bad move! Four layers of organza welded together is a bit chunky (a far cry from delicate onion skins not that that is what I wanted to particularly achieve) and my eyes are not what they were a few years ago when I last used the soldering iron (which could do with a new tip). Free and organic is acceptable but scruffy is out hence the "postcard" is now 5.75 inches across rather than the regulatory 6 inches!

More pelmet vilene bonded to the back and zig zagged edges .............. no more contours! Perhaps not quite what it was meant to be but it's something ................

Conclusion (not regarding design etc. but to me as a person)
I like working to this scale. Easily portable and storable when space is at a premium. Cost effective in that no huge outlay for materials. Not sure that two whole days stitching is very time effective for a postcard.
I love those citrus colours in that last post too Gina. Where I was going with them didn't quite work out so need to put my thinking cap on!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Idling the Time Away

Was going to do something with these but not done anything yet ................

Made some shells ............

Using publisher to trial out some suitable postcard backs in readiness for a postcard swap over on Stitchin FIngers ..................

Lots of thinking and some design ideas which I won't mention yet as possibly relevant to the postcard swap if all goes to plan (it isn't quite at the moment)!

Is it better to reply to comments on blog or as a comment? Terri of Stegart was asking about the stitches in the sun type motif. This shell? It is rayon gimp with a cotton core couched down with ordinary stranded cotton.