Monday, 23 December 2013

Where it all started

This book, by Jan Beaney, made its way into my life in the very early 1990s. Initially purchased as a resource for hand stitching (of which I knew absolutely nothing) it revealed to me the possibilities of textile art. I can pinpoint the moment when the world of visual diaries, drawn thoughts, experimental design, pattern, scale, context, texture and colour escaped from its pages. It is a text re-read many times over the last 25 years, and its contents still bring a level of excitement with the turn of each page. If there had only ever been one book to coax me into the world of textile art and embroidery, I think this would have been "it".

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Quiet reflection

A piece of rusted fabric, overprinted with a number of beautifully textured weeds is undergoing an embroidery transformation. In the first quiet hour of the day more colonial, bullion and French knots, pistol and chain stitch variations build across the surface of the cloth. Silk ribbon foliage adds another layer of texture. Peace-filled. Rhythmical. Unexpected. The pleasure of stitch.

Celebrating creativity and design

Ritzenhoff champagne glasses, a gift for my fortieth birthday, come out at this time of year - just like memories and good friends. Thank you Benedikt Sauerland who designed my favourite from the year 2000 collection.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Corn + Silk

Another one hour challenge. WMBM picked corn for dinner and commented how the husks must have a use - they were so paper-like, almost indestructible, had such texture and destined for the compost heap? The semi dried (but still flexible) husks were carefully ironed between two sheets of baking paper. They  were then stitched together, alternating thick and thin ends, to create a ground approximately A4 size. Some of the husks had begun to brown - the sweet smell of corn filling the room.
Left over hand dyed / printed silk scraps [already fused to vliesofix (fusible webbing) from a previous project] were cut into random shapes or torn apart and fused over the corn husk base. More vliesofix was applied to the back of the stitched husks and this was then gently fused to black tissue paper. Much greater stability achieved! When cooled, the silk shapes were outline stitched before strips of tulle (already fused and left over from a previous project) were applied across the silk covered top. An exploration of line. Lovely textures. Fun to play. A new version of corn silk!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Leaf and silk weaving

In the 45 minute window between waving off the WMBM and me heading to Brisbane for that other job, I took some hand dyed silk printed with an ezy-carve block (silky oak leaf) and bonded it onto vliesofix. Did the same with another shade of hand dyed silk then proceeded to cut and weave them before fusing onto a tissue paper background. I was surprised at the translucence of the woven sheet - even where the printed leaf is underneath a top strip, its presence is retained. A fabulous way to create a new ground for stitching, drawing or both!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Jacobs Ladder for T&K

Spent today putting together a quilt top using Jacobs Ladder block. For me it is a perfect block for a wedding quilt - many steps and challenges along the way, the balance of light and dark, many pathways. Each of the fabrics has a special meaning - for the soon-to-be bride and groom. Sixteen blocks down ... oh sew many to go!

Sunday morning inspiration

What is it about multiples? Patterns, rhythm, lines. A visit to the vegie patch.  A brief walk at the creek to see the bank restoration and plantings - the WMBM has been very busy and the re- vegetation is being undertaken by a small team of merry men, led by Rob. Love the rows of poles and lines of plants.  Back to the sewing room ...