It is freezing cold and wet today, so I have been sitting in front of my wood fire, putting the finishing touches to this piece. It’s all made from felted lambswool jumpers with machine and hand stitching. The back is red like the front with a split down it to allow insertion of the hot water bottle. The original idea was not this, due to a near fatal mistake. When cutting the embroidered piece to shape I omitted a seam allowance. How dumb was that?!! The only solution was to applique the whole, reshaped front piece to another bit of wool and so give a border effect. I think it worked.
Archive for the ‘Embroidery’ Category
Halfway though the Intermediate Canvas Classes, and this week we looked at stitches to give texture, this is the latest sampler of stitches covered in class.
Stitches here are Rice, Rhodes, Norwich, Various Eyelet, Ray, Vault, Woven Spider, French Knots, Velvet Stitch and Broad Cross Stitch. Now I have to work another sampler using only one colour, but many shades and different threads, to create a textured piece. I’m sure you can guess what colour I’m going to use!
A week or so ago I made this piece of felt…….endless rolling of wool fibres, hard work, but I was pleased with the resulting piece for which I had a specific plan..
Having recently swapped a very ancient mobile phone for a rather splendid iPhone, I thought it needed a nifty case to protect it when in my copious bucket shaped handbag. It does have an metal cover already and I’m not sure this will be perfect, but I shall give this one a good trial. I spent several nights in front of the box just stitching…..no pattern, just filling the spaces with whatever thread or stitch that appealed.
I have a sneaking feeling that getting the phone out when it rings will be a nuisance, and I might well end up with one of those flip open cases that protects both side of the phone..Time will tell, but it was fun to do…..
This is happening over on Jude Hill’s Blog – Spirit Cloth, and is well worth a look if you have not seen it yet. This is what she says about it:-
“The Magic Feather Project is a collective stitching project focused on creative sharing and giving. The magic feather has been my personal symbol for almost forever. With the idea of making it a symbol of something bigger than just myself, I thought I would share it with you and you in turn might stitch one (at least) and send it to me so I might, in turn, sew a bunch together and put the larger cloth to some charitable use.”
Now I have not touched needle or thread for several weeks, what with new cameras and lenses to try out, organisation of this place for the time I would be out of action , preparation for the TKJR, and then recovery from the surgery, let alone a certain loss of interest in things stitch and textile. When I came home and found Jude was beginning this project, I found it a good incentive to begin sewing again. I’m out of practice, but this is my first feather….natural dyed silk noil, with cotton strips overlaid. The colours in the photo are not quite right, as the stitching is done various shades of blue DMC cottons plus silver and taupe. It is only tiny, the internal piece is about 5 inches square.
The knee by the way, continues to improve every day. I’m walking with one crutch only, and I’m now able to bend it much more – I even managed a few minutes on my ancient exercise bike for the first time.
Thank you each and everyone who has left a comment here, I really appreciate your kind thoughts and good wishes. I have not spent much time at the computer as I find sitting here quite uncomfortable at present, so have not responded to everyone individually as I usually try to do. I’m hopeful that things will get back to normal quite soon.
Jasmine and her contents were displayed today at our Guild meeting, but she is once more on her way to her next showing in the South of this state. Our members were impressed by the wide range of techniques used, the amount of work involved, the very vibrant colours in the textiles, and the skills with which each piece was worked. Many of them were pieces designed to hang, but unfortunately we did not have the means to hang them all – none the less we were all able to enjoy this traveling exhibition spread out on tables. The pieces of work were accompanied by a large folder which explained how they were made, together with an artist’s statement for each piece. I would certainly recommend this show to anyone who might want to have it visit their group – so if you do, then contact ATASDA.
Here are some photos of some of the works…….
She arrived at my Post Office with all the other mail, and was addressed to me. What do you think this could be?
This is Jasmine, one of the two travelling suitcases from the ATASDA 2010 Exhibition called the Maharajah’s Garden. She is looking a bit battered by a life on the road, some of her make-up is missing, her lovely orange strap has been broken in transit, but the contents look just fine. The Castlemaine Embroiderer’s Guild is showing these wonderful textiles on Wednesday, for our members and some guests at our Biggest Morning Tea in aid of the Anti-Cancer Council. Locals, if interested would be welcome at the Mount Alexander Golf Course from 10-11.30 am.
I have not unpacked it, but did have a sneak peek…..each of the 48 textile works is carefully nestled it its own calico bag for safety, but they look lusciously rich and colourful – I shall take heaps of photos when we have it displayed, but here are a couple of tempters….
The Biennial Embroidery Exhibition opened yesterday after two days of very hard work by a dedicated bunch of members who took in exhibits, did the paperwork, sorted the entries, set up the display stands, hung the framed pieces and carefully arranged all the other various works to their best advantage. There were VIP visitors, folk from the Melbourne and other branches of the Guild, speeches, presentations, frenzied shopping at the stall, lots of chat, laughter and gasps of admiration – all in all a most successful day. The exhibition will continue until next Wednesday and is well worth the visit. I stayed in Castlemaine from Thursday and returned home late on Saturday afternoon – exhausted and very happy to fall into my own bed last night.
Unfortunately I do not have any photos of the show – we are all now very conscious of copyright issues and no close up photos were permitted without express permission of the artist, and I did not have time to take any more general ones while setting up. Our guild takes this very seriously, and in fact will be running a seminar in a couple of months on this very issue, with particular emphasis on copyright issues for embroiderers and other crafts persons. Anyway, I can show some of the gorgeous handmade goodies on the stall before opening.
My own purchases were quite restrained, some hand dyed silks, a beautiful Biscornu pincushion in counted thread work, and an “Inspiration Pack”. The last is a bag of coordinated goodies, fabric and threads which one of the members cleverly puts together – what one does with it is up to you….I chose this one of blues to go with some recent hand dyed bits of my own, and some vintage indigo fabrics.
I seem to have been absent for quite some time…..nothing wrong, just very busy elsewhere. Mostly I have been working in my garden in preparation for the visit of a group from a local garden club. It’s been a bit like Hercules cleaning the Augean stables, and will teach me to neglect the garden for more gentle activities like stitching. The amount of growth, both positive ( established plants and trees) and negative (weeds) due to the wet summer we have experienced meant many areas were like a jungle and needed radical cutting back. This is the 8th trailer of rubbish, this one waiting to go to the tip tomorrow, and there are likely to be a few more before I have finished. I’m very glad the end is in sight!
In my spare time, when sick of the labouring in the garden, I have been stacking this 5 cubic metre pile of redgum firewood in my woodshed. Times like these I wish the children, now long gone, were here and could be bribed to do it instead of me!
I have not been totally ignoring my needles, and am currently working on this piece of old pure woollen blanket. Yes, it looks a bit weird now but will be turned into a very functional light blocking curtain for a spare room. I plan to cover the whole with naive embroidery, and then dye it with natural (eucalyptus) dyes, so it will end up a light red brown colour. I am hoping that the embroidery will dye a slightly different shade and will show up as tone on tone. So far we have a rabbit, a couple of other things and Squid, my daughter’s dog. The curtain will hang straight with no gathers, like a blind and hopefully will allow certain visitors the luxury of sleeping longer after daylight. As it was very difficult to mark a stitching line on the wool, I drew the design onto water soluble film, tacked it down and stitched through the lot. The residual film and outlines will dissolve when the piece is washed and dyed.
As if I need any new craft activity to explore, I now have something else to try when I have a bit of time. A week ago when I was in Melbourne, I collected several looms from a private school that no longer needed them. They had been in storage for years, and were going to be destroyed if new homes could not be found for them…….such a waste thought I …..so agreed to collect them and to keep one for myself.
I have no experience and know nothing of weaving so this will be a challenge – when I have time to learn. I am told this is a four shaft table loom, and was made by Dyer and Phillips in Melbourne after WWII, so may be 50 years old or thereabouts. It seems to have all the component parts, needs a little cleaning of the metal bits, but appears it will work. Should be fun – when I have time to learn.
Finally for today – and for those who live near enough to attend – the Embroiderers Guild Biennial Exhibition is happening in Castlemaine next weekend. It will be a great show, and coincides with the State Festival being held at the same time – so make the trip to Castlemaine and see it all!
Don’t forget to visit Fractions in Time – there are always new photographs to see….
Yesterday I finished the stitching on the little woven piece of cloth, and I am very pleased with it. It is densely quilted in the way of Indian Kantha cloths through the several layers of fabric, and it has a beautiful hand, but still feels quite firm and secure……..When completed, I washed it very gently in hot water to settle the layers, perhaps shrink it a tiny bit, and ease the raw edges into a soft fluff. I figure there are about 25 stitches to the square inch…..hence the 5000 stitches, give or take a few. I’m thinking it will hang in my kitchen to add a little colour…
I spent much of today sewing – something of which I have not done a lot in recent times! The Embroiderer’s Guild has its biennial exhibition in April so we have all been making things for the stall in our spare (???) time……Today I turned this…..
I do hope someone buys them!
Please make a note of the dates……
Castlemaine Embroiderer’s Guild Exhibition
Mount Alexander Golf Course
April 2 – 6th 10.00 am – 5.00 pm