Monday, March 26, 2007

PLS week 5

here is my week 5 effort - amazing piece of sequinned bling from trimmings and remnants in coburg, couched with gold thread using herringbone stitch onto hand dyed wool felt. the explosion underneath is mainly standard dmc embroidery floss, scarlet rayon and crimson silk. the felt in real life is a more vibrant greeny blue rather than the straight blue it is here.

and this amazing alien head is a seed from a cypress tree in the fitzroy gardens. don't know what i'm going to do with it but doesn't it look bizarre?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

new blogger and PLS Week 4

hmmmm, not sure about being forced to go to the new blogger having resisted various blandishments for months. sniffing around the new parameters.....

for what it's worth here is my piece for week four of personal library of stitches (apologies for the quality of the photos - the light was fading. the lighter photo is more true to colour)

it is a piece of the original dublin linen whose whiteness i found so overwhelming - it was dyed with blue and rose pink food colouring, rolled in bubblewrap and left in the autumn sun for a day. after reading the lesson and this article on the British artist Gitl Wallerstein-Braun (who does beautifully lyrical folded pieces) i decided to go with the folds in the fabric and see where the stitching lead me. last week i did a similar thing with the silk paper following the natural contours of the piece.

i don't think i ever "got" this piece - it doesn't seem to have a focus or movement - it's quite diffuse. but given the complexities of my life at the moment i decided to go with what was evolving on the fabric and not stress too much about creating something marvellous. instead i had fun with the stitching (learning some new stitches - feathered chain, buttonhole bar - which is a great alternative to bullion stitch), whipped herringbone and a kind of detached chain/fly stitch hybrid that i decided to retrieve from being a mistake and enjoy the effect.

i used perle 5 cotton, cotton embroidery floss, silk ribbon, silk floss (indian splendour again - i just love that thread) and some rachelette that i got from joggles this week (amazing service - it arrived from the States within a week of my order)

the two things that struck me this week were:
  1. the use of space is as important as the use of thread
  2. the treatment or disposition of the fabric (ie pleats, folds etc) can (should?) dictate the stitch

Monday, March 12, 2007

PLS Week 3

this week was about exploring line - i used some luscious hand dyed wool felt and played with some of the stitches from last week as well. i used a beautifully soft silk from the thread studio in the indian splendour colour and tried it in different weights ie number of strands and different stitches.

i started with the felt circle and embroidered a red glass bead using spider web stitch (so well that you can't actually see the bead anymore!) i found it hard to maintain the tension with this stitch and would like to do some more practice. then i appliqued the circle to the base felt with fly stitch. i had fun with the interlacing on the right - that's handspun yarn woven through three rows of running stitch in indian splendour with 2 strands, then row 2 is more thread studio hand dyed - this time silk ribbon in garnet. it was my first time using silk ribbon and it went through the felt like butter - just gorgeous to work with. then a line of fly stitch this time with more strands of indian splendour (can't remember how many - at least 4, then i changed down to 2 to finish the line). it struck me what a difference the interlacing made to the first line - it immediately added more curves and made a gradual curve into a bumpy one.

it was surprisingly difficult to do fly stitches in a curve - i could practically feel the g forces as i steered the thread into the bends. and the weight of the thread didn't make much of a difference

exhibit b is the first piece of silk paper i made a month or so ago. i just decided to follow the natural contours of the paper with layers of fine stitching - running, detached chain, detached fly and little feather. and there's even a small bit of interlacing

so far i have used rayon, cotton and silk and found that the cotton went through the silk paper smoothly and with less tangles than the other two.

one of the issues we were think about this lesson is the differences between line in the natural and the built environments. i may be wrong but line in the natural environment never seems to be completely straight - there's always a curve or unevenness in there somewhere and they tend to follow the path of least resistance.

i thought about this as i stitched and just let my fingers feel where to go rather than making decisions before i stitched. it's a very soothing piece to stitch.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

another heat altered quilt and a larval stage quilt

this little quilt has a wool flannel base, the usual synthetic shreds and a top made of thai silk and red tulle with stencilled seahorses and flowers. i had to use extra blow torch effort as the silk has a much higher burning threshold than the synthetics

and this is a bit of needlefelting - wool and mohair tops and angelina (of course!) on hand dyed wool felt. some embroidery is percolating in my mind....

and these are my heat altered quilt cut into post cards and herringbone stitched.

and this is the latest wip - a quilt at the larval stage. i've worked out the basic design and am currently nutting out the construction. the panels will be herringbone stitched together, am thinking of how best to attached the long strips which are made of quite fragile silk - i think using fusible web might alter the feel of the fabric too much so perhaps some hand stitching. the blocks are the lame attempt to make a quilt out of small steeplechase blocks ( i think that's the name of the block) but i fell at the third fence - too many curves with slippery kimono fabric was no fun. btw what do you think of my defacto design wall aka the kitchen bookcase?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

this week i.....

  • put a row of gold beads on the journal quilt
  • made some more silk paper (with the silk tops i bought from the thread studio at aqc last weekend)
  • finished the beads and gold chain stitch part of my week 1 of the personal library of stitches course
  • did my week 2 sample for PLS - this week was points ie single stitches. i hadn't realised how hard it is to do single stitches without immediately thinking of the line they make. this spiral and tumbling stitches component i want to do again as a larger piece with more contrast and detail in the spiral

  • i also did some more on my week1 alternative sampler