Archive for June, 2015

Work in progress

After I completed one sampler for Personal Library of Stitches, my daughter Nan saw my post about lacking inspiration. She suggested that I make something for her new studio. I asked her what is her favorite color and what other colors does she like. She said, “Purple. Green, blue, and red.” In my thread stash I chose those colors, to which I added yellow and gold for brightness and contrast. Then I matched up the threads with some cotton fabrics from my stash.


Meanwhile, I was thinking of a theme and and it is “Celebration of Dance.” I decided to make a wall hanging like a banner, and it will be about 20″X10″. I tried painting these colors on a piece of cotton, but the colors were not as intense as I wanted. Next I played with colored papers for design ideas.


And finally I cut out the shapes from fabrics and fused them to fine linen as the ground fabric. I’ve stretched the linen over cotton backing on stretcher bars. This is the first layer of what I expect will be a multi-layered piece with lots of textured stitching, beads, and other materials. I’m going to put crewel filling stitches over the patches. So far, I don’t know what comes next, but I want to suggest movement. I’ve printed the photo so that I can play with pencil for ideas to fill the spaces around the patches. Meanwhile, I’ve also gone back to Sharon Boggon’s course, “Sumptuous Surfaces” for inspiration. This much I know, it’s going to be vibrant.


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A sampler

Lacking inspiration for another project, I am re-doing Sharon Boggon’s course, “A Personal Library of Stitches”. For each lesson I intend to make a sampler. Of course, inspiration may strike at any time and I give myself permission to interrupt my coursework. Lesson 1 is on borders and the featured stitches are chain, chevron, herringbone, Guilloche. straight feather stitch, Cretan, Portuguese stem, and running stitch. I used the Guilloche stitch for my outer border, to frame the sampler. The threads are cotton pearl #8 and #5, gold metallic thread, and a heavy rayon  Edmar thread used in Brazilian Embroidery. The fabric is Aida. See the results below. Click on the image for a closer look.


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Yesterday I finished this crazy quilt wall hanging and hung it outside my apartment, in the hall.   Outside apartment

This project began in 2005, when I first conceived the desire to create a series of embroideries on the theme of the S shape. For several years, I had been thinking about words that described my life as it had become–housebound and very limited (at that time); and all the words began with S. In fact, I began a Mind Map to collect my ideas as early as 2004. At the time I got the idea to make embroideries using the S shape in the designs, I was listening to Bach Partitas, and I thought I would like to make a stitched “partita”–a set of variations on a theme. But it was not until 2006 that I got to work on the idea seriously.

By this time I had 14 S words that I wanted to make embroideries for. When I have in my outer life silence, simplicity, solitude, slowness, stability, study, and stitching, then in my inner life I have satisfaction, self-sufficiency, serenity, softening, spaciousness, spontaneity, and synchronicities.    These words define my spiritual life. To them I could add Spirit/Self.

The design process began on paper, late in 2013,as participation in CQJP 2014. I wanted to see how 12 blocks with black seam treatments would look. I made myself some blocks with colored pencils on paper, cut them out, and tried out arrangements. Next I chose fabrics and hand-basted 12 CQ blocks. I photographed and printed them and played with various arrangements.  I also began to make notes for seam treatments. Paper-blocks                          Pieced Seam-treatments-on-paper              On-paper
Basted-block From several sources, I found S’s to transfer to the blocks, first on the printed paper blocks, then on to the fabric blocks

In January  last year, I chose the threads and beads I wanted to use and I stitched a trial block.  See it below. (I’m having a helluva time getting WordPress to put pictures where I want them. I used to be able to drag them where I wanted them.)      January-trial-block

Work-in-progress. It took  me until the end of  the year to finish embellishing the blocks. It took  me until a few weeks ago to know how I wanted to finish the piece.  The border was once a velveteen skirt. Because I’m not skilled at constructing a quilt, I chose to mount it on padded foamcore. I covered the back with black cotton quilting material.

IMG_4487I’m fairly happy with the finished product.  Yesterday a neighbor knocked on my door to tell me how much she liked it. We spent about 15 minutes talking about it, as she asked me questions. Having done crewel embroidery many years ago, she recognized some of the stitches.

Now, what next?

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