How time flies and I don’t seem to have achieved anything although I reckon that I have been constantly occupied. Not having a structure to my life means that I have floated through the summer never really knowing what day it is or what I am going to do with it! With an empty diary I started filling it with noting when there were zoom meetings or on-line Stitch Club activities. In some ways this ‘time out’ has given me a freedom to experiment with ideas and things I would never normally do stitch-wise. I have to admit that there are various household chores which also come in to that category….
As somebody who likes things well organised I found a workshop with Gregory Todd Wilkins a real challenge, the idea of applying paint randomly, with no plan, difficult and my efforts were timid but I did it and turned the piece in to a 12” by 12” piece ‘Home is where the heart is’ or in my case the emotions which have been contained there in within the previous six months. I used colour to express how I have felt home alone. Grey: depression, Blue: calmness with a touch of sadness, Yellow : happiness, Orange : creativity and energy, Pink : cheeriness. Fabric paint with hand stitching and a wood block print for ‘home’. The quantity of each colour reflected the balance of my emotions.
Out and about: a wander along the coastal path. This was my July journal quilt using found objects and plastics in particular. Hand painted old sheeting and couched plastic string for the plants with beads as the seed heads.
Out and About: along the coast during one of my usual walks. The sea and the bush are made with old paper bags using Momigami (thanks Cas Holmes and the Textileartist), I have also used commercial scraps and the sky is hand painted silk. I tore the ‘sea’ paper in to strips and then painted it before layering it with some grey nylon. All hand stitched, the fishing hut should, in retrospect, have been in deeper water/mud ….
My inspiration continues to come from what I see around me and maybe the fact that I haven’t been far afield has led me to look at things in more detail and search patterns and textures where they are not obvious at first glance, the lichen on this signpost is a good example. I have yet to use it as a basis for a stitched piece but watch this space…
July’s Fifteen by Fifteen piece was the letter ‘D’ and I choose to work a stained glass window in the church of Dampierre-sur-Boutonne .
When I first saw the modern stained glass windows I was inspired to use them in textiles because I found the shapes so pleasing and there was no lead separating the coloured panes. The only separation is the line of stonework between the two sections of window. The pulpit was carved stone and again I was drawn to the designs. I first painted the silk ‘window’ and then stitched in the ditch to hold the layers together. I overlaid the pulpit design and machined the motifs with a rayon thread, the finer details are not too true to life but the creating of the shapes was fun. The idea was to create something that looked very basic but which then produced a second more complicated shape upon closer inspection. I have used the centre of the flowers to insert my ‘D’ in morse code. This piece demonstrated how difficult photographing textiles can be.
A second workshop with Anne Kelly resulted in this small booklet recording a visit to Israel in 2017. A good many of the workshops have encouraged us to use found materials which is great except that recently I decided to declutter, moving house and living in a modern space really made me aware of how much clutter I had accumulated throughout the years. Sadly many small pieces of small memorabilia have been chucked away….
I am still, slowly, working through an on-line course with Sue Stone and am determined to get to then of it. I love stitching portraits and have done two recently, the first as a gift and the second for my coursework.
Aware that I have far too much surplus fabric I decided to cover two cushions which have been lying around for months, the first is from left overs from a quilt I made some years back, that was so much fun that I did another with further scraps in a brighter colour range. There is something very relaxing about piecing and hand quilting…
Nearing the end of September I realise how much time has slipped through my fingers, my walking group has restarted with twice weekly sessions which has given me some structure to the week so all I have to do is attack some new work on my empty and recently tidied work table….