I haven’t been sewing anything in particular lately. Instead I have been inspired by Claire Wellesley’s idea of a stitching journal. I am just stitching, playing with stitches, with no thought for the finished product. In fact I hope there is no product, and maybe no finish.
It is on off cuts of linen from a dress I recently sewed. It didn’t matter to me that the off cuts were odd shapes, nor that the edges are raw. The seams are handsewn French seams.
I was practising how to control running stitch to get different effects.
Circles in chain and stem stitches. They were fun to do, after I had traced around a 20 cent coin.
I will happily work on this, probably adding more linen as I go. However I am not starting any other textile projects for a while. At the moment I am working out where I want my art to go. Part of that is thinking about how to meld my textile work to my collage. I don’t want to just add textile bits to a collage, but instead to have the two media work together, where it is appropriate.
So, I am doing a lot of thinking rather than much making. This will be my last SAL, for a while at least. However, the others on the list below, will still be creating wonderful embroideries.
I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present.
You were all correct….my embroidered yoke needed time to talk to me, to tell me what was to come next.
I added more pistol stitches to each flower (although I think they may also be fireworks!); they gave the flowers/fireworks more oomph. Then it needed a line of stem stitch weaving its way. One line become a couple close to each other.
Once I had finished that I realised that the fancy, feathery yarn that was a feature of the front pockets would now work, as there is enough stitching to carry it.
My pattern was slightly out, as I found when I sewed the patch onto the yoke of the jacket….but not enough to worry me. If you look closely in the photo below you can see that the right shoulder doesn’t quite come to the sleeve.
And from the front
I am really happy with the jacket. It was the perfect weight to wear today, when the weather was cool enough to need an extra layer, but not something too heavy. It was fun to wear, and even the Fella said it looked okay. That’s high praise from him!
Thanks to the Fella for the photographs. He is improving, as he didn’t cut my head off in either of these!
This stitch-a-long is for our own personal sewing, so all the women on the list are creating wonderful things. Follow the links to see what they are up to. I am sure you will be amazed.
Neither the possums nor I have got the upper hand yet. I have doubled the number of strings to train the shoots up. A couple of shoots have reached the wires of the pergola, only to be eaten when they get to the top, but there are more inching their way up. I am optimistic, and determined, that I will succeed! However, to be sure I am still wrapping up the delicate little shoots at night. It keeps me amused!
I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live and garden – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present.
Three weeks ago I showed you the square I was stitching. I had no firm idea about what it was going to be as I was just playing with stitches I learnt form my stitching wheel.
At the same time I was thinking deeply about my wardrobe. The full explanation is for another post. However one conclusion I came to was that I want the things I wear to be interesting, unexpected and things that I enjoy.
My mind wandered off to a plain lightweight jacket that I should wear more often. It is perfect for cool Spring or Autumn days, where you need something but nothing heavy.
And then the question/suggestion: “Why don’t I embroider patches for the pockets?”
So I did.
It was fun to play with different threads from my stash, including one that has long pink threads embedded in it. And more coral knot stitch.
The patches are only hand sewn on, so are easily removed if I decide to go back to plain ~ or desire different unexpected patches.
It’s an odd unexpected combination, but the patches make me smile. (I am eying off the yoke at the moment!)
This stitch-a-long is for personal stitching. There is a group of us who post every three weeks. Follow the links as there is such a wonderful diversity of stitching going on in the group.
I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live and sew – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and emerging.
Having finished my stitching wheel I was at a loss for what to do next. I knew I wanted to do something that used some of the stitches I had learnt. At the same time the Soul Craft Festival* began. We were offered the chance to embroider a bag.
The suggestion was to embroider plants that had special healing powers, and special memories, like lavender, thyme, echinacea. That would have been lovely, but my thoughts put the two things together. I began a square using different types of yarns.
It’s finished, but there will be more.
One of the delightful things about the Soul Craft Festival (and I describe it more below), is that Felicia and the presenters encourage me to think about my making process.
I am thinking about my need to have a finished object. I often get stuck on the questions of “What will I make it into? What will I do with it when I have finished?” The answer (“I don’t know”) often stops me from beginning. Not just sewing, but also with other art work. It’s obvious that knitting a jumper or making a dress is an end product, embroidering a square of material doesn’t. Neither does the stitching wheel.
So I am quietening that little voice that keeps asking “What will you do with this?” with a few answers. Maybe it will become a square on a tote bag, maybe it will join up with the others I am going to make. But the most satisfactory answer is “I don’t know, I am just playing, and practising stitches, and finding out which ones I like.”
Changing my thinking has also changed how I have gone about it. I did the panel in the middle with a Jacobean couching stitch (not sure if that is the right name), which ended up just too loose. (An embroidery hoop would help, but I can’t find mine, and I can’t go out and buy one.)
Out it came and I worked it in sections. It’s not fabulous, but it taught me a lot ~ and that’s the point for me at the moment.
I do like the outside edges.
I have done coral knot stitch in various threads. I have become quite a wiz at this stitch! The twisted novelty yarn is secured with couching. The wider blue band is double herringbone stitch. I like the contrast of the lighter blue, which I think works better than using the same teal colour.
This Stitch-A-Long is for embroiders to carry out their own passion projects. Each of us is doing something quite different and all are wonderful to see each three weeks. Follow the links below to find out what we are up to.
* The Soul Craft Festival is a wonderful, comforting month of talks and discussions that delve further into how making nourishes our souls.
As the organiser, Felicia, says:
It’s a festival of ideas, stories and conversations about how making elevates our lives; how making supports us, connects us and ultimately changes us, our communities, and our cultures.
It is running over October and while it has been going for 2 weeks, the programme will be available for the next 6 months. I am assuming it is not too late to join up.
I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and emerging.
However, for this stitch-along I want to show you something completely different.
The background…I have been loving being part of the Soul Craft Festival, which this year has been run online. So many interesting ideas, which have challenged my thinking. More in another post.
As well as thought-provoking videos there have been workshops to make things. Melissa Wastney showed us how to embroider these simple but very charming flowers. (You can find Melissa on Instagram @melissa.wastney. Sorry I can’t embed the link.) It immediately solved my Christmas present for my Mum. As an elderly woman she doesn’t need more stuff, but does love things we make for her ~ and treasures them, like the plaster hand cast my brother made in kindergarten! As well she loves bags. Add in that my friend had given me French linen tea towels that were waiting for the perfect project. This turned out to be that project, and the linen is wonderful to sew on.
I might even get the bag made up today.
I enjoyed the simple embroidery in making these flowers and I was inspired to make more. This time they are to be made into cards. I am going to make a set of six as a present to another special family member.
I may even iron the linen before I give them away! 😉
This Stitch-A-Long post is organised by Avis. We are a group of stitchers who post every three weeks to show what personal stitching we have done. The variety of works is amazing, and the quality is always top notch. Use the links below to see their work.
and now I have filled in the bottom left section, turning them into trees.
A close up of where I have been working
I am not sure that the trunks are right, but they are easy to take out and restitch. I’ll evaluate them later. Sometimes it helps to just let things sit, doesn’t it?
While I have finished the canopy it is not time to do the Happy Finished Dance just yet. There is still some touching up to do.
I started at the top and gathered confidence as I worked my way down. Some of the early work needs going over and I need to work out what I am doing right at the top. Some of those darker chain stitch areas may come out. It will depend on what looks right.
So, close to being finished, but not quite yet.
These Stitch-A-Long posts are hosted by Avis, and we do them for pleasurable stitching, stitching just for ourselves. Do go and have a look at the other fabulous stitchers from around the world ~ just follow the links below. I am sure you will be amazed by their creativity. (Their posts may not be up just yet due to time differences.)
These talented embroiderers are all working on their personal sewing projects. Do go and have a look at what they have been sewing. (Welcome back Helen!)
I hope you are still well. Restrictions are being lifted in many countries but remember that the virus spreads very quickly and it is important that we maintain our good hygiene habits and social distancing. Stay safe everyone.
Only a little bit of progress in my sewing this time. However, each stitch takes it one stitch closer to being finished! This is where I was last time:
This is where I am now:
It’s almost like one of those old fashioned “Spot the Difference” cartoons! (Remember them…two almost identical drawings, and you had to find a certain number of things that had been changed or left out of one.)
I have been sewing though. I finished three little works that I have called the Jewelled-Sea series. I will post more about them at a later date.
After sewing these I felt I needed to look after my hands a little, and give them a break from sewing. That’s one of the reasons why progress on the purple one has been slower.
There is a group of us who join in this Stitch-A-Long, organised by Avis. They do wonderful stitching, so do go and have a look at what they are doing. A couple have finished a work, so celebrate with them! Welcome back to Linda, and a warm welcome to Laura and Cathie, two new members of the group.
Many apologies for this late Stitch-A-Long post…I think I must have inadvertently deleted Avis’s reminder email…..which also had the current links to others who are joining in. So, I will link back to my SAL post from last time. Your other option is to go to Avis’ post. As well as getting an up-to-date list, you can look at the lovely highlands landscape she is sewing. Do go and see what delightful personal stitching the other group members are doing.
And more apologies…there is not really a lot of progress in my work. The weather here has been very humid, which doesn’t make for easy sewing. And life has been busy.
And I was a bit stuck with how to deal with the bottom of the work, which meant I wasn’t sure how far down to take the couching, and what shape to make it. More of that in a moment.
I think I know how I am going to deal with the bottom of the work. I knew this texture couldn’t continue to the bottom. Firstly because I want to create some idea of trees in a forest, and secondly because the work needed variety of stitch and colour.
I played around with some thoughts in my sketchbook, and will do an approximation of this idea. Tree trunks, probably in white/cream against a mottled darkish background to simulate undergrowth. It will trail off to the bottom right to provide another diagonal. Well, that’s the idea! I haven’t investigated the thread stash to see what I have that will work. Maybe next time…..
Apologies again for not having the list of other members to link to. Again, here’s Avis’ blog.
This SAL post is a couple of days late. Time seemed to slip away from me. This stitch-a-long is hosted by Avis, and should have been up on Sunday. At least now you will be able to check out everyone else’s posts (check the list at the end of this) and see wonderful stitching from around the world.
I have been working on free-form stitching of late. I enjoyed couching the threads on the last works, and have been carried away with couching on this current one. It is based on my love of trees. Many of you will know of my love of trees ~ not only individual trees but also the shapes and rhythms of them as a canopy. (If you would like to read more of where my tree obsession comes from, this post might help.) As I am stitching I am thinking of all the trees that have been lost in the fires over the Summer.
I am calling it “The Forest Regenerates”, but I may change forest to bush, to give it a more Australian flavour.
Its size is 25 x 30 cm, because that is the dimensions of a canvas I found to use when I am ‘framing’ it. I started without really thinking much about where it was going, only to find I was having problems with the tones. I couldn’t see which trees may be behind and which in front. Fortunately couching is very easy to pull out. (This photo doesn’t give you the true colour of the cloth, which is actually a vibrant purple.)
So I began again. (The cloth colour is better, but it is still a more royal purple than shown here.)
I was merrily couching along, until it dawned on me that it was becoming rather repetitive.
Inspiration came from Patricia Brown who stitches over her paint cloths. I love her work. My work demanded some overstitching to help to make it zing.
And a quick follow up on my reorganisation of my studio/playroom. I had some great suggestions in the comments about getting my table to fit so that I could face the window. It is all sorted ~ thank you!
And again, while I have got you, a reminder about my Letter from my Studio, which comes out each fortnight (although lately it has been more erratic than I would like). In it I chat about my art and direct you to places where you can buy it. Jump to this link if you would like to sign up.