Category Archives: textiles

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas ……..  each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well  ……. hmmm ……..  I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Advertisements

Stitchbook Collective: Texture

The Stitchbook Collective is off and running! Our first pack arrived a day early – wow! I was jumping up and down with excitement. Little packages of delight.

The Stitchbook Collective, texture pack

A present I have given myself, each month for a whole year – it feels so good.

Then the joy of opening them all up and seeing what is inside …. all there waiting to be played with….

Helen Birmingham's Tecture pack

The Texture and Starter Packs are available to buy individually, with unlimited access to the video tutorials.

As a child, I used to go and stay with my step-grandmother, I called her Dabbity, and she would have little embroidery projects ready for me to make – it reminds me of that – Helen and Dabbity have merged together in my mind, it is warmly comforting to have those memories revived.

Once again (like in the Starter Pack) there are 9 tiny samples to create – this is the first one I did

calico squares, texture sample

It inspired me to think about making a larger one, with just the large cross-stitches to hold the fabric pieces to the back ground – so I’m off to get some more calico.

The next was a loopy one – I love these loops

calico loops, embroidery sample, Stitchbook Collective

and then a spider’s web inspired piece, weaving the textured thread through the spokes

surface embroidery, woven web

I am having fun with these.

One of the best things about this ongoing project is the Facebook Group that nearly all of the 150 in the Stitchbook Collective are members off. We share pictures of our work and aspects of the processes we go through. It amazes me to see the rich variety created from much the same materials and what gems are created on tiny areas of calico.

Do you have any embroidery on the go at the moment?

Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to see what you are up to.

Interactive Art

Question: Do you like the sound of Squeaky Gates?

I would hate to have one outside my house, but on a walk, I often open and close gates several times to really hear the nuances of the sounds, my grandchildren look at me quizzically – just Granny being Granny!

This one is near Compton Abbas

and this one at Kingston Lacy

I have often thought, if I knew how to do it, I would create some kind of music out of the sounds, so I was delighted to discover that Alastair Duncan of Still Walks has done just that. Here is a link to his Soundscapes.

Alastair has been exhibiting his interactive weaving and is currently working on an exciting new project: Art and Audio Interactivity.

Very exciting! I hope to get to see his work as part of an exhibition in London in October at the Espacio Gallery

 

Stitchbook Collective

Last year I joined with  Cathy in entering a Heart in the Sawdust Heart collective exhibition. Helen Birmingham, of Untangled Threads, who organised that amazingly moving event, is now hosting another collective venture and I am delighted to be taking part.

The Stitchbook Collective of 150 people are each making a 12 page textile book that will culminate in an exhibition in November next year.

There is a Starter Pack.

Everything arrives beautifully packaged and presentedstitchbook collective

Presents arriving in the post!

Helen has made some very easy-to-follow videos which are suitable for complete beginners and experienced embroiderers alike. Anyone can buy the kits and make a textile book following her excellent tutorials – I can highly recommend them.

The whole experience is a complete and utter treat!

The Starter Pack includes instructions for some stitching samplers and a collage pack.IMG_4651

The first task is to divide a piece of calico into 9 and work the suggested stitches with different thicknesses of stranded cotton. Helen’s videos give very clear instructions, but she is also happy for us to make our samples unique to us – the main emphasis is on relaxation and enjoyment.

Whilst stitching I kept thinking of my travel doodles and how they might look in stitch

travel sketchbook doodles

It has got me wondering how I might combine the two together

Included in the Starter Pack are materials to make a collage to be sewn on one of the pages.collage kit

fabric collage

Helen even provides a drawstring bag in which to keep the work.

starter pack materials

Although the 150 places in the Collective have been filled, the packs are available to all, with access to the teaching videos. I can highly recommend them.

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the September Pack pinging its way through my letterbox.

Dorset Arts and Crafts

On Monday I went to  the DACA Exhibition, there were masses of wonderful exhibits to enjoy but here are a few that particularly caught my eye.

A set of exquisite little gardens on painted fabric rendered in French Knots

french knots

IMG_5100

Quilting is obviously very popular in Dorset as there were masses of quilts, but this one I thought was particularly beautiful

patchwork quilt

quilt

It makes my brain ache to think how all those pieces were put together.

I loved this piece

machine embroidery

IMG_5106

IMG_5104

I liked the ideas behind this collage and took the photo for future reference

collage

another charming piece of quilting

IMG_5119

and this embroidery on painted silk – stunning in the detailIMG_5112

IMG_5113

IMG_5111

Knitting and crochet seemed a little thin on the ground, I’m wondering whether to enter some next year …….

 

Egypt: inspiration

embroidery

The first thing I notice in any new place is the colours, designs, textures and textiles – like this gorgeous cushion in the villa where I was staying in Hurghada. chain stitch embroidery

I’m assuming this is a chain stitch done with a machine – do you think so?

I really like the effect.

And I would have loved to have brought home some of these mandala decorated ceramic bowls, but I didn’t think they would survive the trip

mandala decorated ceramic bowl, Egypt

ceramics

So I contented myself with having my breakfast muesli in them each morning.

Just look at the colour combinations in this woven table runner

faded colours

I see Stylecraft Special Dk : Duck Egg, Buttermilk, Pale Rose, Raspberry, Mushroom, Storm Blue, Parma Violet, Clematis, Pistachio, Lincoln, Blush and Vintage Peach

Makes me want to rush for my hook – but no – I must not start another new project ….. ………  😉

There was an interesting mix of art on the walls of the villa collage

I have a bit of a thing for zebra stripes at the moment, and would love to be able to carve out some time for making more collages

Here is one of my own zebra doodles

rainbow zebra stripes

Don’t be surprised if you see more in another post – as another mini-obsession takes hold.

(you can see more on my Instagram Page)

There is inspiration for doodling everywhere you look – even tiles in a public toilet!

marble tiles

And how about this as inspiration for a Valentine’s or Anniversary card

your smile makes me smile

I’m thinking it would be a fun on a Never Ending card, like the ones I made here and here

My friend and I went to the shop that sold the ceramic bowls, Wood U Like

to see what else they had to offer – oh so many interesting things – sorry for the quality of the photos (taken on my friend’s phone)

 

The wooden cabinets were made of a wonderful jumble of decorative wooden off cuts. And although I did not particularly like the style of the bags, I loved the combination of needlepoint on canvas, with leather. I have lots of needlepoint I don’t know what to do with – so maybe they could be turned into bags …. hmmmm – now to find somone who works with leather.

Hanging in the hall of the villa was this beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy

arabic

Apparently the meaning it conveys is something to do with love – but I can’t remember exactly what. (I have just sent a message to my friend to ask her and will edit in the meaning later)

 

Sawdust Hearts

Sawdust Heart

Sawdust Heart

The Dorsetshire Regiment, commemorated in this vintage heart, on loan to the exhibition.

Dorset Regt

So moving, the unsold hearts representing the unaccounted for casualties of war.

missing in action

sawdust heart, WW1, art project

Sawdust Heart, art project

So much creativity – so much emotion – so beautifully created – so beautifully curated.

I am glad to have been part of this amazing project. sawdusthrt

And still I find it hard to write about.

I only knew about the project through Cathy’s blog. Cathy has written a brilliant post about the exhibition – you can read it by clicking on this link.cathy

You can also go to the Sawdust Hearts Website to find out more

and can see a video about the exhibition here with Helen Birmingham talking you through a virtual tour of the Hearts.

Thank you to Cathy for the picture of Helen below, signing my book for me.Helen Birmingham

This is the heart Helen decorated

Sawdust Heart

Which was part of a previous exhibiton of 100 hearts, the inspiration for the 1,568 Hearts.

DSC_0499

I was intrigued by number 1000, I’d love to know the thinking behind this one

Sawdust Heart

Sawdust Heart

But the one with barbed wire at the top of the post is my favourite for the way it simply sums up so much.

The Exhibition ended on 30th November.

We have had an email from Helen to say that the hearts have been packed away and she is taking a much needed break until the New Year. Helen hints at the possibility of another event that will include the hearts. I do hope that happens as even though there were over 4,000 visitors in Scarborough, the project deserves a wider audience.