Category Archives: textiles

Textile Tuesday Number One!

needelpoint experiments and designsHelloo! Happy New Year – Happy New Decade – Happy New Photo Challenge!

I am really looking forward to sharing 12 glorious months of Textile Tuesdays.

Textiles of all sorts are my first love in the land of Creativity, so I’m starting off with a bumper crop of archive makes that I have just excavated from my many and various boxes in the loft – it is like a museum of my life up there.

The archaeology was prompted by a photo by Sheila on The Great House Exmoor on Instagram  of a doll’s house she had found.

Sheila and her family have bought a fabulous Georgian house on Exmoor which they will be renovating ready for Bed and Breakfast guests. My goodness what a task, but I am SO looking forward to watching the transformation of the rooms as I know they will be fabulous.

About 25 – 30 years ago I had a crush on needlepoint – I had seen someone making a cushion cover and had to have a go – so I bought a kit

This was my first

Then this one

As you can see I liked more subtle colours in those days – it was all terracotta and soft greens – very grown up!

After a trip to Turkey, I was interested in kilim designs

but I didn’t love this one and could not find the patterns I wanted to make so I started designing my own. Following a visit to a Doll’s House Fair I started designing and making doll’s house carpets – a perfect craft for travelling. They are all to the 1:12 scale. 1 inch = 1 foot.  They were wonderful little projects to pack in a backpackIMG_7512

I made this one on a canal boat in Shropshiredolls house carpet

and this one has crossed the Equator twice –  travelling right round the world with me in 1994. I designed it as I was travelling, adding in motifs I came across.needlepoint

The bright colours soon burst forth IMG_7509IMG_7504I became fascinated by how the same colours and the same design could create such different patterns.basketweave-1

daffodil, Warhol style

A computer programme helped me design these ‘Andy Warhol’ daffodils. WdaffI made them as cushion covers but then wondered if they would be better frames as pictures needlepoint daffodiland my indecision consigned them to a box in the loft.

samples

Some need a bit of cleaning. But – what to do with them – having unearthed them from their box, I realise they should not stay there, something needs to be done with them.

These could be cushion coversneedlepoint

starsrunner

I think some could be framed, even in their unfinished state – but what do you think – are they art one would want hanging on the wall?

Food for thought.

~

That is a long post from me! Some months I will most probably post just one Textile Photo – do you have any textiles to share – one piece or many – current or archive. You are welcome to dig deep into your blog archive and revisit old posts – anything goes so long as the photos are your own.

I’m really excited to see your very own Textile Tuesday.

Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

 

After the Fire

rust dyeing, slow stitching

It often surprises me how the piece of creativity I’m working on, reflects what I’m surrounded by or preoccupied with.

This piece of rust dyed fabric with a few simple stitches is a work in progress. It is suggesting scorched earth to me, and raindrops falling into puddles making ripples to quench and cool.

It connects me to Australia and Aboriginal art and my heartfelt yearning for those fires to calm and for people and wildlife to find safety.

Running stitch.

The ripples go out to cover the world – we are all connected.

Joomchi

Our deliciously delectable December box of goodies from The Stitchbook Collective is all about experimenting with mulberry paper – a technique known as Joomchi.

Helen has sent us some sheets of paper in a variety of colours and has devised a cunningly clever way of felting them together in various ways to produce a fabulous textured surface that can then be stitched.

These are the pieces I have created – before adding any stitchingjoomchi

the one top left is much more see-through held against the light

paper felting

I haven’t been able to completely wrench myself away from rust dyeing

rust dyeing, keys

and found some more goodies in the hardware shop to play with.

nails, washers

This piece of felted paper seemed to go really well with the rust and red wine dyed cotton curtain lining

joomchi and rust dyed fabric

I discovered that the wet paper can be moulded over textured objects to add surface interest.

This one was moulded over the top of the radiator moulding joomchiand looks at home on this piece rust dyed calico

rust dyed fabric and joomchi, textile art

I added some simulated rust staining to the green paper by painting with Koh-i-noor inks.

Just a few stitches to hold it all together and I have this month’s page of the Stitchbook done.

There is more to explore with this technique so I have just ordered some more mulberry paper from Calder Art Supplies in Huddersfield.

I might try rust dyeing the paper when it comes ……..

Rust Dyeing

dyeing rust with red wine

rust and red wine

I’m in deep!

rust and red wine

rust and red wine

I have been thinking about writing a blog post about my adventures in rust dyeing, but I’m so into it, I can’t stop to put cohesive thoughts together

rust and black coffee

rust and black coffee

So here are a few photos to give you and idea of what is going on around here

black coffee

dyed with black coffee, before washing

dyeing

after washing

rust, nails, vinegar, calico

calico, nails and white vinegar

rust dyeing

white vinegar, copper panel pins, rusty nails

I found some craft stranded threads for 40p a skein, made by Trimits, ideal for rust experiments

craft threads

I have made a start on stitching

rust textile art

copper panel pins, white vinegar and stitching

Must go and check on the pieces I left overnight…….

Scrap Happy Stitchbook

This month’s Goody Pack from The Stitchbook Collective, is all about dyeing and staining.

beach finds

It probably comes as no surprise that I have a Rust Collection. These are all pieces I have gathered over the last 5 or 6 years whilst beachcombing.

I have been waiting to use them for dyeing fabric, but every time I looked online for instructions, I came across confusing information, so didn’t have a go …. until now!

Helen Birmingham’s written instructions are clear and run alongside a helpful video tutorial. This gave me the perfect kickstart. You can still buy the kit in her online shop.

I relished getting each rusty piece out and arranging them.

flat lay

enjoying the texture and colours.rusty nails

Then the happy task of wrapping them in white-vinegar-soaked fabric.

fabric dyeing with rust

Leaving them overnight was a challenge – I’m SO impatient

Some were stacked on a trivet above my cooling wood-burning stove to speed up the process

rust dyeing stack

I also stained a few bits of paper for collage at the same time.

oven rust

The larger pieces were put on top of vinegar-soaked fabric and put it in the oven.dyeing with rust

I put the oven on the lowest temperature for just five minutes and left for a while, repeating this several times, sprinkling with white vinegar to keep it moist.

rust stain

The grid effect came from a disposable barbeque mesh, that had been left on the beach.

rust dyeing

Fun!nails in calico and curtain lining

Nails wrapped in strips of an old calico curtain and the lining were my favourite little experiments

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My intention was to dye strips of fabric and embroidery thread to use in textile artIMG_6874

– but I loved the look of the wrapped nails so much I have kept some of them wrapped

wrapped and rusted

and will use them as they are.

To preserve them, I have painted them with some old acrylic varnish found in the garage, left by the previous owner – it must be at least 15 years old, but it did the trick.

varnish

So exciting.

This is a little stitched sampler that will go in my Stitchbook.

textile art for The Stitchbook Collective

I am enjoying this so much!

Joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy get together.

There are lots more Happy Scrappers to check out as well.

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have you been creative with things destined for the scrap heap? If so, leave a link in the comments of Kate’s post and join in the fun.

Tapestry Weaving Exhibition

Back in August I wrote a post entitled Interactive Art, in which I mentioned that I was hoping to go to an exhibition to see the wonderful work of Alastair Duncan.

I went!

Here is a photo he sent me of his piece for me to share with youAlastair Duncan interactive weaving

The pale leaf shapes are wire and when they are touched they play a sound.

On Sunday 20th, I went to the Exhibition in London, at the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road, curated by Margaret JonesIMG_6376

who had taken over 500 hours to weave her beautiful diptych, ‘The Fallen’

IMG_6370

It was wonderful to chat to Margaret and hear about her passion for weaving and how she had invited exhibitors from all over the world to be part of this exhibition.

Joanne Soroka‘s richly textured piece, ‘Another Country’,  reminded me of Australia

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The dreamy ‘Strandsong’ by Joan Baxter, (if you click on her name the link will take you to a rather beautiful video of her) reminded me of blissful hours spent wandering along the strandline, beachcombing

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I did not take the details of this striking piece – wish I had now

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And this one was more needle-weaving than tapestry but intriguing all the same

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casting delicate shadows on the walls.

If you would like to see more of the tapestries, go to the Heallreaf Instagram Page.

My favourite was Alastair’s, and I loved the interactivity of it

IMG_6367

As you touched the leaves it activated sounds, which you could listen to individually or if you touched two at once or several in quick succession you could layer or weave the sounds together and create a soundscape. There were a couple of sounds of people laughing which was a surprise and made me laugh too. It would have been great to have had the sounds playing out into the room so that several people could play at once.

One of the most thrilling aspects of the day for me was to meet up with two fellow textile artitsts from the Stitchbook Collective. That’s Tracey in the photo above. We all enjoyed the exhibition and meeting and chatting to Margaret and afterwards we went to a nearby cafe to chat some more about the Stitchbook Collective, and share our own textile stories.

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We discovered that we had all made a Sawdust Heart, and this created another rather special, bond. Tracey (in the middle) runs textile classes and if you are in the Cambridge area (UK) and are interested in taking a class, send me a message via the CONTACT ME page and I will pass on her email address to you.

It was such a joy to meet with two more of Helen Birmingham’s happy band of stitchers. (Cathy is another)

The link (Helen’s) takes you to an article written in the Scarborough News (annoying ads alert)

A quote from Helen from the article:

I like this quotation ascribed to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC): “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

 

39

Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.