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01 December 2011


I'm going to have a blitz on some things today - well that's the plan - who knows, days seem to evaporate somehow.
People for some reason, often say to me, you don't do handstitching do you?  I beg to differ... I see myself as a bit of a butterfly, because I like all sorts of techniques.  Quite often I end up with layers of both hand and machine stitches - and certainly to the couple of stitch groups I go to, I always of course by necessity take hand work with me.  So what am I stitching by hand at the moment (of course they might also get put under the machine at some point, who knows).
The fabric has history.... belonged to my gran.  It had a huge dirty splodge on it and without thinking I threw into the washer - stain came out and the fabric lost all its dressing and came out beautifully soft.  This is coloured with acrylic paint.  I've stitched it in white because its about to go into the dye.  Hopefully the bits of white base fabric will colour along with the white stitching - we will see... might be turquoise, might be hot pink.  Anyway I want to move it on to the next element to take it with me on Tuesday.
This is the very fine weight lutradur painted again with acrylic, in hot pink, red and a bit of white.  This is for an EG project which has to be pink!!!  This will likely follow another hand technique, lots of beads, bits of metal chain....over the top.
I don't have a dedicated space all of my own to work in - so I tend to like to paint fabrics rather than dye - I find it easier, more controllable to get the exact colour I want and where I want, plus I don't end up with yards and yards of fabric in a colour which I likely may never use again.  Been there, done that.  I use acrylic paints because I'm all for one product which does many tasks - and I don't find it an issue to stitch through it by hand as you can see from both above, or via the machine.
Btw, I call these pieces of work Pretties.  Because that's what they are to me, using the pretty colours and techniques and being a bit choke girly.  They are also free spirited, conscience reactions if you want to be posh - but if not, I just sit and play and stitch where and with what the mood suggests.  I have had and  recorded here, great trouble with working this way.  Because I do enjoy it a lot, but because there's no 'design' no paperwork to support it, it didn't seem like proper art.  Add in one or two people accused me of as much.... and I doubted severely the worth of doing this.  However, wonderful Jae Maries book, listing the types of artist and one of them : Materials Lead.  And this is it, letting the fabric and thread in your hands tell you what to do with it.  Such a freedom to me to know its legitimate to work like this.  I also think it has elements of something Jean Littlejohn said to me once on a class.  Asked about how long it took her to make a piece, she said "oh, about 30 hours plus 25 years".  And that's what's in these Pretties, all the knowledge about design and colour and contrast and texture that you absorb, making such decisions almost without thinking as you work.
I should be doing something else rather than the above, but despite hours of research its not happening... and I have a huge need for a paper fix - so I'm off now to make a paper flower....


dianehobbit said...

Chelmsford EG had a talk with Jae last week plus a workshop the following Saturday.

Beverley said...

Would like to see what you did Diane. Jae has been to my EG so I've heard her speak in person, which is why I didn't pop along to Chelmsford