I had a thought the other day, so went to seek out my grandmothers old suitcase, buried deep in the back of the garage. In it, as I had thought, I discovered most of the samples I had made during my time studying textiles in 1989-90. These included lots of hand weaving and a mound of hand sewn and dyed Shibori samples. Some of these are now beautifully aged having spent 20 years in an old 50’s suitcase! I had dragged that suitcase around with me from house to house and literally forgot what was inside..until my brilliant thought….
This shows the mound but not the gorgeousness of this find! So much fabulous fabric to work with..
I recently borrowed a book called ” Stitch, Cloth, Paper and Paint” by Angie Hughes from my local library. I am a huge book borrower, especially art and textiles books….always a bookworm at heart. I still can’t help but get upset when my sun uses Google for homework and doesn’t look it up at the library lol.. Anyway, this book has some great techniques in it, so I decided to use some of my new sun printed fabric to try one.
It’s very simple really and I’m sure plenty of you out there already do it, but I have always been nervous about doing too much with the tension dial on my machine. This technique involves turning the tension really high then stitching circles or spirals.. The high tension distorts the fabric beautifully without misforming the stitches, so it adds a lovely texture to the spirals.
Here is my pebble printed fabric before..
And after stitching.. normal tension in the bottom corner so it’s flat.. then the highest towards the top.
I have stitched it with some of my new rusted fabric and some of my gorgeous old shibori.. Not finished yet, but you get the idea.
I am starting to really enjoy making these journals so here are a few more newly finished. I love that it combines my love of textiles and my stationary fetish!..yes, I am addicted to stationary, sad I know! These are now listed in my Madeit and Etsy stores.
A5 Journal cover with vintage fabric flowers appliqued and free motion quilted onto a new denim base. There is also a segment of hand embroidered vintage doily and button features. I have also done some extra hand embroidery to add highlights.
A4 Journal cover made from a patchwork of upcycled denim jeans. This one also has an upcycled crochet belt “pocket” at the top to hold pencils etc.
Ah how the silly season saps your internet energy!. I have been incredibly neglectful of all my pages. I haven’t had much sewing time either, with little boys always around. I have managed to make a couple of new journals however. One was a Chrissy gift for my niece, the other just a throw together. If you are interested they are available here.
Closeup of details
This week I decided to go back to painting on felt. I painted a copy of a drawing I did many years ago, based on a photo I took of a diseased gum leaf. The colours were so beautiful I couldn’t resist. The sad thing was that the leaf was probably going to die from the disease.
I painted the leaf onto wool felt then machine stitched the details then did a series of french knots by hand for the fungus. It is quilted onto bamboo batting with a quilters cotton border and vintage fabric back
I decided to give it a really simple border as there is a fair bit of detail in the leaf. It is hard to see from the pictures but I have quilted the border in leaf shapes reminiscent of the large leaf.
Or maybe it goes this way?
I finished this piece this morning..finally. It has been sitting in bits for a little while. It was actually two parts but I have decided to join them together to form one. It reminds me of sunsets and sunrises and picnics on a sunny day.
Again it is made using upcycled fabrics and includes a gorgeous embroidered vintage doily and a trim of vintage crochet. Finished size is 66 x 39 cm (26 x 15.5 in)
I made another little bowl last week. This time I stitched some shiny seed beads to the top to add some sparkle. I also made in in a more organised way, instead of random stitching I created small organic circles in three colours, Again, it creates an amazing shadow!
These bowls are only small as I only have a small frame to stitch onto.., just little trinket bowls. I think I may need to invest in a bigger one so that I can do some Bigger bowls!
A few days ago, my two youngest sons were both out having fun with friends, leaving me and my big boy at home alone. We decided to have some fun with spraying and stamping!. I collected a bunch of white and off white fabrics from my stash and we decorated them using acrylic paint and water.
We trialled a wide variety of techniques..all from bits and bobs we found around the home. Some were more successful than others but we had a lot of fun, although we now have large orange rectangles sprayed on the lawn!!
Here are some of the pieces we made:
The point of all this was to make some unique pieces of fabric that could be incorporated into a quilt. I cut these up ( much to my sons disgust!..how could I do that to his masterpieces!) mixed in some commercial and vintage fabric and randomly stitched them all together.
This piece was then hand and machine stitched, embroidered and couched. I added a bright green border and it was dome.
You’d never know that a bunch of those fabrics were painted by a 10 year old!