Sunday, March 26, 2006

Victoria & Albert Museum

On Saturday 25th I went to the V&A museum in London for a one day course.
We spent time briefly in the SE Asia Gallery with the idea of making a small panel for a bag front. Not really enough time in the gallery, but hopefully it will encourage me to go back and spend more time there.
The tutor Ruth Singer ( showed us some basic techniques, stencilling,cut back with felt, and beading. In the afternoon she gave some tips on bag making which were useful. Probably this is a work in progress; we shall have to see. They run a number of interesting courses there; details can be found on the V&A site.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Raising the Surface

This is the current background on my computer screen. I stitched some metal mesh onto a piece of acrylic felt. I painted the felt with acrylic and then melted it away with a hot air gun. The mesh acting as a resist. The backing is a piece of silk paper made with silk strippings. Initially I backed it with a piece of pink quilted silk and began to stitch on tiny beads - this didn't really work , so I took off the beads and now its a work in progress. I have a heap of such pieces, which usually come in handy at some point.
Personally I don't really like the idea of heating man made fibres to make lacey backgrounds; there is something about the process which is not pleasant, but then its fun to try new techniques. The book with many such ideas is called 'Raising the Surface with Machine Embroidery' by Maggie Grey; it is full of interesting ideas and lovely photographs.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Poetry in Stitches

In 2005 I worked on a project called Poetry in Stitches organized by the National Needlework Archive . This linked up with a scheme to provide a booklet of poems in waiting rooms throughout the UK. The idea was to chose a favourite poem or one from the booklet and interpret it in some form of stitch.
I chose a poem about the blossom hanging onto the bough of a cherry tree despite terrible storms. Eventually the pieces will be displayed with a copy of the poem in various waiting rooms.At the moment the exhibition of the 100 works submitted is touring the country. I am looking forward to finding out where mine will be displayed - it would be fun to go and see it; if its not too far away. Hope its not in a dentists, not my favourite place.
I bonded silk and flax fibres with a combination of paper flowers and real leaves. These were machined in place. The cherry blossom was worked on water soluble material.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Inspired by the view

This is a small quilted hanging with some mono prints of the fields nearby.
It is machine and hand stitched on a background of rusted fabric.
There is a discussion about how to do this on smarcoux. I saw some impressive quilts using rusted fabric at the National Quilt Championships last year.

The leaves are worked on hot water dissolvable fabric.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A room with a view

There seems to have been a move to spring clean.Over on smarcoux there is a pic of an impressive fabric stash. I am always moving things around to try to make more space. I've recently been given a set of shelves which has made a huge difference.
For some reason I think its always interesting to see other peoples working space. Let me know if you post a picture of your work space - so I can come over and have a look.
I am fortunate in having a great and inspiring view.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


It is interesting to photograph dyed and printed fabric and use it as a background for other images. This is a piece of calico printed with acrylic paints and pearl ex powders.
The photograph of some of the flowers from our garden are placed on the background using a mask and working in Paint Shop Pro.

I liked the affect of the flowers just floating. I have used this as 'wallpaper' for the computer screen and printed it onto cards.
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