Thursday, 30 June 2016

What's next?

I've not posted here since May 2013 because shortly after that I became horribly afflicted with Severe ME/CFS. It was always moderate before. Anyway, I've spent the last 3 years trying to stabilise. And I think I've got to the stage where I can try to do a bit more stuff I used to enjoy doing, so long as it's low energy and involves me barely moving.

I've spent the last few weeks sorting out my stranded cotton stash.
Many broken nails, lots of swearing and sore fingers later, the textile manufacturers sample cards have been turned into useable embroidery threads. But oof picking off all that glue was horrible!

Now I've dug out some unfinished bits and bobs projects that I started years and years ago. Most are fairly traditional as I started them in the late 90s before I started (and never finished despite attending for double the usual time, oops!) the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery Course at Great Missenden. But some are from that time.

Anyway there's more than this, but I found this pile first.  So am sticking with those. It'll be very very very slow progress. But it'll be put up here to satisfy the curious and also mean I can see what I'm thinking of doing at the click of a button rather than having to pick stuff up and waste energy instead of actually doing.


Trapunto Quilting based on an abstraction from water
 Trapunto is where you put 2 pieces of fabric together, stitch enclosed shapes, and afterwards cut a little hole in the back and stuff it with wool or other wadding. The bottom 3 shapes need stuffing. It's brighter orange than the pic. This one is from City and Guilds so between 2000 and 2005.

Design for a cushion for dad's favourite bible verse. He's been waiting for this for a decade!
 Not sure if I will do it as trapunto, or maybe cutaway applique like a Mola. But it was going to be in yellows & brownish reds. but dad's bedroom is blue so um. Maybe that one not for a while...

Years ago I went on a day course at the National History Museum to learn a bit of Illustration drawing techniques. I drew a grasshoppery thing and a butterfly wing.

Needle lace based on the grasshoppery thing wing
 I used the outline of the wing to make 'spaces' to be filled with needlelace. Needlelace is where you have a Cordonnet - basically a thicker thread sewn to a backing piece of fabric and tissue paper (which has the outline of the design on it and stitching notes. Then the needlelace is stitched onto the Cordonnet. So when you've finished, you cut the backing off and tada you have a standalone piece of stitiching you can add to something else. That looks a bit like lace. Might be easier if you google it... Anyway this is from teh 90s but I want to do a traditional needlelace sample so it might as well be one I already started! There's some good books by Pat Earnshaw. Both traditional and more modern interpretations. A lot of Stumpwork (Stuart kings era did a lot of it) uses needlelace stitches albeit a bit differently.

Section of giraffe head. Years ago I used to go to London Zoo. And draw. This was what I could see of a giraffe between the bars.
 It's in what I think might be long & short stitch and the unfinished bit is the masses of french knots on the forehead. Again started years ago, but I like it and like french knots, so why not finish it! From late 90s

Another London Zoo drawing of some little monkey. It uses a very tricky thread that is very bouncy.

Closeup of the stitching.
 Was doing some sort of directional stitching to see if I could get fur sort of textures and tonality. Can't remember quite the stitch. I'd have to look at the back and a book.... But anyway. Again trying out traditional uses of stitches. And from late 90s

Different weaving techniques on a small weaving board.
 I have a book I was working through the different ways of weaving and changing threads etc. Probably from 2006.

Painted with metallic fabric paints
 Never even started, so that's waaaay down the list. Will be doing hand embroidery of some sort on it. Free embroidery. Was part of City & Guilds colouring fabric sessions.

Insertion Stitches
 Insertion stitches traditionally were used on whitework domestic goods. A way of joining fabric pieces together in a decorative way. There's 15 for that sample according to my notes (including edges). Um. I've done 4.... Long way to go. That's a City & Guilds sample.
Closeup. Used to be called faggoting.

French Knots Colour Study red & green complementary colours
 Again City & Guilds. I got a bit carried away. On a revolting piece of fabric so really it was a total waste of time. It's a nasty piece of thickish nylon fabric that I tried colouring as part of the City & Guilds. Maybe with wax crayon shavings? Anyway it's horrible to feel and to look at. But. Might as well do the rest, if only to show how changing threads with one shade in the needle at a time can be blending to give tone & colour change gradually.

Fused plastic, the drawing is again from London Zoo. She was a lovely Toucan who was very very old. Can't remember much more about her but I have notes in my sketchbook I think.

Ooops. On it's side. It's a boatyard. From a drawing made way back when I was 18 (eek 30 years!) and we went on a College trip to Wales when I was doing art foundation course.

Definitely done this millenium. Purple and yellow. Machine stitched to give texture & detail.
The idea was to make the fused plastic then machine stitch over them. As with the bottom one which was a Christmas theme. the Star over Bethelehem. But I really like the bold colour expanses in the Toucan and the fragile knackered look of the boats. So I've never stitched over them. And I don't think I'm up to machine stitching any more. Not free machining anyway! (where you have it in a frame and feed dogs down and manouvere where you want to go. like drawing with a needle). So these are to think about. Maybe just to frame.

But for now, I'm going to carry on with the Lucet cords. No pics of those yet! Another post another day once I've worked out where I'm going with them. I found StitchDiva were doing a 7 day challenge of a Lucet skill a day. So that's the next seven weeks of activity sorted out for me then! giggle. Eating my elephant a bite at a time, very very very slowly....

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