Thursday, July 7, 2016


I was very pleased to receive word that my two pieces - Sunset Over Cavendish Beach and Look Up; Autumn's Last Hurrah - have been accepted into this year's Fibre Content exhibition at the Art Gallery in Burlington.  Yeah!!   Here are detail shots of sections of the pieces.   The beautiful hand dyed background on the second piece is by Pat Hardie.

Monday, July 4, 2016

UFOs and Other Fun

This summer I am determined to work on a few projects that were started then put on hold until my skills caught up to my ideas  (mostly around free motion stitching).   I still need to work on my free motion but I realize that I have been using it whenever I needed without thinking about it too much.  And as I stitch I am improving....slowly.   My biggest issue still is getting a smooth movement of fabric as I stitch.   I don't always like using a hoop especially when there is a lot of applique and hand stitches on the piece.  I do wear gloves most of the time. But I am trying to follow my own advice to learning anything - Just do it!

This is a floral piece I started a while ago.  I hand painted each flower to be attached to a pieced background of sun printed and painted fabric.   When I first started to free motion stitch them onto the fabric some of the flowers were too thick for my needles (layered petals, fusible, pellon - lesson number 1).   Once I found the right needles (topstitch), threads and settings the task has become do able again.   So I am working on this one - perhaps for our Out of the Box show at the Textile Museum - if I can finish in time.

This one that I refer to as "The Wall" but is about breaking down walls not building them, was started last summer with the hopes of entering in the SAQA show "Concrete and Grasslands".  I came across this structure on a hike in Cape Breton - an old mine building that was abandoned and crumbling.  Foliage and young trees were growing up inside it.  I thought it was so thematic - nature reclaiming human built structures.   However, I didn't finish in time and put the whole thing aside.   So now I am back at it - machine stitching the concrete structure and hand stitching the foliage.  I think I will add a satin sky.  Last night I spent the evening cutting out leaves.  I think the  trees were alders and maples.   I am about to machine stitch the trees down and add branches before placing the leaves by hand stitching.  I took some liberties with the original photo adding an old crumbling outbuilding and more flowers than grasses.  Less trees (it was in a forest).

I really liked the way the wall turned out but not sure about the foliage.  I have left lots of bare spots and feel inclined to keep stitching - don't know when to stop?  Thinking of calling it "Reclamation".

Lastly, I have started another piece which was planned for the Textile Museum show in December.  I briefly discussed this one before.  I am hand stitching pieces of felt in rainbow colours and plan to create some kind of structured piece with it.  I have not totally decided on the finishing but keep stitching on.   The theme is Colour Unboxed and I am using needle felting to change the colours gradually from one row to the next - and using corresponding threads.   My marks include symbols of earth, sky, water, and so on and one aspect of the theme is that colour exists in nature with purpose aside from aesthetics - think of the chameleon for example, brightly coloured flowers to attract pollinators.... Colour is part of the connections that exist between species - with purpose and beauty.   And of course there is the rainbow....

Here's what I have so far.  Above these will be the reds - purple red, to red, to red orange.  In the first row shown the orange yellow at the bottom will continue in a row of orange yellow, yellow, yellow green still to come, which will then continue into this yellow green, green and blue green row.....and on to the blues shown here, then purples.  Hope that makes sense.  Still working on the middle blue row in this photo.  May add some beads and fringe....who knows!

These are mostly stitched using the beautiful hand dyed threads from Colour Complements

Circle of life, olive branch, water, fish, hearts for love

Autumn leaves

hills, trees, wind, water.....

I hope it will turn into something eventually........

Here are a few of my latest fabric landscape necklaces - doing a lot of stitched "Tree of Life" ones too - like the one on the right.

And yesterday I took out my new Pebeo Fantasy paints to try them out - they are so much fun!
They are more like oils than acrylics so I worked near an open window and hope the odour will dissipate when cured - but they look so neat!  I tried some on bits of 1" cardboard which I cut to fit trays.   The first one below is painted right onto the tray but may need to be covered since it is set rather low inside - apply paint more thickly perhaps.   I want to try some of the other paints too.  These are the Prisme.  Works on metal, glass, wood, card etc.  The results can be manipulated a bit but are largely serendipitous.  I applied the paint with a round toothpick.

I am linking up with WIP Wednesdays at the Needle and Thread Network here