Tag: on the work table

slower, quieter : experimenting with appliqué

appliqué experiments

appliqué experiments

Sewing is frequently on my mind when I’m painting and drawing and painting and drawing is frequently on my mind when I’m sewing. Lots of intersections, lots of overlap. I wondered what might happen in the translation process – from paint to cloth. Wondered if it would be interesting – what it might change or reveal. I decided to try some things this week. Make my self start, start before I had it all figured out, before I know what they might be. I chose a couple simple and small designs to begin.

appliqué ideas

The ideas emerged from my sketchbook work, my little daily paintings which aren’t so daily right now you may have noticed. I’m taking a break so I can work on some other experiments like this.

appliqué ideas

appliqué experiments

At first I tried turning, basting and ironing the edges of my sometimes tiny shapes before stitching. It was tedious and awkward and I found I liked cutting shapes and turning the edges under as I stitched much better.  And the translation process is interesting. I found lot’s of inspiration there. It is slower and quieter than paint. I think hard about relationships, my decisions are deliberate. And there is an element of happenstance – the cloth brings unexpected details, textures and colors I did not invent.

appliqué experiments

I never would have chosen a warm red for this piece- but it was all I had so I tried it and I love it. Making those big, bold  red stitches was surprisingly satisfying.

And it’s the perfect kind of sewing for the morning – before I’m quite awake. I love having something all ready for stitching, waiting for me when I get up – everything cut and pinned. It is also good traveling work, subway work, sit in the park work.

sketchbook swan

I have plans for lot’s more of these. Some tiny and some large. I’d love to do a very large stitched interpretation of this swan. It will take me one million years to make.

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applique experiments

songbird work

sri songbird work

I  can never remember where I parked my car or what I had for lunch but I have an excellent fabric memory – sort of.  I have clear and very distinct memories of  the fabrics of my childhood – my whole life really.  I think I could draw them all – maybe I’ll try.  And now, even if a tiny scrap has bee tucked away for years, it’s cataloged in my head, just not very specifically…….  I was absolutely positive that the fabulous little blue scrap in the photo below was here somewhere.  Positive.  And positive that that blue songbird had to have it.  Had to.  And it was – that one little piece – in the only place it could be – at the very bottom of the very last box I looked in.

I’ve been working on this group of Sri Threads songbirds for weeks and they are just about ready.  I was hoping for this week but I’m still climbing out of a crappy spring cold and everything is in slow motion. Some of these and a few other things will be in the shop next week sometime  (sign up here to be notified by email if you like).

sri songbird work

hand stitched songbird

slate sri songbird

sri songbird work

 

quilt ship in progress

I found this great old quilt top upstate a while ago.

quilt top

Unfortunately a  lot of it is too damaged  to sew but I love the colors and prints and there is enough for a couple  boats and ships.

quilt ship in progress

The pattern for this ship evolved out of my fabric sailboat pattern as I was  revising it a little before teaching the boat making class at Squam. It’s just about complete now and I’ll photograph it later this week.  There is a little gentleman sailor captain.

sailor owl

I ‘m pleased with the shape and I’ve already begun another  ship in a kind  of grayish  hibiscus color that’s been on my mind  lately.