color story : mineral shades

antique textiles in rich mineral shades

Vibrant color with some smokeyness to it.  Worlds and continents and centuries overlap in this little collection of textiles. Antique garment fragments from Japan, 18th century silk and velvet and shimmering patterns from Venice.  And all of them found me.  Marvelous serendipity.

textile songbird in crimson and pink

I like thinking about all the things that had to happen in the world across hundreds of years for this bird to be, a crimson and scarlet girl who had her beginnings in the 1700’s.  What has she seen, what does she carry with her.

textile songbirds in jewel tones

songbird sewing patternFind the songbird sewing pattern here.

I spend huge amounts of time selecting fabrics, lingering in the choices, it slows me down in a way that I need to be slowed down sometimes. I have always loved to do it. Ask my sister, she will tell you that I loved to spend hours in the attic on a rainy day sorting through endless bags of scraps (I come from sewing people)  imagining what I might make.

detail of textile bird eye stitches

I’m doing lots of slow songbird work still. trying things, taking notes and making tiny adjustments. The part I most look forward to teaching you is transforming the basic shape into a bird, adding layers of feathers and details. There is so much opportunity for happy accidents.  An imperfection, one wing a little askew  or a tail feather poking out can suggest the funny, expressive little motions of a perched bird.  Birdness.

teal textile bird

teal and slate textile birds

The deep mineral tones are spilling into other work too. I interrupted the bird work to make a toadstool because I was in need of some immediate gratification.  Toadstools are quick to make, especially in the mini size.

textile mushroom made from antique fabric

teal textile toadstool

soldier rag doll with bicorne hat

And The Major, in aubergine, charcoal and graphite with little bits of silver and warm rose. I love him. Especially his fancy bicorne.

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  1. Oh Ann
    How I love your crimson and scarlet bird. I can’t wait to see her finished. I am a smokey colour person too.
    Wished you were closer for a workshop and chat. Do you have any plans for New Zealand?

  2. So will the song bird be in kit form soon?
    The fabrics are stunning

  3. The birdiness of the shape and fabrics are so lovely! I’m trying to make some myself. But how do you anchor the legs to the body? Mine turn out very tippy, if I put the legs in the place that looks right.

  4. Sifting through fabric scraps is one of my favourite past times too, albeit time consuming as I go looking for something for a particular project and then find pieces that I could make ‘this, that and the other’ from and adding to my wip pile !

  5. Oh Ann, I love your blog and your stitching, I too spend times looking at my fabric, pieces often have several potential uses before they fit into the right project.
    I love the way your stitching is really a mix of sculpture and stitching!

  6. stacey vadaj

    the colors you choose to put together are amazing. And the photography truly makes everything pop. love the whole presentation.

  7. Elizabeth Noone

    In the Galápagos Islands observation has shown that rapid evolution ( such as beak changes) happen as environment changes or a same species bird from a different location turns up.
    ….The serendipity of vintage fabrics on the work table. The evolution of the songbird.

  8. I love buttons the way that you love scraps! I pick up the resonances of past lives and experiences from them and I imagine on what garments they were worn and by whom. If the winds of imagination are blowing the right way, I can sometimes conjure up a whole new garment idea from an old button!

  9. I love the facial expression of the Major, total disdain but he could be another Mr Darcy in that underneath that air of aloofness he has a heart of gold!

  10. I guess my fingers just aren’t tapping correctly – correct email now.

  11. me quedo fascinada con tus creaciones Ann. Son toda inspiracion! gracias

  12. carol gabbert

    Your second paragraph says it all and speaks deeply to me. Pondering the connectedness of things and people is very profound. Thank you Ann for sharing your beautiful artistry and words. Your crimson and scarlet girl is a wonder.

  13. ElaineChicago

    Thank you, Ann, for another special post. The birds are so beautiful.

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