Saturday 27 April 2013

Applique and Embroidery Workshops

Creative chaos!

Today was the second of my No Borders Applique and Embroidery workshops at Carlisle Library. It was a really lovely day; several people dropped in and made some work and there was a relaxed and happy atmosphere.

Pinning patches

Continuing work from the last workshop

It was great seeing the work start to come together today, there are some lovely pieces that I think will work very well together. The theme is 'inside out' and several people chose to do work inspired by gardens and nature which fits really nicely.

Relaxing and stitching

Stitching and chatting

We had some folks from Carlisle Youth Zone come down this morning and they produced some great work which was very well thought out and beautifully put together. One of the pieces was very carefully composed and symmetrical whereas the other piece is more about how many shiny things can be fitted into one piece of work! Both are beautiful and complement each other well.

Arranging 'Loving Plants'

Shiny things!

More shiny things

The work from these workshops as well as the others in the No Borders programme are going to be hung in the library in June. It's exciting seeing the work develop and it will be fascinating to see the work from all the different groups come together.

Stitching and beading

Stitch detail

Monday 22 April 2013

Saturday 20 April 2013

Life Drawing 18.4.13

Pen, 5 minutes

We had a new model for this session which was great, its always good to change things up a bit. Our model gave us some really good poses with great attention to detail (things like pointing fingers really finish off a pose.)

This was a great pose but very difficult to get the angles right!

Pen on prepared paper

I was very tired and found that the detailed studies I wanted to do didn't work out very well, I struggled to get the shapes and angles correct but I was pleased with some of my pen sketches. Some of the drawings I was most pleased with were the sparser, pared down drawings. Sometimes what you don't draw is as important as what you do draw.

2 pens

I like the way the composition of this drawing came together

I got halfway through this sketch and decided to leave it as it was

Focusing on specific areas

Picking out details

A good pose but difficult to catch

Monday 15 April 2013

No Borders Applique and Embroidery Workshop

Applique 'sandwich'
Saturday was my first No Borders Workshop at Carlisle Library. It was a small group but a nice atmosphere and some lovely work was produced, I'm really excited to see how the work develops.

Detail of applique 'sandwich' which consists of wool and cut fabric sandwiched between  a layer of purple fabric and a layer of sheer fabric.

Adding stitch

I'd taken a long quite a few samples to give people ideas about techniques and it was great how each person immediately latched onto something they liked and then took the technique and made it their own. It was really inspiring and I came away with a few ideas of my own too.

The gentleman who created this piece is blind so chose his materials by touch. His theme was  garden.

Blue fabrics on green background

Stitch detail

You can find out more about the No Borders workshops over at Prism Arts website.

Appliqued stars

Thursday 11 April 2013

Holiday in Spring

Spring sunshine and snow

We've just come back from our spring holiday, although as you can see from the pictures the weather was not so spring like. We were staying in Stanhope and travelling pretty much anywhere from there involves going over hills, which were very beautiful but very chilly. I felt really sorry for all the birds up there, nothing to eat and nowhere to nest, hopefully things will warm up soon.

Beautiful views

Snow blindness

Some of the drifts were really deep!

We went to the Bowes Museum while we were over there. I was really inspired by their fashion and textile gallery and by an exhibition they had on by Diana Winkfield called Material Remains. The ideas and ways of working felt very relevant to my own practice and I felt very inspired to get drawing and making work again. I love my jobs but sometimes it can be frustrating not having time to do my own personal work.

Glad I'm not a grouse

So much snow!
We stopped in Alston on the way home and saw these plants growing in a wall. The lady who owned the wall said we could take some so we took a couple and have I planted them up. I think they're very beautiful and slightly weird!

Love the colours

Amazing forms

Saturday 6 April 2013

Applique and Embroidery

Applique and Embroidery Sample
I thought I'd share some more of the samples I've been working on for the upcoming workshops I'm doing (see previous post.)

I'm going to be doing some embroidery and applique workshops at Carlisle Library over the next couple of months as part of the No Borders programme which is running alongside the Outside In exhibition at Tullie House. You can find out more about these and the other workshops on offer over on Prism Arts website.

Cross and star stitch on bonded applique

Shisha stitched mirror and basque stitch

Stitch detail and bonded applique

Dorset wheel button in wool

I've tried to use a couple of different applique techniques in this sample including needle turned applique and using fusible webbing to bond one fabric to another. I've also done a bit with raw edges and stitching. I've added some hand stitched shisha mirrors (which was a new technique for me) and a dorset wheel button as well as various embroidery stitches.

Reverse applique sample

Reverse applique detail

Appliqued motif with stitching

In this sample I've cut out and appliqued some motifs from printed fabrics and done some reverse applique, where you put the appliqued fabric underneath and then cut away the top layer. Again, I've added a few embroidery stitches to finish it off.

Hawaiian Applique sample

Blanket stitch detail

Stitch detail

I tried another new technique here, called Hawaiian applique. A motif is cut from one fabric as you would cut a paper snowflake and then appliqued onto a base fabric. I added blanket stitch, chain stitch, running stitch and star stitch for extra surface interest. I like the folk art feel of this sample, especially as I did not anticipate it turning out that way!

Crazy patchwork sample

Stitch detail

Stitch detail

This crazy patchwork sample is one that I started in my first year of University, way back in 2004! I really didn't like doing it as I wasn't a fan of crazy patchwork and I was all rebellious and unreasonable so I never finished it. However, I thought it might be useful for showing off some embroidery stitches so this week I completed it. I'm still not sure about it but I'm pleased to have it finished after all this time.

Friday 5 April 2013

Shadowy Swallows

Shadow work Swallows

I'm going to be doing some embroidery and applique workshops at Carlisle Library over the next couple of months as part of the No Borders programme which is running alongside the Outside In exhibition at Tullie House. You can find out more about these and the other workshops on offer over on Prism Arts website.

Detail of small swallow

So, I have been busy stitching up some samples and generally enjoying having a play! On Wednesday I made a piece using shadow applique and shadow embroidery. I can't believe I have never properly explored these techniques before. I love working with transparent and sheer fabrics and layering up work and I almost always use stitch so it is a mystery to me how I have avoided some of the things I tried on Wednesday for so long. However, there is no time like the present so I think it's fairly certain I will be using these techniques a lot more in my work.

Detail of large and small swallow

For the applique I bonded fabrics using adhesive web to the back of a piece of very see through material (some sort of man-made fibre, I bought it from a seconds box ages ago!) I used a navy blue satin for the large swallow and then navy chiffon and net for the smaller ones because the chiffon on its own was too sheer and did not show through enough. I then added the red and white stitch details using herringbone stitch and laced holbein stitch. I worked the embroidery on the back of the work for a more subtle effect on the front. I then outlined the birds on the front of the work with back stitch, blanket stitch and running stitch.

Detail showing bonded fabric and embroidery but not yet outlined

Detail of work from the back (in progress)

Detail of work from the back (complete)

I'm really pleased with how this experiment turned out, I like the delicacy and lightness of the work and the different layers. It is definitely a way of working that I think suits me and my work and I am excited about exploring these techniques further.