Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day in the company of a lovely group of ladies, the Spalding Embroiderers, who meet at Pode Hole Village Hall in the Lincolnshire Fens. The group had booked me to do a workshop for them, giving me free reign to decide what we would be doing.
I wanted to offer them something completely different and something I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have done before. I settled on putting together a workshop to make my Tyvek Leaves. Tyvek is a wonderful product to work with as it has so many possibilities when it comes to colouring, shaping and distressing.
Tyvek leaf with metallic thread and beading.
It felt a bit of a risk as it would involve so many different stages and I wasn’t sure how the group would take to shaping wire frames using pliers. I needn’t have worried, their enthusiasm and positivity was terrific and the hall was filled with conversation and laughter all through the day! In fact, putting together this workshop has reminded me of how much fun I had designing my first leaves and it’s been great to get back to making more of them.
The leaves worked out beautifully. As you can see, everyone got their leaf to the stage of it having been distressed with the heat gun but unfortunately we ran out of time to get the holes embroidered so they will continue with that at home. I hope to receive photos of some of the finished leaves as and when they get done.
A big thank you to all the Spalding Embroidery ladies for making me feel so welcome and for being such wonderful, enthusiastic students! I shall look forward to seeing you all at our next workshop.
I’ve just finished my latest art quilt “Lincolnshire Wolds“. This one has an entirely painted background, using Inktense on vilene. I don’t normally use Bondaweb in my art quilts, I usually lay the fabric down and sew it straight onto the background but this time I made an exception. After giving it some thought it seemed the easiest way to create the foliage on the foreground tree and a good way to make the shadow from that same tree on the field.
The stitching is a combination of straight stitch and free machine embroidery with a little hand stitching along the base of the hedgerow.
The one drawback to using pelmet vilene for textile art is that it is easily creased so it really needs mounting on a canvas or a board when I get around to it.
Between Christmas and New Year I began work on a new art quilt which I have called A Tribute to Three Worlds. This 44″ x 27″ quilt is my textile interpretation of a lithograph by one of my favourite artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1892-1972)
The original lithograph version of Three Worlds by Maurits Cornelis Escher.
I have been an admirer of Escher’s work since my art school days. During a recent visit to Barter Books in Alnwick I bought “The Life and Works of Escher” by Miranda Fellows and felt inspired by this particular design to create my on take on it.
Background work in progress…..the trees are done and the Tyvek fish are painted and roughly placed in position.
I wanted to recreate the three different perspectives i.e. the trees above the water seen as a reflection, the Autumn leaves floating on the water and the fish swimming below the water, all of which make up Escher’s “three worlds”. It took a lot longer to complete than I had imagined it would but I’m very happy with the result.
A Tribute to Three Worlds
This is a quick catch up post, just to record a couple of felting projects that were recently finished. The first is a pair of Bergschaf slipper boots, an early present to myself! I made them using a scaled up version (and then some!) of the fairy boots I made in the summer. The two boots are made as one, using a flat resist, and then cut apart before fulling and shaping. They are the warmest and most comfortable slippers I have ever had. I can see these lasting for years so I’m intending to embellish them with hand embroidery at some point over Christmas.
Grey Bergschaf wet felted slipper boots
The second project was a wet felted cushion for my elderly aunt who is nearly 90 yrs young and loves warm colours, particularly orange. She lives in a small flat, there is nothing she actually needs but she does love anything felted so I thought this Merino cushion would be something she could get some enjoyment from looking at.
Daphne’s wet felted floral cushion.
Back in the Summer I read a post on the Felting & Fibre Studio about a concertina hat workshop being run by Teri Berry. It sounded really interesting but at that time I couldn’t commit due to holidays and other workshops. Fortunately Teri’s first workshop was such a huge success that it is being run again this month. As a result I’ve just finished my first wet felted Merino concertina hat and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m now looking forward to trying out the next design which is Teri’s wacky but wonderful “Snail Hat”…….watch this space!
This is the finished blue and pink Merino sculptural collar which I started last week at Felt Inspired in Belchford.
Wet felted Sculptural Collar made from Merino wool.
I used a press stud fastener to hold it in place and added a wet felted floral detail including three leaves, two cords and a ‘rainbow bead‘. I learnt the rainbow bead technique from the wonderful Dutch felt artist Annemie Koenen. They take a crazy amount of effort to make but are so beautiful it’s well worth it!
I can’t believe it’s been a month since we started the felting group in Belchford. Where does the time go…..
Once again we had eight ladies gathered for a felting session. Val and Karen couldn’t make it this month but we welcomed two new faces, Ann and Sheila. Sheila brought her current project to work on which is a very handsome needle felted owl…..
Sheila and her owl.
Adding feather detail on the back.
Ann began working on a needle felted landscape and I’m loving the colour scheme…..
Rosie was busy with her beautiful new wool making more vegetables (we’re starting to suspect an obsession here!)…..
Looking good enough to eat!
Olga was working on her sketchbook ideas for new projects…..
Olga working on ideas in her sketchbook.
Pat was busy with embellisher…..
Pat busy on the embellisher
Janet made a wet felted bowl and then did some more work on the lovely picture she started last session….
I started another Merino collar which will get finished at home…
Fibres laid out ready for felting.
All in all another enjoyable day in Belchford.
The latest quilt challenge for members of the Cranwell group is A Walk in the Forest and this is my interpretation.
A Walk in the Forest
With each challenge we are also given a particular technique to use somewhere within our work, for this particular piece we were asked to include painted Bondaweb. This could be used over a large area or just included as a tiny piece, it was entirely at our discretion. Those of you with a keen eye might be wondering where my Bondaweb is…….it’s so insignificant it’s not even worth me pointing it out!
When the subject was given out I immediately had this image in my mind of the trees and forest floor cut out of several pieces of Lutradur and stitched to create the illusion of depth. I also knew that I wanted a shimmering backdrop to represent the daylight glistening at the edge of the woods. After auditioning several fabrics, and not being happy with any of them, I decided to go with wallpaper for my background. I had a sample of paper that was just large enough and created exactly the effect I was seeing in my mind.
The Lutradur trees were coloured from dark to light to suggest that the viewer is walking from inside the forest towards the light at the edge of the woods. I figured the Bondaweb would be used fairly discretely to create shadow on the forest floor. Unfortunately, as I had coloured the Lutradur with wax crayons, there was no way that the Bondaweb was going to bond! Having said that, a tiny piece is clinging on, allowing me to say I have included Bondaweb in my work……..just not a lot of it!
On Saturday I drove down to Leicester with my friend Rosemary to spent the day at The Big Textile Show. There were lots of interesting displays from various local textile groups and from individuals. As usual the trade stands were well worth a visit and we managed to stock up on various things we needed including acid dyes from Adelaide Walker, Lutradur and all sorts of other goodies from Artvango and felting equipment from Alison Linnell. The bargain of the day had to be the hat block I bought from Alison. I’ve just signed up to do an online wet felted hat workshop with Teri Berry so this will come in very useful!
There was a lot to inspire and to enjoy, these are just a few of the displays that particularly caught my eye……
The most outstanding piece, for me, was created by the Lutterworth Embroiderers. It was based on a photograph by David Hunter called Earth on Fire. With the photographers permission the image was enlarged and cut into 45 postcard sized pieces and distributed to the members. No one was shown the original image so had no idea of what it was they were working on until all the pieces came together at the end of the project. Now that is one project I would have loved to have been a part of! If you only click on one link in this post I suggest it’s the Lutterworth Embroiderers as their work is well worth seeing.
Earth on Fire by David Hunter
The completed piece by the Lutterworth Embroiderers
Other work we enjoyed…….
Gardens at Dene Park…..a ‘Star Book’ by Gill Green
Another local group I particularly like the work of is Jeudis. Unfortunately I didn’t make a note of the artists name who made this bark but it was beautifully done.
‘Bark’. A mixed media piece by a member of Jeudis.
A contemporary quilt by a member of Weedon Bec Creative Textile Group
Green Man…..needled and wet felted wall plaque by Sue Walsh.
Beautiful Felted Gifts by Alison Linnell
Last but not least we met Wendy and Simon from Random Makes
who were parked up outside. Their wonderful vehicle and innovative products were creating a lot of interest throughout the day.
Random Makes bespoke handmade furnishings and accessories from vintage and modern textiles.