Must Try Harder…..

They say the longer you put something off the harder it becomes. Well I definitely find that’s the case when it comes to blogging! I’m not a natural “writer” but even so I can’t believe it’s been more than six months since my last post! Note to self….must try harder!!

Back in April I created two pieces of abstract wall art for the bi-annual Waltham Textiles Exhibition. It should have been happening later this month but, as with so many events, will now be taking place in 2021, fingers crossed!!

This first piece will be mounted onto board measuring 50cm x 100cm. Inspired by sunsets it consists of various wet felted fibres, Viscose fibres and a mix of natural and synthetic fabrics. It’s all held in place using machine free motion stitching onto a painted Lutradur background. I love the textures that can be achieved when using this technique and I particularly like adding synthetic glitzy fabrics for a little bit of bling!

Abstract Sunset
Detail of Abstract Sunset
Detail of Abstract Sunset

This second piece was constructed in the same way. Rather than mounting it on a board, I think I’m going to mount this one behind glass in a black edged 40cm x 80cm frame.

Burlesque – Abstract Wallhanging
Detail of Burlesque
Detail of Burlesque

Roots….

My latest work, Roots, was made in response to a challenge set by the Waltham Textile Group who meet once a month at Waltham Windmill.  This is an exhibiting group and, like many such groups, we all aim to produce a piece of work to a particular theme.  The work will be displayed together at our bi-annual exhibition at the Windmill next August.  Our current theme, leaves, couldn’t suit me better!  There are absolutely no limitations for this main piece, it can be any size, any technique, 3D or 2D.  This freedom in itself can be a headache because there are so many directions you can go in……..consequently I’ve yet to start that piece!

Roots – a Waltham Textile Group Challenge.

Running alongside our main theme we also have other, more specific, “challenges”.  One of them is to produce three A4 pieces of work using three colours, each piece to predominantly feature one of those colours plus a little of the other two.  This can be any style, any technique and any subject matter. You can see how I approached this challenge in a previous post “work in progress” and Roots is the result of that challenge.

Originally I made three wet felted backgrounds to which I was going to add lots of texture with fibre and stitch.  The felt was put to one side for a few weeks while I did other things and by the time I went back to it I had changed my mind (surprise, surprise!). Instead of using the felt I reached for my roll of Lutradur, practising what I preach and using the techniques and materials demonstrated in my Forest Floor Workshop.  

Detail from Roots showing the Lutradur leaves

It turned out to be a very mixed media piece with felted pebbles, free motion stitched ferns and weeds and Lutradur leaves and forest floor.  The only items not hand made are three small brown Beech tree pods.

With this challenge finished its back to trying out ideas and working up samples for my main exhibition piece.  I’ve no idea how that will look as yet but I’m thinking along the lines of it being “abstract”…..that thought may change several times between now and completion!

Lutradur Forest Workshop…..

Day two of the Lutradur Forest Workshop saw the ladies layering and stitching their Forest designs to their base fabric.

As often happens in a workshop, although all of the ladies worked constantly over the two day’s and the quilts are looking terrific, everyone has some finishing off to do at home.

Clare is adding clumps of bluebells to her Forest floor, hand embroidering them with Colonial knots

Janet’s design featured trees in leaf as well as these wonderful old gnarly tree stumps

Sue created lots of depth with her shading

Clair based her design on a photo she took while visiting a Canadian lake in the Fall

Janice is making lots of individual leaves which will be added to the foreground on the right of her design

Patricia has created a very strong contrast with her dark foreground tree and the lighter grey trunks in the background

Lyn will add stitched detail the her ferns to create interest in the foreground

Thanks to Nicola at the Simply Stitch Studio for being a wonderful host and to all the ladies for their enthusiasm and hard work.  I will look forward to receiving photos of your finished quilts.

Lutradur Forest Workshop….

A Walk in the Forest art quilt by Karen Lane

Walk in the Forest

Today was day one of a two-day Lutradur Forest Workshop at the Simply Stitch Studio, Wetherby.  Using my “Walk in the Forest” design as a starting point, eight ladies have begun the day designing their own “Forest” art quilt which will consist of several layers of Lutradur fabric.  Today the Lutradur has been cut out and painted and tomorrow we will begin layering and stitching the fabric in place.  As you can see from the photos not only is each design unique but also each student is displaying a distinct style of their own.

The ladies start by drawing out their design ideas on paper

The Lutradur is cut out and painted

Cutting out foliage using a soldering iron

This is where we are at the end of day one…..

Tomorrow we will bring all the main elements together and stitch them in place before adding any foreground detail and hand stitching.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how these pieces develop!

 

Abstraction…..

Abstraction – 27cm x 14.5cm Mixed Media

This is Abstraction, the finished Mixed Media piece I’ve been working on for the past week.  The theme was set by the textile group Jeudis and my interpretation is purely non-representational.

The shapes, formed by laying out and felting the Merino fibres, fabrics and silks, have been traced with free motion stitching which in turn has produced ridges and valleys, adding to the overall textural effect.

For now it’s got pride of place hanging in the lounge in a simple, flat profile black frame…..

Tyvek Seed Pod…..

I developed a ganglion on my right hand as a result of making the bird mask last week.  It’s giving me some gip so I’m resting the hand for a while and doing a few pieces that don’t require a strong grip.  Yesterday it was a Tyvek Seed Pod incorporating sari silks and acrylic paint…..

Today I made a start on a mixed Media piece with the theme “Abstraction” which was set by the textile group  Jeudis which I became a member of a couple of months ago.   I’m combining free motion stitch with painted Lutradur and wet Felted Merino, for now it’s work in progress…..

Abstraction

 

Mixed Media Necklace…..

This week I came across a fabulous Mixed Media Necklace tutorial by Australian feltmaker Wendy Bailye in Felt magazine.

I love “statement” jewellery so couldn’t resist having a go at this project.  I’ve used a combination of Merino and Bergschaf fibres with found items, perle thread and black annealed wire.

This one is an Autumn themed choker necklace combining one of my Lutradur leaves with Merino fibres…..

Forest Floor Workshop…..

Last Saturday I travelled back up to one of my favourite workshop venues, the Simply Stitch studio in East Keswick.  It was for the first of a new class I’ve put together which I’m calling my Forest Floor Workshop.

12 ladies took part in the two day workshop exploring the use of heat manipulative materials including Tyvek fabric, Tyvek paper, Lutradur and polyester fabrics which we painted, stitched, cut and distressed using heat tools and soldering irons.  For the majority it would be the first time they have worked with any of these materials and tools.

Our theme for the weekend was the forest floor and it was great to see that some of the ladies, like Juliet and Julie, had been out foraging for inspiration!

The samples that were created included a variety of leaves, bark, twigs, lichen, etc…..anything you might see on a walk through the woods, and a few things you might never see too!!

Carolyn arrived with her hand heavily bandaged and the intention of just watching the others.  That idea lasted all of a few minutes and she turned out to be one of the most prolific sample makers of the group!

Janet and Jackie were looking very proud of their hessian and Lutradur “twigs” and rightly so!!

The ladies threw themselves whole heartedly into experimenting with the various materials and created some wonderful pieces of work with fabulous textures.

Once again a big thank you to Nicola for being such a great host and to all of the ladies who took part.   I’m looking forward to seeing some of you again when I return to East Keswick in June.

 

Lutradur leaves…..

Busy making samples ahead of next weekends Forest Floor Workshop at Simply Stitch.  Today’s samples are Lutradur leaves…..

Lutradur is a wonderful fabric to work with as it doesn’t fray or tear but can be easily stitched, coloured (Inktense, Acrylics, watercolours, fabric paints, felt pens etc, etc) cut with scissors or a soldering iron and distressed using a heat tool.  It’s possible to create beautiful, lacy effects when making leaf skeletons.

I had intended to paint this leaf but it has a  ‘frosted’ look about it which I like.  It’s given me the idea of creating a monochrome Winter sample with frosted bark and grasses.

This Autumnal leaf (above) is my favourite so far….and this is the back of it…..