When I was getting ready to teach a class on Improvisational Embroidery I started doing research as I knew I wanted to try to incorporate collage into the mix. I love research because that gave me an excuse to purchase books. I purchased two books: Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing and Mark Making in Textile Art and Textile Collage: Marrying Collage and Textile Techniques.
Drawn to Stitch was OK, some of the projects were inspiring. I especially liked the miniature collages. Textile Collage was awesome! Perhaps the first textile/craft book that I read every word of cover to cover. This book may have changed my creative life.
I started with my husband's old shirts and other scraps. I found yo-yo's and crocheted flowers. I loved using the wool that I crocheted the flowers with. It is very nice to embroider with and I have a ton of it from my machine knitting days. I also like the contrast with traditional embroidery floss. This is a whole sleeve of a shirt and unfinished as I was not really happy with the way it was going.
I next used scraps and floss. I did not like where this one was going either as it looked too similar to a petri dish and a "little swimmer" breaking through an egg. I tried to work through that, but I still see it when I look at it.
(I am having a problem with formatting.) "Compromise" was OK. I added text that was not planned and am not too thrilled with it. Again, I used scraps, shirting--that I tea-dyed--and floss.
The flowers and lace took a lot of time and I really started to get into applique. I tried sticking with my use of the button-wheel stitch and learned the feather stitch (I love chain-type stitches!). I will be using this method of making flowers for my new series when I don't have any appropriate floral fabric.
You can definitely see Ms. Pattullo's influence in my work but I hope the way I approach my flowers and stitching is original. I also prefer new fabric--my beautiful scraps--rather than the stuff I picked up at the thrift store. I am also using old shirting and ties that I collected from people I know. (Finally, I am getting to ties from my dad who died 15 years ago.) I will incorporate some of my old clothing collection into my work on other projects, as I have been collecting that stuff for years as well. My felted sweater collection is at least 15 years old waiting for the "right" project.
I have also stumbled across my collection of quilt block rejects and have taken to embroidering on them.
This is a huge change for me as it is almost all hand-stitching. (Well, maybe not a huge change as I was a hand knitter for years. This is a change from sewing on a machine.) I just love it and do it on the commute to work, on my lunch break and at home in the evening in front of the TV. I feel like the embroidery that I have done up until now has prepared me for this new turn in my work.
I am really excited to be tackling something new in subject matter as well. Usually, I like to make things that are pretty to look at or are at least a design that is decorative. I have thought of a project to express how I feel right now about the incoming President and my thoughts about the future. The fabric is on its way so I will have to set aside my series of pretty little collages to work on that--but it is an important statement that will hopefully also be therapeutic to produce.
I took a break from my series to make this little card. It is a thank you note for someone who likes to boat.
Baci e abbracci