Monday, February 27, 2017


I did it! I paid someone to frame my work. It was really expensive but I could not do it myself. Both the framer and the friend that went with me thought it looked better in landscape, so that is how it has been framed. I have to say it looks nice. Of course the cost of framing really makes the work jump up in price but if it does not sell it will look nice on my wall and I can enter it in other competitions. Now I just have to get in through the jury process...


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fabric Collage

I am smitten with fabric collage. I love it from beginning to end. No. 6 is the largest piece I have embroidered and it took 2 weeks to complete. It measures approximately 23 by 16 inches. There were so many times I wanted to abandon it. I loved it, I hated it, I was sick of it, I did not know what to do with it. Now that it is finished, I am pretty pleased with it. I worked on it the whole time in landscape. My husband, "the most interesting man in the world" (from the Dos Equos commercial with the guy who flips the painting in the gallery and then everyone sees it clearly), insisted that it looked best vertically. He was right. I am so happy with the outcome that I am going to have it professionally framed and enter it in the juried staff show at work. 

The fabric pinned in place.

During the collage process I started by taking my inspiration from a painting by Bill Scott. I love his work. His color, line and especially composition are beautiful, but I just could not make it work. I started from scratch at least 3 times then I took this photo so I could "draw" my embroidery lines on the collage with colored pencils to plan everything out prior to making a stitch. I could not be bothered. I need to just start stitching without too much of a plan. I knew I wanted to go back to the embroideries I was doing on a plain piece of fabric using the blanket stitch.


A lot of people seem to like this design (I've sold a couple) and thought I would like to work with it over collage. I also love this stitch in the round. So I started at one corner and worked my way up. I used more collage and raw edge applique for the circular blanket stitch centers.




It was a good experience to work so large. I tried new things because I had lots of space to play. The new piece I am working on is smaller. It is definitely easier to do the collage in a smaller area and I wanted to get something ready quickly because I don't leave the house without a project to work on. 

(Sorry, the colors are really pretty in person. The photos are not "true.")

Baci e abbracci

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Red No. 5

Moving right along with number 5 in the series. This one gave me some issues with the satin jacquard fraying and making a mess. I finally decided to embroider over part of it to stabilize it.


I also was able to use some yo-yo's that were made for another project (zip bags) over three years ago, but were never utilized because I did not like the way they were coming out. My plan is to make a pillow cover with the rest--someday. Like others, I see flowers in yo-yo's and added some stitching to the center to create a kind of black part of the floral disc. I like making yo-yo's and trying to make the flower my own.

My next project will be a break from the series to do something a bit more abstract to hopefully finish in time to submit to a show.

Baci e abbracci

Thursday, February 2, 2017

My Process

When I posted the photograph below on Instagram, 'stitchqueengem' asked me to talk about my process. I thought it would be easier to do so on my blog rather than Instagram.  



I've mentioned this book in a previous post, but will say again that Mandy Pattullo's book, Textile Collage was the first and only book on knitting, quilting, embroidery, or drawing that I read cover to cover. I had been trying textile collage as well as embroidery separately and was not pleased with the composition in the collage (because I was piecing on the machine and limited to joining vertically and horizontally) and was just 'OK 'with my embroidery. I had done some raw edge collage and raw edge applique and was pleased with those pieces but did not 'love' them. Something clicked when I read Ms. Pattullo's book and I again started doing collage with embroidery which led to pictorial scenes with flowers, much like the flowers I have drawn and painted, and using embroidery stitches from other work I have done.

I begin with a piece of muslin with a piece of batting on top. At this time I am working each piece of this series in mostly monochromatic compositions using scraps from my wonderful collection of itsy-bitsy pieces from my quilt-making and a collection of larger scraps from my and my friend's quilt-making. I am also incorporating some cut up clothing, and other cuttings from fabrics that I purchased for these collages. I try to stay away from my uncut fabric collection except for the use of the backing. I have been saving these scraps and clothes for years knowing that I would one day use them this way.

I arrange the pieces and pin them into place. I recently purchased applique pins and really like using them--they are short straight pins. Then I sew the pieces to the muslin/batting background with a matching sewing thread--basically using a tacking stitch as suggested in Pattullo's book referenced above. Then I embellish with flowers using applique and traditional embroidery stitches. Nothing fancy or complicated. 

I am truly enjoying the ease of creating these pieces as much as the final result--I hope that does not sound conceited. I am often hard on myself and do not like what I produce, always comparing my work to other people's work that I like and admire. 

I think the process is super easy and fun. 

Baci e abbacci