'A little bit of what you fancy...'
So, we are well and truly into 2018 - I can hardly believe we are in February already! We are having a very wet winter here in Cornwall, and I always find this season starts to drag a little at this point. Mind you, it's been lovely to see the snowdrops in full bloom - a little sign that spring is not so far away!
The amount of spare time I have for making is a little more limited at the moment and bearing that in mind, I think doing any wet felting will take the back burner for a while - mainly because it's very time consuming and I like to do it all in one session. Also, no commissions for the time being. I'm looking instead at just keeping my hand in and having a few small portable pieces of stitching on the go.
I'm finding that having limitations isn't necessarily a bad thing - the pressure is off, and whatever I choose to do will be purely for the process rather than creating an end product.
The little bits I've done with an hour here and there in the evenings I have described below - forgive me for I didn't take lots of quality progress shots along the way as it was all a bit spontaneous, and the light has been terrible for photographs, but hope you get the general idea if you wanted to have a go yourself.
I've been playing with a lino cut I made at a recent workshop, and I printed this leaf design on some cotton. I love layering and creating texture, so decided to fill one leaf with lots of straight stitching in various autumn colours all overlapping.
Not sure what to do next, but wanting to keep that 'layering theme', I had a rummage in my fabric stash and found some scraps of patterned cotton and dyed chiffon in complimentary colours to my stitches. I just roughly cut up some shapes and arranged them a bit haphazardly around my leaf. I then used that wonderful, meditative running stitch to secure them all in place, albeit in a wonky fashion! I really like the rippling effect you get through that staggered stitching.
Wanting to make the leaf blend more into the background, I covered it over with a piece of tea-dyed chiffon, stitched around the shape and surrounding area before snipping away to reveal the leaf again. I then layered and stitched some more scraps of fabric on top of that again.
I have ended up with a small block that I'm quite pleased with - no idea what it's for or what I'm going to do with it, but it doesn't matter! I enjoyed this little project which I could pick up for an hour in the evenings and just 'play' with - I enjoyed it purely for the process, and actually that was quite liberating!
I have another printed leaf which I'm now filling in with small scraps of fabric - we'll see how that works out in due course!
Whilst rummaging for fabric, I was also reminded that I have rather a lot of scraps of handmade felt, which either were 'failures' or off cuts. I wanted to make a card for someone, so used a piece of scrap nuno felt made with merino, organza and yarns in shades of white and cream which I have attached to a piece of card with lots of stitching. I find the variations of a straight stitch so pleasing - and easy to do! A few french knots added and an abstract landscape has emerged.
One final small thing that I had a go at was some visible mending. I acquired some jeans from my daughter who complained they were too big (baggy on her means tight on me I should add, but they're stretchy so I live in hope!) They were purchased with a ready-made rip at the knee (what's that all about!?), and I decided that, as I'm probably not trendy enough to wear ripped jeans, I would do a visible mend - something I've seen a lot of recently on Instagram to great effect.
I had a small piece of faded, patterned material which I secured behind the rip, and then used lots of straight stitch over and around to blend it in with the denim.
I much prefer how the jeans looks now to how they did before - and quite frankly my knees are best left covered up!
If you are interested in visible mending and boro stitching, I can point you in the direction of a couple of instagram pages - try katrinarodabaugh and Laura Quinn
So, for the time being I'm going to do a bit of what I fancy whenever I get the chance - which may mean less posts on social media, and maybe not quite so frequent blog posts - but I hope you'll stick around and keep me company.