At the end of a busy winter of stitching and dyeing [see more on that in next post!], have decided to pull together some of the various pieces of cloth that have occupied me. Seems time to construct a whole, rather than parts…just for awhile. So I have finished and hung the “warm winter cloth”: the intense embroidery stitching, very simple blanket stitch, chain stitch and running stitches, were satisfying on long winter evenings, as was the warmth of the felted fibres that were the base, beautiful and soft to stitch through..
I have started to assemble the blue-green pieces that have been on-going for quite some time, into a cloth loosely called “watercolours”
and the warm, madder-based cloth , a combination of naturally-dyed bits, old sari scraps and other warm-coloured pieces
so a lot of stitching to do, and textures to add, to both of these cloths, but they have a bit of a direction happening now.
Sad farewell this week to the brilliant Leonard Cohen, whose wonderful poetry inspired the name of my blog….
short days and chilly weather, very conducive to stitching! Autumn Cloth all but finished…a few stitches here and there will probably go on for awhile….
and have started the bare bones of a warm Winter Cloth…..base coming together with the help of the felting machine; lots of hand stitching and embellishment to follow!
Have also finished another Turquoise piece, which was looking a bit sparse
…….seems to be the theme this year! I spent too long wondering what I wanted to work on, and where i was headed with it all; then realised that i was already working on what I wanted: life was what i was doing not what i was planning! and instead of stitching away on my Autumn Cloth while I wait for the “real inspiration” to strike, I am now seeing it as where i am at the moment: piecing and stitching as the flow takes me, all by hand. Perhaps the general manic events in the outside world are causing a lot of us to turn inwards, and to deliberately slow down and use less technology; with the stitching more organic and less formalised, edges sometimes rough and fabrics less than perfect, bits of old dyed and painted cloth, pieces dyed with plants, old scraps of sari fabric. Working this way brings peace and a sense of quiet contemplation, the feel of the cloth and the flow of the stitching as important as the end result. Am inspired by Jude Hill on her lovely blog Spirit Cloth …..her work is so very much an expression of herself and her life, and she is so generous with her methods and philosophies; by the work of India Flint, who uses native plants so beautifully and skilfully; by the richly coloured and very personal work of artists like Jo Bruhn, Mandy Pattullo and Sue Dove; by books like Claire Wellesley Smith’s Slow Stitch and Cas Holmes’ Stitch Stories. It’s interesting to put them all together and realise that they are all very different but each voice is unique and very much a true expression of the artist.
With winter arriving it will be lovely to keep working away on this piece until it decides it is finished!
an embroidered panel that had been sitting in a drawer is now a cushion….
On a whim last year I decided to try a sample of canvas work…just to see if I would enjoy the formal structure, and the effects I could have with colour within that. Somehow found myself with a whole bunch of samples!! …it was unexpectedly addictive…..and not having any idea what to do with them,I organised them into a cloth book, seemed the most logical way to store them!
I have started piecing together some of the embellished / stitched samplers i have been playing with off and on for the past year or so, and realised they might combine together eventually into one complete piece….working title ” Coastal Meanderings”! this is a rough first play at how it might start to come together: am now inspired to finish other pieces in the same theme, and start to work them with more purpose.