Friday, March 25, 2011

Cloth Coil Basket

Cloth coil basket - eight inches diameter.
I have spent all my spare time over the last couple of days making this cloth coil basket. I have always loved these baskets and have not tried making one until now. It was very enjoyable. Quite addictive. So therapeutic! I learnt a lot from trying different techniques throughout the construction. It is basically covered cord that is bound and then built using a figure of eight woven stitch. I used tightly woven fabric that I found at an Op-shop. It has lovely clear colours which are refreshing after a grey and white, but mainly grey, Winter.

I want to start another one immediately to practise what I have learnt. I want to improve the beginnings and endings of construction. I think I will make a cloth flower and bead configuration to cover the too abrupt ending on the right hand side of the bottom picture.

At close of needle I had almost finished the embroidered garden that I spoke of last post. Very nearly finished!

Happy stitching everyone, Gilly.
Postscript: The modifed basket looks better - not too fussy?

Closeup - not great lighting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bright Flowers

Bright Flowers
I tried some different techniques with fabric in Bright Flowers (9" by 6"). I like the contrasting textures; and the overall feel of flowers nearly at their peak before dropping. These cheer me up in the midst of our World's Japanese horror. I hope it cheers you up a bit too.

At close of needle I was working on a formal garden worked mainly in textured embroidery. Again I am trying new stitches. It is looking a bit wonky so far. I need an embroidery hoop I think. I am treating it as sampler for new stitch work and so give myself permission to have it a bit wonky! If it is not too bad I will post it soon.

Happy stitching everyone, Gilly

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Water Garden

The Water Garden
The Water Garden: detail imitation tablet weaving (blue and brown stitching)

The Water Garden: detail Bayeux Stitch top right.
The Water Garden (9 x 9 inches) is a symmetrical design made on a backing of woven linen/silk fabric.  I am fascinated by pattern and symmetry; and the idea of a water garden is a very satisfying outlet for this passion. I had not done bead work, or most of these stitches before so it has been a wonderful time of exploration for me. Different levels of fabric or felt (central fountain) create some interest. I have incorporated into my overall design stitch work from Jan Masset's book Celtic, Viking and Anglo-Saxon Embroidery. This book was a surprise gift for me and, as is often the way with such gifts, is rich and inspiring.

My mind is full of ideas that have sprung from making this storycloth. I can imagine myself there sitting by the central fountain and being aware of the sight and sounds of the four smaller surrounding water features (Bayeux Stitch). The glimmer of the beads and gold thread, in a regular pattern yet of random shape and colour, gives me a sense of balance between nature and imposed design. A harmony that often does not work, but in the case of small organised 'knot' type gardens does, I think, work beautifully.

At close of needle I had prepared the final backing cloth for The Water Garden ready for stitching and then hanging.  My next project will be another 'garden' and more exploration of stitches and textures.

Happy stitching everyone, Gilly