You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

Over the past few days my post box has been filled with stuff from the UK – it seems the postal problems they were having over there have now eased and I am in receipt of cards from two swap partners.

This is card number #7 in the Stichin’ Fingers Autumn/Thanksgiving exchange and it comes from Jane – she has cut and fused then hand stitched layers of autumn leaf shapes over an autumn fabric base:

Leafy autumn colours from Jane in UK

Thanks, Jane!

My swap partner in the Stitchin Fingers ATC swap was Lorna who is also in England – her lovely ATC arrived in a week from the posted date!  Lorna’s card has layers of sheers in varying colours some of which appear to have been melted.  These have been FME’d into place with lovely sparkly thread and then crusted over with some seed beads.  Sandwiched in amongst all the fabric is a copper foil leaf.  So much detail!

Copper Leaf ATC from Lorna

These swaps are so inspiring…..there is so much to learn from each piece that arrives.

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This morning the mail box contained another card from the group exchanging fabric postcards based on the Thanksgiving and Autumn theme.  Now that six have arrived, I thought I might share with you the beautiful work I have received from all over the world.

This is such a great way to see different techniques being used – its inspiring and motivating!  Its especially nice to receive something so wonderful in the mail.

My thanks again to Barbara Lockwood in California who initiated this exchange on Stitchin Fingers – this is Barbara’s card:

Autumn Leaves from Barbara

Then there was Dakota who managed to keep us all informed whilst Barbara was away and to provide repeat copies of the mailing list to those whose email programmes swallowed the originals without leaving a trace! Dakota’s embroidered and beaded card:

Embroidered and beaded card from Dakota

Even though similar techniques have been used to create Dakota’s and Gina’s cards, this card from Gina shows how different fabrics can create a truly individual piece.  There are some vintage cotton fabrics here!

Gina's stitched and beaded card

Painting and stencilling my own fabric has been something I have not tried all that often, so it was delightful to have the chance to see close up this painted card from Allyson in South Africa.  The colour subtleties are such that the camera does them no justice….it really has the most beautiful shimmer.  The appliqued leaf has also rendered quite differently in the photo…it has a gold shimmer to it in natural light.

Allyson's hand painted card

Marja’s card was today’s mailbox delight – this is a needlefelted piece that includes some stitching detail.  I had not considered using pieces created using my Babylock embellisher – perhaps this will be the prompt I need to get it out and start playing!

Marja's needlefelted card

The last card in this batch is an embroidered piece from Leslie in the UK.  Having seen some of the other cards Leslie has sent, I am so impressed at the amount of work that has gone into each one…I find this has a Jacobean feel about it….love it, Leslie!  Thank you.

Leslie's embroidered card

Thank you all so much for these wonderful pieces – this has been a great opportunity to share in some great talent.  I can’t wait to see what the final three will look like!

Anyone who has been to one of my classes or demonstrations over the years will have no doubt heard one of my favorite teaching “lines” –

“There’s no such thing as a mistake – they are creatIve interpretations!”

Often the time available at a hands on workshop is very limited.  Students don’t come to these workshops to practice reverse sewing.  It is my privilege, as the tutor, to “reverses sew” if it actually necessary. Otherwise, these slips are not given the chance to say something to the student and to the rest of the class.  Rather than cover them up – Let’s take a look at what they can tell us.

I like to take what a student would call a mistake and show that it can be the start of something new and exciting….that creating your own piece is about pushing your boundaries and the limits of the technique in order to put your personal stamp on it.

Let’s face it, if someone didn’t “make mistakes” we would all be producing the same pieces over and over with nothing new, exciting and challenging appearing within our art form to motivate us. We would be having many many conversations about breach of copyright and the world would have become a stale and sterile environment.  There would be no progress.

Copyright, and breaches thereof, is a whole new topic for consideration for another time.  My friend Judy B over at Virtual Quilter has a great collection of references regarding copyright which should be of interest to anyone involved in designing, producing and marketing their own work.

I particularly like this reference on Judy’s list from Marvin Bartel, Emeritus Professor in Art –

Percy’s Principles of Art and Composition

I think my  treatment of “creative interpretations” fit quite nicely with Professor Bartel’s principles!

Thanks, Judy, for the poke in the ribs to put this down in writing !

Artist Trading Cards are great fun to make – especially if you like to work small.  This is my second exchange with the Stitchin Fingers group and this card is winging its way to Lorna in England as we speak! (Well, as I type, perhaps?)

Autumn ATC

I made two again… couldn’t help myself!  I have also played with the Magic Foil again using it to represent the leaves.  I have had the Signature thread used to satin stitch the edges for years…it hadn’t suited any other application before this but worked perfectly with these cards.

There have been times I have thought I should show some restraint when it comes to buying threads just for the sake of it…. but if I had  been careful and restrained, I wouldn’t have had the right thread to edge these ATC’s.

Don’t forget to pop over to the Textile Artists Trading Cards blog and check out all the other cards sent around the world for this exchange!

In between all these shows, traveling and office sitting, I have managed to make and send off nine postcards to stitchers taking part in the Thanksgiving swap on Stitching Fingers organised by Barbara Lockwood in California.

Not being in the US and having a Thanksgiving tradition, I opted for creating cards that reflected the season in the northern hemisphere – autumn.  It seemed rather incongruous to be stitching autumn leaves cut from Lutradur in 35 degree heat!

Autumn Swaps

Lined up for their pictures in the spring sunshine

Each card featured a base “Bali” style fabric over which was stitched a red Lutradur leaf.  Laid over that was a layer of “needle lace”.

The needle lace was created from knitting yarns and decorative threads laid between two sheets of wash away embroidery stabiliser.  These were then free motion stitched over using several different variagated threads.  the whole piece was then tossed in the sink and washed until all the stabiliser had dissolved. Once the piece had dried, it was lightly pressed and sliced into postcard sized sections.

The gold Lutradur leaf was then free motion embroidered onto the surface of the card and all the layers held together with a satin stitched edging.

Autumn#4

Whilst in Adelaide at the Craft and Quilt show, I obtained a product called “Magic Foil” and I thought it might add a little special touch to these cards.  It is applied using a special glue which is dabbed or painted over the areas where the foil is required and, when the glue has dried clear, the foil sheet is rubbed over the fabric to apply.

Each of the cards was treated to a sprinkle of copper highlights.  Given appropriate drying times, these foil embellishments are apparently washable and permanent.

I had just about finished my photography when I was distracted by the phone… and it seemed my cards needed to be supervised in my absence…

Helping Hand

Smudge ensuring that cards don't escape!

Apologies to any of the ladies who find stray cat fur on their card, but Smudge couldn’t resist the temptation, it seems.

There wasn’t time for much more than a quick restock of the pantry and a major wash of clothes after the trip back from Adelaide, before it was out to the airport to collect Andrew and Sofie.  The Paperific show was on again and this (thankfully) is the last show for the year.

Hot weather and I do not agree and the venue had some issues when it came to dealing with the heat, especially on Saturday.  I was definitely not at my best and I am particularly grateful to Robyn and Sue for the care and kindness when I found myself quietly expiring from the heat.  Robyn and Sue had come all the way from Broken Hill for this show and spent valuable shopping time making sure I was alright – thank you both very much, ladies.

I am just relieved that Sofie had come down for this show and had taken the demonstrating reins – I’m sure that the customers would not have been impressed to have seen fainting first hand!

Paperific organiser and new owner Naomi has announced new dates for the shows in 2010 – the expo’s 10th birthday year.  Make sure you come along and celebrate in March and August for 2010.

paperific

On my return from Adelaide there was another card from the Stitchin Fingers Birthday Swap waiting for me.  This one has come from Allyson in South Africa. Allyson has stitched tulle over fabrics and threads and then added beads and sparkles by hand on the top.  The postal service managed to injure a couple but they have mainly survived – including  getting wet somewhere in its journey. This card had a tough trip!

Thanks Allyson – I love it!

Allyson's Card

Birthday card from Allyson in South Africa

After an all too brief sojourn at home base, catching up on some stitching, packing, washing and tending to the business of the MATH is his absence, it was back on the road to Adelaide and the Craft show with Andrew from Scrapmatts.com.

Scrapmatts Stand at Adeliade Craft and Quilt Show

Scrapmatts Stand at Adeliade Craft and Quilt Show

It was terrific to meet all the Scrapmatts customers and to introduce this product to a whole group of new people…

Andrew and Sofie had been working hard to produce some new items for Christmas which proved very popular as we sold out of the new Christmas trees in only a couple of days.  These are now back in stock for those of you who missed out and can be ordered through the Scrapmatts website!

Stock and samples#1

New Christmas Microchips and Samples

I particularly enjoyed being able to meet Judy Butcher – a blogland friend.  Judy and I both belong to a number of different online quilting and textile related groups, so this was the perfect opportunity to finally meet.

Judy was spending her time demonstrating hand quilting techniques on the SA Quilters’ Guild stand in the exhibition area.  We got a few moments here and there to chat and for me to admire the applique quilt Judy was working on… hopefully Judy will post pictures soon!

Judy has a couple of blogs you can check out and if you are interested in what sort of results you can get from computerised quilting programmes, then you must stop by Judy’s Virtual Quilter blog.

After the show, I was faced with a very hot drive back home….I didn’t envy the Adelaide folks their  record burst of hot weather for November.  At least this time I wasn’t dodging feral goats on the road!

 

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