'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Friday 30 October 2009

I’ve started so I’ll finish …


I managed to finish one thing today. This. Sewn together and put in my Contemporary Textiles sketch book.

 IMG_9009But then I thought that it would be interesting to try joining two of these shaped pieces with faggotting. Like this. 

The pieces were already stiffened with tear-away stabiliser so I tacked them to a piece of wash-away stabiliser and worked overlapping rows of an automatic stitch to join the two pieces. Then I rinsed it to get the wash-away out.

It was at this stage I discovered three things:

  1. there were gaps in the stitching
  2. the tear-away stabiliser was really wash-away stabiliser.
  3. the wash-away stabiliser wasn’t.

Not so much a case of ‘If all else fails, read the instructions’ – more a case of  ‘Don’t throw away the instructions thinking that you will remember which stabiliser is which - because you won't.’

The good thing is that there is still stabiliser in there, so I should be able to fix the gaps in the stitching.

The bad thing is that I can’t do that till it’s dry. And if it isn’t heat away stabiliser – which is my second guess – it will be staying in there for all time. Good job it’s ‘only a sample’.

So while it dried I decided to try making a 3D thing with several shapes. Feeling lazy, I decided to use the same fabric for all of them – but after I'd ironed some Vilene to a piece of calico I decided it looked a bit boring. I pondered on several ideas but in the end decided to use some interesting tissue paper with swirls printed on it – crumpled and glued to the calico with PVA.

Mmm – glue.


So while that dried, inspired by this image from the workshop, I decided to try an idea from Kim Thittichai’s new book, using some of the papers I printed yesterday. After I’d ripped up the papers I looked at the sketchbook pages and decided they were a bit – white. 

So I drew streamers on the pages with chunks of crayon and painted them with Koh-i-Noor. 


Mmm – paint.




So while that dried I decided to do something which definitely wasn’t wet. Back to those lines.

Remember this?



This is today’s version. IMG_9014a Satin stitch on a scrap of leathercloth –hence the reflection of the flash.

Because I couldn’t mark the front of the leathercloth, I worked it from the back – and for the wider lines I used crochet cotton, which for some forgotten reason I had wound onto a bobbin. The tension isn't right but it looks quite interesting.

I did consider doing the mysterious mountains this way but I couldn’t face all those zigzags.

So perhaps I finished two things.


Today's sketchbook page is one of the weirder ones. It didn’t scan well because it is 3D - little paper clay faces. Roll a ball of paper clay, press it with a thingy also made of [dried] paper clay – and you get this rather Neanderthal face. Can’t remember where I got the idea for the thingy – somewhere on the net – but it makes a fun face. Or three. Rubbed with a little wax to make them less white.

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