Openwork Crochet and Stitching

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These are my most recent experiments where I have been playing around with more ways of combining very loosely-worked crochet with fabrics and stitching.  The work above was also melted with a heat gun to add a distressed quality.

These are samples exploring ways of combining small scraps of fabric with crochet and stitching.  I think that the lines created by the crochet contrasted with the coloured fabric is similar to the pattern and veining found on the wings of insects.  I also think that the use of black thread gives the samples a gothic look.

Thanks so much for visiting! All the best

Lourdes x

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Crochet, Tucks, Cords & Thoughts

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As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am at the point in my project where I am having to consider how to bring my visual research and development to some point of culmination.   I have been looking through all of my samples to see what jumps out for more in-depth exploration and potential for some kind of eventual conclusion.

I have also been thinking about concept and how my visual work could suggest ideas, as these I have found are always interwoven with my visual sources of inspiration and chosen route of investigation.  I don’t want to be too definite in describing the ideas I have, as I know how these grow and change, but I would say that I am interested in analysing the relationship we can cultivate with nature through acknowledgment of it’s cycles.

In addition I am also interested in the meaning of beauty and what happens to many of our ideas of what constitutes beauty as we get older.

I began this project with the idea of a secret garden where unexpected treasures can be found and would now extend that to include inner secrets and mysteries particularly as relates to femininity and how they can be revealed.  So, in summary I am curious about nature, cycles, beauty and feminine mysteries and possibly how our awareness of these things could be improved.

Healing is always of fascination to me and I am also curious about how healing can take place.  The challenge is how to incorporate these ideas and questions into the physical act of constructing textiles and clothing.

In terms of textile work I have decided to focus on freeform crochet which is very effective at describing an organic, but also pretty quality.

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When a really large crochet hook is used with a fine thread, a very loose and ‘irregular’ fabric is formed, which is great for distorting as well as creating a very open work material like a net.  It is even reminiscent of the veining on the wing of an insect.

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I love using tiny hand stitching and when combined with fabric scraps and patchwork suggest repair, patience and healing as well as also having an organic feel.  I will also continue to explore ways to create form and texture with bias-stitched tucks which are perfect for creating again very pretty flounces, ripples and ruffles.

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After looking through all my samples so far I have decided to look again at this idea of combining crochet with fabrics and stitching the crochet in places to create a corded lace effect.

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At this stage I am thinking that this could work well as a detail on a corset or bra top.  I have begun by looking at different threads and yarn and how they look when covered with machine zigzag stitch, I need to research ready-made cords too.

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Here, torn satin strips have been handspun and then covered in zigzag stitch and crocheted.  Although an ‘open’ material has been formed, it is rather bulky and stiff.

Crochet and Tatters

Just a short post today.

Here I have included more attempts to combine crochet with fabric scraps.  I like the use of transparent fabrics as a delicate, dreamy quality is created.

imageHere small stitches have been included as well as some machine stitching to hold the fabric patches together.

May your day be filled with happiness!

Lourdes x

Cornwall

I wasn’t intending to post this entry yet as this is probably research material for a future project, however I will be off on holiday to the Lake District in a few weeks and no doubt there will be more inspiration for yet another future project!  It also continue’s yesterday’s theme of inspiration, so it seemed appropriate.

I went to Cornwall for a week on holiday in the autumn and it was amazing to experience the coast again.  Living in Birmingham, UK, unfortunately means that the sea is far away, so I felt the need to make the most of the opportunity.  I enjoyed a couple of hours takIng photos and collecting pebbles, shells and so on to take back home for inspiration.  I found that what was really fascinating was the different types of seaweed and they suggested all sorts of textural possibilities to experiment with.

Once they they have dried out the texture changes and the colours darken and intensify.

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I find that it is very useful to think carefully about appropriate adjectives to describe objects used as sources of inspiration. Words can suggest many possible paths of exploration, directing the thought process to methods of interpretation informed by the research material and also suggesting less obvious routes.

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Words suggest different textile techniques or approaches for experimentation.  Some of the ideas that come to my mind are rouleau loops to create long tubes of fabric, melting fabric to create bumpy rippled surfaces as well as crispy textures, clumps of tangled thread and fabrics made to look bedraggled by tearing and shredding.

I also found that shells found along the beach include striking patterns and textures.

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I would love to investigate the potential of these shapes in relief; I have been attracted recently to ornate embroidery techniques such as beadwork and metal thread embroidery and I think that these shells could provide very suitable subject matter.

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I have always really loved these little shells that can be found here on the British coast.  What I love about them is that in places the matt patterned coating has worn away to reveal an irridescent surface.  I think that the contrast, although subtle is stunning! Unfortunately the photos do not clearly capture the beautiful swirls of irridescent pink, green and blue.

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I also think that the fine grey pattern is beautiful and I like the fact that they have been eroded away in places to leave holes.  I would like to perhaps interprete these characteristics using embroidery to recreate the pattern, on layers of fabric to imitate the different layers on the shells surface, as well as some cut work to suggest the holes.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Much love.

Lourdes x

Textiles Inspiration: Seed Heads

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I really was delighted to come across a set of withered stems crowned with these little pods of wonder as I walked our dog in the very water-logged and bedraggled garden the other day.  Such is the obsession of the textiles designer!  Anyone who knows me well has seen me with handfuls of seaweed, skeletonised leaves, dried ferns… If it’s from nature I’ve collected it! And people don’t always understand where I’m coming from, but that’s ok, I don’t mind being insane in a textiles kind of way! If you are a textiles person or infact anyone inspired by nature you may relate to what I am saying! Somehow just a single petal, feather or pebble suggests a universe of possibilities and these flower seed heads were no exception!

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Spring is on it’s way and I guess that these tightly-packed ‘cushions’ of seeds are ready to burst out into the breeze where they will be carried to many different spots in the garden to create new plant life for the coming summer.

This is a photo of the flowers they come from taken last summer.

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What is of great interest to me is the contrast between the seeds when they are squeezed together into a ball, reminding me of a congested pin cushion and the fluffy, fibres peppered with green black dots as they separate themselves.

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So much comes to mind in terms of stitch , form and material!  For example I would be tempted to interpret the wispy fibres and suspended thread-like seeds with stitches and the tiniest french knots, perhaps even using plant fibres as a ‘fabric’. The effect is incredibly delicate.

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When looking at the more closely packed seeds, a thicker fabric is suggested and the surface has a bumpy quality.  This brings to mind velvet as a material, perhaps again with french knots worked within the pile as the velvet nap will separate and appear ‘tufty’ much as the fibres do once the fabric is rounded.

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Straight away exciting ideas emerge and I am particularly looking forward to taking some of these characteristics into the medium of textiles!

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Lourdes x