Grunge Heart

This time I wanted to return to a distressed look and make a heart with a grunge look. Made in tattered denim and repaired with metallic lurex fabric and machine-stitched darning.

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Padded Hearts

Patched, stitched and padded heart.

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I really like the idea of creating hearts that look repaired, mended and healed.  Also the concept of something once broken but now repaired and somehow much stronger for it.

Lourdes x

Wrist Cuffs

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Last year I took part in a Facebook challenge to ‘pay it forward’. Basically the idea is to give gifts to people who agree to also give away gifts and so on, resulting in hopefully a very long continuation of gifts being both given and received.  3 people respond to each person taking part, but due to some misunderstandings, I had 5 responses!  Anyway each person is supposed to send a gift to 3 people which could range from a card or postcard to an object of some kind or well, anything!  I thought it would be nice to send things I made myself and I decided to design some wrist cuffs incorporating the ideas I have been working on recently such as crochet combined with fabric scraps and stitching.  The year has progressed quickly and I have been focusing my attention on getting these completed before the year has passed!

I have completed all 5 cuffs but I haven’t yet finished the fastenings,  I decided on brooches as both fastenings and extra adornment, but I haven’t made them yet so I will include them in a future post.

This was the first cuff I worked, using one of my favourite colour schemes of lilac and greens, it includes a couple of pieces of free-form crochet and small hand stitches.

Lourdes x

More Tulip Colours and Crochet Lace

Here is some more stitching with fabric scraps inspired by the colour scheme of wilting purple tulips.  The second photo shows what it looks like when overlaid with crochet lace.

I have lots of ideas at the moment of how this could be further explored and I’m pleased with the direction it’s going in as it conveys the pretty, organic and feminine nature of the things I am inspired by at the moment.  It also refers to deterioration and repair.

It can take such a long time to satisfactorily combine different elements of inspiration, especially when there are so many things one would like to include, of course you don’t want to throw everything in but the kitchen sink! I guess tirelessly working towards a balanced look is so much of what design is about.  I often get frustrated at how long it takes and I’m sure I over-complicate things and also change direction far too much.  Creativity is as much a path of self-mastery as the development of certain skills and ability to communicate ideas or aesthetics.  Oh well, all one can do is keep going with the hope that one day everything will come together!

Love Lourdes x

More Tulips

imageI bought these purple tulips mainly to see how they would dry and I wasn’t disappointed in their performance! I like the delicate colour scheme very much and the inclusion of complementary colours, purple and yellow brings a vibrancy.

The papery texture is also pleasing and as the petals have shrunk they have been pulled into tiny ripples.

imageThe veining in the petals also forms interesting patterns.

Infact they are quite similar to little watercolour paintings.  I find that the subtle characteristics are often the most inspiring.

When translating some of these qualities into textile design, I would look at ways in which I could recreate the colour scheme.  I find that dyed silk and merino fibres as used in feltmaking are really good for providing organic and sensitive colour palettes.  Also fabric paint could be used to recreate the colours, particularly silk paints and silk habutai would be an ideal fabric to work with as it is similar in weight and translucency to the tulip petals.

Thanks for visiting!

Lourdes x

Wilted Tulips

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Today I couldn’t stop myself from photographing the tulips which had began to fade in a vase I had in the house. It has been thoroughly enjoyable trying to capture the exquisite and delicate veining running through the petals and the forms of the flower heads as they soften and appear as if they are about to fly away. So entranced I have felt that I am tempted to dabble in some painting and drawing too.

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The colours are beautiful too and I may have mentioned before how much I love the way the colours in flowers intensify as they dry.

I haven’t really considered use of colour too seriously in my recent work yet, rather focussing on recreating textural qualities and experimenting with these, while pretty much just grabbing the first colour scheme that evolves as I rummage through my supplies. However I think that these tulips could be a fine place to start!

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The tactile quality of the petals is incredibly gorgeous, as it becomes silky soft before it starts to dry and with the richness of the colour scheme is very luxurious. It is like very fine paper, but also very obviously like pure silk.

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It is so exciting that inspiration is everywhere and that at anytime something else can provide new input for ongoing work!

Lourdes x

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

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

Crochet and Fabric Manipulation

I remember the time I first encountered freeform crochet and knitting and how liberating and dare I say it? exhilirating it was!  I reprimanded myself for not thinking of it myself as really it’s a simple idea to crochet, making up the shapes and textures as you go along.

I particularly like the feeling of being very much in control of how it evolves, but also that there is a surprise element when something new is tried.  Freeform crochet and knitting is an excellent method for producing textiles with a distinctly organic character.

Similarly spinning and other textile crafts can be approached in a more unconventional way and I find it very exciting to break the rules and try something unexpected.  I am particularly intrigued with how conformity and rebellion can be contrasted in textiles. For example, perhaps something very formal like counted cross stitch could be combined with something unpredictable like wet felting or melting fabric.  Or a highly-textured handspun yarn could be used in a perfectly balanced Fair Isle knitting pattern.

I think that it was during my foundation course in Art and Design that I first learned to question the application of materials and to push back the supposed boundaries when possible.  So, why not stitch through clay or knit barbed wire – ouch! Through experimenting with what at first may seem impossible, new opportunities definitely open up.  Perhaps the barbed wire does prove too inflexible, so a more supple wire is used and then maybe it is left outside for a few weeks to rust and you have a whole new approach to knitting and ‘yarns’ to investigate.  This is the sort of thing I love and I guess it encourages a childlike mentality of play and experimentation which I think is healthy for the soul and it’s happiness!

To return to my project which is inspired amongst other things by the idea of a secret garden and the effect time has on nature and other materials, I am now at the point where I need to find ways to combine freeform crochet with fabric manipulated by stitch.

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Although I was pleased with my freeform crochet results so far, I think that I need to make them more delicate and perhaps lace-like as I am aiming for an ethereal and fey quality.  I would like to at least partly use handspun yarn as it is easy to create an irregular thickness and also use a combination of different fibres.

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One of the reasons why freeform crochet is so suitable for the theme I’m working around is that a very irregular and organic shape can be created very spontaneously.

The blue fibre in this photo is silk noil that has been handspun and has a weather worn and fragile appearance.

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Although this is knitting here, I have included it because after being washed on a hot wash in the washing machine, it has distorted and looks worn.  I was really pleased with the result which is a very weathered look as I suppose it has literally been exposed to the elements! I think that it may be worth experimenting with different ways to achieve an aged look for applying to crochet.

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Ready made crochet cotton looks good juxtaposed with thick wool fibres as the wool has a floaty, cloudy quality whereas the cotton has more definition.

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I particularly like the way this combines with the twisting fabric shapes.

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The next step to be explored in next week’s blog is methods of attaching crochet to fabric;  it may be best to leave the crochet sections to hang freely or perhaps they could be appliquéd on with hand stitches? As always there are so many, maybe too many possibilities to explore 🙂

Lourdes x

Shapes that Twist and Curl

I have been particularly inspired by the shapes formed by leaves and petals as they shrink and shrivel when they dry.  So many possibilities for textile interpretation becomes apparent when examining these organic structures.

Some of the spiralling shapes are beautiful and hosta leaves are particularly interesting as the prominent veining along their length, forms ripples as they are contorted into a curly appearance.

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Inspired by these characteristics I experimented with machine stitching to recreate the twisting and turning nature of the leaves.

I found organza to be particularly suitable as it distorts easily when stitched on the bias and I also like the fact that it is transparent as it adds another dimension that can be utilised.  An interesting effect is created when layers of different colours of organza are used as there is an interaction between the colours and weaves of the fabric, causing a watermark-like pattern to appear.

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I also liked  the effect created when different fabrics were stitched together before stitching on the bias to form tiny tucks.

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An organic texture is formed by adding more lines of stitching along the bias coming from the opposite direction.

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The fabrics were made to distort further by using a heat gun to melt the fabrics causing them to shrink and also form holes which more closely mimics the deteriorated leaves.

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Melted with Heat gun

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I played around with the bias-stitched organza to form a flower shape which could be used as a brooch or embellishment.

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When I begin to work around a theme I really enjoy experimenting in a broad way to explore all the things that I find mesmerising.  Even if I don’t use all of my ideas they are never wasted as they are often found to be useful in another project later on.   I am finding that as time goes on my ideas are becoming more focused and hopefully more relevant to my work as a whole.

I have lots of different ideas radiating out from this theme which I personally like to think of as a secret garden theme, where memories can be deciphered from the remains left behind.

Lourdes x