Feathery Fabrics and Fibres

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I started making a choker today.  I already had the length of crochet lace made and I was playing around with ideas for a suitable background.  I decided to use small frayed pieces as I liked the feathery effect and felt that if layered, would create a pleasing contrast for the crochet.

I cut up lots of pieces of lightweight and transparent fabrics, mainly along the bias, as the irregular edge formed was appealing.  I then frayed each piece, I wanted to include the loose threads as they reminded me of the fluffy material in flower heads.  I felt that the best way to do this was to add some wool fibres to the threads and then to needlefelt them with some of the frayed pieces of fabric.  Needlefelting is achieved by using a purpose-made barbed needle which tangles wool fibres together, when used to repeatedly stab them.  This creates a felted fabric and the more it is worked, the denser it becomes.

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These are some of the pieces of fibres needlefelted with frayed fabric.  They are possibly a little thick, so I will use them sparingly, combined with the layered, frayed pieces and attach the crochet strip on top.  I will include the finished result in a coming post.

Lourdes x

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Inspiration from the Garden

 

As is so often the case, the garden provides the inspiration for my textile design.  It never fails to amaze me how much change takes place, creating a complex and intriguing storyline woven through the turning of the year.

In very early spring there is the need for hope and faith, when the ground is still hard and the air stil speckled with frost.  Then the excitement of potential as the sudden appearance of bright green shoots that emerge through the earth, reassure that although hidden, ‘life’ has not been extinguished after all.

As Spring burgeons, there is a glorious display of verdancy and colour, especially exhibited by trees now in blossom.  Infact I usually find most inspiration from petals that fall, and start to wrinkle and dry, at the end of summer as the colours intensify.

This year I am attracted to the grouping of delicate new flowers, which together form abundant textures of soft femininity, suggestive of ruffles and flounces characterising summer ball gown dresses in fairy tales.  It is just prettiness in excess! But it can be really lovely to appreciate colours, shapes and patterns that scintillate the sight and seem to celebrate the increasing warmth of the sunshine.

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Lourdes x

 

 

Organza Petals

imageThese are ‘petals’ made by melting cut-out circles of organza.  The technique is nothing new, but I like to stitch groups of them together as the transparency creates mixes of colour which appear dreamy and romantic.  I have only recently started to incorporate them into my accessory design, and I feel confident that over time I will discover a variety of applications for them.

Lourdes x

Heart Repaired with Roses

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I thought I would continue the Beltane floral theme by incorporating embroidered roses within the fabric heart as shown above.

Firstly I cut a heart shape out of pink chiffon and then cut holes in it and frayed it using a teasel brush.  It was very fragile at this point so I decided to place it on a cream satin background for stability.  It was then repaired with lots of tiny stitches and lastly the roses were embroidered.

The idea I had for this piece was that roses symbolise love.  Adding them to the heart first mauled, then repaired,  is a message that love can heal and ‘prettify’ even mistreated hearts.

Lourdes X

Blossoming Heart at Beltane

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Most mornings I like to start the day by centering myself.  I do this by looking at my feelings and trying to identify them.  I don’t always want to and it’s not always easy, but if I manage it, I find that my energy flows better.

Sometimes feelings and thoughts provoke a journey that provides inspiration for creative work, and they additionally resonate with themes that seem to emerge through the day.  I really like to try to understand what these ‘signs’ are representing in my life.

The last few days have brought up many references to the light and power of the sun.  Unfortunately I can’t say that this has been encouraged by the weather, which has not been so great!

However it so happens that today is Mayday also known as Beltane, which is a Celtic fire festival.  The word ‘Beltane’ combines ‘Bel’ the name of a Celtic God, meaning ‘bright one’ and ‘teine’ which is a Celtic word for ‘fire’.

Beltane is a celebration of the beginning of the brighter part of the year.  It is also a festival which celebrates procreation, sexuality and the reproductive energies of the earth, now fully reawakened after the winter.

I decided to continue using the heart as a metaphor for emotion, and this time with the intent to evoke the spirit of abundance of Beltane, and what it may symbolise for us internally.

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‘Flora’ is the name of a Roman fertility goddess and as her name suggests, is a goddess of flowers.  Also known as the ‘May Queen’, she has significance in pagan rituals at this time of year.  The festival of Beltane is flamboyantly characterised by the wearing of flowers and this has also inspired my decision to make a heart shaped from textile blossoms.

I also like the idea of a heart that ‘blooms’ in response to warmth, much as the rays of the sun are vital for the opening of flowers.

I decided to work on folded satin fabric which I felt suggested enclosure of something secret, as in an envelope or folded piece of paper.  I like the sense of mystery and the way that the heart of textile petals is viewed as a symbol or embellishment for something else unseen.

Stitched Heart

Heart stitched on patched fabric

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Miniature Roses

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I have been buying quite a few of these plants this year and roses have been a focus for me.  Do you find that different things can catch your attention at different times and almost seem as if they are asking you to notice them? I find this happens with colours, gem stones, plants and animals, but also sometimes characters from myths or fairy tales.  I believe that there is a reason for this and I think that the symbolism of certain things are relevant to us at different times during our journey through life.

Last summer I felt an urgency to take care of all the rose bushes in the garden as well as collecting these little pots of miniature roses as in the photo above.  The garden had been neglected for a few years and the roses were no exception.  When we first moved here I made the mistake of planting the rose bushes in a shady spot in the garden under a tree – foolish move! Unsurprisingly they really haven’t prospered in the way that they could.  So this autumn I prepared a new border for them where they will get plenty of sun and I am waiting for the winter before I transplant them while they are dormant.  I can’t wait to see them flourish!

Lourdes x

My Garden

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This is my very overgrown jungle of a garden! I thought I would write a little about it as it provides me with lots of inspiration for textiles.  It has been largely neglected during the last few years as I didn’t have the energy or motivation to deal with it, however this year I have found that my interest has returned and I hope that during the course of this summer I will tidy it up.

I believe that the external world reflects your internal world and I like to think that one’s garden could act as a mirror to one’s spirit.  I think that to grow things, to nurture them and to provide all the necessary conditions for plants to flourish, could indeed help your inner life to grow and prosper too.  A garden at the very least, offers a beautiful and inspiring metaphor for life.

I was speaking to my mother on the phone about gardening and looking out at my green tangle of a backyard, I realised that although it is certainly verdant, there is a lack of bright colour.  I then decided that I really need to plant some flowers that will splash some brightness and celebration on to this predominantly green canvas.  I am thinking of towering plants like delphiniums, hollyhock, foxgloves and lupins as well as smaller flowering plants such as cornflowers and tiny lobelias.

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My first attempt to add some colour was buying this little sunflower, which already has cheered things up with it’s presence on the patio.

I am feeling excited by these ideas of planting things and I don’t really know how I ever lost interest in the first place!  Of course a big part of it is that there will be more source material for textiles experimentation and that is always great fun!

Lourdes x

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