Preparing Materials

20180529_195458Carded merino, silk and angelina fibres; so much like textile candy floss!

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Lots of individually frayed snippets of fabric.

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Threads from frayed fabrics carded into fibres.

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Beginning stitching.

Lourdes X

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Crochet Lace for Necklace

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Yesterday I worked on this piece of freestyle crochet for a necklace.  ‘Freestyle’ crochet differs from conventional crochet in that a pattern is not followed and it is worked spontaneously.  Therefore it often has an irregular appearance.  I choose to use this approach as I want these pieces to look organic, almost as if ‘growth’ is taking place in the work.  It is an amazing way to explore with crochet as it is experimental and hence exciting and unpredictable.  I found it very liberating when I fell upon this way of working, as I had never considered breaking the ‘rules’!  It also fosters an understanding of crochet and how it is used to create shapes and patterns.

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I selected some fabrics to use with the crochet lace.  I will cut these pieces up and fray them before stitching the fragments together and attaching the lace.  I will then decide whether to add more ornamentation.  The crochet is quite elaborate so it may not need anything else.

Lourdes X

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

Denim on Denim – Appliqued Heart and Stitches

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I love the distressed denim look as well as embroidered denim so I thought I would try appliqueing a denim heart.  It’s very soft light denim so it wasn’t too much trouble to stitch through the layers.

 

 

 

 

 

Wrist Cuff in Autumn Colours

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This is the third cuff I made for the ‘pay it forward’ challenge I mentioned a few posts ago.  It is based on the colours of autumn which are surrounding us at the moment.

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My favourite part of this cuff is the red velvet combined with the stitches.  I also like the contrast between the red metallic net and the crochet.

Wrist Cuff In Graded Pinks, Silks and Velvet

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This is the second of the 5 cuffs I have been working on.

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It includes pieces of velvet, silk organza, chiffon and net.  It is smaller in size than the others.

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

Added Stitching

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More stitches have been added to this pece of patchwork, however I haven’t worked on this for a while as I have been seduced away by other projects!

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A close-up of stitching worked on a piece of gossamer fabric (once part of a scarf) .  I like the combined effect of the print punctuated by the stitches.

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Another close-up of black stitches.

Lourdes x

Stitching

I love stitching! There is something so satisfying about adding to the thickness of a material with stitching.  As with many textile crafts, stitching also is rhythmic and that is relaxing and centering.  As far as creative expression goes, stitches are like brush strokes or pencil lines and the personality of the embroiderer shapes the character of the work.  I particularly love hand stitching because it soothes me and makes me slow down and as I centre, I feel inwardly my energy begins to flow. So, for me, hand embroidery is healing and even spiritual.

Hand Stitches on Merino and Silk Fibre

Hand Stitches on Merino and Silk Fibre

I am drawn to hand stitching therapeutically as psychologically there is something stabilising about lots of stitches adding structure and substance to fabric.  In fact the above photo shows fibres entirely held together by stitches and the diaphanous and ethereal quality of the fibres is combined with strength and durability.  In relation to my current project I am finding that lots of small stitching speaks also of mending and darning, again emphasising repair and healing.

Hand Stitching on Felted Fibre, Velvet and Organza

Hand Stitching on Felted Fibre, Velvet and Organza

Here, stitches are added to materials of different thicknesses creating an organic texture reminiscent of tree bark.

Hand Stitching on Organza

Hand Stitching on Organza

Stitches on ‘barely there’ organza.

Sheer Fabrics and Hand Stitching

Sheer Fabrics and Hand Stitching

I continued exploring the combination of stitch and fabric by experimenting with machine stitching to hold scraps of fabric, yarn and thread together.  Again I think that it is interesting to create different thicknesses through layering and the use of different materials. In places the fabric is thick and unyielding, almost like cardboard and then the ‘fabric’ disintegrates to reveal shaky lines of stitching, floating between the edges of the material.

When the machine-stitched fabric is melted with a heat gun,  the look of deterioration is emphasised and also the impression of fragility.

For my next blog I intend to investigate other methods of utilising stitch with recycled fabric and other textile remains.  I may even try to incorporate some crochet as I think it would also be appropriate as a method to create organic and weathered textures.

Lourdes x

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