Little Stitchings – part 1

Eco-dyed leaf on arbutus dyed silk. The leaf measures 2.5 inches by 2.25 inches.

Eco-dyed leaf on arbutus dyed silk. The leaf measures 2.5 inches by 2.25 inches.

I have been thinking a lot about my approach to fibre art recently, perhaps I am thinking mostly about the logistics. I have been wanting to do a larger piece, but every time I start plotting the piece “real life” gets in the way. The other night I was really frustrated as to why I am not getting around to working on a large piece and then I reflected on what the last seven weeks have been like. We’ve had: seven people with the flu, followed by a toddler with an ear infection, Christmas, 10 days away on a trip, a week with a child with high fevers, a child who may or may not have a broken arm (we need a second x-ray), and we currently have two children again with high fevers……plus running a photography business on top of all that. I think I have figured out why not a lot of fibre art is happening (yeah, call me Sherlock!). So I have decided to change my plan of attack.

Blackberry dyed silk on marigold dyed silk. Circle is 2.25 inches in diameter.

Blackberry dyed silk on marigold dyed silk. Circle is 2.25 inches in diameter.

I have come up with the idea of “Little Stitchings”. I have decided to work on small compact pieces, no bigger than 6 inches by 6 inches, with the idea of being able to eventually combine them into larger pieces. I have started on stitchings geared towards two different final projects, one with geometric shapes and one that is nature based. Both projects are using naturally dyed silk and  eco-dyed silk fabric, with the stitching threads being silk and bamboo.

Arbutus dyed silk on marigold dyed silk. Circle is 2.25 inches in diameter.

Arbutus dyed silk on marigold dyed silk. Circle is 2.25 inches in diameter.

I think this new approach will allow me to feel like I am accomplishing more, plus it will give me the freedom to work on the pieces anywhere due to the tiny size. I can see a lot of stitching going on in the school parking lot as I pick the children up from school!

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4 thoughts on “Little Stitchings – part 1

  1. Hi Deb! It is soooo true about ‘real life’ getting in the way! I know this feeling quite well.
    Although I make my living as a textile artist, I very often have this feeling that I cannot accomplish as much as I wish. I even have been making notes on my daily activity trying to analyze if I spend my time diligently… But you cannot avoid some ‘real life’ routine activity, especially being a mother and the lady of the house!

    Your idea of working small scale things is great indeed. And the pieces on your pics are awesome, great color combination, esp the one in brown!

    I wish you all are in great health real soon!
    Elena

    • The brown ones will be the easy ones to work together. I have several pieces of experimental eco-dyed silk from the summer that will work perfectly. I did another brown one last night and I am loving it.

  2. These are quite beautiful and I think it’s smart to work with purse-sized pieces of fabric rather than yardage. Some of your stitchings remind me of Dijanne Cheval’s Traveller’s blanket (http://origidij.blogspot.ca/). She had the cover photo and an article in Quilting Arts Dec12/Jan13 (check your local library if you don’t have a copy). Some remind me of Jude Hill’s cloth (spiritcloth.typepad.com). You might find, if you know you’re going to stitch them all together, that you do something dye-related with the background scraps before your stitching so as to unify them. Could be as simple as soaking them in tea! Dijanne teaches a course on her traveller’s blanket which includes some dyeing suggestions. I took the course (which is quite good) but I wish now that I had made small stitchings and sewed them together later.

    • Thank you for the links, I will be checking them out. Your ideas for unifying the background are great. I will certainly be thinking about that as I work on the pieces. I see the color ones being more challenging to work together. Thank you for the suggestions.

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