Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sketchbook Project: Materials...

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More pages from my Sketchbook Project! These pages start to look at materials and decoration...

Page 5 – Quilted

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Quilted is another word that can be used for both jackets and blankets. Here it is for blankets – the kind we find on our beds that have been passed down through the family or made by our mothers to keep us warm. I chose fabrics in warm colours with a simple feminine pattern and created a basic quilt pattern. The piece is even backed with batting like a real quilt. I hand embroidered the word ‘quilted’ in a harmonious orange tone and used a rounded font to evoke the idea of children and family.

Page 6 – Embroidered

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This page was the first one I completed. I looked at jackets in fashion magazines and found images that I liked and inspired me. I found a current trend for embroidered detailing. Embroidery can be used on jackets, blankets or sheets and is obviously very important to my work. I took inspiration from one particular jacket and created a flourishing design based on natural elements. I used free form machine embroidery to build up the design in several harmonious autumnal colours. I included the image that had originally inspired me in the piece, free form machine stitched in place under gold sparkle netting. Embroidery on jackets can be ornate and historical costume is a good source of this. I used this idea when hand embroidering the words on the piece in gold embroidery floss.

Page 7 – Skins

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I thought about the materials that could be used for the manufacture of Jackets, Blankets and Sheets. Animal skins have been used for centuries as body covers and for warmth at night. I made an abstract piece incorporating synthetic leather and leopard skin, inspired by the idea of detailing on jacket collars, cuffs and pockets. Floating on the surface are the words ‘skins’, ‘leather’ and ‘fur’ that helped me to realise the piece.

Page 8 – Wool

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Continuing looking at materials I also thought of wool felt. Another animal by-product, though more humane, wool can be transformed into entire garments or blankets or just embellishment. I took this as an opportunity to practice some needle felting techniques. I used quilt batting as a base and needle felted wisps of wool to it in varying shapes and contours. I would like to continue this practice, perhaps as decoration for a garment, in the future.

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The first leg of the Sketchbook Tour opens on February 11th in Brooklyn, NY so come check it out!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sketchbook Project: Ideas, Words and Stitches

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Here are some more pages from my Sketchbook Project...

Page 2 - Spider Diagram

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When I got my theme I made a spider diagram to record my thoughts. I often do this when starting work, especially when it has a specific theme or title. I decided to add this to my sketchbook and display it in keeping with the other sewn pages. I chose a patterned background (which I then later used for the inside covers also) and sewed the words on computer paper to the background. I then used red embroidery floss to join them to the diagram. I used the full 6 strands of floss to really make it stand out and show the ties these words have for me to my subject.

I then chose my favourite words from this thought bubble to create my pages.

Page 3 - Warmth

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When I think of jackets and blankets I think of warmth. Jackets keep you warm outside and blankets are added to your bed to keep the chill out. When I thin of warmth I see red as its colour, and fleece is a very warm fabric. I had a scrap of fleece from an old dressing gown, which I repurposed for this page. I followed the lines of the original pattern and added red stripes to symbolise the warmth within. I stitched the word ‘warmth’ in chunky text to represent being bundled up in jackets and blankets. I finished the piece with a blanket stitched edge to elude to the blankets that can create the warmth.

Page 4 - Bed Sheets

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Bed sheets can seem plain. That is until you think about what happens in them. Several words came to mind when thinking of sheets. The prevailing colour that always came to mind for me though, was white. I took several words that I thought of in the context of sheets – sleep, sex, sweat, love – and embroidered them onto a sheet in white. They become part of the sheet as we ourselves do. They are repeated throughout the piece as these are not actions that only happen once, but repeatedly.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Sketchbook Project: Finished!

Sketchbook WIP

I finally finished and posted off my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2011! I am going to share the pages with you here over the next few weeks. You can find my
Art House Co-Op profile page here and you can see more photos of my sketchbook on my Flickr page here


Cover front

The cover of my sketchbook was inspired by blankets I found in my research. In particular, Mexican blankets with their striped patterns caught my eye. I am taking part in some online workshops called The Smashees, and the first lesson was to make a folio cover. I took this idea and used it for my cover. The background fabric was painted with watered down acrylic paint in colours from my chosen scheme (red, black, white, gold and silver) and then printed over with a rubber stamp. I then added stripes in interesting fabrics in matching colours and layered them under silver net. I free form machine stitched these down in silver and gold thread trying to evoke the idea of anchor stitches. I added a ribbon closure which I decorated with silver machine embroidery.

Cover back

Inside Cover

Inside Cover front

I was originally going to attach each sewn page to the paper pages of the sketchbook, but when it came to the final construction I decided this wouldn’t work. I removed the paper pages and sewed all of my sewn pages back to back. I then attached a front and back inside cover piece which I glued to the cardboard cover of the sketchbook. I found the middle page of all my sewn pages and attached this to the middle of the card cover.

Inside Cover back

Page 1 - Title Page

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The first page in my sketchbook is the title page displaying my theme – Jackets, Blankets and Sheets. I took this as an opportunity to experiment with free form machine embroidery and embroidered the words on to cotton in black thread. I enjoyed the process – although it took a long time It was quite satisfying in the end. I think on the whole I prefer hand embroidery, but I can see where machine embroidery will have a place in my work.

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

OMG! The Horror!

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2011 is treating you well so far!

I am currently on a new 10 day itinerary on my cruise ship which is a bit hectic and I'm also working hard on my Sketchbook Project. Photos of that coming soon!

I did realise however, that I haven't shared with you might latest Phat Quarter Swap Piece!!

The theme for the October swap was OMG! The Horror! Along the lines of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you had to do a horror mash-up of sorts.... so I did this:

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Jubileed!! Vampire showgirls! Jubilee is one of the longest running showgirl shows in Las Vegas, so why not have vampires in it??!!

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I used this piece to practice my satin stitch the the sign. I also practiced mixing stitches and using beading on the showgirl. I really like the way it came out and so did my swap partner. I hope you like it too!!

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Also, my piece was the first one in the post on Mr X Stitch about the swap - yay!!