donderdag 30 april 2020

hungry bunnies

I was afraid that the lovely Textile Stitch Challenge
had come to an end last week

But NO :
along came Anne Kelly !

I like the way she works and refers to folk art.
She uses old textiles
and all kinds of fragments, ribbons and lace
and then machine stitches over it all.

The folk art theme was a starting point here.

I made a design
but didn't necessarily want a vase in the center of it ...
That made me think of one of the stamps I made
(some years ago)
the one in the middle of row three,
the bunnies.

Hmmm ... what about bunnies, eating a carrot ???

Then I needed some background
and flowery fabrics

Lots and lots of snippets pinned to the background
Machine stitching and so many pins
isn't a good match ...
So I thought of something I learned a long time ago :
cover it all with a piece of tulle
and then stitch over it all !

And that's what I did.
I took dark pink tulle, but you can take
any colour you like, even black works well
The colour of the tulle kind of "fuses"
all the colours together.
But you can cut away the tulle in some places
to restore the brightness of the original colour.

After the machine stitching was done
I couched some ribbon, sewed some buttons
and made seed stitches
(criss-cross running stitches)
on the background.

"Hungry bunnies" 

 Detail with the tulle, machine and hand stitching

Thanks Anne Kelly,
it was fun !

zaterdag 25 april 2020

more learning

more stitching again !

This week in the group
it was Emily Jo Gibbs' turn
to show a bit how she works her magic.
She makes the most delicate portraits and still life pieces
with a hazy appearance because of
the silk organza she uses.
(check out her website!)

I know and love her work for quite some time
so I was delighted with this opportunity.

She showed how to make a "simple" piece
using a found twig and its shadow

Finding an interesting twig shouldn't be a problem
in my garden and I found one
(even a flowering one)
but then :
daughter brought a beautiful hanging basket
with a fuchsia !!!

Change of plans for me !


Great way to make a sketch with a telephone nearby.

Finding the right fabric
is never a problem in my "home-shop" stash
nor was tracing the sketch (against the window)
to make the patterns

Cutting them however
was a fiddly business !!!
(f.y.i. the pattern was on A5 !)

After all the pieces were pinned then tacked in place
I selected my threads
and could the stitching start.

Great use of the telephone,

to see every detail in form and colour !


Today I finished the last stitches :
pistil and stamens
and decided
that it looked better when the flowers was lying down
(and not standing like a little ballerina)

A wonderful lesson

THANKS Emily !

dinsdag 21 april 2020

keeping an eye ...

Sue Stone is an English textile artist
who makes stitched portraits.
Her sons made a special Textile Art site
where they give a stage to their mum
and other textile artists from all over the world.

In these strange times they initiated on FB
with every week another artist
to teach a tiny online workshop
about their own way with textiles,
starting with Sue Stone of course.
Next was Cas Holmes
and on April 6 Emily Tull
who explained how tho stitch an eye.

I was still busy stitching the piece for my friend
so I saw that video later in the week
and it very much appealed to me ! 
One piece finished ... ready to start something new !

For one I start with the end result

But it all started with
1. a photo
(hmmmmm ... hate making selfies : they look bad
and strangely askew most of the time)
2. a sketch (with pencil)
3. tracing the drawing in pen
and 4. the drawing (again in pen) on cloth
(an piece of linen from old trousers)

Hmmmm four "me's"

So not one eye
but both eyes ánd glasses

A collection of blues and grays and skin colours

Five slightly different  reds for my glasses

Starting the second eye.
I had some times five needles in my work
each with a different strand (or two)
embroidery floss

While working on this there were two more challenges :
by Richard McVetis and Emily Jo Gibbs

(so more to stitch !)

donderdag 16 april 2020

a beautiful book

Yesterday arrived
another birthday present
that was ordered by mail


I follow Jackie Morris' blog for quite some years now
and admire her fantastic way she illustrates
her own and other books.

This is a collaboration of two artists
who greatly admire each other's work

The poems by Robert Macfarlane
capture the true spirit of each and every animal or plant

I loved the book when I saw it on Jackie's blog
and was VERY curious when I saw it
in our wonderful Rotterdam bookshop (Donner)
translated in Dutch

But I can only say that
Bibi Dumon Tak
(a Dutch writer)
did a splendid job translating Robert's (lost) words

(it is only a pity
that the printed gold leaf background of Jackie's watercolours 
is not as bright as the "real thing")

I can strongly recommend this wonderful book
to anyone who loves nature
poems and watercolurs !

dinsdag 14 april 2020

quiet ...

A bit too quiet perhaps
but lots of loooong telephone conversations :
that was my 2020 birthday.

Man went shopping very early
and brought sole for dinner
and sunny flowers !

In the garden the flowering Malus and the very first Bluebell
(one that survived the garden-makeover
but I hope there will be more ...)

And then, late in the afternoon :
(after I already reconciled with the very quiet day)
the surprise visit of daughter with two grandsons
and presents !

A wonderful birthday after all

zondag 12 april 2020


In these strange times
stitching has been slow
(or in fact nearly non-existing)

But last Monday
I finally got hold of someone dear I had almost lost sight of
and her situation urged me to stitch a piece for her.

and lots of happy memories
of a long friendship.

Today I was able to bring her the finished piece.
tears and laughter
(through the window)

Two sides : the dotted fabric 2 cm bigger
so it is a binding for the other side

maandag 6 april 2020

just spring

Despite everything
we humans have to endure
goes on.


Man's last mandala (in a book of 100 !)
a tribute to spring