wow it's almost April.

In March, I was busy with a lot of things. mostly computer oriented and I found I was getting frustrated not sewing , or painting. A good sign for it means that February where I concentrated on doing something almost everyday has become a choice. One that I have come to expect and perhaps even continue.

I can’t call it a habit for that will jinx the process… oh I’m learning how to deal with this rebel inside of me. Grin.

I began the collage cutting pieces of a previously painted cotton and was playing with its position on various backgrounds but that decision making process was not keeping my hands busy enough. Pictures of that are coming soon!

One rash Saturday I decided it was time to tackle some tidying in the basement and I found a whole load of old cotton shirts I had cut up thinking I would paint on them at some point. One small piece still had a part of the front buttonhole placket on it and it was and interesting shape. It was quite creased from being thrown in a box so I thought why not use the folds to define some planes and see where it might take me. So I began to make tiny stitches in a very light thread all along the folds making angles and dart like shapes.

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I forgot to take a picture before I started placing the shapes on the front so here you are seeing the tiny stitches that end up being larger on the back.

The detail photo below shows you the front with the tiny stitches cascading down the folds. Looking rather like tiny beads. I really like the sheen of rayon thread.

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Write here…

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This gives you an idea of what the collage will look like when it is all sewed down and the single buttonhole at the top will be a place from which to hang it. It should be complete soon so watch for the final photo.

and I zig back to fabric

Since the fish collage, I have returned with renewed interest to a fabric collage I began last summer. I had decided on a circle, and I had fussy cut a flower that I painted on cotton years ago but hadn’t found a place for it yet. I had lightly glued down the pieces and I had done some hand sewing on it but I felt it was perhaps a little too pat… but that critical voice is being told off at the moment so it was a good place to begin again. With the backgound fabric a lovely spiral pattern I refer to this piece as New Zealand #1.


Here’s where I restarted.

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Detail of flower with beginning hand stitch. the dots are mostly ink pen but I did highlight some later with black thread.

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And here’s where I finish.

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Detail of the bottom band with french knots in green and fuzzy yarn sewed onto silk fray piece.

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Detail of top band , which was painted linen with freemotion machine stitch in variegated threads.

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Detail of flower with hand stitching and a portion of couched metallic thread accenting the spiral.

meld can mean more....

Well scrapping the list making was a good thing. But I did keep coming back to the notion of painting. I was not yet sure where to begin or whether to give up. So I did what I usually do I went to work. if I wanted to do collage, do a collage! I got out an old canvas that I painted a while ago with ink tense blocks. It was ho hum… but a place to start. I sat for about an hour placing small scraps of fabric on top of this painting and was not getting anywhere then a fish scrap found its way to the top of my scrap bag and that was the catalyst!

It worked from there! next came the problem solving that many authors insist art is actually about. How was I going to get these fabric scraps onto the canvas. I initially thought I could sew them , using the canvas frame like a quilting hoop on my machine, canvas being way to hard to easily hand sew.

Cooking dinner and a couple of days thinking intervened and I found I was realizing I might be chickening out of trying my hand at painting again… and reading some of my new books on Acrylic methods and supplies started reminding me that I did want to paint still , but how?

Meld! DO both together! Paint, collage, sew, maybe I could do it all!

Yesterday I took myself for an exploring trip to a new and very close-by Art supply store. Being in an Art store for me is like being a kid in a candy store. I asked some questions and left with a new jar of soft gel acrylic medium. It both glued down the scraps and intensified the colours of the ink tense. For I also found the canvas frame was too thick to fit under my sewing machine needle. But my embroidery hoops will ,so another part of this project takes me onward.

I have learned that I can also mix soft gel with paint for textured effects, and that might be a cool additional element here but it might be for the next project too. Anyway I feel like I’m moving forward with my work!

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