Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Journeys - Rail Ticket Sketchbook Challenge #1

Having just been on a mixed-media sketchbook workshop and eager to fill a cute little sketchbook I bought at the Fashion, Embriodery & Stitch show recently I was wondering how to use each page.  Now as every textile and mixed-media artist knows we hang on to everything - tickets, receipts, stamps, cards, envelopes, sweet wrappers and all kinds of ephemera etc. hoarding them because we know they will come in useful in a future project at some point. I travel to work by train and for months have been saving all my old rail tickets knowing that I wanted to use them in some kind of project.  So I have set myself a challenge to fill every page of my new sketchbook with one rail ticket and to be as creative as possible with each ticket. The idea then is that the whole sketchbook will be filled with 'Journeys' using as many mixed-media techniques as I can think of such as drawing, painting, stitch, fabric, printing, transfers, embroidery, felting, rubbings - the possibilities are endless.   So here is the first page.  Admittedly not too ambitious yet but I wanted to kick start the project and not think too hard about each page, to just get on with it and set myself a time limit which should avoid my usual proscratination when faced with a virginal blank page in a sketchbook. 

So here's to many more 'Journeys'. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Bean Bag has landed

So the bean bag is finally finished!  Having started it in February it has not been without its trials and tribulations.  Namely, the blessed poly beads just seemed to spill everywhere no matter how careful I was in filling the bag. I am still finding them now in the most unusual places as they become static and stick to everything and I do mean everything! I downloaded the free pattern from allaboutyou which seemed quite straightforward until it got to the bit where I had to pin and stitch six evenly spaced darts around the top of the bag to fit into a smaller circle at the top where the handle goes.  Now to do this I had to calculate the circumference of a circle and maths has never been my strong point but after much googling found I needed to use the formula C = 2πr.  Tricky! Anyway I got there in the end and very pleased I am too with the result.

Micky and Goofy seem quite pleased too...

And it's just perfect for sitting and watching TV on....

And for resting my feet on after a long day.  Bliss, especially if Poldark is on TV.  Well recommended - both  Poldark and the Bean bag that is.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch 2015

Never one to miss out on a chance to add to my SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy)  I couldn't wait to get myself over to Birmingham's NEC for the Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch show a couple of weeks ago. Combined with Sewing for Pleasure and Hobbycrafts it's also an ideal opportunity to see the work of some really great textile artists and group collective exhibitions and there's nothing better than seeing an artist's work up close and personal to find inspiration to  kickstart the creative processes.   Here are a few things that caught my eye:

I loved this Mary Poppins style embroidered bag with the wistful eyes. 

Below is the work of one of my favourite textile and mixed-media artists Ineke Berlyn. She is from the Netherlands but moved to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire in 1978.  I find all of her work very inspiring especially this quilted fabric book.  

Ineke makes the most wonderful dress quilts - they look like dresses hanging up but in fact they are quilts.  This dress made out of recycled denim has certainly got me inspired to make something similar as I have not thrown any jeans away in our house for about ten years, hanging on to them with the idea that I will eventually get round to making something really useful with them. 


If you look closely at the detail, Ineka has used a Sashiko hand quilting running stitch to make a Boro style patchwork which is Japanese for tattered rags and is the method rural Japanese housewives used to repair clothing, cotton bedding and futon covers.  I think I feel a throw coming on for my old sofa! 

Here Ineka has made the quilt from a patchwork of hand-dyed fabrics then machine quilted.

Instead of throwing away all the newspapers covering Obama's inauguration in 2009, Ineka kept them to make a dress quilt using a paper-lamination technique combining the newspapers with organza and silk-screen printing.

You can never have too many jumpers - a quilt of Nordic style jumpers by Gillian Travis

How very Sofie Grabol

Great beetroots of our time? Or turnips? 

And here is the best of the rest:

Inspired by the Klondyke Gold Rush this artist had embroidered a monochrome picture of a gold panner combined with text from an old newspaper which had been ink-jet printed onto a background of silk organza.

So I have an old deckchair in the garage and this would be an ideal way of upcycling it. Lots of great ideas and yet more inspiration for more projects which should keep me well and truly occupied till the Festival of Quilts hits town in August. Happy stitching! x