Frost 4 for blog

Frost 4: 121cm x 21cm

My fourth piece in the Frost series evolved from an oil pastel sketch via a flat piece of appliqué to a number of stuffed pods as I began sampling. I more or less followed the shapes and colours of the initial drawing, but gave myself some additional rules to follow in choosing the colour threads for the hard-edged appliqué which all adds to the colour dynamism. Joined with invisible thread the pods appear to float in space. This time the pods are small and light and can be easily hung on a picture hook. Out of the 4 pieces, I think I like this one best of all. I have just the space for it in my conservatory!

As you can see, having a long piece of work can be problematic for blogging as the text doesn’t wrap around easily.  I do want to get across something of the scale of the piece though and so, the measurements are approximately 121cm x 21cm. For those of you who are interested, I’ve also added the sizes to the other pieces too.


From samples to cards

It’s amazing how far you can make your scraps go. I made 17 cards out of my two samples. Here is an example of a card made from each of the techniques described in an earlier blog post.

Snips card blogchiffon snips card blog

If Frost used fabric…

Frost 3 for blog

Frost 3: 48cm x 18.5cm

If Frost used fabric he might have decided to mix materials. He might have decided to fray the edges. So my experiments led me to both of those things. Simple colours and shapes took along time to arrange and many drawings to satisfy the need for just the right amount of white. I had already purchased lots of fabric for this series of work and I was having a moment of guilt about doing that, especially as I’d been forced into buying yet more storage containers to keep it all in. So I discovered a remnant of white leatherette, an oddment of black silk and some red cotton. Why couldn’t I mix them together instead of sticking purely to cotton? The leatherette is beautiful to stitch into with the sewing machine – I really must use some more of it.

I carefully, but not too carefully, cut my templates and set about cutting out the fabrics and arranging and rearranging them until they were right. Sprinkling the backs of the shapes with magic bonding powder and ironing them in place, I then stitched them on to the grey background, measuring lots of times to attempt aligned edges. This kind of discipline is good for me even if it drives me to distraction.  I admire you quilters for your patience and neatness! But I knew instantly what I should have done. I should have backed the pieces with proper Bondaweb to stop them fraying. But I hadn’t and I had to try and recover the piece without tearing it up in frustration. So I made a feature out of the fraying and frayed it further. On reflection it works well – softening the edges around the leatherette, adding texture and making it a textile piece and not just trying to imitate the painted surface. I’ve grown quite fond of it and it is in my favourite colour combination!

Using up the scraps

I had some great fun this afternoon using up scraps of fabric to make an all new piece of fabric. The idea is to turn them into cards for the next TRAC exhibition. The first was made using water-soluable fleece to hold the scraps in place and for the second, I used some organza to hold them in place and then stitched, then cut-away, stitched and cut-away a few times. It gives a nice effect.  Very satisfying and I used up all of those annoying thread ends on my bobbins!

snips 1Snips 2




Frost 2

Frost 2: 46cm x 21cm

It’s interesting  how a drawing can seem quite large, but when translated to fabric it appears to shrink. This piece did just that or maybe it’s just that compared to the previous monster it seems tiny? I haven’t attempted cut-away appliqué since my City & Guilds, but it seemed the right way to interpret the drawing. It also reminded me that there are much quicker ways of working than doing all of that dense stitching I’m inclined to do. However, simplicity isn’t always good for me. My brain doesn’t engage the way it should; it thinks it knows it all and forgets to concentrate. There should have been more divisions within the piece, but I’d missed a few lines in the tracing. Perhaps though, bolder is better.

I’m clearly in need of a holiday, which I’ve now had. I combined it with a work trip to Glasgow. What a fabulously friendly and cultural city. In planning a day trip to the Isle of Arran, I also discovered that it’s not the place where Aran jumpers come from. That’s in Ireland! I didn’t go!