You know that feeling when you’ve learnt something new but you go back to it a month or two later and it feels like you’ve forgotten everything? Well, Alice Hume had the wonderful idea of a establishing a weaving club to keep her students coming back for more. I thought I had better start something before turning up, so I muddled through the sumac, not quite the way Alice had taught me, but it sufficed. The first club night reminded me about joining two colours together and I ambitiously embarked on a curved shape. Carrying on at home, I attempted to mirror that curve and Alice told me I had invented a new weave. Isn’t she kind?! Then she told me that curves were perhaps one of the most tricky things to accomplish. Nothing like getting in at the deep end!
The second club night, I saved for re-learning the sumac to end the piece and then tying on the tassles. I was pleased with the result, which incorporated a few copper-thread highlights. I stitched a few other lines of copper through the white bits of the weave too. They are quite subtle, but glint nicely in the sun.
I added some beads to the top for decoration. A handmade cord, made with a small cordwinder (a very useful gadget) incorporates white and copper thread. A piece of dowl, painted with antique white finishes it off nicely.
Its that time of the year, when you starting to think about what to buy your sewing friends for Christmas. Here is a suggestion. This beautiful book, accompanied the exhibition, Keep Your Eye on the Planet, at the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork im Elsass, France in September. It explains the work of Guldusi as you may have read in my previous blog entries, as well as showcasing the work of the exhibitors, including mine! Its so exciting to be in print.
If you would like to buy a copy for yourself or for your friends, it costs just £12, from the Guldusi website. Postage is free and its written in English, German and French, so no excuses. Buy it here: https://www.guldusi.com/en/to-order-embroidery/books.html
More is definitely more with this piece. It could have had several endings but, to me, this is the best one possible. Made on single weave canvas painted with water-soluable oil pastels and coloured in with threads. Organzas and silks appliqued to the canvas for the”fireworks”, accentuated with handmade cords. The washed crow feathers were more fragile than I expected but, with care, they made it in to the final piece. Stitches in a variety of threads included chain, herringbone, zigzag, buttonhole, running stitch & straight stitch. Metal “spinning flames” were made out of an old tomato puree tube – just the right colour.
The wire wrapped cords edging the piece were machined using organza and a mixture of threads. The felt leaves and berries, are commercial felts joined together using the embellisher – I have to make use of it! The little bells were the only things I had to purchase. A nice find from Oliver Twists at the recent Knitting and Stitching Show.
Too fat for a box frame, I decided to leave the piece unframed – afterall you won’t hear the bells behind the glass. I had to think hard about attaching it to the velvet. I fixed the velvet to a stretcher frame and stitched the piece on to it. The velvet was laced in the traditional way and then I stitched a felt backing on to it to cover up the strings.
To me, it captures the spirit of Montol: the excitement, other worldliness, musicality; the death of the Winter sun, its rebirth and renewal. I’m there already!
Montol, mixed media embroidery, 25cm x 25cm