Posts Tagged ‘hand stitch’

Tetrahedrons, Continued…

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

This one is almost ready to sew up and I  thought I’d document a couple of steps with pics –

inside a tetrahedron blog

1) Showing the back/inside of the structure, where knots anchor the thread as it goes to the front.

black stitching blog

2)  Three of the triangles sewn together to provide the one working surface.

black and white ready to sew up blog

3)  When the stitching is finished, the final side seam is closed and the base sewn on.

I have done several now, and am enjoying making them.  In the next group I will do surface design before covering the template pieces, to see how that goes – probably some combination of paint and stitch – ideas for which are coming far faster than my ability to make them!  I may have some thinner batting somewhere and may replace batting with a couple of layers of cotton fabric – I learn something or tweak a detail on each one, but this is probably the last how-to on them, though  I have no idea where this 3D quilted textile art will go from here.



The Sketchbook Page Today…

Saturday, February 21st, 2015



sketchbook today feb 22 blog_edited-1

With arrows, stars, words and comments, this is a typical sketchbook page.  They’re always in pencil, but I re-did this one for you in pen to get a clearer scan.  I understand my own handwriting and abbreviations in this aide memoire,  and even if it doesn’t mean much to you I’m happy to share these marks as part of my process.  You’re welcome to anything else you glean of the ideas they encapsulate 🙂  There is much reference to several previous works or things I’ve been working with in sample form.

I regret that my hand writing has deteriorated, partly age-related 🙂  but even more a sign of the times.   It is the nearest I ever come to journal keeping, but of course it is definitely not that.  I really don’t know how the beautiful artist journal keepers keep it up  🙂  This morning I was casually googling around holes, sheers, grids and marks, when a couple of ideas struck.  Not wanting to lose a second, and with the sketchbook upstairs as usual, I took a sheet of waste paper from the printer and jotted them down.  I’m a diagram person, and when epiphany strikes like that a simple diagram+words, stars and arrows captures it. One just might solve a nagging problem to do with using sheers that has long bothered me, and I must let Rosemary Claus-Gray know ….




Adding Found Objects

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Sunburnt textures whole cloth blog

As per my previous post, the upper image is a detail of the quilt I’m currently working on, and more information about its origins are there – November 17th.



Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

In the first ‘Sunburnt Textures’ I added pieces of twigs and some wonderful little round pebbles with holes already in the middle, found in laterite gravel on our driveway.  I won’t go into how they were formed, but they occurred naturally, and were all sized around 1/2 cm diameter, amazingly enough.  The finished work was only about 25cm x 40cm.


I wanted this new work to have something of these elements.  There are no such pebbles lying around anywhere here;  but as the whole work is larger (1m w  x 1.25m h)  the 3D elements themselves need to be larger to look right.   So, I have made some elements in black to conform with the other stitch markings on the quilt.

Sunburnt Textures 5  3d elelments

Instead of wooden twigs, I  have already done some button hole bars in some places, but they’re hard work with my sewing fingers still annoyingly tingly, and have blah impact,  so although I’m not taking them out (Constance Howard) – I am adding to them.   I’ve constructed some bias tubing with black cord inside, and will attach segments of this to the quilt to give an impression of twiggy debris lying around in the foreground.  The larger black things in this picture ( 2 – 3 cm range) are little stuffed pillow forms embellished with black running stitch and stemmed french knots.  I realise now they are very like tektites  and if you google tektite images you’ll see they come in many small shapes and sizes. In effect they are tiny meteorites, the only objects known to have survived entry into the Earth’s atmosphere from outer space.  They tend to land in several particular regions of the Earth’s surface, including Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region around the mining centre of Kalgoorlie.  While living there we found quite a few out in the bush on salt pans and lake margins, and they’re  often and easily confused with sheep droppings.  When NASA was designing the re-entry landing capsule for the first manned space flights, they measured the surface angles of thousands of these objects to arrive at that conical shape we remember of that craft.  This I know because one of our  Kalgoorlie friends had one of the largest known collections in the world, and the NASA people came and measured many of his.  Unlike real tektites, these soft sculptures will be easy to attach with a few stitches.   And finally the little 1/2 cm round thingies I cannot claim to have made.  They are wonderful little silk thread covered buttons I bought in Cairo years ago, and they’re used in much Egyptian clothing.

silk buttons Egypt 2007

Lustrous, fascinating, light-as-a-feather and priced so reasonably that I couldn’t resist buying several whole loops of single colours.  I’ve worn some of them as textile ‘necklaces’ occasionally.  Of course I didn’t buy any black … that would have been just too easy, wouldn’t it ?    But when a brainwave hit, I rubbed some of them over with thick tipped  permanent black marker pen which worked just fine, so I have as many of those to add as I need – perfect.



Look Forward to Resuming Work

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Since shoulder joint surgery 4 weeks ago, I haven’t been able to do any quilting or sewing, but rehab’s going well, and it won’t be long before I am making some new work.  First up will be finishing off one of the pieces for the Golden Textures exhibition in Wangaratta next February.  I posted about this piece here .   It’s about 3/4 done, and I hope my ‘hand’ doesn’t show up in stitch differences – my handwriting is far from recognizable at this stage! But every day brings new improvements so we’ll see.

Posaplato Dos detail blog copy

The detail from a piece I did some years back includes many of the elements that I’m looking at combining –  holes of course, glitter, needle woven stitchery and grid – one of the most enduring elements in my quilts.  During this week I have looked at  several artists whose works paintings, installations and sculptures are in linear or grid formats, and I have found my work has something in common with each of them:   Alan Shields, Chuck Close, Carl Andre, Guillermo Kuitka, James Sienna, Julie S Graham, Sol LeWitt, Sean Scully and Agnes Martin, whose work I had known of for many years.  Looking at images of their work and  reading about each has given me some inspiration and urged me to think about my next moves.   Roll on the day I can draw diagrams, use my cutter and scissors, sew at my machine, wield my iron, and make up some of my ideas.


Second Thoughts

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Sunburnt Textures Embr copy 2

“Sunburnt Textures” is a title piece from my first solo exhibition 1987, shortly after which my textile art came under the influence of quilt making.   The design area is about 30cm x 45cm, of paint+stitch+found objects on white canvas, mounted on a stretcher bar.

In march this year I worked on a power point presentation about my textile art to use at two guest speaking events in Australia in May.  I found myself carefully considering this and other older works with fresh eyes after many years. The very old slide was a bit cleaned up around the irregular edges with PS to use as a background to the title “A Journey Through Landscape”

Also at that time I submitted an entry proposal for the  “Golden Textures” exhibition 2015, and included this sketch below.  The entry was accepted.  I planned to carry it out in gold stitchery on a darkish fabric, approx 1.3mh x 1mw, and brave or mad I knew it would take a long time.

Sunburnt Textures sketch quilt blog copy

Also in late April, I submitted entries for the Australia Wide 4 Exhibition opening Adelaide October this year – and this is a detail of one of the two I had chosen:

Sunburnt Textures 3 detail copy

At 40cm square, and clearly on the same theme,  it became a sort of test piece for the Golden Textures entry. (this detail is about  10cm sq).   I’ve always loved hand stitch but the trees in this one are free machine embroidery. Well, the gold thread worked OK as you can see, but for a 1.3m x 1m piece it would take me many months of stitching as the metallic thread fairly quickly shredded, meaning needles had to be changed often.  I realized that on  that larger scale with the time I had available, it was not going to be possible, and so I changed my Golden Textures proposal, so that now, over 3/4 finished it is black stitch on a background of a less intense ochre-red/brown silk which glows beautifully….sometimes second thoughts are better.





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