Pandemic Treat – Debbie Lyddon’s Workshop

The first workshop of the quaintly named The Stitch Club opened yesterday and continues through this week to QA sessions on friday. It really is a treat to be infront of a teacher who inspires while talking about her work and gives very clear demos and instructions. For this week’s ‘assignment’ we were asked to select three objects that for each of us are meaningful, ie have a story of some kind. Then, thinking about their individual shapes, design a containers to keep them in, Somewhere on the side of each bag or container we’re to cut a little porthole (showing a bit of what’s inside) and bind it using the technique she showed. These holes are signature features in her much of her work, and hearing her talk about her use of them in bags and vessels was very inspiring. I can think of lots of potential for these things she showed us. I’ve made a few notes in the downloaded workbook, and this morning began to look through our shells and stones; but when I found this relic from our wedding 51+ years ago, I thought this would be a good one to start with:

For luck, this satin ribbon covered (real) horseshoe was draped over my arm by my new mother-in-law Dawn, as Mike and I walked together down the aisle on Jan11th 1969. The white has changed colour (rust and dust) and the sprig of plastic orange blossom has long since disappeared, but it is one of several ‘treasures’ I plucked out of the stuff being packed for storage as we cleared out 3 Doric Street Nov. 2018. Without a plan for it, I brought it back here in our luggange, and think it now deserves a container/bag.

It’s suggested we make several bags, so I might make a small one for a single earing left from a pair, or might not. To me the goal of this workshop in particular will be in making at least one bag as a sample. I don’t really intend to make a whole series of Debbie Lyddon-style bags containing things, but never say never – where I go with what she’s teaching us might become addictive. However, I’m seeing a lot of potential for the techniques she’s shown us, and they’ll be on my mind for a while – I’m already thinking back to lace, about which I’ve written several times before. Things in nature can be ‘lacey”, and I think perhaps the grommets need not be prefectly round, and I will explore making some irregularity in them – and that will definitely require wire for shape.

Left – sample of small running stitch rough edge applique. Right – drawing on a photo of sand patterns. I didn’t pursue this, but this workshop is making me think of LACE again.

With at least 1800+ people from all over the world in this workshop, I’m predicting an outbreak of holes edged with grommets in tote bags carry bags and all kinds of textile art in the near future 🙂 It’s barely 24 hours since the class opened, and some good posts have already appeared from people who’ve finished their class examples, while I’ve managed to choose one object!

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