Thursday, 31 July 2014

Viewing practice

Last week (although it seems a million miles away now I'm on holiday) I did a mini workshop led by Claire Hignett.  It was a back to basics lesson in drawing, but in particular, learning how to switch off your mind and draw what you see.  For me, the warm up exercises were the most telling.  We were asked to sign our name and then produce a mirror image. Easy!  I'm a chemist, I spent a great deal of time studying the shape of chemicals and working out lines of symmetry.  The trouble is that when you are so familiar with a shape, like your signature, you fail to see what is really there and see what you know is there. I fell into the trap and produced a copy rather than the required mirror image. Lesson learned.

At the end of the 2 hour session I had begun to re-evaluate my drawing skills.  It taught me not to worry to much about what I thought it should look like, but make good use of what I had achieved.  The outcome was a simple stitched motif that would happily embellish some piece of fabric.

To learn more about Claire's workshops, see her website

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Bags of character

Just before we all go off on our Summer holidays my sewing friends and I got together for a whole day of stitching, eating cake and of course, talking.  We were inspired to make these lovely little bags that we found in Hoop-la magazine designed by Hiromi Widerquist.

We backed some pretty patchwork fabric with fusible interfacing and using the pattern as a guide, worked simple running stitches.  The technique is a contemporary version of Japanese Sashiko used to embellish and strengthen fabric.  

Mine is the green bag (of course!) and it's perfect for holidays. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Yellow fever

Yellow is the colour of the moment and certainly the colour of Yorkshire!  I have been busy making bunting with my lovely friends to celebrate the arrival of Le Tour de France.  Thirty metres of bright flags decorated with tiny bikes will adorn a toilet block close to our favourite walking place. See if you can spot them on the TV coverage!