Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Can you Kantha?


I will hold my hand up now and tell you this is not my own work but that of the fabulously talented Clare Hutchinson, a fellow member of Skipton Embroiderers' Guild.  Clare has good days and bad days, but stitching is her salvation.  

These two examples of her work demonstrate the application of Katha stitching to strips of torn fabric that have been woven together.  One is shibori dyed cloth, the other is conventional patchwork cotton.  

Kantha stitching is a traditional quilting technique which originates from Bengal.  Small running stitches in tightly packed rows create ripples in the fabric.  When the stitches are aligned the ripples are straight, but when off-set or worked in concentric circles the fabric becomes contorted in waves and cones.  

In Clare's samples, she has used a different style of stitch on each square.  With so many squares in her red OTT Bag, she diversified with buttons and scraps of trimmings to create a visual feast!  A truly inspirational piece of work.  You can see it at the Skipton Embroiderers' Guild XL Exhibition which takes place from 7-8th October 2016

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Comfort blanket

My stash is getting a little out of hand!  In an attempt to reduce, reuse and recycle I have been dying old blankets.  This was my first attempt at French lavender - which came out more grey than lilac!  When I re-read the instructions I realised that the commercial product was described as unsuitable for wool.  Undefeated, I put my chemistry hat on and decided to adjust the conditions slightly to simulate an acid dye process (about 150ml lemon juice and 60C wash cycle).  It worked like magic and I know have Flamingo pink, tropical green and powder blue in my collection!

I made this lap-top case in a simple envelope shape.  By pairing the pale wool with bright purple thread and fabric it seems to have enhanced the background colour which now appears almost lavender.  More magic!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Just like your mother

I've just finished an apron for Grassington Festival's Array of Aprons which runs from 28th June - 6th July.

The theme is "convergence" which stumped me at first.  As I was sorting through some old photos for a family gathering I realised how much I look like my mother and my three daughters all look like me.   Just like your mother explores how we all resemble our parents in looks, mannerisms or speech.  The line drawings of my Mum, my daughters and me have all been carefully hand stitched using different coloured threads.  The images converge and the edges blur but we retain our individuality. 

The apron has been made from an old tablecloth which seems fitting because some of my happiest memories are of shared family meals.

This is definitely an art apron but if you're looking for something more practical then take a look at The Stitch Society* Yorkshire.  There is a fabulous selection of aprons or you could choose to make your own using the Linda pattern. I made it a couple of weeks ago for my friend Clare.