Thursday, 19 October 2017

Where have all the leaves gone?

Well we have survived the worst of tropical storm Ophelia but where have all the leaves gone?  Thankfully some of them made it onto my stitch sampler for this month.  Like the cherry blossom one earlier this year, this is a one-stitch challenge worked in that knottiest of stitches:  sorbello.

It's a great stitch for texture and working with lots of threads that have different weights and finishes gives real depth to the work.  I've been using up tapestry wools, thick cotton yarns, variegated threads and of course a little bit of sparkle!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Dissolving Margins

This post has been a long time coming!  The title refers to this year's theme for Textilia 3 and all of us in the group have been wrestling with it for many months.  

I decided to base my work around my dear Auntie Jean, who sadly passed away last year.  I wanted to explore how dementia effected her in the last few years.  She was a fiercely independent lady who managed the family farm along with her brothers.  In clearing her house, I found plenty of old linens and some, like this tray cloth, that she might have embroidered herself.  I loved the rather rough and ready repairs on the drawn thread work border.

I plan to base the main body of work on the dahlias that she grew every year for as long as I can remember.  They are bright and bold and cheerful, but just recently she couldn't remember their name, referring to them as "those yellow flowers". 

As a way of getting out of my creative rut, I started to stitch a portrait of her.  I've tried to capture the hint of a smile and the mischievous twinkle in her eye.  I'm not sure if I've succeeded, but it has got me working again.