Monday, 10 February 2014

A Beautiful Mess

Confession alert:

I have a problem.  

Hope you won't mind me sharing with you that I have a problem .... a rather large problem.
It involves addiction, excess and despair.

The addiction relates to an inability to stop buying fabric.
The excess relates to the amount of fabric I own.
The despair is how am I going to fit it all in to my workroom.

This year I hope to find the path to salvation/organisation.

Those of a sensitive disposition should stop reading now. What I'm going to show you now is not a pretty sight!

January 2014

But I'm on a mission and I think life can be different!

First tip: 

Accept any offer of help. 
Linda arrived in the nick of time to save me from submerging into my fabric.

February 2014

Second tip:

Get inventive.
Shelves in the open cupboard, peg rail to hang textiles from and a design board to keep the works in progress off the floor.

One week later things are feeling much brighter, and me too!

There are so many newly discovered fabrics whose charms were lying hidden under the amassment of material - I just have to curb my enthusiasm for starting multiple new quilts. Quilts need to be made one by one in this room for a while. 
It is so exciting and liberating to have the foundations in place for an organised space. 
I hope you can see a difference!

Now to get sewing some words onto fabric.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Talking Stitches

I'm feeling a bit frayed today - but in a good way. 

I was at the Time and Tide Museum with Linda and we found ourselves soaking up the emotional stories in the exhibition "Frayed: Textiles on the Edge".

The textiles in the exhibition were devoted to the use of fabric and stitch as therapy … still minds and busy hands.

The stories behind the pieces on show were extraordinary. Lorina Bulwer, for example, was an unwilling inmate in a lunatic ward of Great Yarmouth workhouse. (I can't imagine there is ever a willing one). She embroidered two 'letters', each more that three metres long, in which she poured her anger and frustration at being held there against her will. She stitched in capital letters, underlining phrase with solid stitched lines to emphasise her rage.
Here is just a small section of this unique textile:

Artist: Lorina Bulwer

The emotion that bonds the words to the fabric in each piece ensures that the text and images become part of the textile.
I have come home wanting to bring words to the next piece I sew… solace in stitch.
Seeing these diversely inspiring textiles has opened my eyes. I see the stitched words go through every layer of the quilt to create a structure where emotion is integral to the quilt.

Sara Impey conveys this beautifully in her blue piece 'Stitch Talk' - every letter of every word is free-motion quilted with her machine.  It becomes a magical piece of prose.

Stitch Talk by Sara Impey

2014 is the year I plan to explore creativity in textiles.
I have been on a slow boat getting back from China, but I hope by living on the edge with my fabrics, I can make meaningful work.
(And I don't plan to take another year to write my next blogpost)

Creating textile pieces fosters hope and a sense of achievement.

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