Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before and After

I've spent some time playing with wools and additions to past works in progress, as well as creating in other mediums and dyeing over the last few days. I wanted to overdye some fabrics to see if I could improve them and here are a few 'before and after' shots which I still plan to take further:
Both are on linen.
I really like how this turned out - it looks like trees, to me, with falling leaves and is on flannel.

And today I dyed yellows on silk velvet, and cotton.

Small hit and miss steps of learning, changing me along with the fabric.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Final Chapter

When I last posted about 'Butterfly Dreaming' (http://fibreheart.blogspot.com/2010/08/tale-of-roots-and-wings.html ) I thought of adding a story pocket to the back and today I did.
Now the story is printed on silk and will remain safely tucked inside. I also signed up yesterday for a machine stitching course next year at the Victoria College of Art and and a felting workshop at the Vancouver Island School of Art called 'Entangled and Embedded', this fall.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Invisable Becoming Visable

My dreams are sometimes easily translatable to fabric and stitch. This morning I woke with a dream of a doorway with a second black square entrance beyond it. I wanted to bring that further to light, so I discharged black cotton, but while I was waiting for the appearance of the colour change, I realized that black velvet felt like a better match, so I embossed velvet with a diamond shape and I love how it is both there and not there - you could miss it if you didn't look closely and from a certain direction. Anything or nothing could be hiding in the dark. I illuminated this with extra light so that it's visible here: Each time the needle goes down it brings up more light.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Small is Big

This morning I was thinking about how something small in a field can really be very large in how it draws my attention. With that in mind, I partially sewed this, only
Then I wondered what if I made it even smaller?

And then everything mushroomed!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I decided to explore further with curved piecing, beginning with a print I overdyed in the centre. I am pleased with how it's come out.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mixing it Up

After choosing some solid colours I liked, I explored sewing with freely cut strips and added a print. The combination seems like a mix of modern and old-fashioned - or maybe the domestic world with that of art, as I can imagine expanding this into a table topper or focusing further on line and shape to have it hang on the wall. Would I feel less tension in this if I had made the print myself, with dye and stamps? Colour is the unifying element between the two types of fabric, but overall, they are very different - the print has organic shapes, small details, curves and less value contrast and the stripes have a bolder more alive energy. I can see many ways to explore further with strips.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Trial and Error

There is new growth in my yard and it seems to bloom into beauty so effortlessly. Whereas the growth in my studio today is a beginning bearing dubious results out of very focused effort . I finished sewing four curved pieced blocks yesterday, and tried arranging them in every possible manner and decided this one was the best, albeit still not to my liking. The brown shapes are too bulky and I had envisioned lovely flowing curves and an interesting design. Maybe that is why some people plan designs out first on paper!
So I decided to try again, still winging it and sewing four curved pieced blocks, but with less of any one colour so that large dominant, awkward looking shapes would not occur when I put them together, hopefully. Well - I cut and pieced and auditioned this or that and I still had awkward shapes with some of them too dominant - only they were smaller and mostly different from each other. When I cut and resewed, I realized how important similiar shapes are for unity and this is what I have now - whittled down to about a third of the fabric I began with.
I will improve with practice - and - I am enjoying pushing my growth edge.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today's Yield

I felt like machine piecing, today, and made this by deciding what to sew where, one piece at a time: I also started making some curved pieced blocks and have two sewn, so far. I'm interested in seeing what happens when I put them together. I have been wanting to do this for a long time, so I'm pleased to finally experiment with it.
And yesterday after fibre artist Gloria Daly's presentation at the Victoria Quilt Guild meeting, I went up island to see a mixed media show - 'Thread and Paint Revolution' by Lara Scarr - only the gallery was closed during their open hours - too bad!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Colour Change

Here is the silk and cotton base that I made today. The weaving began with different fabrics then those pictured here, which I gradually removed and exchanged until I felt satisfied, for now. It reminds me of looking up at a tree changing colours in autumn, with bits of blue sky showing through here and there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Other Worldly

Yesterday when I went to see 'Go Figure', a show of cloth and mixed media art dolls made by the Cloth-a-Dollics at Coast Collective gallery, here is what greeted me on arrival - perfect for entering the spirit of the miniature world of the large and varied display put on by the group's 50 members. I also saw this hydreangea umbrella on the grounds
and this butterfly adorning one of the trees.

And my butterfly beast piece is expanding. I've added some clouded sky (which matches the sky outside right now and the change of season) and another strange creature has arrived - a kind of squid devilfish which will have three eyes - one on the end of it's tail so that it can see in all directions.

To Fly or Not to Fly

This line was initially covered with crows that flew off, but these ones carried their intermission on a little longer. Sometimes I carry my intermission on too long; I want to play with my fabrics and fly with my creativity - and - all of life's other demands and temptations vie for my attention. So I missed nearly two days in the studio and noticed how irritable and unsatisfied I began to feel. Then when I did go there, it took a little time for something to spark until I was off and flying. This bird is a mola, I think, and it's one I found at a garage sale when I first was starting to sew - for less then a dollar! I am glad that it flew to settle in my home, with all that careful and lovely stitching and colour. And - I also think about how stitch seems to often be under-valued and what a shame that is.
Here is the back, which is very neatly done.

Oh - and my unfolding piece, with the 5 pieces of blue border I added. Amazing how good that felt!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


These indigo leaves look so soft suspended in silk - like a re-cocooning. I picked the leaves I've been growing for months today...
And ended up with surprise dye results that are largely not the blue colour I expected! This is the same silk from above, after steaming. Maybe the temperature was too high.

And here is some silk velvet and cotton results that do have some slightly blue areas. I tried linen as well and had similar results.

Not what I expected - and - interesting and full of possibility to either stitch or dye further.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Betwixt and Between

Here is one of the petroglyphs I saw at the hoodoos at Writing on Stone Provincial Park, which has the highest concentration of rock art anywhere in the plains of North America. I have loved this place since I first visited it as a girl and I have wanted to see it again for a long time, so on my recent road trip, I did. The area has been sacred to the Blackfoot people for thousands of years and they believe the spirit of their ancestors dwell among these sandstone rock formations. They would come to the hoodoos on spirit quests, going without water and food for days and drawing who they met in their visions. The dolls of Blackfoot girls did not have eyes so that a Spirit would not be captured in the doll.
Miracle Cat is complete, now and came along on my recent journey. A beast who walks between the worlds, with extra long ears for deep earth and wide sky listening, and a heart nose to track desires, as well as a quiver of question whiskers to keep questing.

I noticed the Blackfoot women park guides spun their stories long and curvy, entwining their cultural past and present with their personal lives like the winding, twisting route to navigate between the hoodoos.

I love that place; that place betwixt and between.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wherever I go, There Stitch Is

On a recent road trip through parts of BC and Alberta, I did very little stitching, deciding early on that there was too much else to take in and not wanting to miss anything. Of course, I continued finding stitch everywhere - whether tapestried chair cusheons, in quilt shops or where have you. Isn't this a lovely embroidered pillow that graced one of the beds I slept in? Not made by my hostess, though, but found at an antique shop. And here is a heritage linen on display in one of Calgary's old homes:
This thead is actual gold and was part of a liturgical exhibit in a historic church in the town of Yale, BC.

Here is some of the stitching I have been doing - this piece is nearly complete and I will post the whole of it soon.

I also went to the Victoria College of Art's open house to see a textile art exhibition called 'Narrative Articulations', which was interesting and pleasurable. While there, I signed myself up for a course on mark making with stitch taught by Lesley Turner. It's set to begin in a few months time, and I'm glad because I have alot of pieces I want to work further on, as well as past course material to digest.