Looking at some of my beautiful vintage sewing manuals – both for buttonhole stitch variations and for the pattern language. My mother taught me how to do some tailor tacking – we were both so nervous of the cutting out process and often put pieces the wrong way round and checked a dozen times! I loved the sound of the large scissors cutting long strokes and of the tissue paper with threads pulling through it!
Ever since going to The Big Mend last time (see here) I have dreamed of patching my beloved jeans!
I saw the Liberty Lawn patching ideas from Scrapiana and it was the perfect match of wanting to mend and revitalise my jeans; try a stitch technique, and use some precious Liberty Lawn.
There was a mend already along the tears – see the blue perle thread ladders! The patch now peeps through – the inside against my skin consists of Lawn and soft perle thread. Liberty Lawn was a favourite of my mother’s (see here and other posts on ‘a delicate rhythm’)
I like the stitch -a sachiko stitch – a kind of kantha almost with it’s added rippling texture. I started doing a running stitch and mixed it with a stepped stitch so the strands at the back are not so long – a process of learning as I went along as usual!
I realise whilst working on it that there are many links to my practice, many deeper layers – loose threads (can’t bear to tidy those around the tear), rhythmic stitch, texture, the hidden (in this case back of the work), extending connections … I also noticed the texture of Lawn and Denim, the changes to the Denim from wear (bleached, softly threadbare balanced with deeper blue and strong weave).
Mending these brought my attention back to pausing and really looking at this clothing – feeling it differently, valuing it deeply….
Beginning to play with ideas for an Exhibition in 2013 with the Brunel Broderers called ‘Suited’ and based on a wonderful donation of fabrics from a retired tailors …
Buttonhole stitch in silver and black fine thread on tissue paper, a small fragment sample – held up to the light so every stitch has a shadow from the threads on the back! Was not actually what I intended to work on but sometimes getting lost in a flow of ‘just stitching’ and thinking as it unfolds is a good path to follow!
It is growing – promise! One of the best things about making for someone especially is that all the time you concentrate on making, you are thinking about them…
The beautiful heart cushion on the chair was designed and made by one of my nieces for her grandmother. And now after that pause, I will take this piece up and begin again!
Only thing is, my big cat seems to love this one and keeps edging onto it at any opportunity….!
I have begun to work on another ‘inching along’ piece (the quilt challenge) and – how lucky to have some help and companionship!
Inspiration for this ‘beach’ theme from encrusted red-pink rocks …
and a few more little details on knots…. some seeding stitches, webs and french knots in silk and perle… I want to thank Heike again for the naturally dyed cloth and if you want to see the most beautiful, elegant work on knots see Karen’s work – (more on this another time) – skill, dedication and exquisite craftsmanship.. (and a shared love of knots of course!)
I said last time that, for me, knots are like thoughts somehow, a thought, phrase, verse, a tiny textile prayer or offering maybe – as I make the stitch and the thread turns and forms – and when I feel them beneath my finger-tips too, I sense a spark of connections to memories, ideas, thoughts..
A morning walk on the canal path – bright heat warming my face, strong light sharpening what my eyes chose to notice, and colour… lush wet greens, splashes of pink, this glossy mustard yellow and – a rare precious glimpse of iridescent blue from a kingfisher. Soaking rain in the last few minutes! On my return, fast flow drawing!!
Next to think about some stitch drawings – reflections, caught impressions mixed with what my heart brings to it…