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Cat dreams

Backed and quilted. The texture really shone this morning in the low light.

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I sighed as I felt the softness of the red and orange damasks from Deb. Now that they are quilted down, they are soft and strong. I am so pleased.

After a trip out early to the market, I wrapped the edge of the backing around the whole cloth and stitched it down. Now it feels whole and done. Ready for gift-giving as a bookmark. I played with rolling and unrolling it.

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I also decided to add some thread beads to the moon, it just needed some more texture. Using Jude‘s technique of sewing in the ‘in between’.

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And from last night, some weaving.

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Birds settled for the moment

I think my birds are done for now, in terms of embellishment. I need to back them and quilt them. But I’m putting them aside, while I start my next thought.

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The last bird was very much a What If bird for me. Jude Hill encourages lots of ‘what-iffing’ in her cloth embellishment, so I tried to push myself outside of my comfort zone a little.

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My What ifs:

  • What if I use some variegated thread? That was okay except I used some hand dyed indigo thread and against the white fabric that was a mistake as it rubbed terribly.
  • What if I just outline the back wing rather than use another appliqué? I think that could have been successful if I’d made it more wing-like. But I’m happy with the idea.
  • What if I make the legs really sketchy? And even don’t connect the back leg? This was also aiming to match the wing effect. I think it could work – I wish I’d varied the line more by stitching the back leg with one strand of thread, or a dark grey.
  • What if I use satin (wrapping) stitch to make the tail? I think this was okay, but again the blue-bleed does effect the surrounds.

And he has a red eye as he started to remind me of the choughs we have here, which are very much a what-if bird for me too. I do like the way he’s flying off the edge of the cloth… more what ifs, possibilities, futures unknown.

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Here’s the back of the cloth – which will become the ‘in between’ once I’ve backed it.

And so I’ve started on the next train of thought, brought about by Jude’s Patchwork Beasts workshop. She evokes such beautiful faces for her beasts.  I’m inspired, going back to some sketches I drew a while back as ideas for hand-puppet faces, and will use these ideas to practise rendering some of my own characters in stitch.

So I’ve been preparing a base cloth, an old worn sheet, soft and thin, basted to some thin loosed weave backing.

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And some two inch squares coming together for creature faces.

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I’m excited to see where this will lead.

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Squares

Last night I made some squares and rectangles using the paperless piecing method that Jude Hill teaches on her Feel Free pages. No plan in mind, just to practice the technique and to start building a little library of small cloth squares.

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And today, I stitched a randomish arrangement together. And then I thought the little blue rectangle at the top was like a patch of sky.

I know I keep referring to Jude, but I’m learning so much as I follow through her blog and her classes. She has a very strong personal language she uses in her work. And it got me to thinking about recurring symbols that I use in my doodles and little pieces. And what concepts and meanings are important to me, that I may want to express. So I can start to tell my own stories in stitch.

One symbol that I’ve identified with over and over is the ‘small bird’; specifically the pardalote. This would be a whole ‘nother post to explain, so for the moment I’ll just leave it at that, but the patch of sky lead me to think of birds, so I thought I’d make a small sampler of small birds, to try some techniques and just play.

So here we are. On the way to a wee flock.