Category Archives: in progress

last man standing

The second figure for this piece has been a bit problematic. The original sketch’s colouring (above centre right) did not translate well the first time to the haremcloth—too green, too dark. The sampling (above centre left) was actually done before the large attempt at the stitching, but i lost sight of what it was and didn’t go to the now aborted attempt with it.

I’ve gone back to the idea of the stitched sample (which will become a small piece on its own, as i quite like it), for the colouring and the “flavour”. Less is more.

I however DID like the stitching i did on the first, so will be doing that again.

The tapestry frame worked a dream for stretching the expletive deleted haremcloth, keeping it taut and 99% on grain. I’m sure any nun or lace maker would agree that the 1% should be more important, but considering the piece when done will be loosely attached to the main background, subtle stitch manipulation will true it up.

I stitched it to both sides, then flipped it over and stitched one end because there was enough overlap, but the other end had to be stapled because there wasn’t enough at the end to fold over. Poohpoohpeedoo, it worked.

Now we’ll see if i can work it this way, as i am unused to hooping of any sort, except on the very very rare occasion. I suspect i’ll be propping it on the edge of a table, and working stab fashion, instead of my usual fold, borgle, crumple method.


recap, to remind myself

I’ve done more than i thought, and less than i thought. Still 3 months to deadline.

Top centre detail, moon:

Left and right panels:

Tall figure mock-up, and seated figure:

Seated figure:

Right panel detail:

Right panel (tipped, as it actually is vertical):

Left panel:

Seam treatment:

The whole is 44×46″:

Potassium permanganate, brazilwood, iron on cotton.

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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria


the right stuff

Yup, the gut feeling was correct. The hexes blend in, hold the fabric and still add a bit of texture.


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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in in progress, Moons, Tabula Memoria


moon decision made

So handy to live in a digital age 🙂 Hesitant to put needle and thread to the centre, i did this first, and am confident that the top right is the way to go. Some of the sketchies were dismissed immediately, some would work elsewhere on other work, but this gives me a clear idea of how to handle that centre strip.

It needs to be “filled” but VERY discretely, and more “openly” so it doesn’t fight with the rest of the moon, and the rest of the work. The moon needs to be emphasized, but not at the expense of the other elements: it can’t assume more importance than the figures or side work.

My order of threads had arrived last week, so i’ve chosen the Caron Wildflowers #171 Caramel to work that area. It “blends” enough with the colours of the fabric and natural dye processes, but is still alive enough to add a little interest, without being overly visible. There’s plenty, with 2 skeins, to do this and to add the discrete hexagons to other areas of the whole. I may also use it for the standing figure–which has to go on the frame sometime this week and be done!


mooning again

The big one on Tabula Memoria still has me stumped as to the middle visible sectioning.

Hexagons discrete? Holes? A tree? More synapses?

Still a mystery.


pursuing perseverance

I figure i am actually at midpoint with “Tabula Memoria”, which makes me feel better. Mid point still means half again still to do, which makes me feel bad. I’m at Dithering Stage, second guessing, re-ordering threads to replace ones i’ve run out of, and measuring by the inch what goes where and why.

That darned second figure is *a* bugaboo right now. The aborted one is filed, and i’m re-figuring (snarf) how to do it so that it means what it’s supposed to mean. The centre of the top moon is *the* bugaboo though, has me bamboozled–not sure how i want to treat it. What does it mean when a moon is divided?

It’s also time to fill some negative space with some discrete, minimalist stitch for anchoring and to keep it “void” but not empty. My brain is trying to wrap around what it’s saying to me……i *know* what i mean, just can’t express it in words. Invisible memories. Impalpable boundaries. Undisclosed but there. Can something Not Be and Be?

Meow. Not Meow.



Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria


oh sorry, am i boring you?

I keep slogging away at the side panels for this piece, each day ending with me thinking “almost done this part!”, and then seeing it ain’t so. (Don’t get me wrong–i love what i’m doing for this one, but it gets SO SO SO myopic at this end of the needle…)

This morning i realized i can start other areas as most of the piece is side stabilized now with all the stitching that *is* done. Figure One is pinned to the bulletin board, Figure Two is still in my head after i aborted the first attempt at it, but there is another area that’s really important, and that’s the moon.

There will be dense work on this area, but “blending” in, so to speak. Two colourways in floss and perle, i’ve chosen DMC 4140 (Driftwood) to do the darker areas like the rust, and DMC 4145 (Sand Dune) to do the highlights/lighter areas.

I work by committing to something, and the best way to start this area was to clearly mark where the moon is. That’s commitment!

Now i HAVE to work that area, because the marks don’t come out. The moon is off centre, (i can’t abide symmetry!) and that’s something that will be worked with, as i intend to ghost a bit around it— the template (a huge stainless steel bowl for popcorn 😉 ) i used to mark for the circle, was not the same size as the original mark made by the rust and dyes. For the record, yes i do so use pencil, and occasionally fine black micron pens to mark some areas. Intuition is all fine and dandy and “sensitive to the cloth and intent”, but sometimes you have to have a guideline.


While i work this, i can think how to balance the top of the left panel, as it’s empty, unlike the top of the right one!


Posted by on April 4, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria