stop screaming at me

While I work on the Crone piece, Samara is quite jealous of being left behind, and is yelling at me to work on her too. Next week I will alternate to keep things interesting. (Photo edit and flip, as the left is the real piece ๐Ÿ˜†. )

OMg, this is SO juicy, i have to get back to her!!!!!!!!!!!


OOOOyeah, and shop update

After auditioning fabrics for the areas behind the wings, i was inspired enough to finish the second one in two days. Admittedly smaller, but the idea of the velvet really got me going! The first one is finished and attached to its backing.

OMG i love this.

Because the velvet itself is so tactile, and the colouring from the osage and quebracho rojo so gorgeous, i decided to keep the stitch there as simple as possible. No point in hiding all that beauty! This velvet, though lush as silk velvet is, was easy enough to do without having to lay any stabilizer to stitch over, but the stitches still had to be solid enough not to sink in, so i stuck to a whipped backstitch–i love the line effect of this on any fabric.

And Borgles. Gotta have Borgles, one of the FrankenStitch mainstays. Picking one out to redo though, and have to add one more small one.

Thought i’d share my results too with the Quebracho Rojo: obviously not a winner for saturation on cotton (cellulose), but it sure is on silk (protein)!ย  The description on the website is a bit confusing, i think: “Quebracho is suitable for dyeing cellulose fibers and also performs well on silks and wool, and yields a lovely pinkish peach to brown rose color.” It’s obvious that the silk is INCREDIBLE, and look at those distinctly explicitly PINK shades! Wasn’t impressed with the uptake on the wool (first photo left top), but perhaps it was the pomegranate it had been premordanted with…. However, some post modifying, and some overdyeing with osage did give me a wonderful range of colours.

Do i know what i’m doing with natural dyes? I do, confidently, correctly from first step to last.

And i am willing to share the current silk velvet bounty ๐Ÿ™‚ Small packs in the shop! You’ll LOVE Making with it, stitching on it, fondling it!

winging it

Because this is a large work, it’s a bit problematic sometimes to work AS a large piece: you have to shuffle around the whole thing, pinning it into folds so you can have access to the area you’re working on, making sure you don’t stitch one section to another, or to your pants, dragging cat and dog hair into the mix, and having room to manouevre it. On the other hand, cut up like this (because i wanted different effects with the natural dyes for each area), it flops around loosely, and the tension is hard to maintain.

This means both wings and the figure have to be finished, and then attached to the backing fabric they’re going on, and then *that* has to be attached to the rest of the floppy piece. I auditioned several fabrics to be the backing fabric, and because none are big enough for the whole area behind the wings and the figure–and i didn’t want all the sections that show to be the same anyways, i’ll have to do more stitching on those thin visible slices as well, to “blend” the joins. EDIT: i just realized i can back the wings and figure as one piece, work the “background” large area, THEN attach all the parts together.

I auditioned several fabrics: Indigo–WHOA, lovely but too bright–and i don’t have enough for both wings, even pieced behind where you can’t see the joins. It also wastes this indigo piece, as most of the patterning on it would be hidden. If i was going to use indigo then, i would have chosen a more solid dye job.


“Filler” cloth, deliberately designed for backgrounds orย  for “fussy cutting”. Nope. Motifs too small, too scattered, too much white.

Rust, maybe too “linear”, too “white”.

Velvets naturally dyed in the last week. Too much?

Nope, as in NOT “too much”, YES as in WOW. Admittedly since dyeing these velvets, i’ve been aching to use them, but honestly i do think this really warms up the whole piece.

Though this is very haphazardly pinned on my design wall, i can really see where she’s going now. Warmer coloured threads for the paler surround are now a possibility also.

It’s been worth the 2+ years to get her going!!!!!!

wing update

One almost done!

Shooting photos in my studio at dawn makes for moody presentations, but here it is really:

Despite the flurry around the dyepots again this week, i have been stitching as much as i can. That distraction resulted in not a week of stitch, but two, though the second one will take less time due to less surface area! I’m at the point too where i can start thinking about what will be behind the wing. It can’t fight, but it can’t “disappear” either.


back in the Land of Myopia

Had a bad moment last night when i suddenly thought the stitching on the wings was too tight, too controlled. Must remember to get out of the small work approach!

But it’s getting bigger, looser and is not too “precious” after all. The “myopia” that develops as i work small areas of a large piece means i have to literally step back to see the whole. And since i can see in my head what will be happening in the wings and in other areas, it will work.

One disappointing (in a sense) thing is that the result is not the same as the work done this way on “A Birth of Silence”. (See previous post.) The rust on that particular piece stiffened the fabric for more dimension, something that is not featured much on any of this piece. I may have to manipulate it more when the time comes to attach to the background, or maybe it will be fine. I think the backing fabric i used this time too is thinner or flatter than the one used in ABOS as well, but c’est la vie!

There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just different.

small stitches, big ideas

I’ve just completed a small “commission” for someone, and happily noted that a couple of stitches i used on it can feature largely for “Samara”.


Samara’s wings are (with the figure of course!) the most prominent focus on this piece. I’ve been stumped about how to treat them, and had started three different ways of “illustrating” them, all to no avail. Frustrating. It meant a deadlock, because without knowing how i would work them, i had no idea how to proceed with the background. Hell, it was a gridlock!

The first two were with commercially dyed threads on the rust and natural dye cotton background, the third with all naturally dyed fabrics and threads.

I *do* like all of the ideas–just not for this piece! The first two were a bit predictable: feathers that “look” like feathers, while the third was maybe too much of a good thing with all that colour. (Stack ’em and stash ’em for future work…)

My favourite Thing too, a signature, if you will, is the use of dimension and texture in my embroidery technique. Whether it’s raised areas, or FrankenStitch ( my personal woogly boogly break-the-embroidery-rules-about-neatness-and-even-ness approach), i feel i MUST go back to that. That’s Me, that’s what my work is. The feathers above would have satisfied a bit of that, but nah, too feathery ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m looking at this:

in conjunction with ideas from “A Birth of Silence”

and now have these to work on:

I’m hoping that i can do one a week……. the body is almost done, as it needs only minimal stitch, but the background is going to be a bear because it’s so big, and that is why it probably won’t be finished until the new year. (Day Job will be F’nย  FRANTIC in December, so very very little time there…) When the first wing is done, i can also start making choices for the fabric that will show underneath at the edges.

I know this work won’t be done until into 2019, my slow pace necessary with hand work. No rush, no deadline, nothing really to add to a “Gallery 2018” page on this blog, because i’m going where i don’t know where i’m going.