Tag Archive | creative

Stash or Trash?

Have you ever looked through your stash and wondered  ‘Why did I buy this?’

I have been trying to incorporate bits and pieces into my work as you can see in my Bits and Bobs posts.  So last week whilst visiting my Mam she decided to have a look through her stash and produced a bag of felted blanket pieces, well when I say pieces I really mean a bag of tiny scraps that resembled floor sweepings:

 

Tiny scraps of felted wool blanket and tweed

 

The question was asked – ‘why did you buy that?’  Truthfully my mother did not have a clue.

We are frequently drawn towards fabrics through their colours and textures and this little bag of scraps obviously appealed so much to my mother that she was compelled to make a purchase. They have been in her stash cupboard for a few years.  We emptied the content of the bag and I laughed at the tiny pieces of scrap fabric that had tempted her to hand over her cash.  At this point she challenged me to take them away and do something with them.

Challenge accepted.

Within my current workI have been using small pieces of neutral fabric to produce background fabrics for my embroideries therefore I decided to try to use these in a similar way.  The fabrics were varying thicknesses but most were dense as some had been felted.  The fabric pieces were closely placed together on a backing fabric, I used free machine embroidery to secure these in place.

Creating a background by piecing together fabric scraps.

I was pleasantly surprised with the end result and I now had a textured and rugged surface to work on.

This background screamed out for a  sumptuous addition, amongst my stash I found a piece of my hand dyed silk velvet – perfect

Kates Kloths Hand Dyed Silk Velvet

I applied silk velvet flowers onto the rugged background with free machine embroidery and these are completed using hand embroidered french knots. Foliage is added with silk fabric, heavy hand dyed yarn and hand painted silks that are machine  embroidered in place.

 

Close up detail of french knots and silk velvet flower.

Completed textile piece is presented on a piece of natural coloured heavy woven wool fabric.

Completed work presented in a box frame.

Stash or Trash Trio

 

 

I was so pleased with he end result I have created another two to make a trio statement.

So we ash the question again Stash or Trash? You decide.

I am off to see what other treasures I can find lurking in the corners of cupboards and drawers……..

 

 

 

Here are a few close up photographs – I hope you enjoy them 🙂 

 

 

 

Poppies

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Remember ……..

Poppies GardenI walked into my garden this morning and looked at these beautiful poppies.  Sadly they are a little bit past their best but I still admire them every day. These poppies were taken out of my Grandmothers garden when she moved out of her home to live in a care home several years ago.  My Grandparents had lived in that house all of their married lives and it was the only home that I had ever visited them in.

I can remember all of the fun times we had in that house.  It was filled with love and laughter.  I love these poppies and the memories they bring.

This afternoon I called into a local shopping centre, the Metrocentre in Gateshead. I do not particularly enjoy shopping and therefore visiting such places is a rare occurrence which is only compensated with a shoe purchase. However getting back to my visit … I came across a spectacular poppy art installation in the middle of the mall, this was a really pleasant surprise (it was actually installed last August which shows you how often I visit shopping centres).  This poppy installation is a commemorative piece of art that really struck a chord with me this afternoon and I would like to share these thoughts with you.Poppies Metrocentre

My grandfather fought in WW2 and he rarely spoke about his experiences until the last few years of his life.  He was a brave man and will always be my hero but most importantly he was a loving grandfather whose words of wisdom will remain with me forever.  Some of these do include, pull your shoulders back, stand tall and be proud – I can always here this when I begin to slouch or loose my confidence another one is bulls**t baffles brains – my sons love this one.

My grandmother was a creative person who always supported my decisions and I dearly miss her.  She was an inspiration to me with her kind words, patience and  she had the ability to make anything out of nothing – she could feed a family of four out of her and grandads dinner rations and still have enough for the two of them; she could entertain all of the grandchildren for hours with a comb and a piece of tissue paper and she could make the best dress up outfits from random things lying around the house.

Remembrance – these poppies have brought fond memories flooding back and got me to thinking about the creative textiles that I have produced using poppies as my inspiration. I would like to share four of these with you today.

Poppy 1 – My Stenciled Poppy:

www.kateskloths.co.uk

Stenciled Poppy www.kateskloths.co.uk

Using a stencil is a brilliant way of adding colour quickly to a background fabric.  You can use commercial stencils and fabric paint if you wish however I have made this stencil out of firm card and cut the design using a craft knife.  I have used a textured unbleached cotton fabric for the background and stenciled by using a small sponge and applying acrylic paint.  These paints are thick enough to transfer the image without smudging under the stencil, it is not necessary to use fabric paint if you are not going to launder your textiles and as this is decorative the acrylic paints work brilliantly. I have further embellished the poppy by embroidering long straight stitches using a rayon thread, this adds some detail and shine onto the petals and leaves.  I have attached small black beads for the flower centre and stamens. I love the texture of the fabric in this poppy.

Poppy 2 – Appliquéd Poppy

www.kateskloths.co.uk

www.kateskloths.co.uk

This poppy has been appliquéd onto a cotton calico fabric which has been hand dyed to produce different shades of black and grey. The poppy petals and leaved have been appliquéd onto the black cotton, I have used red hand painted silk habotai for the petals and  green hand dyed cotton muslin for the leaves.  To appliqué the petals and leaves I used the following technique:  the desired shape is drawn or traced onto the paper of the bondaweb.  This is ironed onto the reverse of the fabric and the shape is cut out.  The fabric shape is then laid onto the backing fabric, glue side down, and ironed into place.  The fabric is stiffened slightly with the use of bondaweb.  When applying sheer fabrics it is important to protect the iron with a sheet of baking parchment. The outline and detail have been free machined onto the leaves and petals.  Black beads have been attached to the flower centre.  This is such a simple technique that can be used on many different projects.

Poppy 3 – Free Machine Embroidered Poppies

Free Machine Embroidered Poppies www.kateskloths.co.uk

www.kateskloths.co.uk

This is actually a small piece of work that has been free machine embroidered onto silk and again I have attached a few small beads for the flower centres.  I would like to further develop this site to include step by step tutorials so watch this space!!!

Poppy 4 – Poppy Play Time

www.kateskloths.co.uk

www.kateskloths.co.uk

This is my favourite poppy because it is the most creative and was a lot more fun to create.

I started out by sponging some acrylic paints onto a piece of cotton calico – no particular pattern was used and I roughly sponged a darker green where the stem and leaves were going to be and sponged some red paint where the petals would be.   I then had a bit of a ‘play’ with different fabrics, these included organza, net and hand painted lightweight interfacing. I created the different leaf and petal shapes by using a soldering iron to melt away the edges of the fabric producing a texture around the edges.  These were sewn onto the background fabric using simple embroidery stitches. Again i have used black beads and french knots in the flower centre.

Any textile work should be fun and you should not be afraid of experimenting.  As a child you have no fear of doing something wrong and therefore play and explore to create art.  As an adult you should remember how to play with materials to create textile art – within art there are no mistakes.  There is a saying that I strongly believe and use it with my students:

‘Creativity is about allowing yourself to make mistakes, Art is about knowing which ones to keep.’