Categories:  slow stitch; inspiration; art

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Plain Hand Sewing For Slow Sunday Stitching

Break Up

Well helloooo! It’s great to be back after such a long unforeseen (and unwelcome) break – I’ve missed you very much.

I buggered up the site. Well and truly broke it – you may have noticed. It was a simple enough job to reload a backup, but I couldn’t even log on to do it or leave a message to let you know. I had to wait for help from the host, but thankfully it’s all sorted now so we can get back to business as usual!

Work In Progress

I’ve been sharing pictures of work in progress over on Instagram in the interim, and if you follow me there you’ll know I finished my quilt top Fete. I’ve been sporadically working on Plain Sewing too, but I haven’t show any pictures because the changes aren’t that discernible. I thought I’d make an exception today.

Plain Sewing

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Enlarging the panel

It’s taking an age to piece this one together because I change my mind about the layout every five minutes. My latest innovations are the very contrasty string sections. I didn’t like the circles on their own because there didn’t seem to be any flow, but the strings change that and draw the eye around.

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

A string section

I love the particular strings in the picture above – it’s a triumph of make do and mend! The section’s small but includes pieces from a shirt, a pair of pyjamas, 2 pairs of linen trousers, a linen jacket, a tablecloth, a handkerchief, my childhood dress and gifted quilting cottons. I don’t think I bought any of the fabrics in this piece at all, which is gratifying. Trying to make all the disparate fabrics work well together is an art in itself.

Different Weights

It does have its disadvantages though. In this piece the different weight fabrics cause problems with surface bubbling, when weighty suit linens are stitched next to lightweight cottons, for example. But after all the practice I had getting my improv triangle quilt to lie flat I decided to make more of an effort with this piece too.

The bubbling didn’t bother me initially because I plan to do lots of close quilting and I thought it would add to the texture. Then I realised it would probably just look badly done! And we can’t have that, can we? No. So I’ve spent this week remedying that on the sections I’ve already made.

Remedies

Unpicking and restitching is obviously part of the repertoire, but even that’s not always enough. In some places I’ve equalised the weights of adjacent fabrics with iron on Vilene. It’s worked well, but there are other sections where that wasn’t the only problem.

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Iron on Vilene from the back

I’ve been piecing this in an organic way and unpicking it’s a nightmare in places – if I go down that route I might as well start again!

I came up with an alternative that involves rolling the seams on the right side to take out any excess fabric and then stitching them in place with little visible black stitches. I really like this approach because it adds to the utilitarian aesthetic – and it’s much more fun that unpicking!

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Rolling the seams and stitching them with black thread in an effort to make the piece flatter. (Centre vertical patch.)

Slow Sunday Stitching

The first panel is pretty much sorted now and I’m making sure the new ones are flat as I go along. I’m probably getting obsessive about it. I’ve managed to make a few new circles too, like the one below. This one was made from a linen napkin and I drew some threads out and had a play. I’ve got some more playful ideas up my sleeve and that’s what I’ll be stitching this afternoon.

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Drawn threads on a linen circle.

What will you be working on today?

I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, for the first time in an absolute age, coming?

Happy Sunday

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

Comments

Hi everyone! It’s been brought to my attention by Kaja that the comments aren’t working on the blog at the moment. I have no idea why so please bear with me while I try and sort it out. In the mean time, feel free to drop me an email if you’d like. Back soon.

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Losing Stitching Time To Sleep

Sunday. The one day of the week we deliberately slow down, put aside some time for slow stitching and quiet thoughts. It’s a lazy day for some, resting after a busy week, de-stressing.

My body de-stresses in the most inconvenient way possible and it takes no heed of my head and the things I want to get done. It sleeps for too long, 12 hour stretches or more. This might be ok if I could get to sleep by 10pm, but no, it’s more likely to be between 1 and 2 am. Invariably I wake up with a ‘dehydration headache’, and if not a fury then a deep irritation that I can’t shake off for the rest of the day. Losing an entire morning is, ironically, as stressful as the stress that makes me sleep in the first place.

I woke up at 1.30 this afternoon.

Time, life, slips by. Let it go. I’ll find it again in my Sunday stitches.

Plain Sewing Circles

Plain Sewing, a quilt top in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Making patches for Plain Sewing. A reverse patch with reverse fabric and a reverse circle for needle turn appliqué

Plain Sewing Collages

Making a collage from stitched book pages and fabric. (The book is a 1940s needlework book). © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

I’m working on a series of collage artworks alongside my Plain Sewing quilt top. Slow stitching is a big feature.

Making a collage from stitched book pages and fabric. (The book is a 1940s needlework book). © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

The collage progresses. The black fabric and the transparent fabric are scraps from a childhood dress and the linen on the right is from one of Kim’s dad’s old suits. The book pages are from an old 1940s needlework book my mum gave me.

I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching today. Kathy’s started a new project this week, taking one slow, steady stitch a day every day for a year. A reminder perhaps that if you look back over a long enough journey you’ll find you’ve moved forward more than you think.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

 

 

Art Studio: The Wren – textile art

Dry Your Tears and We’ll Fly Away

Today I’m sharing a textile art work from the archive. This little piece of embroidery has been on my mind lately. I made it in about 2010 as part of a mail art project (where you exchange art work in the post with another artist), but the artist gave it back to me.  We exchanged pieces over several years and one day she returned everything I’d sent her (and wanted everything back that she’d sent me). I’m still not sure why, but I felt very hurt at the time. When I look at this body of work today I’m reminded of what a difficult time I was going through then. Some of the work is very intense.

Making Textile Art from Personal Ephemera

I made a number of textile art pieces as part of the project, but I think this one is my favourite.

Dry Your Tears and We’ll Fly Away: it was something I wanted to do. White on white. Ghost-like.

The text and a little wren are hand embroidered onto a vintage linen handkerchief that my mum had given me a few years earlier. (I love textile art, any art really, that include pieces of personal history.)

Textile art on a vintage handkerchief: 'Dry Your Tears and We'll Fly Away' Wren embroidery with wren feather. © Stephanie Boon, 2010 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Detail of the hand stitched wren and wren feather

I was a bit obsessed with dead birds back when I made this piece and I particularly loved this little wren that I found.  It was so tiny and fragile, incredibly beautiful. Birds became a metaphor for so many things.

Textile art on a vintage handkerchief: 'Dry Your Tears and We'll Fly Away' Wren embroidery with wren feather. © Stephanie Boon, 2010 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Detail of satin stitched legs

I drew the bird directly on to the handkerchief in pencil and the text is my own handwriting. I wanted to keep the detail of the original embroidery in the corner of the handkerchief. The padded satin stitch and drawn thread work are beautifully stitched.  It always amazes me how much detail, thought and skill were put into something as everyday as this. Making it into a piece of textile art honours that in some way, I suppose.

Textile art on a vintage handkerchief: 'Dry Your Tears and We'll Fly Away' Wren embroidery with wren feather. © Stephanie Boon, 2010 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Original embroidery on the corner of the handkerchief

I stitched one of the wren’s tiny little feathers to the linen above the embroidery.  Lightweight, ethereal. Lost on the breeze.

Textile art on a vintage handkerchief: 'Dry Your Tears and We'll Fly Away' Wren embroidery with wren feather. © Stephanie Boon, 2010 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Wren feather stitched to the handkerchief

The bird has flown.

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Artist Trading Card Swap – the reveal!

At last I can show you the little textile card I received last week and the one I sent to its new home yesterday.  The swap is a regular event organised by Ali at Very Berry Handmade.  There are 40 people taking part and each one of us makes a textile card about the size of a regular business card.  Ali then sends you the name of a person you have to send your card to, but the card you receive will be from someone else entirely! There’s a Flickr group where everyone can upload their work in progress as well as finished cards.

It was a few weeks ago that I mentioned I was lucky enough to be taking part in the swap, but even so the date for despatch seemed to come around very quickly.  Last week I heard the postman clatter the letterbox and when I went out to look I saw an envelope on the floor in handwriting I didn’t recognise.  (Seeing a hand written envelope is a novelty itself these days!)  I opened it carefully and look what I found:

Artists Trading Card: Getting Away From it All by Beryl Coy www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Getting Away From it All by Beryl Coy

Beryl Coy's Getting Away From it All

Beryl’s applique and embroidered card

Beryl’s stitching is meticulously neat! Such tiny stitches in a single thread of embroidery silk.  And the silver thread really sparkles in the sunlight.  I think a hot air balloon captures the theme of Getting Away From it All perfectly and I’ve got the little card proudly sat on my desk where I quite frequently look at it and daydream about places I’d rather be!

Textile art card by Beryl Coy. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

On my desk

Messy desk. © Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Ok. So my desk really looks like this most of the time…

I really appreciate all the time and thought that Beryl has put in to making this for me, it’s such a wonderful gift, thank you so much Beryl!  And of course thank you to Ali for organising the swap.  Which brings me on to the card I made for one Bossymamma from Manchester!

Along with the address details for the recipient Ali also sent a couple of lines about her preferences.  Bossymamma, aka Dina, really doesn’t like green!  Ok I thought, that’s good, ‘cos neither do I!!!!  (Well, it’s my least favourite colour and I although I like it alongside other colours I don’t much go for green ‘schemes’.)  I ummmed and aaaahed about what I would make to fit the theme ‘Getting Away From it All’ and for me, I guess it means freedom. And what represents freedom?  Well of course it’s the bird. Which just happens to be one of my favourite subjects 😉  I plumped for the wren because it’s my logo and the card is like a business or calling card.   It seemed logical at the time…

Getting Away From it All, textile art card by Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

My finished card for Dina

The following pictures show you my process (there quite are a few of them!). I started with a simple machine embroidery on a vintage handkerchief that a friend had given me a while ago (“I’m sure you can make something with that!”, she’d said). (No preliminary drawings, I just get on with it!)

Getting Away From it All, textile art card by Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Machine embroidery and a little appliqué were the first steps

I wasn’t very happy with the way Mrs Jones the sewing machine was behaving, but thankfully she let me sew this before she finally gave up the ghost! Then I added a few details to the bird by hand before adding a cotton flannel to the back and hand quilting it.

Getting Away From it All, textile art card by Stephanie Boon, 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

I added details by hand before quilting and embroidering

Textile art card by © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilting and embroidering

At this stage I decided I’d make it into the card before adding the final stitching. To stiffen it I folded the quilted piece over a thick piece of stiffening, the sort that might be used for bag making.

Textile art card by © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Making it into a card

I mitred the corners and stitched them in place before finishing the embroidery on the front. The stiffener isn’t adhesive so I decided I wanted to stitch through it in places to hold it down.  I also wanted to ‘frame’ it so added the oversewing around the edges and the row of backstitching. I was pretty happy with it at this point, so it was just the back to finish!

Textile art card by © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Stitching the mitred corners on the back

Eagle-eyed readers might recognise this Liberty Art Fabric as the one I bought in Exeter recently when I was having my own getting-away-from-it-all-day with Kim! It pleased me no end to add something that holds special memories for me – a kind of circle and passing on.  I wanted to keep the ‘homespun’ look on the back too and kept a raw edge. It shouldn’t fray any further though as I backed it with iron on Vilene (which also stiffens it a little).  I simply oversewed it in place and then added the running stitch which catches in the quilted front piece.

Textile art card by © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

The finished back

All done, I wrapped it up and sent it on its merry way to Manchester, where I hope it likes its new home very much!

Textile art card by © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Finito!

Phew, that was a long post!  Thank you for reading – I hope you enjoyed it as much I did making the card!  A big thank you once again to Ali of Very Berry Handmade for hosting such a great swap, to Beryl for the card and to Dina of Bossymamma for her appreciative comments!  Don’t forget to pop on over to the Flickr group to see lots of the other cards people have made – there’s some great stitching going on!

Linking up with Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the lovely Lorna at Lets Bee Social – sharing links to even more lovely stitching and quilting going on this week 🙂

Happy stitching and quilting lovely friends 🙂

 

 

Very Berry Handmade

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Around the World Blog Hop

Hello world!  Hop on for today’s quilt tour! I received an email from the lovely Paula at The Sassy Quilter last week asking me if I’d like to join her on her blog hop travels around the world and of course I said yes please! It’s a great hop, not least because you get to meet some great quilters, but because it reveals a little about each quilter’s creative process, which is really fascinating.

'Saffron Fields' 2010. Lap quilt. A saffron coloured patchwork quilt laid at the edge of a field of swaying corn - perfect for a picnic and doze in the sun! © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Saffron Fields (finished in 2010)

Introduction

Well, what can I tell you about myself that isn’t already on my About page?!  Hmm, that’s a tricky one, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that one of my earliest scars is from a sewing machine! I was about 6 and stuck my finger under the needle as my mum was sewing, “what’s this?” I asked. Judging by the scar I think she made several stitches through my finger, but all I remember is the copious amount of blood!!!  I can’t recall not being able to use a sewing machine though, so maybe she taught me after that!

I’ve been lucky enough to have spent most of my life making art (I have a Masters Degree in Fine Art), but I’ve been sewing just as long. Over the last 7 or 8 years I’ve really concentrated on patchwork and quilting and it’s going to stay that way – I’m addicted!  I’ve finally found a way to express myself through stitch that seems natural and comfortable.

So what am I working on?

It’s not in my nature to work on one thing at a time, so I have several things on the go, not to mention the volumes of ideas still in my head!  Looking back over the last few years though it seems I generally have a couple of large projects and numerous small ones that I’m working on at any one time. At the moment I’m hand quilting a double (twin) bed quilt that I’ve called Summer Blues; it’s an old project I’m desperate to get finished so that I can move on! (You can read more about it here.) My other large project is my grandma’s flower garden bed quilt, which is on the back burner while I get on with Summer Blues.

summer blues being quilted on bed - 2

Summer Blues bed quilt with lots of Kaffe Fassett fabrics (started over 6 years ago and still in progress!)

Small projects include this growing string quilt (it’ll be lap quilt size) and numerous cushions/pillows (I love making these as a way to test ideas and techniques).

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, Wall Hanging 2013 (exploring appliqué, machine and hand embroidery)

I think that what I bring to my quilts is an artist’s eye for colour. I hate using pre-cut packs, I think they really limit my creativity – I don’t want someone else’s idea of fabrics that compliment each other, I want to find my own.  Finding my own ‘quilting voice’ has taken me a while and is one of the reasons I want to get these old projects done and dusted so that I can really move on.  One of the things that’s dawned on me lately is that I can draw, and so many quilters lament that they can’t, so I’m excited to explore appliqué as a way of making things more ‘me’. Of course I also love to include hand stitching on just about everything I do – I feel so connected to the process, it’s personal and intimate. But it does mean that ideas can often take some time to come to fruition!

Why do I create do what I do?

It’s about process. I love every step of the way from idea to completion.  Making something with my hands is intrinsic to the process; I don’t want to just have an idea and let someone else follow it through, for me ideas develop through the making – creating something is a decision making process and it’s not something that ever ends. The piece you’re working on might come to a finish, but the ideas you have and the decisions you make are carried on to the next project to explore.  I’d stitch, sew, create even if no-one ever saw what I made – I just have to do it. It’s who I am, as trite as that sounds!

Lost Soul Mate, detail, by Stephanie Boon, 2012. Quilted embroidery panel with hand and machine stitching.

Machine and hand embroidery (this wren became my logo!)

How does my creative process work?

Nothing’s ever in a logical order for a start!  I think I’m beginning to find my focus, which is ‘place’, and colour is the medium I use to convey my feelings about it. I’m a very ‘outdoorsy’ person and I love to run and walk trails, especially where I live in Cornwall, and I want to capture the essence of what I see and feel around me. A simple example is the lap quilt at the top of the post. Saffron Fields captures a little bit of place for me. Here in Cornwall the fields are small (it’s too hilly for anything else) and they’re bounded with stone walls.  At various times in the year the fields are yellow with rape or golden corn and they’re often scattered with bright yellow wild flowers. This was an early example of me trying to reference that in a quilt, just taking the idea of small squares and the colour yellow.

Another example is a quilt I started last year for some very special people (and it’s somewhat late!). It’s about the visual memories I have of a trip to Peru – the colour of the earth was like nothing I’d ever seen before, the shapes of the mountains, the rock, the hand dyed and woven textiles… in my mind it’s fused into this wonderful rich earthiness that I wanted to capture.  I started the process with sketchbooks and photographs and if you’re interested you can see some of the development of this quilt in Playing with blocks of colour and Peru – finally a quilt in progress.

'Prosperity' Patchowork inspired by Peru. In progress (before quilting). © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

‘Prosperity’

Dirt road, Peru, 2003. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Dirt road, Peru, 2003.

I’m aware that this has become a much wordier post than I intended, so I’ll finish up by mentioning the very inspiring work of some of my favourite quilters: Ann Brooks, Victoria Gertenbach and Sujata Shah – their work has given me a framework where hopefully, one day, I might also fit. It’s that cusp between art and design, expressed through the medium of colour and stitch that really excites me.  So please head on over to Victoria’s blog The Silly Boodilly and Sujata’s blog The Root Connection to see their beautiful quilts.

Finally, it’s with great pleasure that I hand the blog hopping baton over to Ann of Fret Not Yourself. Ann is an amazing quilter and her eye for colour and pattern take my breath away.  I love the way she can take something like a simple ‘trip around the world‘ block and develop it into a unique and complex design that really makes it her own. Her skill and experience show in abundance, yet never a more humble, generous blogger are you likely to meet!

Thanks again Paula for inviting me to take part, and dear friends do make sure you visit The Sassy Quilter too, because Paula is just that – sassy, fun and completely full of energy and enthusiasm for this wonderful thing we all love to do. (And she has some great tips for beginners, giveaways and a quilt-along too!) Thanks for reading and very happy creating!

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Found

 

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, wall hanging, 2013

A new textile piece. A birthday gift…I hope the birthday girl and boy like it! (And don’t mind me sharing it!!!!)

This little patchwork wall hanging (I also love it as a cloth on a table) was under the needle for quite a while. A slow growing, organic piece; I love working that way. The neutral coloured fabrics are soft cottons and linens, all bits of clothing once upon a time so the piece has a lovely worn quality. I tried to think about the hand quilting and embroidery in a way that would enhance this aspect, adding stitches and reverse applique that remind me of darning.

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, detail of text and reverse appliqué

 

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found (lying)

 

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, detail of the blackthorn panel

I called it Found for a couple of reasons – like finding a new use for the fabrics, and finding the blackthorn and feather in the garden to draw from. Mostly though I think it’s because I’m still finding my way, and this piece, maybe, is just a little bit closer to it.

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, patchwork detail

'Found', Linen and cotton patchwork wall hanging. Textile art in neutral colours with hand quilting and embroidery. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Found, feather detail

Happy birthdays to Linda and Stewart!

Back soon with some other projects under way – and a new pattern to download (if I can actually work out how to use the drawing programme!!!).

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Louise Bourgeois, Stitches in Time, Frances Morris

Fancy A Read?

Louise Bourgeois, Stitches in Time by Frances Morris

Louise bourgeois, Stitches in Time. Frances Morris.

Without a doubt, Louise Bourgeois is one of my favourite artists; possibly my most favourite. I’ve got lots of art books on my shelves, but this little one, Louise Bourgeois Stitches in Time, I come back to again and again. Just for a flick through. A quick reminder.

I have the 2005 edition, which was published to coincide with an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.”In this book, Frances Morris presents a selection of the artist’s recent work with a major focus on fabric sculptures and prints”, it declares on the back – and for its diminutive size it packs a fairly punchy pictorial guide to some of her major works, alongside an interesting essay by Morris.

If you don’t know much about Bourgeois, other than her giant spider bronzes, you might be surprised to know that textiles have a pivotal role in both her life and work. Her mother’s family business restored antique tapestries from the medieval and Renaissance period and her mother and father continued the family business restoring and selling antique tapestries and furniture.

Her fabric sculptures, from her later works, are amazing, but the ones I love the most are her figures. Some are life size suspended eerily from above and there are small, fetishistic doll size figures that you wouldn’t want to give to a child to play with!

They can look crudely stitched and patched, like trying to contain ourselves or holding us together. Just so incredibly powerful and moving.

 

Louise Bourgeois, Stitches in Time by Frances Morris

Untitled, tapestry and aluminium, 2002. From the book Stitches in Time

There are also lots of 2-dimensional textile works, and just a couple are featured in the book. Graphic, assertive. Very male to me in many ways.

Louise Bourgeois, Stitches in Time by Frances Morris

Untitled, woven fabric, 2002. From the book Stitches in Time

This book is the perfect introduction to her work, giving a little information about her career, the major themes of her work and short extracts from her writings and interviews. It’s illustrated in black and white as well as colour. To finish it off there’s also a chronology and a further reading list.

I love it, and if you fancy a read I highly recommend it! Louise Bourgeois: Stitches in Time.

Enjoy the sunshine today 🙂

Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio. Signature: let's chat, don't forget to leave a comment!

 

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Looking ahead

So Christmas is over. Gone in the blink of an eye. I hope it was good for you?  All was quiet here, with a beautiful walk down to the sea on Christmas day; the sun shone, but I remember there was a bitterly cold wind. Since then it seems to have rained and rained and rained.

It’s taking me a while to get into the rhythm of the new year and I don’t feel I’m quite there yet. I’ve still got several projects from last year that I want to finish, but I can’t seem to settle. I have made one decision though: in 2013 I plan to concentrate my stitch work on developing my quilting and textile pieces and let go of the more practical things I seem to have made in 2012. So I finished last year as I mean to carry on this year, and finished this small wall hanging (it’s a bit bigger than A4).

It was a birthday present for Kim’s dad, belated it has to be said. I started it in plenty of time and then lost confidence in it half way through. I think that if it was a drawing I’d consider it a sketchbook work. What I mean is that it’s the burgeoning of ideas; experiments with materials, themes…

'Dusk", Stephanie Boon, 2012. Hand quilted and embroidered wall hanging. A little blackbird in lovely textured fabrics with silver thread accents that glint in the light.

Dusk

I see areas of weakness (this is a perfectionist writing), but I’m trying to train myself to think more positively: it’s not weakness, it’s potential and opportunity. Potential to develop the work further in another piece and the opportunity to learn and enjoy the process. (The cynic in me is trying really had not to mock as I’m writing this!!!!)

I spent time experimenting with fabrics, appliqué, quilting, the ‘mechanics’ of making an image  work. But next time I want  to give more attention to content. The birds in my art have always been a metaphor for self – they’re usually dead with their toes curled up! I wanted to see if I could do something a bit different this time; not being dead was a major challenge. (I kid ye not!)

Goldfinch - drawing in compressed chalk, Stephanie Boon 2001

One of my older dead bird drawings! (A goldfinch)

And that’s another thing I plan to do more of this year: drawing. I’ve missed it. And since I was given these wonderful, wonderful, wonderful soft pastels for Christmas, it would be a crime not to, don’t you think?!

Unison soft pastels

Heavenly!

My mouth’s watering at the thought of all these luscious colours, but where to start?! I think maybe I need to purchase some luscious paper to draw on first…

For now though I’m headed into the garden to sow some sweet peas and maybe do a bit of digging before some sewing this afternoon. It’s such a beautiful day here for a change – and it’s dry! I was outside planting tulips in the pouring rain the other day, thinking about the spring colour to come, so it’ll be a nice change! Despite the miserable weather here most Januaries and Februaries it’s a good time of year really, what with all the planning and looking ahead 🙂 What are you up to?

Happy New Year!

Stephie x

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Blackthorn

Here’s one I made earlier. Earlier in the year, when the blackthorn was in flower. I don’t know why, but I forgot to show it to you. I really like it, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. For now it’s on my pin board for me to look at and remember the spring.

Machine embroidery 'Blackthorn', by Stephanie Boon, 2012

‘Blackthorn’, machine embroidery on linen.

 

Machine embroidery, 'Blackthorn' detail. Stephanie Boon 2012

Detail

Sorry the photos aren’t brilliant, I’ve tried photographing it about 20 times with my camera phone and it looks out of focus every time. Time to borrow Kim’s proper camera I think.

More knitting planned for this evening. And maybe some stitching this afternoon, if I finish all the dull jobs I have to do first! Hope you’re day’s full of lovely things – and no dull jobs 🙂

Stephie x