"There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms. A physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person."

Rumer Godden 1907 - 1998

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Time Marches On

Where did the last few months go? It's March and I've done very little with the good intentions I posted about last September. Life's been hectic with renovations to the house, family, friends and work. Over the last two weeks I've been taking tiny steps back to doing more than just knitting- a few new book purchases, setting up my sewing machine, joining the Quilter's Guild of the UK, finding a local quilting group.

I did start a sketchbook from ideas on the Sketchbook Challenge, I've worked on about half the pages in it. I didn't want blank paper so I glued scraps of paper to some of the pages. That has as many drawbacks as blank pages, some of the papers I chose were painted or coloured in some way which almost rendered the pages unusable.

Two of the most successful pages so far are small sketches of some Aquilegia seedheads I picked in the garden. The first, rather dark page, shows a stem of the seed heads, the silk paper this was worked over was heavily textured and being silk the pens dragged the surface. Its quite an interesting sketch, I particularly like the shape of the paper as it emphasises the natural curve in the drawing.

The picture of the single head below was definitely the more successful of the two and has possibilities for future textile work. I'm considering a pieced panel for some free machine embroidery embellished with hand stitching. For now the sketch book is sitting propped open  in my study while I think about interpretation.

In the works is a panel taken from some sketchbook play done shortly after I made my initial post in September last year. The plan for this is a sketchbook wrap, so the A4 size is quite important. My plans are for a mixed media piece, the design is shown first then, the first tentative stage in bringing this to life. I say tentative as I'm using pages taken from log tables as I used these in the design and placing the scrim over the top rather obscures the text which was a feature in the design. I've pinned it together and I'm content to live with it for a while.

Tonight I'm going to the quilting group, so I've set up some hand quilting to take along. In the 20 years or so since I last did any hand quilting I've lost the rocking motion that goes with using size 10, or smaller quilting needles. I'm hoping that over time I'll get this back, otherwise I could be handquilting this piece forever, its roughly 40 x 30 inches in size. It's is a piece of hand-dyed cloth that I dyed maybe 5 or more years ago. By some happy accident in how the dye reacted with the cloth it has a look of umbels, or seed heads left behind when Cow Parsley finishes flowering. Could there be a seed head theme going on here?

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