For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .







''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007







Tuesday, September 20, 2016

embroidered paper



I am always amazed when I check the stats for this blog at how many of you still come here....thank you. It makes me wonder....are you coming to look back at my old stuff or are you thinking I haven't been here for a while? I blog daily over here now, have done for quite some time. These images are from the past two days over there and you can see more of both pieces there. But.....whatever your reason for coming here, to my old place, thank you.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

paper, paper and paper...






New paper, old paper, paper in progress. You've seen quite a bit of paper recently. That's because paper seems to be the answer for me at the moment, the answer to my indecision......my angst. I do have cloth in class and I think I will show you a little of what we are doing over there tomorrow, it's actually very exciting, (for me anyway) and is very different to the white and bling that's happening with the paper pieces.
The piece on the far left of the first image and the one which is dominant in most of these images was finished last night. The paper part of it was finished anyway....I have plans for a little piece of cloth to accompany that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Embroidered silk to compliment paper






Yesterday I showed you two new pieces of ''paperwork'' and mentioned how I think the paper is enhanced by the presence of silk and embroidery. Cloth was an integral part of both pieces yesterday, it was stitched behind cut outs and applied to the surface. Today I am looking at how it lives alongside the paperwork as a separate piece, for an edge maybe, or a draped accompaniment....
This is one piece from yesterday. It isn't finished, nothing is decided. I have plans for the second piece whilst I think a little more about this, the cloth, the placement, the embellishment.
This morning I created new cloth, lace, silk, net....all with paperwork in mind. I will show you that tomorrow. 
 I also listed another  ''work on your own class''...Lace, paper, cloth and stitch. Although it doesn't demonstrate the cloth or paper shown here it does include demonstration of the creation of unique surfaces which have a similarity to the one shown today in terms of delicacy, lightness and texture.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

36 x 25 inches







36 x 25 inches refers to the size my coverlet will be when this final strip is added. For the sake of cohesion and consistency I have continued with the applique/ cutwork theme here. The gimp on this section is edged with French knots, long clusters of white pink and green which mirror some seams across the whole piece. When I get round to attaching this strip to the main section there will be more little pockets just like the green and pink ones you might be able to pick out in these images. As for the reverse, the backing......my indecisive head is still arguing about that. I have nothing in my stash but am being tempted by a pale grey and white gingham I have found online. What do you think? and......look at all that temptation!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pockets, panels and French knots





The final panel for my pink and gingham coverlet has been put together. Two tiny, spotty pockets have been inserted into two of the seams and one seam has been embroidered with a mass of French knots. That is my ''favourite thing of the day'', that seam. A smaller panel is also finished and damp stretched, you can see the applique and cutwork from that piece in the last image.
I do have a certain amount of doubt about posting this piece in progress for you to see as it can be quite repetitive. Perhaps you are fed up of gingham, fed up of pink. I do want to keep working on it though, to finish it, to be able to use it. I guess if you're bored with it you can have a holiday from me, go off somewhere, put your feet up and put the kettle on. I would completely understand......so long as you keep a bit of cake for me too.
Later this week I am hoping to buy some cloth to back this piece. I can't decide though, white or bright? I think I will have to wait and see what my options are when I get there. Ideally this coverlet will be backed, titivated and finished before the new class begins.....then  you will be seeing a wrapping cloth evolve, a bright and cheery wrapping cloth....at least that's the plan.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Wrapped and Bound in Stitch

March 2016 2

I received this email today, such lovely words. (and I didn't pay her...lol)
It came at a very appropriate time too as today is the day I list my new class, wrapped and bound in stitch.
You have become a loyal and faithful "Online" friend to me and many others. You provide understanding along with a depth of stability to your students, and are always there to offer your wisdom and knowledge. It is calming and beneficial to the mind and body to find such an inspirational teacher who offers integrity and loyalty at all times
The new class begins on September 5, four weeks from now. You can register here.

A wrapping cloth, a wrapping cloth with a story bound up in stitch.
Beginning Monday September 5 for 16 weeks.
*** ''The wrapping cloth series evolved from my research into Motherhood and these pieces serve as a tribute to women who throughout time have used cloth as a tool of comfort for their families.'' ***
Two posts a week on a private password protected blog. A minimum of two hours video per week.
Learn how to embellish cloth, decoratively embroider seams and create adornments before incorporating each of your embroidered pieces into one cloth, a wrapping cloth.
Using process which date back to those used by our stitching ancestors the aim of this class is to create an encrusted and embroidered wrapping cloth created from smaller, embellished cloth pieces which will be joined with richly embroidered seams. Inspiration for my cloth will be drawn from fairy tale stories, childlike imagery, simple shapes and delicate patterning.
***Inspiration for your cloth can be drawn from any source of your choosing and I will assist you in identifying pattern, colour and shape from your chosen imagery if it differs from mine.***
There will be pockets, there will be surface adornments in the form of buttons, Suffolk puffs, beads and knots. Fabric will be manipulated with pleating, ruching, cutting and tearing. We will couch gimp, we will create bullion knots, French knots, chain stitch, cutwork and applique ......
Access to all resources, 'videos and blog posts' is permanent, forever.
A list of suggested materials will be sent to you on registration.
Please allow 24 hours from registration to receipt of all class information.
**you do not need to have participated in any of my previous online learning programmes in order to participate in ''patched pockets.''***
No prerequisites. Suitable for the beginner and the more experienced stitcher.
In addition to a private blog you will be given access to a private Flickr group where you will be able to interact with other members of the group, upload images of your work, receive feedback, give feedback, share technique, hints, tips.....
Previous online learning programmes I have hosted have resulted in the formation of a tightly knit group of like minded people who share the creative process in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. It's almost as if groups ''hold hands'' throughout. For me, this is one of the most appealing and rewarding aspects of these classes.
(I am also aware that some people prefer to work quietly with minimal interaction. That is OK too.)
There are no deadlines, no set tasks. You are under no obligation to create what I am creating. Many people in previous classes have merely taken notes in order to apply ideas to their own work. Please take as much or as little as you wish from this programme, tailor my demonstrations to suit your own creative needs.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

applique on lace





Another piece of lace has had embroidered silk appliqued to its surface for the stand alone piece which is evolving from my current class. Both pieces are laid together here so you can see how they will look once joined. I used a different lace for this section, that's the beauty of this process, it allows you to use almost any lace so long as the difference in colour and pattern isn't too stark. I am ready to join these two pieces now before adding gimp to the surface.
Yesterday if you remember I was very excited at the prospect of having a full day and evening to  myself for all things embroidery related. So what did I do? Suffered a brain freeze is the answer. I tore some paper and put some lace in a hoop...big plans....I then completely lost interest, became uninspired and did some housework instead. So I have nothing exciting embroidery wise to show for my freedom.....I do however have a very clean house.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

delicate blue and white





I think I said here that I had been doing a little embroidery on some of my new surfaces...well here it is. I have only taken small snippets and added them to a base of white cotton but I can already see the potential of the textured cloth mixed with a smoother background. There are possibilities for rich seams and lots of surface embellishment too.
This one will most likely stay like this, a sample, an example of how these pieces can be used as part of larger pieces of work. Now I want to play with my other surfaces from here, create more examples, more ideas....move this whole process forward.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

the correct colour




This time I chose the right colours.....I can't link to the other post which is relevant to this because Typepad is down but the pinkish one, the raspberry like one was created first with the wrong coloured embroidery thread. The top image, the darker colours, they are the right colours if this is to live with the cross stitch piece you can see in the third image.
I say ''if this is to live with the cross stitch piece'' but now I am wondering, thinking...wouldn't it be lovely just to have lots of pieces of this all joined together?
That's an exciting plan, it gets me fired up. Trouble is I have so many other exciting plans for other things. At this rate I will have oodles of works in process.....ooodles.


(I actually just realised that the pink, raspberry post is immediately below this one....happy days)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

bubble cloth






OK....so no cross stitch, French knots won the day. (I'm talking about what I said yesterday) Disregard the fact that I used the wrong colours ( I was supposed to use the same colours that are in the white cotton piece with the lettering) Yes, disregard that fact and also disregard that these look more like raspberries than roses and it's a winner. It's a winner in my eyes anyway because even though I can't use it with the lettering piece it is still a rather nice piece of cloth which will be useful for something.....just don't ask me what yet.
There is lace cloth here too, made some time ago and created using the correct colours. The lace cloth makes a beautiful overlay but I'm not after an overlay, I'm after a side attached companion. Never mind, I will make more white ''lace'' like cloth which actually looks like bubbles to me (hence the title of today's post)....I will then endeavour to choose the correct colours for the roses. Note to self......choose your colours before it goes dark Karen.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.bioZNPZG.dpuf