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







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

Monday, May 23, 2016

contrasts






The silk piece, the petal piece is almost completely embroidered....just one or two petals left to embellish. Having said that, I may add something else to that surface, I'm thinking......
The gingham piece has more work needed too, lots more work. Thing is, I have wondered for some time whether these two pieces would live together happily so I tried it this morning. I think they do. What do you think? 
I can't stay long today, there's cake to eat. Happy Birthday to me!
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.toawLiZ6.dpuf



Sunday, May 22, 2016

buttons and bling




As you know I am about to get new cabinets in which to keep all things stitch......so....I've been sorting out which mainly consists of moving one pile of stuff to another space and replacing it with another pile of stuff. Whilst shuffling piles of stuff I came across a couple of things which came back from France with me, a blingy pillow and two sets of buttons. They are now in the shop.
I've been embroidering lace cloth quietly for a few days now, for a class related project. Meantime, whilst my mind is wandering to all things sample and portfolio related whilst I stitch  it also wandered back a few years to a past project. I don't want to say too much about that today in case I create a huge mess which I can't share but this afternoon I plan to doodle with that project in mind, alter it, move it on and hopefully it will be the start of something ''quite'' new....by that I mean, same stitches, same cloth (one trick pony here) but different patterning....hopefully....
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.QP3PlmI0.dpuf


Saturday, May 21, 2016

whites









Another piece has been created for my ''sample portfolio'' plan. Here I have taken photographs of the ''whites'' for this collection along with the new piece finished yesterday. More paper based work is needed and I intend to remount everything I have put together up until now....I'm not happy with the mounts. My paper has arrived for that but now I'm waiting for silk ribbon. meantime I will create more pieces. Sampling samples is what I have decided to call this process. Create embroidered samples, mount them, decide you aren't happy and do them again.... - See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.vvcXPBNx.dpuf