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

Sunday, March 1, 2009


These images were posted on flickr this afternoon. Calamity Kim left a lovely comment on one of them in which she used the word 'juxtaposition'. I had forgotten what a lovely word that is, maybe it will be my word of the week. Perhaps I could drop it into conversations at work.
It seems I have 'juxtaposed' these samples, not with that word in my head, but juxtaposed they are. I was feeling a bit lost after my disaster with cushion 4 so I made the tiny white silk sample in an effort to restart my brain. Then I went back to all those bags and boxes I have lying around, you must remember them? The ones that officially qualify me as a tramp? This is what I found. I don't necessarily forget I have these things, it's more that I forget where I have put them.
This piece is machine embroidered paper with cutwork, (of the paper) revealing fabric I had hand painted for this.

I deliberately laid the two together, unconsciously 'juxtapositioning' them in the hope of the brain refresh receiving an extra push.

Unfortuantely I can't really say wether it has worked. Instead my brain just hurts because I love this 'old' piece and I want to make more and I want to make more cushions and I want to make cushions for my daughter and I want to make more swaddling bands and I want to make more wrapping cloths and I want more hours in the day!!

and I am beginning to sound like a spoilt child! All I need now is to stamp my feet and scream! Instead I will go and work on cushion 4, which has been started, I promise to show you this week and I also promise to be good. x


Gina said...

The photographs of your work are so insprational Karen.

Miss 376 said...

Think we all want more hours in the day. Like the texture of the embroidered paper

Victoria said...

The way you stitch onto paper... magical. And yes, juxtaposition is a great word. I always like how it sounds and the way it rolls off the tongue.

sparkle jars said...

Yes, I love the "juxtaposition" in these photos...beautiful!

I just read your profile and saw that you were a fan of Luther Vandross. I was able to see him in concert years ago and it was remarkable. said...

Oh my...this was just what I needed...I've been overwhelmed with everything going on around me - my quilt group is putting on a show this coming Saturday - I'm in charge - and it's been non-stop work/headache/work for the last 2 I needed a bit of a respite and you provided it!! I love, love, love your cushions - they are happy and bright and absolutely beautiful...just how long does one of those take you to make?!?! It's mind-boggling to me! And I love the colour book - what a great idea and it would work well for quilting for me! Oh Karen, thanks so much - I've spent about a half hour just browsing and looking at your beautiful works of art and now I think I can go back to the "real world" and try to finish what I've been hiding from! xoxo, Nan

jude said...

great word, great stitching and great ranting. being good is boring sometimes. be heard!