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







Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Now I have suitcases to pack

Remember I said I had ordered tape? Well here it is, isn't it lovely. I custom ordered it from Lillalotta, check out her shop it's glorious. This is new name tape to add to my work, already tested on one of my cushions. I think it looks so much better than my hand stitched efforts and the last labels I bought which were too ''plasticky'' , I didn't like them at all. Apologies if you have work with one of those on! Sorry!I also had some tape created using a quote from written research I carried out at university. This tape will find it's way onto some of my larger pieces, as an ''extra'' , a means of explanation about why I do what I do with regard to my embroidery.
Well I promised you smocking and boy do we have smocking! Lots of images for you to look at today. This is the part I don't like, squaring the cloth. I am always convinced I am going to mess it up, have wonky edges. I think I did it right though this time.
Then the relaxing part, threading the long ties through my dots. Someone asked me if I ever use smocking dots that you can buy. Well no because they are SO expensive and also require applying with a fairly hot iron. So I keep my money in my pocket and my cloth unscorched and do it the slow, safe, cheap way!!
Next, gather it all up ready to add the ties that will create the smocking. I think the cloth looks really organic like this yet I panic that it will form permanent creases so try not to leave it like this for too long.
And lots and lots of tying later, voila! here it is. I have a confession to make though, I still haven't made enough knots to finish the edge completely, that's why I am only showing you a small part of it.

I went back to work today, just for the morning as school closed at lunchtime. I could do with a job that's permanently one morning a week and then two and a half weeks holiday...any offers? Anyway the leg beared up really well, hardly a twinge, so it's all systems go for my holiday with my very sexy surgical stockings!! Now the suitcases need sorting out, the ironing needs to be done and I need to pack. I am off to Sweden friday tea time!!! Exciting!!
I am going to bring you a present back, as promised, so look out for the give away when I return. Bye for now.x

17 comments:

Gina said...

The smocking is beautiful Karen. I like the new tape!

Lauren said...

I've wanted to smock for so long! you make it look so easy.

jill said...

Enjoy

Miss 376 said...

Wow, that looks magnificent with the knots on the edges. Love the tape too.
Enjoy your holiday

connie said...

These photos are lovely, it makes me want to touch it. I am jealous that you are going to Sweden. We had a Swedish exchange student a few years ago and some day I hope to go and visit her.

méri said...

Love everything the labels, the embroidery and the smocking.

Enjoy your travel to Sweden!
Surely I'll be here when you return.

Jackie said...

Oh the suspense. I thought for a minute you weren't going to show it with the threads drawn up! Its lovely and the tape is fantastic. Have fun in the far North.

Joei Rhode Island said...

Oh sooooo heavenly...I love the embroidery with the smocking...I'd not seen this before.
Oh, Karen, I'm in love =-)

Have a wonderful holiday...I will try to wait patiently to see how this finishes.

Diane said...

SO good to hear that your leg is doing better. That's great news! The smocking looks wonderful. I think I would really enjoy it. Some day I have to sit down and make myself do a bit and see if I like it. I certainly love the results!
Hope you have a lovely time away...

meplusmolly said...

So beautiful! love it.
Your tape is gorgeous too, perfect for your work. hmmm I think I already said that on flickr (?) ah well. thanks for your lovely comment on my blog too ;0 x

Threadspider said...

Have a really fab break up there in the Northland. This latest cloth is unbelievably wonderful-it seems to combine all your favourite things (except for text!)

Hoebeltje said...

I like the tape, I might buy some too to add to my future works. Can you place them on with a needle and thread?

sparkle jars said...

Happy Easter! I'm thoroughly enjoying your beautiful creations. :-)

Hotter Than... said...

The smocking is gorgeous! Have a wonderful and well deserved hoilday.

jademondin said...

Lillalotta things are wonderful, aren't they? I also got some cotton tape from her <3

annax said...

Thank you so much Karen, for being such a joy to work with! And I am ever so glad you liked the cotton tapes I made for you!

Your work is such an inspiration, delicate yet very powerful. The clean lines is what appeals to me the most. Stunning stunning work...

Victoria said...

Love seeing some of your process Karen. I am in such awe of the devotion, patience and passion that you bring to your work, it is always inspirational.

The cotton tape is lovely.
Enjoy your trip!