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, September 13, 2009


Wow, sunday afternoon posting! Either I've become super organised overnight or there is something major I've forgotten needs doing. To be perfectly honest it feels wierd being here now, I'm a night time blogger, prefer it at night for some strange reason. I am being taken out for a meal tonight hence I'm here now with, I think, all my jobs done. Ironing done for work, yes. Bathroom clean, yes. Lounge clean and tidy, yes. Washing machine on, yes. Rest of the house.......well we won't go there!
Right, now for this canvas thing that has been giving me headaches. I made a very narrow strip of embroidery to go alongside the first piece and was really struggling as to how to mount it.
Then I had an idea, remember the scary idea that could have been disastrous. That idea was to cut away the fabric as close to the embroidery as possible and hope it didn't fall to bits or that I didn't go a ''snip'' too far. After doing it very slowly and in a state of sheer terror I got there in the end.

And voila! here it is mounted on canvas with a little running stitch on the actual canvas. What do you think?

I actually have it here in front of me as I'm typing and it is better in the flesh so to speak but you know I'm still not convinced. Some of you may be sick of me moaning on about this and I'm sorry but I just don't know, simple. I had a converstaion with a good friend of mine about this and she asked what I would do with my work if I was a customer, would I frame it, mount it, use it in my own work. In all honesty I would keep it in a drawer, it would be enough for me to know it was there, to take out and look at as and when I wanted. There is a quote that stays with me from my research by an artist called Susan Lordi Marker,
''that which is carefully wrapped, protected and put away for another time has value even if never touched or looked at again.''
What more can I say, that sums up how I feel about my work. Who am I to say you should have any piece of embroidered cloth on a canvas, behind glass, in a frame, not my decision, it's your piece of cloth. So I have started another piece specifically to mount on canvas but I think it will probably be the last. This one is in the shop and we''ll see what happens but then I have plans. The cloth for 'sparkle' needs to progress then I have a piece in mind which will take me way back, embroidering text onto silk. Enjoy the rest of your sunday........yay!! I don't have to cook!


Jackie said...

Difficult decision. Usually I don't like the stark whiteness of those canvasses but it goes well with you embroidery. You could have stretched the whole piece of silk with the embroidery on it over the stretcher too.
It looks realy good on the plain background.
Enjoy your meal.

connie said...

I just do not know the answer to your dilemma but I think you need to do what you love. I love the quote it really does fit. Years ago i only did work to sell and there is a certain amount of satisfaction but not as much as making what you feel good about.
Enjoy your dinner.

Miss 376 said...

I agree, in the end you have to do what makes you feel good. This does look good on the canvas, very organic.
Have a lovely evening

Walden said...

Very hard decisions for an artist. I love your embroidery and in my personal opinion I think I would prefer the look of the actual fabric as the back ground. But for me that gives it that continued delicate look. I think it depends here on what overall look you want to achieve.

changelingthings said...

I think the canvas and embroidery look beautiful - very delicate. Having said that...I have a piece of antique lace sitting in my cupboard...just sitting there.

jennyflower said...

As someone who has one of your peices all carefully wrapped I know the truth of your quote. One day I will hang it, because I believe its a bit selfsh of me not to share. x

Ulla said...

The quote is perfect! Now I don't need to worry about all the bits and pieces I have stored in boxes and drawers, or framed on the wall.
Your scary idea was a good one, the embroidery looks so beautiful mounted on the canvas.

changelingthings said...

Hi Karen,
Guess what I got in the post today? Your beautiful package from your giveaway! Thank you so much. I adore the brooch and the puffs and will cherish the postcards too - I'll keep them for inspiration. I am so delighted.

Knit - R - Done said...

I love putting my stuff on canvas, but it's not as 3D as yours. Something about mounting the art on canvas makes me feel like I'm putting it on a pedestal. I'm saying, "This is indeed art."

Threadspider said...

What a thought provoking piece. I can't answer for you-I have things simply to have them, because I love them and think them beautiful in some way. I always mean to mount things, but seldom do.
You can look at, admire, enjoy mounted work. You can touch and feel and drape unmounted work, as well as looking at it, admiring it and enjoying it. Both are good.
I hope your meal was good. They usually are when there is no washing up to follow.

Silver Sisters said...

I love the texture difference between the embriodery and the canvas. I think it is quite beautiful, though I probably would have only mounted one piece on the canvas. They seem to distract from each other to me. But I think either one on it's own would be stunning.

Needles said...

Just knowing that it is there counts but I can see why framing works for some people.

As is, on canvas, it is an artwork of an entireley different kind.

kay susan said...

I don't know the answer either, but those pieces of embroidery are beautiful to behold! I think I would like to see it on something soft.

Aida Costa said...

I think you should go with your first instinct. Personally, I think it looks FABULOUS mounted on canvas like this!! It's very different, therefore eye-catching. It also says "Look at me, I'm a piece of art". Not that needlework isn't art (I certainly call my needlework art!!) but normally one doesn't see it displayed like this.

The white-on-white is gorgeous! I'd also love to see how it would look on a lightly painted canvas - maybe peach or sage green?

Elizabeth said...

For me this piece is superduper, enormously drop gorgeous. You did an outstanding piece of work. A new way to show your eminent embroidery.


Jacky said...

Karen I think your embroidery is amazing...especially love what you have created for this canvas and the running stitch is a perfect finish I think.
So it!

As Elizabeth says, this is just another way to showcase your beautiful embroidery.

Jacky xox

RaeA said...

Statement made by A.H. Christie - 1909 (Husband of Mrs. Grace Christie - 'Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving')
"Let us not forget that the main object of all embroidery is to give pleasure in some way, to charm the eye or delight the mind, and that is the principal reason for its existence."