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, February 3, 2010

simple finishing

A few things have been getting finished around here lately. Nothing too strenuous though. I'm not sure I'm cured, I keep heating up at random times of the day, hot and tight skin, not pleasant yet not horrific. Could do without it though. Anyway, maybe that's why I seem to be keeping things simple at the moment. This is a sample (a little bit smaller than A4) I made whilst making my colourful piece. Similar yet different, contradictory I know but I'm sure you get my drift. I have finished and mounted it this way because it's easy to pick up by the card header. I appreciate that people want to pick things up, look at them and all that but with work that is mainly white it can be a bit risky, huge potential for grubbiness creeps in. This is the back of it, I like the back. It reminds me of being at Uni too. All my work had to be mounted in simple ways like this or with window mounts, a completely different technique that I may show you sometime but equally effective and simple too. When you get to the last two photos you will see that the surface is muslin. The actual base of this piece is silk dupion. I laid the muslin on top and cut away the holes. My aim was to get lots of fraying but it hasn't quite worked out the way I imagined. Good quality muslin you see, doesn't collapse when you touch it. Normally a quality to be admired but not when you want that ''collapsing'' effect!





Then there is my white piece, lightly quilted around the large flowers with a muslin backing, the collapsing quality. This has made the whole piece so soft and I am going to complain again, I think I prefer starched, rigid. It's much neater and easier to keep flat and pristine. Come to think of it I'm breaking through a few self imposed boundaries here, soft work, relaxed work, simple finishing. Unheard of previously and maybe never to be seen again, we shall see! What I am really pleased about though is the edge of this. Simply bound with bias cotton tape. I was nervous about this, I haven't really done it before, not in a way that I felt would need to stand up to close inspection. I bit the bullet and went for it anyway and I have to say it was a piece of cake, corners? a doddle! Go on, inspect them closely, under a microscope even, I am so proud!



Whilst I was over at Flickr this morning I noticed Gunnel had posted some beautiful images of snow. It seems my Swedish friends have had enough of snow but I commented on how beautiful I thought it was anyway. Yes I remember our disruption through snow. I remember worrying about my husband driving to work in treacherous conditions but I still maintain...it is beautiful. Well you may want to know, maybe divine retribution! but Gunnel, it is snowing here now! It is very pretty but then again I don't have to go out anywhere!

17 comments:

connie said...

Karen, I love, love, love this white soft piece. However I am all about the feel of things!!! I enjoy seeing your work so much. I hope you have a great day.

Gina said...

Really love that white piece, especially the flowers on it.

méri said...

Exquisite, as usual!

hope you feel completly well soon!

jennyflower said...

Yes, yes, yes, to the floppy bound look! Very nice. Sorry to hear that you are still running a bit hot, lots of fluids and rest for you young lady! xxx

Miss 376 said...

We are under a layer of white again, we managed to get in before it settled. I like both of these finishes, glad the binding worked out for you

Maggie said...

Your work is so lovely! I was going to say how much I loved that you had a little color going in now, but then scrolled down and loved the 2nd piece even more.

Threadspider said...

Yum Yum. So lovely. The drapey look seems to suit this style of embroidery too.

Silver Sisters said...

The white piece is simply stunning! More of these, please!

That's one I would seriously consider bringing home to my house.

Jackie said...

I like the way you mounted the girst piece and the piece is lovely too, but I adore the white piece. I've even been to your shop to see if its for sale. Judging by the comments I am not alone.

Victoria said...

you keep saying "simple", my mind keeps saying "spectacular". also, very clever, (and smart) the way you mounted the top piece.

Jacky said...

Ohhh... that white on white piece is just so beautiful Karen. As others have said...more please!

Jacky xox

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous piece! The hearts are my favorite- the white looks so modern, the striping slightly contemporary, but the hearts are very rustic. It's a nice blend of sentiment and styles. Will this be on Etsy?? I'm really interested in buying!! :)

karen said...

Hi Anonymous. Thanks so much for the comment. I have no way of linking back to you? Do you have e-mail?

Jello07 said...

hello Karen,
Love the way you made this, a very good idea especially with the coming
fair.
I have to start using dutch words I'm afraid I run out of english words to say I love your work.
erica

Marie said...

I like that idea of putting a paper edge to keep "dirty" hands off your beatuiful work. The binding looks great! Hope you are feeling better. : )

meandering pearl said...

oh your pockets are amazing! i do love little places to keep things safe! & your white hearts on this post...hope you are feeling better & things regain their loveliness!!! kindest wishes

Kaye Turner said...

Yes, the 'simple' (as you put it!) soft effect is lovely. The muslin is really pretty.