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

Friday, July 2, 2010


O.K. so it's not a completely all white post but I'm fast running out of titles! These are two more pieces for purses that still need backing and stitching to frames. These purses seem to be taking me so long to make. I have another two tacked together with embroidery started on one but I just feel as if everything is taking ten times longer than usual. Why that would be I don't know, maybe it's just me in a hurry for some reason. I really, really like this white one although I can't take credit for the little pink flower embroidery, that's a vintage piece I was given with very frayed edges that I have cut up. I made more prairie points with lace for this one, you can just about make them out in this top picture but they are more obvious further down.

Then there is another bright piece with lots of embroidery and rouleau loops. When I put these together I am surrounded by stacks of fabric, some big pieces some just tiny off cuts. I realised last night that I am fast using up my stash and need to do some serious buying of cloth, lace and delicate trims. I prefer to buy plain fabrics that I can add my own touches to. There are so many beautiful decorated trims out there but I wouldn't feel happy using them, I would feel a little like I was cheating some how because without my input it wouldn't be my idea would it, if you get my I am quite restricted when it comes to buying, there are not so many ''plain'' things available, especially in the trim department.

I think I am in need of a trip to John Lewis, can't see it happening for a while though. I am off to London on sunday, it's my yearly trip to New Designers. I absolutely love it seeing the bright, fresh, new, contemporary work produced by hundreds of new graduates, it's truly inspiring and invigorating. Another bonus, as it's London I get to see my little girl!!
and I just wanted to say that when I was ''bigging up'' the book Whole Cloth I should have mentioned that it's not a 'technique' based publication, it's very much a historical reference to cloth but none the less definitely a must see! Have a lovely weekend I'm off to make rouleau loops!


Miss 376 said...

Both are very pretty. Have a great time in London

Joei Rhode Island said...

The white....very sophisticated.
The colors...very playful.
Always a treat to visit your blog.
Enjoy your jaunt.

fabriquefantastique said...

I always enjoy reading your creative blog. Interesting and informative.

Elizabeth said...

Your work is so stunningly beautiful, each time I think WOW.

Be careful in London with this temperature because it gives blisters. At least that happend to me twice while I was in London.

whitney-anne said...

It's just the way it goes sometimes, stuff taking way longer to make than you think . . story of my life at the moment! Enjoy the fabric shopping!

deanna7trees said...

lovelies...have a great time this weekend.

Cerejeira said...

The white piece is amazing!!!!
I like the combination texture and shape.
Beautiful work!

Rachel said...

There's a summer bug going around which might be making you work more slowly...
I think purchased trims can lack the delicacy of something you have developed for yourself, especially when so much of your work is so very dainty and detailed.

Jan said...

Your work is so tantalizingly beautiful ,cant wait to see the finished purses,I buy trims on ebay sometimes or rhe market , or as you say John Lewis is always good for some fresh ideas Jan xx

Kayla coo said...

Have a great time in London,sounds like a very intersting show.
Lovely work.
M x


Such beautiful details
Have a lovely weekend

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

Oh Karen,
Absolutely lovely as always. Seeing these two pieces together is such a treat. I think the white is one of your finest. So much texture and variation of shades! The other piece is beyond delightful! I wish I could reach through the computer screen and touch them!
Have the best time on your vacation and here's hoping you love every second spent with your girl!!

Jill said...

I find your work comforting, like fresh bed linen - cool,crsp and oh so white

A Time to Dance said...

I really like the white one..I wonder if I could commision you with some of my own fabrics? I collect purses

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Hope you enjoyed London yesterday. About the cost of Whole Cloth - Relax! - it wouldn't have cost that much originally - when there aren't many copies available some of the Amazon marketplace sellers really hike up the price. If you want one of the last few you're gonna have to pay for it!
I LOVE the colours of the second piece here, Karen. It just made me think of summer holidays and seaside towns!
Have a lovely week,

DIAN said...

I just love the white. So pure and innocent.