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







Saturday, March 12, 2011

my sewing machine...

I have a very strange relationship with my sewing machine. I don't like it much really truth be told. There's nothing wrong with it, it's a posh sewing machine, a Bernina, It's not the fault of the sewing machine that it's my least favourite tool, my last method of choice. Thing is though, If I can bring myself to use it it's fantastic for creating surfaces that are unusual and unique and it's also the quickest way I know of creating delicate, lacy scraps of cloth too.
I have been virtually abandoned this weekend, the house to myself. At times like this I make big plans that very rarely come off. I plan lots of hand stitch with hours alone and nobody to cook for. They never turn out that way though. Something in my head clicks and it says, ''you can make a mess''. So that's what happened last night, papers spread everywhere, some old ones out of files and some new ones created using the sewing machine. Why?? Don't know really, just because I could. Then the composition department of my brain kicked in and at midnight there I was putting a couple of pages together. These have no real purpose. I don't think any stitched pieces will come from them but I had fun so who cares....

I won't put these away today, I will ponder on them for a while.....my hook and eye pieces will be finished soon, I need a focus after that and at the moment I have no idea what that will be. Maybe looking at these little pieces will spark something. Do you ever get those moments when your brain just won't work?? I hope so or I need to see a doctor!!
and now for the winners of the big tat give away....you will have to trust me that I really did do this fairly. I normally ask my son to pick a number but he's not here so I did the random number thingy online. I'm not one for putting screen shots on here so you will have to trust that there's no cheating going on...the winner of the mini design sheet or shopping list fodder is Marlene from stitching by the lake.
The pinkish pin pillow now belongs to Sharyn Mallow Woerz and the white one to Betsy, (Elizabeth Dockhorn) get in touch with your postal details and I will get them all out of the rubbish bin and send them off to you!!

23 comments:

Dolores said...

Fun is nice and making a mess is always a good thing - it means creativity is happening. My friend Marg and her sewing machine are not friends. She hand sews whole quilts together and uses the machine only to piece the back.
Congrats to the winners.

deanna7trees said...

i do use my machine every now and then but prefer the hand sewing as well. love your designs stitched on paper and the lacy look. have you tried making lace on the machine using the stabilizer that dissolves in water? it is fun to do.
congrats to the lucky winners.

Miss 376 said...

Amazing!
My mum had a love hate relationship with her machine, actually, I think it was all hate. She broke at least one needle every time she used it.

Suztats said...

You've been playing! Yay! Creativity at work. Can't wait to see what it inspires.
Oh, you lucky ducky winners! sniff

Lois Evensen said...

Yes, I do have those creativity moments. It's amazing after working on a project I lie down in bed to sleep and instead develop the next pattern or design a new item in my mind. When I am comfortable I have solved a problem or developed something new to work on the next day I can happily drift off to sleep. Another good thinking place is in the shower. Don't know why, it just happens.... :) I'm so glad it does.

connie said...

Congratulations to the lucky winners, I love my piece that I see every time I walk in my bedroom. :-)
Karen, I love the stitched paper pieces, they are works of art! I just love to hear all about your process. Makes me feel better about mine. I am having a bit of a block these days but I hope to spend the day sewing today, we are having rain.

Patchwork Linda said...

I,ve never thought to stitch on paper before but now I just might!Love the french knots.X

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

Lately, I'm finding that my sewing machine is the last thing I use. It would be faster to assemble some pieces, especially since I'm going to school full time. But, I enjoy the "zen-ness" of hand stitching too much.

;-) Debi

Elizabeth said...

First I want to congratulate Betsy and Sharyn on their win, without a doubt you will enjoy it.

Now something totally different. I am already aware of all the teeny tiny things we have in common but somehow this pile keeps growing.
Maybe I should take another look at my family tree and see if I don't have a long lost sister somehow, hahaha!!!!

Now the last thing is that I am totally taken by the machine pieces you made. Have no idea how you did it but I wouldn't mind finding out!!!!

Ingrid said...

now i must try stitching on paper,
so effectful
congrat to the lucky winners, you lucky ducks:-)

Sara Lechner said...

I must say I find the combination of hand and machine splendid! It allows a more random feeling and marries very well with the other hand stitches.

Jan said...

The little peices you created are so sweet ,I had my 70th b/day last month ,and the family clubbed to gether to by me a new swish embroidering all singing all dancing sewing machine(it doesnt do the ironing though bahh ) ,I wont allow myself to use it till I have sorted all my stash out ,hows that for a good motive to get it done ..Cause you know Im sulking now ,you can give that random selector thingy a good kick from me hee hee ,Congratulations to the lucky winners ....love Jan xx

chocolatefrog said...

Love the free machined lace and paper! Still delicate and white but a fascinating contrast to neat, precise hand embroidery.

Flaming Nora said...

I love my Bernina and my favourite thing to do on it is free hand machine embroidery. Sadly I just don't get enough time to do as much as I would like. Ho Humm thats life! I love the textures you have been creating.

avomeri said...

I love your machine works on paper!
A while ago I just tried something like that with silk threads and fabrics but put "the thing" aside... but my sewing machine is an old Singer (not a Bernina)- have to look for "the thing" I've no idea where it is...

And congratulations to the lucky ladies!!!

Snoodles said...

Oh, the "trouble" we get into when there's no one else around!! LOL
Congratulations to the winners!
Jacque in SC
quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tammie Lee said...

amazing, making lace with your sewing machine, i have never seen that done. And you know I love your paper art!!

Johoanna Boykin said...

I love my Bernina. It is my favourite tool, and (at the moment) my best friend. I love your lace and your sewing on paper. I'm not very good at free motion sewing, but I'm making myself do it anyway so I can get better at it.

Joanna said...

Love the lace Karen. I too have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine. I love it when it works well and does what I want it to do, and I even don't mind if I can find the solution to the problem in the book but if it won't do what I want it to do and don't know why I get exasperated with it. Mine is Babylock bought while in America and is a quilting machine but with some fancy stitches which is nice. I have the added problem though I have to use a transformer with it due to the voltage difference and so can only work with it in the kitchen - when its tidy!!!!!

Rachel said...

What a great weekend!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You're wondering what you will do next with all these wonderous pieces you're showing us? Maybe it's time you made friends with your Bernina!!

Elizabeth said...

I just love your pages, they look as if they've come from the sea!

meandering pearl said...

oh these things move me!!! i think its my therapy to visit you & the loveliness & serenity of your work!!!

hope you have a precious day!!!