Another cloudy day here, but that's okey-dokey. If the last week had been sunny and gorgeous, I might never had been inspired to head off in this direction with my stitch work... a direction that I'm really enjoying! (Thank you, grey skies!)
This piece is entitled "Farm Houses", as that's what I see... two white farm houses, one on the left and one on the right.
However someone else might see it differently...
what I see as a red door, part of a porch roof, and a window, (or maybe it's a date stone?) someone else might see as a red house, a garden plot and an out building.
And, what I see as a window, a trellis and a porch roof, someone else might see as a house, a train track and an upside down barn!
Any which way you see it, is the right way in my book. I get a kick when people see different things then what I see. I like different points of view and perspectives. That's part of the joy of art, don't you think!?
The weather this last week has been rather dismal and grey. And, while driving around, (mostly transporting teenage daughter from a continuous series of point A's to point B's) I notice that the landscape, (which generally looks so vibrant and full of color) is now looking a bit flat and faded. Sigh, winter is on its way...
So it seemed appropriate to create a patched and stitched textile piece reflective of that. (See that one patch above... it has the word "Molasses" in it, which I adore. Those of you that have been with me on this blog journey for awhile may remember why, as that was Mo's full first name.)
Made up mostly from old, (and yes stained) pieces of vintage feedsack cloth, I've also added some handwoven twill which I made on 'ol rust. (After doing a little bit of googling, I discovered that my wonderful gifted loom is a "Structo Artcraft", most likely pre World War 2.)
There were a couple of holes in the fabric, which I incorporated into the design. Both have a bit of shot cotton peeking out from behind, and this one has a bit more of that hand woven twill. Also, I wanted the hand stitching to be just a wee bit uneven in length and placement, as I think it adds something special to this type of work.
I tell you, I just don't know what I would do in a world without cloth... old, new, faded and stained or vibrant and pristine, it never fails to intrigue me, sooth me, inspire me and delight me.
I've mentioned before that I use to weave. That pretty much came to an end 15 years ago, when we moved to our current home. There simply was no adequate extra room to set up my big floor loom, and thus it went into storage. But lately I have been yearning to have the ability to weave again... nothing big or grand, just small swatches and patches of fabric to incorporate into my other textile work.
"All I need", I told my husband the other night, "is a small, 4 harness, table top loom... the kind that has little hand controls for operating the harnesses..."
So, imagine my surprise when a neighbor stopped by yesterday, with an old, small, 4 harness, finger controlled, table top loom table, asking if I might want it!?!
Turns out she had bought it a while back, but never got around to cleaning it, let alone figuring out how it worked. She realized that she never would, and remembered that once, a long time ago, I had mentioned that I use to weave.
It was covered in about an inch of dirt, dust and general grime, and still had part of an ancient weaving hanging from it... yet I could see that all of the parts were there, and happily accepted her wonderful gift. After an hour of lots of elbow grease and hard core scrubbing, plus a good dose of WD-40, she was ready to warp with a lovely cotton-linen thread, left over from my previous weaving days.
I wasn't sure how she would weave, but was delighted to find that 'ol rust, (that's what I'm calling her) keeps a beautiful tension, and is very easy to use!
Now, isn't the universe a wondrous thing?!
P.S. If you are more interested in the quilting side of things, you can see my latest piece in the post below. xo
This past week I resumed work on Work Quilt #4, and I must say it feels good to get back to this baby!
If you remember from my previous Work Quilts, I approach each step as a "layer"...
Layer #1 is always the piecing of the top, and from there the layers can differ in order, but their will always be at least one layer each of machine stitching, (which was the second layer in this piece), hand quilting, (which I am currently working on here and is thus the third layer) and appliqued patches, (which will be the fourth layer of this quilt).
For the hand quilting I am once again using some of those beautiful Sulky® Cotton Blendables that were so generously gifted to me by the folks at Sulky®. Love them!
The plan is to hand quilt two meandering lines, of stitching in each of the rows, (both horizontal and vertical) that were previously created by the machine stitching, (which was done in both straight and zig-zag).
As the colorful lines of hand quilting going from side to side intersect with those going from top to bottom, small squares of various shapes emerge, and I think I will be revisiting some of those little squares in maybe another layer of decorative stitch.