Saturday, May 21, 2016

Story Cloth Endings

Lee W.

This past Wednesday was the final class of To Tell a Story with Cloth. I'm always sad to see a class end...particularly one in which the students gel as a this one.

Lots of different stories are coming together. Some will take a bit more time than others. I hope to see them all as they progress (maybe at some Stitch-Ins!).

Lee W. finished the four parts to her story about protection and being a parent. She told us more about why the cut paper exercise really resonated with her. I love how she carried the symbolism of the shapes into each finished piece. In the first class session, Lee created the background fabric by writing a poem by David Whyte (using a liquid soap resist) about loss. Some of the words are visible in the final pieces and really add meaning to her story.

Lee W.: She plans to mount these all on one background fabric.
Lee W.
Lee W.: This piece is directly based on her cut paper design.
Lee W.

Hattie B. brought in some of her stitched "flock". She made stencils of bird silhouettes and transformed them with stitching. I can't wait to see more (she also made some larger bird silhouettes) and also to hear what her grandson has to say about her project (these are birds they've seen at her bird feeder).

Hattie B.: Mourning doves

Hattie B.: Chickadee
Hattie B.: Grackle
Hattie B.: House finch
Hattie B.: Robin

Kathy B. continued to have fun with carved and printed blocks and also "finding" images in her painted fabric. I want to thank Kathy for her humor and contributing to the fun atmosphere each week!

Kathy B.
Kathy B.: Using vintage handkerchiefs for backgrounds.
Kathy B.: One-eyed cat.

Kathy F. temporarily misplaced her piece and started working on a second one. She was inspired by a gelatin print that reminded her of a pond. So she added this wonderful frog! When the class looked at the piece, we kept discovering imagery in the background (which is one of the reasons I find gelatin printing so inspiring!).

Kathy F.
Kathy F. Detail.

After finding her original piece (also a gelatin print), Kathy started stitching in some details in the owl. Looking forward to seeing both these pieces in the future.

Kathy F.

Jan B. completed two pieces and started to add borders and backings (which I covered in this last class). In addition to her piece about life's journey, she finished a piece of a beautiful sunset over water (don't you just want to be there!). Jan used a curved piecing technique that she learned in a class taught by Karen M. Karen was so sweet to give us an explanation and hopes to offer a mini-class in it for those of us who are interested.

Jan B.: Starting to add borders.
Jan B.

Karen M. continued to work on two pieces about spring. She put the finishing touches on her cherry blossom piece and had to include some rain (since we've had the rainiest spring on record!). She is adding some stitched details to her second piece which has many printed layers...including gelatin prints.

Karen M: Some subtle running stitch rain and hand appliqued blossoms.
Karen M. Adding Feather stitch details.

Amy P. started stitching and couching fabric strips to her story cloth. She knows that she has a long way to go on this piece but is looking forward to some quiet hours of stitching. This piece is about Trachimbrod, the shtetl (village) where one of Amy's ancestors lived and is also the setting for the book, Everything is Illuminated. Amy would like to continue the focus on family stories with future pieces.

Amy P.
Amy P.: Some stitched details.
Amy P.: Couching down fabric strips.

Marine L. unfortunately missed the last class due to illness. But she took great leaps with her piece using hand painted fabrics and her sewing machine. She jumped off from the famous Japanese print, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.

Marine L.

Thank you was a pleasure to facilitate your stories!
To see past blog posts about this class:
Starting Stories....
A Full Wednesday Part I
Story Cloth: Introducing Some Characters 
Story Cloth: Slowly Stepping into Stitch

A number of my students are artists in their own right. Below are some links to see more of their work:
Amy P.
Hattie B.
Kathy B.
Karen M.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hand Stitching: A Bit of This and That!

Susan P.: Texture Challenge
The week has flown by! Mom was visiting and my son, Aaron, graduated with his Masters in Psychology! Much celebrating! So... I'm finally posting about last Wednesday's Hand Stitching class...just in time.

Susan P. completed her Texture Sampler and also a Challenge piece. Spirals are a definite theme (see last week's piece too).

Susan P.: Texture Sampler
Susan P.: Texture Challenge detail. I love the overlaying of these single threads and the different sizes of Seeding Stitch.
Claudia E. stitched another figure. Her stitched lines are very expressive! And...I think this class is her first experience hand stitching!

Claudia E.
Kate G. continued work on her Pattern Challenge using a piece of black and white commercial fabric. A great example for this challenge!

Kate G.: Pattern challenge using commercial fabric.
Kate also had fun in class playing with Layers.

Kate G.: Reverse applique and couching.
Peggy G. continued to work on her cloud series. She started playing around with adding metallic and shiny threads to pieces (not shown here). I love her use of the cheesecloth layers and also the example where the stitched background "reveals" the cloud shape.

Peggy G.
Peggy G.
Looking forward to seeing what students have been stitching this week!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Story Cloth: Slowly Stepping into Stitch

Hattie B.: Mourning dove.

This past week in To Tell a Story with Cloth, students spent time doing a bit of printing and cutting and stitching. The stories are beginning to take shape!

Hattie B. decided to do a little book of the birds that she and her grandson see at the bird feeder. I love the textural stitching! Hattie is using a beautiful softened linen and we all wanted to know her source. If you're is the link!

Hattie B.: Gold finches (sorry about the background camera was NOT cooperative!).

Amy P. is continuing to explore her ancestral connections with the shtetl. She's cut and combined a number of her pieces. Now it's time to get stitching (before her daughter arrives!).

Amy P.
Jan B. is working on a piece that in some ways jumps off from her paper lifeline (see here for more info). Her piece is about the journey...with little safe havens (homes full of love). She spent time in class couching threads along the path.

Jan B.

Karen M. is working on a series of pieces about spring. She plans to cut and attach the cherry blossoms to one of her pieces.

Karen M.
Karen M.
Karen M.: Cherry blossoms

Lee W. decided to continue with the theme of protection that she started exploring in the cut paper exercise. She is composing a series of vignettes using similar shapes to express the theme.

Lee W.

Kathy F. is designing a piece as a memorial to a friend (who was an artist) who recently passed away. She plans to incorporate the symbol of being lifted out of a cage (to safety)...a motif that her friend used often in her art. Her friend also loved nature.

Kathy F.
Kathy F.: Detail of a little girl design that she found on a piece of vintage cloth.
Kathy F.: Detail printed owl

Kathy also made a monoprint of the owl...a reverse of her block print!

Kathy F.

Marine L. started to play with stitching!

Marine L.: A figure starting to appear.
Marine L.: Could this be the center of a flower?

Kathy B. is beginning a series with her cat prints.

Kathy B.
I'm so enjoying seeing where things are moving. This coming week is our last...this class is always too short!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Stitch Book

A couple of pages to be bound together.

So what have I been up to?

Getting my Hand Stitching book together...finally!

I've been hand stitching borders, backings and bindings (I know that you machine stitchers are now thinking that I'm crazy!!). I'm finding the ironing board very helpful for laying out the pages.

Making a bit of progress each day and the end is now in sight. AND I now realize that I should have done all the pages with raw-edged borders and bindings OR I should have come up with this brilliant solution from Judy Martin!

I have more ideas buzzing around in my head...which I will have to get to gradually. I have too much on my plate at the moment (teaching-wise).

What have you been up to?