Slow stitching – book and sample

I’ve been spending a little time doing some hand work. I was inspired to go back to a project I started 2 years ago after reading: Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.

Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.

Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.

This book is beautifully illustrated with projects by Claire Wellesley-Smith, a textile artist working in Yorkshire, England. She blogs about her work at: http://www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk/blog/

Running stitch with perle cotton on wool

Running stitch with perle cotton on wool

Slow Stitch discusses how the Slow Movement, originally the Slow Food Movement started by Carlo Petrini in Italy, relates to textiles. Examples of Claire’s work and those of :

are included in this beautifully photographed book. There is a lot of inspiration and also a few ideas for starting your own slow stitching projects.

Slow stitch art quilt

Slow stitch art quilt

The piece I am working on shown above started with an embroidery I began when I was a member of the Canadian  Embroiderers’ Guild Guelph. I made a few small pieces incorporating all the fun techniques we were taught. But, the samples languished in a cupboard until my mother suggested that I incorporate them into my quilting.

This embroidered and beaded quilt really is a slow project! I see that I blogged about this project first in December 2014 and then in 2015!

Island Sands

Island Sands

The piece I am currently working is a companion piece to Island Sands which was completed a few years ago.

Island Sands detail

Island Sands detail

I especially like the texture created on the silk noile – ripples left behind in the sand when the tide goes out.

Slow stitch supplies

Slow stitch supplies

I’ve collected up the threads, fabrics, and beads I may use and placed them all together in a plastic box. Hopefully this will keep me organized and on track to finally finish this very slow but satisfying stitching.

Crossing Borders Art Quilters Show

The invitation

I was invited to participate in an online art quilter’s group. Crossing Borders began with eight artists from Canada, the US and The Netherlands. Our goal was to share and learn from each other in a creative and non-threatening manner.

The eight artists:

The guidelines:

  1. Create a 12″x12″ finished piece of artwork
  2. Interpret a theme to create artwork
  3. Artwork to be revealed every 2 months on the last day of the month
  4. Post photograph and any explanation on private Facebook page
  5. Comment on each others work

The Themes:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life Cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

The Show

Now, after one year, we are ready to show our completed artwork. Jeanne Simpson has organized a show in her studio space at The Hungerford, Rochester New York on April 7-8 2017. I hope those of you close by will attend the opening reception on Friday April 7th from 6-9. Seven of us will be in attendance. We would love to speak to you and show you our artwork.

Fineline Brooches – quilt jewlery

I have been obsessing with creating tiny minimal modern designs with my hand dyed fabrics. The smaller the tiny strips I insert, the happier I am!

Fineline Brooch_red-indigo

Each brooch is machine quilted, a layer of Peltex adds firmness, satin stitching frames the piece and a pin back is added.

Fineline Brooch_red-indigo-green

I love these pins, they are like wearing your own mini works of art.

Fineline Brooch_grey-pink

Fineline Brooch_Black_purple

Fineline Brooch _purple-green

They are so versatile,

Fineline Brooch_black_fuchsia_green

Fineline Brooch_turquoise-purple

It has been so much fun creating these pieces.

Fineline Brooch_Fuchsia-green-cord

With this piece, I added a loop to make this into a pendant.

Fineline Brooch_fuchsia-green

Which one is your favourite?

Light up postcards!

I have been experimenting with adding LED lights to make fabric postcards. Each postcard is constructed like a mini quilt, but, with the addition of some fun sparkle!

Light bulb postcard

Light bulb postcard

Conductive thread connects the LIlyPad coin cell battery holder that has an on/off switch to the LED light. It is the most simple circuit to create.

Light bulb postcard with LED light on

Light bulb postcard with LED light on

NiteLite Glow in the Dark Thread is used for all of the other stitching.

Flashlight postcard

Flashlight postcard

 

Flashlight postcard with LED light on

Flashlight postcard with LED light on

The flashlight postcard is a slightly more complex circuit. The sewable battery holder does not have an on/off switch, so I added a separate LilyPad Slide Switch to the circuit. This way you don’t need to continually remove the coin cell battery when you don’t want power to your LEDs.

Fireflies postcard

Fireflies postcard

The firefly postcards was so much fun! One of the tiny fireflies is captured in the mason jar, but one has managed to escape!

Fireflies postcard with LED lights on

Fireflies postcard with LED lights on

The two LED lights are connected in a series and I’ve hidden the LilyPad coin cell battery holder in the corner.

Which one is your favourite postcard?

Hand Dyed Shibori Scarves – Part 2

The best part of dyeing your own fabrics are the beautiful colours you can mix.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori turquoise scarf

Turquoise and blue are beautiful together. I think this would pair nicely with a pair of jeans and navy blazer for the spring.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

With the scarf above, I wanted to try to create a plaid design. This scarf was folded, wrapped and dipped three times. Each time, the resist I used was larger, covering up more of the scarf and the dye bath was intensified.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori blue/gray scarf

I will try this technique again, and try for a little more variation between the first two dye baths.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori green/gray scarf

A circular resist was used for this yellowish green and blue/gray scarf.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori orange scarf

Coral and brown are always a great colour combination. This scarf was tightly twisted before being dyed.

Rayon linen shibori blue scarf

Rayon linen shibori blue scarf

Cerulean blue and black used to dye the scarf above. The same twisting technique was used as in the coral and brown scarf, but, this was not twisted as tightly. You can see that the dye penetrated the entire scarf with no light spots.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen shibori parfait scarf

Rayon linen shibori parfait scarf

 

Rayon linen shibori teal/gold scarf

Rayon linen shibori teal/gold scarf

The scarf above was dyed using the Parfait method described by Ann Johnston in her book: Color by Accident. The scarf was first submerged in yellow, then turquoise and finally in the gray. I love the colours together – it looks like two completely different scarves, when it’s folded in half.

All of these scarves are available for purchase: $40.00 each. They are 17″ wide and 70″ long. They are easy to care for: machine wash and air dry. They are a great way to add some colour to your wardrobe this spring!

 

Hand Dyed Shibori Scarves – Part 1

I love dyeing, the colours, designs and textures you can create by folding, scrunching and tying up fabric is limited only by your patience!

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

 

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

Rayon linen itajime shibori fuchsia scarf

I found some beautiful rayon/linen fabric that I sewed up into scarves. The fabric has a lovely drape and dyes beautifully.

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

 

Rayon linen itajime Arashi pink scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori pink scarf

Each scarf is an original one-of-a-kind piece. Wrap them around your neck, twist them into a belt around your waist, tie them to your hand bag. They will add a dash of colour to any outfit.

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

 

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori wine scarf

These rayon linen scarves were dyed using my favourite colours: fuchsia, pink and purple.

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

 

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen shibori purple scarf

The scarves are 17″ wide and 70″ long and available for purchase at $40.00 each. They are machine washable and air dry.

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

 

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Itajime shibori pink/grey scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

 

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Rayon linen Arashi shibori purple scarf

Next week I have more scarves in other colours to show you. Even though I love pink, I do like all colours and know how to mix them! 🙂

 

Aga Khan Museum

A friend and I visited the Aga Khan Museum this weekend. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic docent began our visit with an introduction on the design of the building by architect: Fumihiko Maki. He was given the theme of light as his inspiration. An interior courtyard brings light into the center of the building and provides a lovely outdoor space in warm weather.

Leaf from a Qur'an Manuscript North Africa, 9th-10th centuries ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript
North Africa, 9th-10th centuries
ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Artifacts that are centuries old have colours, textures and designs that seem modern and timeless.

Oculus Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century Fritware, molded and glazed

Oculus
Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century
Fritware, molded and glazed

The museum’s collection of pottery, glass, metalwork, and calligraphy is a source of inspiration.

Bottle Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries Glass, wheel-cut

Bottle
Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries
Glass, wheel-cut

The mosaic tiles in the fountain can be translated directly into quilt blocks.

Fountain Syria, 16th century and later Marble and sandstone mosaic

Fountain
Syria, 16th century and later
Marble and sandstone mosaic

Turquoise, blue, and gold colours found in the pottery, are some of my favourites and I imagine them in a project.

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements
probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries
Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements – detail

More designs that can be directly translated into quilt blocks. Also Ideas for arranging the blocks in various configurations.

Box Spain 16th century Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl

Chest
Spain 16th century
Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl

Candlestick Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century' Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

Candlestick
Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century’
Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

The circular design in the candlestick above reminds me of the New York Beauty block. I can imagine this block on a solid background and heavily quilted with angular lines like in the background above.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, 10th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, 10th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Two dishes in the collection look very modern. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the designs. More information for both of these pieces and many others are available on the museum website in the Collection Highlights tab.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets

Flying Carpet, 2007 by
Farhad Moshiri
b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris
32 stacked macine-made carpets

Although the Aga Khan Museum features historical cultural artifacts from Islamic civilizations, it also features contemporary artwork. The piece above: Flying Carpet by Farhad Moshiri is a stack of 32 machine-made carpets that has a fighter plane cut out of the centre. The artist, Moshiri, was inspired by a documentary on Afghan carpet weavers. They had been incorporating modern technologies into the design of the carpets – planes, drones and other military armaments.

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works inTehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets

Flying Carpet – overhead view by Farhad Moshiri

Another special exhibit on display until March 26, 2017 is Syria: A Living History. This exhibit contains historical artifacts and contemporary artwork illustrating the diverse culture and history of Syria. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit, so you will have to visit the museum to see the collections in person. The grounds around the museum are also worth visiting – I will need to return in the spring when the weather is a bit warmer!

Fineline Series – Sight

Sight is part of my Fineline Series of textile paintings. In this series, I have been exploring abstract minimal design.

Each piece is refined to capture the essence of my idea.

Thin strips of fabric are inserted in various configurations to create linear designs.

Machine quilting adds a layer of texture.

The simplicity of the art piece belies the amount of work that goes into the design itself. As in a good recipe, the fewer the ingredients, the more important each one becomes to the successful outcome of the dish.

Sight
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
16 x 20 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread, on painted canvas
$125.00

Snow dyed fabric

I love fuchsias, pinks and reds. These colours make me happy and energized. It’s the colour palette I gravitate towards when choosing colours for a project.

 

All of the two metre pieces of cotton were dyed with snow in December.

I love that each piece of fabric has a change of pattern and colour intensity from edge to edge.

Berene from Happy Sew Lucky commented on instagram that the piece is like a complex ombre. I think that’s a great description of these pieces.

Observing the pieces folded in half, they look like two completely different pieces of fabric.

 

There are so many design possibilities in each piece of yardage.

What colours make you happy?

Constellation quilt using LED lights

I made a small constellation quilt to test out some technology that I learned about at work. One of my co-workers purchased the book Sew Electric: A Collection of DIY Projects That Combine Fabric, Electronics, and Programming by Leah Buechley, Kanjun Qiu and illustrated by Sonja de Boer.

Sew Electric by Leah Buechley, K. Qiu and Sonja de Boer

Sew Electric by Leah Buechley, K. Qiu and Sonja de Boer

There are four projects in this book that combine craft making, electronics, and computer science. I was intrigued and excited about using some of these materials in a quilted project. My idea included over 70 LED lights! So, before I ventured into such an ambitious project, I made a small sample to test out my technical skills.

Supplies: LED lights, conductive thread, LilyTiny, battery

Supplies: LED lights, conductive thread, LilyTiny, battery

For my sample quilt, I chose one of the signs of the zodiac – Sagittarius a constellation with eight stars. I traced the design onto the top with dressmakers tracing paper, sandwiched the piece and machine quilted the design. I used the alphabet embroidery function on my sewing machine to stitch the title, and bound it.

Sagittarius constellation quilt with LED lights

Sagittarius constellation quilt with LED lights

The quilt is about 8″ x 10″ and I quilted it with NiteLite Glow-In-The-Dark thread by Superior Threads. The thread really glows beautifully!

Sagittarius constellation quilt with LED lights on

Sagittarius constellation quilt with LED lights on

Once the entire quilt was quilted and bound, I sewed the LED lights onto the intersections where the stars are located in the constellation.

Sagittarius constellation quilt circuit

Sagittarius constellation quilt circuit

You can see the conductive thread that creates a circuit, connecting the battery holder to the lights and to the Lilytiny.

Sagittarius constellation quilt Lilytiny and battery holder

Sagittarius constellation quilt Lilytiny and battery holder

The Lilypad was created by Leah Buechly, an engineer, professor and designer. Lilypad Arduinos are small microcontrollers that can be stitched into clothing and programmed. In this case, the LilyTiny is preprogrammed with four different controls: tab 1 LEDs flash like a heartbeat; tab 2 LEDs blink steadily; tab 3 LEDs twinkle; tab 0 LEDs fade in and out.

Sagittarius constellation quilt detail of lights

Sagittarius constellation quilt detail of lights

I was really happy that I could make the technology work. The instructions in Sew Electric were excellent, clearly illustrated and explained. Information on how to sew with conductive thread, how to create circuits and how to troubleshoot problems are clearly given.

I am confident in my techie skills now and am excited to start work on the much larger piece. Have you incorporated technology into your work?