Further along with my WIP – Faded saphires………………

I think this is going to take longer than envisioned, and I am adding some more dimension to the piece, but the insertions of pewter are proving to be tough on the fingers.  The threads I dyed are just right, not too bright and I have managed to stitch some more seed and Kantha in parts.  The appliqued pieces are dyed Bond-a web on felt still playing with placement and more stitching to do…………  Unfortunately, it’s been a long day and  this shot is bad but will take more further along the line.


little more

Seeds of something new………….

I have been concentrating of late on trying to draw and enjoying it a great deal, but I must admit to missing the feel  of fabric in my hand and the stitches appearing before my eyes.  I don’t know if this has been at the back of my mind whilst drawing, but the solution to creating a certain piece which has caused me such trouble seems to be a little nearer, now.

The subject of it is quite a serious one and close to my heart.  I think when you are so involved , it can become a mental burden, I feel pressurised to produce a piece that translates the strong emotion that it evokes in me, otherwise, what’s the point?  It would just be another bit of sewing, right?


This time I have an idea that is a departure from my usual representation.  I am going to go totally by the feel of this and there will be 2 parts to this subject.  I can’t say more until I’m further along with it, but I hope I do it justice!

Anyway, enough of ‘serious’  here’s my progress on it for this week.

This, as you will have gathered, is a W.I.P. (work in progress)  so I will post to Sharon B’s site http://pintangle.com/  under the heading Work in progress Wednesdays.  A chance to keep motivated and see what others are creating.

Hope you find the answers to all your own internal questions!

Wishes and stitches

Barbara M

A little quiet time……….

Managed to find some quiet time to work a little more on this cloth of mine, it seems to be telling me what to add next and I’m listening!

Of the earth of the earth detail

I found inspiration for the strange shapes at the top of the piece from the cream resist areas I tied into the cloth when dyeing it.  I have started part of the central area and just the outline for the large motif at the bottom right(I use this as a sort of rough aide de memoir of the whole thing before the idea melts away).

As it will be hand stitched I  think it may very well  become a WIP for 2014.  I’m just enjoying free-style stitching and the fabric in my hands without a frame or hoop getting in the way.

Hope you are finding some ‘me time’ too.

Best Wishes


Manipulation of thread only and of fabric by stitch

I have finished all my traditional embroidered presents and projects and find that I miss the serendipitous results of good old-fashioned experimentation and play session! I love hand embroidery and the feel of fabric and thread passing through my fingers as I shift the piece around.

Mandala of 'Air stitching'

Mandala of ‘Air stitching’

Now, I am also going to experiment by manipulating fabric by stitch and thread only manipulation! My first little mandala was a sample to practice the strange feeling of hand embroidery sans fabric – air stitching as I call it. Feels a little weird, but I know I will feel more at home with it as I progress with the samples.

Stitchstrata 2

The stitches that are chosen are crucial to the fabrication of ‘air stitching. The foundation or outline threads have to be connected and using stitches that can be looped or knotted to one another are essential.  I also discovered that extra layers of threads can be added as you go to build depth and to re-enforce the structure.

Close up

Close up

The resulting piece is quite sturdy and I will make a wire circle as a frame and bind it.


Goodbyes are never easy………………

At last you have one

At last you have one

I write this with a heavy heart.  Sometimes words have to be wrung out one by one and they’re not enough, they will never really translate my feelings to paper.

How long does a relationship need to have continued to be considered

life-long?   I always felt as though I’d known you all my life.

Roni, you were one of those wonderful characters who impressed me and drew me to you within minutes of being introduced.  A wonderful woman who had a long, interesting and full life, a person who may have been petite in stature but made a huge impact on those you came into contact with, never afraid to speak out against what you thought to be unfair judgements or ill-considered actions; and never afraid to air those opinions!

My conversations with you always had a  feeling of easiness and familiarity.  Your humour had such a modern, sharp quality that I will always treasure, your strength and determination enabled you to end your days surrounded by a loving family and in the comfort of your own home.

Thanks Roni, for the laughs, the songs we sang together, the chats about the old days and your friendship which was so precious to me.

Goodbye my little pal.

Barbara X

Hanging My Tears Out To Dry………………

Hanging my tears out to dry.

Having just completed this piece and feel I should share it with you, along with the following explanation.

This piece is my interpretation and variation on an old, very well-known symbol.  The tree of life portrays the continuity and fecundity of life.  I have used it to represent a more personalized portrayal.

I believe there are many different pathways in life, some built on sorrow, some on joy.  Each event  leaves its mark on us, whether through comedy or tragedy they touch our very soul and there, tears are first born.  We can choose to dam them up inside, or let them free.

Tears of anger that are quick to form.

Tears of joy which lift our spirits.

The most powerful of all, tears of love and compassion.

Tears of faith for those who have sacrificed themselves in God’s name and in thanks for his many gifts.

Tears of loss which seem never-ending; squeezed from the heart and formed by the pain of despair.

So many tears.

Sooner or later a decision has to be made and it takes a great deal of courage to just set them free.  It took me, personally,  a long time to realize that this was the only way to move on.  I consider it a given, that these won’t be the last ones I shed but from

To-day my new words for the future will be Faith and Acceptance.

So, here they are, I’m hanging my tears out to dry and waiting for the winds of change to evaporate them.   I have a feeling it won’t be long.

Serious Stitches.

I have often been described many times as being a fun person, and my work as being light-hearted and amusing.  

 Life can be anything but  – in fact lately, it has been very serious. 

I never ‘whine online’ about any of it(the last thing anyone needs to hear!), but I feel like I should really be trying to produce work that carries more weight. Pieces that reflect a more  sombre side, letting some of  those  half – born ideas and feelings  I have been tucking away, see the light of day.

I am one of those creatives  who manage to keep life’s troubles bearable  by producing colourful, amusing pieces,  or experimenting with new ideas and methods.  I have to keep my mind active and the act of producing something  is my joy.

For me,  this is only  a temporary  form of escapism,  lasting as long as the act of creation with dissatisfaction soon following.  Is the omission of acknowledging the existence of the sad and ugly side of things through my work because I feel it is  unpalatable to the blogging world?  Or is it because I am more than aware of life’s injustices and mankind’s failings and just too sensitive?

I don’t know –   but the time has come to get a bit serious.

This block is part of a personal challenge for 2013 called ‘bite-sized pieces’.  I will be using different techniques and creating a block for each month of this year. March’s block covers a modern take on cutwork using silk and a modern synthetic fabric.

This particular one will reflect a personal decision plus a few reflective thoughts.  It will be called – H.M.T.O.T.D and uses my version of the tree of life motif.

Very appropriate.

The start of March’s block

This is just the starting point – cutwork upon cutwork. The background colour has yet to be decided upon. I will post the various stages as I complete.Hope you can drop by now and then to follow the journey.