I admit, I’ve slipped up – but it feels right!

slip in place

Puzzling over just how to finish edges on Faded Sapphires  I needed to have the design broken up as it travels downward, it was a start with the reverse applique, and I wanted the bottom edge to be less substantial than the main body of the piece.

Answer, good old fusing and cutting(Thank you, Margaret ūüôā¬† Then, the next problem of¬†using the organza.¬†¬†¬†Even in 2 layers I knew it wouldn’t be substantial enough to attach to the main section and if I attached the traditional style of interfacing it would not be fun burning it(stinks to high heaven).

Yahoo!  Found some Evelon which is suitable and away I went!

Pleased with the look of this and I can integrate with some stitching and may need to look at the bottom right corner for more  cutwork. (Please note the black areas are not really black, just the light playing tricks with this fabric)

Now I have the sides sorted out, there is just the matter of the top and trying more leaf placement.

I want to try to be¬†‘simpatico’¬†with the slip base, but don’t want to overpower the main focus.¬† Should¬†I use loops behind plain top/ add small slip leaves¬† applique two small Sprays over the tabs???

The bottom right corner needs more disintegration – holes/reverse applique/ eyelets?

The little grey cells are SO enjoying this exercise :}

serious subjects

Faded Sapphire of Her Eyes – Stage 3

Strange how sometimes, you think you have it all worked out, quite a straightforward plan – ¬†and then something gets into your head about altering the structure of the piece(just a little bit, I tell myself) don’t want to ¬†take a chance with all those stitches and all that love!

But………..¬† This piece has a personal story to tell and it is a sad one.¬†

The proper title is really¬† ‘The Faded Sapphire of Her Eyes’. It relates to someone very precious to me.¬† I’ve taken quite¬†a long time to¬†approach this and to move forward with it.¬†

This is a slow cloth, in every sense of the word

I’ve been¬†thinking¬† how complex we ¬†human beings are, we possess such fragile¬†layers but these can, at the same time,¬†lay upon¬†powerfully strong emotional foundations.¬†¬†¬†Such an emotive subject deserved more from me and I feel it isn’t there yet.

¬† Trouble is¬†what happened next¬†was purely instinctive, right at the moment I was about to ‘frame and fringe it'(or so I thought) I looked down at¬†an awl had just received in the post for starting book-binding experiments¬†and I suddenly realised that I could add more to this story, by taking something away, strange…………

Anyway, I told myself, it would give more depth to things, so I stabbed the poor piece with the little awl, and cut areas away.  What the hell was I doing? I thought, but it felt right and  the small missing pieces were representational of periods of sadness  which have to heal and mend.

¬†So, I had my answer –¬†¬† the next stage was to heal and mend¬†stitch by stitch.

This is where I’m up to and how long this will take until I feel ready to leave it be, I have no idea, but I will keep on until it feels right to me.


experimentation, serious subjects

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

serious subjects

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


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.


serious subjects, Tree of life

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.