I've been very busy quilting during the last few weeks. It's been such fun! However, I realised that with all of these busy projects, I'm missing the meditative calmness that slow stitching brings. So today I spent some time finishing up my "Please let me play" piece.
Adjusting the composition
In the Out of the Box Textile Artists Group, we've been learning about composition. I've read a lot about it, but it always feels more intuitive than just following rigid (or black and white) rules. I get the feeling that there's a lot of gray area in there to play with. Sometimes you know why a piece isn't working but at other times, it's not as clear.
That's why I turned to my artist friend, Elaine Quehl for help on this piece. Here is my final piece.
|"Please let me play" - embroidery on a clean-up rag
When I asked Elaine for help, the image below is what the piece looked like. The colour on this photo is not very good, but you get the idea. I knew that I would add things at the bottom but wasn't sure if the composition was the best that it could be. Elaine agreed with adding pieces at the bottom and suggested that the bright fuchsia piece on the left was distracting. Although it was my favourite fabric, I had to agree with her.
|Composition on the design wall, before getting advice
I then played with fabrics and came up with this. I replaced the bright pink piece with a lighter one, but after I had stitched it, I ended up removing it - it wasn't the colour so much as the extra piece.
|Playing with possibilities
I added pieces at the bottom as a type of echo of the top strip but kept the colours lighter. You can also see that I played a lot with embroidery stitches on both the fabric pieces and the original rag. I have been following Mirjam Gielen of Mirjam Textiles on Instagram (see Related links below). She has a very organic way of stitching that I find fascinating, so I bought her Basic Stitches e-book and used a few of her stitching variations on this piece. To keep it subtle, I used regular sewing thread.
|Trying fun stitch variations
|Keeping the added stitches subtle
As I was wondering how to hang this piece - it because obvious - on a clothe line! I covered a 14" x 14" canvas with very light sky fabric. I then attached a piece of clothe line with tacks at the sides of the canvas and used wooden clothes pins to hang the piece.
|Creating my own clothe line to hang the piece
|"Please let me play" and Chevy - pride of place on the art wall
#100dayschallenge2021 on Instagram
I started the challenge with slow stitching. I created a piece, "Mixing it Up" that incorporated both free motion quilting and embroidery. I then worked on stitching some eco printed fabric and also finished my first concertina book "Best and Worst of Times".
|Mixing it Up with FMQ and embroidery
|Slow stitching on
|Finished my Best and Worst of Times concertina book
|Slowly stitching the background of the Traveller's Blanket
I hope that you'll continue joining me on my stitching journey, either through my blog and/or Instagram. I really appreciate all of your encouragement. If I keep posting at the same rate as the last challenge, I should be finishing up just before my retirement in October 2022 😊😎
What I learned
- I have really enjoyed stitching on a piece of cloth that symbolizes my artistic journey. The message is very apt because frankly all I want to do is Play!!! (as opposed to work)
- There is so much to learn about composition and I hope that it gets easier with experience. Thanks so much Elaine for your advice!
- I've also learned a lot on my #100dayschallenge2021. It gave me the incentive to play with slow stitching and finish/advance some of my UFOs or WIPs.
- I'm going to try to re-incorporate slow stitching into my daily routine. I feel like I need the calmness.
- Previous post on Please let me play
- Wishes for 2022, January 09, 2022
- Elaine Quehl website
- Mirjam Gielen of Mirjam Textiles
- Vanessa Marr on Instagram and website
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on! Put your foot down, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Off The Wall Friday, TGIFF with Quilting Gail, Peacock Party, Beauties Pageant, Patchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, 15 minutes to stitch 2022, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday,
14½" x 13" on a 14" x 14" canvas