Archive for January, 2011

A Happy New Year to everyone and I hope it brings you a satisfying and creative one.

I spent my first day of this new year sorting and storing a cupboard full of completed textile pieces.  They are all – as best I could – in their appropriate box or file. All the pieces should be easier to find now.   I also sorted the pieces and samples I am going to take to the next workshop I am giving later this month.  The first talk is one I have given before so that is ready but the one after that is a talk about the jewellery project which led to my book.  I need to plan the order of pieces and create the slide show to accompany it.  All the pieces have been photographed so it shouldn’t take too long. A good start…

The rest of the day was spent creating the jewelled fabric and tracing all the designs of the Dubai motif jewellery and a motif hanging.  I managed to free machine the two sides of the purse and the pendant.  Still a lot of pieces to free machine – a necklace and a bracelet – hopefully tomorrow.

I began the Dubai project last month – last year!!!- sounds a long time ago doesn’t it?  I completed a box, a bag and a folder.

I will begin with the box-  which had the starting design source from an image of the lift pod in the hotel we stayed at.  We stayed at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel in the old part of Dubai not far from the Creek. (I can hiighly recommend this hotel – very friendly and very very helpful).  The lift pod was one of two which  ran up and down a central well in the hotel.

I used this image and played with it – as I do – in Photoshop and Paint shop pro. I used a kaleidoscope filter and came up with this design.

I knew immediately what technique I would use so first I made a pattern.

Then I used gold metal shim and embossed the design for the lid.  The box was created from a bright red silk fabric and the centre of the design was used for small shim ‘flowers’ on each of the sides.

I used my usual method which allows the box to be stored flat.  I free machined the design on the inside of the lid.

The next piece was designed using the image of one of the buildings on the side of the Creek.  We went for a trip on the Creek on an Abra which is a water taxi. We hired the taxi to ourselves for an hours trip up and down each side of the Creek.  I was able to take many photos of the life and buildings along the sides of the Creek.  This was just one of them.

I zoomed in and took just the green squared windows.

Again, I played with the image in the computer and came up with a design which was ideal for printing onto fabric.

This gave me ideas for more than one piece – I created a folder and a bag from the same design.

First, the folder.

I printed the design onto silk fabric.  I cut and dyed and sprayed a piee of pelmet vilene the same size.  The silk was mounted onto the vilene with a thin layer of wadding then free machined.  I free machined each of the squares then threaded some cord through between each of the squares.  the edges were satin stitched and I made a wrapped cord to fasten and stitched small beads around the outer edges.

The square machining created a stitched pattern on the lining to match the outside.


To make the bag, I printed the same design onto cotton.  This was made into a quilt sandwhich and again I free machined each of the squares then pulled cord through between the squares.  I gave the surface a coat of acrylic wax to waterproof and protect it.  Then I stitched tiny seed beads around all the squares.  The bag was constructed and a handle made from machine wrapped cord and applied with more tiny sed beads.  I made tags to complete the effect. It has a zip to close and a satin lining the colour of the original windows on the building.

So there is the start of the project.

I have created six art quilts too but they have yet to be photographed.  Some are very large and the weather and light have not been right for the job.  Hopefully I will have done that for the next blog.

The only good thing about all the snow and bad weather is being able to stay indoors and be creative both with my textiles and still life photography of  which I have done a lot.  However, I do miss the photo shoots so I hope the weather will improve enough to go out and do some outdoor photography other than dashing in and out to take pictures of the snow like this one which I played with afterwards for a bit of fun.  These are stones in my garden and with the snow on the top looked like little heads.  Half an hour after I took this photo  it snowed heavily and they were completely buried under a couple of feet of snow – brrrr.

OK – that’s it for this blog so until the next one – cheers everyone.



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