Monday, 27 July 2009

Just a taste

Just a small taste of this year's entry for Festival of Quilts, and artists book based on the varied wildlife found in English woodland, partly based on Wytham woods where I grew up. Many of the pages remind me of specific incidents - the dragonfly which followed me one summer afternoon, the grass-snake which found itself wound round my dog's hindleg. The stag-beetle, above, used to terrify me when I was little, it looked so ferocious. The ghost-orchid, below, which is now extremely rare, is a flower I once saw during my career as an amateur botanist - not in Wytham woods but elsewhere - I did not know at the time how rare it was but even at that stage I knew to content myself with looking and then move on...


The pieces were made first by cutting designs from silk-painted pelmet vilene (timtex), one for each side of the page (producing double-sided designs was an enormous challenge but I managed sixteen of them). I used a scalpel for this - the first time I have done so, and the perfect tool for intricate cutting - providing you take great care. Then each page side was covered in hand-dyed silk organza (one of my favourite fabrics - it takes dye beautifully) and the design was stitched on: with the more intricate designs I drew it onto tracing paper and stitched from the back to outline the design accurately, taking out the paper before continuing. Next the two sides of the page were sandwiched together with a piece of hand-dyed silk tulle net as a "filling", and then quilted through all layers before being finished off with satin stitch. Finally I cut back some of the organza to reveal the net underneath. Using translucent fabrics means that the light shines through the pages which is meant to imitate the way you get patches of light shining through the woods.
That's why I've been so quiet recently!

5 comments:

jan said...

These are beautiful Sandra, I really like the effect. I enjoyed watching John and Harvey in Harris it was a really inspiring programme, I'm sure they'll suceed

Lisa Dunn said...

Your pages are absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could see the whole book! I'm sure it will do well in the Festival of Quilts. Lisa, visiting from Quiltart list

Julie said...

These are great Sandra. I'll look forward to seeing them at the FOQ. Thanks for the link to the Harris programme I'll hopefully take a look tomorrow or over the weekend.

hippopip said...

Such beautiful delicate work,you would make a great chiropodist being that good with a scapel!

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Oooh lovely textile work over here!

Carolyn