Monday, March 24, 2014

goodness, gracious, me...

goodness, gracious me indeed

where do the days go?

busy with this, that and the next thing... the days slide by, turning into night and around and around we go... the merry-go-round of life

i've struggled a bit lately, with things creative... kind of lost my mojo a while back

i felt adrift on a sea of fabric and thread, wanting to make something, feeling that urge to take up a needle, but no idea grabbed hold - no inspiration, nothing

the other day i was asked if i would teach a class or two on the spring schedule down at our local quilt shop
and as i have a huge hankering to go back to jolly olde england sooner rather than later, i said yes
{the right motivation can move mountains it seems!}

many people have been asking about silk ribbon embroidery but the ribbon is not that easy to find, and then of course, there are all the various widths in addition to all the various colours - where does a shop begin??

as i stood at my worktable the other day pondering the whole thing i wondered if it would be possible to do silk ribbon embroidery with something other than silk ribbon

something like cotton fabric...

i found a light pink, cut a narrow strip and started playing about
above is a scattering of stitches, just  sampling different needle types in different sizes along with different widths of ribbon

it became apparent rather quickly it would fray fast, but with short lengths, might work

tapping my fingers to the beat of my thoughts, i thought of my knotted projects of a year or so ago
thin strips of batik fabrics tied in many, many knots and then cut apart, the knots being glued on my sale invitations for last year... batiks are painted and dyed, which gives them a sturdiness other quilting cottons just don't have... 

i found an ultra pale pink batik to replace the light pink cotton and tried some stitches overtop a fragment of lace, hoping to create a pretty flower of sorts...

 it needs embroidery thread added for detail, but the look was just too sweet for what i wanted

this was more up my alley...

bright, bold colour

i cut a couple of different widths of strips, found a loose-weave cloth and basted out my design

 laying in the bare necessity of stem and leaf outlines 
{after all, the stems grow first, before the flower blooms}

and then began the first round of petals

 round and round i went, laying in more and more fabric petals, followed by embroidery thread petal stitches, followed by french knots for the flower centre

 dare i say it worked????

i am thrilled... thrilled, over the top delighted

the subtle colour variations of the batik fabric create a flower like nobody's business and have given this the "punch" i was hoping for

two more flowers to go, and then i'll attend to the leaves and vines and such

i think my mojo might be back...


deanna7trees said...

as i was reading this, i'm thinking that if you have any of that bias tape that we used years ago, i bet that would work as well....and without the fraying, but i do like the texture created by the fraying. i think that bias tape was rayon, if i remember correctly. your flower is gorgeous and i think you're on to something grand.

suziqu's thread works said...

Yes indeed your mojo certainly has returned. Oh that batik fabric that you used made such gorgeous flowers - they even have a sort of shabbiness that silk does not have.
Just love it!
I'll just enjoy your muse until mine returns from its little holiday!

lynn said...

wow that flower is gorgeous... i would say that your creativity is always there.. just needs a little nudge or so... i could use that flower here... spring doesent want to come here in south western pa... ughhhh its only in the teens tonite..
have a wonderful week and thanks again for sharing.
big ladybug hugs

Karen B. said...

Sweet Jillayne,

you are amazing! I thought you said you lost your mojo?! More likely not! Your flower is stunning, so full of color and life!
Many hugs,
Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Wendy said...

I'm glad to hear your mojo is back. The batik flower is very pretty and quite ingenious! If you wanted to use other fabrics, could you use some fray check or would that ruin the texture?

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Wowee ~ That is fantastic. A happy, colorful creation.


Marj Talbot said...

If that's what you're teaching, I'd love to be a part of that. That flower is fantastic and the batik perfect.
I'll dust off my silk ribbon embroidery book and have a boo.
Thanks for sharing this great project.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Jillayne, this is wonderful and while I was reading and watching the progress I kept thinking~~ I see a book in your future. Yes, I see it and I will be the first in line to purchase it.
I have books with this technique but none compare to you.

Thanks for stopping by also to past posts and your kind comments. So great to see you.
I'm creating off site this week in central Texas and inspired by BlueBonnets.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Absolutely stunning Jillayne, what a brilliant idea! Yep, your mojo is definitely back :O)

Createology said...

This flower is stunning. I like how you tried the unproven and the results are amazing. Back in the day we even made stitched flowers with some sort of straw ribbon and they worked really well. Your flower has quite an elegance to it that comes from the beautiful batik fabrics. Maybe your muse was merely enhancing your mojo for creating such gorgeous goodness. England is calling you so soon? Peace and Joy Dear...

Mosaic Magpie said...

So nice that you found a substitute for the silk ribbon. As you said there are so many colors and widths of silk ribbon for the students to buy and many, many more for the shop to purchase. Your grand idea can be cut to different widths with a swipe of the rotary cutter and ruler. I like the slight fraying effect it adds just another element of interest to the flower. Batiks are so beautiful and a bit costly compared to quilting is nice to have a use for those pieces we have left in our stash. I am wondering if quilting cottons cut on the bias would work? Your mojo was not gone...just taking a breath of fresh air!

Cherie said...

Sorry to hear that {thought} you had lost your mojo. But you certainly seem to have it here, with bundles of inspiration. Talk about thinking outside the square. What a good idea to substitue silk ribbon for fabric. What you have achieved looks fantastic. A pleasure to visit and see what you have come up with.

karen said...

you can most definitely dare to say it's stunning and more importantly it's unique, born from your thought process and sampling

karen said...

you can most definitely dare to say it's stunning and more importantly it's unique, born from your thought process and sampling

Lucille said...


Janie said...

Lovely color choice and interesting texture. Nice work too. thanks for sharing..