Thursday, February 11, 2016

patches and pockets

lately i've been drawn to simple patches, old linens, hand embroidery - making things up as i go

there's sometimes a plan, albeit a loose one, but sometimes there isn't

i've learned i can waste a lot of time trying to figure out a project, beginning to end, before i've even taken up a needle, much less a pair of scissors

nowadays i just jump right in and get started, making it up as i go, hoping for a brilliant idea or two along the way

 we're making "patched pockets" over in karen's latest class, and in honour of her being both an exhibitor and an instructor, at the amazing "pour l'amour de fil" in nantes, france this april, i thought i'd make a pocket with a french twist

red and blue, new cloth and old, designs by french general and liberty of london

i'm in heaven

i started with an old tablecloth, lovely linen, all neatly hemmed with faded blue embroidery transfers in each of the four corners, but not a stitch taken

there were several stains on the cloth, so i took a deep breath, and cut off one whole side, leaving the hem intact on the three remaining

my plan is for an envelope-style pocket, with a fold-over flap

not having any designs ideas, as mentioned above, i decided to start on the back

in not much time i'd appliqued the first four squares - then i sat and looked at it, wondering what to do next

i wondered for a long time... days - winging it wasn't working!

in the absence of a better idea i started making red cross-stitches along the hemmed edge and while doing that i was reminded of laundry marks... the whole thing was immediately cast aside and an internet search on laundry marks began

there isn't a whole lot out there readily at hand but i found an issue of piecework magazine from 1999 that was available for digital download that had a very good article - it was a beginning...

an etsy search revealed french laundry tape - white, with red letters, monogrammed by machine

they looked awfully familiar so the ipad was dumped on the cast-off embroidery and upstairs i went, pulling out boxes and drawers, and a half hour later held up a 5" white strip with lovely little "J.A."s embroidered in said red - a little gift tucked into a textile order from long ago

"J.A." not "J.W." but it will do just fine

back to work again, this time embroidering some of the faded transfer lines on the cut-off piece

this will in turn be cut up again i think, and appliqued on to the pouch in some fashion, but just how hasn't quite come to me yet

while waiting on that idea to develop, i turned to the next thing i knew for sure

i embroidered a tiny white flower on a scrap of the cut off material  and then darned it to the main piece in the open space between groups of the "four-patches"

there was no tear here, no stain that needed covering, just a desire to bring some of the cut away part back home, darning it, connecting it in a way that is somehow as close as it can get again to being part of the whole

and that's as far as my thinking's taken me...


Rachel said...

The "winging it" is working, it's just that sometimes the progress can be a little uneven. I've learnt to rely on the project to guide me. It takes nerve to wait, sometimes, but the answers arrive eventually!

FlashinScissors said...

That's a beautiful project Jillayne! So exciting to see where it leads...
I love the colours!
Barbara xx

Marj Talbot said...

Well, nothing uneven about this one. The colors are great and the stitching absolutely terrific. Where will it go? Wherever you want it to - it will be your very own. Thanks for sharing - love it.

Dorthe said...

Jillayne, I love your thinking loud, on your blog, :-) and your always so lovely and sweet embroidery and sewing, This will be ever so beautiful, when finished,- what are you doing with the laundry mark ?
I so would love to try embroidery some more, I`m not good at it, but I guess ...practice makes .... so maybe I should just start, ,not thinking of perfect ,or straight sewing lines, ....
A lovely weekend to you, friend.
Hug from Dorthe

gracie said...

I love your project and look forward to seeing more

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What fun to follow your through process! I do the exact same thing and get so far then off I go on a tangent for something else that generally ends up being married into the whole. Oh....look.....something shiny......

Createology said...

I love a pocket that can hold a treasure. Here you are creating the treasure itself as a pocket. I adore the way you think and create...letting your medium tell you how it wants to be worked with. Gorgeous Dear. Embracing Creative Bliss...