Sketchbook pages- at Westonbirt we saw a nuthatch so that gave me the last page of my winter concertina book. We were even more excited at Slimbridge WWT on Sunday- our first sighting of a bittern- very shy elusive birds. I thought I must get on and finish the Winter book before the first signs of Spring appear.
Winter field 2 is finished. Yesterday as we walked in the brief interlude of sunshine there was a large flock of birds over the enormous field. Fieldfares we thought. They swirled around- a small murmuration. So they were stitched into the corner of the sky.
Whole piece measures 40cm x 13cm.
The loop stitch, footprint stitch and herringbone for the hedgerow.
The Winter branches are stitched onto an older piece of work that had no centre but has been patched and pieced and stitched over a few years. Now it has a heart. The fields surround the tree laid out in various fabrics, machine and hand embroidered. It has settled into its own being. I plan to put some birds in quietly so you will have to search for them. I have been thinking about that word- settle. It came up in something else I read- letting the muddy waters settle to see clearly.
And so onto fabric- a thin silk and getting started on the stitching. These radiating branches from a strong centre seem like a good meditation. I am flipping and hopping around in my work, got lots started and nothing finished but I will settle down and finish things. I think it is just that time of year when it's hard to settle. This morning I heard a bird singing as the daylight appeared- a promise of Spring to come.
We have had snow, but it didn't last long. Cold temperatures for us. I have been looking at the bare Winter trees and hedgerows. I sought out this stamp that my husband rescued when the landscape architects in his office went digital. They used to print the trees on their plans with these. The pattern of these branches is often repeated in Nature - branches, roots, river estuaries, arteries in the heart. That circular image seemed a good meditation for Winter, I am transferring it onto fabric.
Another bird added to the concertina book ( with the bird cafe behind )
a few tiny beads added and then assembled as the front book cover. There was much glue spilled in the making and it all got rather sticky at one point but luckily PVA washes out easily! Another page yet to finish and the back pages but there is still plenty of Winter left to come.
So I went back and made a lighter piece- just one layer of silver thread on a piece of transparent ribbon fabric, on soluble fabric. I like it better for Winter. It has small pieces of paper and silk caught into the stitching (9x6cm) The second tiny piece is two layers of stitching- grey and silver - too much. So definitely a lesson in less is more! Always a hard lesson for me.
Another frosty morning and I am working on the Winter book covers.
The top one is on soluble fabric - here it is at the beginning, under the machine. I liked the lightness of this and will go back to make another, but I felt it needed stronger colour for the book cover and to go with the one on felt.
Happy New Year! I started a new piece- Winter field 2 - all fog, cold and ice. I am thinking about inventing new stitches as a way of personal expression. This new body of work called For the Love of Stitch. This piece has 3 layers of soft recycled fabric- grey linen from some trousers of mine, old pale blue cotton and curtain fabric already pin tucked. It is a dull rainy day so not good for photographs but I used a diagonal stitch that leaves a horizontal stitch on the back, to go up the seed drill lines. The frayed out piece will be a tree in the field corner. I want to look at the different field corners in different seasons - yes cycles of work and life.