A year of Made on Monday – on Wednesdays!

When I committed to making a piece of textile art once a week for a year this time a year ago, little did I know how challenging it would be. After doing the Made on Monday challenge for 12 months I decided to reflect on my progress and processes so that I can use what I have learned in future pieces of textile art.

MoM Lyn Pecchiar #15

It was challenging in a number of ways:

  • finding time – although the pieces were small I don’t often find time every week to sew,
  • finding inspiration – it’s hard to be creative on demand sometimes,
  • keeping ideas in check – 5 inches square can be fairly limiting
  • trying not to get ahead of myself – thinking this would be great as blah, or I could make 25 of these and make blah etc.,
  • knowing when to stop or when a piece is finished – although this is not a challenge limited to only doing these smaller art pieces,
  • stopping myself thinking ahead about what to do with them all!

MoM Lyn Pecchiar #49

What I learned along the way:

  • why should I make something for anything other than “because”? In other words, it doesn’t have to BE anything,
  • a lot of people think that I should make coasters (!!!)
  • placing limitations on a project when I create something is a good thing because it makes me think more (or sometimes stop overthinking) to solve a problem
  • sewing and textiles IS problem solving
  • I do overthink things a lot – the less I think about some of these pieces the more I like the end result
  • I dream textile creations or solutions a LOT (although I already knew that)
  • It is very beneficial working alongside someone (thanks Cora!) even if we are not always together in the same room – technology is a wonderful creativity tool,
  • Ideas and conversation flow when we can encourage, critique and be inspired by each other’s work,
  • It is easier to recognise your own self doubts when you can call it out in someone else.

MoM Lyn Pecchiar #34

Where will I go now?

  • I plan on making more of these 5×5 inch pieces and adding them to the MoM gallery, perhaps not as frequently
  • I want to use some of the pieces as a stepping stone for some larger pieces
  • I will use some of the techniques I have used in textile art in dressmaking
  • I will try placing limitations or challenge myself to use certain materials, colour schemes, techniques or designs to develop new pieces
  • I recognise that I can recycle and reuse the smallest pieces of my stash to create textile art

I thoroughly recommend the Made on Monday challenge to anyone who want to challenge themselves to extend their creativity.  It has opened my eyes to what I always kind of knew I could do but didn’t want to commit to large pieces to try.  I get an enormous satisfaction out of looking at all 52 pieces in one go.  I have them in a folder currently but have had an idea to make textile boxes to store them in, so we will see how that idea progresses!

All my 52 pieces so far are in my gallery and on the Made on Monday site.

Here are some more of my favourites.

What sort of challenge have you undertaken to extend your creativity?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Until next time

Lyn

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What’s New in 2018

I can’t believe Easter is over and we are heading towards winter in 2018.  In the meantime, we are having some magnificent autumn weather at the moment.

Where does the time go?  We have been a little quiet on here over the last few months busy with life and trying to catch up with our Made on Monday Challenge which is quickly coming to the final stages.  I have just completed item 45 out of 52 and am working on the next few.

The last 8 that I have completed are some of my favourites.  They are all using fabric that I painted one day when Lyn and I were, once again, experimenting with colours, stamps and stencils.

The pink series are my favourites and I am thinking of either mounting them together or making a cushion.  If I haven’t said it before, I love making cushions, so that will likely be the outcome.  I just need to decide how and whether to include borders around each?  But I’ll leave that decision for another day.

The next lot I did were based on photos, the first two are from the same photo taken on a holiday road trip whilst in Newcastle.  The photo was taken from a fabulous board walk along the coast that we stumbled across.  Why did I do two?  I was trying different techniques.  The first one using paints to highlight the rocks, the 2nd one using fabric.

The final two are based on a photo taken by a friend.  The only real difference is the colour thread I used.

 

I’m now off to finish the next lot.  Cheers from sunny Melbourne until next time……

Paint, Stencils and Stamps Continued…..

After a slow January, I am trying to get my head back into my creative pursuits.  I thought I would start with a blog listing my last lot of work done prior to Christmas.

I used another piece of painted fabric for more of the MoM Challenge 5 inch pieces.  I deliberately painted the fabric in four sections in order to continue with the Stamp theme.  The piece I used is seen below, top right.

I experimented with different stamps across the piece but found the heavily painted areas made it difficult to see the stamps.  I decided to add appliqué to the heavier stamped half and left the stamped images as background (where visible).

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What have I learnt?  When using the stamps on fabric, keep it simple.  A splash of background colour adds depth to the piece and the use of bold colours for the stitching brings out the shapes.  Too much colour in the background and you lose the effect.  I also love the effect of free motion stitching over the stamp but not having to strictly follow the lines.  I really like the echo effect of the lines where they are not followed exactly.

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Another 4 finished for the MoM Challenge.

After a long break over the Christmas period I need to gather up my supplies, look for inspiration and have a think about what to try next……..

Slow January

Happy new year everyone!

Although I have started the year slowly with my creativity, I have just sent in my latest Made on Monday piece and put it in my gallery.

I am contemplating some minor house renovations as well as slowly working on cleaning out my “studio” aka the “spare room”.

If anyone living in the north/west suburbs of Melbourne is interested in some Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazines, I have a shelf full that I would like to give to a good home.  See some pictures on my instagram account here.  They are mainly full of beautiful inspiration and traditional quilt ideas and patterns.  Unfortunately I find I don’t really use them much anymore …. so if anyone is interested please contact me via the contact page.  There are way too many to post and knowing the Australian postal rates it would cost a fortune.

Here’s hoping you are having a good January, not too cold if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, and not too hot if you are with me in the Southern Hemisphere.

Until next time,

Lyn

 

 

Quick update

I have just added my latest Made on Monday pieces to my gallery.  I decided to use a simple shape and do some variations with applique and stitch.  These are the first 2 pieces, I have another 2 started and there may be more.

I used the fabric that we painted a few weeks ago, and just experimented with backgrounds, although I didn’t get as much contrast as I would have liked.  Because the day was so hot I think I only painted about 4 pieces of fabric before I ran out of energy so I was limited in the colour choices.

As always, I forget to take process photos so I don’t have a lot but here are the basic steps I took:

Cut out applique shapes and pinned them to the background layer.  The background was already layered over some wadding and backing, like a quilt sandwich.

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Stitched the outline of the shapes.  I didn’t use glue or vliesofix, because both the background and the applique pieces were cotton, and the whole piece was small, they didn’t move very much.

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Then I filled in the shapes with freemotion stitching.

I will definitely try this idea again, I think using one shape and working on variations takes out some of the “What will I do” procrastinating and allows me to think of ways to create differences using stitch.  I settled on an apple shape, mainly because I often use floral designs and I didn’t want to do a heart (although I suppose an apple could look a bit like a heart!)

I will post the next pieces over the next few weeks.

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and happy new year.  I will be back with more in January!

Until next time

Lyn

Paint, Stencils and Stamps

Lyn mentioned recently that we spent some time painting fabric on one of Melbourne’s hottest days.  Whilst we only lasted a short time in the heat, I got quite a few bits of fabric painted, stencilled and stamped.

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As I sit and type this blog, we are having another of those very hot days and I am sitting and reflecting on what I have made with some of those painted fabrics.  At this point all pieces are for the Made on Monday Challenge ie 5 x 5 inch.  This challenge has seen me pushing myself to try new techniques and (I think) I’m improving some existing ones.

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The first piece used one of Lyn’s stencils that represents a brick wall and I created a graffiti series.  I loved making these pieces and using various bright colours and heavy stitching to emphasis some of the scribble I first did using IKEA Fabric pens.

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I was tempted for a minute to keep it as a larger piece and not cut it up into 5 inch squares, but am pleased I did and love the final result.

 

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Am going to play with stamps on the next painted piece.  But more on that next time…..

 

 

 

Bits and Bobs

Wow this year is flying.  Since I haven’t blogged in ages I thought I would update on some of the sewing and textile work I have done in recent weeks.  I haven’t really had much time so have had to do things in “bits and bobs”

I made a dress to wear to a family wedding. Actually I made 2 ½ dresses – the first one I decided was not “wedding-y enough” so I made another one which I hated well before it was finished, and the third one was the goldilocks one. Just right!

The first one was the lady skater pattern, with some scuba knit purchased from Spotlight.  I really like this one, but as a more casual dress.

1.LadySkater

The second one was not the fault of the pattern, but my choice of fabric.  I didn’t finish it (it’s in the “what will I do with this?”pile) because it looked way too dowdy – not the look I was going for.  I always count the time spent on these things as “entertainment” as well as learning, so the time is never wasted.  I don’t even have a photo – but this shows the fabric. A bit stretchy and not suitable for the pattern.

2.Stretch lace

The third dress I made (finished the morning of the wedding) was inspired when I saw the fabric (after going to buy a zip!) I knew I had a pattern with an A-Line skirt (New Look 6184) which I had made once before so I searched for it and used that one.

3.NL6184

Cora and I had a day of stencilling/painting/colouring fabric a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it was about a million degrees outside and quite windy so I only did a few pieces as we only stayed outside in the heat for about an hour.

I have made a couple of submissions for my Made on Monday (MoM) challenge out of one of these pieces, a larger piece is already stitched over and will become the front of a cushion cover and the other pieces I will use for some more MoM pieces.

Here are my latest 2 pieces which I just uploaded to the gallery.

While I was looking through my “What I made” book, I realised that I had made an A line dress in October as well – another New Look, pattern 6210.  I loved this fabric the first time I set eyes on it so I wanted to make as simple a dress as possible.

8.NL6210

One thing that I have done for the whole of this year is to keep a record of my dressmaking projects.  It is a small spiral notebook in which I write the date, the pattern number and any comments like “took in at shoulder blades in centre back seam”, which helps me if I decide to make the same pattern again.  I stick a swatch of the fabric on the page as well.  It’s also a reminder that I do actually achieve a fair bit, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.

Next on the list – I have nearly finished a summer dress which only needs elastic in the waist band and I have cut out another dress with a high-low hem. Both of these were inspired by the hot weather which suddenly appeared in Melbourne for over a week but has since disappeared! I will post pictures of the dresses when they are done.  I will also continue working on my Made on Monday challenge pieces.

What have you been working on? Clothes or textile art? Or both?

Until next time

Lyn