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……..

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…..

 

 

 

Found Treasures

Recently, while looking for something else, I found some amazing painted fabrics and other bits and pieces that I did many years ago.  Too many, I’m embarrassed to say.

The classes were run by the fabulous Susan Mathews in her (then) home town of Yarrawonga.  She had a fabulous studio behind her house in a setting amongst gum trees – very Australian.

Despite being hidden in my cupboard for many years, I’m still loving the colours and am eager to start planning what I am going to do with each and every one of them.

Here are some of the key bits I found.

I also found one with pins still in it.  Obviously, started constructing but never finished.  Proof I’m easily distracted and clearly forgetful.

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Also found a wet felted piece I did during another class with a different teacher.  Not sure what to do with this one, but will try some machine embroidery on it and then decide.

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Lots of inspiration and bases for some fun projects.  I hope you stay tuned for the results…..

 

Creative Catch Up

I finally have my machine back from the repairer and have almost shaken off the winter blues.  Getting back into the swing of things, I have finished quite a few 5″ squares for the Made on Monday Challenge.  Below are the finished pieces from the semi finished piece I showed last time.

I also completed another appliqued piece I’ve called coastal.  Choosing different colours to represent the ocean, sand, sea and sunset.

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This weekly challenge has been great for stretching the creativity and trying new things.  Experimenting with backgrounds, fabrics and thread.

For the next few pieces, I am experimenting with some stamps I have in my stash that have been used in the past for card making.  Another detour I took a while ago.  I have used the stamps on plain and printed cotton but am yet to decide what is next.  Whether to just stitch or use some more colour (Inktense or Water Colour Pencils).

More completed photos next time……

 

 

 

Combining Challenges

We are currently up to week 13 of the Made on Monday Challenge and Lyn has found another one we might participate in.  Never letting time constraints get in the way of being creative.

The “Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine” Challenge ‘Word of the Year’ is due in August and is for an 8 inch piece that represents a word that will ignite action, provide inspiration propel your art making for the coming year.

I decided to combine the two by creating a few 5 inch pieces using different words for the MoM Challenge and then picking a favourite word, process and method to create the 8 inch version.

The first word I chose is “Invent” and decided to try a negative space piece.

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Using plain fabric to highlight the word, I wrote the word first and then started filling it in (in the negative).  The next challenge was to fill in the blank space around the word and choose a finished edge.

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This is now the 13th MoM piece ready for submission.

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The second word is ‘Unique’, using the same process, except keeping the outline minimal, using a pieced background and using repetition to highlight the word.

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It is still a work in progress but I am liking how it is progressing, lots of work still to do.  I have picked the other colours that I’m thinking of using and will post further progress shots soon.  The next option is yet to be decided.

Let me know what you think?  I would love any feedback or suggestions…….