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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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

Playing with Stamps

I went through a card making stage a few years back and have a few stamps in my stash.  I thought I’d try using them on fabric.

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I tried stamping on both plain and printed fabric.  I debated whether to add more colour before stitching but decided to leave them simple and just add a touch of colour with thread.  I’m pleased with the samples.

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The stamps are easy and fun to use.  I haven’t tested the ink for permanency as yet; however, I did heat set and will try washing a future sample.

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I love the simplicity of minimal colours.  It does help that I love the colour purple.  I like the look of them together, so might try and incorporate them into something…..?

Number 23

Last week was week 23 for my Made on Monday challenge.  I decided to continue my experimenting with Inktense pencils.  Numbers 21 and 22 were also created using inktense pencils, and although I don’t really like piece 22, I do like the idea of using a simple image, and outline stitching it with free motion embroidery.

The starting point was an offcut from a piece which had been painted using stencilled images. (Have I mentioned I have a LOT of STUFF in my sewing room which needs to be used/donated/thrown out?)  So I used it… and grabbed a bag of stencils which had come from some magazines meant for paper crafts.

1 fabric

Using the pear stencil I created the image by blending various colours of inktense pencils, wet with a mixture of textile medium and water.  I used less water this time, because number 22 showed me how much the ink spreads when wet.

I then experimented with a border, still using inktense, because the fabric did not have colour all the way to the edges.

 

Finally after checking the layout with my trusty pink board with a 5 inch window cut out, I stitched with free motion embroidery, using simple outlines around the pear.

6 checking size

The background was stitched in a leaf pattern, sort of following the pattern of the leaves but not really!  I stitched around the border triangles as well to try to make them pop up a bit from the fabric.

After a zig zag stitch to finish the edges, it’s finished!

8 final stitched

Detail of the stitching:

9 stitch detail

Currently I am borrowing Cora’s inktense pencils, and I am certainly sold on getting some of my own.  I might get some of the inktense blocks, because the pencils are great for small areas and detail, but I think it would be great to be able to cover larger areas.

Do any of you have experience with inktense? Am I the only one late to this party?

Until next time

Lyn

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.

17_Coastal

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……