Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One step

The work of Jim Houser is mentioned on my blog already a number of times since I like his work a lot. He had some collaberations with a painter called Margaret Kilgallen and she said:

"I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is."

Those who know me know I will try to stay away from a sewingmachine and will do just about everything to not use it and like Margaret I do things by hand. Some years ago I found these leafs painted by Margaret and fell in love with them and somehow they keep resurfacing. 

So when I found a discarded curtain some time ago it were these two memories that made me buy it.

And this song comes to mind now which is very special to me since it remind me of a special episode in my life.

In the embroidery-class of Karen we are encouraged to make samples. Never done that before, normally I just start with some notes and some doodles and that's it. But since I do understand now why Karen put an emphasis on it, I'm gonna give it a try. So on a sheet of paper I painted some old and some new symbols and you can see the two little copies I made of Margaret's leafs and the sample I made so far. 

On page 49 of the book Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery of Jan Messent you can find the image above which is a stitch called the Ceylon stitch, instructions are under the link. This seemed to be the perfect stitch for what I was aiming for but I had to make some alterations because of the width of my sample. So my starting line is made with a stitch called backstitch and I started and ended each row simple because otherwise a lot of thread would be hanging at the back. 

Still need some practice with this stitch but it gave me what I wanted to have. Well this is how far I got and now I have to get back in motion again.

Have a wonderful day and make the most of the glorious weather we have at the moment.



Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Aha, so this is the Ceylon stitch! It looks a lot like knitting with the embroidery needle, a similar chaining system ;-)!

And I love your leaves! Nice to have a whole curtain to use for samples!

Maggi said...

Love your leaves and samples. The Ceylon stitch looks good. I do love that book.

Pursuing Art... said...

Love those samples you've stitched and those leaves. I thought it was maybe a kitchen towel, but it's a curtain. It's lovely and I can see why it reminded you of those painted leaves. Really like the quote of Margaret and also loved the song! Spirit would be another good movie to share with Axel, if he hasn't seen it. ;-) Keep up the beautiful stitching, E. :)