04 July 2011

CQ summer school

Venue: Belstead House, with views of the Suffolk countryside. My class was hand-stitch with Helen Parrott; other tutors were Jo Budd and Linda Maynard, doing exciting things with screens and colour and composition. Here's Helen with the class, showing some large work (awkward to bring) via her website -
And some of the many samples she did bring - a vocabulary of loopy stitches -
One of the exercises set was to choose images from a large selection. What to do with them was revealed gradually - first we laid them out, then we wrote about them for a few minutes, and then -interestingly- we went round and wrote down a few words, on post-it notes, about the images chosen by everyone else. This showed that other people saw our own selections with "different eyes" - some of the comments were certainly unexpected!
We used one or two of the images as sources for mark-making, and the results were torn in strips and combined to make, on paper, a design for a "strippy quilt".

But mostly we worked on our samplers, as Helen showed us a variety of approaches to stitching. Here are the different choices and individual results -
The first thing we did was to outline a quilting design, or leaves from the garden, with quilting stitches. (I added the french knots much later.) Then, more running stitch - to form ripples. I was determined to make my ripples look like sand patterns, and had to fill quite a few pages of sketchbook with "scribble" before working out how to do it.
Moving along - loop stitch, with different threads behaving differently. Then yet another loopy thread snaking between running-stitch spirals, which can be pulled tight to make a very 3D effect. My "radiant circle" has the knots showing in the centre, and finally, more loops in different threads, some cut to form knotted stitches.

The discussion sessions included a very useful list of ways to stay motivated about making work -
I got very involved with making the "sampler", especially those ripples, and didn't need to use many of the fabrics I'd brought along. But running stitch proved useful for putting together these tubes of my "tube lines" -- I tried out different types of fabric (satin, velvet) between the little rectangles, and different widths of tube. Probably if I carry this further, the main part of the tube will be plain fabric, with the printed areas occurring sporadically -A view of another classroom -
Closeup of the embroidery on the wall - a bed-hanging, probably -
Outside, screen-printed delights drying -
Why is it that as soon as you get home, you lose that focus?

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