Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Testing, testing...

So often my work involves lots of trials (and sometimes errors!) - but definitely lots of testing and trialling before the real work begins.

This week I have begun work on the latest commission for Melbourne and it is interesting to watch it evolve and take shape.

I usually start with the concept - and this one appeared so quickly and felt so right, I was hanging out to begin.  I had imagery in my head, but of course as I worked my way through, I realised the many things you need to take account of when you are creating work for a specific purpose and with a particular destination in mind. The constraints of a commission if you will.

I am working in a similar palette to the words on windows; but these words will be hand embroidered. I had imagined white on white or cream on cream; but as I worked my way through I realised that the subtlety of that just wouldn't work; when the key message was "read these stories".

I thought many folk just wouldn't see them, let alone read them and if they did, they might consider the words simply dreams or hopes rather than reality.

So here we go with purple again. The upholstery on the chairs is this vibrant gorgeous purple.

And then in amongst my various stashes I tried to find the right threads to work - trying this with that and using a roll of chocolate as my guide...

This variegated silk thread looked promising - but I thought I might not have enough for the four panels. It will get a run somewhere, sometime tho!

And the carpet is grey so I wondered about introducing greys that worked with the purple...

And of course, like I showed in the previous post, I had to then try and work out how many threads to use (2 strands or one?), which colours and which fabric...

So many decisions. As ever.  Lucky I have resolved the first steps - with Barry's help and advice around colours - and am about to transfer the words to fabric and start stitching.

And as a random addition - this is how our sky has looked a few times this week - massive storms moving arounds us, but not hitting us (which is good from a storm perspective, but we are all a bit keen on getting rain as the land and gardens feel parched).


  1. I am a great fan of stitched words and have found that darker colors worked in Jude Hill's split back stitch are reliably legible ... your palette looks like it's heading in that direction and I very much like the addition of dark grey to the purples.

    As for your cloud photos, couldn't help but think the last one looked like the world turned upside down.

    1. Thanks Liz - your hint re back stitch was brilliant- I am not using split backstitch but am happily backstitching away now - thank you! You are so right about those clouds - they do make it look like the world upside down (feels a bit that way too right now...)

  2. Replies
    1. the perfect collective noun for my week Mo!

  3. Fiona, as ever I enjoy the mental meanderings whilst decisions are being weighed up and committed to. Writing in stitch on fabric is so effective. You may know of her work but the best person ever at this is Rosalind Wyatt. You will run her a close second.... or better still...

    1. It's nearly always a menace run my head Lesley! Isn't Rosalind Wyatt's work amazing? The way she shapes letters and then catches them in the right spot is perfection. My backstitching is more rudimentary and based on my hand stitching on paper, so I am adapting it to fabric - which is weird in a way! I feel like I have finally reached the fun part, altho it is still very very slow... go well.


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