Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

catch of the day

September 20, 2012

The catch of the day is something with so many fins, it looks too spiny to eat.  I could be wrong because I know nothing about fish, though  I am amazed at the variety and individuality of fish.  So many, so distinctively different and yet they are all fish.  People are like that, too.  We may all be under one Genus, but when we go beyond height, color and sex, we are endlessly different.  Look at eyes, how many people have eyes just alike?  Or noses?  Mouths?  How they stand, move, sit, walk, talk???  And the endless combinations of all these.  Be observant today.  What (or who) are you seeing for the first time?

Catch Of the Day  Cotton and Polyester Thread,  4.5″x5.5″

Thinking about adding glass seed beads all over this.  What do you think?


August 31, 2012

I have been working on a series I call “thru the fire” for almost two years now.   I haven’t done any art quilting in a long time and I actually started this piece at the same time as this one (which will explain why “thru the fire” if you missed it), but then let it sit because I wasn’t terribly thrilled with it.  I pulled it out of the discard pile yesterday and worked on it more.  The face is a bit ghostly.  The idea is not for these pieces to have an eery feel but to capture the surviving image and to remember the family who didn’t survive.  Maybe the eeriness helps…

Here is the photo…

I don’t really believe in ghosts.  Lots of people do, but I believe our spirits go directly to our afterlife.  (hmmm… wonder why my computer chooses now to do all kinds of weird stuff…????)  I believe that because that is the way I read it in the Bible, besides, how could it be a peaceful existence if we are caught up between this world and that?   But since I watched The Ghost and Mr. Chicken from  the back seat of our station wagon, with my hands over my face, at the drive in theater when I was 7 (yes, I was a scaredy cat), I am still spooked by non-existant ghosts; especially the ones I catch glimpses of from the corners of my eyes.

Etymology of Chicken – Adjective sense of “cowardly” is at least as old as 14c. (cf. hen-herte “a chicken-hearted person,” mid-15c.); the verb meaning “to back down or fail through cowardice” is from 1943, U.S. slang; as a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953.

Angry Fish

July 25, 2012

I haven’t had much desire to create but I want to have that desire again so I forced myself to start small (very small) this evening.  Here is a goldfish that looks quite angry, doesn’t he?  I wonder why.  One of those silly questions to start conversation when my kids were younger was “would you rather be a bird or a fish?”  I said fish.  Birds have the ability to move in 3 dimensions as do fish, but birds have to work hard to do so.  Fish have it easy because of the buoyancy of water.  I think it would be nice to just float around all day and not get prune-y.

It is hard to come back to my blog after a difficult hiatus.  I am sadden to tell you that my mother, Julia Evatt,  died July 12.  Her battle with pancreatic cancer didn’t last long enough to even call it a battle.  It was barely a struggle.  My mother didn’t loose though, she won, because she is now in perfect peace.  But she was my best critic and I will miss her comments here among many other things.  She was an accomplished writer/poet and artist.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing her work as I discover more of it.  Here is a poem from her journal in 2006.   I think she would be fine with me sharing it with you…


February 20, 2012

Do you know who Charles Rennie Mackintosh is?  You should, so take a moment and go here to read up about him.  Better yet, do an image search and see all his beautiful designs.  You can find some here.  I love his watercolors!

The embroidery below is based on Mackintosh’s watercolor of a  “blackthorn” (bush?) branch.  It looks lethal.  I looked up blackthorn and see that it is traditionally used for walking sticks.  Maybe the blooming walking stick in Enchanted April was a blackthorn.  I’ll have to watch the movie again and find out.   My rendition was free motion machine embroidered in black and then I used hand embroidery where Mackintosh used watercolor.  Sure does make me think of spring!

Now, what to do with this piece of cloth???

using up odds and ends

January 26, 2012

When I started this blog, it was with the intention it would be a blog of my work (and I have pretty closely adhered by that).  Well, could I ever set myself up a more difficult task?  I have trouble keeping up with the blog because I have trouble producing enough work to share!

I debated on showing the piece below to you but I do it for a couple of reasons.  First, to ask you, have you all seen a renewed interest in embroidery?  I am seeing evidence of it all around me and wonder if I am just taking note and it has been there all along or is embroidery on the upswing again.  And secondly, I want to share a couple of links to work that I find beautiful.  This one  is to recent embroidery, the work of Rosemary Milner (who I know nothing about other than I find her work so endearing).  The other is to an exhibit of very old (18th century) bits and pieces of textiles (including embroidery) left with abandoned babies at a foundling hospital.  The former inspired me to do the piece below, the latter feeds my nostalgic wonderment.

This insect was stitched on my sewing machine using free motion embroidering (no guidelines were used, hence the slight skewing!) on top of a piece of vintage (antique?) lace given to me years ago by my mother’s friend, Sybil, on top of a sample piece of matelasse given to me by an interior designer.  (lucky me to have such generous friends!)  I hand stitched onto the bee (I can stitch better but I wanted that amateur feel!!)  It measures about 3.25″ x 6.25″.


September 11, 2011

Well, I worked larger.  This free motion machine embroidery of a beautiful little girl is done  life size or just a bit larger.   It perhaps doesn’t have the softness a portrait of a young girl should have but I tried once again to use my knowledge of color.  Thread just doesn’t blend as well as paint and pastel.  I am pleased that the size allowed me to improve the likeness and detail and I will try another.  Practice makes perfect!

The overall height of this piece is 14″.  I mounted the fabric, which was a heavy upholstery weight linen/rayon blend, onto stretcher bars.   I am thinking a colorful bird would look good like this.  One piece leads into another…

If the mother of this child recognizes her I’ll be thrilled.   But she may never read my blog….

The Four Miss Willises

August 12, 2011

There is a short story by Charles Dickens entitled The Four Sisters.  He writes of them “They seem to have no separate existence, but to have made up their minds just to winter through life together.”  I think that describes this art quilt to a tee.

The faces are those blind contour/colored pencil drawings of  some of the Agnes Scott girls done several months ago.  You can see them here.  I was playing with pebble quilting in different colors to see how it reads.  I debated whether to keep layering circle of color upon circle of color but since I had already removed about as many stitches as I put in,  I decided to stop before making any more poor choices.   The fabrics are commercial batiks (I love them!) and the size is about a 15″ square, although I am too lazy to go measure it exactly!

I have been trying to come up with a unique way of finishing the edges of art quilts.  I don’t like my options and am just not creative enough to “invent” something new!  Here I left them raw.  The applique is raw edged so why not.   I actually like the batting showing but I know it doesn’t look finished.  Anyone have a brilliant idea?

You can google and find out how The Four Sisters winter if you like.  I thought about providing a link but there are pop-ups and all…I would hate to be responsible for giving someone a virus.


July 27, 2011

I come from a family of smilers.  We nod, we laugh, we smile,  but seldom are we openly very enthusiastic.  I feel it on the inside but just cannot make my body react. That flutter of excitement stays deep, it doesn’t bubble to the surface so all the world feels excited with me.  But, forcing myself to show it, I want everyone to know that I am excited, I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED!!!

I am honored to be included in the Quilting Arts e-magazine, InStitches!  Yay for me!

Okay, settle down, enough of that.  Still smilin’ inside, though.

That upper right piece of art is mine.  In the article, I show how I use color pencils on a drawing and then turn it into fiber art using free motion machine embroidery.  I really was thrilled to be asked to contribute to this issue.  And, there are several other artists who show you their work and how to’s.  Some great stuff.  Here is the first page of my article.  I love the graphics the magazine editors/designers put together to title my work.

InStitches is now available here (at a $5 decrease, yes, I said decrease, from the last issue’s price).  It is an interactive magazine, you can click through to websites, increase picture size to study up close and even watch videos.  They managed to edit the 60 minutes of tape I sent (what is that called now that it isn’t tape?)  down to 7 minutes. It is hard watching myself talk with my hands, stuttering over words, not finding the correct one, and  sounding so so Southern.  But as my sister pointed out, I am Southern!

Here Comes the Bride…

May 17, 2011

‘Tis the season of weddings.  And someone pointed out to me over the weekend while attending a wedding that flowers are most numerous now.  Is this the reason brides choose this time of year?  I myself had a June wedding many years ago.  Funny thing about the flowers at my ceremony, I never saw them.  Other than what I had in my hands of course.  And they didn’t show up in any of the photographs (don’t ask).  So, I really have no idea what I paid for.

I was commissioned to create something for a wedding gift recently.  Jennie and I decided to use an engagement photo as reference for the piece.  After gaining permission from the photographer, I created this piece using free motion machine embroidery.

Brides these days many more details in their weddings to fret over  than I did.  The one I attended this weekend was beautiful to the nth degree.   I imagine the wedding of the recipient of the above was designed every bit as beautiful, not to mention the one that took place in London last week.   I have to wonder about the desire and effort and cost that go into making the perfect day.  The rest of your life will not begin to compare but I guess that isn’t a consideration when you are young, in love and experiencing a day about which you’ve always dreamed.   I wonder how far this will go before the pendulum swings the other way and people get  married in the parsonage with 2 attendants and a corsage like my parents did or some variant of it.  Perhaps the longer the economic downturn lasts, the simpler weddings will become.

I have a marrying age daughter but I have been informed that I have no say in how, when and if she marries. I think I will take her up on that.

Jasper ArtFest

April 12, 2011

Dear Blog Reader,

Sorry I have been neglecting you but I have been busy preparing for an art show.  There is a lot of work that goes into this, more planning  than I did for my own wedding!  Things are coming together  and I will be ready.  Mind you, never having done this before may mean my readiness level is on a  different par.  But the minutes will come and go (whether my details are perfect or not!), and I hope you will spend some of them with  me at the Jasper ArtFest this Saturday and Sunday.

Here is one of my latest fiber pieces-