I’ve been trying to reconstruct in my head how I go about the process of making a cloth collage. The slow-stitch, hand-dyed kind. It’s always more about the process than the product, but what is the process?
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a “how-to-collage primer.”
So yes, I begin with scraps or patches of hand-dyed cloth, in this case, Bengala dyes, natural mineral dyes from Japan. If I am making a 9-patch as the basis for the collage, then there’s re-arranging of cloth, pinning, then stitching seams. Sometimes the background cloth is chosen first, and sometimes not.
The stitching could be by hand or by machine, depending on my mood. Once the patch is placed on the backing, I use the Jude Hill glue-stitch. (See SpiritCloth Blog for details). In looking back, at some point I decided to add suns, moons and stars for Jude Hill’s challenge. But I do not have a photo of the in-between process from sewn 9-patch to decorated 9-patch with hand-embroidery. Sometimes you get wrapped up in the process and forget about photos.
The stitching on my global warming panel is complete, but I am debating whether or not to add a title. Global Warming? Overused? Getting stale? I don’t know. What do you think?
Today I am making a WOAD vat. Not easy to find information, although I have found a bit here and there. I don’t have Woad leaves, which makes it a bit trickier. Many resources give instructions for Woad leaves, but not so many for Woad powder, which is what I have to work with. I’ve followed those instructions and the vat is ready.
Next time: Woad results and Collage It.
Hope to hear from those of you who might suggest a title for Project Cinq. Or not.
Happy to announce that Project Quatre is complete! Or possibly near completion. It isn’t until I actually photograph my work that I can begin to see the flaws. You can’t really see the title clearly, so I may add some couching with a dark thread OR stitch alongside letters with partial accents of thread in a darker color. Any thoughts on that? And then there is the very special event coming tomorrow: the Solar Eclipse. I won’t be watching because I didn’t think about the glasses until too late, but I have a vivid imagination. So I will embroider my own Solar eclipse. Finally, I am beginning to collect my thoughts on Global Warming and will make that the subject of my forthcoming posts. All of these naturally-dyed cloths are collecting; and while they began as outreach for the Sun Moon Stars circle of stitchers (Jude Hill), they are evolving into a treatise on Global Warming. Stay tuned.
Although this cloth was completed a few months ago, I totally forgot about posting it here until now. Yes, this was Project Trois, or the Interstellar Hand. You may remember it was among my WIPS.
In the meantime, I found what I call “hidden cloth.” Really misplaced cloth. This was cloth I dyed with Quebracho Red, a natural dye which produces lovely shades of red, raspberry, etc. My cloth was natural linen–white and natural–which accounts for the mixed shades.
One of the pieces was stitched shibori style before dyeing. I am glad I finally located these panels as I contemplate stitching another piece.
My eco-plants are blooming, which is making me very pleased and excited for the coming season of eco-printing and natural dyeing. Some of these plants are newish–just planted last autumn–so they have not been tested yet. Primarily I am talking about the Japanese maple tree and lily of the valley, both of which appeared to be dying last winter. But they are alive!
I know that the Japanese maple leaf will probably print well, as friends gave me samples last “printing” season. I’m unsure what can be done with the lily of the valley, but I really planted it because I have fond memories of collecting these for the May Queen (Catholic grade school).
And then there are last year’s proven eco-printers: wild rose, golden barberry and false indigo (turns yellow instead of blue).
And one last note: I have been working on slow-stitching Project Deux, which started out as our planetary system but which is now evolving in a different way. Stay tuned.
Ten days have passed since my first attempt at spring cleaning, and the problem seems to be that as I begin to clean I find more and more fiber treats. Then, of course, I must sort through them. That involves remembering when and where I acquired them. And making new piles of fiber. And putting aside a few choice pieces for current projects.
And then there’s the roving which I can now use for spinning. Yes, I am trying to teach myself how to spin. Don’t those videos of spinners make it look so easy and relaxing? I am not there yet.
And then there are the small weaving projects which sometimes get incorporated into my slow stitching projects.
And natural dyed scraps which have been tucked away for future projects. There are buttons, beads and trim, and plenty of embroidery threads. So many choices and so little time.