Second pencil case experiment all finished! This is made out of some calico I dyed with redcurrants, & as soon as I saw the delicate colour I knew I wanted to do something floral. This design is actually inspired by the first piece of original embroidery I ever did (you can see that here), & it was a lot fun updating that (& adding sequins to it – but when are sequins not fun?!)
I have lots of ideas & plans for more of these, with the ultimate aim of getting the standard of my sewing & finish to a point where I would feel comfortable listing some original pieces in my Etsy shop. So keep an eye out for that!
So I should have posted this a week or two ago, but here it is now…my first Goozeberry-style piece of 3D work. And it is of course a stuffed, hanging head – what else?As with the embroidery before I tried out my own designs, I had done a couple of stuffed textile projects out of books, but this is the first one following my own design (and rules, probably; I’m new at this).
These photos make her face look very flat and pancake-like, but hopefully it isn’t that bad in real life. Either way it was really satisfying to have something more physical at the end of it, and I got to use my new (also first ever) sewing machine to stitch it all together (her features are hand-embroidered) which was a lot of fun. More 3D stuff in the future!
Finally finished – I’ve been working on this one on and off for a few months, picking it up whenever I felt like sewing rather than drawing or painting. It doesn’t have a title yet, although I’m very tempted to call it ‘The Beards and the Bees’…
After a bit of a doodle-drought when nothing seemed to be working I’ve recently finished a couple of new paintings, so they will be posted up on here soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up to date with Goozeberry goings-on and see new pieces, you can pop over and say hello here. I have also updated this site a little bit by adding an embroidery gallery which you can have a look at here. Hopefully there will be more to fill it up soon!
Another embroidery design! I’ve been in a real sewing mood lately, juggling three projects in various states of completion. This is actually the third design I started (see the first one here) but I just happened to finish it before the second one. Most of this is simple chain stitch and back stitch, but I also tried satin stitch (on the wings) for the first time ever. I had some lovely silvery grey thread that has a nice sheen to it with this stitch. All that needs doing now is scouring the second-hand shops for a nice old frame to put it in…
So I heavily hinted in this post that I had been doing some embroidery. As promised, here are some pictures of my first original design! Looking at it in these photos I can see a lot wrong with it or things I would add or change, but I had so much fun doing it that doesn’t put me off and I am still quite pleased with it. I know the design is very simple, but I didn’t want to jump in at the deep end. The stitches I used were nice and simple too (deliberately!) – back stitch for the face and outlines, chain stitch to fill in the flower and leaves. Part of the purpose of this first one was to see if I could actually do it – create a project and see it through from start to finish. What my ultimate aim was though was to see if I could translate my drawing style into stitch. Up until now I had been doing sewing projects out of books so I wanted to see if what I do could be translated into stitch – I wasn’t sure. So I deliberately started out at the beginning just as I do when planning a mixed media/painting piece: with a pencil and a sketchbook, and although I made sure it was simple I drew as though I were going to paint it rather than sew it.
I finished the stitching on this one – which I’m currently calling ‘Flower Head’ or ‘Flower Girl’ – in October last year, but have only just finished it off in the embroidery hoop with the ribbon. I’ve already started another piece though, and eventually I would like the designs to get more complicated, but for now I am very much still learning as I go and still in the process of working out what kind of thing will work as embroidery, and what needs to be painted – although I’m sure for a more experienced sewer anything can work! I’ve literally tied myself in knots along the way (as I said before, I am really not a patient person) but ultimately I had a lot of fun seeing something growing beneath my fingers in a way that is much more tactile than a drawing. But drawing and painting is comfortable for me, and I feel at the moment that although I am the one holding the needle, I am still a bit in thrall to the thread and always wondering what it will do next – whether the stitch will fall as I hope or whether some inexplicable problem (usually a mysterious knot) will arise and I will have to start again. If I finish the second design, I will post pictures of that too – but there’s a long way to go yet!