Monday, 14 January 2013

Word Whispers and demos

napkin images waxed onto dictionary pages / maps and mounted onto
an old curtain prior to stitching and backing; words to be added.
On Thursday evening, I am demonstrating at a meeting of our local Embroiderer's Guild: Paper, Fabric & Stitch' and I have been preparing some samples and planning how I can in a short space of time show all the various phases of creating fabric ziz-zag books based on old maps, recycled books and napkins, waxed or fused into position. I've almost finished the 'Florlegium' that I began during my Caravan Open Studio in July ( not had time to touch it since then and it has taken longer because I forgot what I had planned to do! I need to show how different the napkins look when fused rather than waxed and so am planning another sample entitled 'From Plot to Plate' and a 'Wild Herbal' as well. Maybe I won't have them finished; indeed I won't because that is the purpose of the evening, to demo the steps from idea, through auditioning, positioning, discarding and then putting it all together. Apart from the stitching for my sewing machine is too heavy to shift from my workroom.

Using a different technique
Fused images can be applied direct to paper surfaces (maps, painted bags, book pages etc) or to fabric, and sometimes I apply to muslin or cheesecloth, and then re-fuse to a fabric background. This page has a  napkin image of a foxglove fused to muslin and then cut and fused onto the map, with my hand-written text alongside. It is part of a 'Nature Trail' booklet that I made for a magazine feature a couple of years ago.

Random 'word whispers' for three projects

All my work utilises text as well as napkin images. Some was already written, or at least fitted my theme; the rest I wrote 'to order', and I want to demo how quick and easy that is to do, once you have the images and the idea. This pic (click to enlarge it) shows some of the words for three projects, typed and ready to print onto 'cool peel'. That's the next stage for my samples, so here goes with iron and edge-stitching once the words are 'cool'.

Some of my samples will deliberately be left unfinished: a) because I won't have time to complete all I want to demo, and b) because I think it is useful to show how an effect gas been achieved and guild members can pull them apart and ask about the actual processes.

Now I have to prepare some pages and select some napkins and collect together sufficient pairs of scissors and glue brushes so that they can all have some fun! Or I hope they will, as I am only one of four 'demonstrators' and my topic may not appeal. And I am praying that the roads are not so icy that I cannot get up the hill and out of the village!


  1. Beautiful, I love your work. Hope it went well Thursday, just before the snows came? What do you 'fuse' the napkins with?

  2. Nina, Thankyou (and it did go well). Fusing? It depends on the technique I am using; either fusible web - Bondaweb / WonderUnder, as with the foxglove, or Acrylic Wax as in the tiny pages at the top. I will be putting a tutorial onto this blog when I have time, but am a little hectic right now. (The snow was just beginning, but my dear husband took me to the meeting and collected me afterwards.)

  3. These are just wonderful, love what you are doing! If I lived closer, I would go to that meeting and enjoy your demonstration.

    1. Jeri, Thankyou so much; I am starting to write a series of 'tutorials' with step-by-step images of what I do and will be posting them on the blog in due course. My problem is however that I a so overloaded with commissioned magazine work (travel, gardening etc) that time is at a premium. Would you find something like I describe useful?

  4. I am following your blog, I am hoping to get some ideas and inspiration for my sketchbook. I loved the picture of the foxglove. Beautiful artwork

  5. Thankyou Janice. I am not an artist but try to convey the things I love to do. The foxglove is cut from a paper napkin and fused to an old 'altered' map. I use this technique in much of my work and it is something that anyone can do.

  6. Dear Ann, it is so nice to be back, and your work is lovelier that ever! I especially love the top piece, it is just beautiful! Have a lovely day... Roxanne