My work has appeared in…

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Samples and what to do with them.

Starting a new project, especially one as large as a double bedspread, is quite a daunting prospect. What if I commit to something, that, later I change my mind about? So I decided to make a section of my intended quilt in minature. That way, if I changed my mind about how the quilt might look, all I'd lose would be a pleasant afternoon spent messing around on my sewing machine–not such a bad way to waste a few hours! Below is one little 'sketch' I made (and in the bottom picture, some pleating and channeling that I might also include in the quilt). The central strip of the top picture is fairly indicative of the colours I'd like to use, and I'm happy with the texture a mix of cottons, silks and velvets produces, the outer posts still need work though. I've only recently started experimenting with free machine embroidery–and it shows, nevertheless, I can't decide if I want beautifully controlled undulating stitches, or if I should just go mad and see where the machine takes me! I also want the posts to be a less dingy grey linen than shown below, but alas, all I could find for this sample was a trouser leg from an old pair of my husband's trousers that were destined for the local charity shop. Honestly, he had no intention of ever wearing them again–honest!

This recently acquired habit for making samples has had an unexpected and most welcome side effect. Unlike most people who love textiles, I am the opposite of a hoarder (Patrick does enough of that for both of us), I don't have boxes of fabric crammed under the bed, on top of wardrobes, or under my desk, quite the opposite, I tend to throw everything away (and sometimes live to regret it). I still can't resist buying fabric though, but once I own it, immediately start fretting about what purpose it serves and whether or not I really need it! But making samples not only allows me to work out ideas and techniques, if made large enough, they are perfect for turning into little make-up bags for friends. Now, knowing it will be put to good use, I don't feel guilty about buying fabric. I even go off piste and buy fabrics I wouldn't normally choose for myself such as these bright and jolly bundles from Ray-Stitch.

However, I'm beginning to think that although samples do take up valuable space, I really should hang on to at least some of them so I have a record of my work. Photos are all well and good but you can't turn them inside out, or over, to see any hidden bits of construction. Perhaps samples are more useful than I like to admit and should be looked after, not destined for the bin.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment away, I'd love to hear from you!