Thursday, 30 March 2017

You should know...

...that I'm hand-work challenged before you check out this post.  Although my mother went to great lengths to instill some semblance of hand-stitching/embroidery/quilting ability into my brain, it was to no avail.

So why, you wonder, would I attempt to hand-stitch a pair of curtains?  The reasons are:
  1. Lunacy
  2. I couldn't find any to fit the window.
  3. I was working on a series of creations for the June Material Changes show at Centre 64 in Kimberley in  which I've been invited to participate.  The show features items that have been reimagined from something that would otherwise have been discarded.
Regarding item number three, I have long used dryer sheets and cheesecloth to mop up leftover paint and usually have a colourful stack of them in my studio, so it seemed like a reasonable idea to use them up, right?  Wrong.  

I started by slip-stitching unpainted sheets to painted sheets so I'd have a little more strength...don't you love the tidy look?


The front doesn't look much better than the back, does it?


There are even some smaller bits that will eventually make the curtains into a cafe style, assuming I get that far - they'll be the last to be added.

After days (weeks? months?) of slip-stitching, I finally reached the part where I could start embroidering this week, assisted by a ton of YouTube videos, a glass or six of wine, and the emotional courage of a fire-walker.  Those scissors belonged to my mother, bless her, and although she'd be appalled at the results of my efforts, I'm sure she's impressed that I'd even start the project. (Finishing may be another matter.)


 
The amazing box of embroidery floss was a gift from Alice Saltiel, who, when she heard about the project found this collection in a thrift store and mailed it off to me before I could start my own stash.



The embroidery has been started, and with sixty eight inches in width x two feet in length, I've revised my completion date to June, 2022.  Betting polls will be announced shortly.


If the finished product looks very, very bad, I can always cover it all up with the colour-coordinated cheesecloth I've saved for 'just in case'.


I will keep you posted on this craziness, if you let me know what artistic lunacy is driving you.  Best story in the comments below will win a prize!


24 comments:

  1. I can so empathize with you, my dear grandmother taught me to embroider and although I adore all things artistic nothing and I mean nothing can create muscle cramps in my neck like hand sewing...I will never understand women who say they do it to relax.
    My creative craziness at this moment is backgrounds, just looking at your colorful cheesecloth collection makes my mouth water. I have always been a mental collage artist, if I see three things my mind will start to arrange them in a pleasing way. When I look at your cheesecloth I see potential, interest, texture, dark & light and color.
    Would it bother you (Honestly) if I stole your backgrounds, old cheesecloth, dryer sheet curtains etc, once in awhile. I'd like to say borrow but lets face it is stealing...lol I find them intriguing and very beautiful and would love to digitally re-purpose them, which I have to say is of no use to anyone but makes this old lady happy and adds nothing to the landfill.
    Have a wonderful week you light up my life with your creativity.

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    1. Well, OF COURSE you can use any of the backgrounds you choose - any time! I love your work and love seeing my work part of it. I need you to move closer (i.e. next door, maybe?) so you can teach me how you do what you do...and maybe some of it would transfer by osmosis! Background away, dear friend, and enjoy!!!

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    2. That smacking sound you hear is me kissing your feet in gratitude, thank you for your generosity. I will let you know when I use them. Thanks again.

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    3. I just KNOW I'm going to love what you do with them, so foot-kissing smacks right back at you, my friend!!

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  2. If nothing else what you end up with will be unique and colourful - a definite Win Dinn Original!

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    1. You got it, Val...one of those never-to-be-repeated originals! :D

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  3. I'm impressed Win, they look great and I look forward to seeing them completed. The cheesecloth is gorgeous too. I promised myself when I finished teaching that I would have a complete rest from anything fabric but so many people know my background that I have had to give in to it so my desk will soon be covered with fabric dies and probably me too Lol! It's madness! they call it Madness!

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    1. I truly think I'm nuts with this project, Angela...your textile background would have you finessing this with much more elan. I'll be watching your blog for your madness, as you know! ;-)

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  4. I am asolutely impressed with your fantastic project! AMAZING! I so hope you will finish it soon ... best luck and have fun with the stitching ! Genius!
    Happy weekend Win Dinn!
    oxo Susi

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    1. Love it that you're so sure it WILL get finished, Susi! I'll keep you posted for sure. :D

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  5. Wow! Are you ever a go getter! heeheee
    I love the hand stitching, but i do think I would opt for my machine- brave and diligent woman that you are!
    A very cool idea indeed Win and your colors are beautiful so warm and so soft on those sheets!Well, I haven't much of a story to share, as I wroked outside all day and I am pooped out for sure. see that? I wroked? worked! haahaa
    told you I was tired!
    anyway, I look forward to seeing the finished curtains and really,I do not believe it will take you to 2022 maybe 2020?
    hugs and love to you,you crazy artist you!

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    1. Thanks, Jackie...go getter - is that another euphemism for lunatic? ;-) Looks like you wroked really hard today - I'll be looking for your next post of art sister share time! xo

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  6. Well, I'm loving the look!!! Hand made... hand stitched...hand designed... okay, one to many ✋πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘s!!! I can get carried away!
    I do think you are doing a great job!!! πŸ‘

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    1. Thanks, Jan - time (2020 will tell, but I certainly appreciate the cheering on! :D

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  7. I'm most enamoured with this project. Even more so now that I have seen it in person.
    Thanks for mentioning me about the embroidery floss. Fun that it is back in Alberta just now - maybe I'll have the opportunity to put the colours in rainbow order this morning?
    That collection of embroidery floss haunted me from the minute I put it down, at the thrift store, until I went back for it the next day!

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    1. It certainly was fun to show it to you, Alice, even if you didn't have time to put the floss in order of colour...just too little time, wasn't there?! ;-)

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    2. Yes too little too little time but better that than not having seen one another at all.
      So pleased you made the trip and shared your energy with us.

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    3. That was SO our pleasure! xoxox

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  8. These are progressing nicely Win. The embroidery thread adds such a nice detail.

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    1. I'm loving the look of the embroidery on there - only seven gazillion more rectangles to go! :D

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  9. Your stitching is much tidier than mine, Win! Luckily, in mixed media anything goes and we can pretend that we made it untidy on purpose to give it more character! Loving those colours and textures!

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    1. Zsuzsa - love that concept of planned incompetency...I'm definitely going to use that! :D

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  10. It always seems such a good idea at the beginning, doesn't it? And then potato printing enough fabric to cover two futons becomes a major ordeal! (Yes, I have done this, and yes, those futons did get covered. I have a sewing machine to help, though.)

    These curtains will look delightful up at the window. And just think how proud of them you'll be in the end. Love the colours, and as Zsusa says, in mixed media, anything goes :)

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    1. Oh, goodness - TWO futons potato-printed?!! Way to go, Tracy! Do share photos!!

      And yes, I know the curtains will look fun in the end...it's getting to the end that worries me. :D

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Thanks for your comments - I value every one!

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