second part of the start

21 May

I dyed the cotton harem cloth thinking it had a lovely texture and hand, but am now realizing that it’s so gauzy that any stitching will either pull the threads through or apart. I have to underline it so that it’s stable and non transparent. (The transparency *is* wonderful, but that’s for another day to exploit.)

Trying to find a true red in cotton, in any fibre for that matter, in my stash involved going through the Rubbermaid totes–fortunately (?) i don’t have a lot of them anymore, thanks to that pesky flood damage last year, so it was easy to find the ONE fabric i did have. Fortunately it is cotton. It is also embroidered—-but maybe that’s okay for when threads do pull apart in the working. I decided to use the “wrong” side: if there are going to be “rough” spots, i may as well take advantage of that rawness. The test will be to see if i can get a needle through easily in those spots. Backed with cotton flannelette, my preferred batting, means three thicknesses to get through.

wing with white underThe red will also impart more depth and drama to the colour–in the above photo, the harem cloth is pretty but a little weak.

wing underlayer

Layered, much more alluring:

red under wing top

And the threads:


The paler one is madder dyed silk, the other three are the OTC dyed. That pastel shines (whodathunk madder could give a pastel?), something i don’t desire, but used in small amounts, it’ll put a little glimmer glamour in. I’ll add other threads as i go along–i don’t have enough of just these to do the whole thing. The wing(s) it(them)self(ves🙂 )is only a part of the whole estimated 30×40″, not sounding THAT big, but is is when it’s all hand stitching!

This is slow going in one sense. I left the wing pattern and fabric draped over the frame i want to use (but might not) overnight–my brain needs to process the direction and instructions first before i bite in with scissors and needles. Every time i finish something now, it seems a greater distance to the next one. I know these things are in there, in my heart, mind, gut, wherever that inspiration and dedication comes from, but digging it out gets harder and harder, though lord knows i feel empty and bereft without *something* going in my hands. Sometimes i wish i could just take a picture of the inside of my head and put that immediately on the fabric and in the stitching, but alas….it doesn’t work that way, does it? It’s almost as if there is a starter shot i’m waiting for, anticipating but never hearing or hearing a second late. I know i will jump in when the sound stops, but in the meantime it’s quite frustrating! It’s like that first step will mislead me, a commitment to the wrong future.

But digressing and chatting doesn’t make it go forward either, so best get on with it. Just have to find the scissors.


Posted by on May 21, 2014 in in progress, media experiments


2 responses to “second part of the start

  1. marginmirror

    May 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Have you thought about stabilizing it with water-soluble fabric, doing your stitching and dissolving the stabilizer? Just wondered….


    • arlee

      May 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      HMM, too much expanse though certainly an idea for smaller next time!


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