cloth collage

The BirdQuilt is evolving nicely, or I could say organically; organic has such a wholesome ring to it and it really does seem to have a life of it's own.
I sense this is how I work: I always have a feeling of not being in complete control of what happens in the creation of a piece (or story for that matter), let alone the outcome. 
I enjoy how once I've started a piece it moves forward of it's own volition, I so look forward to being taken by surprise by what happens.
As I have more time than I used to with another part-time job in this setting-up-my-own-small-art-business process [meaning this is it Full-Time!] it allows me to observe my self at work; in so doing I'm learning more and more about how and why it is I do as I do.
How I start out with an idea, a small sketch, sometimes not even that, just a scrap or two lined up or (part of) a lino-print on a bit of cloth.
I like starting in the middle and working outwards, I prefer some sort of symmetry, however the two sides (panels) are never completely alike, they are similar whilst differing ever so slightly.
I can work pretty neatly, with lots of small stitches, I prefer the squares and oblong shapes in a patchwork, at the same time I am most definitely not a perfectionist, so I do not mind if and when the lines do not quite add up. Maybe I don't use rounder shapes as I'm not yet capable of managing those. What I find extremely useful is ironing the seams before sewing as the crisp crease offers an excellent guide for my needle and thread.

This 'hanging construction' for the BirdQuilt allows me to try out different combinations, a bit like making a collage, pinning strips of fabric on,  taking a step back, looking closely, engaging with the piece.....taking a photo, staring at that, undoing some bits, stitching them back together, deciding to take it apart yet again....sewing together new patches, abandoning the project in frustration at being stuck; inspiration rekindled  by Jude's class......picking the cloth up once more.
This small collage of patches simply grew by picking bits from my third scrap basket (I have three baskets: one with very thin bits of fabric, a second with my small collection of silk cloth bits, a third with cotton/linen scraps)

These cloth scraps were gifts from so many: Jet Jude Julie Nancy Jennie, the blue chambray comes from Dee and the green flowers from Lise, my mother; I call it Connection Patch Piece, underlying everything I do is the desire to connect, make connections with others

In these emotional times I yearn for colour, desiring cheerful, joyful patterns in the knowledge that sadness, pain and loss are facts of life, always just around the corner. They'll seek me out no matter what, all I can do is decide to lean in and in moments of reprieve embrace life.
laid out on the floor


I made four more StarBirds, two of which feature here, I do like the combination of the blue with the home-dyed fabric below; I don't know why the tips of the wings turned out 'clipped off' however I think I've managed to make turn my mistake into a quaint detail, varying from bright red to a magical nod to Jude


Mo Crow said…
love how that red wing holds and spins your congregation of birds
Mo Crow said…
oops that's meant to read red wing tip!
Patty said…
Your new cloth is the magic front wall of the bird this.
Also learning to trust the process once we begin. I've been working on several cloth pieces at once. Wish you were close enough to sew together and to explore the bird hut up close!
Nancy said…
I of course always love your cloth work, but today what I love is your ability to find/create joy in troubled times. I admire and respect your shining ability to do that. I recall sending you cloth, but for the life of me, can't recall what it looked like. I'm always curious about how/if my cloth give-aways get used by the imagination of others. Your birds are a dream! xo friend.
Liz A said…
those wing tips ... so much better than perfectly aligned blocks ... they sing!!!
I love the wing tips too!!!
love thw wing tips.It would be cool to see a video or slide show of the bird hut.



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