Tuesday 25 October 2016

Hand stitching textile art .. A bird series in the making.

Some may wonder if hand sewing, with its seemingly endless stitches,
 has a real place in today's busy home.
Just a comfortable place, we reply,
 as the rocking chair in the nursery. 

Sarah Howard Stone

A great thought came to me over night and it something I am going to try.  I am going to hand dye some pieces of vintage linen and then make sure I use salt to keep the colour.  Then I am going to peg them out in the elements for a few weeks to naturally distress them.  This I think would be a great little exercise and to see what happens and be a great addition to some hand stitched textile art.

Then I thought if I were to distress a little on each piece and then mending it with tiny darning stitches in square patch shape or a heart shape to add interest to a piece.  All of these writings I have been doing on this subject have really got my mind into over drive with artist thoughts...

If you make a layered patchwork effect piece you could do rhythmic tiny stitches in one direction on a piece of fabric and then change direction on another to make it interesting and puffy quilted, this I think, would be brilliant and easy to do.. you could alter shades of embroidery threads and also use two or three strands and then just one to make it look different and interesting.  This form of slow and relaxed stitching is a very easy and relaxed form for us to enjoy when we have personal time to spare and can even be done whilst listening to music or watching television if that is your thing.  It is time sat and relaxing but with a purpose and creativity as well.

The other thing I thought of is you could also do some ink stamping on fabric as well.  You can get special ink that stays on fabric and does not harm it.  Then you could border it with pretty stitches.

I was in the garden yesterday filling the bird feeders and table, along with the nuts for Mr Squirrel and to my joy spotted Miss Muddy Beak my ever so friendly and gorgeous lady blackbird.  She was
perched on one of my shepherd crooks that I hang lights from and she had a little twig with berries in her mouth.  I did not have my camera with me, being that my hands were full of bird foods of every type imaginable and she was watching eagerly to see if I had any meal worms ... ( of course I did) and I thought I really must do a little series on her.  She is such a beautiful lady and so friendly and I feel she should have a place on our wall somewhere as to should Mr Red Robin, who again is so very friendly.  My husband calls me Mrs Doolittle and I guess I am.  Animals do tend to know some how if you would not hurt them in any way shape or form and this affords me some lovely time with nature who have chosen to trust me .... I consider myself humbled that they trust me so openly.

I would like these to be framed collages with mixed media and with frayed and tattered edges.  I have sort of already designed them in my head, helped with a few little doodles yesterday of ideas.  I have ideas so thick and fast that I need four of me to stitch and complete quickly...

In love with the idea of doing this little series and with the idea of doing some sort of textile layered art behind the embroidery bird I think it will look good.  Things hanging from their mouth like Miss Muddy Beak with her branch of berries and a bit of my whimsical imagination thrown in, I have high hopes.  With some lovely embroidery thrown in as well and maybe some felted something too from vintage wool.

The words for the Autumn one are going to be ....

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

I love this and of course this will be with her treasured twig of berries ... I am going to doodle what I would like to have in each one, Miss Muddy Beak will be famous!! I feel different little crowns on her head for each season would be fitting too, she is such a little princess of a bird and so very tame with me.  However she hates photos so it has been hard to take any, If I lift my phone up she does not like it and so this is just a waiting game and hope that she will eventually be happy that this black thing will not hurt her either!

My Mum used to be a very good artist but when I got her to draw her dog the other day it was not very good and I am not sure if it was that she could not be bothered or that she has lost the art, which would be so sad.  I am going to have another go by taking over my design journal and talking to her about this series and see if it excites her at all.  She has never been a stitcher and I do not get it from that side of the family but on my Dads side but she could always draw and would help with Art homework by suggestions so I hope to get her doing some bits to fill her day. Of course I have had a little play and I am not sure when I get round to it .. 1. Do I embroider or 2. Do I appliqué and embroider ... any thoughts? I am going to appliqué the crown that you can see in the picture above anyway and there will be some cream beads stitched to it  but do I appliqué the body too ( see the one I cut out)  then I can just tiny stitch detail feathers ....

The garden is sort of fading out of Summer now and Autumn is truly in residence with leaves
changing colour and falling as well.  The grass has slowed up with its growth and there is a damp chilly feel in the air.  The birds are always looking now for the food that we provide them with and I cut up some grapes the other day into little bits and they loved them, especially Mr Red Robbin, he loves to sit on the shepherd hooks in the garden and see what meals are provided for his pleasure!

Well also I attended the West Country Textile fair on Saturday and it was incredible with only three people stalling and the hall was full of wonder.  There was The Washerwoman the lovely Liz and Jack and then there was Donna Flower Vintage and Vintage to Victorian as well.  So I was in fabric, quilt and button heaven for a few hours.

I bought some lovely bits and bobs and will show you later on maybe next week but for now here is the Victorian Quilt that I bought from Donna Flower and I
brought it home and washed it by hand in the Bath and it is now dry and on our bed ... What do you think? personally I am in love ....  Plus it is warming too.

Well that is the news here from Homespun HQ today and I hope you have enjoyed your read.  Take Care and I will see you back here on Thursday.

Happy Stitching! XX


  1. The West Country Textile Fair is lovely. I often go to the summer one too as I am thirty minutes way. The ladies were absolutely lovely and friendly. If you ever go to another of the West Country fairs let me know. I will try and get to Frome sometime too.

    Julie xxxxxxx

    1. Hi Julie

      Will do, would love to meet you! .. Frome this weekend as you know and it's going to be good..
      It was a great event and as you say so very friendly ....
      Sarah xxx

    2. Can't make that one, will have to do it next year, but always available to go to Liz's
      Julie xxxxxxx

    3. Well maybe next year we can finally meet Julie. There is a Christmas VB too..

      Sarah X

  2. Lots of lovely ideas and pleased to hear about Miss Muddy Beak once more. Can't wait to see the finished item. Love the applique. Clever lady x

  3. Hi Dawn
    Glad you enjoyed the blog ..
    Ah Miss Muddy Beak is very busy at the moment and so pretty.
    I can not decide whether to appliqué her body or just embroider it. The crown is definitely being appliquéd and beaded ..
    I have plenty of time as other things to finish and unpicking a Victorian Suffolk puff quilt!!
    Keeping some and selling others ..
    Hope you are feeling better Dawn.

    Sarah xxxx