Plod work

I’m working on finishing a large piece called Beyond Dark Spaces at the moment. I’m no longer interested in using large pieces of fabric as  they are difficult to stitch; I always end up wrestling with them and swearing, so I have decided to mount each piece on Khadi paper, of which I am perhaps over-fond, and string them together, which isn’t my favourite task, but it’s ok once you get going.

I wanted a good sturdy paper, so bought the 640 gsm, which is gorgeous, but of course the machine disagrees. So once again I end up with quite a hefty hand stitching job, albeit with good large stitches. It is plod work however; no wonder some things I make take so long! I do like the look though, which is the most important thing. I had to buy double elephant sized pieces, to cut in half, to get pieces big enough. I do love to buy double elephant, it always makes me smile.

The pieces laid out with the double elephant paper. It looks nowhere as large as it actually is, which is 673 x 1016 cm [ 26.5 x 40 inches].

The first finished piece with borders.

A close up of the border.

In between bodging and stitching these pieces, of which there are nine, each being 60 x 45 cm, I treat myself to laying down a small piece of work, as light relief. I have some fabric in two indigo blue shades, a cast off from my daughter, who is constantly editing her art materials, so until I have time to dye my own cloth, I thought I would experiment with it.

And these are the laid down smalls, waiting to be stitched. This one is A4 sized.

This one is A3 sized.

This is a tiny chappie, only A5.

Another A4 sized piece. They are all a mix of the blue commercial fabric and my painted fabrics.

I’ve started with these woodland/landscape pieces, and find it interesting as I would never have chosen before to work with blue. I’m also experimenting with colour combinations to enjoy the fact that any colour will go happily with indigo. I’ll be trying reds and oranges in the next batch, and using different subject matter.

6 thoughts on “Plod work

  1. I’ll be intrigued to see ‘Beyond Dark Space’ finished – the technique sounds fascinating.

    I have a fairly large piece I am working on at the moment (well put aside but to be returned to) – not as large as yours – and the stitching and feeding through the machine is a pain – and not helped by the fact that mine is paper and fabric bonded (and thus stiffened!).

    I would love to try one of those table top ‘long arm’ substitute frames – you mount the fabric and move the machine. The scope for flexible sewing seems endless.

    Anyhow, this sounds very interesting.


  2. Hi Hilary, hopefully the piece will be at the Festival of Quilts. It’s the stiffness of a piece of work that makes it so difficult, isn’t it?
    Have a go on one of those long arm quilting machines when you are next at a show, they are wonderful. A very good friend has actually offered me one, the type where you use your existing machine, and after years of wanting one I had to say no! This is because my work has changed, and due to lack of space, but they do seem to be marvellous.

    1. Hi Jacqui, I am hoping to finish them; I seem to ‘hope’ to do everything these days! I love to work with the smalls after a big gallumping piece. I’m waiting until the weather warms up before I have a go with the indigo. At the moment it’s reading the books by the fire time. Sx

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