Friday, 5 September 2014

Sketching nature for fabric and stitch.

Over the past months, I've been trying different methods which bring my love of sketching and journal keeping together with my textile and embroidery projects. My plan is to do this simply, recycling and re purposing, and limiting the use of products.  I've not found a substitute for everything yet,  but plan to just enjoy the moment, the processes, and the journey.

To begin, it's 'waste not, want not'! Gathering all my trial bits and pieces, I made up a sample book. I challenged myself to only use of odd and ends and scraps, and I managed to achieve it, apart from one bit of bonding material.

The cover's made from a piece started ages ago.  Great Tits were the first birds to visit our wildlife garden and are always regular visitors,  raising their chicks to enjoy our peanuts - and the odd sunflower seed. I think they're super little birds, brave and adaptable. They frequently scold us if we're late filling the bird feeders!

Each technique in the book has a page. Some things worked - and some didn't! I'm trying different styles to find my way.

Simple fabric transfers, using drawings from my sketchbook and watercolour techniques.

I had to include the magpie, as every year a family of these clever and handsome birds fledge in our garden and keep us amused with their antics. The poor magpie is much maligned; recent reports from the British Trust for Ornithology have shown that far from being a threat to smaller birds,  the population  actually increases when there are more magpies present. Way to go magpies!

This was the original  sketch -

worked up here,

ready for a fabric transfer using Gesso.

This weekend I'm doing a masterclass with a wonderful textile artist, a lady who makes the most beautiful books.  Very excited.Watch this space!


Rachel said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your ideas develop here - taking sketches and turning them into embroideries is something I want to do myself, one of these days!

Elizabeth Braun said...


Valerie Gardiner said...

Love your 'scrapbook,' what an interesting way to use up old bits of fabrics. I can imagine birds and butterflies embroidered on a flower print.....

crazyQstitcher said...

These pages are absolutely charming and I look forward to seeing what else you add.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

What a fabulous idea Jules, how often have I tried a technique and loved the results and then can't remember how I did it when I go to use it again! I love that you've included all your trials so you can compare the results. Stunning work as always and can't wait to see what you create in your master class!

Shashi Nayagam said...

What great idea. Your sketches are lovely and I think you have achieved a wonderful look in fabric too

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Hello Jules, I'm here from Rachel's blog hop. I think your first little book is a great success. I, too, love making little books, although since I couldn't draw to save my life, mine include embroidery and photography, and like you, I'd love to make more. Your nature sketching is excellent!