Seed Stitch

I *recently* (ok, ok, it was way back in March) had the opportunity to indulge my love of textile art. When I saw the open call for Seed Stitch Inaugural Contemporary Textile Exhibition I could feel that old tug to submit something, but having no finished work with me and not even a WIP, I decided to just go to the show. The theme was one dear to my heart: the re-emergence of textiles and its transformation from a domestic craft into a genre of fine art. Soraya Abidin curated the exhibit, which included artists from around Sydney. From this group, the Seed Stitch Collective was formed; they’ll go on to make this, hopefully, an annual exhibit.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (14 of 18)Gunung Sari by Soraya Abidin

Soraya‘s works are “born of a love for the primitive practices within [her] Malay cultural heritage,” and is informed by spiritual and ceremonial practices, Islamic arts, and crafts of the Orang Asli (the indigenous people of Malaysia).

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (15 of 18)She embroiders in natural raffia and embellishes with gold leaf. In her artist statement, she says her “artworks are in response to the absence of nature in the digital world.”

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (7 of 8)Avenger by Soraya Abidin
Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (6 of 8)It Rained All Summer by Carole Douglas

Carole Douglas works with found objects, natural dyes, reused cloth. In her artist statement, she states,  “…I am inspired by old textiles and the honouring of lineage that is imbued in each piece,” the hand of the maker and the stains left through use.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (10 of 18)Wandering through the exhibit, I found myself drawn to the lines of hand-stitching central to several pieces. I am always in awe when I see the detail, the careful spacing, and the uniform stitches. It makes me want to grab a piece of cloth and get lost in the meditation of needle pulling thread.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (4 of 18) Symphony by Jessica B Watson

Jessica B. Watson creates her stitched collages by painting onto translucent silk, then cutting out the shapes and stitching them onto a larger piece of linen or hemp. Her piece, “Symphony” came about from a summer’s evening wade at the beach, and finding herself standing in the midst of a school of brightly coloured fish.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (3 of 18)You can see how her hand-stitching contributes to the overall movement of her design.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (5 of 18)Pelican Party by Jerome Speekman

And of course I loved this panel of stitched pelicans! Jerome Speekman got into his ex’s embroidery basket one day and discovered he was really good at this! Since then, he’s been creating beautiful “needle paintings” like this one.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (6 of 18)Just amazing! I wish I had such patience.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (12 of 18)Topology of Memory by Emma Peters

Emma Peters works with raw and local materials and natural dyes, and incorporates new technologies such as digital printing into her pieces that draw on the tradition of heirloom quilting to tell stories and hold memory.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (13 of 18)Detail from Topology of Memory series.

 Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (3 of 8)Exhale by Suzanne Davey

This piece by Suzanne Davey makes me feel like I could spread my wings and fly.  “Exhale” is created using fabric, steel, resin and thread, and explores qualities of light and movement in textiles.

The Seed Stitch Collective will be having another exhibit in November at Barometer Gallery in Paddington. I’ll be there for sure!

Handmade Joy Exchange

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Earlier this year, I participated in Anne’s Handmade Joy exchange over at My Giant Strawberry. I posted here about what I received, but never did show you what I made, which was this fabric bird.

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My first version of this bird is the one I made last winter at my mom’s house, with the kitchen curtain fabric. This one is also made with vintage fabric, this time ordered from A Farmhouse in France on Etsy.

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I have stacks of fabric that I intend to use to make more of these birds, and I finally found some very sharp (I hope) needles and a thimble for doing the hand sewing!

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Today would be a good day to cut out some more pattern pieces!

Hop over to My Giant Strawberry to see the Handmade Joy made by others!

Beautiful Gifts from Faraway Places

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DH and I long to travel, yet for the past several years we’ve had to restrict this to the arm chair variety, and of course living vicariously through our world traveling friends and family.  Recently, we’ve been absolutely spoiled by friends bearing gifts from other lands.  Our globe trotting Ninja was here a couple weeks ago.  Knowing how much I adore textiles, she gave me this beautiful tablecloth from Madagascar.  She thought I could add my own colorful touch to it with some stitching.  I just don’t know though.  It’s so amazing as it is!

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She also gave us this wonderful puppet from Cambodia. Isn’t he beautiful?

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Shortly after Ninja’s visit, some friends invited us for dinner. Her mother had just moved here from Japan and brought lots of beautiful textiles with her. I was knocked off my feet when she gifted me with the contents of this bundle!

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They thought I could put these to good use making pretty things:)

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There are gorgeous scarves.  This top scarf uses an ancient Japanese dyeing technique called Shibori.  It’s a very intricate and involved process that includes tying, stitching, binding, folding, and dyeing.  There is no way I’m cutting up this treasure!

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There are three child size kimonos.  Hirokosan tells me that these sell at the thrift stores like t-shirts here.  I’m going to just let them hang around awhile before I take the scissors to them.  I want to be absolutely sure that I know what I’m doing first, and I just want to admire them.

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This one is a baby girl’s kimono.  It’s still very long; it’s put on the baby and then wrapped up like a present:)  The colors in this one are amazing.

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This one is for a little boy.  I can just imagine the make-believe play this would spark in a little guy!

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My own imagination is churning away, thinking of all the possibilities for this cloth!

Have a happy weekend.  I’ll see you Monday:)