samples for hanging

I took advantage of the sunshine yesterday to make a felt sample outdoors, and spent most of this afternoon stitching it to sample ideas for my City and Guilds appliqué assessment – I wrote about the design in this post. I’ve changed my mind and gone down to two layers now and if I need a third (I’m not sure if this actually has to be technically a quilt), I’ll add it to the back – two layers on the front will obscure the felt layer more than I want. My roses have become more open as they just looked like blobs otherwise – not abstract roses – just blobs…


I’m expecting some silk gauze to arrive soon and hoping it may be a little more sheer than the silk in this sample, which is just some I had in roughly the right colours. I need to practise my machine stitching too as it’s ages since I’ve done any – I like freedom and a certain rawness – but only if it’s deliberate!


Today I want to work on my storyboard/design for assignment 1, which is an appliqué piece. I’m planning to do a wall hanging in sections, to hang between two windows overlooking a garden. So far it’s just an idea and a few pictures.

I chose images that I’ve collected over the years – I’m imagining it in a house painted and repainted in shades of turquoise, ochre and dull reds, inhabited by a woman in a dusky green embroidered velvet dress. The hanging will be inspired by the colours and forms of the dried flowers which echo the colours of the house and the dress, with some additional faded pinks. lavenders and papery yellows. I don’t think (for copyright reasons) I can post the images that are inspiring this because they’re torn from Country Living and other magazines whose names I don’t even remember.

At the moment I am thinking about something fairly light and floaty that would move slightly when the windows are open, maybe using several layers of dyed silk with some ‘flowers’ in shadow appliqué and some on the surface. It could be quite abstract. Also using quilting lines to reflect the strong lines of stems in the flower image, but in quite a delicate way if I can achieve that. The colours are rich and faded at the same time. It might be interesting to explore the contrasts between papery dried petals and the soft velvety live petals that would be seen through the windows.

The next steps are to do more drawings of how the piece will look in situ, maybe with collage and painting too. The idea is to prepare a design for the (imaginary) client, to show what the finished work will be like. That’s quite a challenge for me since most of my ideas come to me through the materials, and I often can’t tell what’s possible till I try it (I guess that comes with experience) so I’m sure that the design will evolve as I go through that process. But I’ll do my best to stick to the order I’m supposed to be following and produce a design first that bears some relation to the finished article…

For Textiles 1, today I want to: write my introduction about me for my tutor, and look through the course materials to get an overview and see if I need anything specific to get started (though being a bit of a magpie, I probably have it already!).