Autumn leaves

Just a small art quilt that I began yesterday, using some really beautiful hand-dyed silk organza  pieces from Heike.

When I was stitching the wool felt squares over the weekend, I found myself wondering if that same straight stitch would work on something lighter in weight. You can’t get much lighter than silk, and it seems to work just fine.

No bonding, no glue; just silk thread. No hoop or frame; just resting the work on a table top.  It seems to find its own tension. Generally I don’t like using hoops or frames. I don’t like the fact that hoops are usually round when the grain of fabric is square. I don’t like to see fabric stretched so unnaturally taut. It always reminds me of something on the rack being tortured. And I don’t like the fact that you can’t see the whole piece all at once: you can only really see the part framed by the edges of the hoop, so you can’t really tell if the whole piece will look balanced. I guess if I did more in the way of ‘proper’ embroidery I might have to get used to it. There are times when a hoop is really necessary, but thankfully I think this isn’t one of them.

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18 Responses to Autumn leaves

  1. Jennie says:

    They look beautiful Karen does it shimmer xx

  2. chloe says:

    I agree with you about hoops, they do seem like torture devices – you can almost hear the cloth screaming….I like the idea of using them and being all neat, but it doesn’t really come naturally to me. I guess they have their place with very intricate stitching which I do really admire, but I think I prefer more organic movement in fabric, it makes everything much more interesting and warm, and human somehow.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Yes, I agree. I admire embroidery too, though it’s not really my thing. I prefer to feel the drape of a cloth while working on it.

  3. Rachel says:

    Hoops have their place, but even I don’t use them all the time!

  4. it is so funny..we are so alike……would you believe l also started working with my silk pieces this weekend after working on my large wool pioece. love silk and sometimes use a ring but don’t like them either. When l use a ring l feel as if l have lost the feel of the whole piece as l can only see the piece l am working on. love the piece you are showing us here…beautiful and very fragilke looking.xlynda

  5. Loralei says:

    I love the way the colours are playing off of each other, and how the stitching is so organic. Hand stitching is something I rarely do, and when I do I usually use a frame; except when I am making a prayer flag, and I love the freedom of stitching without a hoop.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Yes, the colours of Heike’s organza have such depth, and are semi-sheer so that you can see the colour beneath. Difficult to photograph effectively though!

  6. Connie Rose says:

    Beautiful, Karen. I also don’t use a hoop or a frame, but work on a table or my knee. Have you been to my blog lately to see the handstitched pieces I’ve done? Would love for you to check them out. Hugs.

  7. jenclair says:

    The colors are beautiful, so soft and comfortable together.

  8. blandina says:

    It is lovely, Karen, the silk seems to breathe and be alive. The loop adds too much stiffness to this kind of embroidery in my opinion.

  9. tina says:

    you are quite right, and I love this do you think the ragged edges refect the falling leaves?

  10. helen says:

    I’m going to try again to post. Like this piece and yes, hoops are definately different to work with. I like the feaal of the cloth as I stitch. something I think the hoop takes away from.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Definitely. You lose the feel for the cloth when it’s stretched in a frame, though tension can sometimes be an issue without one. Like most things, a bit of a balancing act.

  11. This is beautiful, I am itching to try stitching on silk, am waiting on finding some in the charity shops. Your blog is so lovely ❤

  12. karen says:

    I love the simplicity of these stitches. They look beautiful against the silk.

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