Message from Amanda who kindly set us the challenge
This year the challenge offers a reflective outlet in an incredible year dominated by Covid, lockdowns and all that has caused. The idea is to create a 3D vessel that could hold or represent some treasures in your life. The brief was loose so that it could play to everybody’s different strengths; embroidery, applique, free motion work, what ever inspires as a medium to express your feelings.
I started by creating a piece of fabric with my embellishing/felting machine. On top of a piece of felt I laid a variety of colours of silk and wool fibres and embellished/felted them on the machine. I then cut out three elipse shapes, two of which I further embellished with a variety of hand stitches, using different types of thread and wool, together with some beads. I used the third elipse for the bottom of the pouch with no embellishments.
Once the hand embellishment was finished I used bondaweb on a piece of silk to attach a lining on the inside of the pouch. One edge of each of the two embellished elipses was finished with an overstitch and they were then attached to the bottom, again using an overstitch. Some beading was applied to each corner and at the top to form a fastening.
The inspiration for this shape came from a similar shaped piece I bought at a local exhibition, which had been made by a friend of mine. I think I will use it to keep some jewellery given to me by my husband, which has precious memories attached to it, especially as we celebrate our golden wedding anniversary in March 2021. I think the celebration will just be the two of us rather than the party we had planned!
I’ve just finished my second attempt at a 3D container and I’m quite pleased with it. This one is a sort of folding purse with three pockets and grew out of a piece of fabric stitched all over with a small running stitch in the manner of Kantha work. The exercise has prompted an interest in Kantha work which I’ve always liked and I now have a book on the subject.
Here is my box for Amanda’s challenge. I wanted it to be a “happy” box so chose bright colours. I used mounting card for the main construction which I covered with polyester fabric. I had already covered a lot of old buttons with brightly coloured silk so added these with circles of felt. It holds my sketch book along with small embroidered and beaded pieces done during lockdown.
When I heard about Amanda’s challenge I thought about what I wanted to store in my 3D vessel and it came down to letters, music scores, photos, diary records and most of all, the wonderful decorated paper hugs that my two little grandsons had made during the first lockdown. Rather than create a box I decided on a folder and have really enjoyed embellishing.
I started with a large rectangle of vilene and used strips of cotton drill to form a woven background. I then used applique, free machine embroidery and hand stitching to embroider this background. It was quite a large area to cover and I found the size challenging in my machine. Once completed I made a bias binding with strips of the cotton drill, lined it and inserted a couple of side gussets which I stitched into place with a hand insertion stitch. To complete the folder I covered an old buckle with the bias binding. I have now got the fun of filling it with mementos however it is quite large and I have grown to love it so may end up adding a handle and using it as a bag as it is quite large.
The memories were mostly painted scrumpled paper, tyvek or photo card backgrounds strengthened with iron-on vilene, collaged and embellished with hand stitching.
I made a walnut purse using a technique shown by Nikki VW. I enjoyed the bead work.
It is made from laminating painted/dyed tissue which has been gilded with foil and free machined and decorated with stitched gold foil from a desert lid and a silver metal food container and coated in acrylic wax and using pipe cleaners in its construction .
Great project using a UFO from Linda Monk’s workshop from several years ago at the guild.
This vessel is made with 90% recycling it is made from Jacard cards from the scrapstore painted then I have applied Angelina for the sky, scrap blue fabric which I have stitched for the Madeira competition and cellophane sweet wrappers, tin foil from a dessert pot coloured with permanent markers and vegetable netting for the roof of the house and green plastic strapping from a parcel that was delivered by courier.
Here’s my go at a memory vessel. Not quite to brief tho had great fun creating it. It’s a globe shaped papier mache candle holder so 2 images – front and back.
This first group of baskets I made from Sari Silks. I was inspired by Clare who generously gave me a 1 to 1 workshop on how to do this technique, I love doing it, its a very methodical process and inspiring when the colours come good. They are only small baskets but as an obsessive collector of stones, shells and drift wood they make a perfect little container to hold those memories. Not to mention being a great distraction during the long lock down months. I believe I’ve made about 10 or more of them now, so this is a few of them.
Another set of vessels I made in the first lock down was these three, inspired by a workshop by Debbie Lyddon. Made from scraps of fabric, painted with acrylic paints and the holes and edging are all hand sewn on pieces of cord. I rather like the rustic nature of them. They again hold a few found treasures like drift wood, shells and stones. A bit of an obsession!
I have made a fabric book with some of the things which helped me get through lockdown. Collages with Labels from tea bags/ hand sanitizer/ seed packets/ gin label/ OS map of Marlborough to name just a few ! My front cover is a piece made at Lindsay’s workshop in October and back cover is a pocket from my sons jeans he threw away during lockdown . A cloth pouch made of painted and distressed linen to put the book in.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and we look forward to seeing all this amazing work in the near future.