As mentioned previously, TextileArtist.org recently created a Stitch Club and I jumped in as a Founding Member. The first challenge was hosted by Debbie Lyddon, who directed us to build three containers for objects that held a meaning to us.
She explains that objects (and our relationship to them) can tell a story. I loved the way she described the containers: “Containers are a bit like a book cover: they hold a story inside that’s ready to be discovered. And a hole in a container gives you a glimpse of the object inside, and it’s a bit like a book’s title that gives an indication to the delights within.”
I love my trees. I have many old oaks – burr, white, black, and red. I have a couple of old shagbark hickories and cottonwoods and a huge pine tree. Smaller are my crabapples, maples, and the “orphans” I’ve planted over the years when people give them to me for free for whatever reason (I have two small evergreens, a magnolia, and plenty of bushes). If a single big tree had to go, I’m moving – the thought of it curdles my stomach!
So, you see, it is very appropriate that I spent time outside looking for “objects” that represented them. Ironically, I’ve been on major yard cleanup on any day with good weather, so almost all traces are gone. But, luckily for me (ha!) because many trees are so old, any little storm that swings by (hello, spring!) means there is something on the ground to find, for sure. Thus, I found: a burr oak acorn (with double cap), an old hickory nut, and a gall apple on a white oak twig.
Part of the challenge was to also use watered-down acrylics to paint the fabric, which will give it a bit more structure. I chose a canvas, which was super bright sunny yellow, so I tamed it down with beige/pink paint.
I wasn’t sure how much thread would be needed for the eyelets, so I chose to use perle cotton, since I have those in big bulk (a ball). Unfortunately, most of mine is size 12 (seen in the red) which took way too flipping long. Once I changed to size 8, it was must more enjoyable – but my colors were even more limited.
I’ve never used wire in this way before, and I am so intrigued with possibilities! I wrote a list of ideas. Plus, I want to see what might happen if I leave one in my water softener salt tank for a bit, as many of Debbie’s are encrusted in salt. And what the other members have come up with? Oh my, the inspiration is abundant!