Sunday, 5 July 2009

From grindstone to personal joy

I am deeply joyful to say that finally, after a spell of time making bags and quilts for other people, I'm able to get back to my own stuff. It's been a hard lesson, realising how much creating for myself and those I care about means to me, and how much I need to be doing for myself rather than giving my energies away. Both are UFOs (UnFinished Objects), dear to me because I have loved doing them and they were both given to me by two beloved people

Japanese Maiden is a cross stitch created by Dimensions, it's part of their Gold Collection, the great thing about kits is that everything you need is there in one place The Gold Collection are kits created with an enormous range of colours, variety of stitches and numbers of threads in the needles which create beautifully shaded results. In this case, the picture is of a Japanese lady under a willow tree in a traditional kimono decorated with cranes, symbolic of longevity, prosperity and good health. I love the delicate shades of her face, which I have just done, and the teracotta of the kimono which is subtly blended with gold thread, a nightmare to sew with but a joy to achieve. Japanese Maiden was given to me by my dad in one of his characteristic moments of generosity at Letham Craft Shop in Angus, I mentioned that I was planning to buy the kit and he offered to buy it for me. It wasn't cheap, but with a kit there is no added expense, unless it be framing.

Cat Tails was given to me for my birthday by one of my best friends, Lesley, and has been a delightful education in new techniques and familiar ones. The background is machine pieced and rotary cut, I'm (more than) familiar with all that, but the applique is felt pieces cut from templates, lots of leaves!, and sewn in place bit by bit. I'm currently working on the hand quilting, which I've done a bit but not a lot of. It's been wonderful seeing it come together under my hands, the cats are just so cute!