How exciting! I’ve been finding photos of some really old stitching, for a presentation I’m putting together. Kapiti Coast Quilters has invited me to talk to them about my fibre artwork – hope I’m answering the questions they’d like answers to.
Quilting seems to me to be a very planned and accurate passtime, while my work is almost totally process-driven; I think the contrast between our ways of working will be interesting, but there are sure to be similarities, too – especially in the ways colour and patterns inspire ideas.
Meantime, here are a few ‘retrieved treasures’ including stitching I’d almost forgotten about, from the “Paua dragon” bag that ended up in a frame, and “Paua Dreaming”, an experiment with fabric and beads, to “Shades of Evening” bedroom set and samples in other colours to the original “Tiffany Peony Lamp” cushions.
“Celebration of Harakeke” was the theme for entries in the 2022 Creative Fibre education event exhibition (July 2022), and I enjoyed making a couple of fibre artworks especially for it – you can see them on my “Harakeke” page.
My first attempt didn’t work out: I knitted an oblong entrelac shape in flax-like colours, then tried to felt it. (Entrelac knitting mimics a woven look, and is great so long as you get the triangles on the edges sorted. I’ve definitely got to mark where I’m up to in the pattern next time!)
Unfortunately, because I’d used several old yarns from my stash – some of which proved to be acrylic – the piece didn’t felt well and the stitching looked quite loose. Even tacking it onto tapestry canvas and back-filling didn’t work. I’d harvested a flax stem, and planned to include it against the entrelac background in a box frame – but couldn’t find a frame deep, or inexpensive, enough. Another unfinished project, but one I might go back to some day when I’ve got nothing else to do…
In the end, I knitted Colours of Harakeke socks and a hat, incorporating a basket weave pattern, as well as making two new fibre artworks. Works in progress:
Here’s how entrelac is supposed to look (image on left); I’ve downloaded this pattern from Ravelry and plan to tackle it some time. Meantime, I’m working my way through the stash, making moss stitch tote bags, and only buying more wool to finish grandson’s stripey pullover.
Finally! I stitched these cushion covers late in 2021, but it’s taken until yesterday (May 2022) to dig out my sewing machine to make the backing for them. After a bit of experimenting, the first thing I did was sew the zips in.
I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out (not my very best machine sewing, but okay), and they’ve been taken to Kapiti Gallery for the “Fine Feathers: spinning, weaving, knitting & felting Exhibition” opening on Thursday 19th May.
Two of my fibre artworks have sold this week, Silver Birch with Lavender through from out of the blue studio gallery in Ōpunake, and Summer into Autumn at the Waikanae Community Market. The second sale followed a conversation about the fibres I used, and I mentioned that work submitted to the gallery in Ōpunake is required to be made from “all natural fibres – no synthetics allowed”, and how it’s influenced my choices so that (unless using up bits of my old stash) I now try to use all NZ wool, sometimes cotton, but no acrylics. The ‘browsers’ returned a short time later to purchase a fibre artwork, saying, “We’d like to support you.”
My @bronz.beads first time Mahara Midweek Market was a great success today: it was good to be under shelter from the persisting rain. Some other stallholders had pulled out because of the weather, but when people commented we were brave to be out in this weather, I pointed out that if it was sunny, I’d have to be at home mowing the lawns, but instead I was having a nice morning, knitting and chatting and selling jewellery to the nice folks in Waikanae.
It was great to sell two of the four brand new bracelets I made last night, as well as Christmas ‘trinkets’ – and a couple of knitted wreaths and Xmas trees I took along ‘just in case’.
I’ve always loved silver birch trees with their intriguing bark and silvery trunks. I’ve included them in tapestries, along with pines and other trees, but it was a mosaic image I found on Pinterest that stayed at the back of my mind for a year or more while I worked on other projects.
Now I have time to work on them, my Silver Birch Forest series is up to #8 completed and another one (or maybe more) planned.
Kittredge Cherry, founder at Q Spirit is a lesbian Christian author who writes regularly about LGBTQ spirituality. She holds degrees in religion, journalism and art history. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its national ecumenical officer, advocating for LGBTQ rights at the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches.