Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Stages of Strata Evolution...

Here I am as promised with my thoughts behind my piece for our Evolution challenge.

My aim for this project is to re-purpose an existing piece of work. Having taught workshops in the past I have sample pieces that are no longer required. Rather than leave them gathering dust I thought I could put them to good use to create new work. I'm very much in favour of recycling, using old clothing/textiles for patchwork as it would have been, something with a story, a previous life...Evolution.

Below you will see I've chosen a free hand-cut piece, I made this at a workshop many years ago. It lay unfinished until a workshop sample was needed for Markel Paintstiks and Free Motion Quilting.

'Strata'...continuing it's 'Evolution'

Whilst I was researching Evolution I came across a quote which filled my brief perfectly...

A gradual process in which something
changes into a different and usually more
complex or better form... 

Initially I thought having a piece already made would only involve changing the look of it and wouldn't require samples or very much sketchbook work. But, the more I pondered how I was going to achieve this, the more I realised I didn't know how I wanted the end result to look. 
Should I cut it up to make smaller pieces, but what sizes? I knew I wanted to add paint and hand stitching, but should I do this before or after painting, should I cut it up at all? Did I want the painting to obliterate the original piece completely and what colour?

So, back to basics, start with a sketchbook and samples. My sketchbook is also a re-purposed workshop sample with pages already painted and it's only A5 size, so that alone will be a challenge for me.

re-purposed sketchbook

Having rummaged to find any of the original fabrics I made a sample piece, free machine quilted it as before, stitched french knots and a background layer of acrylic paint in white and black. This was then cut up and various painting options sampled.

stitched and painted samples

At the moment the bottom right is my favourite, but will it have the same effect on a larger scale? I think this piece is still at the Evolution stage and may yet evolve further.

I'm now in the process of stitching onto the original piece, adding french knots and layered seed stitch to create more texture, giving myself time to ponder while I stitch.

french knots and layered seed stitching

And here, looking completely different, are the six samples sitting on the original piece

painted samples on the original piece

Thank you for sticking with me this far, I'll keep you posted how this project progresses. We have a meeting tomorrow so I'll get lots of constructive feedback and hopefully we'll see you here soon with an update on the other Maids Evolution progress.

Bye for now


  1. This is so interesting, Sue - I look forward to the next installment!

    1. Thank you Annie, glad you like my project. We had a very constructive meeting today, Margaret will posting photos here soon. Best wishes, Sue

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