Sunday, September 12, 2010

Travel Sewing Kit

The first thing I put together when I’m travelling is a sewing kit.  No, not one of those mending things with strands of nasty knotted threads in horrible colours and impossible to thread needles…..



…but some fabric, some threads ( I usually use embroidery floss), couple of needles and a small pair of scissors.  Plus a small reel of tape for marking stitching lines. 


I have a horror of being bored!  Just watching telly is never enough!  I like to have something to do with my hands and I love to stitch.  But it has to be small, I never want to check luggage and travel very very light.

A small kit enables one to experiment with different ideas…so on my last trip I wanted to see if I could combine screen printed fabric with solid dyed fabric..simple 2 or 3  section compositions.  The challenge with the stitching is to see if I can pull the two areas together to create a whole, but not in so rigid a fashion as to be predictable and boring. 

I had printed about two yards of a house fabric with strong beams but wobbly roofs…it was pretty much black and white.  So I want to add colour, integrate the sections and experiment with different kinds of stitching.  It’s always good to have a lot of goals! That way if you miss one, you might achieve another!!  (yes I want to paint a picture and make a mess! This is doable!)

So  IMG_2469on the first piece I decided to try out a very bold large stitch..

.. to see what that would look like..really nothing more than that – how big can I make the stitch?  I like the way the doubled lines form kind of rays across the piece…

you can see that in the detail below



but I’m afraid that they are not strong enough to pull these sections together….However when I started to think about maybe cropping the piece, I noticed that there’s a little man in there!!!  He’s walking past the large windows…aha!  Now what’s really interesting is that in the painting workshop I did in England, we talked about how you could insert simple figures into a landscape… maybe, even though this was not part of my original intention, I could enhance the figure to give a sense of movement and continuity!

Couldn’t have done that had I not got something to play with.



Now on the second piece (never got to the third one, but I did have another, just in case!) – I decided to play with little textural stitches, not so much a definite line as more of a soft texture.  I like the way this little piece is shaping up and a landscape is beginning to form…is there a person in there?  hmmm..I shall have to wait and see!

If you have been, thanks for reading!!!  And do comment on your own  travel/anti boredom kits!   Elizabeth


TALL GIRL said...

This is a 'brilliant' idea! Before leaving home I often fret about what I should take for hand-work. I regret to inform that I have been knitting on the same two socks for about 3 years of trips! Why don't I just finish them at home and be done with it?! I often think of taking 'hand-work' but don't really do anything specific. You have inspired me to reconsider. These are really beautiful pieces and while I don't see the man I so see a woman with long flowing hair. Thanks, Elizabeth.

lstrowbridge said...

Thanks for posting this, Elizabeth. I'm impressed that you can pack so light and still create interesting pieces.

My anti-boredom/travel kit this summer was less refined, but handy. I took a few hunks of fabric plus needle and thread to do shibori stitching. I also packed a small sketchbook with a few inspiration photos tucked inside to doodle design possibilities when I had time and nothing more scenic in front of me than a row of airplane seats.


June said...

Hi Elizabeth, for a journey coming up, I have packed some fabric photos of my paintings, done with a less-than brilliant printer. They all need brightening and enhancing, so I'm taking colored pencils and a clipboard to work on them in the car. I of course have all my painting stuff, but that can't be done on the move. The small (postcard) sized fabric pieces, revived with colored pencil, seem just right.

Nina-Marie said...

My English paper piecing project is always my carry along - it takes so long to do that I can carry it along for YEARS before its done LOL!! Still I find that I'm way more relaxed at family functions, school assemblies, church service etc etc if my hands are busy. People are just used to me stitching - they know I'm listening. Love to see your process Elizabeth!!