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…..

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…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

 

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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…..so 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.

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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

4 comments:

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.

Cheers,
Linda

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!!