Tag Archives: embroidery

1 Year of Stitches – DONE

1 Year of Stitches FINISHED

1 Year of Stitches

One year ago my friend Lou Anne Sybenga and I started a project called #1yearofstitches or #onestitchaday. This challenge was begun by Hannah Claire Somerville. When I saw this project on Instagram it took my fancy. I had just finished a year long one-a-day project which required me to go outside everyday and make ephemeral art. So stitching was a nice change.

I decided to take Hannah’s idea and share it with my artistic muse and neighbour, Lou Anne. We decided to both start hoops and trade back and forth every couple of weeks. She chose a light pink ground and I choose black. To say she is not computer savvy is a bit of an understatement. And I am the opposite, so I documented everything on Instagram.

1 Year of Stitches BEFORE

Hannah describes #1yearofstitches thusly:

“I am interested in the impact, or mark, that an individual makes on a daily basis. Big or small, our daily activities are often times unquantifiable and intangible. I am approaching this project as a personal map making; the fabric ground represents each day of the year, with the needle and thread representing my actions throughout the day. I will embroider— maybe one stitch, maybe more, (hopefully) every day and photograph the result. The embroidery I create will become a tangible, visual account of the decisions, movements, conversations and sometimes lack there of, that I make each day. I hope to use this project as a means of creating mindfulness and deeper reflection upon the choices we make as a society. ”

Our Rules and Stipulations (adapted from Hannah) were:

  1. Our fabric ground consists of a swatch of poly-cotton in a 10’’ x 10’’ hoop. The thread we use may change daily and we may adhere additional types of media to our ground with thread.
  2. We will embroider something each day and I will try to post a photograph of the result each day on @wavesongart.
  3. It is not required that we make a stitch— some days you definitely do not contribute anything to society.
  4. We are allowed to remove stitches, because mistakes can sometimes be undone.
  5. We will exchange hoops on a regular basis.
  6. More rules and stipulations may be added as the project evolves and lessons are learned.

Lou Anne’s hoop

Ev’s hoop

WHAT WE LEARNED:

  • We both had to give ourselves permission to be more flexible and less anal. Some days we just forced ourselves to stitch. Some days, fuck it! Who’s gonna police this but us?
  • The hoops became fluid. Meaning we had to drop the notion that the pink one was ‘hers’ and the black one was ‘mine’ because at first we were both afraid of screwing up each other’s hoops. The funny thing is, when the year ended, we decided to keep the one we each began with.
  • The pink hoop called out to be filled in totally. The black hoop called out for more negative space or background showing through.
  • Lou Anne’s default was to complete a little area with a scene or object. I tried to create little objects and I didn’t enjoy it. Chain stitch, running stitch and back stitch were my go-to’s.
  • A year is a long time and SHIT happens. Sometimes you just don’t feel like carrying an embroidery hoop into a hospital waiting room.
  • Everyone who saw the hoops was very inspired. But it was less inspiring in some ways for us. I was glad to get back into hand stitching actually though and I realize I abandoned it for my machine a number of years ago. So I am looking forward to more hand-stitching.
  • Where does inspiration come from? Ah, the eternal artist’s question and still waiting to be answered!
  • We always enjoyed what the other person was doing more than our own work.
  • We were very glad to FINISH, to see the year through to the end! If we hadn’t had each other to be accountable to we may not have finished.
  • We make our mark on each other. Our friendship is very important.
  • I don’t need to do another year long one-a-day project for a l-o-n-g time.

Chloe’s three little bugs

Purple Rain, Cabin in the Woods and Vancouver Island forest

Lou Anne’s paisley and Ev’s Aurora

texture

beading

Lou Anne’s jumping fish and Ev’s Ombre

 

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1 year of stitches

img_3896I’m embarking one a new one-a-day year-long challenge, this time with a good friend. And this 365 day project doesn’t have to be done outside. (In 2016 I did an daily ephemeral artwork project outside, everyday!)

Each of us are fibre artists but we rarely work solely in embroidery. It’s the type of challenge which will keep us on our toes and accountable to each other as artists and makers. I love photography and do social media and she’s a total Ludite.

Each of us makes an impact, or mark, daily. Our daily activities have an effect, even if tiny, on those around us. So this project is like a personal map-making; the fabric represents 2017, the needle and thread represent my actions.

I am indebted to Hannah Claire Somerville for this idea.   “The embroidery I create will become a tangible, visual account of the decisions, movements, conversations and sometimes lack thereof, that I make each day. I hope to use this project as a means of generating a deeper reflection upon the choices we make as a society.”

Rules and Stipulations:

1. My fabric ground consists of a swatch of black poly-cotton in a  10’’ x 10’’ hoop. The thread I use may change daily and I may adhere additional types of media to my swatch with thread.

2. I will embroider something on my fabric ground each day and try to post a photograph of the result each day on @wavesongart.

3. It is not required that I make a stitch— some days you definitely do not contribute anything to society.

4. I am allowed to remove stitches, because mistakes can sometimes be undone.

5. I will exchange my hoop with my friend on a regular basis and stitch on her hoop, and she on mine, for a time period.

5. More rules and stipulations may be added as the project evolves and lessons are learned.

Day one hoop

Fibre Art Commission – “The Gospels”

I opened my email and waiting for me was correspondence entitled “Artist Request”. It was from a dear friend I’ve known for years, Barbara Billey.

Barbara Billey

“I would like to commission you to use your sacred artist gifts to create a faux Book of Gospels for my ordination. The Book of Gospels contains the four gospels, will be carried high in the processional to the table of worship and then someone will dance with it to the lecturn, where the gospel will be read. The theme of my ordination is “be fire and light our world with justice and peace.

My jaw dropped.

My first reaction was, ‘no way, too much pressure’. The weight of the request gave me pause.

Just breathe.

Who am I that I should attempt something like this? The words “carried high, processed, danced” all cried out in bold and I pondered whether I was worthy to say ‘yes’ to this request.   After a few days of thinking about it I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t accept I would be missing a tremendous artistic opportunity and challenge.

It had to be faux book, more like a theatre prop; large enough to be seen in a large public gathering, yet small enough to be carried. And it needed to open like a book and hold papers. I formally worked professionally in props for Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, so I knew I could pull it off.  I wanted it to look like an old-fashioned leather bound book. sketch

I’m not one to make drawings of my designs. I usually work more organically, just laying out fabrics. But I did do an initial sketch.

 

I laid out some possible fabric choices for the theme “be fire and light our world with justice and peace.” fabrics

I used a fine netting fabric trapping method taught by the wonderful Canadian fibre artist, Lorraine Roy.

yellow spiral

I used some interfacing material from a old liquid embroidery kit to stabilize the fabric manipulation. She loves trees. So hidden inside is one!IMG_5348

I wanted the lettering to be in gold leaf so the closest thing would be to use a foiling method to apply the text “The GOSPELS”.IMG_5339

I trapped actual pieces of real gold leaf into the cover.

IMG_5350I applied some random vermicelli stitching, including a tree and a hidden message for the recipient to the back of the book.IMG_5365

For the construction of the actual book I used acid-free foamcore board inside as the guts to build the front, back, sides and spine. Most of this had to be stitched by hand.IMG_3482

Gold lame replicated the idea of gold leaf page edges.

IMG_3483  I was thrilled with the finished product. But would she be?  It’s always the unveiling which is the moment of truth.

She cried with delight.

At her Ordination Service she held it high and danced down the aisle.imagejpeg_2

Oh, did I mention that she is a Roman Catholic Priest? Women can’t be priests, you say. WRONG. Just check out this group of empowered women. http://arcwp.org
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests imagejpeg_2 2

Can you hear the sound of the church bells ringing there?
The birds singing in the voices?
The waves washing through our minds in rhythmic breath?
carrying all the debris away away
healing the struggles of yesterday
clearing the way for the morrow
when women walk as Catholic priests!
Ordination service

Read more about Barbara Billey’s Ordination Service here and here.

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/movement-wants-roman-catholic-church-to-allow-female-priests