Mary D.

Week 6

Skills evaluation!

•    Sewing skills, both dressmaking and quilt piecing….but having made 6 bed quilts I know I prefer to experiment with various blocks and new designs rather than make big quilts. Having made what I finally consider to be a perfect dress ( under the guidance of a great dressmaker), do I just want to stop there or will I continue to make the odd thing to wear…..I could end with a few more UFO’s in bags and abandoned. These must be located and removed from studio….decluttering is a huge process and still on going! 

•    Machine embroidery and free motion quilting, again on a smaller scale.  I do have a quilting frame, but am having difficulty using it with my domestic machine….so do I want to stick with it and improve or do I need a machine with a decent long throat? Or is this all a whimsy that I can do all my swirls easily and freely on a bigger scale?

So am I really hankering after making big work? Needs to be considered.

•    Hand stitch and embroidery, mostly repetition of stitch for pattern and texture.

•    Drawing and painting, but I struggle with oil painting, so I only do it occasionally.  I do find that it’s hard work to achieve the loose paint marks that I wish to use while still capturing the essence of the scene.  It is a skill I want to work on, but don’t feel ready just yet for various emotional reasons.

•    Dying fabric, space dying and rust dying I love the unexpected results and the challenge of using them.  Actually I like the idea of using any found objects and working on how to incorporate them into work.

•    Print….I just love all forms on paper and some on fabric. Perhaps this would be the best option to develop my design ideas and just have fun with them and see if I can create original work.  It might be difficult though to shed what I have absorbed from a huge number of other textile artists over the years!

•    Very rusty photoshop skills….through lack of use. I always just considered it a tool for design development that I needed to master to keep up with the youths I was teaching! So perhaps it’s something I can let go of, seeing as I have retired from that work, and I like to experience physical hands on stuff…..so real colour etc, not virtual. 

 I might be tempted to go for an obvious easy solution. Is there an old idea lingering, that it has to be a struggle to be of value??

•    Having taught various other crafts over the years, and also been a workshop junkie I think I there are lots of other skills that I could call on, but it’s narrowing my focus that is the challenge. And perhaps putting off the idea of attending more workshops…..nearly feels like an addiction!