Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Sashiko

20 projects using traditional Japanese stitching

Jill Clay

Published by GMC publications

Here at Creative Colour we are very taken with the whole concept of slow, and hand sewing  in particular, as a way of winding down after a hard days graft, so this book is perfect for us.

What is Sashiko? It is a traditional Japanese sewing method that uses evenly spaced running stitches to create eye catching geometric patterns. It has a humble background, originating as a form of darning – a way to strengthen weak areas of cothing. However its utilitarian beginnings have since been shed, and it is now a popular form of decorative embroidery.

This book explores this strikingly effective technique and demonstrates how to apply it to a range of useful and ornamental items for the home, and to accessories and gifts. Minimalist in style, Sashiko sits perfectly in modern interiors as well as traditional environments giving it broad appeal.

         Sashiko is pronounce Sash(i)ko, the I is almost silent. It means little stabs because it involves stabbing the needle in and out of the fabric, to make a number of small gathers on the needle.

When the needle is pulled through it creates a series of small stitches. It has also sometimes been called rice stitch as traditionally the yarn colour is off white and resembles a grain of sand.

         There are twenty projects in this book and several of them use traditional designs. Shippo Tsunaagi  known as Seven Treasures is a design used in Buddist Art. Bamboo is often used as a design and it signifies prosperity as well as purity and strength.

You need very little in the way of tools and the techniques are simple. The projects range from practical to beautiful. There are small projects that will take much less time than large ones with a density of stitches. So it is up to you to decide how long you have to create a project.

As the author, Jill Clay, says in this excellent book

“ Although there are some ‘rules’ to sashiko, I prefer to think of them as guidelines which is what my sashiko teacher taught me. Following the guidelines is important, but so is enjoying what you are doing. The simple message is don’t take it too seriously, relax and enjoy.”

Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Weave This

Over 30 fun projects for the modern weaver By Francesca Kletz and Brooke Dennis

Francesca Kletz and Brooke Dennis are the partnership who started and run The London Loom, a weaving studio in Hackney,  East London

         London Loom hosts both community workshops and smaller classes where adults and children work alongside each other inspiring creativity. As well as beginners weaving Francesca and Brooke also teach other crafts. This book is not your conventional weaving book, there are many styles and methods of weaving that are covered in the book.

Not all the projects are done on a loom, however the basic different steps are covered, as are tools and materials. These include interlocking, curves, soumak, rya knots and loop stitch.

         There are exciting and inventive ideas such as making a giant loom from a clothing rail or creating your own yarn from scraps of fabric. Tassel making is covered. One is shown how to weave a letter or even how to use a spade to create a wall hanging. Learn how to ice dye and to make a woven fringed back for a jacket.

If you want to create interior accessories there is a really cool shade, an upcycled chair with a new woven seat  a puja mat and some great geometric cushions and a rug. This book is full of exciting projects that takes what can be quite a worthy po faced activity and turns it into something that is fun.

If you want to start a new craft this is a bargain at £14.99.

Published by Hardie Grant Books

Blog, book review, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

On trend : Textile Folk Art

Textile Folk Art  By Anne Kelly published by Batsford

I was just about to review this book, when into my inbox popped the following, prescient quotes, from designer and licenserJehane, from ‘ making art work’

Folk Art  – Folklore ‘Art of the people’ celebrates traditions and rituals from across the world and the relationship between maker and object’

‘Art teaches us to see into things. Folk Art allows us to see outward from within things.’ Walter Benjamin.

This book is an inspirational exploration of folk art from around the world by textile artist http://www.annekellytextiles.com/Anne Kelly.

It includes samplers, quilts, tribal and nomadic cloth. Anne Kelly explores traditional motifs used throughout the world in textile folk art and shows how contemporary textile artists use them in their work today. She demonstrates how to incorporate treasured personal objects- such as garments, stitched samples, vintage lettering and motifs-into textile to create unique works of folk art.

The red horse by Mandy Pattullohttp://threadandthrift.blogspot.com/ mixed media textile, appliqué and embroidery on vintage quilt background

We are shown examples of collections from around the world – Scandinavia, USA, Australia, China and Mongolia. There are some step –by- step projects including collages, screen prints, folding books. We are shown creative collages on garments and even a stitched shed that was shown at the knitting and stitching show. The reader is given resource to some of the best textile artists, such as Nancy Nicholson, Mandy Pottulloh and Sue Stone and you can see their work on their web sites.

Romanian Commission by Anne Kelly, mixed-media textile

My verdict this is a lovely book that more than earns its place on a bookshelf, I will delve into time and again.

Blog, Exhibitions, Uncategorized

A sneak peak at Zandra Rhodes archived knit wear

Dame Zandra Rhodes selected ten, rarely seen, pieces of knitwear from her design archive as an exclusive for the Spring Knitting and Stitching show recently on at Olympia. Many of these pieces will be on show along with her beautiful textile designs and dresses in the exhibition 50 Years of Fabulous at the Fashion and Textile museum later this year. From 27th September to 26th January 2020

Black and Red ‘heart’ jumper Spring/Summer 1987 Venetian Palazzo collection
Black ‘Magic Head’ jumper Spring/Summer 1987 ‘Venetian Palazzo’ collection
Intarsia cashmere machine knit Clan Douglas for Zandra Rhodes

The acclaimed British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE founded her eponymous fashion house in 1969 with a small collection. Her prints were Pop Art-infused commentaries on the world of Sixties Britain; the designer felt that there was inherent structure within the pattern that could work with and enhance the shape and construction of a dress. With this concept as a starting point and with her distinctive approach to cut and form, the house of Zandra Rhodes soon became one of the most recognisable labels in London.

In celebration of fifty years of the Zandra Rhodes’ label, the Fashion and Textile Museum presents Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous. This retrospective will highlight 100 key looks, as well as 50 original textiles. This comprehensive exhibition will explore five decades of the distinguished career of a British design legend.

Grey jumper with pearl shoulder detail Autumn/Winter 1980 ‘Elizabethan’ collection
Rib machine knit

Black and Gold Lurex Jacket Autumn/winter 1987 ‘Wish Upon a Star’ collection Double Bed jacquard machine knit
‘Magic Head’ dress Spring/Summer 1989 ‘Venetian Palazzo’ collection
Intarsia cashmere machine knit Clan Douglas for Zandra Rhodes
Blue and Gold Lurex coat
Autun/Winter 1987
‘Wish Upon a Star’ collection
Double bed Jacquard machine knit

Uncategorized

Lora Avedian at Howe for London Craft Week

London Craft Week runs from 9th – 13th May and there are some inspiring designs and demonstrations to be seen. One of the practitioners, with a temporary residency at Howe is, Anglo Armenian, Lora Avedian, multidisciplinary artist who graduated from the RCA with a masters in Mixed Media Textiles. Lora’s process begins with research often looking at historical textiles and ethnographic objects as a starting point. Her work is grounded in history which enables her to create innovative work with a fine balance between the old and the new. Inspired by ceremonies and folk costume: the symbolism of the objects, colours and embroidery techniques used throughout her work are all important to telling a visual story. The work created this week is available for purchase. As you have two days left make sure you get down there to see this wonderful creative work.

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