Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book of Etudes, 1


Ahhhh, do not despair--stitching still takes up most of my time. I stitched my way through April and May; in fact, I did much more stitching than sketching. I'm "writing" a "Book of Etudes" ("Studies"--memories of violin practice books from 40 years ago), a sort of textile sketchbook. 

I needed easily portable stitching to go to Paris and this project has been tugging at me for awhile. Yeah, I know, I know, I have a rule in place that says I have to finish things, not start new projects...but this was the call of the wild--high adventure.


The rules were simple: only hand work with an emphasis on abstracted, fairly simple needle-turn appliqué motifs and embroidery. I have wanted to explore the mixture of appliqué and stitching for a long time. 


So I cut 5 black, or black and white, fabrics 8" x 12", put two temporary safety pins down the middle to hold them all together in a book, thus having pages of 8" x 6". And I left raw edges...which I may or may not regret. I chose some fabrics and threads that sang to me and carried the whole mess around with me in a small plastic sack in my purse.


I first stitched in place small rectangular pieces of fabric onto the background, then added larger pieces to appliqué.











The back side is equally interesting, a sort of shadow page that echoes the appliqué motif and stitching on the other side.

The pages can be read in any direction.




Did I say simple shapes? Admittedly, I have a tendency towards complexity.


Each page in the book requires more work and ruminating--so many possibilities. And despite the constricting circumstances of April and May, I was able to fly high thanks to my Book of Etudes.

11 comments:

SewTypical said...

Love these designs!
very organic and remind me of the ocean

Connie Rose said...

Fantastic work! What a great fabric book. I hope you'll have only happy memories when you look back on it.

O'Quilts said...

Thank God for stitching and thank God for art

Martha said...

I love the complexity you create out of simplicity and circumstance.

Els said...

No matter what you plan Nadia, your applique is always stunning !

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Such intricate appliques - you definitely have a lot of patience I think. I've never really mastered applique, at least not to my satisfaction anyway. I love the amazing colours you're using!

Julie Fukuda said...

I would love to watch the process. Do you cut as you go or cut it all first? This makes my stuff look like the work of pre-schooler..

Mo Crow said...

love your wild turning

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

They are beautiful, Nadia! Maybe it's only me, but I seem to see some ribcages and lungs. Having spent a good many years concentrating on lungs, it may be transference, but still....

Angie said...

WOW these are fabulous!

Suzanna said...

Hi Nadia, I've just gotten caught up with the wonderful news that you and your husband are home and the medical work went well. I'm so glad to hear it! And the appliquéd pieces are just beautiful! xo, s.