Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Postcards For Peace Embroidery Competition

To keep myself busy over the first hurdle of summer, besides the odd job here and there I also decided to enter an embroidery competition via my local library. Since my usual style of embroidery is somewhat ermm... Postmodernist and I haven't had a lot of time for personal projects lately I thought it would be a lot of fun to create something a little more traditional. The competition, called 'Postcards For Peace', entailed designing an embroidered silk postcard in the style of those made during the First World War (such as these) for the Centenary which falls this year. I'd never come across these postcards before but the colours, designs and textures in them, not to mention what an important memento they are in terms of textiles within history were so inspiring that I couldn't wait to start.
If you want to know more about the whatnots of the competition you can click here
This was my entry:
I used real silk for the backing fabric to keep the authentic touch, French knots with glass beads leftover from another project for the poppy seeds and hand stitched the whole thing. For each colour of the rainbow I used a different stitch:
Red - cable stitch
Orange - stem stitch
Yellow - running stitch
Green - split stitch
Blue - chain stitch
Violet - couching
Pinky - back stitch
although I feel that perhaps because this element is so small the stitches get a little lost. But I know they're there, and now you do too.
The rest of it was back stitch (the lettering at the bottom) and satin stitch, plus a kind of satin stitch / long and short stitch hybrid for the poppy petals. This was a great exercise for me to practise my stitch techniques and I treated it almost as a sampler in order to showcase my skills. I previously didn't think I was any good at satin stitch so I am really happy with how it turned out.
The design itself was heavily influenced by the peace side of things rather than the war; not being a big war person (who is?) and believing that it is good for huh, absolutely nothing, I researched different symbols of peace and used the white poppy and rainbow. Not only is the rainbow for peace, it also represents all the fabulous PRIDE we have here in Bournemouth!!! The yellow, white and blue banners and the phrase 'To Commemorate Peace' came from the Bournemouth Peace Medal which was part of the Peace Thanksgiving Service in July 1919. Although part of the competition brief was to modernise the concept, I seem to have stuck to a more traditional look; but I'm really proud of my work for this and can't wait to see it hanging in the exhibition which all the postcards will go into at Bournemouth Library.
That's enough blabbing, have some details:
I leave you with this

You Better Werk, Bunty!

Just over a year ago my great gal pal Gemma over at Dark Matters asked me to make her some bespoke bunting for her gourmet brownie stall business which was just taking off. Well last week she mentioned that the business is doing so well that she can now make what she calls a 'double pronged brownie attack' on the world [e.g. have two stalls open in two places at once] and therefore needed another string of bunting! Of course I was happy to oblige and I think it even turned out nicer than the original bunting I made for her:
I used all the same heritage style fabrics for the 'front'; plaid, houndstooth and gingham, but changed the 'back' up with some different ones; a titchy polyester check-like woven fabric and a geometric patterned woven wool which I absolutely love (but sadly don't have enough of to make a garment)! I used both the right and wrong sides of the wool to make alternate flags; one has more blue and one has more grey. Again I used the velvet ribbon and I think this gives the whole thing a super classy, dare I say... expensive look?!

Aaand whilst I'm talking about bunting I may as well show off the bunting I made for my friend Aimi's housewarming a couple of weeks ago:
This was more of a colourful 60s flowery affair made from salvaged vintage and non-vintage scraps with a fancy golden ribbon, and I used a ditsy Laura Ashley-ish flower patterned fabric for the reverse. At first I wasn't sure if all the colours went together but once it was all finished I thought it turned out really cool!

If you're interested in delicious gourmet brownies, follow Dark Matters at: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

My work here today was inspired by Joan Jett, Seinfeld, Sylvia Plath, RuPaul's Drag Race and The Cute Lepers