Final Port of Call
Throughout the course, books have been recommended and wherever I have been able to afford to purchase them, I have. I now have a wonderful library which I can use into the future. Some will be re-visited frequently, some less often.
There are too many to list individually but I have made a spreadsheet of my library and whenever a new book is recommended I search my spreadsheet to ensure that I don't already have it. This has happened twice so I am trying to avoid a repeat.
I have over the last 20 months visited shows at the NEC and West Point where I have gained inspiration from so many textile artists. Exhibitions have been attended at the V&A, the Holbourne Museum, The Costume Museum in Bath, The Textile Museum in London and Art Trails around the area focusing on textiles.
I use the internet a lot, looking perhaps for a fabric, product or thread that I need and get quickly drawn to looking at peoples' work. I am an online member of Workshop on the Web, Be Creatively and Distant Stitch members' sites. I read recommended peoples' blogs and visit inspirational sites including Pinterest.
I purchase magazines, Embroidery and Stitch, Through Our Hands and Selvedge and am a member of the Sarum machine embroidery group (MEG) and Salisbury Embroiders Guild where there are practical and theoretical events to learn and practice new skills. I am a member of the National EG.
Time and Costs
I have kept time and cost sheets throughout.
Apart from the cost of the course and certification, I have spent around £640 on materials.
In total and I am not very good at recording this, the course has taken me 822 hours to complete but this is not totally accurate.
Health and Safety
The Health and Safety list was completed in the relevant module and nothing has been added
Photographs have been taken during each module and are included in one chapter of each module.
Overview of the Course
- Skill progression - Three effects that I am particularly pleased with are;
- Trapunto quilting
- Paper and fabric feathers
- Granite stitch in metallic threads now that I have found one that stands up to the speed and intensity of the work
- Have expectations been met? I wanted to learn machine embroidery skills as before I started I had been to a workshop and stitch a complex piece which made me realise that I had none of the underpinning skills, so looked for a suitable course. This course has given me those skills and so much more. I look more closely at textiles and designs, the natural and made world and see things more differently than before.
- Three samples from the course that I like most are very difficult to choose as throughout the course I have enjoyed and loved and then moved forward and created another that gave me a similar feeling but if I have to choose then - 1) the quilted bunch of grapes because I achieved texture and tone using a range of techniques, fabrics and threads. 2) The McQueen Armadillo boot because I was able to create something through fabric and stitch to create a sample which was comparable to the artefact from which I drew inspiration
3) Growth and Decay, which was made to represent fritillaries and ferns stitched with metallic gauze between an organza outer and attached to a 'floor' of woven silk
- Three samples that I was not so happy with are almost as hard to choose.
- Module 4 Chapter 6 on rubbings were disappointing and if I am to use these again in future, I should practice the technique more thoroughly - so not one sample but all the rubbings, particularly wax over card shapes were not successful
- Module 3 Chapter 8 assessed sample 'This sceptre'd isle' was much an immature sample inasmuch as I had not learnt techniques to make this sample (which was at the time quite intense for me to make) into a well-created piece of machine embroidery. If I was to make this type of sample again, I would use more free and creative techniques that I have learnt since making that sample.
- Module 2 Chapter 2 - transfer painting. I seemed unable to produce subtle colour when heat transferring paint to man-made fabrics. Ways to improve this are several. Try harder to find subtler shades to transfer or use different fabrics - acetate satin seems to hold the bright colour more than synthetic chiffon and cotton which I have done since. I have also found that if I paint the background that I want, then I can print or photocopy onto printable fabrics which works.
- Three samples that show the most improvement in my skills in machine stitching again were really hard to choose but I have and the first is an earlier piece of the owl guarding her eggs on a wall hanging which incorporated a lot of techniques
The second is a piece of quilting where the stitching, colour, form and technique come together to create a pleasing imageAnd the third is the piece on poverty and invisibility of the homeless inspired by a poem. I really enjoyed developing this piece as the words of the poem affected me so there is a lot of emotion in the work.I have thoroughly enjoyed the course which has taught me so much. Today I looked through all my work to complete this chapter with likes and dislikes etc., and was astonished at what I had made over the length of the course.My tutor, Janet Crowther has been an amazing mentor and guide, and a support if I wobbled, encouraging when things weren't so good and it was such a joy when she wrote 'brilliant' on feedback. That really made me want to do well.I would encourage anyone to take this course, the learning opportunities are a real kickstart to further stitching. I will miss doing the work.