Friday, August 18, 2006

Creativity Overdrive

A couple of things you may know about me. I'm a procrastinator. I get obsessed by a certain thing and have to do it otherwise the world will end. I tend to start things and never carry them through.

Add those things together and you're getting a whirlwind of creativity at the moment. Good news is: my thesis has a structure and I've started writing - hoorah! But I find I keep thinking about crafting, making, need to do it now otherwise I can't concentrate on my books (honest).

So, in the past couple of weeks there's been the sewing thing, the weaving thing, and last week I discovered blackwork for the first time and just had to do some right then. I'm not really a fan of cross-stitch (though I have seen a couple of patterns on ebay that are tempting... but that's another story), but as soon as I saw blackwork I fell in love - it's so elegant! It's basically single-line patterns done in a form of backstitch-cum-running stitch. Luckily, I think I managed to fulfill the urge that evening, trying out this pattern of violets.

I have some fabric which has a really loose weave, which is suitable for embroidery. I don't have any embroidery threads here (I think they must be at my parents'), but I used regular thread instead. At first, I was quite disappointed with how it was working out. I was using 4 strands of white thread, and it looked crap. However, I switched the 2 strands of dark green and it's just glorious.

Since then, I haven't felt the urge to do any more blackwork, but I think when I finish my thesis I shall buy this little owl kit, since I love owls and the Little Owl and the Burrowing Owl (which looks like a Little Owl but with added cute burrowing feature) are my favourites. One thing to possibly prevent me from further embroidery is that I don't really know what to do with the finished object: I have no wish to hang it on my wall, and we don't really need loads of cushions. Blackwork would be nice embroidered on the edge of skirts or pinnies maybe... we'll see.

Talking of pinnies, I made another yesterday, using up the rest of those burgundy fabric remnants. This one has pocketses and cute machine-embroidery. Oh, and talking about not needing any more cushions - I started making a cushion too. This isn't as bonkers as it sounds. When I first went away to university [as an undergrad] I had bought some large fabric squares to make two cushions out of. I made one, but the other one has the slippery silver fabric I made my spinning pinny with as a backing, and it didn't like going through the sewing machine. Being far too lazy to sew it by hand, I decided to put it aside until I got an overlocker, and haven't picked it up since! So I will make that second cushion cover at some point. However, what I'm missing is the second cushion. What better use for all my scraps of fabric (oh, another thing to know about me - I don't throw things away) than a big cushion?

So yesterday evening I sewed some fabric together to make the cushion and started stuffing it with scraps. A bit like with the Jack Skellington cushions, small squares of scraps worked better than big bits. So I cut up all the scraps left over from making the pinny. Then I went round finding more bags of scraps to cut up, and by (ahem) one in the morning, I'd chopped up all the scraps I could find to put in the cushion, bar any really big ones that I may use for a patchwork skirt. I think I have scissor-blisters on my thumb! It was good to be crafty and declutter at the same time! ;)

Edited to add: Oh ho ho... I've just found a he-youge bag of scraps in the bedroom. Good job my thumb still hurts from all yesterday's chopping otherwise I'd never get any work done!

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