Friday, August 31, 2012


I find it amazing how time after time I need to enact ideas to see if they work or not. 
The fabric actually has to be screenprinted or the colours crocheted together in order for 
me to see if it's what I want. I love that I can look at something (anything) and know 
instantly whether it 'works' but I'd equally love to be able to conceptualise in my mind 
and 'know' that way too. The thing that frustrates me about this process is that it makes 
for an abundance of waste if I can't find a way to make ideas work.

When it does come together, though, it's do-a-little-jig time. Sorry if this is totally 
boring for you but it's meaningful for me to document my process on this fabric.

It started with an idea. I had an old block I'd carved last year and I wanted to create a 
kind of funky check by lining up the diagonals in the pattern... I soon realised that I 
could only get them to line up in one direction, but I kind of liked this bit of wonk...

I sewed lines to try and make the 'check-ness' of it more formalised and it really 
didn't work (sorry - no pics of this), so I unpicked all of this and started thinking about 
ways to make the design more cohesive, finally deciding to overprint in another colour...

This was okay, but it still didn't have something that punctuated it or drew it together. 
I thought about more overprinting in a different pattern but then was wildly distracted 
by a fluoro floss find online and started plotting a bit of embroidery on the piece, 
starting with some black thread just to see if it might work...

The black was fun but I could see it wasn't going to work on the whole piece, so 
when the floss arrived I set to work and found myself doing my favourite stitch at 
the moment. I have no idea what it's called but I think of it as a skeleton stitch 
because it looks like I've just boned a fish and laid out it's skeleton flat ;)

I've done about five of them so far. I'm going to do alternate diagonal lines with
the embroidery and see how that looks alone. If it needs a bit more interest or 
contrast I might do some black thread detail on the other diagonals.

Do you play with your pieces like this? Do you have to re-work things until they 
come together? I often think that if I was better at designing my blocks I 
wouldn't need to fuss around like this... but then maybe this very process is
building on that body of knowledge that will all come together in my mind one 
day and I'll be able to design without the need for all this fussing ;)

Hope it's a lovely (Father's Day) weekend for you... I'm hoping we'll be able to 
corral our daughters' social and work commitments and go see Moonrise Kingdom 
all together :)


  1. fuss fuss fuss,we all love to fuss! You are building a history to the fabric as well as texture and depth, which is equally important.

  2. The fussing IS how you work! Don't fight it, go with it I say. If you could plan everything out in your mind there would be no room for 'mistakes' that have the possibility to turn into something wonderful. And I find just making, just working with my hands, keeps me inspired and keeps the ball rolling. What you learn in this piece, even if it doesn't work here, may be just the thing you need for the next piece. xx

  3. DO I ever!!??!!! Fuss, fuss, fiddle fiddle, wonky, obsess ( in every single light, angle possible) that's all I ever do. Especially with the heads! I agree with Christina though, i used to fight it, or think "if I were a better (bear) maker I would get it straight away, i would need to take so much time with each head" but then as I've made bears and ( hopefully) gotten better, i realise that well no matter how much better i get at it, the fussy is all part of it, and that well it comes hand in hand with me being happy. Plus I sort of think i sort of love it the agony haha!! I think perhaps the fussy and playing and fiddling is all part of giving the thing we are making whatever it be, a life and a form, if that makes sense. xo

  4. I wish I had the patience to fuss more. And this is gorgeous, loving these colours!

  5. I love how you got "wildly distracted by a fluoro floss" ... too funny! Totally sounds like something I would do... get easily distracted/obsessed with something new, bright and shiny... in my case metallic paint! :)

    Nothing wrong with fussing I say... it leads to more ideas and creativity!
    I love it :)

  6. But will it be fun if you can "design without all this fussing?" I go through all the messing around in my sketchbook, before I start a painting, it builds my confidence so I can tackle the white paper/canvas. It is also the place where I do my exploring. It will always be necessary (I hope,because it's fun)
    Love to see your

  7. Maybe you wouldn't enjoy it so much without the actual process of figuring it out..otherwise just some common coloured pencils would probably work to give you an idea of how it would look..but I think you like the 3d element and that wouldn't work without actually adding that in a certain sequence of events. Sometimes it's the unexpected that you find on the way of an experiment that really works and is entirely different than whatever could have been imagined earlier.

  8. I was talking to a friend about your beautiful fabric Kylie. She is doing up a 1950s chair (and I have caught her renovating bug and now bought one too) Have you ever used your fabric for upholstery? Lynda

  9. Do you play with your pieces like this? Do you have to re-work things until they come together? Oh yes, I love it, I call that a growing process and that are the times I am in a flow and only fysically on this planet:) Nice post, Kylie!

  10. I think that creative "accidents" can lead to the most interesting pieces of work. They push you to go outside your comfort zone and try to solve a problem in a new way. Sometimes it can be so frustrating, but often it is worth it in the end. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I don't know that stitch... it is quite interesting.

  11. Kylie, this is fantastic! such an expressive print, i love seeing your process and can totally imagine that jog you say you do when it all comes together. so cute! the skeleton stitch looks as amazing as it sounds. great name lades! ♥

  12. The playing around is the fun bit and you just need to learn how to enjoy it. I love process and get annoyed with myself when I plan things out to much in my head. By playing, this how you should think of it and not fussing, you will be constantly coming up with new ideas and never have creative block. I love the fluro yellow thread to.

  13. Absolutely the process is important. It's not just a repitition, it's new every time, further evolution for the brain. I love that about art!!!

  14. PS Love the skeleton stitching in neon!